Sunday, October 31, 2004

added passage on parenting to entry re "Between Friends."

Saturday, October 30, 2004

added an entry on writing letters to entry re "Between Friends".

Friday, October 29, 2004

"Funny Letters From Famous People," edited and introduced by Charles Osgood, c. 2003

This is next after "Between Friends." It's a library book.

I collect quotes as I read. These ones are fun, poetical, or even philosophical. Take what you like, and leave the rest. Note that these aren't necessarily the "best" in the book. These happen to be close to the spot where I stopped reading last night.

A young visitor to the White House had the unexpected pleasure of being invited to join President Hoover for lunch. Sometime later, Hoover received a note from the boy telling him that no one in the boy's homeroom believed he had actually dined with the president, or that spinach had been served. Hoover promptly replied:
The White House
My Dear Stephen:
This is certify that you lunched at the White House with me. I have never been strong for spinach myself, and I had meant to tell you that you didn't have to eat it.
Herbert Hoover. p32
[comment: this reminds me of the constant broccoli discussion with dd5]

Some trees grow very tall and straight and large in the forest close to each other, but some must stand by themselves or they won't grow at all. p84

Dear Edmondo,
I got back from the country to find your card sparkling like a jewel in a diadem of unpaid bills, poison pen letters, and rusty old telephone messages. p156
[comment: letters/cards are a wonderful break from monotony]

Monday, October 25, 2004

"Between Friends," by Debbie Macomber, c. 2002

This book is next on the pile after Wifey by Judy Blume, c. 1978. It's a copy from

From back cover:
The friendship between Jillian Lawton and Lesley Adamski begins in the postwar era of the 1950s. As they grow up, their circumstances, their choices - and their mistakes - take them in virtually opposite directions. Lesley gets pregnant and marries young, living a cramped life defined by the demands of small children, not enough money, an unfaithful husband. Jillian lives those years on a college campus shaken by the Vietnam War and then as an idealistic young lawyer in New York City.
Over the years and across the miles, through marriage, children, divorce and widowhood, Jillian and Lesley remain close, sharing every grief and every joy. There are no secrets between friends.

I collect quotes as I read. These ones are fun, poetical, or even philosophical. Take what you like, and leave the rest. Note that these aren't necessarily the "best" in the book. These happen to be close to the spot where I stopped reading last night.

Dear Jimmy,
I promised I'd write as often as I could, but it's been a while. I've discovered that jotting down a few lines to send home helps, eases the tension. We all look for ways to keep our minds off the war. That's one reason getting mail from home means so much. p133
[comment: when did you last sit and write a letter or a long email about what's happening in your life? I know I don't do it often enough!]

I finally figured out what I'm getting Mom for Christmas - a book. I know that sounds boring, but she enjoys reading and "The Shoes of the Fisherman" by Morris West is one I know she'd enjoy. Dad subtly dropped that hint and I was grateful. p56
[comment: I chose this quote simply because it referred to books and Christmas. What a delightful combination]

I used to think I was smart, but solving algebra equations is a whole lot easier than making decisions that affect the lives of my children. p174
[comment: I hear you -- parenting is a tough job]

Monday, October 18, 2004

added an entry on nature to entry re "Intimate Enemies".

Sunday, October 17, 2004

added quote about someones character to entry re "Intimate Enemies".

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

"Intimate Enemies," By Shana Abe, c. 2000

I think my current read, Peep Show by Faith Bleasdale, c. 2002, is going to be a quickie. I have decided that this one will be next on the list.

From blurb:

From Shana Abe, author of 'The Truelove Bride' and 'A Kiss at Midnight,' comes this exquisitely, emotional, beautifully written novel about two warring clans on a Scottish Isle united by a fragile pact ... and the hearts of two unforgettable lovers.

This copy is from

I collect quotes as I read. These ones are fun, poetical, or even philosophical. Take what you like, and leave the rest.

It was ingrained in her as the deepest rings in the heart of an oak tree. p46

She couldn't understand what that meant until she angled her gaze downward and saw, strangely, the sky beneath her. But it wasn't truly the sky, just the reflection of it, clear blue threading through the canyon right below her. They were at the edge of a very steep drop. Far, far down was the river she had glimpsed earlier this morning, catching heaven and showing it off through the rocks. p211
[comment: I love the last sentence in particular]

He might as well dream of the wind as of Lauren MacRae. Any chance of holding either was mere illusion. p315
[comment: Yes! It is a cliche, and the book is full of them. However call me naive but I'm going to pretend I haven't read this simile before.]

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Books read August 2nd to October 4th, 2004 --

The Dionne Years by Pierre Berton, c. 1977 -- abandoned part way through
Manitou by Donald Cole Porter, c. 1988
Something Beautiful by Marilyn Tracy, c. 1995
This Very Earth by Erskine Caldwell, c. 1948
"I'm not scared," by Niccolo Ammaniti, c. 2001 -- library book
Pastora by Joanna Barnes, c. 1980
Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy, c. 1989
Blood Brothers by Anne McAllister, c. 2000
The Green Bay Tree by Alexandra Connor, c. 1993
"Cheet," by Anna Davis, c. 2001 -- library book
Suffer A Witch to Die by Elizabeth Davis, c. 1969
The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith, c. 1992

Monday, October 04, 2004

"The Dharma Bums," by Jack Kerouac, c. 1958

This book is next after my current read, "The Mermaids Singing." See entry of Oct 3, 2004. I roll a dice and this one came up as next. It is a library book.

Why did I choose an oldie? It was in the "to be shelved" area of the stacks at North County Regional Library and the word "dharma" caught my eye.

From blurb:
Two ebullient young men search for Truth the Zen way: from marathon winedrinking bouts, poetry jam sessions, and "yayburn" in San Francisco's Bohemia to solitude in the high Sierras and a vigil atop Desolation Peak in Washington State. Published just after a year after 'On the Road' put the Beat Generation on the map. 'The Dharma Bums' is sparked by Kerouac's expansiveness, humor, and a contagious zest for life.

I collect quotes as I read. These ones are fun, poetical, or even philosophical. Take what you like, and leave the rest.

This Rod Sturlason was interested the famous Ryonaji rock gardens of Shokokuji monastery in Kyoto, which is nothing but old boulders placed in such a way, supposedly mystically aesthetic, as to cause thousands of tourists and monks every year to journey there to stare at the boulders in the sand and thereby gain peace of mind. I have never met such weird yet serious and earnest people. I never saw Rod Sturlason again, he went to Japan soon after, but I can't forget what he said about the boulders to my question: "Well, who placed them in that certain way that's so great?"
"Nobody knows, some monk, or monks, long ago. But there is a definite mysterious form in the arrangement of the rocks. It's only through form that we can realize emptiness." p23
[comment: I must admit I hadn't heard of the place before. Perhaps it's a neat place to visit]

Suddenly I was exhilerated to realize I was completely alone and safe and nobody was going to wake me up all night long. What an amazing revelation! p154
[comment: as a 'sleep-hog' I can certainly relish this feeling. The things we take for granted, huh?]

The jiggling sunshine leaves of Northwest breeze seemed bred to rejoice. p225

Sunday, October 03, 2004

"The Mermaids Singing," by Lisa Carey, c. 1998 --

As if I didn't have enough to read I signed up with Mermaids Singing from this outfit is next on my list after my current read, The Dionne Years by Pierre Berton, c. 1977.

Why do I read old books? I am a sucker for books on ebay -- especially those mixed lot boxes. I must admit that my range of reading has certainly expanded. I will give almost anything a go.

update October 4th, 2004 --
I canned The Dionne Years after about 100pp. It got very repetitive.

From blurb of "Mermaids Singing":
There is an island off the west coast of Ireland called Inis Muruch - the Island of the Mermaids - a world where myth is more powerful than truth, and love can overcome even death. It is here that Lisa Carey sets her lyrical and sensual first novel, weaving together the voices and lives of three generations of Irish and Irish-American women.
Years ago, the fierce and beautiful Grace stole away from the island with her small daughter, Grainne, unable to bear its isolation. Now Grainne is motherless at fifteen, and a grandmother she has never met has come to take her back. Her heart is pulled between a life in which she no longer belongs and a family she cannot remember. But only on Inis Muruch can she begin to understand the forces that have ton her family apart.


I collect quotes as I read. These ones from 'Mermaids,' are fun, poetical, or even philosophical. Take what you like, and leave the rest.

The flames of the bonfire shot up toward the night, making a slapping noise like laundry in rough wind. p33

"Mom, cut it out."
"You think that man sits at a desk all day? He's dropping his pants all over the city."
"What's wrong with his pants?" one of the twins asked. p83
[comment: I love comments from children]

The black slices of the cliff went so far down, it was hard to capture the depth. The only way I knew how high we were was by looking at the seagulls, some of which looked like pieces of lint floating far below. p104

My father died twenty-three years after his wife, and yet it was my mother I grieved at the funeral. I grieved that I had not known her, that she had died before I was a mother, before I had a chance to understand that no one is the mother she plans to be. p179
[comment: oh, my. this brings up all kinds of emotions for me. I'm going to try and capture them on my blog.]

The waves sizzled whispers at our feet. p253


My views on the book (updated Oct 9, 2004)

This a masterful book with many different levels to ponder. Being an immigrant of the USA I can relate to the feeling of finding your roots. I'm sure that my girls will think of America as home much more than I think of New Zealand as home.

The book also concentrates on the difficulties of parenting. My gut instinct would be that this book is mainly for mothers but it would also would resound with teens that are struggling for independence from their mother.