Friday, October 31, 2008

comment-for-me#988734 The Six Pack Two

first story - by faith oxenbridge - deals with teenager dealing with misdiagnosed mother - depression and bipolar.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

quotes#895387 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Excuse my unburdening myself. My worries travel round my head on their well-worn path, and it is a relief to put them on paper. p134

Thousands of those men and boys died here [in Guernsey], and I have recently learnt that their inhuman treatment was the deliberate policy of Himmler. He called his plan Death by Exhaustion, and he implemented it. Work them hard, don't waste valuable food on them, and let them die. They could, and would, always be replaced by new slave workers from Europe's occupied countries. p104
[not nice to think of; but still important to remember]

Saturday, October 25, 2008

quotes#016508 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

But you want to know about the influence of books on my life, and as I've said, there was only one. Seneca. Do you know who he was? He was a Roman philosopher who wrote letters to imaginary friends telling them how to behave for the rest of their lives. Maybe that sounds dull, but the letters aren't - they're witty. I think you learn more if you're laughing at the same time. p87

It was so kind of you to write to me about your experience during the Occupation. At the war's end, I, too, promised myself that I wouldn't talk about it any more. I had talked and lived war for six years, and I was longing to pay attention to something - anything - else. But that is like wishing I were someone else. The war is now the story of our lives, and there's no denying it. p68

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer, c. 2008 -- pcl - reserve
[as it's a popular novel i am schooching it up the list]

Friday, October 24, 2008

quotes#683044 The Sunday Night Book Club

She wanted to go home with at least a faint tan or Sadie would accuse her of spending a week in the shade with her book like an ancient spinster. p166
[comment: from cruise]

"Tell you what," says John seeing the horror written all over my face, "I'll read one page, you read the next."
"Isn't that cheating?"
"What do you mean, cheating?"
"This is the book Mum said if I read it all, she'd take me to the cinema." p26
[what I do with my girls when reading. in this case John is teaching someone to read]

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Life before birth, by Peter and Mary Harrison, c. 1983 -- bc6659214
The marriage merger, by Liz Fielding, c. 2002 -- bc6659216
The singing bird, by Roisin McAuley, c.2004 -- wcl paperback
Chrissie, the wish fairy, by Daisy Meadows, c.2007 -- wcl, purple kids book
quotes#271390 I believe in unicorns

That same day I borrrowed my first book from the library. I chose Aesop's Fables because I like the animals in them, and because the Unicorn Lady had read them to us and I had loved them.
I read them aloud to Mother that night when she came up to say goodnight to me. I read to her instead of her reading to me. It was the first time I'd ever done that. Father came and listened at the doorway whilst I was reading. He clapped when I'd finished. "Magic, Tomas," he said. "That was magic." There were tears in his eyes too. I hoped it was because he was proud of me. How I loved him being proud of me. And Mother hugged me harder that night than she'd ever hugged me before. She could hardly speak she was so amazed. How I loved amazing Mother. p53
[ts: serendipity moment cos I was writing about Aesop Fables earlier that day]

But church or not, Sunday was always the best day of the week. In the cold of winter Father and I would go tobogganing on the hillside. In the heat of summer we'd swim in the lakes and stand there under the freezing waterfall, laughing and squealing with joy. Sometimes we'd go off for long tramps up the hills. We'd watch the eagles soaring out above the mountain tops. We'd wander the forests, always on the lookout for telltale signs of deer or wild boar, or even bears. Sometimes we might even catch a brief glimpse of one through the trees. Best of all we'd stop from time to time, just to be still, to feel the peace and breathe in the beauty. We'd listen to the sounds of the forest, to the whisper of the wind, to the cry of wolves, distant wolves I longed to see but never did. p16

Refuse to choose, by Barbara Sher ... read to p45 for now

The Sunday Night Book Club, by various authors, c. 2006 -- lcl

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

quotes#392511 The Forger

They would not quit, if only to avoid the shame of quitting. p269
[cliche: but it struck my eyes]

And suddenly, set free from the seemingly endless training, I knew I could do it. The complexity was all there in my head, too much to grasp in any single thought, but all there, bunched up and tangled; and the only way to untangle it was simply to work and not think about working, but just work. p207

Monday, October 20, 2008

quotes#612731 The Forger

"You were a painter. A great one, from all I hear."
"All right," he said. "Maybe I was good. But I exhausted myself. I got so tired in here" - he bounced the heel of his palm off his forehead. "Some days, I would set up the canvas and stare at it for an hour and then be so exhausted I'd have to go back to bed. But with restoration, it's different" - he drew his fingers close together, like a man learning to pray. "It's about the creation of the paint itself. Using only those materials available at the time. Then the lacquer. Then the ageing process. The precision of it. The cheating of time! Do you know that my finest work in that Gericault is the part Gericault got wrong." p71

The next morning I woke, as usual, to the sound of muttering voices in the Rue Descalzi. I could smell the particularly sour, perfumy reek of Matelot tobacco, which was the cheapest brand. p53
[ah ... trivia]

Sunday, October 19, 2008

quotes#793912 Buddha or bust

"Practicing?" he asked in a pedantic style that immediately put me on the defensive, as it was intended to do. "I love it when I hear Americans say they 'practice' Buddhism. To a Japanese person that would be like saying, 'I practice being Japanese.'" The practice of which I spoke, meditation, is called zazen in the Japanese Zen tradition. In the tradition called Pure Land Buddhism, it's the recitation of the name Amida Buddha - in Japanese, Namu Amida Butsu. The nembutsu, as it's called, means "thinking on the Buddha." p206

The United States has 78 persons per square mile to China's 348. p169

Saturday, October 18, 2008

quotes#611730 Buddha or Bust

"You must each be a lamp unto yourselves," he said in the last hours of his life. p120

"My case is not progressing," he went on, eager to share his experience, "but I am much more detached. It's the craving that causes miseries. This is what we learn. I actually feel blessed to be at Tihar. Otherwise, I would never have learned about vipassana." p98

Berlin poplars, by Anne B. Ragde, c. 2004 -- pcl - reserve
Dared to dream, by Tammy Hilz McCallum, c. 1997 - bc6416129
The ice age, by Margaret Drabble, c. 1997 -- bc5486499
The Italian billionaire's secret love child, by Cathy Williams, c.2007 -- mcl

Friday, October 17, 2008

quotes#647393 Buddha or bust

"You cannot travel on the path until you become the path itself. -- THE BUDDHA" p49

"But I was made privy to a more relevant mantra that would follow me around the world, like my own private Jiminy Cricket. Come close and breaking the privacy rules of the Cult of Rehab, I will whisper it: "Core-trunk stablization." This regime of simple floor exercises, designed to strengthen the muscles surrounding the whole pelvic region, were demonstrated by a physical therapist in Encino, one of those look-alike towns along Ventura Boulevard in the Valley. Core-trunk stablization kept me in the vertical position for the duration of my travels and does to this day. Every time I did the exercises - on the bare floor of some very funky hotel in India, on the richly carpeted floor of the Four Seasons George V in Paris - I thought of that Encino therapist stuck in a strip mall upstairs from a Pep Boys and a Taco Bell, and I sent her lotuses of gratitude." p9

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

quotes#732970 Chasing Harry Winston

"It says here that blue curacao is a sweet blue liqueur made from the diced peel of bitter oranges and that it's used to add color to cocktails," she read from the label. p101
[trivia for me]

Saturday, October 11, 2008

quotes#585466 Books. A memoir

At Booked Up one of our favorite eccentrics was a gentleman we called the "little book" man.
Once or twice a year this customer would show up at the shop with a ruler and work his way around the main room, measuring the books.
He was not cheap in the least, and seemed to have no exact height limit. Every time he showed up he spent $2,000 at least, and often more. He never said much - indeed, I can't recall him saying anything. But he always went away carrying a box of short books. p138

As a book buyer I had visited Lowdermilks several times, but my visits were brief and hardly scratched the surface of their massive stock, which occupied three floors of a large old building downtown. The third floor had not been visited (except by favored customers) for about ten years, or at least that was the legend. This floor contained a huge accumulation of nineteenth-century books. p99
[aaah: nice]

Friday, October 10, 2008

quotes#432885 Flight

So, okay, now I'm dressed and I limp out of the tent to join the other soldiers. Everybody else is already lined up in neat rows - or semi-neat rows, I guess. All of these soldiers are young and hungry. I wonder how long they've been on the march. They're not starving to death, but they look hollow-eyed and barren, like they've been fed just enough food but never enough happiness. p82
[context: time travel and in soldiers body. am always interested in "happiness," or lack of]

I can feel this body remembering. Every part of you has different memories. Your fingers remember the feel of a velvet coat. Your feet remember a warm sandy beach. Your eyes remember a face. p109
[cliche, but good for me to acknowledge]

Monday, October 06, 2008

quotes#727473 Nanny diaries

"Hey, have you eaten yet?" he asks as James opens the door for us.
"'Night, James," I call over my shoulder. "It depends on what you mean by eating. If you consider a fistful of Goldfish and a few dry tortellini a meal then I'm stuffed." p115
[comment: after having moved back to NZ I haven't had Goldfish in ages!]

and on the ninth floor of the electric porcupine that is New York City ... p88

Sunday, October 05, 2008


These are popular titles that I thought I should read pretty soon:

Flight, by Sherman Alexie, c.2007 lcl - reserve
Books. A memoir, by Larry McMurtry, c. 2008 lcl reserve
Chasing Harry Winston, by Lauren Weisberger, c 2008 -- ncl, reserve
quotes#555047 The Nanny Diaries

The following Monday on my way to meet Mrs. X I make a quick stop at my favorite stationery store to stock up on Post-its. Today my Filofax only has two Post-its: a tiny pink one imploring me to "BUY MORE POST-ITS" and a green one reminding me that I have "Coffee, Mrs. X, 11:15." I pull off the pink one and toss it in the trash as I continue heading south to La Patisserie Gout du Mois, our appointed meeting place. p26
[only because i like post-it notes]

Saturday, October 04, 2008

quotes#836328 C'est la vie

Chez Francis, a bistro made famous because of its direct view of the Eiffel Tower, was between the bus stop and the Plaza, as we called the Plaza Athenee. Mike and I had been regulars for years; we had even celebrated some of our New Year's Eves there. Chez Francis was still one of my favorite places in Paris, because of the view and the sense that you owned Paris. Though it had memories of my husband, it did not make me sad. Instead, I smugly sat and wrote in my notebook, sipped my coffee and listened to the hum around me: the hum of many tourists who hoped they would come back to Paris. I never spoke English to the waiter, lest he mistake me for one of them. p193

Friday, October 03, 2008

quotes#956448 C'est la vie

While Americans have come to expect a certain regular availability of produce because of international buying and shipping and alternate seasons below the equator, in France it has never mattered if the goods were available or not; tradition was tradition, there was right and there was wrong. It truly mattered what season it was; only heathens (or Americans) ate fruits or foods out of season. Because of this unwritten law, the good times were especially appreciated for their bounty. The market basket was a symbol of summer. p146

While I normally travel alone, on this trip two friends accompanied me because they were worried about me and thought this was an appropriate gesture of support for a widowed friend. One companion was a girlfriend from San Antonio, also a widow. The other was a Chinese friend who insisted I needed a translator and protector. They were bookends to my grief and a circle of strength as I started back to work, p123

Seven ways to catch the moon, by M.P. Robertson, c. 1999 - book came in the courier bin today - one that i would read to a little one in bed - love the placement of the words on the pages.

Is there really a human race?, by Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell, c. 2006 - am lucky that i work in a library and this book caught my eye as I was wanding it's return - as always i enjoy Jamie Lee Curtis (one of her other books I read over and over with my daughter - that was called Today I feel silly) "do some of us win? do some of us lose? is winning or losing something i choose? why am i racing? what am i winning? does all of my running keep the world spinning?"

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I picked these off the shelf prelunch to enjoy ...

You're different and that's super, by Carson Kressley, c.2005 - a unicorn struggling to find his identity and place in the world. ages 3-8 -- delightful black and white illustrations - horses' names that caught my imagination -- Tuckabuckaway and Wooligan - Unicorn was called Trumpet

The Gruffalo's child, by Julia Donaldson, c. 2004 - saw several copies of this book today so thought i should pick it up - in the end it was a mouse with a big shadow that spooked the monster - mouse knew how to defend himself - love the rhyming nature of the words.
quotes#047793 C'est la vie

I often had to force myself to one more party or one more dinner, when all I really wanted was to stay home and watch TV. I went out only because I heard the memory of my mother's voice ringing in my brain, an echo from when I was twenty-two years old: "No one ever met anyone while sitting at home reading a book." p61
[but reading a book sure is fun]

I took his wedding ring from his left hand, removed my wedding ring from my left hand and switched both of them over to my right hand to signify our marriage had crossed over to the spiritual realm. His larger band was held in place by my smaller one. At 7:30A.M. I called his doctor.
"He's dead?" the doctor asked, stunned.
"I don't think he's faking," I managed to say. p6