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Showing posts from July, 2017

Paris in July, 2017 - A trip to Normandie, part 3

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After having spent a couple of days in Guernsey and Jersey it was time to head back home. We choose the inland route and drove through a beautiful, sometimes hilly, scenery, stopped for a coffee or cider in small villages along the way. This is the cider area, and it is really good. We did take off slightly to visit the village of Camembert. One would think that this is a big place full of tourists trying out this wonderful cheese. Not at all. It is a tiny village with about 8 houses of which one is the hotel de ville and the other is the tourist information. Which was on lunch break when we arrived! Luckily, they opened ten minutes later and we had a degustation de Camembert with the local cider to it. Very good, so we could not refrain from buying a few cheeses, some cider and Calvados which is also famous in this area. Degustation de Camemberts

Paris in July 2017 - A trip to Normandie, part 2

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Heading south to the main attraction I wanted to see during this trip. Mont St Michel. An island just off the coast. When it is ebb you can walk out there on the sand, when it is flood you can use the bridge leading just up to the walled city and cathedral. It is an impressive place. Be prepared for steep streets and going up and down. Although we were there before the main tourist season the streets were so crowded when we arrived in the late afternoon, we could hardly get through. Me, in front of Mont Saint Michel

Paris in July - a trip to Normandie, part 1

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My reading this year for the Paris in July, hosted by Tamara at Thyme for Tea , is really suffering. I have only managed Kate Muir's book left Bank so far. I have not had time to do anything else on Paris. However, we went on a lovely trip to Normandie during Easter and I would like to share some of our memorable moments. We spent most of the time on the Cotentin peninsula, where we started our trip, staying at the Chataeu Du Rozel. It is a castle from the 17th century and wonderfully picturesque. We stayed in a tower in one of the corner sof the garden with a wonderful view of the premises. On the way to our flat Part of the park Enjoying a champagne rosé in the sun

Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood

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A famous novel, that to a new audience is probably more known as the musical Cabaret . This book was a very positive surprise for me. All I knew was that Cabaret is based on the novel, but it is so much more. It is a semi-autobiographical account of Isherwood's time in Berlin during the 1930s. It describes the pre-Nazi Germany during the Weimar Republic. The novel is really six short stories that are connected. They are titled: "A Berlin Diary" (Autumn 1930), "Sally Bowles" (Cabaret), "On Ruegen Island (Summer 1931), "The Nowaks", "The Landauers" and "A Berlin Diary" (Winter 1932-33). Isherwood is the narrator and the stories describes the situation in the country and the wild array of people he meets. They are all fascinated, outsider kind of characters and give the novel its base. Sally Bowles is an Englishwoman who sings in a local cabaret and she goes through life with her court of admirers. A total free spirit, or is

2 x Anita Shreve

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For quite some time I have had two books by Anita Shreve on my shelves. Many years ago I read The Pilot's Wife  and got fascinated by Shreve's way of writing and her personal stories. It seemed like a good idea to read some more and I have now finished both of them. Eden Close and Sea Glass are stories about everyday people who are facing a drama or events in life that change their lives. In Eden Close  Andrew returns home after many years to attend his mothers funeral. While preparing their old house for sale, his memories of the fatal events that struck his neighbour Eden comes back to him. Going down memory lane and his old feelings for her, he finally digests what happened that night many years ago. Like in The Pilot's Wife , everything is not what it seems to be, and the event that so effected many people finally gets its solution. In Sea Glass  we meet at set of people in north east England just before the Wall Street crash in 1929. Honora and Sexton, a young coup

A little book inventory!

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I have been doing an inventory of my book cases. That is, going through books I have read and books from the TBR shelves. Space is always a problem, and I must admit, that these days I look at the book after finishing it and decide whether to keep it or not. Influenced by KonMari? Maybe. I had a big problem in the beginning doing it,  but I am getting better at it. It also helps that we will move next year and the idea of moving a lot of books I will never read again is helping. Book boxes tend to be very heavy. And there is not much space where they are going. Here they are! So, one sunny day I went through my books and managed to sort out 65 of them! Yes, I was rather amazed myself. In Belgium there is a FB group called Swedes in Brussels and I posted a short message and bawang! The books were given to someone eager to read them. I am quite happy since I don't really like to throw books away. About the same time (this happens when you clean up dark corners) I found two

Mixed reading

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Lately, I have been reluctant to write reviews of the books I have read. Sometimes I make notes during my reading, sometimes not. I always think I will remember what I was thinking at a certain point, but, alas, this is just wishful thinking. I have been slow with reading and for once did not have the energy or will to open a book. It comes and goes, but this time it has lasted longer than ever. I hope I am over it now, so looking forward to more reading during the summer. For now, I will share my thoughts on three books. The Temporary Gentleman by Sebastian Barry Sebastian Barry is a favourite author and I loved his The Secret Scripture and A Long, Long Way . Here we meet Jack McNulty in Ghana in 1957. He is a former UN observer whose mission is over. He is dreading going back to Ireland and the life he used to lead. He reflects on his life and failed marriage and his failings as a father. His present life acts as an opposite to his past life. While he has had problems engaging i

Book beginnings on Fridays and The Friday 56

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Rose City Reader , is hosting Book beginnings on Friday. She says: Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name. Freda’s voice is hosting Friday 56 and the rules are: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that's ok.)  *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) *Post it. *Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. *It's that simple. My book this week is The Temporary Gentleman by Sebastian Barry Beginning: 'It's a beautiful night and no mistake. You would never think there was a war somewhere.'    Page 56 (57 since 56 is an empty page): When my brother Tom was still a teenager he got a job as the organist at th

left Bank by Kate Muir - Paris in July 2017

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My first book about Paris and France for the Paris in July meme, hosted by Tamara at Thyme for Tea , left Bank  by Kate Muir. It is an easy enough read about a fashionable couple, Madison and Olivier, living on the left bank in Paris. They are both successful people, she an actress and he a philosopher. Very busy with their own careers they have hardly time for their daughter Sabine. Into their lives enters nanny Anna. It starts  with a family visit to Disneyland, Paris and a dramatic event. The story leaves us there to take us back in time to introduce us to the characters, their lives and loves. It is a typically French story, and it takes us to wonderful places around Paris that you just long to visit yourself. It turns out that the happy, fashionable couple is not that happy after all. The title of this book could as well has been "keeping up appearances" because that is what their lives are about. Both Madison and Olivier are now in their mid-forties and the popular

Mount TBR Mountaineering Checkpoint #2

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I can't believe we are already half way through this year. The checkpoints for various challenges do take you back on track. Checking my reading for this challenge gives me a poor result. Far too few books read this year, so far. Ok, let's face the facts and have a look on how far up I have come. One of my favourite challenges is Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2017, hosted by Bev at My Reader's Block . As of April 1, I had read 15 books and made it 1.202 m or 3.943 ft up the Mont Blanc. As of July 1, I have read 23 books, which is 4.607 m (15.088 ft) up to the top. One more book and I am there. As usual Bev has given us a few challenges on top of the reading. Choose two titles from the books you've read that have a common link . I will choose Romeo and Juliet and Sweet Bird of Youth  which are both plays. I seldom read plays so this is something out of the extra ordinary. Tell us about a book on the list that was new to you in some way - new author, about a place yo

Paris in July

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Paris in July, my favourite blogging event, hit me this year out of the blue. Normally, I think about it well in advance, planning what to do. Lately, I hardly had time to read all the blogs I am following and therefor I just realised yesterday that it has already started. It is once again hosted by Tamara at  Thyme for Tea .  Thank you for hosting Tamara. I know you are very busy for the time being. So what will I do this year? Less ambitious than earlier years, due to my present schedule. I would like to write a few posts on our recent trip to Normandie. It was lovely and we travelled along the coast all the way down to St Malo. I would like to finish Nana by Emile Zola. I already started it last year, but never got around to finish it. I actually bought a book a while ago, which I thought would be a good read for 'Paris in July'. It is a book called left Bank  by Kate Muir. It is fictional but I am not able to figure out from the describing text at what time it takes p