Saturday, 6 January 2018

Saturday this and that . . .

I have been a voracious reader ever since I learned how to read.  I think I must have been a real pain in the patootie at the library when I was a child.  Children were only allowed to take out one book at a time, and I think in the summer months, I used to ride my bicycle there several times a day because I read that much!  Nothing was safe from my reading habit.  I read the dictionary from cover to cover and I had every volume in our encyclopedia practically worn our, along with the mini encylopedia of classics that came with it, and the Geography books.  

There was no stopping me! 

I still love reading, although I don't seem to read as quickly as I used to. My days are far too busy to sit and read and I tend to read only in bed at night. I need to change that I think! I just finished Wonder by R J Palachio and thoroughly enjoyed it and am reading The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton.  I thought it would be fun today to show you the books I have plans to read this year and tell you a bit about them! You might discover something you also want to read! 

The Words in my Hand by Guinevere Glasfurd.  

The Words in My Hand is the reimagined true story of Helena Jans, a Dutch maid in 17th century Amsterdam working for an English bookseller. One day a mysterious and reclusive lodger arrives - the Monsieur - who turns out to be René Descartes. At first encounter the maid and the philosopher seem to have little in common, yet Helena yearns for knowledge and literacy - wanting to write so badly that she uses beetroot for ink and her body as paper. And the philosopher, for all his learning, finds that it is Helena who reveals the surprise in the everyday world that surrounds him, as gradually their relationship deepens in a surprising story of love and learning. 

 'An accomplished first novel... Glasfurd brilliantly dissects the complex frustrations of a woman in love with a man consumed by intellectual obsessions. There is much to move us here' Guardian

This book has been shortlisted for a Costa Book Award.  

Why this appeals - I love books with an historical feel to them. The idea of someone wanting to write so badly that they use beetroot for ink and their body as paper has intrigued me.


ICE by Ulla-Lena Lundberg. 
The epic of Island Life that has gripped Finland. Winner of the Finlandia Prize. Nominated for the Nordic Criti Prize.

It is the summer of 1946. A novice Lutheran priest, his wife and baby daughter arrive at a windswept island off the coast of Finland, where they are welcomed by its frugal, self-sufficient community of fisher folk turned reluctant farmers. In this deeply atmospheric and quietly epic tale, Lundberg uses a wealth of everyday detail to draw us irresistibly into a life and mindset far removed from our own - stoic and devout yet touched with humour and a propensity for song. With each season, the young family’s love of the island and its disparate and scattered inhabitants deepens, and when the winter brings ice new and precarious links appear. Told in spare, simple prose that mirrors the islanders’ unadorned style, this is a story as immersive as it is heartrending.

Why this appeals -  I love a good tale and one with atomospherics. Finland is on my bucket list of places to go. There is that quality of religion and faith wound through it also with the man being a Lutheran Priest. This intrigues me.


Perfume River, by Robert Olen Butler.
Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence 2017

 'A powerful novel' - Mail on Sunday

 Profound and poignant, Perfume River is an examination of relationships, personal choice, and how war resonates down the generations. It is the finest novel yet from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain.

Robert Quinlan and his wife Darla teach at Florida State University. Their marriage, forged in the fervor of anti-Vietnam-war protests, now bears the fractures of time, with the couple trapped in an existence of morning coffee and solitary jogging and separate offices. For Robert and Darla, the cracks remain below the surface, whereas the divisions in Robert's own family are more apparent: he has almost no relationship with his brother Jimmy, who became estranged from the family as the Vietnam War intensified. William Quinlan, Robert and Jimmy's father, a veteran of World War II, is coming to the end of his life, and aftershocks of war ripple across all their lives once again when Jimmy refuses to appear at his father's bedside. And a disturbed homeless man whom Robert at first takes to be a fellow Vietnam veteran turns out to have a devastating impact not just on Robert, but on his entire family.

Why it appeals -  I have always been fascinated with the Vietnam War Era, and its impact on people and their families. Although I grew up during the Vietnam War, it is not a war which I really know a lot about.  Although I have had and do have military serving family members, none of them actually were participants in any War.  My ex husband did Peace Keeping in Bosnia for a year and was in charge of a multi-national group of Military Police during his time there and came home with PST, which was not recognised at the time.  I know the impact it had on my family. Perhaps there are some similarities. We will see.

The Translation of the Bones, by Francesca Kay 

A searingly powerful novel about passion and isolation, about the nature of belief, about love and motherhood, for fans of Ali Smith and Maggie O'Farrell In a church in Battersea, Mary-Margaret O'Reilly sees blood on her hands and believes she has witnessed a miracle. The consequences are both profound and devastating - not just for her but for others, too: Father Diamond, the parish priest, struggling with his own faith. Stella, adrift in her marriage and aching for her ten-year old son, away at boarding school. Alice, counting the days until her soldier son comes home. And Mary-Margaret's mother, imprisoned in a tower block with nothing but her thoughts for company... What happens to Mary-Margaret will send ripples through this tight community, raising questions about the nature of devotion - in all its forms - and the cost of loving in a confusing world.

 'Unfailingly gripping, filled with the essential ingredients - tension and emotion.' Patricia Duncker, LITERARY REVIEW

 'Beautifully musical sentences with carefully judged rhythms.' Philip Womack, DAILY TELEGRAPH

 'Skillfully constructed and beautifully written.' Peter Parker, SUNDAY TIMES

Why it appeals - Belief, Love, Motherhood, Miracles?  What's not to like about that!


The Ninth Hour, by Alice McDermott

 From the National Book Award-winning author comes a luminous, deeply humane novel about three generations of an Irish immigrant family in 1940s and 1950s Brooklyn – for fans of Anne Tyler, Anne Enright and Colm Tóibín

On a gloomy February afternoon, Jim sends his wife Annie out to do the shopping before dark falls. He seals their meagre apartment, unhooks the gas tube inside the oven, and inhales. Sister St. Saviour, a Little Nursing Sister of the Sick Poor, catches the scent of fire doused with water and hurries to the scene: a gathered crowd, firemen, and the distraught young widow. Moved by the girl's plight, and her unborn child, the wise nun finds Annie work in the convent's laundry – where, in turn, her daughter will grow up amidst the crank of the wringer and the hiss of the iron. In Catholic Brooklyn in the early part of the twentieth century, decorum, superstition and shame collude to erase Jim's brief existence; and yet his suicide, although never mentioned, reverberates through many generations – testing the limits of love and sacrifice, of forgiveness and forgetfulness. In prose of startling radiance and precision, Alice McDermott tells a story that is at once wholly individual and universal in its understanding of the human condition. Rendered with remarkable lucidity and intelligence, The Ninth Hour is the crowning achievement of one of today's finest writers.

Why it appeals -  Ireland, Poverty, Nuns, Convents, Generational.  All things I find fascinating.


The Mysteries, by Lisa Tuttle
This standalone novel from award-winning author Lisa Tuttle is a blend of mystery, thriller and fantasy that will leave you looking over your shoulder.

Laura Lensky's daughter, Peri, has been missing for two years. For the police it's a closed case - she wanted to run away - but for her mother and boyfriend, Hugh, it's a different story. When Laura hires private investigator Ian Kennedy, it is a last-ditch attempt to find her daughter before she leaves for America. Drawn in by strange parallels to an obscure Celtic myth and his first, almost unexplainable case, Ian takes the job. But his beliefs are about to be stretched to their limit - there are darker and more devious forces at work here than any of them imagined . . .

 'It will make the hairs stand up on the back of your head. It will make you imagine things you've never imagined before. And it will make you think. It is her best novel to date' - Michael Moorcock

Why it appeals - I love a good mystery, and when it is combined with fantasy and the quality of being a thriller, so much the better.  Celtic myths?  I am intrigued.


The Widow's Confession, by Sophia Tobin
The new novel from the author of the Sunday Timesbestseller, The Silversmith's Wife.

Broadstairs, Kent, 1851. Once a sleepy fishing village, now a select sea-bathing resort, this is a place where people come to take the air, and where they come to hide… Delphine and her cousin Julia have come to the seaside with a secret, one they have been running from for years. The clean air and quiet outlook of Broadstairs appeal to them and they think this is a place they can hide from the darkness for just a little longer. Even so, they find themselves increasingly involved in the intrigues and relationships of other visitors to the town. But this is a place with its own secrets, and a dark past. And when the body of a young girl is found washed up on the beach, a mysterious message scrawled on the sand beside her, the past returns to haunt Broadstairs and its inhabitants. As the incomers are drawn into the mystery and each others' lives, they realise they cannot escape what happened here years before… A compelling story of secrets, lies and lost innocence…

This one really appeals as I have been to Broadstairs many times.
Its where my friend Jo lives and where Charles Dickens
summered when he was alive. 

And I think that is enough of a list for me to be getting on with now.  What books are on your reading list for this year, and why??? I really want to know!
Little Glimpses into my life and home


Multiple white stars are shooting off my hook . . .  who knows what they will become. Stay tuned . . . 

Time stands still at quarter past twelve . . .  it needs a new battery and has done since before Christmas. Could today be the day? 


Black and white peeks into family life  . . . . love these photos of my growing grands . . . 


An angel's wings  . . . . stirring . . . 

Does this happen to you?  A bit of Christmas got left behind  . . . 


From Sybil and Peter, a bit of beauty . . .  and I haven't managed to kill it yet  . . .  

Frozen in time  . . . angels and tea cups and a victorian dancer peeks out from around a corner . . . all gifts of love.

And that's all I have to say for today.

A thought to carry with you  . . . from my journal . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

Shame is a bully . . . 
but Grace is a shield.
You are safe here. 
~Ann VosKamp, The Broken Way  •。★★ 。* 。


BOOK OF MORMON CORNER -2 Nephi 28:17-32 
Question - What have you learnt from the reading today? Why does the Lord teach us "line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little"?  
My Thoughts - I find it interesting that there are two patterns in this reading today  . . . the Lord’s pattern and Satan’s. Satan’s pattern is to rage in the hearts of the children of men. Some he will pacify, and lull them away into carnal security. Others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell. Maybe it’s just me, but the world seems to becoming increasingly more volatile.  There seems to be less patience, kindness and more dissatisfaction. Many, including myself from time to time, have no “need of the word of God, for we have enough" – enough money, education, knowledge and understanding. God is more and more being squeezed out of everyday life. That is, until life becomes difficult, or can’t fill that “hole” in our hearts, that  is searching for meaning or longing. How can I make Him part of my life more? Part of me?  

The Lord’s pattern for each and every one of us is “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little”. It is to learn and grown one step at a time, with the grace of Christ to strengthen and sustain us, and the Spirit to guide and direct us. I suppose it is natural to expect things to happen instantly, to answer our questions, and doubts, or address our faults and failings in one answer.

But the Lord’s ways are not our ways. I have never really had a big answer, or revelation in my life. I have, often reluctantly, had to do things never quite knowing what the result would be, but then receiving a small confirmation that what I am doing is right. I take comfort from others who have also experienced this.  

David A. Bednar gave a BYU devotional called “Line upon Line, Precept upon Precept” just on the scripture in verse 30. He shared the experience of Joseph F. Smith who said “When I as a boy first started out in the ministry, I would frequently go out and ask the Lord to show me some marvelous thing, in order that I might receive a testimony. But the Lord withheld marvels from me, and showed me the truth, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, until he made me to know the truth from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet, and until doubt and fear had been absolutely purged from me. He did not have to send an angel from the heavens to do this, nor did he have to speak with the trump of an archangel. By the whisperings of the still small voice of the Spirit of the living God, he gave to me the testimony I possess. And by this principle and power he will give to all the children of men a knowledge of the truth that will stay with them, and it will make them to know the truth, as God knows it, and to do the will of the Father as Christ does it. And no amount of marvelous manifestations will ever accomplish this. It is obedience, humility, and submission to the requirements of heaven and to the order established in the kingdom of God upon the earth, that will establish men in the truth”  

Tomorrow's Reading (Day 70) - 2 Nephi 29:1-14 
Question - What is the purpose of the Book of Mormon? Why do we have additional scriptures to the bible?


In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Orange and Currant Scones.  These are fabulous! Look at the height!  So fluffy and flaky too!

Have a great Saturday . . . don't forget along the way of your day . . . 

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And I do too!


  1. I read less too..I am too busy in the day..need busy crafting it's at night also..but I read on my Ipad that house I get sidetracked..:(
    I am starting to understand why kids read less:(

    A shame..

    we had no distractions..a family of 5 w/ one families of 5 have sometimes 5 tvs if we count Ipads etc..

    oh the distractions..

    Love your little crochet peices..:)

    And that orchid is glorious..they flower for months..but getting them to flower again is a labor of love and patience.

    I like my treasures too;)

    THose scones:)!

  2. I have always loved to read too and thank you for the book suggestions. I haven't read any of them but they all sound good. Those scones look wonderful so I'm off to check out the recipe. Have a super Saturday!

  3. Thanks Monique! You would love the scones! I am not sure if I can keep the Orchid going! I am not so great with plants! Xoxo

    Thanks Pam! You will love the scones if you bake them! Xoxo

  4. Like you I used to be an avid reader, was never seen without a book in my hand. However now you know my situation with Mary and I find it to difficult to read during the day so that mostly leaves evenings and most evenings are taken up with doing things on this I Pad..contacting friends, writing letters, etc etc...and I can't read in time I do read is when on holiday, sometimes if Mary is happy people watching then I will get out my kindle ...where I have loads of books I...I must day !!
    The orchid should last many many weeks love. Water very occasionally, I just hold it under a running tap for a few mins letting the water run through that will dampen the fibre enough....fingers crossed....hope you and Todd are both keeping warm, it's certainly been a very cold week. And stormy. Peter was sent home three days this week ..they feared the roof may blow off !!

  5. Hi Marie~

    I love to read as well, and I really want to read some of the books you highlighted! I love all things WWII, for some reason it was just such an interesting time...hard, trying, dreadful, horrific, but interesting. I like to know about the men and women who served at war and at home. Vietnam was a scary war, too many lies and deceptions, I guess not unlike all war. I know several people who served on the front lines, they barely even speak about it without having nightmares. But, it was a fascinating time in history, for sure.

    Ice sounds intriguing so does, Mysteries and, The Widow's Confession...I love a good mystery! I will definitely put them on my read list.

    Oh, you little snowflakes are coming along! I can't wait to see the finished product. I have a watch that looks identical to yours!! Bob gave it to me a few years ago for Christmas. I can never keep a battery alive - a jeweler told me that some people just can't wear a battery operated watch...that would be me.

    Heheheheh! I still have my Christmas decorations up!! Bob told me that he would help me with them next week when we are both feeling better.

    Your gifts of love are just that, you can tell that they are special to you, and I love that each one has a special place of it's own.

    I'm terrified of Orchids, I think they are beautiful, but I know that I would kill them dead the first week!! I love the one from Sybil and Peter, so pretty!!

    We do just need to follow, line upon line. It can be hard sometimes, and I often wonder...why. And every time I do, I realize I should never ask why, I should just do and realize I am in, His hands.

    Have a wonderful Sabbath, Marie!!

    Hugs and Love,

  6. Sybil you are such a wonderful friend to Mary. I know she must appreciate you so very much and I could tell Peter thinks the world of you also! I will follow your tips for the Orchid. Its so beautiful! Love and hugs! xoxo

    Oh dear Barb, I do so hope you and Bob get back to scratch and healthy soon! Its no fun being sick!! I miss the old wind up watches. My mother wanted one a few years back, but it was really hard to find one!! A lovely sabbath is wised for you also. Love and hugs. xoxo

  7. I was like you, obsessed with reading, as a child. I would bring home stacks of books as often as I could and chose librarian as my career. Now that I am retired I can read a lot, so it is full circle. I like your list of books for 2018.

  8. Thanks Terra! I look at books as being my friends and there are many that I like to visit again and again. I have my favourites! I think it would have been awesome to be a librarian! xo


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