A fun little pastry puff of a book that can be read lightly or deeply. Bonus points for references to Great Books and in particular Jane Austen and alA fun little pastry puff of a book that can be read lightly or deeply. Bonus points for references to Great Books and in particular Jane Austen and also why we should read Little Women. I almost categorized this as a fable as I don't think a town like this could actually exist--but maybe it does! A lot of tea and bakery items are consumed within it's pages--perfect those who equate book reading with a cozy cup of tea. Nice little winter read.
In my effort to buy more print books and make sure I visit more Independent bookstores on my travels this was purchased at the Alexander Book Company while on a business trip to San Francisco. ...more
I remember picking up the hardcover edition of Edward Rutherfurd's Sarum when I worked in the bookstore. The heft of the book and the fact that is wasI remember picking up the hardcover edition of Edward Rutherfurd's Sarum when I worked in the bookstore. The heft of the book and the fact that is was a historical family saga told over many generations--"Oh yeah," I thought. "I'm in." Sarum remains one of my favorite in this genre.
Since then, I've read a number of Rutherfurd's novels--the Forest, London, New York...If you like your books big, your sagas multi-generational, and you like reading about history and about places you'll enjoy this book.
I was put off at first by the editorial choice to go back-and-forth in time instead of chronological in the story. But then I listened to an interview with Rutherfurd posted on YouTube and hearing his reasons for the choice--I came to peace with it. The key phrase here is "family secrets."
I felt he captured the spirit and attitudes of Parisians quite well. The novel culminates in WWII where all our families come together--and to me that wrapped it all up nicely--the secrets, the changing values and cultural shifts and of course many of the families we come to know have their own opportunity to be a hero in the Resistance. I found myself a little sad at the end as I'd felt I'd gotten to know these families very well.
Speaking of the interview here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nISIe.... Rutherfurd also spent many years in the publishing trade and has some interesting insights here. I also like what he states about Wodehouse--and the novel he wish he'd never read. ...more
I really enjoyed this memoir about Andrew's life growing up in WWII, her trials coming from a broken home, secrets later revealed, etc. Like many peopI really enjoyed this memoir about Andrew's life growing up in WWII, her trials coming from a broken home, secrets later revealed, etc. Like many people I had assumed that Julie Andrews came from a well-to-do background. She didn't. I also liked that Julie while forthcoming was also decent in her depiction of her family's flaws. And I fell in love a bit with her Dad. He did his best to stay in her life as much as possible after her parent's divorce. When she talked about him calling her Chick I kept hearing my own Dad call me Peanut.
I believe I picked up this book at a library sale for a dollar. What a find! And the best reason to haunt Friends of Library sales. Published in 1982I believe I picked up this book at a library sale for a dollar. What a find! And the best reason to haunt Friends of Library sales. Published in 1982 this is a comprehensive guide to the history of the wine industry in America as well as a guide to what was hot back in 1982. It was fun to read about wineries I am familiar with since I grew up in Northern California. It was a delight to read a bit on Chateau Ste Michelle my favorite summertime evening concert picnic haunt in Woodinville. The author Roy Andries De Groot was an important food and wine writer for most of the major magazines and the New York Times starting in the sixties. ...more
I'm an eye roller which can be a relationship killer. I never would have known this except through reading about John Gottman's research at his Love LI'm an eye roller which can be a relationship killer. I never would have known this except through reading about John Gottman's research at his Love Lab over the years. Gottman and his team videotaped couples interacting and now have a high success rate at determining which couples will make it and which will divorce based on their verbal and non-verbal interactions. This book breaks down the research into practical advice.
I was extremely happy to read through this book and discover that this time around my partner and I are doing it right. Actually I feel a little smug about it. Because love at forty-something is wonderful. ...more
Three young men floating down a canal inside a bathtub being delivered to a Duke in Bruges. Action and hilarity ensue but this chapter is key--don't rThree young men floating down a canal inside a bathtub being delivered to a Duke in Bruges. Action and hilarity ensue but this chapter is key--don't read it lightly. I read it twice in a row. The chapter has layers and kicks off the events not only in this book but in the entire series. This is my second time through this series--it was a delight the first time when I had the pleasure of reading it through with several co-workers--we had a lot of fun at lunchtime discussing the antics of Nicholas de Fleury and company. And it was a delight this time. Dorothy Dunnett is for people who love dense historical fiction (I know this because there is a Dorothy Dunnett society and a Wiki)--she mixes in real events with fictional characters in 15th century Europe and there is always a surprise waiting around the page for you the reader and the characters in her books.
Please, oh please, someone adapt this into a series for HBO, Showtime or Netflix. ...more
I recommend Kim Stanley Robinson if you like your science fiction hard and you love reading about technology. I love reading him because his books (anI recommend Kim Stanley Robinson if you like your science fiction hard and you love reading about technology. I love reading him because his books (and this one is no different) is chock-full of ideas of what a Earth and colonization of our solar system might look like a few hundred years from now. Don't read it for characters to love--he always manages to create some characters that you feel ambivalent about. I can't really say I connected with the hero. But the ideas!? Yes. The ideas. ...more
I vote Sandra Tsing Loh to be most likely to be included in my group of friends on a trip to a day spa for wine, brunch and massages. I know she wouldI vote Sandra Tsing Loh to be most likely to be included in my group of friends on a trip to a day spa for wine, brunch and massages. I know she would fit right in with my brilliant witty girlfriends. She is like the friend that gets me and experiences things I experience just a mere two years ahead of me. I am her demographic.
In her latest personal memoir Loh takes on her year of surviving perimenopause hormonal changes while dealing with the fall-out from her divorce (which was famously chronicled in the Atlantic) while dealing with tweens and an aging father. Let's just say I can relate to all of it and it is good to know it will all come out well in the end.
Thank you Sandra--the Gail Sheehy for Generation X.
I like publishing history and for that I liked Janet Groth's memoir of her life and times spent as a receptionist at the New Yorker. I've made a noteI like publishing history and for that I liked Janet Groth's memoir of her life and times spent as a receptionist at the New Yorker. I've made a note of a few New Yorker authors from the fifties and sixties mentioned in her memoir that I would like to explore. I think her book captures a time and a role that is rapidly disappearing. I can also relate to her on some level because I've always wanted to be a writer myself but have let opportunity pass me by--I can relate to how she found herself still a receptionist many years later. I once worked as the accounting assistant at a regional magazine and started out in book publishing as an administrative assistant before moving on up in my career. But man--what fun to be at the center of everything! This is the kind of lady I would love to have lunch with.
That said, I think the book could have used a stronger editor--was this a personal memoir? a memoir about the New Yorker? life in New York in the sixties? I think the book suffers a bit from claiming to be one thing--memoir about the New Yorker but really about that and the author's personal life. But yet not enough of the personal life. Maybe the problem was marketing wanted a MadMen type book and the author wanted to tell her story. It was just oddly structured. This book could have used the firm hand of a good developmental editor.