Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Little Paris Bookshop - Book Review

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George is enchanting, engaging and a "book reading experience".  Have you ever read a book that you were enjoying so much you didn't want it to end?  For me, this is on the short list of those books.  These are the books I long for, and when I rarely find one, I try to savor it.  

The main character here is Jean Perdu, and he is a literary apothecary.  He maintains a bookstore on a barge that is floating on the Seine in Paris from which he dispenses books like medicine for the ailments of his customers.  As Monsieur Perdu travels through the pages of this book, he is keeping a little notebook of titles to add to his list of prescriptions, and this list is included at the end of the book.  

Early in the story we learn that M. Perdu is 50, and for the past 21 years he has been dealing with the loss of the love of his life.  He had been involved with Manon, a married woman who lived in the south of France with her husband.  She would travel to Paris periodically, and Jean was her lover there.  For 5 years they had maintained an intense love affair.  This came to an abrupt end when she left him a letter in a sealed envelope.  He was so hurt and angry, and so sure he knew what was in the letter, that he put it in the drawer of a table and refused to read it.  

21 years later, he was asked to give the table to a new neighbor in his apartment building.  He did so - with the letter in the drawer.  The neighbor read the letter and told him he HAD to read it.  Doing so totally upended his world. I'm not going to spoil your reading pleasure by telling you what was in the letter, but I will tell you that its contents drives him through the rest of the book.  He is so unsettled that he feels he must go on a quest to Manon's home in southern France, so with just a change of clothing he casts his book barge into the river and proceeds to sail south.  The rest of the book is about the people and places he encounters on his journey.  

One thing I loved about this story was that it wasn't predictable.  I know what I wanted to happen, but the ending took me by surprise.  The writing style of this author is engaging and enchanting.  The descriptions of the places he visits throughout France did much to feed my Francophile tendencies.   I only wish a detailed map had been supplied with the book so I could have traced his course.  (Thank goodness for Google Maps!) Another addition at the end of the book is a collections of French recipes for food that is mentioned in the story.  Lavender ice cream?  Yes - it really exists!  

This book is so popular that it has its own  Facebook page !

Ok - that's it for this review.  I'm going to close this now and open up Google Maps so I can explore France....  Thanks for visiting, and come back again soon!


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Enjoy the Gladiolus

I enjoy just about every flower there is, but there are some that stand out as favorites.  Roses are high on the list.  Zinnias are up there too (especially State Fair variety).  Sunflowers, Hollyhocks, Hyacinths, Dahlias -  well the list is fairly long.  Today I'm going to focus on one of my faves that isn't seen a whole lot these days - the Gladiolus.

These lovely tall stocks are in the iris family and grow from bulbs.  They usually start sprouting in June, and they pour all their energy into long green leaves for a couple of months. Then finally, in late August, they put forth their 1 stalk of flower blossoms.  The blooms don't last long, but they are glorious for the week or two they are here.  This year I documented the blooming progress of my 1 lone Glad.  There are actually about 12 flowers on a stalk, but they come out in succession from bottom to top.


Ok - I'll admit it.  The last photo here is from 2015 because I missed photographing the last couple of days of this year's bloom, but it counts because it's the same plant!  

Last year I planted several bulbs and about 3 or 4 came up.  This year, I just had the one left-over from last year's planting.  I was thrilled that any came up at all!  

I'm going to work on finding a good source of strong bulbs so I can plant more for next year.  It's a long wait to get to the grand finale, but I think it's worth it!

Thanks for visiting!  Come back again soon!


Friday, September 11, 2015

Quickie Techie Update


I did it!  I went "smart"!  I got myself an iPhone 6.   I didn't stop there though!  I also got myself an Apple Air 2.  I was already edging slowly toward this decision before I went to the Weight Watchers meeting.  That was the last straw.  E-tools.  Yep.  If Weight Watchers is going to work for me, I HAVE to have e-tools.  I'm not looking up points in a book and keeping track on paper.  I know me, and I know I just won't do it for more than about 3 days.  Their e-tools app has a bar-code scanner to use at the grocery.  That was it - that pushed me over the edge.  I stopped at my AT&T store on the way home from the WW meeting.  Seriously!  I did!  That was last Wednesday.  On Saturday, I got my devices.  I then spent all weekend figuring them out - but that's another entry for another day.

No dinosaurs here!  (T-Rex still has trouble typing with 2 thumbs tho!)

Have you downloaded any apps lately?  Go for it!
Then come back and see me!