|Enter right, a view thru the "gathering room"|
Good afternoon from our chilly neck of the woods!
A bit of a ramble today on books, movies/tv, music, Oscar nominations, blogging and the latest sightings of my partner in this world, Mr. H.
Let's start with books and the ones I will be adding to the selection for The Brown Paper Book Club.
|Adding to my book collection..|
My latest book selection started with an interview in the New York Times with author, Dani Shapiro, in relation to her latest book; Inheritance ~A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love .. I am adding this book to my reading list and was also intrigued by another book she mentioned ~ The Overstory by Richard Powers. I am a few chapters into Overstory and enjoying it immensely. I read one to two chapters a day with my morning tea and will do so to the very end. I look forward to it every morning, he is a masterful storyteller.
Synopsis via Richard Powers
An Air Force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. These four, and five other strangers—each summoned in different ways by trees—are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent’s few remaining acres of virgin forest.
I picked up Learning to See by Elise Hooper in our local bookshop...because I love the tale of an independent woman and admire Dorothea Lange's work.
Synopsis via Elise Hooper
Learning to See is a historical novel about Dorothea Lange, the pioneering documentary photographer who captured iconic images of the Great Depression and the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. A gripping read for fans of The Aviator’s Wife, Loving Frank, and Before We Were Yours.
Synopsis via Amazon
With the longest healthy life spans in the world, Japanese people understand the art of living well. This beautiful book distills traditional Japanese philosophies intrinsic to wellbeing, providing easy-to-follow exercises to inspire those who want to live a happier, more balanced life. With sections on kokoro (heart and mind) and karada (body), plus a guide on how to form and nurture good habits, the book includes entries on ikigai (living with purpose), wabi-sabi (the beauty of imperfection and impermanence),shinrinyoku (forest bathing), ikebana (the art of flower arranging), and much more. Richly illustrated, A Little Book of Japanese Contentments is a warm invitation to cultivate contentment in everyday life.
Did I mention that I enjoyed The Lost Man by Jane Harper? If you have read The Dry and Force of Nature...and want more.
Synopsis via Jane Harper...
A whodunit...and one I never expected. It was a great read!
Listened on Audible
I am a critical listener and have to like the narrator before I select a book. I highly and happily recommend all of the books below.
The Clockmakers Daughter by Kate Morton
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Man on the Mountaintop ..an Audible original
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah ~ still listening
On my Kindle
A friend recommended Women Rowing North by Mary Pipher and I have not been able to put it down! As you can see from all the books listed above, I have a bit to read over the winter months. This one will be a joy.
Synopsis by Mary Pipher
Women Rowing North offers a timely examination of cultural and developmental issues women face as they transition from middle age to old age. In life stage, women contend ageism, misogyny, and many kinds of loss. Yet, contrary to stereotypes, most older women are deeply happy and filled with gratitude for the gifts of life. Their struggles help them grow into the authentic, empathetic and wise people they have always wanted to be.
Who has faithfully watched Outlander from beginning to end....and read the books? If you have, what do you think of Season 4 to date? I am keeping up and last week I have to say I was happy to see Roger finally tell it like it is! This review cracked me up!
I am reviewing Drums of Autumn again to keep up and will attempt reading The Fiery Cross for about the sixth time...to see what comes next. I don't know what it is about that book...just slow reading for me! Now that Season 4 is coming to an end, I am ready to get stuck into it.
I am just catching up with Season 3 of Victoria.
That sister...what is she up to? I am watching the years closely...I don’t think I could handle Albert’s passing and Victoria’s long road into widowhood. I am such a cry baby when it comes to loves lost!
|Oscar Nominations for 2019 via|
MOVIES- THE OSCARS
Are you like me and keen to see all the Oscar nominated movies before the awards ceremony? I rarely get to them all, but this year, I just might manage it.
So far I have seen...
A Star Is Born
Speaking of crying...romance, fame and alcoholism...cry me a thousand rivers! I lost track of how many times I went to see the Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson version of A Star Is Born...and I thought that was rough!
I was thoroughly moved by the performances, the music and directing in this version. I enjoyed this film on so many levels. But then again, I am a romantic at heart ( as you can see by my TV choices above). Needless to say, I enjoyed this movie. I am not certain it will take home Best Picture and I wish Bradley Cooper had been nominated for Best Director but I am sure it will take home many others...starting with Lady Gaga...just brilliant!
We travel into the Deep South in the 1960's with Viggo Mortensen who plays an Italian-American bouncer...come driver.. for an African-American classical pianist played by Mahershala Ali.
My mother-in-law was very keen for me to see this movie and I had to see it just to say that I did but am so glad that I stepped into this film. Charming, painful, shocking, endearing, funny...it has it all. A movie that will leave you thinking for some time to come.
Stellar performances by Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. Best Picture? I can see it, but I want to wait until I see them all.
I wasn't sure what to expect with this film. Set in 1970's Mexico, we follow the life of a domestic worker's journey, all facets of it. I have to say, from the moment it started to the very last frame, it was a journey like no other. I wasn't sure what all the fuss was about before I watched it...and now I get it. Definitely one to watch! I imagine it will be a very strong contender for Best Picture as well.
Ok, I have to admit, I am a fan of the Marvel Avengers and all the films that are threaded into the storyline. I have seen them all and am always excited when a new one comes into the fold. Black Panther was just as exciting as I expected it to be. Take me to Wakanda! It's a fun film, well done on every front. Will it win Best Picture? This viewer thinks it will be a long shot just based on the competition. But one never knows.
Waiting to see..
What have you seen? Any favorites?
I have been living in a musical world these past few days. If you are subscribed to Apple Music, I highly recommend the following playlists..
Essential Jazz Standards- Love the jazzy beats of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, Nat King Cole, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and more
Singer’s Delight- just love the sounds here....Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Sarah Vaughn..to name a few.
Joni Mitchell: Next Steps...need I say more, it’s all Joni!
Pure Spa-a soulful compilation that will have you slipping into a spa bath in no time.
Zen Meditation-Distant Mountains, Healing Sound of Water, Sleeping Waves, To the Temple, Meditation Yoga and a host of zen music selections to send you into that space in your head where you are most as peace.
These past weeks I have been slipping in and out of my blog, bringing it in line with the next chapter of my life. I started writing in my early 50’s and nearly a decade later...well, life has changed and my purpose for blogging has changed. It took me a while to figure this out and then it finally came to me. We needed to change together. So..we are evolving and that is that. A few steps backwards, a few steps forwards...it's all good. It is one of those gifts of life that Mary Pipher talks about in her book Women Rowing North. It is full steam ahead for me! :))
WHERE'S MR. H?
And while I am thinking about the next chapter of my life, I am also wondering where Mr. H is these days. Each day he sends the family photos of his whereabouts. Today it was from Chongquing City in China while dining on a Chinese Spicy Hot Pot feast. I need to get in on this action. I am hoping to tag along soon!
|The Dining Room|
|Spicy Hot Pot|
The good news is that I will be able to keep track of him more closely in a few days. He is on his way to Tahilla Farm!
With that, Mr. and Mrs. H send you best wishes from China and New Hampshire. I hope some of the books, music, movies/tv and blogging thoughts resonate with you. If they do, please feel free to write to me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a good one!