MamaT: September 2007 Archives

Fine Art Friday


Two images from Paul Klee today, but ones that I wouldn't have necessarily associated with him when I started looking at art today. You know, that's the best thing about Fine Art Friday. I've seen so much that has surprised me.

Class Harbor, c. 1914


St. Germain, View from the Beach

Booking Through Thursday on Friday.....

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.....because how COULD I miss this question????

Buy a Friend a Book Week is October 1-7 (as well as the first weeks of January, April, and July). During this week, you’re encouraged to buy a friend a book for no good reason. Not for their birthday, not because it’s a holiday, not to cheer them up–just because it’s a book.

What book would you choose to give to a friend and why?

What a lovely idea! I think you ALL should send a book my way. And I'll trust your judgement on what to send me!

No, really, wouldn't that be fun! I wish I could afford it, but at the moment, I'm flat broke.

Let's see. I think I will send out (virtually, alas!) Prince of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger. Just because everyone needs to read an old fashioned, historical, love and honor book now and again.

If I were really rich, I'd send you all Kristin Lavransdatter, but that's obviously going to be in a different life--one where there's actually money to spare!

And for any of you that look excessively happy, I'll send A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. One of the best books I've read, but it will chew you up and spit you out. You shouldn't read it in a troubling time of your life.


Now, what are you gonna send me?

Books 31-50 of 2007 finished!

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Boy, it's been a long time since I updated my reading list with ya'll, huh? Needless to say, at this point the mini reviews will be even "mini-er" than usual.

This summer was the summer of Agatha Christie for me, so I read the following:

#31 What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw!
#32 The Body in the Library
#33 Thirteen at Dinner
#34 Murder on the Orient Express
#35 The ABC Murders
#36 Cards on the Table
#37 Death on the Nile

Of all of them, I liked Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express best. I guess I like M. Poirot and his little mustaches better than Miss Marple. But not by much. All were thoroughly enjoyable.

#38 Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi. The story of a dwarf woman during the Nazi years in Germany. Interesting things to say about living through such a terrible time, and how quickly the people wanted to forget how horrible it was, and never admit what had actually happened.

#39 The Golem by Isaac Bashevis Singer. A golem is a monster made by a rabbi to save the Jewish people in time of danger. But once you have brought something to life, how do you handle the things that naturally flow from that? Can you just kill what you have made? Or does it have a life that must be respected? Especially in these times, a Jewish folk tale becomes utterly relevant.

#40 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K.Rowling. Yes, I like 'em. And I liked this one, too. I was surprised by the high body count, and about one of the characters who died saving Harry. And no, I'm not talking about Snape. I like the series, and I liked the ending.

#41 The Ponder Heart by Eudora Welty. The story of Uncle Daniel, who is "not quite right" but lives to love and talk and give stuff away. After his 2nd wife, Bonnie Dee, dies, he is charged and tried for murder. Classic Welty.

#42 Little Men by Louisa May Alcott. A reread from my childhood. I still liked it, but it was far preachier than I remembered it. That said, I still loved the boys and Jo and the Professor, even when they were too good to be true.

#43 Captain from Castille by Samuel Shellabarger. Oh, go get this book and read it! Do! Pedro de Vargas, young Spaniard from an honorable family hopes to follow in his father's footsteps. But Diego de Silva stands in the way. Prison, Inquisition, trip to Mexico with Cortez, sitting in jail waiting to have one's heart cut out by the Aztecs, the rich and beautiful Luisa, the fiery and common (or not so common) Catana..... What more do you need in a book?

#44 Isn't It Romantic by Ron Hansen. Called "an entertainment", it is just that--a sweet bon bon of mistaken identity and unlikely people. Natalie and Pierre, a French couple, wind up in Seldom, NE. Will they remember why they love each other, or will they end up with Dick, the handsome rancher, and Iona, a beautiful young waitress?

#45 The Night is Far Spent by Thomas Howard. Cannot be recommended highly enough. I loved this book. A series of essays, easy to read in small bites. Get it. Read it.

#46 Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy by Rumer Godden. Loyola Classics has reprinted this. Godden's second convent book, this one focuses on the French Dominican Sister of Bethanie, who look for vocations in women who have been sent to prison. Much darker than In This House of Brede, it is still a fabulous read, and shows that the religious life is no guarantor of holiness. Thumbs up on this one.

#47 The Hunter's Tale by Margaret Frazer. Picked this up at the library from their display of "unusual sleuths" books. One of a whole series of Dame Frevisse medieval mysteries. Dame Frevisse is a nun in the convent of St. Frideswide. In this story, one of the convent's pupil's father, the awful Sir Ralph Woderove is murdered while out with his hunting party. Almost everyone wanted to do it, even his own family, but who did? Nothing too special about this. Nowhere near the atmosphere of the Brother Cadfael mysteries, which I think are far superior. Not bad, but I won't necessarily seek out another.

#48 The New Woman by Jon Hassler. Agatha McGee moves into the Sunset Senior Apartments and faces the loss of two dear friends. Fans of Hassler will be interested to see how Agatha copes with this new phase of her life.

#49 Expressions of the Catholic Faith by Kevin Orlin Johnson. Those of us who are converts are often looking for books we can put into the hands of those we know who think we have lost our minds for swimming the Tiber. This book is a very worthy addition to the list of those I regularly send out to people with questions. Johnson has written a very breezy, sometimes funny, book with short chapters discussing various aspects of Catholic life: the liturgy, vestments, art, Mary, etc, etc, etc. Very nice. I also recommend his other books as well.

#50 The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris. Meditations on liturgy, lectio, Benedictine spirituality, writing and life by a non-Catholic who is a Benedictine oblate. I find the book both beautiful and frustrating. How can someone be so in love with everything at the monastery (staying two times for 9 months each time), yet remain separate? We couldn't puzzle that out at book club.

So, there we are. I am now nearing the end of The Shipping News and my "sitting in car line book", a funny little memoir called Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland Indiana. I promise I won't wait so long to update next time!

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Happy Birthday, beautiful Smock!

And many, many, many more!

"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."


This is the COOLEST thing!

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Library Elf! It will, if your library is supported on its system, remind you that your library books are due! You can set the reminders for a week before, three days before, etc. You can also set it to remind you of overdues on a regular basis (for me, daily!) as well as books on hold for you.

This is beyond fabulous for me. I have probably paid enough in library fines in my life to build an entire wing onto the building. Just ask my mother!

Quote for today

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A wonderful thing about a book, in contrast to a computer screen, is that you can take it to bed with you.

-------------------Daniel J. Boorstin

Booking Through Thursday

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Okay, so the other day, a friend was commenting on my monthly reading list and asked when I found the time to read. In the ensuing discussion, she described herself as a “goldilocks” when it comes to reading–she needs to have everything juuuuuust right to be able to focus. This caught my attention because, first, I thought that was a charming way of describing the condition, but, two, while we’ve talked about our reading habits, this is an interesting wrinkle. I’d never really thought about it that way.

So, this is my question to you–are you a Goldilocks kind of reader?

Do you need the light just right, the background noise just so loud but not too loud, the chair just right, the distractions at a minimum?

Or can you open a book at any time and dip right in, whether it’s for twenty seconds, while waiting for the kettle to boil, or indefinitely, like while waiting interminably at the hospital–as long as the book is open in front of your nose, you’re happy to read?

Are you kidding me? I can read anything, anywhere, anytime. ANY TIME is "just right" for me.

Of course, I like it BEST when I can be in the quiet, with plenty of time. But if I waited for that, I'd never read. And I read every single day. I cannot go to sleep at night, no matter how late it is when I drop into bed, without reading at least a tiny bit--maybe a page or two.

I'm in mourning over a pair of shoes

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Today my silver glitter AVON flip-flops--the ones that I have worn day in and day out. To the pool, to the grocery store, everywhere. My favorite pair. BROKE!! BEYOND REPAIR. Ta da. In the trash.

I'm having a moment of silence in memory of a great pair of flips.

And then I'm wondering just WHAT am I going to put on my feet as my default option from now on.

It's sad.

Courtesy of the sweet mamacita over at Mi Mundo, here's the answer to the shoe quiz for me. AND it's right!

You are Flat Sandals
Casual yet flirty
You look great in a simple top and jeans
Your look is approachable and cute!

Ok, well I don't know about "cute", but approachable, certainly! I'm the one that homeless people talk to outside of the grocery store.

Quote for today


Middle age: When you're sitting at home on Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn't for you.

-----------------------------Ogden Nash


It is my heart-warmed and world-embracing Christmas hope and aspiration that all of us, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the admired, the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage (every man and brother of us all throughout the whole earth), may eventually be gathered together in a heaven of everlasting rest and peace and bliss, except the inventor of the telephone.

---------------------------------Mark Twain, Christmas greeting, 1890

Fine Art Friday on Saturday


Given the interest on the entry below, I thought this was an appropriate image for FAFOS:


Diana Ong



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