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Posts from the ‘Messages’ Category




  • Keeping the celebration simple!
  • A good French wine….
  • Boeuf Bourguignon and
  • …and home-made Clafoutis avec cerises!
  • Vive la France!






#6 degrees July 2017

Picnic (1955)

  1. Brona’s Books religiously posts her
  2. #6degree meme  (read her post here)
  3. and I always promise I will try to
  4. write a post as well….I never do.
  5. Why?
  6. I hate to make the connections, have no talent for it.
  7. So, I will join Brona this month because  I know that interaction with bloggers
  8. is important to keep the ‘writing’ juices to flowing!
  9. I let her do the hard work (connections)
  10. …and I’ll just add my 2-cents.
  11. PS – #6degrees is a monthly meme hosted by Kate Books Are My Favourite 


Picnic #1 – eponymous play by W. Inge ‘Picnic’ 

  1. I have it on my TBR list.
  2. I was swept off my feet by the movie version (1955).
  3. The hot and steamy chemistry between Madge (the ravishing Kim Novak)
  4. and William Holden (Hollywood 1950’s hunk) fogged up my glasses!
  5. The dance scene at the picnic is my absolute favorite.
  6. If you watch femme fatale Madge and  drifter tough guy Hal
  7. sashaying and listen to the movie’s theme song
  8. …Moonglow by De Lange (words), Hudson and Mills (music).
  9. I dare you not to get skin shivers…it is so  good!


Picnic #2 – Sound of Music…. based  ‘The Story of The Trapp Family Singers”.

  1. If you haven’t seen this or read the story….you’re from another planet!


The Gilded Age NY society – That will have to be Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

  1. This was very popular in the 1970’s but I had just shipped off to  The
  2. Netherlands and landed into a world very distant from the NYTimes best sellers list.
  3. I was in survival mode…no time for books yet!
  4. It won the National Book Critics Circle  Award for fiction in 1975.
  5. Not really a Pulitzer….but close enough.


Pulitzer connection:   – Angle of Repose

This book surprised me.

  1. Many readers love this book and I keep asking myself why?
  2. I too was drawn into the book in the first pages…but soon lost interest.
  3. The writing was not ‘powerful’….it was seductive.
  4. Stegener uses pathos that appeals to emotion to ‘bamboozle’  me.
  5. I was not impressed.


Forgotten classic: – The African Queen by  C.S. Forester

  1. My mother did not like movies  but I was addicted to them.
  2. There was one film she would watch with me…and we watched it a zillion times!
  3. This was ‘our’ movie.
  4. I decided to read the book….just for old times sake!
  5. Charlie: free-spirited libertine; drunk; loner.
  6. Rose: well-educated, snobbish; head-strong; bossy; devout tea-teetotaler
  7. This combination was explosive….and  yet a very tender love story.
  8. …another ‘classic’  movie from the 1950’s with Oscar winning  Bogart and Hepburn.


Existential hero –  The Sheltering Sky by Paul  Bowles

  1. The existential despair and determinism (fate) was dripping off every page!
  2. This book review will be posted soon…but take it from me
  3. …this was an exhausting read!


Road trip –  Walking the Nile  by Levison Wood.

  1. You probably know I love to travel and learn about the world
  2. …but I hate to leave home.
  3. #WorldFromMyArmchair  started by Paul Halfbook, Halfman was just
  4. …what the doctor ordered!
  5. This walk  with phython snakes, croc’s an hippo’s, red mites, insects and feral dogs
  6. …was an adventure pur sang!


  • Now there you have it….my #6degree connections
  • …with a little bit of help from a friend, Brona…who really travels!
  • Have a look at her second blog  Four Seasons!



Slow down…


  1. I can collect all the LISTS in the world.
  2. I can join a million reading challenges.
  3. But a book all comes down to my mood.
  4. At the moment…I’m in a rant  mood.


  1. I’ve been so disappointed with a few classics on
  2. Modern Library’s  list of best 100 novel…so dejected.
  3. Who puts three James Henry books on  the list
  4. one was more than enough?
  5. Light-weights….
  6. The Postman Always Rings Twice,
  7. From Here to Eternity, Kim, Catcher In The Rye
  8. USA by Dos Passos and The Magnificient Ambersons
  9. …are good but not TOP 100 novel-ish.
  10. So I have decided to replace the Books I Dread
  11. with some books  I really want to read.
  12. Terry Pratchett was a very wise man…..



  1. I took the time to think for myself and choose books
  2. Some are diamonds…some are glass…
  3. but most important
  4. ….they are all books I want to read


Science fiction:  Fahrenheit 451 – R. Bradbury

  • I always thought that science fiction was just mumbo-jumbo.
  • How wrong I have been.
  • In 1953  SF moved from magazines to the novel genre.
  • There was a market for these books filled with veiled
  • commentary on the times.
  • Bradbury touches on  destruction of culture (book burning by Nazis)
  • public’s addiction to TV, the power of advertising and McCarthyism.
  • This is just the first SF book I will read.
  • I want to learn about all that I have been missing!


Science fiction:    The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula Le Guin

  • I hope Ursula Le Guin wins the Nobel Prize one day.
  • It should be soon because she is 88 years old.
  • What is her strength?
  • She gives us a view from the other side…
  • showing us that that our perception of reality may be incomplete.
  • The author M. Chabon says Le Guin gave 21st C writers new tools
  • to work in the “borderlands,” the place where the fantastic enters literature.


Biography:  Orwell – M. Shelden

  • I found this book by accident.
  • Again…dreading books by George Orwell I thought
  • if I learn more about the man….reading his books would be easier.


Fiction:  1984 – G. Orwell

  • Ironically after reading the introduction to the  Orwell the biography
  • 1984 is a the only book from my ‘dread’ list that
  • …I am keeping on my list.


Fiction:    The Slow Natives – T. Astley


Short Stories:   several collections

  • I need a quick read  while
  • …drinking my morning coffee with the cats.
  • Short stories  have  never lost their artistic value
  • …but I seldom read them!
  • I am going to choose stories from several collections:
  • The New York Stories  – Edith Wharton
  • The Early Stories – John Updike 1/103
  • Complete Stories of – Dorothy Parker
  • The Rendezvous and other Stories – Daphne  du Maurier
  • Collected Stories – Katherine Mansfield
  • Complete Stories of – Flannery O’ Connor
  • The Collected StoriesWilliam Trevor


Crime fiction:    several choices

  • I will try yet again to read more crime fiction.
  • Le Carré – The Perfect Spy
  • Len Deighton – Berlin Game
  • Rex Stout – Some Buried Caesar – READING
  • Olen Steinhauer – An American Spy
  • D. Sayers – Strong Poison



  • I have several books written ‘about books, authors and plays’.
  • In the past I never allowed myself the time to read them.
  • Now it is time…to slow down and enjoy these books.
  • Approaches to Teaching the Plays of August Wilson – S. Shannon, S. Richards
  • Introduction to the American Short Story – M. Scofield
  • The Figure of the Detective – C. Brownson
  • Seamus Heaney – H. Vendler
  • The Politics: in Shakespeare’s History Plays – U. Kizelbach


Magazine:  The New Yorker

  • I have been reading this magazine since grammar school.
  • The literary content was beyond me at the time
  • …I just loved the cartoons.
  • Now every week the magazine arrives…and I ignore it.
  • Why?
  • No time to read it….I say to myself.
  • Now I’m making time to…
  • enjoy one of the best magazine in the world!
  • Issue 26 June 2017 – READ  cover to cover –  03.07.2017


Afbeeldingsresultaat voor terry pratchett quotes


  1. I find the slower I go…the more I want to do!
  2. Terry Pratchett said something that really stayed with me:
  3. “So much universe…so little time.”
  4. Clive Jones  poems Sentenced to Life is a book I cherish.
  5. In his title poem he said:
  6. “No birds touch down in the trees without me seeing them.
  7. I count bees.”
  8. A True lesson in slowing down…
  9. and end of rant.

Love My Garden II

  • Here are some photo’s taken to capture the beauty of my small garden!
  • What a difference  29 March – 29 June

My first dahlia…




Wainwright Prize short list 2017


  • If you are looking for a relax read this summer here is a great short list!
  • The Wainwright Prize  not really  promoted in USA, that’s a shame.
  • The Wainwright Prize is a literary prize awarded annually for
  • the best work of general outdoors, nature and UK-based travel writing.
  • The Running Hare – J. Lewis-Stempel – READ (review)





Books I Dread


  • My goal is to read Modern Library’s  Top 100 Novels.
  • But there is one problem:  some of the books I just  DREAD.
  • It seems every time I look at the list I shudder.
  • So without any further ado  here are the top 10.
  • I will read them and get it over with
  • I must muster up the courage…like going to a dentist’s appointment.
  • I’m not even going to buy the books!
  • I’m using  Project Gutenburg and put them on the Kindle.
  • Are there any books you dread?

Update: 30 June 2017   ‘Slow down…’

  1. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. S. Fitzgerald – replacement = W. Trevor short stories
  2. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley- replacement = Plays of August Wilson
  3. THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James – replacement = Fahrenheit 451
  4. THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James – replacement = The Left Hand of Darkness
  5. TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald – replacement = The Slow Natives
  6. THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James – (too late to replace, almost finished)
  7. POINT COUNTER POINT by A. Huxley- replacement = Strong Poison (D. Sayers)
  8. TROPIC OF CANCER by H. Miller- replacement = Seamus Heaney (H. Vendler)
  9. THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer – replacement = The Perfect Spy
  10. 1984 by George Orwell – stays on list!


#NeedCoffee  … and lots of it !


Book Tag


  1. There is no better way to start a Saturday morning…..books and coffee.
  2. At the moment there is a great ‘Book Tag’  circulating in bloggerland.
  3. Here are a few of the lists I enjoyed:
  4. Brona’s Books,  On Bookes and Howling Frog Books.



The list of questions:

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

  • Stuart Little by E.B. White – this was my childhood favorite

2. Which book character would you switch places with?

  • Stuart Little.



3. What is your current read, last read and the book you plan to read next?


4. What book do you tell yourself you’ll read, but probably wont?


5. What book are you saving for retirement?

  • War and Peace (L. Tolstoy) ….No excuses now, I’ll have to start this soon!


6. What book outside your comfort zone did you end up loving?

  • Madame Bovary (G. Flaubert). This was my first book I read in French 2012.
  • It took me 3 months to read, but loved every minute of the struggle!




7. What book reminds you a specific place/time/person?

  • My sister was a huge influence on me when it comes to books
  • She wanted my copy of Forever Amber (Cogi books, 1960)
  • …I would not give it to her.
  • She wanted me to read Under the Volcano (Signet Classic, 1965)
  • …I hated it.
  • My mother was a lot of fun. I always joked with her ” Mildred, you pierce me!
  • …we would both have a good laugh!


8. Which book has been with you most places?

  • Webster’s Collegiate Dictonary (G.&.C. Merrian Co., 1961)
  • My mother gave it to me when I left home to live in The Netherlands.
  • “…must not neglect your spelling, dear!”


Touching moment:

  • …many years later I happend to find a quote she wrote
  • …in the back of the book.
  • These were her words of wisdom to a daughter leaving home for good…



9. Which book have you reread the most? I do not re-read.


10. Three bookish confessions?



If you’d like to join in, here are the questions for an easy copy & paste.

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?
2. What is your current read, last read and the book you plan to read next?
3. What book do you tell yourself you’ll read, but probably wont?
4. What book are you saving for retirement?
5. Which book character would you switch places with?
6. What book reminds you a specific place/time/person?
7. Which book has been with you most places?
8. What book outside your comfort zone did you end up loving?
9. Which book have you reread the most?
10. Three bookish confessions?


Great lists: Tracy, Brona and Cleo

  1. Bitter Tea and Mystery is my go to blog for  Crime Fiction Books!
  2. Tracy has selected her Crime Fiction #20BooksOfSummer
  3. …and I just had to share it with you.
  4. There will be time when I ….need  a break from the classics.
  5. When the sun is shining and
  6. …I just want to relax with some ‘cloak and dagger’!
  7. Perhaps you love CF as much as Tracy does.
  8.  I am  always am ready to try Tracy’s suggestions!
  1. Brona’s Books  is my go to  blog for  anything Australian!
  2. She host a yearly #AusReadingMonth (November)
  3. …keeps me up-to-date with Sydney Writers Festival (May)
  4. and I can virtually follow her admiring the sights in Sydney and the world
  5. …on her Four Seasons travel blog.
  6. Here is Brona’s  list #20BooksOfWinter.
  1. Classical Carousel is my go to blog for classic inspiration!
  2. (Greek, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance and Modern 1850-present.
  3. The idea is to challenge yourself to read at least 50 classics
  4. in the next 5 years. (Nov 2013-2018)
  5. Here is Cleo’s  impresssive list of classics!
  6. I see I have a lot of reading to do before 2018 to catch up with Cleo!
  7. Cleo has  also made her list of  the #10BooksOfSummer.
  8. Here is a list of books in her  summer beach bag.

Love My Garden

Here are some photo’s  taken to capture the beauty of my small garden

21 March 2017

21 April 2017

21 May 2017



The hardest thing is not talking to a cat you used to talk to every day.
I had to let you go…but did not want to.
RIP Mindy.