Monday, October 26, 2015

Dahlias and quotes from Gertrude Jekyll and Eleanor Perenyi

Dahlias from our neighborhood Farmers Market. Everything sold there is organic.

"The dahlia's first duty in life is to flaunt and to swagger and to carry gorgeous blooms well above its leaves, and on no account to hang its head." Gertrude Jekyll, Wood and Garden, 1899.

"Looking at my dahlias one summer day, a friend whose taste runs to the small and impeccable said sadly, "You do like big conspicuous flowers, don't you?" She meant vulgar, and I am used to that."
Eleanor Perenyi, Green Thoughts, 1981.

Eleanor Perenyi's book is wonderful, I think. Do you like my vase? Well, the photo doesn't really show it, but I bought it this year at Goodwill Thrift shop, and it is pretty and suits larger bouquets with tall stems.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Books and more books, Bargains I bought

My husband and I agree that we like to give away a book for every one we buy. Today I bought 4 books and I am happy that a few days ago I gave about 10 gardening books to a friend. So the trend is in the right direction of not being overwhelmed by books.
Today a school near our house is having a sale to benefit the school so of course I HAD to walk over. I found 4 books for a grand total of $5.
For me, buying a used book is a good and inexpensive way to try new authors.
All of these authors are new to me.

The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips.1922, Egypt, a tomb, a mystery. That is right around the time King Tut's tomb was discovered and I love that period of history.

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin. A novel about Anne Morrow, the wife of Charles Lindbergh. I like this type of well researched historical fiction. The Paris Wife, by a different author, is wonderful, for example. That one is about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, the love of his life.

The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman. I spent years working with maps in a library so this title grabbed me.

Foxgloves and Hedgehog Days by Daniel Blajan. An eccentric look at gardening written by a city dweller who lived in a sixth floor apartment and then moved to a village. I think the village is in Holland which is where the author lived at the time of publication, which was 1997.
Have you read any of these? Which one shall I read first?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Friendship quotes

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another "What! You too? I thought I was the only one."   C.S. Lewis

"Every true friend is a glimpse of God."  Lucy Larcom

"Friendship is a word the very sight of which in print makes the heart warm."  Augustine Birrell

I hope you have one or more true friends, they are a blessing, aren't they? My youngest friend is in her thirties and I feel energized when I am with her. This week we took a walk along the bay with her toddler. Next week I will visit my oldest friend who is in her nineties, and as she says, doing very well considering her age. And yes, I have friends my age too, and will have lunch next week with some of my friends who I met at our workplace years ago. Of the six of us, four are retired and two are still working in the salt mines. Er, I mean the library.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Two Books: Dog Stars and Orley Farm

Two wonderful and very different books I read last week. Wow, such talented authors, Peter Heller writing now and Anthony Trollope in the 1880s.

Dog Stars by Peter Heller
"Dog Stars" is set in the American west ten years after a flu pandemic has cut the world's population to close to zero. Here are the first words in this book, which kept me reading fast!
"I keep the Beast running. I keep the 100 low lead on tap. I foresee attacks. I am young enough, I am old enough. I used to love to fish for trout more than almost anything."
I posted this review:

Dog Stars is one of the best books I read this year, with a brilliant plot of Hig trying to survive in a post apocalypse world, with his beloved dog by his side, and with his ally Bangley, a man who is a survival and weapons expert who relentlessly leads in protecting the three residents. The three of them create a perimeter around the small airport in a wild area of Colorado where they live and where Hig keeps his old airplane, The Beast. They defend the perimeter without mercy in this brutal new world. Hig is the gardener and the one who flies The Beast to get essential supplies like the soda they enjoy. Eventually Hig can not resist putting them in danger by flying to an airport where he received an answer to his plane radio broadcast. This is a stunning and mesmerizing story. A few people did not like the way some of Hig's thoughts are written, rather fragmented, but for me, it seemed natural, and Hig being Hig. And Hig is a good guy.

Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope
This is a review I posted on Amazon and goodreads and librarything:

I have quite a crush on this author. I discovered the pleasure of reading his books this year and this is the 7th book I have read by him. He knows people and their motivations so well. This book contains love interests between young people, and secrets that torment people (I am being vague to avoid giving anything away), and describes living in country homes and in city houses, the rules of society then, and some humor sprinkled in. The event that pulls this book along relentlessly is the trial to see who has the right to own Orley Farm, either Lady Mason and her son Lucius Mason, or the half brother of Lucius, Mr. Mason of Groby Park. Mr. Mason is full of rage against Lady Mason and pushes with all his might to get Orley Farm.
Trollope uses some fun surnames for characters and he injects himself with humorous asides along the lines of  "if I were a better author I could readily explain ...". If you are like me you will long remember some of these characters like Lady Mason, Sir Peregrine Orme, Sophie Furnival, Felix Graham and many more. Trollope's books make me happy!

Blog friends who like Trollope, there is a Facebook group "Anthony Trollope Society" with lots of interesting posts. We are hoping to have 1,000 members by Christmas so come on by.