Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit and welcome to May! And welcome to our 2nd annual spring reading poll. Please recommend a great book to add to our reading lists, and tell us what fragrance we should wear while reading it.
(Or, as always, just talk about something else.)
What I've read since our winter reading poll:
Starting with fiction...I am still reading Hilary Mantel's The Mirror and the Light, which I started in spring 2020. I'm near the end, and the closer I get to finishing — and the closer Cromwell gets to his death — the slower I read. The matching fragrance would be something terribly frivolous...surely you couldn't be asked to look death in the eye while wearing L'Artisan Ananas Fizz, for instance?
While I was keeping Cromwell alive and breathing, I read Pat Barker's The Silence of the Girls (widely touted as "the feminist Iliad", and enjoyable if not as good as her Regeneration trilogy), Kazuo Ishiguro's The Buried Giant (I still can't decide if I liked it but it was oddly compelling; Neil Gaiman's review in the New York Times was spot on), and Kate Atkinson's Transcription (quite good). I also started Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier and William Boyd's Trio; I'm about halfway through each of them.
I read two mysteries: Sarah Ward's The Shrouded Path and Jane Harper's The Survivors. A good fragrance for late night mystery reading is my old standby, Aftelier Ancient Resins.
I read three non-fiction books: Philip Marsden's The Bronski House, James McBride's Color of Water (which I was moved to read after watching the miniseries The Good Lord Bird) and Roman Mars' The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design.
Note: top image is an illustration from The Runaway Bunny (Margaret Wise Brown, illustrations by Clement Hurd).
If I mention rabbits, it will not be very positive, as I will be spending this morning re-planting a flower bed rabbits ate: marigolds? How hungry must they have been – nothing usually bothers marigolds! SotD for Spring is En Passant, from the wonderful Swapmeet. I am really enjoying it and looking forward to how it might unfold. Happy Saturday, all!
That is strange! I love marigolds…. such happy flowers.
They are the favorite at Chez Mossy’s. We get the low-growing French marigolds and mix a few solids in with two-toned ones.
Deer eat my mint plants, even though supposedly nothing eats mint. Minty-fresh breath on my deer!
LOL! That is also very surprising, but hopefully your mint grows back as fast as mine when I pick it.
Thanks for the laugh about deer with minty-fresh breath! It was sorely needed and appreciated.
This is the first time I have ever heard of anything bothering marigolds, too.
Oh, the Runaway Bunny! That was one of my first books as a child. Thank you for the memory!
I think the internet has ruined my attention span. Haven’t read a book in a while.
Mantel is one of my favorites, though. I read Bring Up the Bodies twice!
Such a great book, isn’t it? I loved it as a child and loved reading it to my son.
I adored Bring Up The Bodies, and Wolf Hall. My problem with Mirror & the Light is all about timing and circumstance. If it had come out in 2019, I would have whipped through it.
I had the opposite reaction to both of yours. I found the book creepy and disliked reading it with my kid. The illustrations were great, though.
Interesting, thanks for chiming in missionista!
Forgot to ? ? ? this morning so I’m in Chanel 19 (my autocomplete suggested “EDP” next, but it’s the EDT today) to help me get my act together. Mr. G had a slight fever after his second shot yesterday (which he has now dubbed Mode RNA – get it?), so he slept through most of the last 24 hours. He’s a guy who never even got regular flu shots so his system was nowhere near used to vaccination shock, but he seems to be in fine fettle now.
As for reading, I’ve been working my way through Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey series lately, interspersed with re-reads of some old favorites (Pride and Prejudice, The Mists of Avalon, hordes of Agatha Christies). Next up after Strong Poison (the LPW in which Lord Peter meets his beloved Harriet Vane) is Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flats.
Oh, adding several of your ‘reads’ to my list!
Excellent – yay!
Currently reading Agatha Christie’s autobiography, which is pretty enjoyable.
She was quite a character from what little I’ve heard. I should read at least a biography of her, if not her autobiography … although nonfiction and I don’t usually get along.
What’s it like? I love Agatha Christie’s stories ☺️
That’s the second Agatha Christie reference I’ve encountered in 24 hours. Maybe the universe is telling me something? Some lighthearted mysteries might sound good. And didn’t she fake her own death?
Never heard that, but it wouldn’t surprise me. ? If you haven’t read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, it’s one of my favorites and I’ve heard it was one of hers also.
Oh, it’s such a great story. We read it in high school English class and everyone was flummoxed! My childhood best friend says it was the only book she ever read in school that she enjoyed.
Looking up the Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Is it ok to jump into the Hurcule Poirot books, or is it better to start with book 1?
Marjorie, no need to do the Poirot books in any kind of order. There is some minor chronology to them in that Poirot ages as the stories go on, but there are always enough background details included that you won’t have trouble.
I have also been working my way through the Lord Peter Wimsey series! I’m on what my library told me was the 4th book in the series, but is actually a compilation of short stories. They are quite fun.
Oh, I love the short stories – I’m impatient so it’s nice to have some that wrap up quickly! There is also at least one collection of Phryne Fisher short stories, if you’re familiar with that character … and if you’re not, they are highly recommended!
I’ll have to check those out as well!
Seconding Phryne Fisher, she’s amazing!
Ooh I just picked this series up
Malle Le Parfum de Therese today thanks to the swapmeet. (And BTW, I haven’t mailed anything yet, but I’m working on my packages this weekend.)
I escaped from my desk for a bit yesterday to meet allo for coffee outside and to take care of our swap in person. So. Much. Fun. Aren’t NST fragrance friends the best??
I read The Elegance of the Hedgehog because it was mentioned here and really enjoyed it. For some light reading, I’m enjoying The All Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg (Fried Green Tomatoes). I’m also still reading through the Vera series from Ann Cleeves. I will say the television series is a bit different but just as good and Brenda Blethyn is wonderful as Vera. Next on my list is My Brilliant Friend.
I loved The All Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion and The Elegance of the Hedgehog! Such fantastic reads!
Yes! The best!
And there’s a film adaptation — The Hedgehog — which is also good.
Aww, I love the runaway bunny! My favorite part is at the end when he says “shucks I might as well stay where I am and be your little bunny”☺️I’m getting all melancholy just thinking about when my kids were little and we would read it. We still have the board book packed away in the basement, thinking maybe someday (not yet!) I will read it to grandkids.
I’m in Guerlain Terracotta and procrastinating on getting homework done.
Haven’t done as much reading lately as the last reading poll, but in fiction I’ve read: When We Were Mermaids, No Second Chance and currently reading Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. Next up is The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See.
In nonfiction I read: This is Where You Belong: the art and science of loving the place you live. I’ve always loved madison, but I’m feeling restless lately and wondering what is “next” in life.
I need to read This is Where You Belong. Thanks for that.
Ah, I do too!
It’s a good book. I checked it out from the library but kind of wish I had bought it because it’s one of those books I could see myself referring back to.
Can’t go wrong with anything by Gillian Flynn.
She’s a good plot twister, that’s for sure!
I have a coffee mug that says “Bloom Where You’re Planted” – it was not strong enough to overcome my loathing of Los Angeles, but it has served as inspiration otherwise.
Are you from LA? You seem so at home in Portland!
Marjorie, you are absolutely correct that I’m at home in Portland. I spent two entirely miserable years in LA, just after Mr. G proposed. I much prefer the PNW, having lived in Seattle until the age of 16 and the rest of my many, many years here in Pdx.
Ah, that makes more sense! I can’t imagine more than a long trip to LA myself.
I read yesterday’s posts today – I’m so thrilled for you that you got to see your parents!
Thanks sistine! There was lots of hugging!?
Thanks for that book recommendation. Just downloaded from Amazon. I’ve spent my life moving…from the time I was a little kid. I have always had that “temporary” attitude. Which I recognize now, having purchased our new (first) home, needs to be tossed aside. My first step was signing my husband and me up for a community clean up on an upcoming Saturday.
You’re welcome! She gives lots of good, practical advice and getting involved in your community is one of them.
I hope you are loving your new home!
My childhood was the opposite. My parents and I moved to rural, northern Wisconsin when I was nine and they still live there. As a teenager I couldn’t WAIT to move to the city….
Now as I am entering the middle years I have romantic visions of moving “back home.” sigh
May Day! How did it get to be May already? No scent yet, but my recent perfume binges started arriving yesterday, so I will be sampling from the Jo Malone blossoms set soon.
One of the best things about being retired is all the reading. So much reading. Recent reads include Ben Aaronovitch’s What Abigail Did That Summer (I think foxbins recommended this series, and it is good); Becoming Duchess Goldblatt which I quite enjoyed; another Louise Penny; a coupla Mary Stewarts; Ngaio Marsh’s Singing in the Shrouds; NK Jemisin’s The City We Became; John Scalzi’s Lock In series; I started re-reading a childhood favorite, Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain series; and there are probably a few more…
My best discovery is that Overlook Press has released lovely hardback versions of all of PG Wodehouse’s work. I have collected all 18 (!) of his Jeeves books (some are short story collections and some are novels) and am starting on the first, The Man With Two Left Feet.
I don’t know the others, but you can’t go wrong with Mary Stewarts. They are great summer reading, too.
Agree on Mary Stewarts – great writing and fun summer reads.
I love Duchess Goldblatt but haven’t gotten the book, fearing it might dispel some of the magic. It’s good to hear you enjoyed it!
Thank you for reminding me that I need to catch up on my N.K. Jemisin reading! I really enjoyed The Inheritance Trilogy and would like to read The Broken Earth Trilogy soon.
The Broken Earth trilogy is REALLY, really, really good, and also quite a stressful read. Good things do not happen to those characters.
Oh my, aren’t those Wodehouse editions tempting! Love the covers.
They are niiiiiiiiiiice
Ngaio Marsh! I haven’t thought of or read her books for years, but I used to love them. I may have to revisit them now. Do you like Josephine Tey? Another semi-forgotten female mystery writer, who’s also just a very good writer, regardless of genre. Love Wodehouse! And I loved the Prydain books as a child too.
Never heard of Josephine Tey, must investigate…
I loved the Prydain Chronicles, which I discovered in a kiddie lit class in college. Read the first fir an assignment and promptly read the rest on break. Very well done.
Feeling a bit under the weather and also antibiotics probably start doing their job, so overall I’m a little bit blurry now.
Trying to drink plenty of honey & lemon water but I plan to spend the rest of the day in bed… If only TV had anything interesting to offer…
I know people are obsessed with muguet on May 1. I recently got Dusita Cavatina which is a LOTV straight in your face, but it’s not a perfume for me.
I’m in Atelier Cologne Silver Iris instead.
If anyone sees them rabbitses, tell em to hop by my bed too, ok?
I love LOV, but wanted marigold instead. My favorite LOV scent is Tauer Perfumes’s Carillon pour un ange – ethereal lily of the valley, with leather and ambergris. Such brilliance.
For a cheap thrill, I adore Jessica McClintock. I don’t do white florals well, but I treasure this one.
I need to reach into the hoard and do a spritz of Jessica McClintock soon – I have a vintage-ish bottle and I love it, too.
You smell great!
Yes, you smell wonderful in Silver Iris! Lillyjo has got you covered on the rabbit score
I love the scent of real LOTV but it is a note in perfumery that just does not work for me.
I hope you start feeling better soon!
Too many books, too little time.
I’ve got McBride’s latest on my library wish list. The Color of Water was so good, need to read it again as it’s been 20+ years?
Mainly reading nonfiction faith-based books, so I’ll spare you all, lol. But, also have a Louise Penny one in play (I’ve fallen behind and have missed Chief Inspector Gamache) and David S. Reynolds’ Abe which is exploring Abe Lincoln through the culture lens of that time. Fast fact: there are “some sixteen thousand books” on Lincoln — more books than on any other historical figure except Jesus Christ. Wow!
SOTD: trying a new swapped scent today – PdE’s Salute! So far I smell like I’m wearing some spilled red wine from last night but.. we’ll see how this progresses
Don’t spare us! Please recommend the faith-based books.
Well, since you asked
Just finished Why You Think The Way You Do by Glenn S. Sunshine. This is a fascinating, high level overview of the philosophies that guide our lives today based on what transpired starting in ancient Rome.
Also finding Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller wonderful. As a knowledge worker I’ve always struggled to see the value and impact of my work. Keller helps think through this and connects the dots on why work can be so hard and yet, the role we have in really making a difference. He gives a lot to think about and pulls in many great quotes and other authors.
Those sound so interesting and useful
Thanks. I will check these out!
The Reynolds Abe book sounds so interesting!
I recently got caught up with Gamache — love those books!
When we visited Washington DC several years ago, we toured the theater where President Lincoln was shot. Across the street is a museum, and they had a wall of Lincoln biographies. It really impressed upon me how much has been said about him–and made it feel impossible to choose one to read!
He was quite a man. Of course the nation at that time in history has much to write about as well.
Actually an excellent fiction read, or I should say listen, is Lincoln in the Bardo. 166 narrators are cast for this including some famous actors. It’s a moving and fascinating listen.
Oh, that sounds good! Thanks for the recommendation!
Hi all, my SOTD is Lauren by Ralph Lauren. It has a distinct marigold note which I adore. It’s one of my favorite Spring scents.
I recently completed A Bend In The Stars, which was a nice meander through the period prior to the Russian Revolution, set in 1914.
Currently reading Caught In The Revolution: Petrograd Russia 1917. Fascinating as this was around the time my family emigrated to the United States. One family member, my great uncle, was executed for trying to defect, apparently he stole a horse. Although everyone on the Russian side of my family look very similar, he is my male twin. It’s a little eerie to see the photographs.
You smell terrific! And how fun and eerie to find a twin from previous generations, I love when we find connections to the past like that.
How fascinating your family history. We may complain about these strange times but when we look back it doesn’t compare, so much upheaval then. I’m glad for you that photographs were kept
I understand the eerie-ness. I’m a carbon copy of my father’s mother except for hair, who died when I was 10. It rattles my great aunts/uncles at family reunions.
I’m afraid my “rabbitx3” will be proceeded by a very bad word. Large clumps of tulips just ready to open this weekend…I wake up this morning and at least half of them have been nipped off right at the bud! Grrrrrrrrrr! I quickly sprayed the remaining with hot pepper spray, hope that works.
I ordered JoM Tangy Rhubarb yesterday from Sephora. So eagerly awaiting a nice spring/summer scent. Today I’m in an overly sweet orange blossom cologne from Seville. It’s too too much. I think it will be reduced to a spray on an occasional room pillow kind of scent. I like it, just not ON me.
Hmm, does singing “Kill de Wabbit” three times count?
It counts with me – rabbit woes in my world, too Kelly Red!
Hahahahahahah! Everyone’s got naughty bunnies today, that is an amazing and hilarious reference.
Oh what a bummer about your flowers! Grrrrr.
Inspired by Robin, I finished the Mantel trilogy. I struggled with Wolf Hall (probably because of all the characters), but flew through the last two. He is a character that I really liked – in my twenties I was slightly in love with Gabriel Byrne’s character in Point of No Return and Stephen Rhea’s in The Crying Game.
The only other book I’ve read is The Margot Affair by Sanai Lemoine. Very French in a Francoise Sagan way.
I haven’t been wearing spring florals. When life is a grind I wear Chypres (Balmain de Balmain, Quelques Fleurs, Deseo has a nice dose of oakmoss as well) and at night “human” perfumes like PR La Nuit, Theo Fennell Scent and MdO’s Carnation and Chamarre. Have a good weekend!
I read Wolf Hall with Wikipedia as a reference companion
Me too. But I often use Wikipedia to see who all the people are that you wish happy birthday (or RIP) to at the start of your daily posts. And I have two mantras that my kids roll their eyes at: “Google is your friend” and “Variety is the spice of life”. Who knows how they’ll turn out.
Hey, what fun would life be if you could not roll your eyes at your mother?
That’s one book you need in a hardcover or paperback version (not Kindle) because the inside leaves give you very helpful genealogical trees. I am like Robin; I bought the third book a year ago but have kept putting it off because I dread Cromwell’s death. I loved the TV/PBS version so much! Not quite as richly detailed as the books, and yet so wonderfully acted.
My good friend and I still make jokes about how we sighed over Mark Rylance’s eyebrows, lol!
I am glad I am not the only one who just could not send Cromwell off to his death in 2020. (Or, maybe, 2021, we’ll see.)
Happy weekend, all!
I completely forgot to rabbit this morning, but I am in a sample of Muguet Porcelaine for May 1st. The melon note in this does not bother me (it makes me think of those Melona melon frozen bars), but I think overall it’s a touch too sweet for me.
I’m rereading something I loved in high school, The Count of Monte Cristo. It’s still good, but does feel a bit juvenile now, revisiting it almost 30 years later! I’ve been having so much trouble starting new books lately, I find myself seeking re-reads that I know are good.
What fun though — have not read that in years!
I love Muguet Porcelaine and like you, the melony note doesn’t bother me.
Dumas is great HS reading. They’re “classics” yet highly entertaining.
Monte Cristo is Mr. Vee’s favorite book. He has read it multiple times and strongly prefers the Robin Buss translation that came out in the 1990s. I don’t think rereading Monte Cristo is juvenile at all, but if you want to feel like you are reading something “different” you could try the newer translation.
That and the 3 Musketeers are some seriously swashbuckling stories. Great summer reads.
I rabbited, signed up for Tigerlily Maison Violet and Sniffapalooza candle events and ordered some decants off evilBay…all in a morning’s work.
No perfume yet as I am headed to the pool. Been having some neck and shoulder pain the last week so I am going for xray to check my neck on Mon and have a follow up PT appointment on Weds…thinking ergonomics as it seems to be getting better and I have been religiously doing my neck exercises.
And I am rereading When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron and have her The Places That Scare You and Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning in my queue…just some light beach reading… ;)?
The audio version of Man’s Search for Meaning is loaded up on my iPod, but I haven’t managed to start it. Can’t face it quite yet.
Yes, it is daunting for me too. I have said deliver later to the Libby app a couple times now ehaehe.?
She-ra, did you have a shoulder injury, or is this a consequence of computer use and such? (Sounds like the latter, but I haven’t been reading NST regularly enough, so I often miss key events.)
Recently, I’ve been having pain related to the shoulder fracture I suffered on February 27, 2020. I think it was the two-month immobilization in a sling rather than the actual injury that did me in: the combination of over-tightening some muscles and weakening others. Probably compounded by bad computer ergonomics, also. The arm seemed fine for many months, but I’ve practicing Chinese sword basics more intensively recently, and now it’s bothering me again.
Now that I’m fully vaccinated, I went to see my PT last week to basically complete the therapy that I was only able to do online last spring. This is going to take a while!
I’ll be interested hear how your therapy goes. Good luck!
Thank you, nozknoz! I fractured one vertebra in my neck on the left side the end of Dec in a car accident and wore collar for about 2 months. I had a few PT sessions and got back good range of motion/turning my head, etc. on that side.
Over the last week or two, it has been kind of stiff with more soreness and I am thinking it’s the computer time aggravating it. My shoulders were actually sore in early Dec and I was thinking of seeing a chiropractor then.
But you are quite right…the immobilization really makes the muscles atrophy and computer use plays a big part too.
Chinese sword basics sound fun. Good luck with your continued PT. Physical therapy is amazing and can do wonders. I shall keep weighing in my progress and would love to hear about yours as well.
Whoa, an accident and broken vertebra must have been scary — glad you are healed up now!
It’s so hard to get the ergonomics right with computers. I also need new computer glasses to keep from leaning in sometimes.
Sniffing some samples of Vanitas and Confetto…I used up a decant of Vanitas previously but never sought more.
I am curious about Meringa if anyone has sniffed it please? I believe it is an Oswald exclusive.
I got this as a freebie and then passed it on — it is very very sweet. Think toothache
I hope you enjoyed your swim and that you can get your ergonomics sorted out. Changing my laptop height made a huge difference (a positive one!) when I was teaching remotely.
I’m wearing Slowdive this morning, probably the last wear until next fall because the bees in my yard love it. Reading recommendations are sparse this time, I’ve read a bunch of “okay” books. I can recommend “Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing” essays by Lauren Hough. It’s really a memoir about being an outsider (raised in a cult, gay, harassed in the military, homeless) and somehow surviving. “Between Two Kingdoms” by Suleika Jaouad, is about her battle with lymphoma. Also interesting was “The Kitchen Front,” a novel about Britain in WWI and a cooking contest to win a radio presenter’s spot. Recipes using wartime rationing restrictions were interesting to me, but the plot is pretty formulaic. I am looking forward to reading the latest Maisie Dobbs on request at the library and in November, the latest in the Outlander series.
I was mobbed by bees once while wearing vintage Silences.
I discovered there are bees nested in one of my patio tables. Inside a metal patio table. Maybe I should spray some Slowdive nearby and try to lure them out? They’re bees, not hornets, so I don’t really want to kill them. . .
If you can find an experienced apiarist in your area they might be able to re-home them. It may be a bit complicated process, but I believe it can be done, IIRC.
Yeah, I wondered about that. I don’t know bees well enough to know if they’re honey bees or mason bees or some other sort. They’re not aggressive. I sat next to the table like an hour before I realized the bees were going *inside* it.
That would have really really scared me
yasmina, I did jump away at first! Then, I realized that they had been so polite for so long, I was less nervous. I have since done some experiments, trying to figure out how many are in there, and they’ve never been bossy with me.
Both bees and cats found me irresistible when I used to use Aveda’s Control Paste. The bees would get me outside, and the cats would sneak up and chew on my hair when I was inside.
I have several scents that my kitties will try to lick off of my wrist when I wear them.
My cat loves Angel so much that I spray one of her toys with it whenever I wear it in hopes that she will attack the toy and not me
A cat after my own heart…
I’m currently reading Harem: The World Behind the Veil, which was gifted to me. The writing is not great, but I am thoroughly enjoying the array of art.
That book looks fascinating, shame it is not well written.
Last week, I posted a link to a tweet with designs by illustration students for faux post-pandemic New Yorker covers. That tweet went viral, apparently. Here is a Washington Post article with more information about the professor (an actual New Yorker illustrator himself) and some of his students:
I also found that, if you go into the online Conde Nast shop, under New Yorker, they sell prints of New Yorker covers that are wonderful to browse.
Oh, new rabbit hole fun! Have just spent the last hour looking at New Yorker and Vogue covers!
Mua ha ha!
I also enjoyed this review and am tempted to order the catalog, even though I have stacks of art books everywhere:
Wow. This made me do some research on magazine shops in Portland. I had already heard that Cameron’s had gone out of business, so I looked for the other local has-every-mag-known-to-man outfit, which is actually a cigar shop … and they are still in business, but not selling magazines anymore “due to lack of customers”. So sad.
Well, I got through Douglas Fairbanks Jr’s autobiography and I’m now reading David Niven’s Bring on the Empty Horses, proving that Niven is a much better writer. It’s all about Hollywood between the 20s and the 60s and it’s very entertaining. Brings up plenty of movies that I want to watch, too. I put a couple Mary Stewart’s on my Kindle along with The Egg and I because I enjoyed the movie but I haven’t read any of them yet.
I read David Niven’s books years ago and loved them. I remember some great anecdotes about Fred Astaire, who was a close friend.
SOTD is Au Dela Narcisse again. Not done with it, yet.
I finished Ursula K LeGuin’s The Dispossessed last week. It was thoughtful and interesting. Very philosophical, so I don’t know if it counts as “spring” reading. A man from a utopian, socialist society travels to a planet that has unchecked capitalism. Interesting thoughts on money, the culture of personal ownership, relationships, childrearing and such. I don’t agree with all the conclusions and implications, but I enjoyed the exploration of ideas.
I love that book — and all of her books, especially the Hainish novels.
I once wrote her a thank you letter, and she wrote back a lovely note about how much that had meant to her.
Wow! That’s so cool! I’ve written a couple of authors over the years, and I heard back from one (Lou Schuller). I feel like when you read someone and follow their careers as authors, they really become a part of our lives.
She is/was one of my favorite authors, and that book had a huge influence on me. After reading it, I gave up using the first person possessive pronoun for a year or so…:). The book is definitely a product of its time, and shows its age, but I still really love the idea that a journey isn’t finished until you come back to your starting point.
It is my birthday today. I am wearing Hermessence Cedre Sambac for my birthday dinner tonight.
I am currently reading Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran. I am enjoying it very much.
Happy, happy birthday!
Happy birthday Barqs!?
Many happy returns.
Happy birthday! I hope this year brings you health, joy and fun.
Happy Birthday Barqs and you smell lovely!
I wore CS a couple of times this week as well.
Happy Birthday! Sending you a virtual May Day bouquet of Lilies of the Valley!
Happy Birthday, Barqs!
Happy Birthday, Barqs!
Many happy returns of the day, and hope you have a wonderful birthday dinner!
Happy Birthday! May the new year be happy and healthy!
Happy belated birthday! ?
Happy birthday, a day late!
Happy Scented Birthday Barqs! ?????
Happy belated birthday! I hope you enjoyed your dinner.
Happy belated birthday!
I reread la Princesse de la Clèves and warmly recommend it although I don’t know the quality of the English translation.
That sounds interesting, thanks!
Most welcome. It is really important as it was the first novel proper to be published in France. I note that autocorrect added ‘la’, the correct title is La Princesse de Clèves, it was published anonymously.
I just got my first swap package and I’m wearing Chanel Boy which is lovely (thank you E!).
I’ve recently read two books by Amor Towles : A Gentleman in Moscow (recommended by Pixel and others on this forum) and Rules of Civility. I highly recommend both.
I think everybody loved Gentleman in Moscow but me…I read about 1/2 of it and gave up. Maybe I should try Rules of Civility.
Gentleman in Moscow was a chore to get through. I ADORED Rules of Civility, finished it in four days.
Very good to know, thanks!
Oh thank heavens for the both of you. I thought I was alone, drifting in the universe.
Well same here! Everyone kept telling me how great it was.
It is gorgeous outside today, after all that ridiculous wind yesterday. Wearing Targa Blackbird today. It started out wonderful and glorious and spicy, and then it faded into, I don’t know, almost like a rubber-y type of smell. Not strong, just, blah. Maybe the sample was losing steam by the time I put it on or something. *sigh*, such potential.
I am currently mid-way through “Stark Mad Abolitionists” (non-fiction), by Robert Sutton.
Great Moments in Top Notes
My friend surprised me with KKW fragrances Desert Rose for my birthday. I tried it today and really like it – it’s a very good jasmine/ tuberose scent. The bottle is really appealing in terms of its design and can also be used as a bud vase! I think I’m going to wear this a lot this summer.
I lost interest in reading during the pandemic and am only starting to get it back. So I have no recommendations, but in my cart are the following titles:
1) Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
2) Reborn in the USA: An Englishman’s Love Letter to his Chosen Home
I read an interview with Louise Penny on cbc.ca – she and Hillary Clinton are cowriting a thriller!?!
Oops – book 2 is by Roger Bennett.
Is the H Mart reference in book 1 the Asian food store?
Yes. I heard an interview with the author.
Thanks. My mom used to like going to H Mart but I didn’t because the parking lot was chaotic.
What a great gift! I tried the one called Olive and liked it. I will sniff Desert Rose next time I am at ULTA.
I’ve had a busy week thunking a couple of samples. They were Sous le Manteau Cuir d’Orient and Ormonde Jayne Frangipani. I enjoyed both of them.
Books! As I commented to Sheri G, I’ve been working my way through the Lord Peter Wimsey series. I’m waiting for my library to get the most recent Louise Penny. I enjoyed the Ruth Galloway series (recommended by Robin- thank you!) and am waiting for the next book impatiently. Moving on from mysteries, I finished the two Kushiel’s Legacy trilogies and Naamah trilogy by Jacqueline Carey. I really like her books for the world building, character development, and political intrigue, but if you are opposed to racy bits I would avoid them!
Birdy16, I used to be a fan of Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel novels. I say “used to” because it’s been such a long while since I’ve read them. You might also like the work of Guy Gavriel Kay, which has similarly vast arrays of fantasy realms, characters, and intrigues.
Thank you for the recommendation! I will have to check those out
I love Guy Gavriel Kay! I read the Fionavar Tapestry books so many times in junior high and high school that the cover fell off “The Summer Tree”.
Ditto on Guy Gabriel Kay! I loved the Fionavar Tapestry, Tigana, and the Lions of Al-Rassan.
Sarah J. Maas’ series that begins with “A Court of Thorns and Roses” is a more recent set of releases that’s also quite good (also has racy bits, reader be forewarned).
I am trying to make my way through a game theory book that talks about rational and irrational behavior. It is an uphill battle. My team is supposed to read it to help in the project, but none of us is able to get thru a handful of pages without falling asleep. It took me 2 weeks to get thru the first 20 pages, and the book is fairly thick, so not anticipating being done for a while!!! Can’t really think of a fragrance to go with it!!
SOTD- Dusita Moonlight in Chiangmay (for some reason always want to call it sunrise).
Ya gotta wonder about that book – I doubt all of you are too dull to understand it, so me thinks the book may be dull!
How is this book possibly helping your project???
Good question. One way it could help is to put us to sleep, ensuring we get enough sleep and rest. But on the serious note, we are trying to understand how we can model and predict what might happen if one of the players in the marketplace might be acting irrationally (definition of irrationality is open to interpretation)
I think that if you can finish this book, you deserve a bottle of something nice! (Perfume or booze, whichever you need most.)
I remember my poor TAs in advanced behavioral ecology classes trying to teach us game theory while obviously not understanding it themselves. It was a struggle.
Thankfully I am retired and don’t have to put up with management whims any more. Perhaps read every fourth or fifth chapter?
That encapsulates one of my primary goals — to retire, and not have to pay attention to the ridiculous initiatives of people who love to tell other people what to do, and how to do it.
Maybe start from the last chapter and go backwards?
Maybe try with get abrstract if you have access and the book is there. How annoying…
SOTD = Coach Leatherware No. 01
It’s been a looooong while since I last wore this! It’s a green spicy leather ?! I have 2 others along the same vein which I will probably wear over the next few days. Angela wrote a review on all 3, IIRC.
Re: the poll
1. I am happy to note that I am now reading the July / August 2020 issue of Readers’ Digest. I’ll be caught up pretty soon!
2. I also finished reading the first of the Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery “The Right Sort of Man” by Allison Montclair. Thanks to foxbins for her recommendation. I am partway through the 2nd book “A Royal Affair”. There’s a 3rd book coming out in June “A Rouge’s Company”. Highly-recommend!
In other news:
1) For the first time ever, I bought a (as in 1, one, uno) soft shell crab. It was already dressed so I knew I should be able to tackle it. Got home and looked up a recipe and basically just fried it. I ate it with wasabi. ? but probably won’t buy again because too expensive. On the other hand, it may be a good reason to use my air-fryer (still in the box ?).
2) Family Zoom – I asked my brother what the deal was with parts of Oregon going back to the strictest restrictions. His answer, in short, is that Oregon is on its 4th wave because of too many anti-vaxxers. This tells me that party leanings and preferences do not necessarily describe the anti-vaxxers, as media would lead us to believe. He also said that as it relates to his hospital system, there are more much younger people in the ICU and those that are dying than in the previous waves. Oy!
Oooh soft shell crab! That sounds marvelous, and like a good reason to own an air fryer.
There were fresh live blue crabs at my nearest Korean market this week (not an H-Mart) and I was so tempted… but balked at the cost and effort.
I think I paid for the “dressing” cost. It was a whopping $7.99 for one crab and you know how tiny they are. The good news is no debris whatsoever.
Your perfume sounds fabulous! Did I already know about this line? I can’t remember but yay to you for getting such a good deal!
Lol at the air fryer still in the box.
Hmmmm…I may only have commented on Angela’s review and also offered some for swap (no bites).
As to the Air-Fryer, this is literally 2.0 as in a 2 quart fryer. I ordered the first one off of Amazon and I was flabbergasted at the 6 quarts size (or at least the size of the box) because I ended up donating it brand new in its unopened box.
My niece lives in Bend, OR, and would mostly agree with your #4. She is in her 20s and most of her friends, while not exactly anti-vaxxers as a general rule, are not getting the covid shot and over the course of 2020 were not masking or social distancing. Not about politics there at all.
In PA, it is really much more along party lines.
What is their reason? I don’t get it. ??
Some of it is “I’m young and healthy and I won’t get sick.”
That, or “Even if I do get sick, I’m not going to die.”
Oh gosh, I worry so much for the young folks, if they have health insurance (or not). If they are long-haulers, the long-term implications (heart/lungs) can be devastating.
As my husband says, I worry enough for everyone, that’s why I started going gray at 26….
Glad to hear that your soft shell crab was a tasty, if pricey experiment! Maybe someday I will try eating one of those again.
My niece has decided, for now (unless she recently changed her mind), to not get vaccinated. In her case, she had concerns on the speed of rollout.
Wearing Jorum Studio Phloem today – an absurd 6 sprays to shock my brain into restarting in weekend mode, after this morning began with 3 hours of project management class.
My e-lending library pickings have been slim so far in 2021, the wait lists are long. The only one I’d truly recommend out of 25 books so far:
“Hench” by Natalie Zina Walschots. A truly engaging take on what it would be like to work for the villains team when a job is a job, and superheroes aren’t necessarily all they’re cracked up to be.
If you’ve enjoyed some of V.E. Schwab’s work (Vicious, A Darker Shade of Magic) this one will please you.
I paid to get library cards from the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the library near where my sister lives in Massachusetts. Since I also have a card for my local library, this gives me 3 … and it is weird how sometimes a book has a very long wait list at one system but not much of a wait at another, and quite easy to have 3 cards in Libby and switch between them. Of course they also don’t all have the same holdings. I started doing this a few years ago but I really made up the value in 2020.
Also gives me more free movies at Kanopy every month, so was well worth the investment.
So you might check to see if there are other libraries in your state that have free or cheap cards!
I don’t have a car to drive or I’d totally do this, but also because I live in a Francophone province it also might not expand my English reading options much.
I wonder if my Vancouver Library card still works (I moved away 6yrs ago but maybe it’s worth being naughty to get more book access)….
teebear, I did drive over to the library near my sister, but I joined the Philly library online! I really think it’s worth calling around or checking online.
Hench sounds great, going on the list!
Good evening, very late check in here. I’m in BK Moonlight in Heaven thanks to the fabulous swapmeet.
It was a nice day today; we had marinara sauce cooking on the stove and I had a Zoom class on Earl Grey teas. We tasted three different teas and all of them were excellent. I had a cup of tea when I got up, so I’m still fairly well caffeinated…?
Wow what a great class
Hi Everyone – trying out multiple citrus fragrances this weekend for my mother, who wants to smell like a lemon and doesn’t care who knows it.
On the list we’ve got:
1. Mandarine Basilic
2. Bergamote Calabria
3. Electric Rhubarb by Floral St.
4. Under the lemon trees
5. Sole Di Positano Acqua Tom Ford
6. Lemon Island Atelier
7. Original 4711 Cologne
The problem is her chemistry eats fragrances, so suggestions welcome for anything else I can dig up at Ulta or Sephora before next weekend!
Unfortunately I haven’t been reading this quarter except for The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*** by Sarah Knight. I need to be able to let go more. I tried The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, but it didn’t capture me right away so it’s just been hanging out.
Have you thought about Armani’s Acqua di Gioia? You can get it in a gift set that comes with shower gel and body lotion, which might make it last longer on her skin.
I have not! I’ll check it out.
I’m reading that Knight book too. I actually find the profanity argot a little distracting but lots of good points in it
Agreed on language. It did help me realize that I needed to give myself permission to not do everything every moment of every day though. Maybe be nicer about it though, lol.
Not Ulta or Sephora, but there’s also this reliable lemon:
Oh, I love that hand cream – the CO Bigelow Lemon one. It was so sad when Bigelow had their chain stores closed. These are great lemons!
I would love to smell like a lemon, and/or a lemon blossom, so am eagerly awaiting your results.
I will share how it goes next week! I will say the Under the Lemon trees by replica only last about 2-3 hours on me, and the Lemon Island Atelier cologne went pretty quickly too.
In-between books right now, so nothing on that front. Yesterday, my sister had her baby and there was a scary moment. I am on day one of vacation ans spending the morning in Theorema and vacuuming.
I hope everyone’s okay now in spite of the scary moment.
Hope sis and baby are well
The best to mom and baby!
Hope sis and baby are OK. How many nieces and nephews do you now have?
I now have 3 nephews, no nieces.
Sending good thoughts for your sister and her baby!
I hope everyone is OK! And Mazel Tov!
Congrats on the new nephew! And hoping it was just that – a scary moment.
It’s ironic, but I’ve done very little reading during this pandemic, and I am someone who owns thousands of books and has always loved to read. I think it’s a combination of trying to occupy myself outside as much as I can, even if just in my own garden, Zoom and work fatigue, and the fact that I spent much of 2020 reading news stories about the elections and COVID-19. I gather there’s a name for that: “doom-scrolling”! I will try to read more this summer, once our semester ends in two weeks. I haven’t yet started The Mirror and the Light, which is on my list; I think I’ll match it with Jo Malone’s Tudor Rose & Amber. I just bought a non-fiction book that a friend highly recommended: Rembrandt’s Eyes, by Simon Schama. I have no idea what fragrance would match it! Any suggestions?
It’s so interesting how everyone found different coping mechanisms! I read more in 2020, but found certain topics really hard to stick with, in reading and watching tv/movies.
I have no idea what the book is about, but based on the name alone – maybe something from Santa Maria Novella because their both old masters?
About to spritz some Neroli Outrenoir from swapmeet- really liking this. I just love this whole line.
I have been reading alot of Lianne Moriarty novels. They are both well written and plot driven, which is rare.
Also read and loved the Secret Life of Bees, ironic given my well documented ? fears
For work reading Start Finishing and very useful
I have been reading Broken Horses by Brandi Carlile this week.I have loved her music and her real life story is so painful and heartbreaking at times but it’s good to know she has found happiness in her life.
I’m wearing Commodity Nectar today.
Happy Sunday! I’m currently reading BUtterfield 8 by John O’Hara. I can see why it made an impact, and I appreciate some of the writing, but wow on the blatant misogyny and racism. Is it coming from the author himself or is it a reflection of the times? Is he being satirical? Maybe all of the above?
I’ve also been reading Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe on my Kindle for ages. It’s fun! I don’t get a lot of the references since I’m not from England, so sometimes I look them up and sometimes I don’t bother.
In mysteries, I read the first two Kate Waters books by Fiona Barton, The Widow and The Child. Both pretty good.
I still haven’t finished The Three Weissmanns of Westport. I’ll get back to it soon.
No scent for me yet today since I haven’t showered, but I’m drinking the tea I ordered with my recent Téo Cabanel Lace Garden purchase: Café Cabanel. It’s pretty good, but they did that thing I hate with fancy tea tins: it’s only half the size it appears to be because the bottom has this huge hollowed-out space underneath!! I suppose that’s so they can stack them easily, but really. It’s egregious. I get so annoyed by deceptive packaging.
Are we still commando twins? ?
Haha! I did finally take a bath, and then I thunked a sample of Divine Spirituelle :). You?
Still commando. Not in the mood for perfume right now. Maybe tomorrow, maybe not.
I don’t feel like it on crappy days either.
Good afternoon NST.
I have returned to the land of the living after spending all of yesterday in bed. Side effects from my 2nd Pfizer shot were no joke! Severe chills, fever, muscle and joint aches, and a lack of appetite. Plus the sore arm that I had the first time. I lasted about 24 hours without taking an Advil before I decided enough was enough.
Speaking of that, it seems that some people are mis-interpreting the CDC’s guidance on NSAIDs and the COVID vaccine. People aren’t supposed to take any medicine before getting the shot, unless it is something like the baby aspirin heart patients take. If anyone is taking a prescribed medicine like that, continue taking it and get the shot if you can.
Preferred painkiller post-vaccine is Tylenol. But it is OK to take either aspirin or Advil once you have shown an immune response. Based on what I experienced, yeah, my immune system was hard at work.
If all that wasn’t enough, today I got a call from my mom’s assisted living facility, which is out of state from me. My mom had a fall and was sent to the hospital. She hadn’t come down for breakfast this morning. One of her friends became concerned, checked in on her, and found her on the floor. They alerted staff, who called 911.
Still waiting to hear more. My brother is working nights this week, so terrible timing for him. I have been in touch with some cousins, who are bringing my mom some clothes and her walker.
Sorely tempted to say FML after this weekend.
SOTD = commando, unless a bit of B.O. counts.
I’m so sorry to hear about your mom! I hope she turns out to be all right. Sorry you had such a bad reaction to the second shot too, ugh.
Thanks socks! Nothing major has been found so far, but the hospital is still running tests.
Thoughts and prayers, Jalepeno! I know so many people who had major reactions to the 2nd Pfizer. I did not have as much as you, but I had more reaction than after the 1st shot , and lots more than I ever had from any other flu vaccine. Happy for you that the cousins can help your Mother!!!
Thanks MossyBerry! I’d call my reaction to Shot #2 “Moderate”. I don’t ever recall having side effects like those before. But I will admit that it’s been a while since I’ve had a booster shot for anything.
I am so sorry to hear about your mom, Jalapeno. Sending healing and positive thoughts for a speedy recovery.
I had the second dose of Moderna on Friday and the weekend has been very miserable, especially yesterday, with unbearable body and joint aches and chills. I could barely move. However, my arm has been less painful this time. I am feeling better today, but not 100% yet. I hope to be back to normal tomorrow. As you said, this was not a joke, but I am glad I am done with it, especially when I will be back to work in the office in one more week.
Latest word is that my mom has been admitted for observation for a couple of days.
I’m not feeling 100% either, but like you, much improved from yesterday.
I hope you will feel it is the right time to go back, PL67! I think the vaccines are making a difference as far as casual office contact in my case. We are able to be socially distanced and have been sharing the roomy break room for about two weeks with no issues.
It is safer to go back for sure. The protocols are insanely strict. Among many restrictions we can not share any rooms or approach anyone for any reason. Any interaction in the office has to be either by phone or using Zoom, Teams etc, as if we were working from home. We can only leave our desks to go to the restrooms, pick up documents from the printers or have lunch outside. We will be isolated, despite the fact that it is mandatory to wear double masks and gloves. Only one person can be in a bathroom and the building will be at 50% capacity. We are expecting long lines because of it. Weird, but safe measures, so I guess is time to finally go back. ?♀️
Oh yikes! I’m so sorry about your mom! I hope she’s okay. And vaccine #2 knocked me for a loop, I had all of your symptoms and slept for over 12 hours. I think I caught up on beauty sleep!
I hope you are feeling better!
Thanks SmokeyToes! Wish I had caught up on sleep, but it felt like I was only dropping off for 1 or 2 hours at a time. I am feeling Almost Human now.
I’m very sorry about your mom’s fall! It is unfortunate that the assisted living center staff hadn’t been monitoring her and didn’t know she had fallen. My mom is still in the hospital. She keeps trying to climb out of bed and they have some sort of electronic alarm on the bed that goes off if she does get out so they will rush back in to keep her in bed, because she is such a fall risk. She can’t remember that she’s not allowed to get out and thinks she needs to go to the bathroom.
My mom is in the “Independent Living” part of the facility. This is the first fall after her stroke that any of us know about. I don’t know what, if any, changes that will mean for her routine after she gets out of hospital.
Glad you updated us Calypso, I was just about to ask how your mom was doing.
Jalapeno, I am wishing the best for your mom.
I don’t understand why this vaccine has so many side effects. I’ve never had any with other vaccines. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
I think BO does count btw?
Re; side effects, I think it might be the nature of the pathogen it is based on. Also, I wonder how many side effects I would have experienced if, say, my first MMR vaccine would have been later in life, rather than as a kid.
I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom’s fall. And the reaction to your 2nd shot; I hope you have your appetite back today and that you get good news from the hospital.
Twins being commando today.
Thank you! Still not much of an appetite, but everything else seems to have cleared out.
What little news I have heard about my mom is encouraging; most of the horrible things like stroke and broken bones have been ruled out.
Sending you good wishes for your mom’s recovery. Sounds like you’ve had a really rough weekend, please take good care!!
Jalapeno, that sounds about like my reaction to the 2nd Moderna shot.
So sorry about your mom…really glad you found other family who could help.
Geez, where are all the people who haven’t had any side effects? Having said that, most info I have come across has mentioned that women seem to have more and stronger side effects than men.
I am a secondary emergency contact, due to my physical distance. What I can do is inform and organize, so I did a little bit of that today. Very thankful that my cousins were able to help out, despite them dealing with their own significant issues.
Raising my hand as one who had only minimal side effects from the second shot (a bit of low-energy daze) and nothing at all from the first shot other than a sore arm. So sorry that some of y’all have been hit so hard.
Feel better soon, and best wishes for a speedy recovery for your mom!
Thanks practicalann! Just got another update from my brother. They’re running still more tests on Mom, and maybe doing an MRI later.
I’m glad they are practicing an abundance of caution regarding your mom. I’m glad for it.
I hope your mom heals quickly.
SotD = Orange Sanguine
Plus I’m eating a delicous orange from a neighbor’s tree. Heaven!
I rummaged in the perfume cupboard yesterday, searching for Tauer samples. I was in the mood for PHI, and it was perfect.
As I searched I found Orange Sanguine, one very old sample from Atelier, and a second sample about a year old from Sephora. I applied one on each arm today. The old one is so much better to my nose. The older base is especially nice in comparison.
I’m grateful for all the books mentioned here. I make a reading list during every NST reading poll, then will see what I can get at my local library. I already requested a copy of The 99% Invisible City and can hardly wait to read it.
Lately I’ve read What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez and also Matthew McConaughey’s Greenlight. Enjoyed them both though they are very different.
On Friday evening I watched The Farewell with Awkwafina. She was mesmerizing, and the movie’s view into family life in China was wonderfully voyeuristic for me. I cried really hard at the end of the movie.
Want to catch a few more movies on Amazon soon as I’m thinking of cancelling my Prime membership when it’s up for renewal next week. I don’t need the free shipping very often anymore.
In other perfume news I wore Apres L’ondee every workday last week and enjoyed every minute.
Good reporting, tiffanie: my father-in-law had a navel orange tree, so I know how good the fresh ones are; a week of Apres L’ondee sounds good to me, and yes, I get good reading ideas here! Oh, and I just recently rembered that I had a sample of Orange Sanguine, so I need to splash that on one day this coming week.
The Farewell was a tear jerker for me too!! Such a realistic depiction of family love, I think.
Logging in late today, SOTD for the gym is Aqua Allegoria’s Pampleune.
My family are all avid readers, my Aunt recommended The Paris Library, by Janet S. Charles – based on a true story. I thought I should pass it along. It looks quite good!
Spent the morning waiting in line to get my Covid test for Wednesday’s visit to UCSF. Planning what cookies to make for my nurses. I’m thinking Gluten free almond cookies and coconut macaroons.
Working out arms and shoulders, have a great afternoon folks!
Today I decided to wear a sample called The Bug from Lush. I was a bit apprehensive because of the name, but it turned out to be a nice powdery scent after about half an hour. All the flowers, including the lilac bush and tons of tulips, are blooming right now and I say hello to them every day. For another week or 2 at least, when they start going away, (:
I am hoping my lilacs will be blooming when I get back from out of town
I’m also late, but enjoyed reading the lists of book suggestions. I’ve been preoccupied by Mom’s health issues. Also I may need to sort out a new living place for her if she needs skilled nursing when she gets out of the hospital, because her current place is closing their rehab center, which is a shame. It’s a corporate decision and I understand is a common thing these days. I hope to visit another place tomorrow that is supposed to be excellent and is non-profit with the entire range of senior living options. Whew. Mom was pretty awful on Fri and Sat but a bit better today. She is so confused and it’s just very very sad. I am also trying to conserve some of my own resources since I do have some of my own health issues. My brother can’t help because he just had surgery. Too bad our family is so small. Yesterday I wore some of my new Amouage Love Tuberose and today it was Musk Deer. Just trying for pretty and comforting light scents.
Oh yes, about books, duh. I just got the new book on my Kindle Life’s Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive, by Carl Zimmer, because I heard him on Science Friday last week and it sounded fascinating. Have re-read Camus’s The Stranger, and must admit that after 50 years since I first read it, I have an entirely new and distinct appreciation of it. There is a Visconti film of it that I’m trying to watch but the YouTube version is very jumpy. I’m halfway through Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America but sort of having a hard time with it. Too close to the bone, I guess.
My activities have mostly been directed to long-term TV shows on Amazon Prime or Netflix. I missed the weekend of what to watch and will recommend three French shows in multi-seasons, each excellent, all quite different. They put most American TV to shame. Yes, they have subtitles, so get used to it!
1. Les Engrenages–Spiral–police drama in a seedy part of Paris. Close involvement of judges/lawyers due to the French legal system. Many cases of immigrants and often horrific murders–it’s gruesome, be warned. Love, sex, character development, losses, betrayals.
2. Dix pour Cent–Call My Agent. Comedic drama about a fictional firm of agents for movie stars featuring cameos with real stars (Isabelle Huppert, Adjani, Sigourney Weaver, others). Increasingly funny as it goes on. It seemed to end in Season 4 but both a movie and a new season have been announced. Lesbian love story, with numerous complications.
3. Le Bureau des Legends–Le Bureau. French spies in a contemporary setting. Utterly gripping, some of the best TV ever. Amazing shots in Moscow, Tehran, Syria, Morocco, Azerbaijan, Cambodia… very complex. You must pay close attention to follow. Very up-to-the minute in terms of current news coverage. I felt very bereft when this show ended. It’s up there with The Wire and The Americans in my book. Gritty and sometimes violent, but perhaps not as gruesome as Spiral.
Plus it has an incredibly handsome leading man.
I hope you all heal quickly and that your mom’s housing situation is resolved.
I wish the best for mom Calypso. Hopefully the other center will be a good fit.
So sorry to hear about your mom’s housing situation. That sucks. Hugs for you, your Mom, and your brother.
Hope the whole family is recovering soon.
No book recommendations from me.
I’ve been sampling perfume all day, and right now have Givenchy L’interdit on one hand and LVEB Soliel on the other. I like them both.
I went to TJ Maxx and found Memo Kedo? For 169 dollars lol. I haven’t heard of this one. There was also a bottle of Molten Brown Rose something for 69 dollars. Not cheap enough! But I will keep an eye on the Molten Brown in case it goes on clearance.
No book recommendation twins.
Late to the party, but I wanted to see everyone’s book recommendations, and I now have a sizable list. I’ve been reading and listening to audiobooks a lot more since COVID, and have come across some excellent ones:
1) Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels (the HBO series is quite good too, although I wouldn’t have been able to keep the characters straight if I hadn’t read the books first)
2) Sally Rooney’s Normal People (the BBC/Hulu series is also good, but I preferred the book bc the characters’ thoughts are so important to the story)
3) Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. We didn’t read this one in school and I wish we had. I found it shockingly modern for a book published in 1899.
4) Madeline Miller’s Circe. A retelling of the Odyssey through Circe’s eyes (a companion to Robin’s recommendation of The Silence of the Girls).
5) The audiobook versions of Max Brook’s World War Z and Devolution. Both are told oral history style, and the audio versions use great actors to read each narrator. I usually don’t like audiobooks that treat the story as a play — I’d prefer that a narrator just read the book as is — but these combine the best of both approaches and are phenomenal productions.
Wore Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud on Saturday, and Diptyque Duelle on Sunday. Celebrated my in-law’s 50th wedding anniversary with them this weekend. Everyone is vaccinated so it was our first time in over a year without masks and it was great. They got married so young – 20 & 21. I can’t imagine getting married so young!
I did not know about the Circe book, I am going to take a look, thanks!
Late to the party, but since I now have a longer commute, I need some reading material! Thanks for the good suggestions, all.
The best things I’ve read this year are The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Grey and The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson. Both highly recommended!
Here, I am, so late, R, but chipping in to say that I love that you’re still sawing away at the Mantel, keeping Thomas breathing. I haven’t cracked it yet, it’s terrible. I’ve been on a short story kick since 2020, as my mind’s been shot and it feels like I can only do 20 pages at a time. (Goodreads and The Story Graph keep pointing out I’m two books off my pace for my 2021 sixty-two book challenge. I feel like telling the apps to go screw, but, of course, I set that challenge and refuse to edit it. But I’m practicing radical self-love here, ha.) Of the recent story collections, I probably best liked Kirstin Valdez Quade’s “Night at the Fiestas” (but set in Northern NM, so the setting helped) and bits of the wonderfully titled Amy Gustine’s “You Should Pity Us Instead”. Alternately enjoying and questioning why I’m not memorizing Elizabeth McCracken’s new collection, “The Souvenir Museum”; I straight up adored her last book of stories, “Thunderstruck”, and am not as struck (rim shot) by this one. Did enjoy Paul Theroux’s “On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey” — I’d like to dislike him, really, but I find I just don’t. Probably my favourite thing I read since late February is (despite the subject matter) Elizabeth Kolbert’s “Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future” — heavens, she writes so intriguingly abut the environment and ecology. In the Kolbert vein, I just cracked Lulu Miller’s “Why Fish Don’t Exist” and on the Mexican train, recommended by Theroux, Rosario Castellanos’ “The Book of Lamentations”.
I’m quite interested to learn you liked “Transcription”. I sort of didn’t. We’re usually on the same page. I keep trying to bang my head against Kate Atkinson, since everybody seems to love her, and I find I’ve really enjoyed the first, maybe, two thirds of about four of her books and then mysteriously always lose interest completely by the end.
That’s exactly what my mom did last year, move to short stories. I think I don’t read short stories because I already get them in The New Yorker. Although I’m so behind on NYer it hardly counts. But also I sorta solve the attention problem by reading 3-4 books at once. I do not whip through novels the way I used to.
But at least 2 people have told me about Elizabeth McCracken so will add to list.
Why 62, exactly?
Paul Theroux…yes. Exactly. I am sure you saw they are going to make a series out of Mosquito Coast?
I am suitably ashamed that this is the first Atkinson I have read that wasn’t a Jackson Brodie mystery…and that after finishing those, I picked up the one you could just read as a spy thriller? I’ve had other works by her on my to-read list for years and just never even crack them at all, so I am impressed by your 2/3s.
Oh, I love the best of McCracken’s work like I love the greatest Lorrie Moore short stories — very similar writers. One of my favourite short stories of all time, “Peter Elroy: A Documentary by Ian Casey”, is in “Thunderstruck”, which is the book I’d recommend, also for “Hunger”, “The House of Two Three-Legged Dogs” and the title story. There are a few good ones in this recent collection, though, particularly the first one, “The Irish Wedding” and one where two gay fathers take their kid to a German-themed Texas waterpark. McCracken’s short memoir about her stillbirth is also excellent, though obviously hard-going, and I will always love her first novel “The Giant’s House”, though both that book and her subsequent, lesser novels might be said to suffer from what my aunt calls “whimsy overload” — usually Aunt Ruth’s description of Wes Anderson movies, which I must admit, I often adore. McCracken has an obsession with vaudeville acts and ventriloquism and those are the books and stories I recommend avoiding.
62 is a mostly pointless number I thought I’d find sufficiently challenging, being one more than I read in 2018, a good year. I also failed miserably at 65 books in 2020, so had to go lower. I tend to keep my eye on the page count, which seems more relevant. This all serves to distract me from scale numbers and my bank balance, ha.
I did NOT see the news of the Mosquito Coast series. The trailer makes it look like an interesting combination of very clever and terribly mis-pitched for genre.