Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
--the 8th book in the series that I will be reviewing in March
Just wanted to let you know that about month from now I will be posting a review of A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear. A Lesson in Secrets is Ms. Winspear's eighth Maisie Dobbs novel. I previously wrote about some of the books, including the first, Maisie Dobbs, and I also reviewed the fifth book in the series, An Incomplete Revenge. These books focus on Ms. Winspear's post World War I female private investigator in London.
--from Jacqueline Winspear's website
My review will only be one of many in the month of March 2012, hereinafter known as March is Maisie Month! Trish from TLC Book Tours invited me to participate recently. For submitting my review to be posted March 19th, I will (and have) receive(d) a free copy of Ms. Winspear's latest book, Elegy for Eddie, that will be released in the USA and Canada on March 27th. I am sure I can't resist reviewing this new book, too. I also was surprised to receive a copy of A Lesson in Secrets, but this book's paperback debut is on March 6th in the USA, along with its UK hardback debut on March 26th. The seventh book in the series, The Mapping of Love and Death, also has its paperback debut in the UK on March 26th. Now you know why March is Maisie month! Thank you to Trish and TLC Book Tours for inviting me to participate.
To see the list of bloggers participating in March is Maisie Month, just go HERE and scroll down to the end of the post. Twitter chats will also be held each week during March is Maisie Month, and you can find out more information about this on Ms. Winspear's Facebook page found HERE. The Maisie Dobbs blog by Ms. Winspear can be found HERE.
So, if you have not read any of Ms. Winspear's Maisie Dobbs books, now is a great time to start and to participate in the March is Maisie Month events.
--the latest and 9th Maisie Dobbs book cover by Andrew Davidson. Another awesome illustration!
Friday, February 17, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Fanny Myers Brennan was an artist that painted on a very small scale. I featured one of her works on a Wordless Wednesday posting not too long ago. Before I knew she was an artist, I was familiar with Ms. Brennan as the friend of Honoria Murphy Donnelly and the daughter of Dick and Alice Lee Myers, friends of Honoria's parents, Sara and Gerald Murphy. From my reading of Everybody Was So Young (a book about the Murphys and their circle of friends in Paris and Antibes in the 1920s), written by Amanda Vaill, I became interested in this particular group of friends and Ernest Hemingway in particular. Really, these creative people I have found to be infinitely inspiring and also find I never tire of their stories and I never tire of learning about their lives.
Fanny and Honoria were lucky enough to hang out on the beach of La Garoupe in Antibes when they were very, very young. They got to play with Picasso and Hemingway, as well as the Fitzgeralds and others. Fanny and Honoria remained friends from their idyllic childhood on the beaches of the Riviera until old age. They both were married and had children. When Fanny was raising her family, she stopped painting for years until her children were grown. Fanny started painting again and specialized in small scale (as in approximately 2 inch by 3 inch) paintings of a whimsical nature.
I recently acquired a framed print of Letting Off Steam. Just to emphasize the small scale of Fanny's works, I once more present an image of Letting Off Steam, and then the signed and numbered version I could not resist. Why does this little print mean something to me? Well, to be so interested in this group of friends (Picasso, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, the Murphys, etc.) and to actually have and own a representation created by someone so connected to them makes me very happy, not to mention the image itself and how I personally like it and feel such affinity to this image of a mountain/volcano.
--Letting Off Steam, Fanny Brennan, hand-crafted lithograph on Arches
cover paper, paper size: 6 x 7 in., image size: 2.5 in. x 3.5 in.
--picture of the print I recently acquired. You can see how talented Fanny was and the small scale in which she enjoyed working!
One of my favorite Hemingway short stories is The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Seeing images of this mountain and reflecting on the story and how superbly crafted and unforgettable the story is, I really wonder if Fanny painted this mountain image of Letting Off Steam without thinking of Ernest and the other adults she knew as a child. Probably not. Also, my only sibling and brother lives in Hawaii on the island of Maui, just under the dormant crater of Haleakalā. So the image of a volcano/mountain causes me to think of him and how idyllic his life can be at times. Therefore, this image speaks to me on at least two levels. I don't think I will get tired of reflecting on this small work of art due to these connections.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
I just saw this interesting vocalist and fabulous guitarist from Syracuse, NY, for the first time last night at The Kessler in Dallas. Martin Sexton's website is HERE.
Opening for Martin Sexton was this guy from Boston, MA, Chris Trapper:
Chris Trapper's website can be found HERE.
If you are ever in Dallas, TX, make sure to go hear some live music at The Kessler . . .
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Understood Betsy was one of the books I enjoyed reading when I was young. I liked Betsy well enough, but not quite as much as Anne of Green Gables or My Friend Flicka, but the book was one I would reread every few years. I revisited Understood Betsy last year, as I previously had Heidi and found I had forgotten the ending or confused the ending with some other book(s). I am so enjoying rereading some of my favorite books I read time and again growing up. New perceptions and ideas are discovered about these books from the lens of adulthood.
--Title page from one of the many editions of Understood Betsy
Dorothy Canfield wrote this children's classic and the book was first published in 1916. After reading about Ms. Canfield, I discovered she was a contemporary of Maria Montessori and with this current reading, I was attuned to her promotion of Ms. Montessori's ideas. Really, this book seems to be written to promote self-reliance, open-mindednes, hard work to reach goals, charity to those with less, and not prejudging others based on hearsay. Well, that's a few of the values promoted in Understood Betsy.
Elizabeth Ann was orphaned young and lived with her aunt and great aunt in a city in the northeast. The younger aunt, Aunt Frances, watched and worried over the child so much that Elizabeth Ann was scared of her own shadow. Aunt Frances loved her charge very much, but she herself was high strung and skittish. She was especially overprotective of her niece.
Circumstances occurred that would force Aunt Frances to send the girl to live with her country cousins, the Putneys. These people were so totally different in their treatment of Elizabeth Ann, whom they immediately started calling Betsy, that Betsy could not but help but become less afraid, more self-reliant, and healthier all around. If she did something in her mind that was outstanding, Betsy was used to Aunt Frances gushing over her. These country people expected her to do certain things and didn't blink twice when she actually did. The first thing she accomplished was taking the reins, literally and figuratively, on the drive home from the train station. I was reminded of Anne Shirley being picked up at the train station as well, and how she talked constantly the whole way to Green Gables. Betsy was not as much of a talker and was more of a doer without her protective aunt watching her every move. After no one coming to wake her up and dress her, for once in her life she got up and got dressed all on her own on her first morning at the Putney house.
--Uncle Henry and Betsy on the way home
Betsy has lots of wonderful experiences living in the country with her aunt, uncle, cousins, and friends and really grows and matures into a wonderful young lady. I don't think this would have happened if she had stayed under the care of her overprotective aunt. The book has many lessons contained in the chapters, and I recommended Understood Betsy for readers of all ages, especially pre-teens and tweeners.
Friday, February 3, 2012
--album cover for Making Mirrors
Just this week I have discovered a new musician, Gotye (pronounced like Gaultier). Gotye's real name is Wally. Anyway, I am really enjoying his lyrics. He has some great videos, too. The album that came out last year that has garnered him attention is called Making Mirrors. Learn more about Gotye by going to his website. Love this talented guy! Following are some videos featuring music from Making Mirrors.
And here is his extremely recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live: