Bloomsbury Women


Bloomsbury Women: Distinct Figures in Life and Art  by Jan Marsh has been on my radar for several years. Finally after much procrastination, I ordered a used copy from BN which arrived today. Alas, my copy does not have this luscious dust jacket but does boast a darkish red cloth cover which I find most acceptable. The drawing, photos, and text are not a disappointment in this fascinating non-fiction work.
Here are the opening sentences:
" 'Bloomsbury was conceived in 1904, when Vanessa and Virginia Stephen and their brothers Thoby and Adrian moved from fashionable Kensington to the quieter London district of Bloomsbury, close to the British Museum. It was born, so to speak, the following year, when the house at 46 Gordon Square became the melting place for their young artistic and intellectual friends, who gathered on regular weekday evenings to talk and to listen." 
 And from page 56:
" 'One day someone said you might get a job to paint furniture and do decorative work at the Omega Workshops,' she recalled. 'Feeling brave I went to Fitzroy Square and asked to see Mr. Fry. He was a charming man with grey hair and said I should come round the next day and start work. I went round and was shown what to do. Batiks. I was paid by the hour...and felt like a millionaire.' "

:: What are you reading? ::


Knit Ski Lodge Cap for Charity

 This cute "Ski Lodge cap is a quick knit with bulky yarn and size 10.5 needles. The pattern is available here and would be a fantastic project for a beginning knitter.

 I used Tahki "Jackson" bulky yarn. Neither pictures captures the correct color which is black with green. Obviously, my skills at photography are narrow and limited! But, it's all about this easy, fast, attractive pattern.


Through the Grinder

Through the Grinder (Coffeehouse Mystery, #2)Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excellent cozy mystery. Strong story and characterization. Although I'm not a coffee drinker, the Coffee House Mystery series by Cleo Coyle has grabbed my interest. Written by a husband and wife, THROUGH THE GRINDER is a page turner. If you enjoy cozies, you'll probably want to read this series. I do.

View all my reviews




Chapter 1
September 2009
St. Louis, Missouri

" 'The shaking started around three in the morning, and it happened that I was already awake because I'd nursed Owen at two and then, instead of going back to sleep, I'd lain there brooding about the fight I'd had at lunch with my sister, Vi. I'd driven with Owen and Rosie in the backseat to pick up Vi, and the four of us had gone to Hacienda. We'd finished eating and I was collecting Rosie's stray food from the tabletop--once I had imagined I wouldn't be the kind of mother who ordered chicken tenders for her child off the menu at a Mexican restaurant--when Vi said, 'So I have a date tomorrow.' "

I have just begun reading Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld and am interested thus far. The protagonist is a woman whose twin sister's personality is the diametrically opposite of the main character. My guess: Therein lies the story.
" 'I was being baited, but I tried to match Vi's casual tone as I said, 
"Did you meet online?' "

Does this book interest you?


Summer in Tuscany

 It's all about the setting for me. I love Tuscany and can feel the warm glow of the Tuscan atmosphere as I read this book. The writing is comfortable;the story is sweetly predictable. This is definitely is a comfort read that I am enjoying immensely.
 "Let me tell you right from the start, you wouldn't want to know me. Especially on a Saturday night. Why? Because that's when it's toughest here in the emergency room, and the only reason you would ever get to meet me is if you were wheeled in here on a guerney. Then it would be my face looking down at you in the glow of a white light saying, What's your name?...Where does it hurt?...Who did it?"
"A rabbit had darted out in front of her wheels and she had squealed to a halt, backed up, gotten out, inspected the dead creature, picked it up by its tail, and flung it into the back seat.
The next day her so-called majordomo came by....bearing a ceramic terrine and a little note saying, 'I do hope you'll enjoy this rabbit pate'. It's fresh.'"

Does this book interest you?


Miss Buncle

The following selections are from Miss Buncle's Book by D. E. Stevenson. This clever book within a book is very different from my typical reading fare. The multi-level stories and word play are so delightful that I find myself smiling as I read. Set in a small village in the British country-side, the story is a latter day "Seinfeld" tale of a place where "nothing" the 1930s.
"One fine summer's morning the sun peeped over the hills and looked down upon the valley of Silverstream. It was so early that there was really very little for him to see except the cows belonging to Twelve=Trees Farm in the meadows by the river. They were going slowly up to the farm to be milked.their shadows were quite black, weird, and ungainly, like pictures of prehistoric monsters moving over the lush grass. The farm stirred and a slow spiral of smoke rose from the kitchen chimney."

"Mrs. Featherstone Hogg was less like a busy bee than anybody Barbara could think of. She was tall and willowy and tired, so tired that you could not help feeling it was good of her to trouble to speak to you at all."

What do you think? What are you reading?