Friday, January 17, 2020

One Page Calendar

I've never thought about a calendar this way before. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Just Because

From the movie, I Love Melvin (1953) 
Noreen Corcoran, 10 years old, and Donald O'Connor, 28

(reminder to email subscribers: to see the video, click either on the link for Some Favourite Things in the body of the email or on the title, Just Because)

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Once Upon a River

Once Upon a River
Diane Setterfield

What an amazing story! Set in 19th century England in the area along the Thames between Oxford and Cricklade, Once Upon a River reminded me of the National Trail long distance path called the Thames Path that now seems like it might be a possibility for my future trekking.

True to its title, the tale meanders here and there, floats the reader up and down and carries us relentlessly along. It’s hard to look away.

Here’s the publisher’s blurb.

On a dark midwinter's night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are retelling stories to while away the dark hours when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. 

Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.

Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But the answers proliferate nonetheless.

Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son's secret liaison, stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson's housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone's. Each family has mysteries of its own and many secrets must be revealed before the girl's identity can be known. 

Once Upon a River is a glorious tapestry of a book that combined folklore and science, magic and myth. Suspenseful, romantic, and richly atmospheric, the beginning of this novel will sweep you away on a powerful current of storytelling, transporting you through worlds both real and imagined, to the triumphant conclusion whose depths will continue to give up their treasures long after the last page is turned.

Bottom line: I loved it and was totally immersed! ;) 

Oh - and by the way, Once Upon a River was on the shortlist for the GoodReads Fiction Award this fall.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas!

Who doesn't love Johnny Reid and Natalie McMaster! Put your dancin' shoes on!
(and if you see this in an email, click on Some Favourite Things)

Merry Christmas!

Johnny Reid - "Go Tell It on the Mountain" from Margaret Malandruccolo on Vimeo.

And for anyone with some time and a yen to hear more from Natalie MacMaster, here she is a few years ago with her family. Only some of the children are hers, the others are cousins, all talented. The first and oldest girl is 12 in this 5-year old video. In the intervening years MacMaster and her partner Donnell Leahy have added more children to their family and they all dance and fiddle expertly and with great joy.