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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Daffodils, Books and DVDs




Day by day Spring is just around the corner. Daffodils are I think my favourite Spring flower. Where I grew up in New England it was pretty rare to see them much before April or even May. As I type away here at my desk the delicate fragrance is wafting past and it's all just heavenly.

A few weeks ago thanks to a friend of mine I heard about a book that absolutely intrigued me and I immediately ordered it.  It is so entrancing that I have to tell you all about it.

Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock begins with Griffin receiving a very mysterious post card:
"Griffin:
It's good to get in touch with you at last. Could I have one of your fish postcards? I think you were right -- the wine glass has more impact that the cup? "

As you turn the pages a mystery unfolds because Griffin has no idea who has sent him the postcard let alone how she knew so much about his artwork. An extraordinary correspondence follows. And as you turn the pages the story proceeds through illustrations and a bit more than that as well... There on the top is the original postcard. Back and forth between England and Australia the postcards fly and the mystery deepens.

Finally Sabine sends him a letter... let me show you the first one: Within each envelope in the book there is a letter to pull out and read -- four in all!


And so you participate as the story unfolds -- literally! The illustrations are beautiful and the story a bit like a fairy tale. It it is a joy. There are two more books in the series, which I have yet to get my hands on, but I am looking forward to complete the series in the near future.

(I am quite annoyed at the moment as the pictures have not uploaded in the correction direction -- somehow, except for the first one, they have all been uploaded on their side. Silly old blogger strikes again!)

I have quite a substantial pile now of books to read and DVD's to watch -- I love having books and films in waiting! And others are on the way -- thanks to Dee Ready's recommendation I have today ordered The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. And then in a couple of weeks Jo Nesbo's new detective thriller, The Phantom will arrive! Holy Book Review, Batman!

Next week the saga of my  journey towards British citizenship will continue. As one memory follows another word the story is longer and longer. I thought I would just gloss over events, but once started down memory lane the details expand and my reflections exceed all expectations. I had originally thought the whole story would be complete in two posts! In fact, after two posts, I was just getting started!
A Little Pile of Heaven!

18 comments:

  1. Hello Katherine:
    Oh, we know just what you mean about having a stack of books just waiting in the wings to be read. When we first arrive in Budapest there is exactly that excitement. A whole pile of books amassed for the months in exile which gradually disappear.

    Your selection looks to be extremely eclectic but contains a favourite of ours, Ian Rankin. We think that we have read everything by him now which is such a sadness. He was in Brighton very recently launching a new writer initiative, oh if only he would write more himself!

    Daffodils are so wonderful as they bring that jolly splash of colour and marvellous scent when one just needs that sort of lift!

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    1. Hello, Darlings! How wonderful to have you drop by. This is the first Ian Rankin I have read and how wonderful to have so many to look forward to reading!

      Yes, each summer as we pack for France I have a pile of books to get through and am always hoping I don't quite finish as once I get to the bottom of the pile -- it's the 'pits'!

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  2. I see from your pile of books waiting for you that you'll not leave your house for a while! Just kidding!

    Looking forward to the end of the story on citizenship.

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    1. Ahhhh, but Rosaria I have a big handbag really good for a book or two! (Not to mention the Kindle and with that I just need a WiFi or cell phone connection and I can buy more!!!)

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  3. Daffodils are my favourites too. It's that bright cheery yellow and also, actually the smell. It's not sweet, particularly, but it is the smell of Spring.

    There are quite a few Griffin and Sabine books. I discovered them when my daughter did. Fascinating.

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    1. And isn't great to find something that retains the smell even when bought in the store!

      I'm looking forward to continuing with Griffin and Sabine -- the first one ended so mysteriously!!

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  4. How I miss seeing the daffodils signalling the beginning of my favorite season...spring. Frangipani have a beautiful scent too but it somehow just isn't the same....sigh.

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    1. Oh, but I do hope one day to smell the frangipani for myself -- Hawaii is a dream destination for me -- but oh my, it is a long way away from the UK!!

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  5. Our daffodils are barely above ground as yet, Broad, but they'll come. I hadn't heard of Nick Bantock's books but they do sound intriguing. The Alan Bradley is on my library list, thanks to Dee, and I spy my Natasha Cooper recommendation in your pile. :-) Looking forward to more of your fascinating citizenship memories.

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    1. We have one just outside the door that is on the verge of opening up -- but today's cold weather has slowed down the possibility for a few days at least. Tulips or just coming up out of the ground -- Unfortunately, being in France for summers limits our gardening here -- but this Autumn I'm hoping to rectify that at least by planting many more Spring bulbs.

      Have been working on next instalments of citizenship saga. So many photographs I want to use from pre-digital era!

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  6. I love daffodils. They always mean spring, even the ones you buy in the supermarket way too early - even they remind you that winter can't last forever.
    Snowdrops are pretty but they just don't do it for me.

    That looks like a very interesting pile of books, much more interesting than my pile of ironing !!

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    1. That's the trouble with ironing -- it never ever looks 'interesting'!

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  7. Ah, daffodils. they used to peek their little heads out of the snow right by the front door of our mountain cabin just about this time of year. They always brought cheer and the hope of winter's end. Just now, in the desert, the globe mallow, penstemon, blue lupine and desert marigolds are abundant along the roadsides. They are giving us a gentle warning that the heat of summer is on its way.

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    1. Oh those flowers of yours sound so intriguing -- I'm going to look them all up right now!

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  8. Hints of spring -- from flowers to warmth to the promise of summer -- are so delicious! And so are piles of books! My husband and I go to three different libraries for reading treats and we do occasionally still buy books as well. I love the luxury of curling up with a book or a pile of magazines and reading all day. Unfortunately, even in retirement, that is still a rare luxury!

    Love your "to-read" pile and look forward to the continuation of your road to citizenship!

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    1. That's the surprise about the retirement life. I find I run out of time more than ever I did when working! My husband constantly wonders how he ever had time to work! It's one of the wonderful things about summering in France -- I luxuriate in reading, it's my main 'job'!

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  9. Dear Broad,
    I hope you enjoy the Bradley book. Just a word of advice: I think the Canadian author did a lot--A LOT--of research and made the mistake of putting much of it into the first forty pages. An editor needed to help him do some select editing.

    So what happened to me is that I almost didn't keep reading the book. I'm glad I did, though, because it became a favorite of mine. The author has two or three more books in the series now and each is better than the one before it. So if you like the book, you have more to look forward to.

    Peace.

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    1. The Bradley book has arrived and I am thanks for the low down on the first 40 pages. Will let you know what I think. I love knowing there are more books in the series -- it's kind of like a 'comfort food' kind of feeling -- yes, plenty of 'comfort lit' for the future!

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Receiving comments is a joy and I thank you all for taking the trouble and showing your interest. Makes me feel all gooey and stuff!