Archive for the ‘Books’ Category


September 21, 2017

Finished the Book!


When I was a child I often wailed “What can I do?” My father wailed back at me “The perpetual cry of youth: what can I do?” Irritated me no end but there you are. I am feeling a little of that angst this month because I am between quarters so no choirs to direct  Read the Rest…


January 14, 2017



Sometimes the unstructured days are the hardest.  The day is my own.  There’s nothing scheduled today although I have a lot to do.  Instead of doing it, I’ve been wondering how one personality disordered man and a group of opportunist congress people are going to cram down the throats of a majority a lot of  Read the Rest…

AnglophiliaBooksCharles DickensEnglandLiteratureTravel

July 9, 2016

A Day of Pilgrimages

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(This is the twelfth in a series that begins with A Night in Steerage.) I’ve wanted to see Canterbury Cathedral for as long as I can remember.  Never more so than after I read The Canterbury Tales a few summers’ ago.  It was on the itinerary for Wednesday but I almost didn’t go.   There were  Read the Rest…


March 24, 2016

Deer Watch

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I’m on Whidbey Island for four days at Windhorse, the retreat center I visit every year when the Buddha House is available because the meditation cabins don’t have toilets and I’m sorry, I don’t leave the house to use the toilet. I need a modicum of comfort and the cabins, though lovely inside, don’t leave  Read the Rest…

BooksWorld War II

August 30, 2015

Christine and Francis Working Together

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The Vercors Massif in southeast France rises half a mile high, creating a natural fortress, crisscrossed with forests, farmland, ravines, caves, and secret paths. There are eight gateway roads but only one that’s easily accessible. In 1942 the Vercors was a gathering place for the Maquis. The Maquis was born when the Allies began their  Read the Rest…

BooksWorld War II

August 19, 2015

They spy: Christine Granville and Francis Cammaerts

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The life expectancy of a WW II spy was not long, but Christine Granville flashed across the sky with particular brightness. Of the two books I read about her, The Spy Who Loved by Claire Mulley was by far the better written and researched. Published in 2012, the author had access to previously classified documents.   Read the Rest…

BooksPostsWorld War II

August 10, 2015

Make Way for the Spies

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Thus summer’s reading project is a continuation of what began nearly a year ago and continues without an end in sight: World War II. It began with the S.O.E. spies, broadened into the French Resistance and slopped over into the Nazis until I was reading pretty much anything about World War II except the actual  Read the Rest…

BooksMoviesPoliticsWorld War II

April 12, 2015

Two Remarkable Women

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Traudl Junge was 13 years old when Hitler came to power. Having never known her father, her childhood was dominated by her tyrannical grandfather. Traudl describes herself as late in developing and raised to be subservient.  The Hitler Youth movement was her final preparation for adult life. “I was a thoughtless young girl,” Traudl said when she was  Read the Rest…

BooksEnglandLiteraturePsychoanalysisWorld War II

March 21, 2015

Between Silk and Cyanide

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I’ve been having World War II at my house for the last several months: the war as seen through the eyes of the French Resistance. I’ve read so many biographies of spies that I am beginning to get them all mixed up. One book I am not likely to ever forget, however, is called Between  Read the Rest…

BooksCharles DickensLiterature

November 30, 2014

Dombey and Son

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I am almost finished with my Dickens Project.  Fourteen novels down and one more to go. I stalled a little at the prospect of Dombey and Son because no one seems to like it or to think it’s much good.  Surprise!  It was a sleeper.  I loved it.  It’s a glorious gush of a soap  Read the Rest…