Friday, December 7, 2018

Montreal, Quebec

Some photos from my trip to Montreal in early October.  The leaves were just turning.  So beautiful--and interesting to see the patterns of how they changed.

The metro:



One tree turning:


More leaves!


Cool decorative gourds.  Gourds and pumpkins were all over on my trip, from Montreal to Quebec City, to Sydney, Nova Scotia, to New York City:


Waterside park with various amusements.  The rope course looked super fun.


Les chuchoteuses (The gossipers) tucked in a little corner.  A young boy was getting a kick out of his mom pretending to gossip with them.


Just another European-looking street in Old Montreal:


We only had a short time in Montreal, but I would go back again.   

For budget travelers, there are various hostels with quite good rates.   





Monday, December 3, 2018

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate



This is such a beautiful, sad, happy, loving, heart-breaking book. 

I did have to suspend my disbelief quite a bit (How did Ivan know some of the things he knew?  How would he make comparisons to things he had no experience of?  How did he easily and immediately talk to the dog and elephant if he couldn't talk to people and it took him a long time to understand human language?)  Okay, okay, these are quibbles from a person who likes my fantasy realistic and internally consistent.  But it was so charming and lovely and soulful that I didn't really care much. 

I also thought the mini-paragraph style fit the narrator.

I really liked The One and Only Ivan and would highly recommend it.  I also now want to read more by Katherine Applegate.

More accurate rating:  4.5

Find it on Amazon:  The One and Only Ivan

Friday, November 30, 2018

NaNoWriMo vs. Blog

I hadn't realized how long it's been since I've posted.  I guess NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) has taken up all my writing energy.

I just passed 50,000 words on my NaNoWriMo, so I completed the main goal!  Yay!

If any of you writers out there haven't heard of NaNoWriMo, check it out for next year.  It's a fantastic motivator:   https://nanowrimo.org/

But never fear, I'll start posting more in the new post-Nano month of December.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Monday, October 8, 2018

Wolves and Deadly Beautiful

In Deadly Beautiful; Vanishing Killers of the Animal Kingdom by Liana Joy Christensen, I found this beautifully expressed and heartbreaking quote.

"Our shared dreams, nightmares, fables and fairy tales are still full of wolves. Our world is not."



Thursday, October 4, 2018

James Herriot's Cat Stories


I love cats, which probably had absolutely no influence on my liking of this short book. 

James Herriot's style is a bit slow at times, but I really enjoyed it, especially the gentle beauty and warmth.  I also found fascinating the interesting details of veterinary work in the near past. 

At times it felt a bit choppy, mostly because he referred to people I didn't know, as if I should.  I think this is because many or all of these stories are excerpts from larger works.  Though this deprived me somewhat of understanding the relationship dynamics, it mostly made me want to read his other works.

Oh, and the illustrations are darling.

4.5 stars.