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Archive for November, 2019

Library Lust

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Library Lust

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badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

I fled south last week for a quick and very warm holiday in Southern California.  While I was gone, a few holds piled up so I had the very satisfying experience of lugging a full bag home from the library yesterday.

Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer – I was reading Jo Walton’s October reading list on Tor.com and her incredible enthusiasm for Palmer convinced me that I have to try this.  (Book Depository)

The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es – This won the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography prize and sounds excellent.  (Book Depository)

The Art of Making Memories by Meik Wiking – Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, has written fun books on hygge and lykke and now looks at how memories – and the art of making them – can enhance our happiness too. (Book Depository)

Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen – Sharlene borrowed this a few weeks ago (and looks like she is reading it now) and it sounded so interesting that I wanted to try it for myself.  (Book Depository)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo –  This showed up on a list of Russian-inspired fantasy novels I read a while back (I am such an easy target for these) and, with winter closing in, I’m in just the right mood for it.  (Book Depository)

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker – I read a review of this in the Globe and Mail during the summer and was intrigued enough to place a hold.  3 months later (almost to the day), here it is!  In the meantime, I had a chance to read one of Tucker’s earlier books, The Simple Wild, which I really, really enjoyed.  Light reading, absolutely, but well done. (Book Depository)

Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard – While on vacation, I ended up spending far too much time reading old food columns on the Guarding website and remembered how much I enjoy Lepard’s writing and recipes.  I’m not sure I’ll actually bake much from this but it’s always fun to look through.  (Book Depository)

Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan – A fun and tempting change from Greenspan’s usual baking books. (Book Depository)

One Magic Square by Lolo Houbein – A new community garden has opened near me (this sounds like a good thing but it actually a very frustrating tax dodge by real estate developers) and I’ve nabbed some space.  I’m having lots of fun starting to plan my plot and this book looks like it should give me plenty of ideas. (Book Depository)

What did you pick up this week?

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Library Lust

credit unknown

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Library Lust

via Wealden Times

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badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Beth Chatto: A Life with Plants by Catherine Horwood – This was happily sitting on the new arrivals shelf when I went for a browse and I snapped it up.  It’s impossible to be interested in gardening and not have heard of Chatto, though I’ve actually read very few of her books.  The one I did read – Dear Friend and Gardener – was excellent and I’m looking forward to learning more about the woman herself.  (Book Depository)

The Way We Eat Now by Bee Wilson – I have been so looking forward to this.  Wilson is an amazing food writer and this book, released earlier this year, looks at the way food systems have changed and how that has changed how we – all of us, all around the world – eat.  (Book Depository)

Wilding by Isabella Tree – This book was so in demand last time I had it out that I had to return it when I was only part way through.  I can’t wait to pick it back up and learn more about the rewilding project Tree and her husband undertook at their West Sussex farm. (Book Depository)

What did you pick up this week?

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It’s a lovely, chilly autumn afternoon here and after a busy morning of garden work it’s nice to settle down inside and look through some holiday photos from beautiful, sunny Brittany last spring.

After somehow tearing ourselves away from Perros-Guirec (this still seems like a mistake.  Why did we ever leave?  Why I am not there at this exact moment, eating galettes and going for bracing daily swims?), we made our way to Saint-Malo.  Saint-Malo is a walled city best known for having been almost totally destroyed by Allied bombardment in 1944 (chronicled in the Pulitzer Prize winning novel All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr), although generations of Canadian school children also remember it as the birthplace of the explorer Jacques Cartier, who sailed from Saint-Malo to “discover” Canada and claim it for France.  Nowadays, it is also a major transportation hub, on the TGV line from Paris and with a port that welcomes British ferries and many, many British tourists.  After the tranquility of Perros-Guirec, it was a jarring change to suddenly be surrounded by so many (rather obnoxious) travellers.

So, I did the only reasonable thing: after checking into our AirBnB within the walled city, I hopped the boat to Dinard, a resort town just across the estuary from Saint-Malo.  One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Brittany was to explore the GR34 walking trail that follows the coastline.  I’d done a lot of walking around Perros-Guirec and was excited to now explore the trail around Saint-Malo, in a region known as the Emerald Coast.  Starting off with the beautiful 3 hour walk from Dinard to Saint-Malo was a great way to stretch my legs after a morning spent travelling and escape the daytripping crowds in Saint-Malo.

The next day, there was yet again more walking.  We caught the bus (the public transportation around Saint-Malo was excellent!) to Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, a little town to the west, and walked from there back to Dinard.  It was a stunning trail, with lots of variety and some extraordinarily beautiful points jutting out into the ocean.  The weather wasn’t great but it was properly atmospheric with lots of wind, a touch of rain, and a beautiful contrast between the bright sea and the dull grey clouds above.

This part of France is full of reminders of the Second World War, which, as a history buff, I found fascinating. Brittany had a strong resistance movement and there are tributes to the Maquis in many villages. And, as we walked along the coast, we came across many old bunkers, part of the German’s “Atlantic Wall”.

For a break from the sea, we spent the next day exploring the charmingly picturesque village of Dinan further inland.  We visited on a Monday, when most of the shops are closed, so we missed the tourist crowds that are usually there are enjoyed having the quiet, beautiful streets largely to ourselves.

For our last day in Brittany, I’d hoped to visit nearby Cancale but the weather was a bit unpredictable and the wind was extraordinarily strong so we stuck close to Saint-Malo, walking instead along the beach outside town and over to Pointe de la Varde east of town.

I did, although it may not sound like it, also spend some time inside the walls in Saint-Malo.  The town itself didn’t do anything for me – like most reconstructed cities, it feels a bit soulless – but I enjoyed walking the walls in the evenings, taking shelter from the winds on the sunny-south side of the walls and watching the locals play pétanque, and, of course, eating delicious local Breton specialties in its restaurants.

I don’t think I’d return to Saint-Malo (I’d stay in Dinard instead) but it was still well worth seeing and the places I was able to visit while using it as my base cemented my love of Brittany.  I’m already plotting to return and hopefully explore the western part of the region – after all, the GR34 trail covers the entire coast and I’ve only gotten to do little parts of it so far.  There’s a lot left to see!

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Library Lust

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