A Little Book of Japanese Contentments: Ikigai, Forest Bathing, Wabi-sabi, and More by Erin Nimmi Longhurst
A friend recently sent me this book and I loved it! It’s one I will pick up and dip into time and time again. The author is bi-cultural as her maternal family is Japanese and her paternal family is British. She lives in London and writes the blog Island Bell. I don’t read the blog as it’s not my kind of thing, but the book is lovely. It has sections on various ideas that are a part of Japanese culture, such as those listed in the subtitle and many more besides. These sections are interspersed with photos and artwork. I started the book on a day when I was in the new apartment for a night by myself--Bill had gone back to Killybegs to bring another load. It was the perfect book--I sat with a cup of tea and read about the traditions and enjoyed the art. Lovely moments!
Died in the Wool by Ngaio Marsh
I’ve been reading books that I knew I didn’t want to keep and got through many of them. Then we were packing up the remaining books to haul to the new apartment. I was deciding what to keep back and read, but decided that what I was really in the mood for was a mindless mystery, so I turned to my e-reader and picked up where I left off in the Roderick Alleyn series. Like the last one I read, this one is set in New Zealand during WWII and Alleyn is there to investigate possible spying. In this one, he is called in to find out what happened to Flossie Rubrick, whose body was found bound up in a bale of wool. Is one of the people in her home an enemy agent? To be honest, I’m not as keen on these last couple of novels in the series as in the ones that came before. As I think about it, I felt the same way about the last couple of Mrs Bradley mysteries I read several months ago. Those also took place in WWII and involved suspicions of espionage. I guess I’m just not into that kind of thing. Hopefully the next books in both series will better.
Nobody by Alice Oswald
This collection of poems was originally commissioned by Bernard Jacobson to accompany watercolours by William Tillyer.
The Blue Geranium and Other Stories by Agatha Christie (audiobook read by Joan Hickson)
I’ve loved Agatha Christie for 40+ years and Joan Hickson is THE Miss Marple. And I am a big fan of Miss Marple. So this was the perfect thing to listen to during a time when I was usually pretty tired by the end of the day and just wanted to sit around and listen to something.
The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud
I didn’t know I still had this book, but found it amongst some of Bill’s books as we were packing them up to move. It’s chunky—almost 600 pages--but I figured I might as well see whether I liked it enough to haul it to the new place. Once I started, I was hooked pretty quickly and read on, finishing in enough time to pass it along. One less book to transport—yay!
A Wreath for Rivera by Ngaio Marsh
The last week of January was pretty hectic as we finished the move. In addition to that, we had to spend some time in Donegal Town in the middle of the week so Bill could keep his dentist appointment, made before we even knew we would be moving. I knew there was a TV in the waiting room, but it is usually set to weird UK stations. Once it was one full of infomercial and I was left to wonder whether anyone in Ireland would actually call to some place in the UK to buy an inflatable king size mattress that could turn any room—even the kitchen or laundry alcove—into a spare bedroom. This time it was set to a normal channel, but I came prepared with my e-reader, so I was able to tune out the TV and continue the Roderick Alleyn series. In this book, bandmates are not getting along and egos are bruised. There are arguments about many things, including a stunt that is to be carried out at the next performance. Yes, you guessed it—the stunt goes awry and someone does not get to finish the set. Fortunately for everyone except the culprit, Inspector Alleyn was in the audience and could get to work immediately.