Summer Reading

Hydrangeas are blooming now!
Hydrangeas are one of my favourite flowers. My daughter carried a bouquet of blue hydrangeas when I married Monsieur. Our apartment complex is set on 26 acres of mature gardens planted with many rhododendrons, lilacs and hydrangeas. As I walked to the green grocer/florist on the corner, I snapped a few photos with my iPhone.
Such colours!
July days are passing quickly! I've enjoyed reading an assortment of books in the last few weeks.
Book clubs have a short hiatus and I have my days free so the library and used book stores are my 
best friends (after my computer and of course my real friends). 

If you enjoy a mystery, I would recommend The Seagull by Ann Cleeves. It is part of the Vera series, set in Northumberland. When I heard Ann Cleeves speak at the Vancouver Writers' Festival last year,
she said that this would be the last book in the series. By the way, I just got an e-mail about the upcoming (October) festival Vancouver Writers' Festival where I volunteer every year. The list of confirmed authors has been released a bit earlier this year. I'll try to read a few of their works, so that I can decide which "jobs" to take. Volunteers have an opportunity to attend any author visit that is not sold out.

our wedding flower blue
I'm going to put a hold in for the new Cara Black mystery, Murder on the Left Bank.  If you are going to Paris, Cara Black is hosting a Cara Black Paris Tour. I've only taken an art tour of Paris in 1987 when I first visited but there are tours  for every interest. I would love to take a tour with the mystery writer who has created the Aimée Leduc series, each one set in a different quartier.

a more delicate flower
A book that I found compelling but disturbing was Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. The novel is based on the true story of Caroline Ferriday, an American socialite who opened her home to a group of Polish girls who had been used for medical experiments at Ravensbruck concentration camp. The author read about Ferriday in a 1999 edition of Victoria magazine. The gardens of this Connecticut home must have seemed like heaven to these young women .

When I was a younger, July seemed to be a "slow" month and August rushed in with "back to school." Now every month seems to fly past. RE-retirement is still new to me and I have been savouring it. Time passes and flowers fade, so it's important to experience beauty, reflect and make someone else smile every day.

I have seen a flower blooming in beauty in a secluded vale, and, ere I had a chance to look again, a chilly breath of air had scattered its petals and left it a ruin. ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840


  1. Beautiful hydrangeas! My favorite flowers are peonies and heavenly blue morning glories. Thanks for the book recommendations, none of which I've read (although I have seen and enjoyed the Vera series on PBS).

    1. I like peonies too. All of these books were hard to put down although I did find Lilac Girls really disturbing.

  2. I love hydrangeas! None were here when we moved but we've now planted 3 white ones. A blue one we planted last year appeared to have died over the cold winter but now it is about 6 inches high and I hope will produce a few blooms this summer.

    I've written down The Seagull's author and will see if our library can get the series. I enjoy mystery series and tend to want all of them when I find one I like. I have all of Louise Penny's and Margaret Maron's, and McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie books. It's storming here now, perfect excuse to get offline and find a good book!

    1. Mystery series books become an addiction to me! I'm like an older Nancy Drew reader.
      I've read all of Louise Penny but not all of the Isabel Dalhousie books. I like Donna Leon and Jacqueline Winspear as well.

  3. Hydrangeas are my favorite flowers and they don't grow well this far South. I love the beautiful colors. I'll look for the books you've mentioned. I tried to read Lilac Girls but couldn't get into it. I read a lot of mysteries and love series! You like some of the same books I do when I see your comment above this one! Have you read Rhys Bowen? I love her too!

    1. I have not read Rhys Bowen. I will look for her books. I'm always looking for a good series. I'm a binge reader. Hydrangeas last a long time here and seem to bloom from July until there's a frost.


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