Monday, February 27, 2017

Secret Garden by Johanna Basford

By Jahanna Basford  Image

While the past 18 months has been somewhat marred by an underlying pain and discomfort, I can see light in the future. I've had my hip replacement surgery, with an awesome doctor, and while still early days of recovery, I'm feeling very hopeful. Hopefully this will manage the arthritis, and free up my mobility, and see me back doing things I love to do (and more) in the new few months. 

In the meantime, I'm on 6 weeks recovery, and a little house bound.. what does one outdoorsy girl do when slowed down.... colouring in. I know this was all the craze about 2-3 years ago, but now is just the right time fore me. And I'm really enjoying it. 

When I knew I was going to have 6 weeks of work, which keeps my mind very active, and that I was going to take a break from my postvgraduate studies... i set myself a grand reading list... but had no idea that post operatively I wouldnt be able to concentrate. I cant even seem to get into a magazine or newspaper now. But this is perfect. 

And my other new adventure is listening to books. I choose my first audiobook from the classics. I dont recall ever reading this when I was a child, and felt sort of left out because, while I knew all the names of the little women, I actually didn't know the story. (I've decided I wont be officially reviewing this, as you've all read it,  and Im afraid my femeinist and modern views of christianity are quite different to those of Mrs March)... 

So, each day, in hospital and now at home, I've sat listening to little women, and coloured in. I felt like part of the family, joining in around the the fire, as Jo would write, and Beth would sew or knit, I'd be colouring in... and creating....

And when I was playing with my image to put on Instagram, I found that I could do this to my image... it is a fun way to pass the day.

Here is what has been said of secret garden, by this blogger...

There are other adult coloring books out there, but Secret Garden and its companion, Enchanted Forest, are probably the king and queen of the genre—in other words, something pretty special. When my book arrived, I was delighted to discover 96 pages of beautiful pen and ink drawings on thick, creamy paper. The drawings feature the flora and fauna of Basford’s home in rural Scotland. At the beginning of the book is a guide to creatures that are hidden within the detailed drawings. If you visit Artist Goes Outside The Lines With Coloring Books For Grown-Ups on the National Public Radio Web site, you can see some images from the book and listen to an interview of the author..

So, what this space, and see what is yet to come... I may even get some books read yet...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

JLC 10 - book review - the housekeeper and the professor

Japanese literature challenge 10

I read The Housekeeper and the Professor for this years Japanese Literature Challenge.  

It was a while ago when I read it, so I just refreshed my memory by reading this review by Lonesomereader. This was such a good review I thought I'd share it here. I totally agree, this was a simple but elegant story, that captivated me and some what excited me. 

I was worried that I wouldn't have the concentration to focus on some of my choices for this years JLC (as I'm on some pain medications at the moment). But not to worry, this was lovely, and just right. 

The story is about a mathamatician who has suffered a brain injury and can not remember todays events. He still has all his mathamatical skills. His sister in law hires him a housekeeper to help keep him independent at home. After a string of housekeepers, this one stays. 

Im not into maths or science at all, but this engaged me into his love of numbers, just as the housekeeper was entranced. She introduced her son to the professor, and the three of them somehow seemed to bring out the best in each other. The young boy understood the professors needs in a way that surprises the reader but touches the soul. The professor, who by all accounts, was unable to buikd relationships due to his memory, became strongly connected to the boy in a truly endearing way. 

From a Japanese cultural perspective, this story upholds the values of respect and dignity for the individual and family name, the importance of being, and the significance of community - which stand out to me in many classic Japanese novels. Needless to say, I loved this book... would read it again.