Sunday, May 3, 2020

Art And Books

Hi everyone.  Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Let me start my post today with a couple of small collage pages I recently made. I was thinking spring, but more of a natural spring, with birds coming back to nest and things greening up when I made these.

I used some ink and a stencil with some modeling paste on the backgrounds. I also added some images, some die cut rings left over from cutting tags. And then I finished them off with some metal bits from my stash.

I have a few more of these that I will share another day.

And since it is now May, it's time to do my April book post. And as I say every month, I write this for me, and for those of you who like to read about books.

So first I have to say April was a better reading month than March. It was a month with books of an eclectic nature.

This first book  (The Light Years) was one I started in March (and mentioned in my last book post). It's the first book in a set of 5, and this book takes you through 1937 and 1938 with a large extended family in England. I really enjoyed the story as the family talks about and prepares for a possible war with Germany. This book ends with Chamberlain signing what he believed was a treaty (maybe that's not the right word) with Hitler to end the chance of war. And of course, we all know how that turned out, so I am curious about book 2 as that must take us with the family into the war. Maybe that will be on this month's book list.

 I've been listening to the Sookie Stackhouse vampire series this year. This is book 4. I've actually read this whole series several years ago, and I am enjoying this second visit. My goal is to get through all 13. This time we have a vampire with amnesia  and some evil witches out to get rid of the vampires.

The Chess Men is the third book of a trilogy set in the Outer Hebrides Islands. This is a mystery series where the main character, Fin Macleod, helps solves murders and revisits parts of his life. This is a good book but I wish it had been more about the murder and less about revisiting Fin's life. But it was still worth the read to wrap up the series. I would recommend starting at the beginning of the series, which I read a couple of years back. Overall it is a very good series.

And this (below) is my latest mystery read. I've been wanting to try out this author as I have heard good things about her various book series. So far so good. This is the first one in the series set in the Shetland Islands.

And here's something different. I enjoyed listening to this book. I definitely liked the earlier history better than the more modern history, and who knew there was so much history that a whole book could be written?

And I also read this cookbook. I actually ordered a few books off of Amazon that have been on my wishlist for a while a few weeks ago. This one is a new release (and not on my wishlist) but I ordered it anyhow.  Maida Heatter  wrote some great cookbooks back in the 1980's and 1990's ( and maybe later also), and she had a chocolate one which I did not have but have always wanted. So when I saw this come out I decided I would pick it up. Now I have some recipes I want to try. Too bad the hubby isn't a chocolate guy. Oh well, more for me-ha-ha-ha!

And this cookbook (below) about the Shetland Islands is more than just recipes.  It also has some fabulous photos and interesting reading about the islands. I haven't finished this one yet, but I guess this is  my couch traveling for the time being. And since food is such a integral part of travel, all together this makes a great travel story.

And I listened to this fascinating book about insects. I know many of you may say, no thank you , I am not into bugs, but from a biologist perspective, insects really are fascinating.

And this, The Cloudspotter's Guide, was one of my wishlist books. I really enjoyed it. I knew a bit about clouds and could identify a few, but I learned a lot of new things from this volume. And the author was actually quite funny and I had several good laughs as I read.  I can say I will never look at clouds the same way. 

Two more to go. 
A Keeper is a quirky story that I actually quite enjoyed. It is set in Ireland and written and read by Graham Norton who is a British television host. I've watched his show on BBC America, and you may know it. This book is  about  mother and daughter, and it jumps back and forth between the mother when she was a thirty something woman and then goes to modern times when the daughter is a forty something woman.  And there were some definitely unexpected surprises in this story. 

And lastly I listened to this biography, Comfort Me with Apples. It is book 2 of a 3 part story (although the author has many more books written)  about Ruth Reichl. She was a food writer for many years, and has (at least so far) led a very interesting life. You know that person who seems to meet famous people and be in the right place at the right time to witness events? That is the author. She also reads the book so listening to it was a nice treat.
And I want to say Jeanie had mentioned this book awhile back and that reminded me I needed to continue the series, and that spurred me to continue my listen.

And that was April's reading. Let's see what May brings off the bookshelf. 

Hope your weekend is going well (or was a good one).
Big thanks for visiting my blog.


CJ Kennedy said...

Lovely Spring pages with the bird and butterfly. Somehow I thought the little girl was holding a dragon egg. That would be awesome, too.

CJ Kennedy said...

Oops, forgot to add, my you sure used your time well to improve your mind! Take care and enjoy the sunshine today

Valerie-Jael said...

"Two beautiful journal pages, love them both. And you've got some good books on your list. I love all of the Ann Cleeves ones, and the Charlaine Harris ones are such good fun, I have the whole set on my Kindle. And when I've finished commenting, it will be time here for coffee and feet up and reading time! Enjoy your day, hugs, Valerie

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I really LOVE the little girl and the eggs. I was totally overwhelmed by all those eggs. At first, I thought you cut each of them out. And who doesn't LOVE Paris? This is lovely, and I feel the texture in this one.

I wish I had an audible subscription. I might listen more. I read SO slowly and I read every word. I get through one book a month if I'm lucky. Of course, I read a LOT of peer journals. I love reading the research and how it was set up. I love reading the statistics used and the findings. Just like you love reading about bugs.

Have a super fun day, dear. Enjoy your day off. Just a few more weeks and it's over forever and ever. YES, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I'm even shining it so you can find your way out,

Laurie said...

your collage creations are beautiful! you give the best book recommendations, Ive chosen quite a few you've recommended, I thank you for that.I hope this is a good day for you.

R's Rue said...

Such good books.

kathyinozarks said...

Thanks for the book share-the one that caught my eye was cooking on the edge of the world-will look for a sale on that one and the one on the post office would be interesting too loved your collages especially the one with paris stamp and bird

Stevenson Q said...

Oh you have read a lot of books Erika, so proud of you! I just submitted my final papers for this semester which means I am now on vacation from grad School, which also means that aside from work, I have more time again to do blogging and gardening and one more, I think I can start reading books to. I do have a pile of three books on my desk which I have;t finished yet and I guess now it's now excuse not to contiue reading and also start on the other two. One is "Empress Dowager CiXi" about the Empress that bridged China into its modernity, and the other is "History of Thailand". Lately I have been drawing myself to historical books and biographies and I hope I can finish them soon so I'll gain more learning :)

I love the art you shared to us, especially the second one with that handwriting effect. I just love that script design!

kathyinozarks said...

Well I ended up buying the Shetland book-it just looked so interesting, found an affordable copy on amazon thanks for the share

Divers and Sundry said...

I love the Peter May trilogy! I should try the Cleeves book. I'll try to remember to look for her the next time I'm in a bookstore. It looks good. It's a suitable time to read about the postal service, isn't it, with so much controversy these days. Thanks for all these suggestions :)

Iris Flavia said...

Oh, I need to learn how to fly.
But not to Paris ;-) Or should I give that city another chance? In the late 80´s I was disappointed.....

You don´t want my Hubby then. Chocolate guy. Me... not.
Sadly I´m not into fish. And. Can you believe I traveleed Australia twice over months and HATE anything with more than 4 legs!
It was a pain!!! So many insects!
Yet, I go back as soon as I can.

Yes, the last one I read, too, and got her next, which sadly is not as good.
And yes, I got it from Jeanie´s advice also.

What tool do you use to listen?

craftytrog said...

A beautiful pair of collages Erika. I like the bird theme.
I had no idea that Graham Norton had written a novel. We enjoy watching his chat show, and listening to his Saturday radio show. He's very entertaining.
I've recently finished The Island by Victoria Hyslop, which I loved, and have started the Burning Chamber by Kate Mosse.
Hope you have a good week,
alison xx

Jeanie said...

I love both your art pieces, Erika. Especially the first with the eggs, but both!

Glad you enjoyed "Comfort Me with Apples." I'm interested in "The Light Years" and the Ann Cleeves. I read one of hers and really enjoyed her style. Lots sound interesting, actually. Very productive, you are!

Anne (cornucopia) said...

These books sound interesting. I hope you were able to enjoy the nice weather we had this weekend. I hope your Mom is doing okay, too.

butterfly said...

I adore those pages - the natural earthy colours tones, those fabulous eggs, the swooping swallow - just magical. Some interesting looking books here, thank you for the ideas.
Alison x

Eileen Bergen said...

Lovely collage pages, Erika. Some of the books sound very intersting. I'm reading "Grapes of Wrath" again. Eileen xx

Lowcarb team member said...

What beautiful journal pages, and many thanks for sharing your books … a good selection :)

All the best Jan

Meggymay said...

Lovely spring journal pages Erika, I think a few of us imagine Paris in the springtime.
I liked your book selection as well, I may be looking out for the ones on Shetland and the chocolate .
Stay safe.
Yvonne xx