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Caroline's Quiet Corner 2019: Chapter 4

This is a continuation of the topic Caroline's Quiet Corner 2019: Chapter 3.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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1Caroline_McElwee
Aug 23, 10:45am Top



Simone de Beauvoir in her Paris apartment

2Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Sep 17, 9:42am Top



Read in 2019

The Red Notebook (Antoine Laurain) (01/01/19) (France) ****
Rooms of their Own (Nino Stratchey) (06/01/19) ****1/2
My Name is Asher Lev (Chaim Potok) (09/01/19) (AAC) (US)ROOT *****
The Gift of Asher Lev (Chaim Potok) (17/01/19) (AAC) (US) ****1/2
The Plot Against America (Philip Roth) (reread) (25/01/19) (US) ROOT (Book group)***
Thinking Like a Mountain (Robert Bateman) (25/01/19) (US) ****
Mr Darwin's Gardener (Kristina Carlson) (27/01/19) (Finland) *****
The Chosen (Chaim Potok) (01/02/19) (US) ****1/2
Quiet Girl in a Noisy World (Debbie Tung) (02/02/19) ****
Some Tame Gazelle (Barbara Pym) (LL) (03/02/19) ***1/2
The Library Book (Susan Orlean) (06/02/19) (US) ****
Book Love (Debbie Tung) (07/02/19) ****
Across the China Sea (Gaute Heivoll) (11/02/19) (Norway) ****1/2
Ghost Wall (Sarah Moss) (14/02/19) ****
A Beautiful Young Wife (Tommy Wieringa) (Holland) ****
The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde) (21/02/18) (ROOT) (Reread) ****1/2
Mothlight (Adam Scovell) (23/02/19) ***1/2
A Moveable Feast (Ernest Hemingway) (US) (reread) (01/03/19) ROOT *****
On Balance (Sinéad Morrissey) (Poetry) (Northern Ireland) (02/03/19) ****
Lord of the Butterflies (Andrea Gibson) (03/03/19) (US)(poetry) *****
The River (Jane Clarke) (22/03/19) (poetry) ROOT ***1/2
Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) (AAC) (23/03/19) ROOT ****1/2
Morality Play (Barry Unsworth) (29/03/19) ROOT ***1/2
Memories of the Future (Siri Hustvedt) (11/02/19) ****1/2
The Samurai's Garden (Gail Tsukiyama) (13/04/19) ****1/2
The Glass Woman (Caroline Lea) (19/04/19) ***1/2
The Trauma Cleaner (Sarah Krasnostein) (21/04/19) ****
Hag-Seed (Margaret Atwood) (25/04/19) ***1/2
From a Low and Quiet Sea (Donal Ryan) ****
Transcription (Kate Atkinson) (02/05/19) ****
Elegant Simplicity: The Art of Living Well (Satish Kumar) (07/05/19) ****
Kingfishers Catch Fire (Rumer Godden) (18/05/19) ****
One Matchless Time: A Life of William Faulkner (Jay Parini) (27/05/19) ROOT (AAC) ****1/2
Milton Place (Elizabeth de Waal) (28/05/19) ****
Aristotle's Way (Edith Hall) (02/06/19) ****
Frankissstein (Jeanette Winterson) (05/06/19) ****
Walking With the Wind (John Lewis) (21/06/19) ROOT *****
The House by the Loch (Kirsty Wark) (23/06/19) ****1/2
Travellers (Helon Habila) (27/06/19) ****1/2
The Diary of a Bookseller (Shaun Bythell) (30/06/19) ***1/2
Across That Bridge (John Lewis (01/07/19) ****1/2
Sleepless Nights (Elizabeth Hardwick) (03/07/19) ****1/2
When All is Said (Anne Griffin) (08/07/19) ****
The Power (Naomi Alderman) (17/07/19) ROOT ****
A Lowcountry Heart (Pat Conroy) (20/07/19) ***1/2
Sharp (Michelle Dean) (20/07/19) ****
Momento Mori (Muriel Spark) (22/07/19) ****
The Great Believers (Rebecca Makkai) (27/07/19) *****
The Little Book of David Bowie (David Bowie) (28/07/19) *****
Stop Being Reasonable: Six Stories of How We Really Change Our Minds (Eleanor Gordon-Smith) (28/07/19) ****1/2
The Easternmost House (Juliet Blaxland) (01/08/19) ***1/2
A Crisis of Brilliance (David Boyd Haycock) (08/08/19) ROOT ****1/2
The Train was on Time (Heinrich Böll) (10/08/19) ****
The Odyssey (Homer) trans Emily Wilson (15/08/19) ROOT *****
A Lesson Before Dying (Ernest J Gaines) (16/08/19) ***1/2
Becoming Beauvoir (Kate Kirkpatrick) (22/08/18) *****
The Prince of Tides (Pat Conroy) (08/09/19) ROOT ****1/2
Whose Story is This? (Rebecca Solnit) (17/09/19) ****1/2

Total: 58

Fiction:36
Non-Fiction: 20
Poetry: 3
Female: 31
Male: 25
Gender Fluid: 1
GN: 2
ROOT: 15
London Library (LL): 1
Other loan: 2

3Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Aug 23, 11:36am Top

56. Becoming Beauvoir (Kate Kirkpatrick) (22/08/19) *****



I really enjoyed this new biography of Simone de Beauvoir. A lot of her letters and other papers have now been published (mostly in French of course) since the last biography, and this one is able to unravel some of the perceptions created by aspects of her life she wrote less in the public domain about, and perceptions caused outside France by bad or biased translations of her work. Unfortunately there is not an unmanipulated copy of The Second Sex in English yet. My 1970s copy had great chunks taken out, that affected the overall content, context and meaning. There were other problems with a later translation.

This biography is fascinating, and brings de Beauvoir to life more fully, warts and all. It also shows how her life was so overshadowed by her engagement with Sartre. In his obituaries, she is barely mentioned, in hers, he is mentioned almost to her exclusion, her death in some, almost an afterthought.

She has resonated with me since I was an older teenager and through my 20s, and I want to reread her again now.

4Caroline_McElwee
Aug 23, 11:05am Top

Let's have some flowers:


By Rena Bierman

5Caroline_McElwee
Aug 23, 11:10am Top

Afternoon tea...



Cocktail...


6Caroline_McElwee
Aug 23, 11:14am Top

A Stroll along the Seine...



Sigh, it's been a few years since I was last in Paris, maybe next year...

7Caroline_McElwee
Aug 23, 11:18am Top

Just hanging a painting...


By Daniel Ablitt

8Oberon
Aug 23, 11:22am Top

Happy new thread - your decorating is top notch in my book.

9figsfromthistle
Aug 23, 11:25am Top

Happy new one!

10Sakerfalcon
Aug 23, 11:37am Top

Happy new thread! I love the painting in no. 7. It's mysterious but there's something comforting about it too.

11Caroline_McElwee
Aug 23, 12:40pm Top

>8 Oberon: >9 figsfromthistle: >10 Sakerfalcon: Thank you Erik, Figs and Claire. Good to see you stopping by.

12drneutron
Aug 23, 1:52pm Top

Happy new thread!

13jnwelch
Aug 23, 3:20pm Top

Happy New Thread, Caroline. Lovely photos; I want to jump in and partake of that afternoon tea.

I haven’t read De Beauvoir or Sartre. What drew you in your 20s and now?

14BLBera
Aug 23, 3:44pm Top

Happy new thread, Caroline. I like the Beauvoir photo, but I miss the painting of Lyme.

>7 Caroline_McElwee: I love this one as well.

>5 Caroline_McElwee: My mouth is watering.

15jessibud2
Edited: Aug 23, 4:16pm Top

Happy new thread, Caroline. I love >6 Caroline_McElwee: and >7 Caroline_McElwee:!

I haven't read de Beauvoir since my 20s. Eons ago

16Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Aug 23, 10:21pm Top

>12 drneutron: thanks Jim, always good to see you peak around the door.

>13 jnwelch: That has a multitudinous answer Joe. I was always interested in philosophy and psychology, and of course Beauvoir was a rare female philosopher (I still have read little Arendt or Weil). She was still alive in my twenties. She lived in my favourite city of the time. In fact her penultimate apartment, I learned in this biography, was in a street I know well, near Norte Dame and Shakespeare and Co. But first and foremost, she spoke to me as an emerging (becoming) woman, about the kind of freedom I wanted, and on many levels have now, that at the time, there was no guarantee would be available. Though of course, her class made her version more bohemian maybe. But she never stopped asking questions about the place of women, the impacts of expectations on women, the capacities of women, how they lived and might live, through all the seasons of life. I nod a lot when I read her.

She was also very kind, especially, but not exclusively, to many women in her life, whilst acknowledging that some of her life choices had hurt people she knew and loved. She lived, but never believed she was perfect, or that perfection was necessary or possible.

The Mandarins will probably be my holiday reread next month. And I really hope a good translation of The Second Sex will happen in my life time, despite that even she believed she didn't get it all right, she would have changed some things. Then, who gets everything right?

Ha, you wish you'd never asked.

>14 BLBera: Glad you are enjoying >7 Caroline_McElwee: Beth.

>15 jessibud2: I love photos of writers in their homes/studys. I have a couple of volumes of such photos.

I only discovered Ablitt myself today Shelley, in a magazine that landed on the mat.

17Caroline_McElwee
Aug 23, 6:03pm Top

Currently Reading Imperial Woman (Pearl S Buck).

18FAMeulstee
Aug 23, 7:08pm Top

Happy new thread, Caroline!

>7 Caroline_McElwee: Lovely painting.

I never fot to Simone de Beauvoir, maybe I'll join you with The Mandarins.

19msf59
Aug 23, 7:34pm Top

Happy Friday, Caroline. Happy New Thread. I know nothing about Simone de Beauvoir, so your review, sparked some interest. I have added it to the list.

>7 Caroline_McElwee: I LOVE this!!

20PaulCranswick
Aug 23, 11:52pm Top

Happy new thread, Caroline.

>7 Caroline_McElwee: That is really lovely.

>1 Caroline_McElwee: It is about time I read something by Simone de Beauvoir

Have a wonderful weekend.

21msf59
Aug 24, 6:56am Top

>7 Caroline_McElwee: I might snag this for my new topper, if that is okay?

22jnwelch
Aug 24, 9:11am Top

>16 Caroline_McElwee: Ha! Very glad I asked. That makes a lot of sense. My philosophical bent has always been Eastern for some reason; even in college I was interested in Buddhism and Taoism and so on. You do remind me of the (usually) easier path for males; that situation is a bit better now, seems like.

23Caroline_McElwee
Aug 24, 6:03pm Top

>18 FAMeulstee: I look forward to discussing it after Anita.

Glad everyone is loving >7 Caroline_McElwee:. Snag away >21 msf59: Mark.

>20 PaulCranswick: Good to see you drop by Paul. I'll be interested to hear what you think when you and >19 msf59: Mark get to Beauvoir.

>22 jnwelch: I too became interested in Buddhism early Joe. When I was 14 my RE teacher invited a Buddhist monk to do a meditation session in class. I've dipped in and out ever since. I'm a big appreciator of the Dalai Lama, despite a couple of resent gaffs about women. None of us are perfect.

24EBT1002
Edited: Aug 25, 12:27am Top

Hi Caroline. Becoming Beauvoir sounds very interesting. I don't know a lot about her so this sounds like a good, deeper exploration of her life. Adding it to my wish list.

>16 Caroline_McElwee: I love that description of how/why Beauvoir captured your attention at a relatively young age.

And I want to return to Paris. :-)

25japaul22
Aug 25, 8:21am Top

I'm also interested in Becoming Beauvoir. I know about her of course but I've never read her writing or anything specifically about her.

26jnwelch
Aug 25, 4:34pm Top

>23 Caroline_McElwee: Right, I heard about at least one Dalai Lama gaff about women - if the next one is female, she needs to be pretty, so people will listen? Something like that? You're right. even he isn't perfect. Reportedly, Buddha himself had to figure out that women could be Buddhas, too.

27Caroline_McElwee
Aug 25, 5:00pm Top

>26 jnwelch: when I heard the gaff first, I thought it was a joke lost in translation, and at his own expense, not being pretty. But he seemed to make a bigger mess explaining it. Hey ho Joe.

I read the Bodhgaya Interviews every five or so years, I understand a little more each reading.

28mdoris
Aug 25, 7:54pm Top

Happy new thread Caroline. Loved looking through all your readings and ratings.

29Caroline_McElwee
Aug 27, 12:33pm Top

>28 mdoris: Good to see you peaking round the door Mary.

30Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Sep 8, 12:14pm Top

Currently Reading

I set Imperial Woman aside for now, wrong mood for historical novel.

Now well into Pat Conroy's The Prince of Tides, which has been on the shelf for years.

31m.belljackson
Aug 27, 12:37pm Top

>26 jnwelch: >27 Caroline_McElwee:

Dalai is also the only Buddhist I ever heard of who defends his friend, a Madison scientist, for using animal experimentation.

32Caroline_McElwee
Aug 27, 1:35pm Top

>32 Caroline_McElwee: Well that's a hard one Maryanne. I would rather there was no animal testing, and I'm not actually sure it provides valid results in relation to humans, but as someone who needs medications, almost all of which will have required trials on animals, I don't feel I can be hypocritical. All I hope is that any testing and all care are humane.

Maybe with the advancement of AI, animal testing can be eventually obliterated, as technology could become more efficient in replicating human biological circumstances. I'm not a scientist, but there are massive advances possible with AI, as long as we put suitable protections in place.

33kidzdoc
Aug 29, 2:08pm Top

Happy new thread, Caroline!

Nice review of Becoming Beauvoir; I'll be on the lookout for it. I absolutely loved her travel book America Day By Day, which I last read well before I joined LT. I have a copy of The Mandarins and would love to read it ASAP, but I doubt that I'll have time to do so this year.

34jnwelch
Aug 29, 5:13pm Top

Hi, Caroline. We're coming your way next week; I hope there's a chance to get together!

35Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Aug 29, 5:45pm Top

>33 kidzdoc: Thanks Darryl, I need to get her American Travels book.

>34 jnwelch: Seeing you on 5th for quick supper, and the play The Secret River - looking forward to catching up with you and Debbi in real time again Joe, along with Darryl.

36kidzdoc
Aug 29, 6:05pm Top

>34 jnwelch:, >35 Caroline_McElwee: Should we make formal dinner plans for the 5th?

37Caroline_McElwee
Aug 30, 2:04am Top

>36 kidzdoc: There is that restaurant behind the National theatre, ? Greens, I'll check.

38jnwelch
Aug 30, 8:47am Top

>35 Caroline_McElwee: Perfect. I wish there was more, but it'll be great to see you and catch up.

39EBT1002
Sep 1, 9:30pm Top

>35 Caroline_McElwee: Have fun with that meet-up!

40Donna828
Sep 4, 2:13pm Top

Caroline, thank you for educating me about Simone de Beauvoir. My library only has one book by her, A Very Easy Death, which I reserved. It will be a timely read for me. I was fascinated by the picture of her in her Paris apartment. So much detail. I especially loved the collage of photographs on the wall.

Speaking of detail, I love how you have created such a cozy atmosphere on your thread. A feast for the tummy and the eyes along with your list of excellent reading for the year. Nice job.

I look forward to hearing firsthand about tomorrow night's meetup. Lucky you!

41Caroline_McElwee
Sep 5, 8:26am Top

>40 Donna828: Hi Donna, it is a great picture. I've not yet read A Very Easy Death but I'm putting it, and her book about the US, on the list.

Sadly I've had to duck out of this evening's gathering, as I'm suffering a bout of sciatica. Very disappointed not to be there. I'm only hoping I'll be well enough to travel to Prague on Monday.

42charl08
Sep 5, 9:05am Top

Sorry to hear about the sciatica, Caroline. Hope you've a speedy recovery for your trip.

43Sakerfalcon
Sep 5, 10:21am Top

Hope you get well soon Caroline. What rotten timing.

44jessibud2
Sep 5, 2:09pm Top

Ouch! Feel better soon, Caroline!

45mdoris
Sep 5, 7:48pm Top

Caroline fingers crossed for a speedy recovery and wishing you a wonderful trip to Prague.

46EBT1002
Sep 5, 8:56pm Top

>41 Caroline_McElwee: Bummer. I hope you feel better quickly!

47Caroline_McElwee
Sep 6, 3:28am Top

>42 charl08: >43 Sakerfalcon: >44 jessibud2: >45 mdoris: >46 EBT1002: Thanks Charlotte, Claire, Shelley, Mary and Ellen. I'm a lot better than I was, but with sciatica, it can come back suddenly. Based on how I feel today I should be able to travel on Monday. I hate airports though, with all the slogging around. Once I'm on the plane I'm happy.

48FAMeulstee
Sep 6, 1:46pm Top

I hope the sciatica keeps away, Caroline.
Prague is a beautiful city, we went there for a short vacation in 1988. Seems like eons ago, as it was just a year before the fall of the Iron Curtain.

49BLBera
Sep 6, 7:53pm Top

Speedy recovery and safe travels, Caroline. How long will you be in Prague?

50PaulCranswick
Sep 6, 8:34pm Top

Hope this weekend will see you fully recovered, Caroline.

How are you doing with The Prince of Tides?

51Caroline_McElwee
Sep 7, 5:03am Top

>49 BLBera: I'll be there five days Beth. Based on how I feel this morning, I'll be fit to travel.

>50 PaulCranswick: I'm on the last 50 pages Paul, and it's been quite some ride.

52BLBera
Sep 7, 11:17am Top

Have a wonderful time, Caroline.

53Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Sep 8, 12:39pm Top

57. The Prince of Tides (Pat Conroy) (08/09/19) ****1/2



A wowzer of a novel, not least because so much of it is autobiographical. What a family the Wingo's are! Tom Wingo, teacher and sports coach, tells the story of his family to the psychologist who is treating his sister Savannah, in New York.

There are exceedingly violent episodes, but the novel is a page turner, often with beautiful phrasing, and Conroy writes beautifully about the natural world. You can smell and taste it.

I'm going to have to track down the film, but there is no way it can have captured the breadth of the book, but I'll be happy if it catches a little of its soul.

54Caroline_McElwee
Sep 8, 12:29pm Top

Holiday Reading

Stone's Fall (Iain Pears)



This has been on my shelf for a while, I pulled it down when Malcolm Gladwell said in an interview it's the book he most often gifts.

The Bodhgaya Interviews (The Dalai Lama)



I read this about every five years, and understand a little more each time.

55Caroline_McElwee
Sep 8, 12:56pm Top

Also reading ...

Whose Story is this? (Rebecca Solnit)

56jnwelch
Sep 8, 2:03pm Top

Good for you for reading the Dalai Lama book every 5 years, Caroline. I'll have to take a look at that one.

What a shame that darn sciatica grabbed hold of you. You would've liked The Secret River. I hope you can do your trip to Prague!

57Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Sep 8, 3:41pm Top

>56 jnwelch: I'm all packed and ready to go Joe. Sciatica is grumbling a bit, but after a good nights rest I should be OK. It doesn't bother me in bed thank heavens.

I've just booked to see the Man Booker shortlist read their work in October. What a line-up.

I'll be reporting from Prague. I'm staying at Frank Gehry's The Dancing House.

https://www.dancinghousehotel.com/en/

58Caroline_McElwee
Sep 9, 2:51pm Top

Arrived safely in Prague.



Room service:

59Caroline_McElwee
Sep 9, 3:31pm Top

Playwright and President Václav Havel's birth place, and the place he lived most of his life, is the slim building next to The Dancing House.

60msf59
Sep 9, 6:59pm Top

Hi, Caroline. I hope you are having a wonderful time in Prague. Looks like a very interesting city. Enjoy! And hooray for The Prince of Tides. I am a fan of the book and the movie.

61mdoris
Edited: Sep 9, 8:19pm Top

So glad that you are feeling well enough to travel. Have a wonderful time!
I loved the riveting The Prince of Tides when I read it years ago.

62charl08
Sep 10, 2:59am Top

Love the pictures, Caroline. What a beautiful city. I've not been for years, I'm sure it has changed a lot.

63Sakerfalcon
Sep 10, 7:26am Top

Wow, what an amazing hotel! And the food looks great too. Hope you have a wonderful time.

64jessibud2
Edited: Sep 10, 7:51am Top

I have never been to Prague, myself, but from those I know who have, I have heard it's one of the most beautiful cities. Enjoy!

65Caroline_McElwee
Sep 10, 10:03am Top

>60 msf59: >61 mdoris: Hi Mark and Mary. I very quickly got into The Prince of Tides, and read it in big bites.

>62 charl08: I am sure you would recognise most of it Charlotte. I love the decoration on many of the buildings.

>63 Sakerfalcon: As a Frank Gehry fan Claire, staying in one of his buildings is a dream.

>64 jessibud2: it's quite a compact city Shelley, but it will take more than one visit to do it justice.

More photos later.

66jnwelch
Edited: Sep 10, 2:50pm Top

Yay for Prague! We're so glad you got to go, Caroline. Debbi asked that I send you her best.

That Frank Gehry design is wild! How is it inside? Do you have to wear unusually-shaped clothing and dance with the furniture?

You can come to Chicago and see the bandshell he designed there - how's that sound?

Did you ever get to his Guggenheim Bilbao Museum? I'm pretty sure Darryl did, the scoundrel. I'd like to see it, although the collection inside never gets talked about.

That food looks delish, too.

67Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Sep 11, 6:33am Top

>66 jnwelch: I'm standing up for the collection in Bilbao, everyone told me it was disappointing, but there were three Van Goghs I'd never seen in the canvas, and would have happily had any on my wall. Anselm Keifers. And I was lucky that the Giacometti exhibition I missed in London, was there when I was last December. I think the Guggenheim's rotate parts of the collection. And the building.... so brilliant. One of my all time favourites. Make a trip next time you are based in London Joe. Hello back to Debbi.

Have you seen if there is anything you fancy on here during your stay, it's where I saw Andrea Gibson, great venue.

https://www.unionchapel.org.uk/whats-on-events/

68kidzdoc
Sep 11, 4:33am Top

Hooray! I'm very glad that you felt well enough to go to Prague, Caroline. Have a great time there!

>58 Caroline_McElwee: Wow, what a trippy building! I first thought that my eyes were playing tricks on me.

>66 jnwelch: I did go to Bilbao, but strangely enough I didn't visit the Museo Guggenheim when I was there, due to bad weather (the city had strong thunderstorms on the day I planned to go). I did make it to the Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao (the Fine Arts Museum of Bilbao), which was very good, with a café that served outstanding pintxos!

(Speaking of pintxos I found a pintxos bar in Soho yesterday between Greek Street, where I had dinner, and Dean Street, where the Soho Theatre is; I'll have to go there at least once before I leave next week.)

69Caroline_McElwee
Sep 11, 7:15am Top

Yesterday I walked by the river to the Decorative Arts Museum, and saw two exhibitions: The Pleiad Glass https://en.upm.cz/pleiad-of-glass-1946-2019/
And The Mad Silkman, who worked with both Mattise and Picasso among others https://en.upm.cz/the-mad-silkman-zika-lida-ascher-textiles-and-fashion/ .


One of the Museum staircases.

Then lunch sitting outside their cafe, a lovely delicate Asian curry.

Then I visited the Jewish Museum and Old Cemetery, the latter a refuge for headstones over the past 500 years.


Even as recently as the 1980s headstones were broken up and made into cobbles that are now in Wenceslas Square.

In the museum itself are carved the names of all the Czechs, and others that lived here, who lost their lives in the Holocaust. Very moving. I spent my childhood watching the many documentaries with Pod, as people tried to understand what they had been through, starting with the series 'World at War'.

Back to the hotel for a rest, then out to hear a concert in the church by The Charles Bridge. Pacabel, Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi and others. Pews are not the most comfortable seats, I'd borrowed a pillow from the hotel which helped my back at least. Could have done without the aged British woman sitting behind me loudly humming along, I had to shush her in the end!

***

The sciatica is playing up a bit today, so I'm having a late start, I have my room with a view, and book, though I hope to go out shortly.

70charl08
Sep 11, 7:33am Top

>69 Caroline_McElwee: Hope the late start does the trick. Love the photos. The textile exhibition looks very tempting - I would like to wear that purple coat (if I was feeling brave) - and their fabric patterns are beautiful. The photos of the designers are so glam, too. Was there much of a bookshop at either gallery?

71Oberon
Sep 11, 11:07am Top

Very envious of your Prague trip. It looks fantastic.

72Caroline_McElwee
Sep 11, 11:09am Top

>70 charl08: I was disappointed Charlotte, no exhibition catalogues harrumph.

Yes, the late start helped. I'll write a little bit on my day later. I have a table in the hotel's Fred and Ginger restaurant for early supper at 6pm. So glad to be staying in the building tonight.

73Caroline_McElwee
Sep 11, 11:10am Top

>71 Oberon: Thanks Erik. I'm barely scraping the surface this trip, but know I will revisit.

74Caroline_McElwee
Sep 11, 2:22pm Top

I managed to get out this afternoon and headed across the Charles Bridge to The Franz Kafka Museum, which I enjoyed, especially the footage of the area of Prague he lived in from the early 20th Century, much still recognisable now.

This as one of two peeing men fountains outside the museum:



I loved all the little streets in the area.


The narrowest street in Prague.






They even have their own Shakespeare and Co. came out empty handed!


Afternoon refreshments at a Villa café in the park, the dessert was a stiff pistachio mousse.

The other gallery I planned to go to was having a refit, and it was quite a walk back to my hotel, so I sat by the river for a while, before heading back to my nest.

I had a reservation for supper in the Ginger and Fred restaurant at Dancing House. Lovely.



Pooped and chilling in my room now.

75Caroline_McElwee
Sep 11, 2:25pm Top

>68 kidzdoc: Sorry, I forgot to wave back Darryl. Yes, I'm very pleased I got here in the end. Not done anywhere near as much as I'm used to, but still got enough of a flavour to know I'll come back.

76jessibud2
Sep 11, 4:16pm Top

Beautiful photos, Caroline! This is one city I would LOVE to visit. So good that you are able to enjoy these gorgeous scenes and places and thanks for sharing them with us. Through one of my other interests, postcrossing (international postcard exchange), I know someone who lives in Prague and we have exchanged emails, letters and gifts over the last few years. Such a pretty city. I hope you are not overdoing it, in terms of your sciatica, and are able to fully enjoy everything. How long will you be there?

77Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Sep 11, 4:26pm Top

>76 jessibud2: I'm not doing as much as I would Shelley, although even before I had to be careful as I have pins and plates in my right ankle and leg (very old injury). Sciatica wants me to move, ankle wants me not to move too much, let's make it a hat trick, torn ligaments in left arm hates handrails on the left agrrr ha. As one of my Canadian friends says 'we do, we go'.

Resting up this morning was a good choice, though I'm hoping for a good nights sleep tonight, and to not need to start too late tomorrow. It's my last full day here. I return home on Friday afternoon.

Lovely you have a friend here Shelley, I'm sure you will visit one day. It is such an aesthetically pleasing city.

78mdoris
Sep 11, 6:28pm Top

It is wonderful to look at your pictures. Thank you so much for sharing.

79jnwelch
Edited: Sep 12, 9:25am Top

Love the photos, Caroline. I like the looks of that Ginger and Fred restaurant.

80Caroline_McElwee
Sep 12, 11:39am Top

>78 mdoris: >79 jnwelch: lovely to have you on my shoulder Mary and Joe.

>79 jnwelch: the food was wonderful at the Ginger and Fred. In fact all the meals I've had were really nice, and didn't even have to seek out vege restaurants.

81NanaCC
Sep 12, 12:15pm Top

Lovely pictures of your trip, Caroline. That mousse looks quite yummy, and the restaurant looks exquisite.

82Caroline_McElwee
Sep 12, 12:23pm Top

Started the day with a wander around the Jewish Quarter, then on to the Convent of St Agnes. Very restful.



I snatched a quiet half an hour in the courtyard.



Then a lovely bowl of red lentil soup for lunch before heading to the most touristy place in the city, old town square and the famous clock.



I didn't stay long, I should add.

It seems I can't go anywhere without bumping into Vincent:


An advert for absinthe.

A quiet evening in now. I head to the airport about midday tomorrow.

83Caroline_McElwee
Sep 12, 12:23pm Top

>81 NanaCC: The food has been lovely Coleen.

84Sakerfalcon
Sep 13, 6:31am Top

Now I really want to visit Prague, based on your photos and comments.

85msf59
Sep 13, 6:55am Top

Fantastic photos of a beautiful city, Caroline. Nice to be taking the trip with you.

86Caroline_McElwee
Sep 14, 12:40pm Top

>84 Sakerfalcon: It is a lovely city Claire, and I barely scratched the surface.

>85 msf59: Thanks Mark. I look forward to following your travels now.

87FAMeulstee
Sep 14, 4:11pm Top

Thanks for all the pictures, Caroline, we would like to revisit Prague one day.

>74 Caroline_McElwee: I looked up the artist of Piss (the peeing men), it is by David Černý, there are many of his artworks in Prague.
So how did that happen? You coming out of a bookstore empty handed?

88BLBera
Sep 15, 11:18am Top

I love your Prague photos, Caroline. They bring back good memories. I must say, your food looks much better than what I ate while I was there!

I've read some Pears books that I liked, but haven't read Stone's Fall. I watch for your comments.

89jnwelch
Sep 16, 6:48am Top

Lovely photos, Caroline. We want to get to Prague some day.

90SandDune
Sep 16, 4:58pm Top

Lovely pictures of Prague, Caroline. I've never been. Lucky Mr SandDune managed to get sent on a course there earlier in the year.

91Caroline_McElwee
Sep 17, 9:33am Top

>87 FAMeulstee: I cannot say how I managed to come out empty handed Anita, except that I am overwhelmed with the books I have at the moment, and am trying hard not to add to many to them. This year I think I have bought less than a third of the books bought last year, and that is still too many!

>88 BLBera: the food was delicious Beth, but I didn't actually eat in the 'traditional' heavy on meat eateries, as a pescatarian, which probably made a difference. There is plenty of variety though.

>89 jnwelch: I am sure you would enjoy it Joe. I definitely plan a revisit.

>90 SandDune: Good to see you about Rhian. I enjoyed Prague very much. Did Mr Sandune get to see much of it, or was he tied to his lectures too much?

92Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Sep 17, 10:00am Top

58. Whose Story is This? (Rebecca Solnit) (17/09/19) ****1/2



As ever, Rebecca Solnit's essays are insightful and thought provoking. And I love her voice. Her acknowledgement of and generosity towards those who she has learned from or who have shared their stories with her. Her vast knowledge acrued over a lifetime of work, woven and interwoven into all her pieces. I always know I will return to her volumes.

93Caroline_McElwee
Sep 19, 3:51am Top

Arrived at Broadstairs yesterday, a typical English seaside town. I stayed here once as a kid. This looks exactly as I remember, it opened in 1932:



I had rum and raisin with pistachio.

94charl08
Sep 19, 7:14am Top

Ooh, sounds good. There is a lovely one in the Wirral which always has a queue outside every time I've been. (It is conveniently located at the end of a walk!)

95BLBera
Sep 19, 8:41am Top

96SandDune
Sep 19, 1:27pm Top

>91 Caroline_McElwee: He did get a little time to sightsee in the evening. I am currently at a conference in Nottingham, which is not so exciting!

97Caroline_McElwee
Sep 21, 11:59am Top

>94 charl08: how considerate to be s conveniently situated Charlotte :-)

>95 BLBera: it was Beth, we made a revisit yesterday.

>96 SandDune: I think you got the short straw there Rhian.

98Caroline_McElwee
Sep 21, 12:00pm Top

Home now, after a restful few days by the sea. Time, as ever, went far too quickly.

99mdoris
Edited: Sep 21, 2:25pm Top

>93 Caroline_McElwee:, Yum, is right!

100Caroline_McElwee
Yesterday, 6:42am Top

>99 mdoris: We did make a revisit Mary.

101Caroline_McElwee
Yesterday, 6:42am Top

Made me smile:

102jessibud2
Yesterday, 6:48am Top

103FAMeulstee
Yesterday, 7:59am Top

>101 Caroline_McElwee: Made me also smile, thanks :-)

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