Sunday, June 30, 2013

around here




 I plant a lot of pink and blue flowers (mostly in pots) and am rarely drawn to yellow when I visit the nursery, but that yellow and blue combination in my garden is my absolute favorite--so fresh. One day I want to visit Monet's house at Giverny and see his blue kitchen and yellow dining room. (Pictures here and here.)  For ideas on how to replicate his dining room look here.



I've been reading Helen MacInnes's spy novels. The first one, Above Suspicion, was published in 1941. The third one, Assignment in Brittany, published in 1942 was (according to wikipedia) required reading for Allied intelligence agents working with the French resistance against the Nazis.

MacInnes, born in Scotland, was a librarian and amateur actor, and her husband was a classics scholar and MI6 British intelligence agent. Her novels are cool, smart, and witty with wonderful international settings. I bought the one pictured above at a second-hand store, got a couple more from the library and like them so much I just ordered 17 of her vintage paperbacks (love those old covers) on ebay.


They're a little old-fashioned, but a pleasure to read (and were very modern in their time). I don't think MacInnes gets the attention she deserves in discussions of the best espionage novelists.

They make great summer reading. What's on your summer reading wishlist?

p.s. You can follow my blog with Bloglovin. I'm not sure what google reader closing down means for the blogger reader, but just in case I transferred my list to bloglovin'--it's super easy to use.  Learn more here. p.p.s. looks like it was much ado about nothing.

19 comments:

  1. Your flowers are so lovely, I'll follow you with the new navigation!

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  2. yellow is my favourite colour at the moment. and thanks for yet another book recommendation :)

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    1. I recently read All the Pretty Horses, which was amazing.

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  3. done and done on the b-lovin.

    I'll have to tell my boss about your recommendations, he's addicted to spy novels and will buy them all then pass them on to me.

    Win,win.

    xo Love your yellow and blue too. i don't have that combo anywhere. Looks v. fresh.

    xo J.

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    1. That Monet knew what he was doing.

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  4. This book has a nice cover ;)

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  5. I'll see if I can find them on kindle! My favorite Madeleine recipe is from Monet's recipe book from Giverny!

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  6. Dear Jen.

    I wrote a quick note on my post this morning.. my old post is up and running again.. i am so pleased.. please forget the other one.. I am here again.
    I still have to sort bloglovin out.. but will be doing that soon..
    happy July..
    val xxxx

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  7. I think I read Assignment in Brittany years ago. I've just finished Life and Death of a Druid Prince (the Lindow Man) - it was like a sleuth novel as the archaeologists took forensics and the invasion of Britain during Emperor Claudius'reign that destroyed the Druid infrastructure to understand why this high-born Druid was willingly sacrificed.Looked forward to reading it every evening. Before that I read Hotel du Lac, which won Anita Brookner a Booker prize. Well written, but about a boring woman at a boring off-season hotel in Switzerland, studying other boring or boorish guests. Only 3 stars from me. Enjoy your reading, Jen.

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  8. archeologists and druids? I'm in!

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  9. Flowers look beautiful, I'm a big yellow fan and how can you go wrong with Monet. Anyway I'm an idiot about all this BLoglovin, Feedly change over---haven't got a clue what they're talking about. I didn't switch a thing and as far as I know I'm still here and so is my blog list.

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    1. There's been some confusion about where goole reader shutting down would cause our blogger lists to disappear. Hopefully not!

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  10. Jen,
    like you, I'm not a yellow fan either but blue and yellow does have a certain appeal, your flowers are lovely. The books sound interesting, the covers are fantastic. Will have to look them up at the library.
    Rebecca

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    1. I love yellow houses, sometimes yellow rooms, and lemon everything, so I'm not sure why I haven't gotten more into yellow flowers , except for day lilies. Come to think of it, I love yellow roses.

      I've collected some hardcovers for their covers, but never paperbacks--that's about to change!

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  11. Hello Jen, I hope that the removal of Google Reader won't hurt blog readership too much.

    I love the old paintings on book covers and jackets--many could be collected for their decorative value alone.
    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. My blogger reading list is still there, so maybe it's been much ado about nothing. (Or maybe some people followed blogs on google reader? It's a wee bit confusing.)

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  12. I'm beginning to think I was not using google reader even though I thought I was. Who knows!!
    Those books do sound as though they should be required reading. Like the Famous Five for bigger kids!! I'm going to start a search for some. x

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