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Snippets from Mexico – Part Two


Munchkin’s school project: A tasty treat: Tortilla factory: Munchkin made a traditional plate cover: Happy rescue cats: http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com Original link
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Motorbikes and Camels – Nejoud Al-Yagout


  At first one doesn’t know what to make of this book. The author never reveals what country it is, but it’s obviously a Muslim setting which makes so much of the revelations re attitudes to dating, sex, marriage, and traditions like the hijab rather astonishing. An eye-opener that is definitely worth reading. Blurb: Diverse tales, diverse characters. Sometimes intertwining. There is Salma, facing a spiritual crisis in a country steeped in dogma; Hussam – a billionaire’s son who tries but fails to conceal his gay relationship; Mohammed, a bigamist, grasping tightly to antiquated patriarchal ideals at the expense of his love life; Mike, who adopts cultural appropriation to provide him with a ...
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Snippets from Mexico – Part One


A shady corner to relax: Walking the dog: Birthday piñata: Spring Carnival parade: Uninvited guests: http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com Original link
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Shadow on the Crown


  I like historical novels. I especially like them when it’s not yet another Anne Boleyn or Louis IV. Shadow of the Crown fits the bill as Bracewell takes us back to the years 1001 to 1005. Building on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the Bracewell relates the story of young Emma of Normandy, sent by her brother to marry the much older King of England, an alliance that should benefit all. But the Danes hover over both England and Normandy causing havoc. That Emma survives the brutality and triumphs is rather miraculous. Throughout the story you will be cheering for this vibrant smart young queen. Blurb: In 1002, fifteen­-year-old Emma of Normandy crosses the Narrow Sea to wed the much older King A...
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Culture shapes play — roadside shrines of Mexico


Where do children get their ideas for play? The munchkin and her friend built an elaborate shrine in the garden for a couple of dead snails.   Why a shrine? Well, roadside shrines to the people who have died in accidents are a common sight when driving in Mexico.  They range from simple structures to elaborate monuments.     Here’s one at the site of a bus crash that resulted in multiple deaths.   Now we know what inspired the girls. http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com     Original link
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GEMA – Shelter for abused and abondoned women


  GEMA Abused and Abandoned Women and Children Program – Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico   https://www.gofundme.com/shelter-for-abused-women-and-children Women from the Jaltemba Bay Area of Mexico (north of Puerto Vallarta) who have been abused or abandoned rely solely on this program as there is no other resource– private or government funded — available. Current Shelter GEMA provides a safe haven (in a secret location for safety) to learn the necessary skills that will lead to establishing a stable life for themselves and their children. Eighty-three women and well over 100 children have gone through the program since GEMA’s inception in May 2017 and 19 women and their children have been res...
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Binstead’s Safari – Rachel Ingalls


This is so not your typical safari story. Filled with unexpected twists, extra-marital affairs, lion cults, poachers, and the mystery and savageness of Africa and its wildlife, the reader finds themselves mesmerized. Will Millie find happiness? Will Stan ever learn? Will the Lion God rule? Will they all survive? Blurb:  After getting a haircut in London and a few new outfits (“she bought two pairs of shoes and began to enjoy herself”), Millie, the neglected American wife of an academic pill, is transformed—and, upon arrival in Africa, falls into the perfect affair. Binstead’s Safari unfolds the fractured fairy tale of the rebirth of a drab, insecure woman as a fiercely alive, fearless beauty...
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The Only Woman in the Room – Marie Benedict


Hedy Lamarr–Hollywood bombshell–and so much more. Told in first person, her story takes us from prewar Austria and her dinners with Mussolini, to Hollywood and her inventions that gave us much of today’s technology. Each time you use your cell phone, thank Hedy! Blurb: Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich’s plans while at her husband’s side, understanding more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star. But she kept a secret mo...
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Foot traffic – Mexico


http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com Original link
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Birds Without Wings – Louis de Bernieres


It takes a village to truly depict the horrors of war and its aftermath. Birds Without Wings is set in one village of Turkey where Christian and Muslim families have lived and loved for centuries, with mutual respect and affection. All is well until the fall of the Ottoman Empire and WWI sweep everyone into the void of death and destruction. We see trench warfare through the eyes of a young villager who takes his father’s place when the recruiters come and that personal view is much more devastating than any general account of war could be. largely because we come to feel that the village is ours, that the inhabitants are our friends and neighbors. We see the destruction of the village after...
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Still life – Mexico


  www.darlenejonesauthor.com    Original link
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Malala’s Magic Pencil – Malala Yousafzai


  I bought this book for my granddaughter and fell in love with it. Malala’s life story is brilliantly rendered for children, but it is the illustrations that captured my heart. They are delicate and evocative with the power to break your heart. Blurb: As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil that she could use to redraw reality. She would use it to give gifts to her family, to erase the smell from the rubbish dump near her house, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. As she grew older, Malala wished for bigger and bigger things. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to ma...
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Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree – Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani and Viviana Mazza


  Remember Boko Harem? Perhaps not as they have fallen off the media radar. But guaranteed the girls captured, the families left behind, and those surviving in a world destroyed have not forgotten. Written in two parts, this book captures the horror and the strength of individuals to survive against all odds. Part one tells the story in novel form from the point of view of one of the girls captured. Part two is a non-fiction narrative of the authors’ research to write the story and presents evidence from individuals and families they interviewed. Blurb: A new pair of shoes, a university degree, a husband—these are the things that a girl dreams of in a Nigerian village. And with a government ...
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La India Bonita – oldest restaurant in Cuernavaca, Mexico


Established in 1933 Then:                         Now                         Then                                           Now                           Then                                             Now                                             La India Bonita – learn more here    http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com Original link
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A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles


  I relished every page of this book and every character. Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in the Hotel Metropol in Moscow. It is through his eyes and heart that we watch the historical events reaging through the country from the 1920s to the 1950s. For all those years the Count could not leave the hotel. Reading the book, I was entranced to be there with him. BLURB In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room...
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A few things to see in Cuernavaca, Mexico


Menchaca Studio   Chapultepec Park    Ruins Museo Papalote for the kids, but I loved it too!                       http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com Original link
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The “logic” of English?


It happened to rain the other day and we needed to dig out our umbrellas and borrow an extra from our neighbour. How do you say umbrella in Spanish, I asked? Here’s the answer. Spanish: paraaguas = for water French: parapluie =  by rain English: umbrella =   http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com Original link
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Us Against You by Fredick Backman


Intense! Ostensibly about hockey, this book is really a revelation about the dynamics between people — love and hate and violence that we are all capable of. Backman is a master storyteller with a unique writing style. We know from the beginning that someone is going to die, but who and how? And knowing does not detract from the suspense. READ Beartown first to appreciate fully this sequel. Blurb: After everything that the citizens of Beartown have gone through, they are struck yet another blow when they hear that their beloved local junior hockey team will soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the obvious satisfaction that all the former Beartown players, who now play for a rival team i...
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Beartown by Fredrik Backman


  You don’t have to like hockey or even know much about it to find this novel riveting for the story revolves around the inhabitants of a small town, their fears, and sorrows and loves – all wrapped around the town hockey team. When violence enters, hearts break and yours will break too for the characters you have come to love. NB After you’ve read Beartown, read the stunning sequel Us Against You. Blurb: People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in B...
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Dia de los reyes – Day of the kings


For many Mexican families, gifts and celebration are centered around Day of the Kings on January 6, rather than Santa and December 25. Catering to the Dia de los reyes, Gallerias Vallarta shifts from pictures with Santa to pictures with the three kings (beautifully outfitted in opulent robes of ancient times) – none of whom are white guys, by the way. http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com   Original link
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