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AKIN — Emma Donoghue


Absolutely marvelous!Noah is about to celebrate his eightieth birthday in Nice — the city where he was born, the city he hasn’t seen since he was four years old – when his eleven year old great nephew is foisted on him by a desperate and persistent social worker.Noah, determined to get to Nice and unravel the mystery of his mother’s photos, refuses to give up his trip and takes the boy along. The ensuing adventures of this unlikely pair take the reader on a wild ride through Nice and back to WWII as they search for the answers Noah needs. A story of adventure, bonding, and finding home.BLURBNoah Selvaggio is a retired chemistry professor and widower living on the Upper West Side, but born in...
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Tacos de birria – Canadian style


One of our favorite breakfasts in Mexico can be found at the taco stand a couple of blocks down the street. Tacos de birria: Shredded meat served with onions (cooked or raw), broth from the meat if you like, and your choice of hot sauce (the red one) or salsa suave (the green one made from avocado).Well, we’re back in Canada and found these treats at our favorite coffee shop, La Roux Patisserie, in China Town, Victoria, BC. I know,> A french pastry shop in China Town!? But, hey, you can’t argue when everything is so tasty.. https://laroux.ca/ http://www.darlenejonesauthor.comOriginal link
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Churros on the street corner – Mexico


On our way home from dinner, we stop at the corner for churros. Our timing is perfect as the chef is just starting to heat the oil.The batter:I won’t presume to recommend a recipe. There are many on the Internet, but I have no idea which might be close to this original. Using the pastry funnel to put the batter into the oil. : Cooking: The finished product: To be dipped in a large shallow bowl holding a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and (the chef’s secret ingredient) chocolate powder. By the time the chef wraps our churros in a large sheet of brown paper a long line up has formed behind us.These treats are definitely worth the wait. http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com  Original link
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Voyage of Dreams – Ariel Lawhon

Flight of Dreams: A Novel
Wow! Just wow! Lawhon has brought the story of the Hindenburg’s last flight to life in a stunning creation. Based on the actual passengers and crew on board, she has woven a beautiful portrayal of passion and intrigue in her creative imagining of what could have happened before the enormous airship burst into flames just as it landed in the US.There is nothing in Lawhom’s story that rings false likely because of her intensive research about the Hindenburg itself as well as the bits and pieces of information that she could find about the passengers and crew.One small complaint. I wish they hadn’t put a picture of Emilie on the cover. I prefer my own version of what she looked like and it’s no...
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Coronavirus and Fluevog shoes


I had no intention of blogging about the virus until I came upon this little bright spot. We love Dr. Henry. We even have a Dr. Henry fan club.Fluevog designs ‘The Dr. Henry’shoe inspired by B.C.’s provincial health officerVancouver shoe designer John Fluevog says pre-sale of new pink heel set to begin next weekThe Canadian Press · Posted: Apr 16, 2020 1:40 PM PT | Last Updated: April 16B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is adding another title to her long list of credentials — shoe muse.John Fluevog Shoes is launching a limited edition shoe called “The Dr. Henry,” inspired by the public health official.The Vancouver designer says the pink-heeled tribute was made with Henry’s bl...
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A Spool of Blue Thread — Anne Tyler

A Spool of Blue Thread: A Novel
Are family lives really held together by a fragile thread? Tyler’s exploration of this concept is brilliantly and beautifully executed through the minute details of family life.And who is the center of the family? Mom? Dad? The wayward brother?Reading this book creates an urge to jump in and become a part of this family as they work through their lives and sort out the circumstances that threaten their bond.BLURB:“It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon…” This is how Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate togetherness: an indefinable, enviable kind of specialness. But ...
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Tinacos – aka water tanks – Mexico


Virtually every building in our area of Mexico has a Tinaco or water tank on the roof. Water is pumped up to the Tinaco and gravity feeds the water to your taps. If you want more than a drizzle in your shower, you add a water pressure tank to the system.Modern tinacos look like this.  You sometimes see a cement tinaco on the roof of an old building. They can be as much as 100 years old.I wonder if the modern ones will last as long? http://www.darlenejonesauthor.comOriginal link
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One Word Titles – intriguing reads.


EDUCATED Tara Westwood. REBECCA – Daphne Du Maurier  MUDBOUND – Hillary Jordan.  BEARTOWN – Fredrik Backman  419 – Will Ferguson http://www.darlenejonesauthor.comOriginal link
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Honesty in advertising – seen in Victoria, BC, Canada


  http://www.darlenejonesauthor.comOriginal link
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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill = Abbi Waxman


An absolutely delightful romp through the typical and, in this instance, the not so typical journey to “happily ever after.”Waxman had me anxious to turn the page to see what Nina would do next and in many instances, laughing out loud. Nina and her world is full of wonderful adventure and quirky characters – the kind you would like to call friends.Blurb:Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own…shell.The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.Whe...
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Tree Art – Mexico


Love the “feel” of Mexico in these trees. The last one is my favorite.   http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com Original link
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A Girl Like That – Tanaz Bhathena


 Born in Mumbai, living in Jeddah, Zarin dares to defy the constraints placed on her by both family and society–and her peers with dire consequences. A powerful, well-written novel that raises the reader’s awareness of the world millions of girls and women live in–the limitations and dangers they face often insurmountable.Author Tanaz Bhathena, who was born in Mumbai and raised in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Toronto, writes, “My own story is different from Zarin’s and Mishal’s. Yet it does not make their stories any less true, nor does it diminish the reality of living in a world that still defines girls in various ways without letting them define themselves.”Blurb:Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is ma...
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Travelling with animals – Mexico style


With apologies for the not so great photography.Yes, the cowboy is on a motorbike.http://www.darlenejonesauthor.com.  Original link
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A Well-Behaved Woman — Therese Anne Fowler


An intriguing glimpse into the life of the Vanderbilt family. Fowler had done a great job in bringing the family to life in a very relatable way. The story focuses on Alva, who married into the family to give them “acceptability” with the “old money” crowd. She proved to be a dynamo who led the Vanderbilts to the heights of power in the right social circles. But when push comes to shove, she had the courage to break rigid norms and do the right thing — for herself and to help the less fortunate.Blurb:Alva Smith, her southern family destitute after the Civil War, married into one of America’s great Gilded Age dynasties: the newly wealthy but socially shunned Vanderbilts. Ignored by New York’s...
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11 easy steps to organize a birthday party in Mexico


Choose a theme – the munchkin says, “We’re at the beach so ocean theme.” Google party cakes and find one that fits your theme.Download the picture to your phone.Visit the bakery and show them the picture. “I can do the icing,” says the young baker, “but not the starfish or the seahorse. My mother could do them, but she’s away.”Go to the candy store, show the picture and buy appropriate beads and stars to decorate the cake.Go to the craft store, show the picture and ask the lady to make a starfish and seahorse.Go to the piñata store, show the picture and order a seahorse piñata.While at the piñata store, buy the party bags and the candy to fill the bags and the piñata.                   Three...
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The Color of Lightning – Paulette Jiles


Jiles’ story telling almost sparse yet vivid, her world building so strong she had me searching maps to locate and trace the travels of Britt, the Kiowa, the Comanche.The harrowing experiences of the captives, the harsh life of the Indians heartbreaking and mesmerizing with this masterpiece. The bumbling efforts of the government and sometimes well-intentioned religious groups often making relations between whites and Indians so much worse.I had read and loved Jiles’ “News of the World” and leapt at the chance to read another of her books. I’m so glad I did.Blurb:From Paulette Jiles, author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Enemy Women and Stormy Weather, comes a stirrin...
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Ratoncito Perez – Mexican Tooth Mouse


The munchkin had to have a baby tooth pulled. This is what the dentist gave her.  Wikipedia:El Ratoncito Pérez or Ratón Pérez (literally translated into English as Perez mouse or Perez the Mouse) is a figure popular in Spanish and Hispanic American cultures, similar to the tooth fairy, originating in Madrid in 1894 when Luis Coloma was contracted to write a story for Alfonso XIII, who had just lost his tooth at the age of 8.Coloma’s story follows Ratoncito Pérez who lived with his family in a box of cookies in Madrid, but frequently ran away from home through the pipes of the city, and into the bedrooms of children who had lost their teeth. The story details how Ratoncito Pérez cunningly mis...
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The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter – Hazel Gaynor


 I like historical fiction especially when the novel is about a little known individual. In “The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter” we meet Grace Darling, who helps to rescue the survivors of a shipwreck and bring them the lighthouse. Her courageous actions turn her life upside down. But more profound are the connections she makes to people she would otherwise have never met. It is their descendents who bring Grace Darling back to our attention 100 years later.A wonderful read!BLURB1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becom...
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The Fountains of Silence – Ruta Sepetys


I have vague memories of hearing about the Spanish Civil War and Hemmingway, but it wasn’t until I read Domingo’s Angel by Jenny Twist, that I had some understanding of what really happened.In Twist’s novel, a tall, thin, pale English girl wanders into a remote Spanish mountain village, meets a young villager and stays. This is not just their love story. It is the story of the personalities and dynamics of a small community and of the worsening conditions under Franco’s rule.The Fountains of Silence brings even greater understanding of the harsh conditions and tyranny of Franco’s regime. Ostensibly this is a YA or NA novel, bit it doesn’t feel that way as you read. Daniel comes to Madrid wit...
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Snippets from Mexico


This fish can safely eat plastic.   Color!Time for lunch.More color!Original link
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