Bullet Point Friday

  • Can you believe the children library in my neighborhood is closing for renovation? We must be jinxed, as we only started to go there because our old library at the other end of the district closed for renovation (it has reopened since, but only Mr. S is going there now). The positive sign is that Paris City council is obviously supporting readers and investing in our libraries!
  • Anyway, it’s bothering my son more than me, because the library at my workplace has recently started to buy lots of new English books (yay!). I could not resist when I saw S.J. Watson’s thriller Before I Go To Sleep; Siri Hustvedt’s Summer Without Men and lots of others! My card is already full (ahem, their max is 5).
  • Two writers I’d never heard of before that I discovered this week thanks to BBC Radio 4 Extra: Margaret Drabble (her short stories are read in a slightly abridged version this week!) et Olivia Manning for her saga Fortunes of War. I’m hooked!
  • As summer is officially on now, I’m really looking forward to our yearly long holidays in August. This year we go to Wales (Pembrokeshire and Snowdonia) and to Oxfordshire (we visited Oxford way too quickly while in the Cotswolds a few years ago). I’m already dreaming of Oxford bookshops (yay!), and already listing all the British things I’m lusting for (cute mugs, Cadbury whole nuts and milk chocolate, M&S Custard cream biscuits, Boots drugstore…).

Related to this happy project, I have three questions for you readers today:

  • Do you have any recommendations for bookshops or any special literary places in Wales?
  • Have you ever read any good book, especially mystery, set in Wales? I have a personal tradition of reading mysteries set in the place we visit – and it’s a lot of fun.
  • On a different subject, since we rent cottages there and that I will have to cook every day, I want to have a few good recipes up my sleeve I could make quickly and with only a few kitchen equipment. Any ideas?
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3 thoughts on “Bullet Point Friday

  1. Hi – I didn’t realise you were in Paris. I spent 3 hours in a traffic jam in Paris yesterday as they had shut the A10 (I managed 8km in 3 hours). I absolutely love Olivia Manning and I hope you enjoy the Balkan Trilogy and the Levant Trilogy which are wonderful.

  2. Your holiday sounds wonderful. Sorry that I can’t give you any tips on bookshops in Wales but literary wise the obvious person is Dylan Thomas. I’ve always liked “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”. On the recipe front do you like cottage pie? Even I can make that (mince, sauce, sweet potato mash). Otherwise you can’t go wrong with roast chicken. Apologies if you are vegetarian! Let us know how you go with finding a Welsh mystery. ( I wonder who the Welsh equivalent of Ian Rankin would be?)

  3. Hay-on-Wye. The town of bookstores. Should not miss it. Make a point to go there even if you are staying on the other side of Wales. http://www.hay-on-wye.co.uk

    I agree with the roast chicken suggestion. Easy. Can make a few meals from one chicken. Don’t need a lot of equipment. When we go on our long vacation, I frequently just have lots of salad and something easy to cook on the grill, like chops, steak or burgers. But, most vacation places in US have gas grills & I have no idea if that is common elsewhere. If I had to use a charcoal grill and get the thing up to heat, I wouldn’t bother to grill if I were on vacation — too much work!

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