Friday, 26 August 2016

Books and Blueish Blooms

On my knees in the garden...I have had three massive weeding sessions because the garden was a little neglected during the sale period.
It afforded me the chance to get up close and personal with all the growing things here and there are so many.  Lots taking turns with blooming which I am so happy to see.
  Learning the names of some of them has been fun.  I'll show some of the blueish ones today.

New to me is Purple Globe Thistle which looks blue in certain light; there are three well established clumps of this unusual plant here.  I've learned it is very popular with butterflies and also bees which is great and a good perennial to include if that is an aim for your garden.

A sort of perwrinkle-Chinese Bell Flowers, another one new to me.  Two pretty bushes of this interesting flower are in the back yard.  Lots of blooms and the bees also enjoy this one.

Many little clumps of this blooming plant are dotted here and there. A close relative of sage, this is blooming Salvia. I was struck by how pretty the leaves are.  It doesn't seem to have spread like some of the other plants have done.  Just stayed neat and tidy in its own little spots.

And my latest reads.

..something literary

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan is a tough read but well worth the effort.  It is the story of the Australian POW's working on building a railway through the jungle of  Burma. Okay it isn't all about that.  The story follows the phases of one man's life including his love life but it is his time with the Japanese as a prisoner that I remember most clearly.  This was because it was horrific. But cleverly, Flanagan took advantage of the camp situation to also take us into the minds of some of the Japanese guards.  This insight provides another layer of thought on the subjects of prisoners and the hows, whys and ways of survival. I found myself talking about this aspect of the story to several people. This book richly deserved the Man Booker Prize, in my opinion.

A special note for haiku lovers.  The Narrow Road to the Deep North was taken from the title of the famous author and haiku master, Basho's text on his travels written in 1687.  Flanagan inserts Basho haiku verses here and there throughout his book to great effect. I loved them.

I meant to copy out some of the ones I really liked, but because I seem to be operating on half a brain these days, I forgot. 

And something completely different...

My name would have been on the holds list for a year before I'd have gotten this book, The Widow by new novelist, Fiona Barton.  When I saw it on the Express Reads shelf  I thought I'd give it a try.  Express Reads means I just have 7 days to read it and it has to be returned on the dot...a $2 a day fine is incurred if you don't.
 Anyway, no problem as I read it in 5 days because it is one of those easy reading books not requiring any deep thought or reflection.  This is basically a crime novel; an abducted child and the ensuing  investigation.  I did find the widow's turn to talk the most interesting bits in the book. I must admit I did enjoy this book overall though I am getting so tired of these types of books being compared to Gone Girl
 Why do they keep doing that and when will it stop, I wonder.

Hope there is something blooming or good to read in your weekend.