This is my symphony

What I read & what I lived …

What I read In June 2020 when the world was still shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a group gathered on the piazza in front of the Cathedral of St. Andrew to hold a vigil for racial justice. George Floyd had just been killed. Peaceful protests during the day turned violent at night. Tensions …

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What I read The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi is set in India. The year, 1955. Thirteen years before, Lakshmi Shastri escaped her abusive husband Hari, and over the years makes a new life for herself as a henna artist–and an herbalist who helps wealthy women prevent (and abort) pregnancies. The life she establishes in …

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What I read For the past several years, the best sellers lists have been heavy with World War II fiction. Think The Tatooist of Auschwitz, The Nightingale, The Book Thief, All the Light We Cannot See. I’ve read and reviewed plenty on this blog. But when you read a lot there’s a kind of weariness …

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About six months pre-pandemic (for how long, I wonder, will we orient ourselves with that descriptor?) I picked up my needle and thread and started stitching. I hadn’t done any stitching for years–decades, even–and suddenly, here I was again, surrounded by fabric and embroidery thread and wool felt and bamboo hoops. Maybe it was a …

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What I read I’ve had some pretty good luck lately waiting out Amazon emails for Kindle deals. Day after day they show up in my inbox. And day after day I drag them to the trash. But those algorithms must snoop around in my Wishlist because every now and then they throw out an amazing …

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What I read In this time and place–a New Year, the raging pandemic, my own struggles– Rachel Joyce’s Miss Benson’s Beetle was the perfect read, what with its story of an unlikely sisterhood, adventure and derring-do, following a dream deferred. Margery Benson is a a spinster lady in post-war England. She teaches (in a quite …

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