observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

Fall Potpourri

Currently . . .

Missing these two so much.

walking Australian Shepherds along beach in Qualicum Beach

Though still enjoying autumn.

Japanese Maple leaves - Autumn in Qualicum Beach

Practicing each day and filling our home with music.

Yamaha grand piano

Reading — some novels are really engaging; others not so much (details below).

our living room

Still knitting away on my Antler pullover (didn’t knit for over 2 weeks while we were away).

Yarn Indulgences Banana fingering

We’ve been busy with other interests and pursuits though this represents my current state today. Since I haven’t been updating with any regularity, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the most recent books I’ve read. As noted above, some have been real hits and others definitely fell short (for me). Here then are links to my Goodreads pages if you’d like to read the synopsis and below that what I had to say about the more recent books where my bookmark has kept my place:

All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I absolutely loved this book. Use the link to read my comments.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.

Shantaram: A Novel: I read this months ago but don’t believe I shared it with you yet. Loved the story, really appreciated his way with words, and it drew considerable discussion in book club.

Although I’ve read half a dozen or more novels based in India, this one had one very distinctive difference: the author had a true love for India and his perception, even of the filth and slums, gave the reader a whole new way of seeing India through his eyes and experience. Would I recommend it? Yes, without hesitation.

And now for a recent one that I did not enjoy. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.

Let’s finish with another real favourite. The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin. Although this was not one of the books read in my book club, I highly recommend it for a book club choice because of the thought-provoking discussion this one will elicit.

Although my reading list at Goodreads is far from being anywhere near complete, I have been making an effort to record the most recent books I’ve read. Here is a link to a list of my Favourite Books from those I’ve read in recent years and a link to those that I disliked (you’ll need to click on each book individually if you want to know why I didn’t like that particular book.)

And today I’m going to leave you with a question from out of left field (or somewhere in the ether!). I asked this on Facebook and not one person responded — though people respond to and share meaningless videos and trite sayings in multiples on Facebook 😉  The question: What is the most incredible or memorable HAND MADE gift you’ve ever received?

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Mary - November 2, 2015 - 4:43 pm

My most memorable handmade gift was a wrap bracelet made for me by my 14-year-old niece for my 70th birthday. It is beautiful! I wear it so often and think of her every rime I put it on. It means so much more being handmade.


Jessie - November 2, 2015 - 8:39 pm

My husband (with help from my cousin and dad) made me a wood strip canoe for a wedding gift!

And while I’ve received many other wonderful gifts of quilts and paintings and all sorts that boat can’t be topped!

I loved All the Light We Can not see as well, what did you think of Orphan Train? It was recommended to me but I haven’t tried it yet.

SL Mills - November 3, 2015 - 11:50 am

A large heart shaped mirror and chest of drawers my dad made before I came home from the hospital – it has been in my bedroom ever since (many, many, many years) — to know he loved me that much before he even knew me is comforting.

dinahmow - November 5, 2015 - 1:12 am

Goodness! Over a long lifetime, I’ve had many hand-made gifts.Not all survived (and were never intended to) and many knitted garments were outgrown And today? Well, I have several original artworks that were gifted.And I still have and wear a ring,smokey citrine, set in gold, made by a then apprentice jeweller.
I suppose I grew up in a DIY age.

Gabriele - November 7, 2015 - 8:10 am

I have on my bookshelf the two books you recommended. All The Light We Cannot See and The Orchardist. Starting one of them today, but which one? Thank-you for you book recommendations. I trust your judgement. What are you playing these days? I have been working on a Chopin Waltz that a student is slugging through. I have a few students who are pushing my boundaries. They play almost as well as I do.
As to my favorite handmade gift? I just received a painting as a gift from a talented friend. We did some subscription art with her years ago. We would choose one of her paintings and rent it for $25 a month. Every month we borrowed another delight. One day last month she appeared on my doorstep with my favorite. “You love it, It is yours”. Melting with joy…………

Andi - November 8, 2015 - 6:37 am

Most amazing hand made gift was a quilt from my mother. It is still the most treasured gift and I use it everyday despite the warm temps.
Love your potpourri of Fall images. Especially the pic of your loves on their walk.

steph - November 8, 2015 - 2:52 pm

a friend totally surprised me one valentine’s day with a little hooked pillow with three hearts hooked into it. what made it extra special…she used some old (OLD OLD) cashmere from some sweaters she had saved from when she was growing up that had been attacked over the years by moths. It’s beautiful…but it also has a little story…and that’s what makes it so special!!

and thanks for the book recommendations….i’m going to suggest shantaram to our new bookclub!!! (We’re heading to Ann Patchett’s book store tomorrow to load up…hopefully she has this one in stock!)