Monday, 2 January 2023

2022 books

Canadian Authors in RED, British Authors in BLUE, American Authors in GREEN
Books read in 2022, and some I didn't quite finish. 

For previous years' reading lists go here: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010. That's a lot of books.... but I'm not going to count them.

Bone and Bread - Saleema Nawaz (good)
The Red Lotus - Chris Bohjalian (good)
The Rehearsal - Annette Christie (DNF got halfway through and pffft!)
Cloud Cuckoo Land - Anthony Doerr (loved this book)
Bewilderment - Richard Power 

The Fortune Men - Nadifa Mohamed (well worth reading!)
Trees in Canada - John Laird Farrar (super detailed)
The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes
The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

The Queen's Secret - Karen Harper (DNF, boring)
The Vision of Emma Blau - Ursula Hegi (good)
Polar Vortex - Shani Mootoo
Here the Dark - David Bergen 
Ridgerunner - Gil Adamson

We'll All be Burnt in Our Beds Some Day - Joel Thomas Hynes (brutal, savage and wonderful)
The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes - Bridget Canning
The Hush Sisters - Gerard Collins (DNF)
The Help Line - Katherine Collette

Dark Roads - Chevy Stevens
Far from the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
Great Circle - Maggie Shipstead (good book)

The Overstory - Richard Powers
Out of the Sun - Esi Edugyan
The Promise - Damon Galgut (enjoyed this book)

Moving Forward Sideways like a Crab - Shani Mootoo
Most Anything You Please - Trudy J Morgan-Cole
The Art Detectives - Philip Mould
Big Sky - Kate Atkinson
Leaving van Gogh - Carole Wallace
The Colour Purple - Alice Walker
The Teacher's Daughter - Richard B Wright

Mr. Shakespeare's Bastard - Richard B Wright
The Art of the Con - Anthony M Amore
The Lady of the Rivers - Phillipa Gregory
Arthur and Sherlock - Michael Sims

Clara Callan - Richard B Wright
Talking to a Portrait - Tales of an Art Curator - Rosalind M Pepall
Everyone Brave is Forgiven - Chris Cleave (loved this book)
Black Cake - Charmaine Wilkerson

The House of Wives - Simon Choa-Johnston
Incendiary - Chris Cleave (second time reading this, I had forgotten many details)
The High Mountains of Portugal - Yann Martel
The Last Train to London - Meg Waite Clayton
The Man Without a Shadow - Joyce Carol Oates

Utopia Avenue - David Mitchell (2nd time reading this)
The Ghost Keeper - Natalie Morrill (good book)
State of Terror - Louise Penny and Hilary Rodham Clinton (ho hum)

Nora Webster - Colm Toibin
The Parking Lot Attendant - Nafkote Tamirat
The Woman in the Window - A.J.Finn
Brooklyn - Colm Toibin

Happy New Year to all readers, may you find lots and lots of good books to enjoy in 2023. I've already made a long list of books that I will be looking for at the Library. 

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Sweet Violets...

 Sweet Violets,

Sweeter than all the Roses.

Covered all over from head to toe, 

Covered all over with Sweet Violets....

Anyone remember that old song?

The chorus is taken from the song "Sweet Violets" by Joseph Emmet, from his 1882 play Fritz Among the Gypsies. The song was recorded by Dinah Shore with Henri RenĂ©'s Orchestra & Chorus in Hollywood on May 20, 1951. Sweet Violets was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-4174A (78 rpm record), 47-4174A (single) (in USA), by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog number B 10115 in the UK, and EA 3997 in Australia.

Monday, 2 May 2022


I haven't painted anything for ages.... pandemic pause. This was a 16"x20" canvas with a failed rubbish painting from 4 or 5 years ago, so a couple of coats of gesso covered the horrible mess, and I started painting, no actual intention in mind.

I think it's finished. Possibly. I don't know. Is it?

Wednesday, 27 April 2022


She was called Tess, Tessie, Tessington, TessaDog, Doodle Treasure and The Dog. But her real name was Tessa.

Claims to fame: Therapy dog reject (too bouncy). Loved to wallow in the mud. Awesome swimmer. Relentless ball chaser, and always brought it back for another throw. Sandwich stealer. Cat chaser. Sock thief. Horsey poo lover. Rolled in stinky dead things no matter how miniscule. Cutest golden doodle ever. She loved us and we loved her. She is missed.

Tessa   1 September 2007 - 25 April 2022

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Jefferson Salamander

If it's a rainy night between late March and early April, and you're driving along the Stouffville Side Road in the dark between 9:00pm and 5:00am.... you may encounter a road closure and have to make a detour. 

Why is the road closed? Accident? Police investigation? Midnight construction crew?  

No, none of those reasons. It's mating season for the Jefferson Salamanders, an endangered species here in Ontario, and the salamanders want to cross the road to their breeding swamps and ponds to lay eggs and make more little salamanders.

Sweet little chap, isn't he? or she? Looking for love!

Photo pilfered from Toronto Star.

They are nocturnal amphibians, grey or brown sometimes with blue flecks on the side, and a long tail making up half of their length. Surprisingly they can live for up to 30 years!

The road closures have allowed more than 150 Jefferson Salamanders to cross safely. In 2011 the salamander's status went from threatened to endangered. The population is assumed to be declining, so we have to do what we can to keep our lovely little Jefferson Salamanders happy and healthy.
More information about the Jefferson Salamander.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

The Psychos

 I borrowed this from someone's facebook page, no credits shown to whoever thought it up. Banksy style.

Clever and funny..... but absolutely terrifying that these three psychopaths are in charge of (or want to be in charge of) a huge slice of the world.

Monday, 28 February 2022

White on White

We've woken up to a lot of that white stuff recently, and when the snow removal truck clears the road, there's just nowhere to put the snow.... so it gets piled up in front of my house. Perfect for pretending I live near Mount Everest.

All this cold winter weather can be rather tiresome, so I decided I needed a boost of Springtime. 
A $6 bunch of tulips from the supermarket did the job. Now I feel like Spring might be getting closer.... and it's March tomorrow!