Author Archives: Robin

About Robin

I’m a wife, mother, grandma, retired teacher, gardener, knitter, and passionate reader. I live near Portland, Oregon, USA.

Manuscript Found in Accra

Manuscript Found in Accra, by Paulo Coehlo, reminded me a lot of The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran, but I liked The Prophet much better. There were some nuggets of wisdom in this one, but it bothered me that it was styled so much after Gibran.

I liked this passage from the book:

“Love appears and says: “You think you’re heading towards a specific point, but the whole justification for the goal’s existence lies in your love for it. Rest a little, but as soon as you can, get up and carry on. Because ever since your goal found out that you were traveling toward it, it has been running to meet you.”

I chose this book to read for my personal challenge, “Wanderlust,” an effort to read books that are from or take place in each country of the world. This book was written by a very popular author from BRAZIL.

January in the Garden, 2020

…from The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, by Edith Holden

It’s been a strange January, weather-wise.  We had one very short sprinkling of snow that I would have missed entirely if I had slept-in another hour that morning! The temperatures have been unseasonably warm, and everything seems to be getting ahead of itself — one bulb blooming in early January, other bulbs coming up all over the place now. I’m not complaining, but it does seem unusual.

Here are some January photos from around the yard.

Reading Cures


My family has long claimed that watching the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice (with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle) is a great cure for whatever illness puts you on the sofa for a week or more. It used to be sold in VHS format on six cassettes, so one episode a day was the prescription, and it made being sick a bit less miserable.


Nowadays, we can just stream the whole series at once, and can also watch our other favorite version — the one with Kiera Knightly as Elizabeth Bennett — and although not in the one-a-day format, they also help one feel slightly less miserable while fighting a miserable cold.

And audio books also are a great prescription for one who is fighting a nasty cold. It’s particularly soothing to listen to something out of the ordinary and quite humorous such as Paul Gallico’s view of our human species as seen through the eyes of the cat world, in The Silent Miaow. And there’s nothing better than listening to another book in a captivating mystery series by Deborah Crombie.

But the best medicine of all, for someone who hasn’t been sick in years and years, is all the well-wishes from friends and family. I want to thank you all for your kind wishes and sympathy as I fought this really mean modern viral form of a nasty cold!

Stay healthy, my friends!

Sick Days


I’m sick this week and spending a lot of time napping (no energy) and reading when I’m up to it. No fun being sick—I haven’t had a cough and cold for a long time so I’d almost forgotten the misery of it.

So for comfort, I’ve started listening to a sweet book, another by Paul Gallico, called The Silent Miaow: A Manuel for Kittens, Strays, and Homeless Cats. It is doing the job, a comfort read with humor always helps.

They Called Us Enemy

 

They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei, is a beautifully written and illustrated autobiography of his childhood years when he and his family were relocated to the American concentration camps during World War II.  This is a book that I think should be a must read for everyone. It is so alarmingly relevant today, and I mean this very day, with Iranians now being detained at our borders and children that continue to be separated from their families and incarcerated at our southern border!

from the publisher:

In a stunning graphic memoir, Takei revisits his haunting childhood in American concentration camps, as one of over 100,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned by the U.S. government during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon—and America itself—in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.

I was very moved by this book and learned a lot that I didn’t know about that shameful period of time in our nation’s history. It was both moving and uplifting. An excellent book, in my opinion, and one of the most important books I’ve read in a long time!

Currently Reading, January 2020

Reading After Lunch, by Sara Bryant

This morning my husband said to me,  “Rob, I’m reading 4 books right now,” as if that was something to feel guilty about.  I just laughed and told him that I’ve got 4 books going at the same time, too!  One on my Kindle, a library book, an audiobook, and one of my Christmas presents from my daughter. “Guilt-free reading“, I told him!

I am currently reading:

…from the library:  They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei

…current audiobook:  The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, by Howard Pyle

…on my Kindle:  Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild

…my Christmas present:  Virginia Woolf at Home, by HIlary Macaskill

From My Reading Notebook: Paul Gallico

In 2009, I read and reviewed a classic novella, The Snow Goose, written by Paul Gallico. It was beautifully written, short and powerful, and a very poignant story. I copied the beginning of the book into my reading notebook because it so perfectly set the stage for this powerful story of loneliness and love and sacrifice. If you’ve never read the book, it should be read in one sitting and treasured on a quiet afternoon.

The Great Marsh lies on the Essex coast between the village of Chelmbury and the ancient Saxon oyster-fishing hamlet of Wickaeldroth. It is one of the last of the wild places of England, a low, far-reaching expanse of grass and reeds and half-submerged meadowlands ending in the great saltings and mud flats and tidal pools near the restless sea.

Tidal creeks and estuaries and the crooked, meandering arms of many little rivers whose mouths lap at the edge of the ocean cut through the sodden land that seems to rise and fall and breathe with the recurrence of the daily tides. It is desolate, utterly lonely, and made lonelier by the calls and cries of the wildfowl that make their homes in the marshlands and saltings–the wild geese and the gulls, the teal and widgeon, the redshanks and curlews that pick their way through the tidal pools.

…the marshlands of coastal Essex in England…