Monday, April 30, 2012

Reckless - A Novel by Cornelia Funke

"The sheet of paper slipped out of a book on airplane propulsion. Jacob only picked it up because he thought he recognized his father's handwriting on it, though he quickly realized his error. Symbols and equations, a sketch of a peacock, a sun, two moons. None of it made sense. Except one sentence he spotted on the reverse side: THE MIRROR WILL OPEN ONLY FOR HE WHO CANNOT SEE HIMSELF. Jacob turned around - and his glance was met by his own reflection."

                                                                        - Cornelia Funke in Reckless

Would you dare walk through the mirror and enter a mysterious world, foreign to all your experience and knowledge? Well, would you ?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Snapshot - Books and Cookies

It's funny. Whenever I get a book going that completely takes over my imagination, I have an otherworldly urge to make cookies. Then, I have a pile of fresh baked sweetness and a glass of milk or a hot cup of tea ... and I devour words and cookies!

White chocolate chip with hazelnuts cookies ... and Chris Bojahlian's The Night Strangers made for a spooky and sweet read .

Of course, I didn't eat the whole batch! The busy bee got a few dozen stored in its hive ... plenty for Silent Bob's late night munching. What are your favorite reading rituals?

This post is a fun Saturday ritual! It is linked at a fun photoshare on Alyce's blog, at home with books. Stop in to see what the other participants have posted. There are so many fun and thought-provoking photos and more than a bit of great writing too!

Reading and food are two of my favorite passions - so much so that I have decided to leave off posting my Saturday Snapshot posts on The Spice Garden and begin blogging and posting them here at a new literature and creative writing- centered blog.

So welcome to Buch Handling! Come back now and then to visit!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Found Fairy Tales ... and The Turnip Princess

Little did I know when I joined Carl's 'Once Upon a Time' event that I would come across an article that would so fit the theme of this reading challenge.

Here's the background. My daughter and son came home for a Sunday family dinner today. In conversation, Sara mentioned that she'd seen that a huge cache of  'fairy tales' had been discovered in Germany. Did I know anything about it? Duh ... no! This, of course, sent us scurrying for the computer to check it out.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Story About Paper ...

When I was young, I always wondered where all the paper came from to make so many books. My older sister, Donna would walk me to the small public library in Massena, New York almost every Saturday afternoon. I'd lounge around the Children's Room and read picture books, browse  the children's encyclopedias on the reference shelves, and look at the bulletin board that always displayed pictures and blurbs from the various events that happened in the library during story hours and school vacations. Then, it would be time to choose a stack of five picture books to lug home for a week's worth of bedtime stories. There were always so many from which to choose!

I remember asking my Mom one time where all the paper came from. She wrinkled her nose and pointed North. "Can't you smell where it comes from?", she asked.  She was pointing towards Cornwall, Ontario. Whenever we had a breeze coming from the North, our noses were clogged with the sulphurous fumes of the paper pulp plant. It operated there for years during the last half of the 19th century and well into the 20th. I always thought it was funny that my mother told me that they made paper for books and my brother pinched his nose and contradicted her. He said they made toilet paper with the stink already set in!

He always was a real smart ass ...

                                                                                                                                                                                               Image courtesy of


Now that I'm grown, I know differently. Here's an interesting article on papermaking with much detail on the science and more than a bit of history ...

Friday, April 20, 2012

A New Venture ...

Dear Reader,

My days of Dick, Jane, and Sally are long past. I've worked my way from Laura Ingalls Wilder, Carolyn Keene, James Herriot, Stephen King, Marion Zimmer Bradley, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.D. Salinger, Edith Wharton, James Michener, and a host of others to Alice Hoffman, Dennis Lehane, Nathaniel Philbrick, Jane Austen, Morgan Llywelyn, Jodi Picoult, Edward Rutherford, Anthony Horowitz, William Styron and a continually changing cast of favorites. And still the authors keep coming ... and I keep welcoming them and their stories into my library and onto my bedside table.

This blog is a new venture for me. I've written a food blog for the past two years. The Spice Garden has been a joy to build. What started as a techno way of building a family cookbook and food diary turned into much more, though. I have branched out and posted on foods that I have always wanted to learn to make, written about food issues, ranted about topics that are food-related, joined other foodies in on-line blogshares, helped raise monies for charitable causes through on-line bake sales, and met an amazingly wonderful group of people through the blog! The problem with food blogs and foodies is that one consumes what one posts on and sooner or later, the scale tells you that you must cut back on consumption.

As I have cut back on eating sweets and rich foods, I have found that I need another outlet and consuming words and ideas is a much better practice. I have always enjoyed reading and writing and over the past few weeks, the seed of an idea for a literature-centered blog began to germinate.  Last evening, I happened to attend an author reading at a small indie bookshop in Brookline, MA.  Alice Hoffman was speaking about her latest book, The Dovekeepers. I thought to myself, "You could be posting on these kinds of experiences if you had a place for them!"  So ... I came home from the event with a bit of a fire under me.

Hence, Buch Handling. So, here I go! My plans are to give short book reviews, write on media that interests me, share stories and memories from my years as a reader, pop in posts on any future author events that I happen upon, and enjoy making some new friends. Come and visit when you can ... leave me your thoughts if you want to ... share any posts that you'd like to pass on by linking my post URL's or passing the word about the blog ... give me ideas for books to read ... critique what I've written and shared ... make yourself at home!

See you around the stacks ...