Spring is here.

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Just a little note to say hello.

When I see flowers and trees blooming, it gives me hope. And I think we could all use a little hope right now.

xoxo, Jane

Thursday Reading Links #54

 

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Blossoms in the wind.

The first episode of Belgravia is available in the US on Epix. I loved the book by Julian Fellowes and am excited to watch the series.

I paired Belgravia with a cup of tea. Now you know which tea to drink while watching the TV adaptation. Speaking of Belgravia, this is an interesting history piece about what happened at the Duchess of Richmond’s ball.

This is totally me. You too? British costume dramas are keeping me sane.

We’re all alone. So let’s get lost in these paintings of parties.

The Library of Congress is republishing classic crime fiction by American writers. The first one was released earlier this month, That Affair Next Door by Anna Katherine Green. The titles are found in the Library’s collection of out-of-print and forgotten books. The covers are inspired by images from the Library’s collection. How cool is that?  The books are published by Poisoned Pen Press, which is the same company that publishes the British Library Crime Classics.

xoxo, Jane

Thursday Reading Links #53

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Only feel-good links today.

These Artists Are Making Free Coloring Pages For You To Enjoy.

If you like looking at pictures of home libraries, then The Captive Reader has you covered.

The best podcasts for book-lovers and creatives.

You can create your own perfume at Musée du Perfum. Someday I’m going to do this!

French Cultural Institutions Providing Free Content Online.

The Birth of Fashion Magazines.

The History of Dewy Skin.

A pretty teacup.

What to read when you need an escape.

xoxo, Jane

What I’m enjoying during isolation

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Like most of us, I’m pretty stressed. I’m also extremely worried about my future. I can’t concentrate on writing because of the worries lingering over me. During this pandemic, I’m not going to become the next Shakespeare or Da Vinci, that’s for sure. However, there are a few things that I’m enjoying during isolation. (Many thanks to Sophril Reads for this idea.)

Podcasts

Even though I’m not commuting to the office, I’m still enjoying my podcasts. I listen to them (usually about women’s history) while I make breakfast and tea and throughout the day as I work. I think I’m enjoying listening to them much more than before because I don’t have the stress of the commute weighing me down. I don’t have to worry about balancing myself, plus all of my work stuff, while standing on an overcrowded, jerking metro.

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Tea

I can’t explain to you how nice it is to drink a cup of tea in the morning without worrying about hurrying up or not finishing it because I need to rush out the door. Plus, it’s such a treat to drink tea in my fine china during the workday.

Loungewear

I’m not going to lie. I wear my loungewear all day. It is glorious.

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Flowers

To cheer myself up, I keep an abundance of flowers around the house. I don’t leave the house often, but when I do it’s for the grocery store. I pick up at least two or three bouquets. This way I always have flowers in constant rotation.

Nature

Now that we have nicer weather, I keep the windows and patio door open while I work. Sometimes I glance out at the patio where I’m highly amused to see squirrels scouring about and the chirping birds dancing on the tree branches. Being so close to some type of nature during the workday is a stress reliever for sure.

I hope there are a few things that are cheering you up during isolation.

Take good care.

xoxo, Jane

 

 

 

The Occasional Weekly Recap

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A lovely tea set through the window of an antique shop during a social distancing walk.

I hope you had a good week! My week was fine, but I have so many worries lingering over me that it’s hard to really enjoy much right now. I know you probably feel the same.

On a lighter note, this week was another busy book blogging week. Below is a recap for your reading pleasure.

Happy reading!

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From the same walk, but I promise I was not near anyone.

Favorite Book Series: Clara Vine

Pairing books with tea (Let’s Bring Back)

What to read when you need an escape

Thursday Reading Links #51

London Book Haul

Also, come have tea with me on Instagram. I’m on Twitter too, but Instagram is my fave.

xoxo, Jane

Thursday Reading Links #51

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With spring comes hope.

If you are in need of distraction, or find yourself with some free time, then you’ve come to the right place. !!

The Queen of Paris was the perfect historical novel to lose myself in.

How bookshops are helping with isolation.

Jane Austen – Her Life in Words (YouTube).

The first lines of 10 classic novels, rewritten for social distancing. This was a fun read.

Here’s how much Europe’s royal families really cost. I’ve always wondered.

The playboy Serbian spy who inspired James Bond. When life becomes art?

Social distancing doesn’t have to doom your weekends. I’m basically reading everything now.

Coronavirus: What this crisis reveals about US – and its president. You probably don’t need to read this article to know what it says about Mr. Trump.

The Etiquette of Social Distancing around Coronavirus by Emily Post.

xoxo, Jane

 

 

 

Weekly Recap

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It’s been an interesting week, to say the least. Just today I found out that the World Health Organization said that COVID-19 can linger for hours on clothing. They recommend you switch clothing as soon as you get home. This shouldn’t be a problem for us. I think most of us have “outside clothes” and “inside clothes.”

Anyway, in case you want to show my blog some love, below are links to this week’s blog posts. Thank you for stopping by and be well.

January, February and March 2020 Wrap-Up Part I

Local Book Haul

Sleeping With the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War by Hal Vaughan

Thursday Reading Links #50

New book: The Little(r) Museums of Paris by Emma Jacobs

xoxo, Jane

The Battle of Peleliu

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Island of Peleliu.

Today in the United States we honor our military veterans. But the truth is, I don’t need a special day to commemorate them because I think of them every single day. Whether it’s my brother who fought in the Middle East or my ancestors who fought in Europe, I think of their service every day.

Recently we made a special trip to Palau in honor of the 75th anniversary of the battles of Peleliu and Angaur. We were there in memory of a cherished family member who fought on both islands. The Americans assaulted these islands in the fall of 1944 in order to seize a Japanese airfield and thereby protect General Douglas MacArthur’s flank as he returned to the Philippines.

The battle between the Americans and the Japanese military forces occupying these islands saw some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific during World War II. After a battle that lasted over two months, the Japanese were defeated and Peleliu was occupied by the American military for a time. Palau ultimately became independent 25 years ago (1994).

For me, it was emotional to be on the island because it is obvious Palauans have not forgotten, nor will they ever forget, the sacrifices of the US military to free Palau.

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This is a picture of White Beach, Peleliu where the 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division landed on Peleliu on September 15, 1944. The Marines suffered scores of casualties here and the beach is still littered with pieces of the American landing craft that were destroyed during the invasion.

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Scattered remnants of the war remain visible throughout Peleliu. This is a picture of the cave that served as the final command post for the Japanese commanders, Colonel Kunio Nakagawa and General Kenjiro Murai. Near the end of the battle, they committed suicide here. Today the Japanese travel here to pay tribute to them and the thousands of other lives lost on both sides during the battle.

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This is a Japanese tank destroyed early in the battle and now is part of the landscape.

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This is a memorial to the fallen soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 81st Infantry “Wildcat” Division. All remains of American servicemen lost on Peleliu and Angaur have been brought home to the US or interned in US military cemeteries elsewhere (like in the Philippines).

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To the right, you’ll see a very special plaque recently placed near Orange Beach (another one of the landing beaches on Peleliu), which commemorates the 75th anniversary of the battle.

***

For veterans and servicemen and women, from the bottom of my heart I say thank you for your service. Though my thanks could never ever be enough for what you have done (and continue to do) for our country.

Thursday Reading Links #29

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Waikiki Beach

Ever since my trip to Palau, I’ve been reading what I can about the battles that took place there like the bizarre story of WWII soldiers who refused too surrender even after the war ended.

This was fun to read. I love reading about books. Et tu? Bronte Sisters Are Detectives! & More Must-Read Mystery & Thrillers.

This story of a boy who returned a fish to the lake melts my heart!

Cup of Jo’s picks for fall books. And mine.

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More Waikiki Beach

A Neglected Modern Masterpiece and Its Perverse Hero. (The New Yorker)

Totally random, but I bought myself one of those velvet kokoshnik-type heabands the Duchess of Cambridge wears and I feel like a princess. And, Wikipedia’s entry on kokoshnik.

Doesn’t this book, The Mermaid and the Bear, sound incredible? It’s out tomorrow.

The blog one year ago: Trinket Tuesday: Easter Egg.

Have a great Friday and weekend.

xoxo, Jane

Thursday Reading Links #19

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I’m both excited and sad for August. August is a calmer month around here, but at the same time it marks the transition into fall. I’m going to try and enjoy as much as possible the last days of summer and I hope you do too.

Here is a little mish-mash of what I’ve read this week. Enjoy!

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xoxo, Jane

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. Thank you for supporting my book-loving blog. xoxo, Jane

Time-traveling, maybe. Let’s have a chat.

Do people ever ask you the question about the time-machine and which era you’d pick to time-travel through? Well, I used to say that I’d never actually want to travel back in time unless I was traveling back as a rich man. Life for women used to be awful and it sort of still is. (I mean, Exhibit A: the best women’s soccer team in the world gets paid pennies compared to the US men’s team and the men’s team is pretty atrocious. I can play better soccer than them, I’m sure.)

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I digress. What I’m trying to say is that personally I’d never want to travel back in time. Unless!!! I time-travel as an invincible, powerful, very fashionable and uber, uber rich woman riding this 1927 Harley!

What about you? Which era would you want to visit? And if you didn’t have a guarantee of returning (say, the time-machine you were gifted by Great Uncle Ludwig is only a one-way machine), would you still do it and which era?

Blooms for your Monday

“I must have flowers, always, and always.” Claude Monet

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“Flowers really do intoxicate me.” Vita Sackville-West

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“The butterfly is a flying flower, the flower a tethered butterfly.” Ecouchard Le Brun

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“Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.” Albert Einstein