Welcome to my Inner World. I am a French self-taught artist, and these past twenty years I have made Norway my home. Moving to the Lofoten islands was the greatest present I ever made to myself and the Arctic landscapes are indeed a true treat for any artist’s eyes. I live with my British soulmate,… Continue Reading

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The Portrait of Mrs Charbuque by Jeffrey Ford

 

Book Description

A mysterious and richly evocative novel, The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque tells the story of portraitist Piero Piambo, who is offered a commission unlike any other. The client is Mrs. Charbuque, a wealthy and elusive woman who asks Piambo to paint her portrait, though with one bizarre twist: he may question her at length on any topic, but he may not, under any circumstances, see her. So begins an astonishing journey into Mrs. Charbuque’s world and the world of 1893 New York society in this hypnotically compelling literary thriller.

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

 

From Booklist
Gr. 6-12. Picture an alternative London where the Parliament, composed of powerful magicians, rules the British empire. When five-year-old Nathaniel’s parents sell him to the government to become a magician’s apprentice, the boy is stripped of his past and is given over for training to a grim, mid-level magician from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Over the next seven years, Nathaniel studies the lessons given by his cold master, but in secret he delves into advanced magic books, gaining skill beyond his years: he summons a djinn to steal the powerful amulet of Samarkand. Inspired by a desire for revenge, this bold act leads to danger and death. Nathaniel’s third-person narrative alternates with the first-person telling of Bartimaeus the djinn, a memorable and highly entertaining character. Rude, flippant, and cocky, his voice reflects the injustice of his millennia of service to powerful magicians who have summoned him to do their capricious bidding. His informative and sometimes humorous asides appear in footnotes, an unusual device in fiction, but one that serves a useful purpose here. Stroud creates a convincingly detailed secondary world with echoes of actual history and folklore. The strong narrative thrust of the adventure will keep readers involved, but the trouble that is afoot in London extends beyond the exploits here. The unresolved mysteries will be more fully explored in the next two volumes of the trilogy. One of the liveliest and most inventive fantasies of recent years. Carolyn Phelan

Russian Gypsy Tales by Yefim Druts and Alexei Gessler

 

From Publishers Weekly
Folklorists Riordan ( The Sun Maiden and the Crescent Moon ), Druts and Gessler perform a genuine service by bringing to light these tales from the Gypsy people living in the former Soviet Union. The Gypsies (or as they call themselves, Rom), as a wandering people, took on the customs and even national heroes of the lands in which they made their home. One story anthologized here, for instance, deals with St. George bestowing the blessing of God upon the Rom people. The Gypsies also harbor legends about Rom involvement in the crucifixion of Jesus ( as the maker of the nails of the cross). In a tale evoking the Arabian Nights, an old Gypsy cheats Dame Death by entrancing her evening after evening with songs played on his guitar. The first story, however, may be the best: a fairy tale, complete with evil mother-in-law, about true love triumphing through the ages. In an excellent introduction, the translator gives a brief overview of Gypsy history and culture, pointing out that ethnographic evidence shows the group springs from northern India. In all, this is an immensely entertaining addition to collections of oral tradition. Illustrated.

Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

 

Book Description
UPDATED, WITH NEW MATERIAL BY THE AUTHOR”WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES isn’t just another book. It is a gift of profound insight, wisdom, and love. An oracle from one who knows.”–Alice WalkerWithin every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. She is the Wild Woman, who represents the instinctual nature of women. But she is an endangered species. In WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES, Dr. Estés unfolds rich intercultural myths, fairy tales, and stories, many from her own family, in order to help women reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of this instinctual nature. Through the stories and commentaries in this remarkable book, we retrieve, examine, love, and understand the Wild Woman and hold her against our deep psyches as one who is both magic and medicine. Dr. Estés has created a new lexicon for describing the female psyche. Fertile and life-giving, it is a psychology of women in the truest sense, a knowing of the soul.”This volume reminds us that we are nature for all our sophistication, that we are still wild, and the recovery of that vitality will itself set us right in the world.”–Thomas Moore Author of Care of the Soul”I am grateful to WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES and to Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés. The work shows the reader how glorious it is to be daring, to be caring, and to be women. Everyone who can read should read this book.”–Maya Angelou”An inspiring book, the ‘vitamins for the soul’ [for] women who are cut off from their intuitive nature.”–San Francisco Chronicle”Stands out from the pack . . . A joy and sparkle in [the] prose . . . This book will become a bible for women interested in doing deep work. . . . It is a road map of all the pitfalls, those familiar and those horrifically unexpected, that a woman encounters on the way back to her instinctual self. Wolves . . . is a gift.”–Los Angeles Times”A mesmerizing voice . . . Dramatic storytelling she learned at the knees of her [immigrant] aunts.”–Newsweek