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Sunday, December 27, 2015


For this, the last posting of 2015, here are my favourite books of the past twelve months. For several years I've been recording author and title of each book I read, with marks to indicate the ones I didn't like (or didn't finish) and the ones I liked best. Below are the author and title of all the starred books on my list. Seek them out and enjoy your reading!


Walter Mosley                          Rose Gold

Lee Child                                 Never Go Back

Molly Kean (Keene?)               Good Behaviour

Emma Hooper                          Etta & Otto & Russell & James

David Mitchell                          The Bone Clocks

Ries (?) Haider Rahman            In the Light of What We Know

Gail Bowen                              12 Rose Street

Will Schwalbe                          The End of Life Book Club

Jennifer Klinec                         The Temporary Bride

Atul Gawande                          Being Mortal

Tess Gerritsen                          Die Again

Jo Bannister                              Perfect Sins

Margaret B. Thornton              Charleston

Mick Herron                            Nobody Walk

Donna Leon                             Falling in Love

Norman Lewis                          Naples '44

? (forgot to note)                      Fishbowl

John Williams                           Augustus

Munae Mizumura                     A True Novel

Patrick Gale                             A Place Called Winter

Elizabeth Hay                           Her Whole Life

Mary Norris                             Between You and Me

Kevin Kwan                             China Rich Girlfriend

James Rebanks                        The Shepherd's Life

Robert Galbraith                       Career of Evil

Thom Satterlee                         The Stages


Just so you know: in order to come up with this filtered list of winners for you, I read a total of 275 books during the year. I promise that during the coming months I will transcribe the authors' names more carefully so that next year there will be no question marks!

Copyright © 2015 Ann Tudor

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Joy, Again

Nothing is hidden from those whose eyes are open. With open eyes we see it all, take it in, and have no need of more—no need to understand, to put into words the mysteries of ripening and dying. It happens, and seeing suffices.


It's like the goddess's way of being in our lives: she is here. She reveals herself through life—and that's the secret. Pay attention to what is, not for omens and portents but for the ineffable joy of being.


It's the omens and portents that steer us onto the wrong course. The task, if we insist on using that imperative idea, is simply to en-joy our lives. Every minute we devote to anger, anxiety, and Angst is an opportunity squandered.


Brand it on your forehead: En-joy yourself, it's later than you think.



Copyright © 2015 Ann Tudor

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Oh, Just Let Go!

Because you travel alone you feel alone.

To your eye everyone else is joined--

by heart, by hand, by hip, by soul—

and you alone are alone.


Well, my friend, it's time to recognize

illusion for what it is (namely, illusion)

and counteract its effect in the only way possible

(you're going to hate this):

let go.


Tightly clutching to your breast

your protective cloak of invisibility

is the proximate cause of your isolation.

So let go.


Become visible, small bits at a time.

Loosen the fingers to let the cloak open—

it's safe, I promise you.

The cloak will still drape from your broad,

tight shoulders.

But now it will open in the front,

releasing the bonds that wrapped your heart.


What a good place to start:

the heart.

You may find that you are not travelling alone at all.


Copyright © 2015 Ann Tudor

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Ironing Insights

Aging brings startling new discoveries about myself and my place in the world, the way I act (and have acted). The doings of life arise now to be looked at through a different prism.


Last week I was ironing. My clothes I shake out and pretend they've been pressed. But table linens? For a dinner party? They have to be ironed.


I had ironed two tablecloths and a dozen coloured napkins. All that remained were a dozen large white linen napkins, and with the first swipe of the iron my mother, Eileen, came to my mind. The white linen napkins—huge ones—were hers. Not just "hers" in that she had had them when I was growing up, but "hers" in that she had made them. I knew this; it was not new information. But it's as if I am continually being given the opportunity to see things differently.


By now I have boxed Eileen up pretty well, or so I thought. I've analyzed her, put her into the appropriate compartments (she was this way, she was that way, she did this to me, to us—and so forth).


But as I ironed the hemmed edge of that first napkin I sensed Eileen in her true self. She loved to sew. She loved beautiful things, beautiful fabrics. Since she could never have afforded to buy beautiful white damask napkins, she would make them. And I had a vivid picture of her folding over the raw edges of the linen, taking tiny running stitches to make the hem—never a machine-stitched hem for a linen napkin! She was in her element, her six children forgotten. She was alone and at home in her sewing.


The large napkins were well worn by the time they came to me. She used them often at her frequent dinner parties, and she probably bleached them regularly to keep them brilliant white. Bleaching eats away at the fabric, of course, so a couple of the napkins, though white, sport large or small holes; these I set aside for the rag bag. The napkins that grace my own next dinner party must not disgrace either Eileen or me.


Copyright © 2015 Ann Tudor