Tacoma Buildings

•July 21, 2015 • Leave a Comment

There are many interesting old shops and warehouses in downtown Tacoma.

Wholesale hardware


Warehouse sunrise

Clown window

Dedicated to women

Elephant window

Map window


More photos

When the Doves Disappeared, by Sofi Oksanen

•July 16, 2015 • 1 Comment

Doves3When the Doves Disappeared, Sofi Oksanen’s most recent novel to appear in English (translated by yours truly), was published this spring by Knopf in the US, Anansi, Canada and Atlantic, UK.

When the Doves Disappeared is a complex, suspenseful story about life under occupation in Estonia, from the WWII era to the 1960s. It has a main character based on a real person who is a fascinating study in chameleonic machination.

Here are some of the reviews:

“A piercing look at characters striving to retain their humanity amid fear, violence, and secrecy.” – The New Yorker

“This is powerful fiction that stirs history, war crimes, and psychology into a compelling mix.” –  Booklist

“Oksanen depicts civilian life in wartime and under communist oppression in rich Doves Anansihistorical detail, skillfully manipulating chronology and threading clues subtly throughout the narrative as suspense builds. Highly recommended.” – Library Journal (*starred review)

“A brave and important voice from the ex-communist world… Betrayal, secrecy and memory are the haunting themes of Sofi Oksanen’s accomplished new novel.” – The Economist

I also recommend it.

U.S. cover by Kelly Blair. Canadian and UK cover by Richard Evans.

Dusty Bluebells

•July 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This short 1971 BBC documentary is full of haunting children’s folklore from Belfast. I was surprised to hear several songs that I sang with my sisters as a child. But only a little surprised. Children’s songs and rhymes have a remarkable way of spreading and outlasting all other forms of folklore.

I wonder, though, if it’s possible for the poetry and song and dance of children to be eradicated by screens and recordings.

Found on the always interesting Nag on the Lake.

Coro del tema: Mi mamá me lo teje todo

•July 13, 2015 • Leave a Comment

It started with an innocent sock.

My Mother Keeps Knitting Me Everything. From the Chilean puppet news show 31 Minutos.

Christopher Martin’s Photos of Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees

•July 1, 2015 • 2 Comments

Christopher Martin has taken a series of gorgeous photos of the multicolored bark of Eucalyptus deglupta trees at the Keahua Arboretum in Hawaii.



More photos and info on his website.

June Flowers

•June 19, 2015 • Leave a Comment

June flowers 1

June flowers 3

June flowers 4

Donna Stevens’ Portraits of Children Watching Television

•June 17, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Donna Stevens’ photographs of children watching television capture something very familiar, do they not?



There are more in this series and many other interesting photos on Donna Stevens’ website.

Tapestries at the Residenz Museum in Munich

•May 21, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This past October I had the good fortune of visiting the Residenz Museum in Munich. While we were there I kept my companions waiting for ages while I pored over the dozens of spectacular tapestries in the rooms. Here are just a few of them.








The tapestries were designed in the early 1600s by Hans van der Biest and Peter Candid. Click and zoom for a closer look.


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