Archive for the ‘library’ Category

Summer reading

1 July 2011

I’m ensorceled by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.


Mirella Ricciardi

13 June 2011

Mirella, another über-inspiring member of the Rocco clan.

Visit Mirella’s website, with links to her incredible photography books that also include rich prose.  A colorful childhood on the shores of Lake Naivasha primed her for marriage to the ‘Italian adventurer’ Lorenzo Ricciardi, and an eye for a beautiful picture.

One of my favorite photos below, a warrior undergoing coming-of-age ritual head shaving, from African Visions, which I often display in my foyer. So striking.


Diamonds and rust

10 June 2011

Below, the lyrics from Joan Baez’s haunting 1975 ballad ‘Diamonds and Rust’. Beautiful and arresting, in Baez’s core-vibrating warble, and the words are a poem that, for me, depict some timeless battle between earth and air. 

Well I’ll be damned
Here comes your ghost again
But that’s not unusual
It’s just that the moon is full
And you happened to call
And here I sit
Hand on the telephone
Hearing a voice I’d known
A couple of light years ago
Heading straight for a fall

As I remember your eyes
Were bluer than robin’s eggs
My poetry was lousy you said
Where are you calling from?
A booth in the midwest
Ten years ago
I bought you some cufflinks
You brought me something
We both know what memories can bring
They bring diamonds and rust

Well you burst on the scene
Already a legend
The unwashed phenomenon
The original vagabond
You strayed into my arms
And there you stayed
Temporarily lost at sea
The Madonna was yours for free
Yes the girl on the half-shell
Would keep you unharmed

Now I see you standing
With brown leaves falling around
And snow in your hair
Now you’re smiling out the window
Of that crummy hotel
Over Washington Square
Our breath comes out white clouds
Mingles and hangs in the air
Speaking strictly for me
We both could have died then and there

Now you’re telling me
You’re not nostalgic
Then give me another word for it
You who are so good with words
And at keeping things vague
Because I need some of that vagueness now
It’s all come back too clearly
Yes I loved you dearly
And if you’re offering me diamonds and rust
I’ve already paid


Live Baez version on YouTube:

And definitely check out the live Judas Priest version on YouTube:

From my wallet

21 April 2011

Digest 12/11/09: christmas cheese

11 December 2009

Hey! It's another christmas song!


No need to reinvent the wheel. During the week, I collect my five favorite articles and then post them Friday. Look for a wide spectrum, and I welcome you to send suggestions. 

1. This article from The New Yorker relates current health care reform with changes to agriculture at the turn of the 20th century. Really intriguing hypothesis, plus interesting history. 

2. A single mother of two from Seattle is, essentially, punished for finding innovative ways to make ends meet.  This is pretty discouraging. 

3. Because I just yesterday finished Kim, in honor of Rudyard Kipling, a tale of his time in Vermont.  

4.  I wish I had a robot right now to finish my thesis*. 

5.  Party on, bright young things, and dress to kill!  I’ll be right there with you, even if I don’t get that robot. 

*I promise, this is the last time I mention it. It’s being submitted Monday at 1 pm sharp. 

Wishing you the Hap-Hap-Happiest.  

A cherry cherry christmas? you bet!


Guy Reading

8 December 2009

Timbavati, November 2007

Books and more books, parties and more parties. This is the time of year when I most love a swirling social calendar, and when  I can, with equal zest, curl into a chair with a long tome and a mug of rum-spiked hot cider. I’ve got a wish list of books to finish reading by the end of the year (Dark Star Safari, Kim) and an emerging list for 2010 (Ayn Rand, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Donella Meadows).

I recently came across this booklist from the Sundance people–“New Manly Man Reading.” Manly man reading is one of my favorite genres, and these are true classics to add to my list.  I love the catalog description: “From mastery to mystery, courage to contrarianism, the follies of empire to the frivolous but phantasmagoric 60s…guy reading all, battles and brawls, brains keen and focused and then, not so.”

I think these would make superb gifts, yes?

  • The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler
  • The Siege of Krishnapur, T.G. Farrell
  • Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me, Richard Fariña
  • The New York Trilogy, Paul Auster
  • Lost in Utter Pradesh, Evan S. Connell
  • So Brave, Young, and Handsome, Leif Enger
  • Driftless, David Rhodes
  • The Battle Cry of Freedom, James M. McPherson

Incidentally, you can go to the Sundance Catalog and purchase the entire lot for just under $100.  I’ll saunter over to Second Story Books on P in Dupont or Idle Time Books down the block on 18th.

Also. I am silently and slowly redecorating my apartment with the dusty, dog-eared, mechanical wallpaper known as bookshelves. Please help me—what is good out there?

Back to the real world now.


Digest 12/4/09

4 December 2009

"Eh, to hell with it."

he sees you when you’re sleeping

he knows when you’re awake

he knows when you’ve been bad

or good

so be good for goodness sake!

ho ho ho…Happy December! Courtney

(No need to reinvent the wheel. During the week, I collect my five favorite articles and then post them Friday. Look for a wide spectrum, and I welcome you to send suggestions.)

Digest 11/27/09: I’m in Holland!…

29 November 2009

…isn’t that veird?

And before that, I was in Florida and I was too busying lounging around eating (Texas) caviar to remember to post Happy Thanksgiving wishes or a weekly digest.

Better late than never.

Moss and slime*, California

No need to reinvent the wheel. During the week, I collect my five favorite articles and then post them Friday. Look for a wide spectrum, and I welcome you to send suggestions.

1.  This little experiment at the hands of Google is hilarious and very clever.

2.  Happy Birthday OoS!

3. A Berkeley perspective goes rogue. Quite.

4.  Is this part of the stimulus too?

5. Do you know about Umuzi Photo Club? Founded by a grade school chum of mine and it’s brilliant. Absolutely worth a dedicated browse and an add to your regular blog routine.  Start with the very simple, very smart photo essay that was posted last Friday.

Hartelijk Thanksgiving!


*maybe it’s because I am below sea level, but everything does seem rather swampy here. plus, you know I love the littlest critters!

Digest 11/20/09 plus a wee note

20 November 2009


Whew! Sorry I haven’t had a new post this week. Just a crazy time of year, and I had embarked on a delightful upstate tour. Pub dinners with my siblings, holing up and taking a chunk out of my thesis, and a hectic day of work and meetings in Ithaca before hauling back to the District. 

Two pieces of REALLY good news, before you get your links. 1: I am going to Wageningen at The Netherlands for a pre-Copenhagen conference for a few days right after Thanksgiving in sunny Florida. 2: I got an early birthday present, and I’m typing on it right now. It is fast and beautiful, slim and sleek, quiet and accented with a citrusy orange. I just love my new laptop. (As you know, I needed one.)

It’s a nose-to-the-grindstone Friday. But first,

No need to reinvent the wheel. During the week, I collect my five favorite articles and then post them Friday. Look for a wide spectrum, and I welcome you to send suggestions.

1.  Maybe it’s because in about a month I’m going to be that much closer to my fourth decade, but the longevity articles seem to be catching my eye.  Two from the Beeb, on mutant genes and healthy living.

2.  Scotch cures what ails you, but keep the dram wee! From my recent favorite, the FM Allen newsletter: Scotch 101, and the Top Five Single Malts.

3.  All of us do-gooders with a sense of style knew we were on to something. Vogue features Toms (see #3) plus some other good holiday ideas, which you probably can’t afford if you’re truly with me in this cohort.

4.  Not sure about these Copenhagen talks? No one seems to be, but give it a go anyway. Starting a month ago, the events I’ve been attending have featured speakers who have already moved past it and talk about the post-Copenhagen talks, so, Grist, to answer your question, I think, yeah, we might be føcked.

5.  To end, a little humor from Ireland at the expense of the French. I’m loving the Irish these days as I just finished the best book yet of the year, written by a tough little Irishwoman…next month, by the way, I’ll list all the books I’ve read this year, and let you know what you must read and what you can use as a doorstop. 

Feliz Friday my friends! Enjoy the weekend, enjoy the short work week afterward! Courtney

Digest 11/13/09

13 November 2009
The sweet wood ducks that roost above my couch

The sweet wood ducks that roost above my couch

No need to reinvent the wheel. During the week, I collect my five favorite articles and then post them Friday. Look for a wide spectrum, and I welcome you to send suggestions.

1.  Fashion week in Pakistan. Bravo! This gives me hope…

2. Budapest, Berlin, Iran, Obama. And, from the Beeb.

3.  If there’s one thing I love, it’s faux water fowl.

4. Fodder for the eons-old Nicolas Cage debate. (There’s not really a debate, I know.)

5. Powers on Pirate Radio. Check out the week’s best dressed while you’re there. It’s Friday, and it’s (probably) raining, and you can blame it on me.

Soon to come…wish lists, book lists, must have lists…

This rain is making me tired, can you tell? Tonight, to the Himalayan restaurant on 18th. The thought of momos is getting me through the day. Take it easy! Courtney