Friday 21 February 2014

Freaky Friday

I haven't participated in the Friday features for quite some time. We've had such a lovely, busy, social summer that has left me little time for regular blogging habits.

But a quiet weekend looms ahead and it's time to catch my blogging breath!

I've had Paris on my mind again lately, so this week I'm going to highlight John Baxter's The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris.

Book Beginning:
Flipping through the front pages is a tantalising experience.

A map of Paris with a key of things to see and visit.
A quote by Walt Whitman to whet our appetites "We must not tarry here, We must march my darlings." Three delicious pages of contents...and then,

chapter 1 "To Walk the Walk".

"Every day, heading down rue de l'Odéon toward 
Café Danton on the corner of boulevard Saint-Germain 
or towards the market on rue Buci, I pass them. 
The walkers."

 Page 56:
"Walking in Paris requires the same rhythm. 
People who lead tours or write guides crave an itinerary, 
the route A to B. 
The flâneur has no such aim."

I doubt very much that this book will make me cry. 
I suspect it will make me pine and yearn and hope. 
It will  probably make my itchy feet squirm with impatience.
But cry? No.

Parajunkee and Alison Can Read have asked the question this Friday "What was the last book to make you cry?"

I don't cry easily, but I do get teary and sentimental and gushy. Occasionally a book will cause a few tears to run down my cheeks. Only a couple have made me sob.

The two sobbers come from my childhood. 
They have caused me to sob as an adult as well. 

They are Anne of Green Gables (when Matthew dies) and Seven Little Australians (the final chapter watching them all get on without Judy!!!!!) - it gets me every time.
Little Women/Good Wives almost makes it into this category with a heaving chest and a big long drawn out sigh of sadness, but, alas, no sobs!

The last time tears ran down my cheeks whilst reading was Room by Emma Donoghue.

I also remember some tears at the end of The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay, The Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Paterson, Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta, The Colour Purple by Alice Walker and The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.

For those of you who don't know The Power of One, let me enlighten you with a Friday Flashback.

It was published by South African born, but moved-to-Australia author, Bryce Courtenay in 1989.

I didn't read it until the movie starring Morgan Freeman came out in 1992.

It's set in South Africa during apartheid in the 1940's and 50's - a time we now know well thanks to the memoirs of Nelson Mandela.

I don't remember a lot of the details of the book any more, but the injustices of the apartheid system were burnt onto my soul at the time.

It was my first real look at what was going in South Africa & coincided with the release of Mandela from prison. 
It horrified me that I knew so little about the world and that this kind of oppression could still exist in my own lifetime.

I surprised myself by how strongly I responded to this book. I was like the child character, Peekay, slowly having my eyes opened to the horror of apartheid. 

Of course I cried!

Red hot tears of frustration and rage. 
Bitter tears at my inability to know what to do to change things.

I'm not sure how my older, more jaded self would view this book now. 
I think somes books are meant to be read at a certain time in one's life and never again. And I suspect this may be one of those.

Happy Friday everyone


  1. "I think somes books are meant to be read at a certain time in one's life and never again." That was a beautiful sentence! I agree with that so much. There were many books that moved me and they were perfect for that moment in my life. I know I would have reacted differently at another time.

    New follower via Bloglovin and GFC!

    This is my Follow Friday!

  2. The Power of One made me cry too!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  3. I liked that beginning....

    Here is my post!

  4. Love the concept and cover of the Paris book. That's a city I'd love to visit again. My Friday post:

  5. Fascinating post and interesting book choices!

    New GFC follower

    Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

  6. Oh my GOD Anne of Green Gables! For something that seems like such a fluffly series, it definitely has its moments! The Matthew bit? Definitely one of them.

    New GFC follower!

  7. Great excerpts! Thanks for sharing...and here's MY FRIDAY POST

  8. I have been too afraid to read Bridge to Terabithia because the movie always turns me into a puddle of tears! What will the book do? I'm an old follower! Thanks for sharing :) Hope you have a good weekend!
    my Friday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  9. Paris is very near the top of my list of places to visit. I imagine The Most Beautiful Walk in the World would be a great book to read before going there. I enjoyed today's post. Here's the link to my Friday post: CAKE.

  10. The bridge to terabithia was a very sad book. well, unexpectedly sad for me! :( New follower via GFC. Would appreciate a follow back :)

    Isabelle @ Isabelle's Book Reviews

  11. Well, I want to visit Paris again and take a nice, leisurely stroll beside the Seine. Oh, and I just started a new painting….it is the beginning of a Parisian bridge with the letters "Pont" on the side. The letters look like they're from with the late fifties or early sixties.

    Linking from Freda's Voice,
    Ricki Jill

  12. Anonymous22/2/14

    I enjoyed very much Baxter's Book, and then I found one even better on the same topic:

  13. I'd love to find my rhythm walking in Paris.

    Happy weekend!

  14. GORGEOUS cover. THANKS for sharing. The book sounds quite good.

    I am including an entire review and giveaway for my book beginning since I haven't read anything new for the past two weeks. :)

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

  15. I haven't yet read any of those; heard about some, and watched Ann of Green Gables. :) Thanks for stopping by and I hope you're having a great weekend!

    ~Pam @ Moonlight Reader


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