Showing posts with label book. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book. Show all posts


Left Bank & Dream a Little Dream


Paris never fails us of her attractions, especially for those who love shopping. Whether the  prosperity impression, luxurious living or the Bohemia life style , what people used to call; are actually a very different scenario of what Paris was experienced & had been transformed after WWII.

While writing this series, I was accidentally found a book “Left Bank - Art, Passion and the Rebirth of Paris 1940-1950” by Agnés Poirier. A book that opens my eyes wide and solve some of the queries inside me during the trip. 

During the WWII, the third republic lead French into a shameful act, allow the occupied of the Nazis without defense, it might prevent major casualties as they originally thought but in fact, not to the Jews here, as mentioned in the book, over 13000 Parisian Jews (one third are children) were sent to death in Poland in 1942 & 80000 Jews were sent from France to concentration camps…this is still an ached in some of the Parisians nowadays. That explains to me why so many Jewish memorial museum were built in Paris. I feel sad, too. 

The intellectuals, how they survived to face the lost of their Jewish friends each day but couldn’t say, would there be any hope to dream for their future? To continue their philosophic expression? Publication? Playwright? Artistic life? simply to live or left?

Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Sylvia Beach, Albert Camus, Ernest Hemingway, Jacques Jaujard, Pablo Picasso, Henri cartier-bressan…some of the characters in the book, the intellectuals who were there…their dreams didn’t vanish but transformed and camouflaged in another way to preserve the seed of hope. What they had been struggling, physically, mentally & emotionally (whether succeeded or failure) left a trace in the Café de Flore, café des Deus Magots, the Louvre and many other places in Paris. 

The huge impact in the field of their specialties & their “third way” are still influencing a lot of us in the modern age.  Café de Flore may be famous of it’s hot cocoa, but in depth, there’s always been the stories behind like Hôtel La Louisiane, the Shakespeare & Co., Le Tabou…that flourished.

Dream a little Dream book cover
Click to enlarge

Dream a little Dream is the second last book of Petit Paris Series, my first draft was finished in February 2022, the moment of the 5th wave of COVID-19 in Hong Kong, should I still bring out this message to my reader? absolutely Yes, without any hesitation! the hope to end this pandemic as same as the hope to end war. If they could survive in their own ways and achieved even more in 10 years, we can, it's not only a dream!


A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway

Book Cover of A Moveable Feast
A moveable Feast

I did read The Old Man and the Sea in Chinese version when I was in secondary school, i.e.: long long time ago, this was the very first time that I met this author, not much idea about him and not quite remember the details of the story either.

Second reading was in about 5 years ago, For Whom the Bell Tolls; I was deeply engaged into the following poem 
(old English version) before started : 

“No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee."    (By John Donne) 

Then, I began to read Chapter 1, when I reached the end of the story, this poem once again resonated in my head...this year, I’ve decided I must read  A Moveable Feast as my third reading of Hemingway, because:

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” (excerpt)

I was originally thought this book will bring me to a lot of fascinated scenery or day to day life in Old Paris; but what I’ve found, like most of other readers, this book is more related to the life of Hemingway & his wife Hadley during those days in Paris; pieces of stories with his weird but interesting friends, or those lovely one like Sylvia Beach who gave a helping hands to numerous writers/ artists/ poets when they were no body once upon a time…

What the author actually let me discover is the world of a writer, why he must quit the journalist career to be a full time writer, what he’s actually thought when he was writing in the café, how & why he reacted to his weird friends…A new picture for me to know about Ernest Hemingway – a delicate person. 

It seems a bit strange for me to use this word on him if you know his background and hobby, but truly, this is what I feel, both his personality as well as writing technique.

Like many others, I like to read fictions, they lead us to infinitive imaginations, anything can be happened and experienced. But recently, I started to enjoy reading non-fictions, by knowing more about the author, more resonance can be made while reading the story they’ve written.

As usual, I wish you may have a chance to read this book, too. There are a lot more phrases inside which are worth to read, here is the one which tells me why he said Paris is a Movable Feast that I couldn't agree more.

 “…but this is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy.”

P.S.- cover design of ebook may be different from what I've got in physical paper back


A Promised Land

Finally completed the reading of this 700 pages book last night, you can see how it was being "tortured" by me :P even though it's a hardcover version, the book jacket was fragile. I've using almost 6 months to complete because I could only had time to read before bed, which was about 1 to 2 hours at most, sometimes it was really tired but this book is worth to spend time with. 

As far as I could remember when I saw it in a MTR book store, it attracted me by it's thick spine at once; there was only two copies up there on the very top of the shelving,  I grabbed it right away and decided to bring back home after reading the blurb. 

In this six months, I ran through a "tough journey" leading by the author, an unusual one, the 44thpresident of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama. A journey of how his “bet” make changes for his people; the barriers of partisan & pressure that had to be overcome; burden of duties deep inside, both his country & family…with strong & true beliefs of democracy, justice, hope, that could bring especially to the African Americans; a better future that could be built & the most important ~ love, that should have as a real human being…

It’s an extraordinary experience to know the routine & tremendous supporting team in White House, the wide scope of issues that he had to consider prior to make any decision that might affect the majority as well as the minority. But behind the scene, there were always had some lonely nights/ moments that Obama was struggled to give & take. 

There was a message I kept receiving throughout the book is , whenever he received a letter or a voice from a citizen/kid, a message of a missing pilot, a visit of an injured soldier or the 911 families…all these will once again reminding himself why to step into the government in his first place, reminding him of being a humble president, as well as a better person.

I have to say I did enjoy very much while reading this book, because it is not only a memoir of a president, or a record of what he did during his presidency. Obama didn’t hide the actual feeling of disappointment, anger or depress whenever he felt; compromise that had to be made most of the time for a bill to pass through, but at least, some achievement that benefit to the country could still be made.

What I do believe “Passion to become better” is the key and only when human don’t pretend themselves as God, “Yes we can!”

p.s.- I'm thinking, what a blessing for a country to have a president like Barack Obama. 

還記得在三月的ー個下午, 上完課回程途經美孚港鐵站内的書局, 毎次總會入内尋寳, 當天也不例外. 在書架最高處, 厚厚的書脊吸引着我, 原來是美國總統奥巴馬的 "A Promised Land". 我對政治算不得上有興趣, 但對自傳, 尤其是有視野和胸襟的人卻是例外. 幸好剛剛夠高 :D 於是一手取下先看封面及封底~ 相片拍得很美, 尤其是書背的ー張, 完全捕捉到作者的神緖和情懷,很喜歡. 再翻開書内看簡介, 看罷, 決定買下, 開始了這漫長而又期待的閲讀旅程.

我説是旅程, 真的, 在整整六個月的時日, 我總會在僅餘的睡前一至两小時, 翻開這本長達七百多頁的書本, 讓奥巴馬帶我遊走於他的政治旅途, 既艱辛卻又滿有意義和感恩. 事實上, 有時工作後實在疲倦, 但仍很想看一章, 或至少ー個段落, 因為很値得;在很多個晚上,藉着文章的內容,讓我覺得本來看似很絕望的世界,又再次浮現絲絲美善的盼望,得到不少安慰。


書中提及在不少個無奈的晚上,奧巴馬獨自靜下來的時刻,他還是會因著收過一封市民的感謝信,聽過一個工人的故事,看見過一個非藉小孩的微笑;又或是在探訪傷兵/911 遇難者家屬,為着執行任務失而復得的機師⋯等等,等等而再次回想自己要進入政府工作的初心,為此,明天又會重新出發。












看了很多頁,仍被哀愁籠罩着,還好到了其中一頁,文字是這樣寫的: 還好,守護天使一直眷顧著我。 下面一幅對頁是女孩坐在白天鵝背上,靜靜地在萍果綠色的湖水上蘯漾。水彩+粉彩般的効果如在霧中~全書最特別,也是我最喜歡的一幅圖畫。

另一幅深深吸引著我的,也是一個對頁,窗外黃昏彩霞映照入深沉的圖書閣,右邊窗台坐著女主角,文字是這樣寫的: 誰願意為我在黃昏的窗邊唸一首詩。坐在左邊窗台,是一直陪着她遊走的小狗。






旅貓日記封面, 有川浩著


看旅貓日記,要預備一盒紙巾…主人翁因為一個原因,帶着小貓展開幾次探訪之旅,昔日的朋友,單戀對象…目的是為她尋找新居,看看她喜不喜歡新主人及環境。一次又一次的旅程,也換起主人翁的記憶與思念; 即使貓咪仍未有最終決定,無奈分別的時間已到.… 當你明白原由之際,貓咪選擇了她自己的想法…




The History of Modern France

Book cover of The History of Modern France by Jonathan Fenby
The History of Modern France
It's been a while for me to introduce some reading from my book shelf recently. Here is what I've got from a book chance!
I walked in my leisure momentum towards Festival Walk in a sunny day, looking for a language grammar book, but it seems it's more & more difficult for me to find what I wanted in small book shop, unless I go to those super huge chain store...which I am not really enjoy. 
Due to the limited shop space to keep the stock, I thought I would leave in empty hands, but suddenly this book caught my eyes. Voila, I really need this, a quick review at the back cover and paid; a similar feeling of joy and excitement as I've bought The Fox and The Star .

I am not familiar with History of any country except a bit more of Hong Kong, of course. It's always be my most headache subject when I was a student, never pass in my exams. But I will be triggered to search the history of some countries after certain readings such as the memoir of a specific person, a trip, a painting or a story...when I grown up.

To have a glance of the history of France can be easily found online, but as usual, history can be boring if the writer mess it up; and on the other hand extremely attractive that leads the reader to view in wider angle , this book belongs to the latter. 

When I read through the details and have a bit more understanding to the background of the formation of Modern France, the Fifth Republic since the First Revolution, the "looping" of political, economic, basic human needs, or desires... all counted. Leading of the influx of immigrant, complicity of the social problems...after the vanished of the Monarchy & the "glorious" period of Napoleon's Empire.... facing the terrorist attacks in the modern age, again bearing the history that weight.

I continue to research more regarding the French National Symbols: the Cockerel and the Tri-color National Flag; the history of French Jews...A lot to explore, a lot more way for us to introspect, for all of our own countries, too. 

Thank you, Mr. Jonathan Fenby.


My King James

King James bible with timber cover

Why King James Version and what is it? 
If you have one, by comparing with the following words, you will know what versions it belongs to.

For example:-  Genesis Chapter 1:1  
heauen (original Hebrews typeface) - 1611 version
heaven - 1769 version as well as in Modern English version

You can easily find the details in WiKi and also ; worth to check it out. Basically it can be known as:-

The King James Version (KJV), or
The King James Bible (KJB), or
(AV) The Authorized Version.

It is one of the most accurate English translation of the Christian Bible to be read in the Church of England under the authorized of King James, translated by 54 translators worked for 7 years. 

What I am having should be a 1769 standard version because 1611 version was using the archaic English language in the Elizabethan & Jacobean era; whereas the 1769 version is more “readable” and still reserve it’s poetic feeling with a flow of rhythm, so when you read out loud, they sounds beautifully.

Letter inside King James 1769 standard version bible


Some other words like: remoone (1611), remove (1769  and modern version) in Corinthians 13:2 
It’s quite easy to identify and of course you will also find a letter "To the most high and might prince James" at the front page of the bible, too.

Back of Timber cover King James bible with etching of Jerusalem wording

My King James Bible was a wonderful gift from my husband during his “flying” to Israel yearssss....before. The timber cover (walnut or sycamore may be?) is sooooo....special & human.
I choose to use the “ancient” verses in KJV for the highlight im my Point Zéro which are exactly what I wish my reader could read them loud to enjoy the "classic breeze", that’s why here they are, I hope you’ll love it! Enjoy!

P.S.: stain inside page are due to deterioration only.


Bonhoeffer Dietrich 潘霍華

Book cover of Bonhoeffer by Metaxas

 2020年1月1日, 我終於把這本書看完, 斷斷續續地, 歷時四個月. 自從看完昂山素姫( The Lady and The Peacock) 之後, 便開始對一些能持守特定信念的人物事蹟有興趣; 接着看馬拉拉 (I am Malala) , 德蘭修女 (Come Be My Light), 現在是潘霍華 (BONHOEFFER Paster, Martyr, Prophet, Spy).

四本書的四個人物背景, 文化, 經歷各有不同, 但書本完結時, 同樣地令我心情迴蕩, 再次反思人生特別是作為基督徒的意義, 尤其處身在今天的世代.

潘霍華: 德國人, "不幸"地生存於納粹時期, 本身有着優秀的生活及學養條件, 卻選擇成為牧者, 懷着對神一份單純的信念及對公義的追求, 成為暗殺希特拉組織内的一員; 他們的行動, 並沒有成功阻止猶太人被淸洗的慘劇, 甚至為自己帶來被囚和死亡.

"...He was one of the very few men that I have ever met to whom his God was real and ever close to him...his soul really shone in the dark desperation of our prison " - 這是在最後囚禁時期認識他的 Mr. Payne Best 對潘霍華牧師的憶述.

或許有不少人也會對他的選擇有不同意見,  甚至他也會為自己的一些軟弱行為而内疚...當你發現人的限制, 對現况的無力感, 我們可以選擇玉石倶焚, 以死控訴; 又或者選擇持守神是終極掌權者, 讓他使用來成為不可能的可能, 而無悔.

"......anyone who lays violent hands on man here is infringing eternal laws and taking upon himself superhuman authority which will eventually crush him."- 潘霍華牧師在一篇演辭中講述當領導者漸漸扮演上帝的角色時同時也在摧毀自己. 我想, 這也同樣地對我們一群要反抗不公義政權的人民, 有着重要的提醒.

潘霍華: 德國人牧者, "有幸"地生存於納粹時期, 在黑暗世代中的任何時刻, 將安慰和希望帶給身邊的人, 作鹽作光, 成為持守主道的美好見證. 但願今天的我們, 不忘初心!


Yes, we can !

The lady and the peacock - Aung San Suu Kyi
The Lady and The Peacock

Due to the Anti-extradition law movement in Hong Kong in this month, I've decided to re-read this book again, in deep; and seriously think of what the meaning of non-violence and peaceful demonstration should be. 

It may not appropriate to compare with what Burma and Hong Kong's political condition, but the mind set behind shall be clearly and in common - Democracy.

Freedom that everyone shall deserve to have, without Fear!

It's heartbreaking for every citizen especially the youth to experience this movement, as well as the pressure and hatred that being put onto the front line simply because of a wrong move of the decision made by our government. Could this be repaired?

By re-read this book, I think, 

YES! if only if we really want to, in a way of non-violence and peaceful way. 
May God be with us !