Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts

Monday, 4 December 2017

November Monthly Round Up

Life Lately: In Geneva, we are starting to see the Christmas decorations in the shops. It is only natural that I want to share with you a list of independent shops where you might find the perfect gift for your family and friends. As far as I’m concerned, I always start in advance to go hunting for beautiful gifts. It’s so nice when the shops are not yet overrun. When I sat down to write this blog post, I realised that my list had grown considerably... and the result is that it has ended up being a Christmas Shops List and a very photo-heavy monthly round up. I really hope you enjoy…

Coop City (12, rue de Carouge)
Coop City is a Swiss institution (the only non-independent shop in my list). On November 1st they displayed everything you need to make a special decoration for this Christmas. This year, I would be tempted to make an Antarctic decoration, all blue and white.

Ñ (Egne) Wine & Tapas Bar (12-14, rue du Cendrier)
The freshly opened EGNE is a 10 minute walk from Geneva Cornavin train station. The vibe is really relaxed and cool, with a minimalist elegance, and the staffs, two young smiling guys, exude Spanish warmth. You can also buy exquisite wines and other fine Spanish products, since the bar is a delicatessen too.

Chloë Jewellery Shop (6, Rond-Point de Plainpalais)
I love their cosy and girly universe and their high-end fantasy silver, gold plated and rose gold plated jewellery. All their jewellery is handmade. All creations are then presented in a very nice gift package, in pastel or bright colours.

Les Filles Indignes (10, rue de l’Arquebuse)
This is a coffee, wine and delicatessen whose concept is to have no predefined menu. Every day the menu, made of quiches, salads, soups, and homemade cakes, is concocted according to what the chef finds at the market. I like this bohemian atmosphere and the little corner bookshelf is a real plus.

SBC SPA (77, rue des Eaux-Vives)
Should you decide to offer yourself a treat or want to offer a very nice gift to a friend, what about an afternoon at Sbc Spa? This is a freshly opened spa with an Arabian Nights decor. One can enjoy the hammam, jacuzzi, sauna, a haircut or a massage with Decléor products, a brand renowned for its high quality.

Mr & Mrs Renou (39, rue Saint-Joseph, Carouge)
Freshly opened, this gem of pastry shop is very popular among the gourmets in Geneva. It must be said that their creations are uniquely delicate and terribly delicious. The chef has been decorated with the prestigious medal “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”. That day, I fell for a dark chocolate and Madagascar vanilla cake.

Atelier Floral Création (28, rue Ancienne, Carouge)
Where can you buy a beautiful Christmas wreath? Here’s your answer! I really think that a bouquet of flowers is one of the nicest things to brighten up your house.

Librairie du Boulevard (34, rue de Carouge)
A book is always one of the best Christmas presents! One of my favourite bookstores in Geneva is the Librairie du Boulevard, an independent bookstore in the popular district of Plainpalais. Whenever I can, I take a look at the new arrivals. I really enjoyed reading the summary of these three books.

“Et puis ça fait bête d'être triste en maillot de bain”. (And then it’s stupid to be sad in a swimsuit) by Amandine Dhée, a French author whose books are inspired by everyday life…

“Summer” by Monica Sabolo, an Italian author whose book has won a prize and become a hit. This psychological novel is full of intrigue; we are immediately prisoner in its yarns…

“Bakhita” by Véronique Olmi, a French author who won the “Prix du Fnac 2017”. In the 19th century, Bakhita was kidnapped at the age of seven in her village in Darfur…

City Coop - Book Corner
While shopping at a Coop supermarket, I stopped by its “book corner” to check out the new book releases. I choose a pretty selection of books, each one completely different from the other: a book on Portuguese cooking, a novel by a famous Belgian author, the second book of an English author who excels in working-class heroes and the romance genre.

I didn’t buy any of these books; I simply put them on my Santa Claus gift list…If I am good he will probably leave one of them in my Christmas stocking.

So what’s next? Christmas…counting the days already!!!

Friday, 1 December 2017

A woman in Berlin by Anonymous (1954) (Eine Frau in Berlin)

Sincerely, this book is the best I have read this year. Henceforth it will be part of my list of all time best reads. Despite the atrocities it describes, I found it very easy to read, given the detached tone of the narrator. Indeed, the text does not fall into melodrama, it remains objective. That said, I had tears in my eyes on many occasions.

The anonymous author makes a poignant, cold, detailed and humorous autobiographical account of the post-war period following the fall of Berlin, when the Red Army invaded Germany. It relates the everyday life in Berlin during the Soviet occupation, particularly in relation to women, victims of multiple rapes, starvation, loneliness and the relentless struggle for survival.

This memoir was published anonymously for the first time in 1954 in English. The narrator wrote her diary every day by the light of a candle. Later she gave her notebooks to a friend, who decided to have them published anonymously to preserve the privacy of the people described in her memoir. After the death of the narrator, in 2001, the name of the author was revealed. She was Marta Hillers, a German journalist.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Coeurs Silencieux by Anne Brécart (2017)

My thoughts: As I mentioned in my “October Monthly Round Up”, I have so many books on my bookshelf waiting to be read. But, as I am a passionate soul, whenever a book captures my attention, I take it home. Thus, I borrowed “Coeur Silencieux” by Anne Brécart from my local library. This Swiss author is a wonderful discovery. I finished this book in two days and can’t stop thinking about it. This will be one of those books that stay with me forever. It is a reminder of what love life is like; there are no bad decisions, just appropriate ones, made at that particular stage in our life.

In “Coeurs Silencieux” the narrator observes what time is doing to emotional attachments and she explores what is no longer and what remains unaltered: the old emotions, the links re-emerging from the mists of time.

This is an elegant and delicately written novel. I loved the nostalgia that this story evokes; the book oscillates between the old days and the present. The narrator, Hannah, is a woman in her fifties who, after a divorce and two grown up children, decides to return to the village of her childhood, using the excuse of the sale of her mum’s house. Upon her arrival, she is welcomed by Jacob, the sweetheart of her adolescence. They met forty years earlier; she was a 14 year old teenager and Jacob a 21 year old young adult teacher. Jacob entrusts her with the diary where he recorded the two years of their love story. Despite the forty years spent apart, Hannah succumbs again to this silent and mysterious man with ambivalent behaviour.

Monday, 6 November 2017

October Monthly Round Up

LIFE LATELY: It is the beginning of autumn! Hourrah, my favourite season!!! Whenever possible I go for long walks at Parc des Evaux and Forêt Onésienne.

Autumn bench in the Parc des Evaux

Children picnicking in the Parc des Evaux

Forêt Onésienne

From the Forêt Onésienne one has gorgeous views over the River Rhône.

CAKE LOVERS: It is impossible to resist these A. Pougnier mini cakes called “Pavés Tony”. The cakes are perfect. They are a delicious génoise sponge soaked in kirsch and covered in dark chocolate. (A. Pougnier - 34, Rue St-Victor, Carouge)

WHAT I HAVE BEEN READING: As I mentioned in many of my diary posts, I have so many books on my bookshelf waiting to be read. But, as I am a passionate soul, whenever a book captures my attention, I take it home. Thus, I borrowed “Coeur Silencieux” by Anne Brecart from my local library. This Swiss author is a wonderful discovery. I finished this book in two days and can’t stop thinking about it. This will be one of those books that stay with me forever. It is a reminder of what love life is like; there are no bad decisions, just appropriate ones, made at that particular stage in our life.

Another book that will stay with me forever is “A woman in Berlin” by an anonymous author. This is probably the best book I have read this year (I will review it next month).

Another fabulous read, a very entertaining and exciting memoir of an American outlaw. I loved it enormously! “You can’t win?” by Jack Black.  I offered it to Sweetheart as a birthday gift. Jack Black has a storytelling talent that keeps us going all the way through the 470 pages. (I will review it next month).

BOUTIQUE: I discovered the Pop and Chic many years ago and it has since become one of my favourite decor shops. I especially love their top quality objects and fantasy jewels — I came here to buy a gift for Sweetheart. (Pop and Chic - 32, rue Ancienne, Carouge)

MUSEUM VISIT:  I enjoyed the exhibition “Le miroir céramique” which you can visit until 10 December 2017.
This is an exhibition of the ceramic pieces that have been selected for the 16th edition of the Carouge international ceramic competition, The ceramists have worked on an imposed theme. This year’s theme is the ceramic mirror. This subject leaves a great deal of freedom to the artists. Indeed, a mirror can be hand-held, wall-mounted, standing or pocket sized. Above all, it opens up a field of possibilities, for a mirror can be functional, certainly, but also magical, opening on to other worlds, questions, minds or souls. The works of 38 countries are represented. (Musée de Carouge - 2, Place de Sardaigne)

“NOUS et, TOUS LES AUTRES” by Nathalie BENOIT (France)

“FACETTES” by Claudia Von Boch (Switzerland)


HAND-CRAFTED BEAUTY: Savon de Marseille Soap. Sweetheart bought me these soap bars when he was in France. I really fell in love with this soap from the brand Belle Nature which is made in France.

This is the result of organic, handcrafted and traditional soap making. It is incredibly gentle and can be used on all skin types, especially sensitive skin and can be used on the face and body. The result is pure luxury - it is gentle on my skin and the smell is amazing. 

APERITIF TIME: Is there a better place to have an end-of-day aperitif than at a friend's place? With a view of the Mont Salève!…On the balcony we sipped a cool rosé, ate homemade “pâté” and enjoyed lots of laughter.

RESTAURANT: Spaghetti D’ORO Pizzeria, a gorgeous place where you feel like an Italian. Giant pizzas made in a wood fired oven, a great atmosphere and the address for great Italian specialties: fresh pasta, lasagne and more. You can also order your pizzas as a takeaway. (Spaghetti d’oro Pizzaria - 56, rue de Carouge)

Diavolo Pizza

You can also order your pizzas as a takeaway

Capricciosa Pizza

St-Pierre Cathedral in the Old Town beautifully illuminated in the evening…

WHAT ELSE HAPPENED: We blew the candles out and drank bubbly for Sweetheart’s birthday. Actually, I made the same cake as the one I did for my birthday, but the topping is different: I used fresh exotic fruits...

Beautiful autumn flowers... Love these warm colours!!

So what’s next? I am planning a long weekend trip…not sure yet if it will come off…let’s keep our fingers crossed.