Weekly Photo: Arranged

Wonderful arrengement.
Wonderful arrengement.

Time after time, Nature always give us its best and amazes us with its wonderful creations! It was amazing for me to have the chance to see this natural arrangement and even more outstanding to have the opportunity to capture this shot :D!

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Books are all around!

 The best of times.
The best of times.
One of these days, I turned my head and a big smile came onto my face when I saw that there were books all around me! Here and there all kind of books at my hand, and that made me feel really comfortable, just the same as when I’m around dear people.

Sometimes I’ve read that books can’t talk or that books can give you anything back, but for me, it’s not like that. I hear the worlds written by the authors coming out from the books straight to my head, and I like the knowledge and the emotions that I can get while reading my books.

H.G Wells used to say that “we all have our time-machines, the ones that take us to the past are our memoires and the ones that takes us to the future are our dreams”. And I totally agree with him. But I also have to say that to me, books are another form of time-machine that take me to the most unexpected, beautiful and daring places.

One after the other, all of them help me travel anywhere in the world, and even to other places in the universe, diferent times and dimensions, without even paying a plane fare or being part of a time-traveling experiment. I just take my books, and my mind goes free, away from the world around. 😀

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Lifetime passions contained in small packages

By Nora Vasconcelos

Surprises in a box.
Surprises in a box.
Loving books is a passion that makes absolutely impossible to pass by a bookstore and not going inside. Once inside, it’s like the readers paradise. Time just passes by as if it were not actually passing by.

The bookstore becomes an imaginary maze in which it’s really easy to get lost and the desire to go somewhere else simply disappears. And then when the clock says it’s time to go, the pressing feeling of trying to gather as much as it’s possible in the very last minutes at the bookstore, makes the eyes become a hunter that see as far as possible to see if there’s one more book to be bought before the line end at the cashier.

It’s there when these lovely small books and little boxes containing amazing and unbelievable topics appear, And it’s there when I’m always unable to resist the temptation to see what last-minute novelty I can find.

Of course, I never get dissapointed, and of course, I’m always very satisfy with my acquisitions once I finally manage to leave the store.

My last three little purchases are about three of my dearest passions in life: books, coffee and chocolate

Quick look at great books, by W. John Cambell, is a little box that contains 48 cards with literary references to the same ammount of classic titles of all times literature. On one side of the card there’s information about a book and an author, and on the other side there’s a diagram that helps the reader to have a clear idea about the plot of the book.

All About Coffee, by Evelyn Sinclair, is a quiz deck, also with 48 cards, but in this case, on one side of the card there’s a question related to coffee, and on the other side, the answer.

And, Chocolate, the Exquisite Indulgence, printed by Running Press, is a lovely small book that manages to contain 126 pages with photos, history, recipes and quotes, all related to choclate. It’s so beautifuly presented that it’s hard not to get hungry while going through it.

So, now that I’m very pleased with my little treasures, I just want to say: Cheers to little literary surprises contained in small packages!

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Weekly Photo: Through

Layers of beauty.
Layers of beauty by NVS.
Walking through gardens is one of the things I enjoy the most because I always get amazed by the simplicity and the beauty that every flower has and how being so small every flower is so colorful and unique.

Every step I take a new surprises appear and it’s almost impossible not to keep looking through the site as curiosity always make me look ahead to have a small taste of what’s to come while still enjoying as many flowers and plants as I’m able to see while walking through the relaxing paths of any given garden.

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Weekly Photo: Unusual

Unique Wonders of Nature.
Unique Wonders of Nature.
Traveling always is an amazing experience. It give us the chance to know different cultures and traditions, and it also gives us the opportunity to find outsanding landscapes like this one. Walking through a beach made of lava sand is one of the most fantastic and unusual experiences I’ve ever had!

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Marie Antoinette, when life works against a princess destiny

Unexpected turns in life.
Unexpected turns in life.
While staying in an inn, Sena Jeter Naslund found a biography of Marie Antoinette. Then the idea of writing a novel based on the life and death of the French queen came to her mind. However, the author was really interested in showing a more humane side of Marie Antoinette as for the readers to have the opportunity to know a more complex character and not only the one that has often been known, as someone who was purely superficial.

To achieve that, Jeter spent a lot of time researching and reading several biographies of Marie Antoinette. Then she traveled to Europe and spend a good deal of time visiting the places that were important in the life of the queen who was born in Austria and then spent most of her life living in Versailles and Paris.

All this work allowed her to get to know Marie Antoinette, her life, her favorite things, her hobbies, her worries, her hopes and dreams, and how she went from being an enthusiastic girl who married the futuro king of France when they both were really young, and was eager to please the people of France, to being the queen of a country that was changing and that found on the destitution of the royal family a symbol of that change.

Jeter was able to reproduce in great detail all this in her novel Abundance, a novel of Marie Anotinette in which she shows how a girl who was born to being a princess and become a queen, had to face a life that she hadn’t expected, which ended later on at the guillotine.

As the book is written in first person, all the story is told by Marie Antoinette hereself which makes the reader feel really inside of the story.

As the end of the novel approches, it’s hard not to wonder how the author will manage to present the last minutes on Marie Antoinette’s life, as the story is told by herself.

In the end, Jeter works it out very gracefully, and the idea of having known Marie Antoinette as a person beyond the crown lingers for a long while.

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Getting hungry? A book on Pizza

Fancy a slice?
Fancy a slice?
Pizza is one of those things that are so close to our lives that it’s really easy take it for granted. Although, it’s hard no to enjoy it every single time we oreder one.

It’s so common nowadays, that it’s difficult to think about when and how the story of this delicious dish started. Lucky for me, I came acroos this book: The little guide to Pizzas, published by Fog City Press.

At the begining I thought it would be only a book with many recipes, what was great, but I got even more surprised when I started going through its pages and I found how many historical details the book had.

Then I learned that the ancient Greek prepared a seasoned raising bread that resemble in some way the pizza bread. However the highlight in the evolution of pizza was the arrival of tomato from Latin America to Europa in the XVI century. It was then when the Italians started to mix the round bread base with some tomato sauce and any kind of vegetables and meat.

From then, the expansion of the business specialized in preparing pizza hasn’t stopped. Pizza makers have been able to adjust to major changes such as immigration and financial crisis, offering at all times a delicious and achievable alternative for those who want to eat something tasty.

Along with the historical information, the guide has many recipes that go from the preparation of several kinds of pizza bread, to different sauces and tappings.

The reading is really enjoyable and it’s really hard no to get hungry after seeing all the pictures and learning all those hidden details that this dish holds.

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Weekly Photo: Contrast

A little world within the real world.
A little world within the real world
I love this urban scene with all these elements that work in harmony, combaining shapes, colors, materials, lights and shadows. People and buildings all together in a little space that feels like a world made purely of fantasy, but that it’s in fact, absolutely real. It’s here where contrast works in a great way! 😀

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James Clavell: On the Asian paths

Traditions and exciting adventures.
Some time ago I accidentally came across a miniseries called Noble House, starring Pierce Brosnan. The story is based on the novel by James Clavell and it’s placed in Hong Kong.

Although, it’s funny that on the book, published in 1983, the events happen during the 1960’s, whereas in the TV version of the title, everything happens in the 1980’s.

Anyways, the story keeps its interest on the main issue that is the financial side of a growing country and the several personal interests that are involve in such transactions among international companies.

It took me a little while to get into the story, but once I passed the first chapters, I just couldn’t stop until I finish all of them. I enjoyed it so much that it got stock in my mind with that nice flavor that good stories leave behind.

It was so that some weeks ago when having the TV on I listened to the first lines of a program and I immediately recognized Clavell’s well detailed style. This time the story was Shogun, another miniseries bases on one of Clavell’s novels.

Born in Australia, Clavell spent many years in Japan while fighting World War II, and later on being held captive in that country. It was all this time he spent there what let him know its culture and language very well.

With this knowledge and experiences Clavell wrote Shogun, a novel placed in the 17th century, in the time when the European explorers travel by ship to the other side of the world and got some times amazed and some other cultural shocked by the beauty of the Japanese landscapes, its culture and traditions.

The story simply capture my attention from the begining to the end and left in my the same nice taste that Noble House, and this led me to look into Clavell’s life and look at him as a gifted writer.

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Weekly Photo: Distorted

Undulating lines.
It’s so wonderful when I’m walking around and find amazing surprises like this fish pond. I’ve spent a very good time looking for awhile this big colorful fish, admiring how beautiful they are and how gracefully they move around making small undulating lines that cross along the water and create a unique combination of colors and transparencies.

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