Welcome to the Sunday Salon! There are two very good books I read last week that I recommend.
by Yasunari Kawabata made me think of spring and my trip to the city of Kyoto in March 2008, just before the cherry blossoms came out. I spent two days walking through the old districts and visiting shrines, including the Heian-jingu shrine, described in the novel .
The Old Capital by Yasunari Kawabata, published 2006.
Comments: Kyoto in spring and during its many festivals throughout the year are the background for Kawabata's novel. It's an homage to the Old Capital of Japan, with its age-old temples, shrines, and gardens, and its history of artisans - silk weavers, pottery makers, designers of traditional silk kimono.
Here is a picture I took in Kyoto, the Old Capital.
This Torii, a Shinto gateway, is flanked by evergreen trees. It is one of the largest in Japan.
Plot: The main character in the book, a young woman named Chieko, finds out that she was a foundling, adopted by her parents, a Kyoto kimono designer, Takichiro, and his wife Shige. Shige has always told Chieko she was found under the trees during cherry blossom time in the Gion district and kidnapped. The neighbors say she was found outside the lattice doors of her parents' warehouse, a foundling abandoned by her real parents. Chieko grew up privileged. Her discovery of who she might be leads to an interesting revelation in the novel.
I could picture some of the places described in Kyoto and I also liked the sense of beauty and love of the outdoors in The Old Capital. Chieko and her friends enjoy special trips to see the cedar trees, the mountains, the cherry blossoms in the spring that Japan is famous for. Inbetween festivals, Chieko also learns more about who she is and about her good fortune with Takichiro and Shige.
Yasunari Kawabata was born in 1899 in Osaka, Japan and became an orphan at age two. Also author of Snow Country, Beauty and Sadness, and Thousand Cranes, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968.
Last week I also finished a good Parisian mystery, Murder in the Palais Royal (Aimee Leduc Investigations, No. 10). I've read all the books in the series and enjoyed every one! A review later. Am now in the middle of a new library find, A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta by travel writer, Paul Theroux.
My review of At Home with Laurie Ann, an interior decorator's guide, was posted Tuesday. A very colorful book.
I looted the library of about six other books, most of them mysteries. The covers, the titles, or the authors or all three combined convinced me to borrow them, even though I am way behind in my schedule of "many things to do."
How was your week?