Review: Memory Wall

If you are looking for a collection of stories that touch the heart and soul, I recommend Memory Wall-Stories, by Anthony Doerr.

Each story is unique, and not connected to the others. Yet, there is a soulful connection within them that spans the thousands of miles in their locations.

The stories speak of memory and how our memories hold life within them. My favorite story (actually a novella) is entitled “Memory Wall”. It is about an old woman, losing her memory, and a young boy who captures her memories. The story encompasses the positive aspects of keeping memories alive. Through memories, those we hold dear remain with us, and their lives are not forgotten. The young boy exhibits redemption, through sensitive and poignant visuals.

From a seed keeper of a village about to be demolished, to a teenaged girl who moves from Kansas to Lithuania, the stories are so diverse in culture and locals, yet there is constant sameness within them. That connection is memory, love, loss and remembrance of what is important to us, what once was and how it reflects in our present.

Anthony Doerr captures emotions and thoughts with precision and with poetic word-imagery. Memory Wall is a stunningly beautiful, evoking emotions within this reader, and filling my senses with life-affirming loveliness.

I highly recommend Memory Wall-Stories to everyone.

This is my second reading of this beautifully written book. I read it again, for a book club.



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Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day

Yom HaShoah begins at sundown, tonight, May 1, 2019, and ends at sundown May 2, 2019. Let us never forget…

Here is a link, to ‘Velveteen Rabbi’ Blog where you can read twelve poems for Yom HaShoah that were written by different individuals, and also a memorial prayer.

If you want to learn more about the Holocaust, visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

You might also want to visit Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center.

This poem was written during WWII, etched on the wall of a cellar in Cologne, Germany, by a Jewish person in hiding. It has also been attributed to being written on a wall in a Nazi concentration camp, in Cologne, Germany.

“I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
And I believe in love,
even when there’s no one there.
And I believe in God,
even when he is silent.
– Unknown

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tree branch arches

Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf. -Albert Schweitzer

river trees

When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing – just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park? –Ralph Marston

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Brushed by Feathers


Oh my! Brushed by Feathers: A Year of Birdwatching in the West, by Frances L. Wood, is an amazing book, filled with wonderful insights regarding birds.

From the first page until the last, I enjoyed every moment spent immersing myself within the world of birds and birding. Being an avid bird-lover and never having my fill of viewing them, Brushed by Feathers spoke to me on many levels.
Wherever I am, whether walking in the neighborhood, a park, or by a lake, pond, river or the sea, birding is one of my passions, and favorite pleasures. I often find myself so involved within the watching, that I do not take photographs.
Within this book’s contents, the reader feels the intensity which flows through Wood’s veins regarding birds. Her writings describe particular elements of certain species. Her knowledge of birds in relation to landscape is vividly depicted. Her travels in order to be able to view specific birds brings the reader a unique perspective on birding. The prose is abundant with beautiful word-imagery, and every minute detail breathes her love for, and joy of, our feathered-friends.

Aside from her writings, she has also included sketches within the pages, and the reader has more reasons to stop and reflect, through these images. Her humor also shines through, as she brought this reader little ditties that made me smile, and even laugh out loud.

I highly recommend Brushed by Feathers: A Year of Birdwatching in the West. It is so much more than a journal or diary. It is an excellent resource, and a book written with deep respect and love for birds and nature. Her prose is almost poetic, and she paints beautiful word-visuals that one can not help but be enthralled with.

I, myself, was brushed with the beauty, tones and contrasts involved in birdwatching, through Frances L. Wood’s illuminating book.

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Passover Seder

passover haggadah

A Passover Haggadah by Elie Wiesel, and illustrated by Mark Podwal, is a beautiful book that I treasure.

From Wiesel’s insightful revelations to his recollections of Passover Seders past, he brings illuminations that evoke meanings into the passages, through his commentaries.

the no potato

I have reviewed this book in the past, and wanted to post it again, without linking to my original review. I love this book, and can’t say enough about it.

The No Potato Passover: A Journey of Food, Travel and Color, by Aviva Kanoff is an exceptional cook book, in more ways than one.

It is not just a cookbook, but also a travelogue through cities and villages in Italy, through Croatia, Jamaica, New York, Czech Republic, Israel, Budapest, and several other locations, with accompanying photographs of both location and of recipe accomplishment.

The recipes’ finished products are delightful to look at in photographic form, and the recipes, themselves, are wonderful additions to the Passover celebration. I would make them year round, not just during Passover.

I tried three recipes, and was extremely happy with the results. So were my family members.

Baby Bok Choy with Garlic and Ginger came out fantastic. I served it with brown rice and chicken chunks.

I loved the Honey Mustard Poached Salmon.

The Chicken With Apricot Marmalade and Balsamic Vinegar Recipe came out divine. I thought I would never stop drooling. I served it with asparagus.

I highly recommend the delightful The No Potato Passover to everyone. It is not only a journey through cooking, but also a journey through inspiring and beautiful photographic locations.

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Trees and Their Lives


The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World, by Peter Wohlleben, is an amazing book that delves into the lives of trees. Yes, you read that correctly, ‘delves into the lives of trees’.

Research affirms that trees are definitely sentient beings. They are communal, care for their neighbors and children, and care for their familial trees who are sick and/or on their deathbed.

They have memories and are cognizant, communicate through smell and other factors. They share food and water, and protect their young.

For me, trees have always been a blessing and a form of awe when I look at them. Peter Wohlleben’s book illuminates that concept, for me, and cemented my own lifelong opinions and theories on trees and their order in the world. Trees, of any shape, color, and size, have always fascinated me. I inhale their beauty, even in their deathly states.

I can’t begin to tell you how many photographs I have taken of trees. And, even though I have always treasured them, they will be held dearer to my heart than I thought possible. My love for them will be conveyed in a deeper respect and wonderment, as I view them within the surroundings of my environment and life.

I love wondering within a forest, and love hearing the song of the branches as they sway in the wind. I love watching the magical dance of trees, and their beautiful movements. I love the scent of the trees, their leaves, their bark, and their twigs that have fallen to the ground. The forest holds a sense of wonderment for me that words can not properly articulate.

Some of Wohlleben’s writing might seem a bit ‘cute’ or might sound immature at times, but I think that is due to the fact the author was trying to write in such a manner so the general audience could comprehend his facts and ideas. It is a book written so the reader can learn to appreciate, and to understand, the depth of the lives of trees, and lives they do have.

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate-Discoveries from a Secret World, by Peter Wohlleben is an excellent resource for a high school library, and for those who want a better understanding of trees and their place in society, and for those who have an ambition to further their lives, and education, in biology and science related fields.

I totally enjoyed this book!


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