Vancouver Redux

I’m out west for another two weeks. I’m basically a “fixer” for my hard-working spouse. Or maybe a concierge-with-benefits. My thoughts on the morning of the first day:

Packing: I keep telling myself to make a packing list so that I don’t forget stuff. Perhaps it was because we didn’t leave home ’til 6 pm yesterday and I had the whole afternoon to organize myself. But I had to drop off Ollie at boarding, and finish my Coursera assignment and so time reverse-telescoped I guess. I carefully set my noise-cancelling headphones to charge (and then forgot to pack them.) I stashed my fuzzy slippers in my suitcase and then, at the last minute, went to pack my street shoes and they were nowhere to be found (did I leave them in Ottawa?). I didn’t have a reasonable alternative.  So now I will either be wearing boots for the next two weeks or will be shopping. I blithely decided not to bring iPad but forgot that it’s the best way to read the paper first thing in the morning. Forgot my computer glasses.

The travel: We (I?) had cocktail hour before we left home with some cheddar and nuts. Then a glass of wine in the airport lounge with a small salad. Then a G&T and nuts on the flight. We were upgraded into Air Canada’s newish layout of their B777-200LR‘s business class, with fully reclinable seats in a little pod. Dinner took forever to be served and I was headachey and sleepy. I had to be woken up to eat. After the meal, I flattened out and slept for whatever time was left of the flight(an hour?) By the time we landed I had a migraine and major body-ache. We were met by the car service and as I drank the little complimentary bottle of water, I could literally feel my cells expand. Or whatever. I was clearly dehydrated.

The apartment: We’re trying out a new place, close to Yaletown. It’s a shorter walk to work and closer to a lot of stuff I’m interested in (Art Galleries, Library, Cathedral). It’s a smaller place than the last one and is lacking in the fab view, but it has a heated saltwater pool and spa on the roof so there’s that. Apparently a gym but too but I am unlikely to need further details. Today I’ve got to stock up on some basics like soap (body, laundry, dishwasher) and food. It’s the Chinese New Year plus Family Day today and apparently a lot of places are closed. But first, I need to find something to eat and some coffee.

My personal plans for the next two weeks are to:

    1. continue my genealogy do-over with some initial population of my new software and a review of documentation (source citation) methods.
    2. do lesson 2 of The Story Course
    3. get my February reading done:
      – Paris Stories by Mavis Gallant for my IRL book club
      – Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler for the Goodreads CBC book club
      – The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay, a terrific novel I’m listening to
      – How to Use Evernote for Genealogy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize Your Research and Boost Your Genealogy Productivity: my current organization obsession. Just grabbed this from the Toronto Public Library.
    4. Get to the Contemporary Art Gallery (just around the corner from me), walk the seawall around Stanley Park, visit the Bloedel Conservatory, taste-test spirits at the Long Table Distillery, and a lot of wandering.

My Genealogy Do-Over

best-practices-next exit

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am embarking on a Genealogy Do-Over in 2016, following Thomas MacEntee‘s process. In the first month of this 12-month process, we are asked to set aside our previous research and get some preparatory work done.

Because I am using this process to switch to new software, and because I am reasonably focussed and evidence-based in the rest of my life, I am planning to simply access my paper and electronic records as I need them going forward. Many of them were purchased, and some were obtained during my trip to Salt Lake City last year so it is unreasonable to have to re-generate them.

In thinking about my research practices and looking at some lists of “golden rules” published by MacEntee and Alona Tester, I have come up with three areas that I want to focus on (and improve) as well as some research tools that I need to learn more about.

Janet’s Best Practices (going forward, at least):

  1. Organisation
    Have a plan: keep a research log and to-do list.
    Capture now. Curate later.
    New tools: RootsMagic, Evernote
  2. Accuracy
    Find at least 2 sources for every fact. Don’t believe every family story or everything in a certificate.
    Read all documents thoroughly, scraping every piece of pertinent data.
    Have a consistent method of recording data and sources.
    New tools: The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual, RootsMagic
  3. Storytelling
    Look for stories, not just people, places, and dates.
    Learn about the social history of the the places my ancestors lived.
    Visit as many living relatives as possible.
    Capture the stories of my ancestors on my blog or elsewhere.

Evernote is a very popular tool used to capture and organize stuff. It’s a great place to drop photos, articles, snippets of information that you can then tag. I have used it sporadically but I know that there is a lot more power available there. In the next month, I plan to get more familiar with it using online tutorials and will set it up so that it can become an integral part of my research tool box.

The Genealogical Standards book mentioned above was published by the Board of Certification of Genealogists and contains valuable guidance for ensuring that genealogical work is accurate. I purchased this book a few years ago but have not dived into it yet.  Bedside reading.

 

Vintage Canadiana: Eija Seras

One of my not-so-guilty pleasures has been catching up on all the episodes of Backyard Bounty on the Cottage Life channel. Hosts Marty and Bam Bam drive around southern Ontario visiting yard sales, homes of collectors (aka hoarders), country thrift stores, and people who have a lot of stuff they want to get rid of. Marty also runs an antique business at Modern Hipster Antiques out of Ingersoll (online or by appointment) and I believe London ON that often features finds from the show, along with lots of other great stuff. He posts items for auction at a facebook group and I enjoy seeing what he’s got going, and occasionally bidding.

This little set caught my eye a couple of weeks ago. The signature etched in the bottom of each piece is EIJA CANADA and for some reason, it captured me. There are three separate pieces: a mother and babe, two children fishing (with string and spear), and two children sitting with a dog.

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I did a little research and found out that the artist was Eija Seras, a Finnish-Canadian modernist artist.

“Seras produced a range of Inuit figurines, hand sculpted from terra cotta clay, in the late 1960s through the 1970s based on her four years living at the U.S. Air Force base in Goose Bay, Labrador in the mid 1960s….An Eija Seras chess set was exhibited during an official Canada Week exhibition in Tokyo, Japan, in 1969, and the artist was awarded the Canadian Design of Merit citation in 1974 by the National Design Council of Canada for her native figures.” (Source)

From an expired listing on Etsy, I read “This miniature Inuit (formerly known as Eskimo) family set  [not the same as mine] was handmade in the 1970s. They were created in Windsor, Ontario, by Canadian artist Eija Seras. Each figure was molded in clay, hand finished, fired, painted, glazed and signed by the artist. Seras’ Inuit clay figurines were featured in galleries both in Canada and internationally. Today, these charming and unique pieces of Canadiana are increasingly hard to find and collectible.”

As I googled her name, I also came across her immigration record:

Incoming Passenger list for the Carinthia Cunard), sailing 23 Sept 1959. Liverpool to Montreal
Incoming Passenger list for the Carinthia (Cunard line), sailing 23 Sept 1959. Liverpool to Montreal (ancestry.com)

 It shows Ms Sera as a single female, born in 1927 (so she was 32 at time of sailing), occupation as artist, and as being in transit from Finland. The only other record for her is on the 1974 Voter’s List in Toronto, living at 266 Manor Road East, with occupation “Sculptoress”.

There are a few of these floating around on auction sites. They’re also by Seras.

seras chess set
Eija Seras Chess Set. Source: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/131698733357?item=131698733357

Many of the sites listing her work include her with Inuit artists, but this was clearly not the case. I’d be interested to know anything more about her and her life.

If you’re interested, I paid $35 plus another $10 for shipping. And I may be starting to collect more of these lovely little items as I find them.

Choral Report: Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

The organ console is being replaced in our church, so rather than being in the loft at the east end (back) of the church, the choir sat in the first couple of rows of the nave. I liked being close to the sanctuary (and having kneelers), but rather dislike having to stand facing the congregation to sing. (I’m probably a candidate for the Traditional Latin Mass in this regard.)

For the offertory, we sang the absolutely gorgeous piece Sing My Soul by Ned Rorem that we have done many times before. Here is a performance by the Truett-McConnell College Chamber Singers.

During communion, the choir sang this unison chant Serentity by Charles Ives (text by poet John Greenleaf Whittier). This is a solo version sung by Sigune Von Osten.

In a keynote address on Ives, Kyle Gann says this about Serenity:

…[In one song Ives managed to do without the climax altogether. I mean, of course, “Serenity,” the song which most explicitly embodies Ives’s sense of a song as a timeless piece of eternity. The two chords between which this song rocks back and forth for three minutes could have occupied Arvo Pärt for a full half hour. The poem by Quaker abolitionist poet John Greenleaf Whittier finds Zen in its Christianity:

O Sabbath rest of Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity
Interpreted by love.
Drop Thy still dews of quietness
Till all our strivings cease
Take from our souls the strain and stress
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of thy peace.

The two flat-five chords that bring the song to an arbitrary close have a purely conventional function of stopping the song. They’ve always disappointed me, because the song could go on forever, like Tibetan or Gregorian chant, and I want it to.

I have to say that I prefer it as a solo piece.

2016: Ready, set, go!

Late in December, I spent some time thinking about my priorities for 2016 and the areas I wanted to focus on. On a whim (and on sale), I’d bought a couple of notebooks from the National Gallery of Canada and I knew immediately how I’d put them to use.

The first is my organization journal. It’s divided into six sections, one for each of my focus areas: Home Organization and Decor; Writing; Genealogy; Reading; Creativity; and Estate Planning. I roughly divided the book into six sections and am using each section to organize my to-do lists, next steps, notes, etc.

  1. For Home Organization and Decor, I am starting with the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home challenge. It gives me manageable chunks of work to do each day and I’m already seeing excellent improvements (it starts with the kitchen.) It will also include the things we need to do around the house (recovering furniture, any purchases, and maybe a kitchen reno, although I’ll need a whole new notebook if that goes ahead. Get the plan here: Free 2016 Printable Declutter Calendar: 15 Minute Daily Missions

  2. In the Writing section, I’m happy to say that I have started Sarah Selecky’s Story Course to kick-start my writing practice. It’s a series of five detailed lessons on short-story writing, with a lot of exercises, reading, and thinking involved in each one. I am also using her daily writing prompts on days that I don’t work on a lesson. Most daily sessions of writing are 10-20 minutes of “free-writing” and I’m happy to say that I’ve written all thirteen days of the year so far, in the second notebook of my purchase. If you’re interested in something like this, check it out here.

  3. My third focus area is Genealogy. I’ve been working on my family history for years and my online tree is huge. The problem is, I haven’t always been as critical as I could about links that I find and I don’t know how accurate all my data is. At the same time, Ancestry has announced that in the next year or so it will stop supporting its software Family Tree Maker, which is what I’ve been using to keep my info on my computer. It syncs to the Ancestry trees in the cloud, and everything was working fine. I have decided to move to another computer-based genealogy package called Roots Magic.
    IMG_2249
    So I am taking this confluence of events to follow
    Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over. This (free) program guides you through starting over with your genealogy, putting aside everything you’ve done before (except for source documents), and doing everything properly (especially source citations.) I’ve purchased Roots Magic and MacEntee’s workbook (not required, but useful for me) and am thinking about what practices I want to use going forward, before I enter one single name or date into Roots Magic.
  4. My fourth focus area is Reading. Each year I participate in a number of reading challenges, plus I’m in a book club and a books-on-film series at TIFF, so I need to juggle books to meet deadlines. This section of the journal will help me with that. I’ve printed and pasted a couple of reading challenge diagrams into it already. But I’m also including in this section reading I do for other learning. For example, I’ve started a course on the Microbiome through Coursera, and while most of the work is online, I’m using this area to remind myself of deadlines and rough out assignments. Finally, Goodreads takes care of my reading lists and reviews and stats.
  5. Next we have the Creativity section. This is an area of my life that I enjoy but I have been lax about actually turning out any creative (or not so creative work.) I now have my own studio space that is pretty organized (thanks to uber-organizer Rosalind at Simply Home) but I still have some things from the basement that need to be brought upstairs. I have a pile of mending/alterations that need to be done and some jewellry to be repaired, and then I want to get on to my own creative work.
  6. Last, but not least in my brain (although possibly least in my heart) is Estate Planning. The big “R” word is starting to be heard more around here and so we need to get our financial ducks in order. We have a new investment manager at the firm we’re with and there will be lots of paperwork over the next month or so as we get a plan in place for the last third of our lives. Also taxes. And up-to-date wills. These all have to move to the front-burner this year and I’m the one who has to drive it.

This kind of planning has proven really useful, even halfway into the first month of the year. It helps me to keep on track and always know what I want (or need) to do next in each focus area. I plan to blog separately about some of these endeavours as I make progress on them. Stay tuned.

Choral Report: Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

I am reminded today of why I love to sing, and choose to sing in my parish choir.

During the offertory, we sang Byrd’s Surge Illuminare Jerusalem, normally an Epiphany motet but just as beautiful for today’s feast.

Latin: Surge, illuminare, [Jerusalem], quia venit lumen tuum, et gloria Domini super te orta est. Quia ecce tenebrae operient terram et caligo populos. Super te autem orietur Dominus et gloria eius in te videbitur.

English: Arise, shine [O Jerusalem]; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. 

During communion, we sang Victoria’s most thrilling Jésu, dulcis memoria which is simply heavenly and possibly one of the most beautiful pieces I have sung.

Latin: Jesu dulcis memoria
Dans vera cordis gaudia:
Sed super mel et omnia
Ejus dulcis præsentia.

English: Jesus, sweet remembrance,
Granting the heart its true joys,
But above honey and all things
Is His sweet presence.

Just shut your eyes and listen.


Image: By Nheyob (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday seven – Things I’ve learned

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  1. I love cooking on a gas stove.
    We have one here in the condo and it’s the first time I’ve ever used for any length of time. Fast heat, fast off, and easy to clean, the only negative is the retractable vent hood that rises from just to the rear of the cooktop that is really loud. We will definitely be putting a gas cooktop in our kitchen when we renovate.
  2. The name “Istanbul” is actually a variant of  “Constantinople”.
    I mean, we all knew that the original name of that city was Constantinople, but i didn’t know that one came from the other. I met a Turkish jewellry vendor in the Granville Island Public Market and we chatted for a while. He told me that people shortened “Constantinople”, dropping the first syllable, and the word morphed to Stamboul, or Istanbul. (When I checked this out on wikipedia, it turns out to be something of a simplification, but I had never made the connection before.)

    Bracelet by Murat Senemoglu, Turkish silnersmith at Granville Island Public Market.
  3. I can live without owning a car, in the right place.
    I took out a car2go for a spin the other day with Alex, when we went to Granville Island. I love the fact that you just drop it off when you’re at your destination and pick up another one when you want to continue your trip. The smartphone app makes it so easy to reserve a car (optional), unlock it, and manage your account. Driving (and parking the Smart fourtwo was a little unnerving at first, but actually quite enjoyable.)
  4. I’ve missed Netflix.
    With the renovation of our main living area and some reconfiguration of our electronics, we haven’t had easy access to Netflix on our living room television since the summer. The setup here in the condo is a Samsung Smart TV and so we have access to a pile of streaming services from one device. (I don’t really like watching video on my computer or ipad. I can’t explain it. could be my age. Could be that I prefer the big screen and better sound.)  I finally watched the NFB film on Healey Willan that our choir director recommended (very interesting), and have been catching up on some series (Master of None (Aziz Ansari), Marvel’s Jessica Jones). Last night I watched a riveting doc on Iris Apfel, who reminded me immensely of my Grandma Winer (Vera Elstein) and makes me want to pump up the colour in my wardrobe (and the size of my accessories.)
    Here’s a trailer:
  5. The best part of genealogy is meeting new relatives.
    I’ve said before that a blog is like “cousin-bait” to genealogists. If someone googles and ancestor’s name and your blog comes up, bingo! I’ve recently had an email exchange with the wife of a cousin on my father’s father’s side. We’ve exchanged some information and I hope to meet them in the near future as our geographic circles intersect on a couple of fronts. (We both have relatives in each other’s home towns.) Briefly, my grandfather (David Berkman) had a sister Sadie who married a Samuel Rubenstein and lived in Hawkesbury Ontario, a predominantly francophone town between Ottawa and Montreal. I’d very much love to see pictures of David, Sadie, and their parents (Myer and Adela), and get any further info that might help me with my research.
    Here’s their marriage registration:

    Marriage of Sadie Berkman and Samuel Rubenstein, Lachine QU, 1909, Beth Israel.
    Marriage of Sadie Berkman and Samuel Rubenstein, Lachine QU, 1909, Beth Israel.
  6. I want to read more internationally.
    I posted about this a couple of weeks ago, but am pleased to learn that one of the Goodreads groups that I belong to is starting a new sub-group called “Around the World” where we will be reading from various areas for the first six months of 2016, and then concentrating on Asia in the second half of the year. I’m starting to get my list together. In January we will be focussing on North and West Africa, and I’m hoping to read some Egyptian and Nigerian writers that have been on my radar for a while. In particular, I want to read The Automobile Club of Egypt by Alaa Al Aswany and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. And maybe Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El-Saadawi and Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. If anyone would like to join me in this venture, consider joining The Roundtable on Goodreads!
  7. I can’t live happily without sunshine. Temperature doesn’t matter.
    Since I’ve been out here in Vancouver, we’ve had a few periods of sun. It’s nice to be able to live in a midweight (waterproof) coat.  I picked one up with Vancouver in mind at the Royal Winter Fair from the London Trading Post booth. (They’re located in Bobcaygeon ON and have a lot of great British gear.) But honestly: the gorgeous views, sea wall, and mild weather, cannot make up for the lack of regular sunlight. It makes me feel sluggish and like I want to cocoon at home. And my knees? I’ve had to up my Naproxen since I’ve been out here to compensate for the dampness.

That’s all folks!

Last week in the west.

I arrived in Vancouver on November 15, to join my husband who’s (maybe) settling out here for a while. His job is very western-Canada focussed and they’re on a high-profile, fast-moving project that is more difficult to manage from our homebase in Toronto.

I’m heading back next Monday, a couple of weeks in advance of his return. There are bills to be paid, home things to manage, a dog to cuddle, and family to see. Choir. Hair cut. Plus Christmas is coming up.

We have been rented a lovely condo out here in Coal Harbour. And I’ll miss many things about life in this city.

  1. I never tire of seeing sea planes taking off and landing. And sea gulls. Fog. Mountains. This city is gorgeous (if you live anywhere with a view.)
  2. Living without a car. The man can walk to work and everything we need to buy for day-to-day life is steps away. We have a transit pass, and a car2go membership for when we need to travel farther afield. The airport is easily accessible on the Skytrain. Our parking spot sits empty.
  3. Elder son has been out here for a couple of weeks and it’s been great spending time with him. He has a bachelor pad in Toronto so we otherwise need to book time to hang. Younger son will arrive after I leave to spend the last week with Daddy-O.
  4. Sushi. I have been remiss in not starting to eat sushi the moment I arrived here. My sis was out for a few days and she’s just not that into it (plus can’t eat soy sauce) so I didn’t get on that train right from the start. Last night, the man was out for dinner so boy and I picked up a platter from Oysi Oysi around the corner. And the three of us will hit Sushi Itoga tonight.
  5. Public art. Well, Toronto has lots too, but it’s nice to live with another city’s art for a while. I’ve included a pretty window (not public) just because.

I love living in different cities, and will always take the opportunity to rent an apartment over a hotel. Next summer, we’ll spend two weeks in Marseilles, and we can’t wait. Anthony Bourdain has cast a spell over the man and, well, there you have it.

But going home is the best.

Friday Seven – Chilly in the YVR Edition

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  1. This pretty much sums up the week:
    IMG_1823
  2. My sister was here this week for a medical conference, and my elder son arrived for a visit as well. It’s been lovely to see them both and to check out some new-to-me restaurants (Cactus Club Cafe, Nuba, Joe Fortes) as well as a meal here at the condo. Fran heads back east today on the train, and Alex is here for another week or two.
  3. Charlaine Harris's Dead Until Dark
    Photo credit: Wikipedia

    My four month reading challenge is winding down at the end of November. I’ve got two novels to finish up by the 30th: Dead Until Dark: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris (the first of the Sookie Stackhouse series) and Story of Blanche and Marie by Per Olov Enquist. The first is a vampire novel and fulfills the task to read a book set in Louisiana. It’s not the sort of book that I would normally read, but it’s entertaining and light. I picked up the second book in Stockholm and it fulfills a task to read two books set in the same watershed. I’ve chosen the Seine and this book is set in Paris.

  4. The trash sorting system in this building is intricate. Unlike in Toronto, where all the recyclables go into one bin, we have to separate everything here including paper into “dry newsprint” and mixed paper (magazines, junk mail, writing paper, phonebooks, cardboard). No styrofoam or plastic bags, and only plastics labelled 1,2, and 3). I haven’t figured out how to return beer, wine, and liquor bottles yet, and milk bottles go back to the grocer. There is compost for the building, so that’s good.
  5. Our extended family meals are starting to go here.
    rozchastthanksgiving
  6. Last Saturday, Z and I had lunch with a colleague of his and her partner. She is Jewish, from Odessa, and when she heard that my ancestors were also from there, was interested in getting together. We had a lovely time, and it has spurred me on to try to break through some brick walls on my Berkman research.
    Baron de Hirsch - De La Savane Cemetery, Montreal.
    Baron de Hirsch – De La Savane Cemetery, Montreal.

    My great-grandfather was Myer Berkman (b. 1863, Minsk), who was married to Adela (d. bef 1909), for whom I do not have a surname. My grandfather was David Berkman (b. c 1888, Odessa; d. 1956, Hawkesbury, ON). David had a sister Sadie who married Samuel Rubenstein in Lachine, QU in May 1909. They went on to live in Hawkesbury and have nine children. I have recently been in touch with one of Sadie’s descendents and I hope to get a chance to meet him next time I’m in his city.
    I continue to pour over JewishGen, a very comprehensive set of databases, but records are scanty, language and transliteration make names difficult to find, and I still dream of hiring a researcher to see what can be found on the ground in Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. I’ve also done DNA testing, but I really need to get my brother to do it as well as we need the male line to trace paternal genes.

  7. How awesome is this?

    “About to take a Selfie with Medal of Freedom co-recipients Barbra Streisand and Steven Spielberg at the White House. OMG! I’m so excited!” — Itzhak Perlman (posted on Facebook)

    Itzhak Perlman, Steisand, Spielberg

 

That’s all folks! Keep warm. Enjoy your leftovers, my American friends. More quick takes over at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

Reading internationally

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My book club has a no-stress December meeting, where rather than reading a book and discussing it, we each bring a book to share with the group, something that we’ve read that we loved and that we want to introduce others to.

One year it was completely open. Last year, it was a favorite novel. At our last meeting this year (for which I was absent), there was discussion around sharing an international book (that is, a book not set in North America or the UK).

Today, one of our members posted this video about the pleasures of reading internationally.

In one of the Goodreads groups I belong to, there is an international challenge that runs each year. Points are awarded for each country from which you read (one book per country) with bonus points for non-fiction books, books by an author born in the country, and books originally written in the non-english language of the country (if applicable.) Also, countries are awarded points based on the UNESCO count of how many books are published each year in that country.

My list so far (links are to Goodreads):

USA: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Switzerland: Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

England: Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley

Scotland: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Norway: My Struggle: Book 1 by Karl Ove Knausgård

India: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Vietnam: The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb

Spain: The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Canada: Bone & Bread by Saleema Nawaz

Australia: True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

South Africa: Summertime by J.M. Coetzee

France: How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits by Anne Berest

Egypt: Baking Cupcakes in Egypt by Elizabeth MacLean

When I do this next year, I’d like to work harder on reading voices from each country, rather that North American or British authors writing novels set there (although this is permitted in the challenge.) And some of my reading didn’t qualify because 3/4 of the book must take place in the country, so two books by Ruth Ozeki that are partly set in Japan and have a very Japanese sensibility (My Year of Meats and A Tale for the Time Being) didn’t fulfill that rule.