Grillo Center Labyrinth

Grillo Center Labyrinth
Meander and Meet....designed by George Peters and Melanie Walker of Airworks For more information contact Susan at

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Saturday Morning Walkers - August 20, 2006

Hi everyone,

Missed being with all of you yesterday morning but I loved being with 2 of my "girls" (Jex and Mandy - we missed Libby!) and my little guy, Jacob. After the rainy morning (did you even walk?) and a leisurely "breakfast" at Allison's Cafe (they really are the best croissants but you do have to get there in the morning - they don't hold up to well after several hours!), we had a lovely afternoon at the Lafayette Peach Festival.

I just have one book to report on right now - I read a very short but powerful book called When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka. It turns out that this is the next selection for "One Book, One Boulder" - this is a novel based on the Japanese internment during WWII - it is startlingly relevant to what's happening in our country right now with racial profiling. Check out this website for details on the 2006 One Book, One Boulder - - I hope to participate and invite you to do the same!

From Publishers Weekly:
This heartbreaking, bracingly unsentimental debut describes in poetic detail the travails of a Japanese family living in an internment camp during World War II, raising the specter of wartime injustice in bone-chilling fashion. After a woman whose husband was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy sees notices posted around her neighborhood in Berkeley instructing Japanese residents to evacuate, she moves with her son and daughter to an internment camp, abruptly severing her ties with her community. The next three years are spent in filthy, cramped and impersonal lodgings as the family is shuttled from one camp to another. They return to Berkeley after the war to a home that has been ravaged by vandals; it takes time for them to adjust to life outside the camps and to come to terms with the hostility they face. When the children's father re-enters the book, he is more of a symbol than a character, reduced to a husk by interrogation and abuse. The novel never strays into melodrama-Otsuka describes the family's everyday life in Berkeley and the pitiful objects that define their world in the camp with admirable restraint and modesty. Events are viewed from numerous characters' points of view, and the different perspectives are defined by distinctive, lyrically simple observations. The novel's honesty and matter-of-fact tone in the face of inconceivable injustice are the source of its power. Anger only comes to the fore during the last segment, when the father is allowed to tell his story-but even here, Otsuka keeps rage neatly bound up, luminous beneath the dazzling surface of her novel.

Jexy, Mandy and I have done a fair amount of cooking this week - here are a few of the best recipes:

Moroccan Shrimp from Real Simple Magazine -

Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter from Eating Well Magazine -

Plum Torte from - also made this same recipe using peaches - I preferred the plum version,1613,150171-238195,00.html

Jexy and Jacob went back to LA this morning - it is always sad for me to see them go but it is so nice to have Mandy staying an extra day - we did the Pearl Street Mall today, enjoyed the Asian Festival and had a wonderful lunch at Aji at 16th and Pearl. - the highlight was the Tres Leche cake we shared for dessert - I'm determined to find the recipe and try that at home.

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