As a self published book it is even more important for us to have reviews in the Press, and we’re still keeping our fingers crossed that one of the big papers in the UK may carry a line or two soon. We are hoping that an established publisher will want the rights to publish in the USA or a paperback edition in the UK, and any review will help us in that aim.
The book is now listed on Ha-Safran (“The Librarian”, in Hebrew). This is a listing that goes to librarians around the world who are interested in books on Jewish matters. But how does one get one’s book into the various university libraries? If only just in the “Oriental Studies” section of every English-speaking university…
Not complaining though, because some readers have been posting their reviews on both Google books and the Amazon website.— Mira
Pessah, Passover. Hope you had a good one.
One of our readers has been commenting on the number of Hebrew words that crept into our Judeo Arabic. Only a few are mentioned in the book, but I had not thought of Hiddush — which we use as meaning good news. Comes from Haddashot in Hebrew.
Another reader commented on the superstitions that prevailed, and Mother expanded on in the book. In particular when “crushing the evil eye” his family would say “Ib ayn el ‘adou” In the eye of the enemy!
Talking of the book, one embarrassing error was not picked up in time. We say the Jewish population in 1941 was 300,000 — that should have read 150,000. —Mira
What a change the smoking ban in public places has made to our enjoyment of restaurant meals. Eating out used to be such a lottery: even when seated at ‘non-smoking’ tables you could never be sure of avoiding passing clouds (reminds me of the old days, flying Iberia. When it introduced segregation it was ‘Smoking on the left, non-smoking on the right.’ Truly.)
Tony is working very hard at renewing the website on his first book. It tells all about our Tuscan adventure (1989-2002) when we became “farmers”? “Chatelains”? Call us what you will… we spent quite a number of years restoring a medieval farmhouse and once that was done we ended up with 12 agriturismo apartments, a master house and a winery…We had never renovated such a huge project before, never hosted paying guests before, never made olive oil before and certainly never made wine before.
The book is Catching Fireflies, published by Random House. Why catching fireflies? Because it was probably what led us into this folly in the first place. It was early summer, we were driving back from a magical dinner in the Tuscan countryside with a couple of friends. Suddenly I thought I could see little pinpricks of lights winking at me. The rest of the party asked how many glasses of wine I had had. But Tony obligingly stopped the car and switched off the headlights. It was one of those sublime moments that happen so rarely in one’s life that it stays engraved on your mind forever.
There were two poppy fields on either side of the road and hundreds of thousands of pinpricks of light were flashing on and off as they moved about in complete silence enveloping us as they weaved around. We were entranced, and could only talk in whispers as they landed on us and continued to flash. It was so dark you hardly knew where earth finished and the firmament started.
The website should be ready soon. Watch this space! – Mira
A fascinating article appeared in the Sunday Times: “Days of Plunder” about the looting of the Iraqi museums in the aftermath of the present war. What a heartbreak for all the people of the world. This is World Heritage we are talking about here! Saddest of all is a beautiful ivory plaque from Nimrud circa 800BC which is still missing.
It has always been a cherished dream of mine to one day go to Iraq with Tony, as a tourists, to admire and take in this rich and wonderful heritage. That dream seems to be receding further than ever. – Mira