Teaser Tuesday: Henri Matisse: Rooms with a View

Like the cycling of thousands of heating and a/c units in the South during winter, the Wheel of Time has spun ’round to Teaser Tuesday.

Just in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

This week’s book is Henry Matisse: Rooms with a View by Shirley Blum. I seem to have read several art books in the last few months, mainly because I won an ARC of Doodler’s Anonymous. The ARC contained a contest for coloring, and Krystal submitted a few of her favorites. She won, and one day a very heavy box arrived from Monacelli press containing a fair number of art books and a gorgeous canvas bag – which I promptly claimed as my own for library purposes. Enough of that, time for the Teaser.

The Truly Random Number Generator send us to page 64:

Interior with a Goldfish Bowl

When Matisse returned in 1913 to his small Paris studio after his long stay 
in Monaco he left behind his grand decorative style. For the next four years
he fully engaged with Cubist concepts. He became friends with Picasso and 
Juan Gris, two of the fewer young artists who remained in Paris after the 
war began. 

Henri Matisse Rooms with a View cover

I apologize for the cover quality. Goodreads doesn’t yet have cover art, and the book is over-sized, so it won’t fit on my scanner. Hence, I was relegated to using my iPhone in rather poor light.

In Retrospect

Disciples: The World War II Missions of the CIA Directors Who Fought for Wild Bill Donovan was captivating, yet sprawling – and not entirely in a good way. The premise is interesting enough: the interwoven WWII OSS missions of four future CIA directors. However, Waller lacks a certain coherence. The first chapters are disjointed biographies of the four; it is only when they begin their respective careers that lines of intersection become clear. The last chapters suffer from the same disjointedness.

That said, the tale itself is wonderfully told. We are introduced to sinners and saints, men who served their country well in war time yet found no permanent place in the new world they helped create.

Some of my favorite passages:

The dime [Bill Casey] was given each Saturday for the movies he usually took to the bookstore to buy a book. He said it would give him far more enjoyment than a one-hour film. The bookstore owner complained that he spent his Saturday hour in the shop pawing through the pages of many books before deciding on the one to buy.

To do our type of work requires living in its atmosphere in a strange world of refugees, radicals, and traitors. There is room for neither gentility nor protocol in this work. Utter ruthlessness can only be fought with utter ruthlessness.

~ Donald Downes to Allen Dulles

Someday you’ll understand why your daddy has been exported from his wonderful life with you and transplanted to the British Isles. All the men of his age have a rendezvous with history and a job to do in making the world a safe place where people like you and your mom and your pop can live quietly and peacefully according to their own conscience and wishes. Whenever anybody starts pushing other people around we’ll all have to gang up and stop him because if we don’t he’ll get powerful enough to push us all around so that instead of living the way we think we should we’ll be living the way he thinks we should.

Letter from Bill Casey to his daughter, Bernadette

Coming Soon

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What have you been reading?



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