Page 186. " a back table at Brasserie Lipp "
Lipp's Brasserie Menu
Creative Commons AttributionLipp's Brasserie Menu - Credit: Bolshakov

Brasserie Lipp, in Saint-Germain, Paris, was founded by Leonard Lipp in 1880.

Amongst those who showed their appreciation for the restaurant's Art Deco charms were such literary regulars as Hemingway, Proust and Verlaine. Today, despite varied reports regarding the brasserie's menu, it continues to draw famous names from the political arena and world of celebrity alike.

Page 187. " When they moved to the Heart of Darkness "
by cm

An evocative reference to Joseph Conrad's Congo masterpiece, even though we are on a different equatorial continent.

Heart of Darkness on Book Drum

Page 197. " cherry blossom season in Kyoto "
Under the Cherry Trees, 1852
Public DomainUnder the Cherry Trees, 1852 - Credit: Kunisada

The Japanese annually celebrate the coming of the cherry blossoms with an outdoor party beneath the blooms, called hanami.  The tradition is many centuries old, dating from the Nara Period (710–794), when the attention was on ume (plum) blossoms.  During the Heian Period (794–1185), cherry blossoms (sakura) became more popular.  Hanami was first used to refer to cherry blossom viewing in the Heian era novel Tale of Genji.

On Japan's southern, subtropical islands of Okinawa, cherry blossoms open as early as January, while on the northern island of Hokkaido they may not bloom until May. In the central cities, including Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the cherry blossom season typically takes place in early April.  Full bloom (mankai) is usually reached about one week after the opening of the first blossoms (kaika).  The cherry blossom front is announced each year by the weather bureau. 

Page 200. " Roxane Coss sang "Ave Maria," "
by hector

We are most probably talking about Schubert, but there are several beautiful options:

Listen on Spotify:   Schubert: Ave Maria     Bach/Gounod: Ave Maria     Verdi: Ave Maria     Bruckner: Ave Maria

Schubert's version was originally written as "Ellens dritter Gesang", based on Walter Scott's poem "The Lady of the Lake".

Verdi's version comes from his opera Otello, so may also be a strong candidate for Roxane Coss.

 

 

"Ave Maria" ("Hail Mary") is the traditional Catholic prayer to the Virgin Mary.

Page 200. " Bella Crudele "
by hector

Should be "Beltà crudele"

Listen on Spotify