Knit Wit Living

Reflections, Beading, Knitting, Life

Archive for the tag “Library”

April 2015 Reading

It got to a point that I would not allow myself to read any beading books before bedtime. Worse than electronic interaction where people do not watch TV at bedtime, the beading books got my mind whirring so swiftly that I could not sleep.  Or I would finally get myself to sleep and then I would wake up two hours later to jot down ideas.

It’s nice to be obsessed!  Oh my, another stash opportunity! With beads being so less expensive than skeins of yarn, it is a frightening thought! I. Must. Contain. Myself. at least until I have a direction. Which I Am Working Toward.
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Thus said, you may not be surprised with the April Books Purchased Assortment. “Damn Interweave Press!”  They had some April 15th sales going on, and as you may recall from the Holiday season, I find their sales very hard to resist.

Books Bought

Getting Started with Seed BeadsDustin Wedekind
Beadwork, June/July 2014Magazine
Beadwork, August/September 2012Magazine
Mastering Beadwork A Comprehensive Guide to Off-Loom TechniquesCarol Cypher
Beaded Allure Kelly Wiese
The Beader's BibleDorothy Wood
PlainsongKent Haruf
Eggs for BreakfastDonna Leahy
Farmstead Feast: WinterAnna Hess
Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks LeagueJonathan Odell
StolenSusan Lewis

My mother told me about an email service called Book Bub, where you get daily emails about book bargains for your e-book provider.  Stolen is the first that I found and bought from this source.  I’ve never heard of the author, Susan Lewis, though I now see that she is very prolific.

Books Read

Getting Started with Seed BeadsDustin WedekindDisappointing
Beadwork, June/July 2014MagazineGood
Beadwork, August/September 2012MagazineGood
Mastering Beadwork A Comprehensive Guide to Off-Loom TechniquesCarol CypherGood
Beaded Allure Kelly WieseGood
PlainsongKent HarufGood
Eggs for BreakfastDonna LeahyOkay
Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks LeagueJonathan OdellStill reading
The Storied Life of A.J. FikryGabrielle ZevinLoved it!
The After LifeGigi Levangie GrazerJust Terrible
Girls in White DressesJennifer CloseCould not get into it at all
The Book of TomorrowCecilia AhernTwo stars
When the World was YoungElizabeth GaffneyDid not get through it.
The Mathematician's ShivaStuart RojstazerStill Reading...

I enjoyed Plainsong by Kent Haruf.  Amazon has placed it in a category which I feel is an oxymoron – Vintage Contemporary.  (What is that? Like wearing a 1980’s dress?  It’s still vintage, worn by a contemporary. But I digress.)  This is a story about a pregnant teenager who is taken in by two older bachelor brothers.  I love stories about relationships, and this one abounds with people and how they interact with each other.  At one point, where the girl goes off with the boy who impregnated her, I had to put the book down because I didn’t want to read about the brothers’ reaction of what I expected to be disappointment and confusion.  It really is a lovely book.

I have The Mathematician’s Shiva in paperback next to my favorite chair in the living room. I pick it up sporadically and am slowly wending my way through it.  It’s good enough for me to keep picking it up and returning to it, but it hasn’t drawn me in to think about it all day and rush to get home to see what happens next.

I thoroughly enjoyed our Book Club Selection, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.  Our discussion was relatively short because we all loved it. There were no heated discussions of what was unbelievable or boring, or disengaging.  We understood the characters, they were believable, and we were all in agreement that it was a good book. While I like good books, I was disappointed (for many reasons) that the conversation veered to a discussion about many of the book club members’ pet dogs.

The Storied Life set such a high standard that it was difficult to find another book on its heels.  I tossed multiple library books, then finally got through Cecilia Ahern’s The Book of Tomorrow, a very contrived story about a girl who finds a book that has diary entries for the next day.  Admittedly, the author uses the first chapter to tell the reader to suspend reality but even so it wasn’t that great, and initially I thought I may have read it before until I realized that I was getting it confused with JoJo Moye’s Me Before You because there’s a castle in each story!  When I finished it, I gave it two stars on Amazon.  That meant “well, there must have been something there because I finished it, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.”

December 2014 Reading

Here’s my reading update for December 2014. I found this great quote (from Nick Hornby) to justify (to myself) some of my lighter reading predilections this month.

I’m beginning to see that our appetite for books is the same as our appetite for food, that our brain tells us when we need the equivalent of salads, or chocolate, or meat and potatoes.

My brain was telling me to go light, light, light with a Nora Roberts trilogy, and go deep for relationships with Carol Wall’s memoir, Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening, and to delve deeper into loss and death with Caitlin Doughty’s Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory and Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

When I started the month, I thought that I was going to go overboard  by buying too many books, but after two splurges (and one book on back order so it doesn’t count for this month!) the purchases stopped.  I had hit the Interweave book sale and then a book fair at my temple and was satisfied.

Books Bought December 2014

150 Scandinavian MotifsJane Mucklestone
Unexpected Afghans Robyn Chachula
Graphic Knits Alexis Winslow
The BetrayersDavid Bezmozgis
The Kosher Carnivore: The Ultimate Meat and Poultry CookbookJune Hersh
The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten FatMichael Ruhlman
Encyclopedia of Jewish FoodGil Marks

The Betrayers was purchased for a book club meeting in February, so I haven’t even opened it yet. I’ve coveted the three books from Interweave Press for some time, so was thrilled to get them at a discount at an extended Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. The only thing wrong with the Kosher Carnivore is that it doesn’t have any Pork recipes (can you imagine!). Pork is one of my favorite meats, but I had to buy this book anyway because it has some good recipes (for example, Coffee-Crusted Hanger Steak,  Roasted Veal Shoulder with  chicken liver stuffing, Simple Spatchcocked Chicken and roasted root vegetables) to get me out of my usual cooking methodology.  I think Simple Spatchcocked Chicken was one of the recipes I looked at while determining to buy the book, and this description definitely leveraged my decision:

Grab your dictionary and you’ll find that spatchcock is a method of splitting (butterflying) a chicken. It’s a fun word, which you can use to impress your friends or win at Scrabble. If time is of the essence, but you want to make a crispy, flavorful roast chicken, spatchcocking is a great option.

December 2014 Reading

I completely excelled at reading this month! I rediscovered my library beyond the e-selection, and now juggle between my e-books and my hard books, and my knitting – oh, yeah and work and life too.

December 2014 Reading

The HeistDaniel SilvaNot a fan
The Next AlwaysNora RobertsEnjoyed it
The Last BoyfriendNora RobertsEnjoyed it
Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open HeartCarol Wall Thumbs Up
Europe on a Budget: Real Stories from Studying and Backpacking Around EuropeMartin Westerman and Mark PearsonEnjoying it
Big Little LiesLiane MoriartyEngaged to the end
The Italian WifeAnn HoodBig Thumbs Down - did not get through the first chapter
Desire LinesChristina Baker KlineCaptivating but un-fulfilling
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of EverythingSteven D. Levitt, Stephen J. DubnerReturned to the library to read another time
Vogue Knitting, Winter 2014/2105MagazineGood
Eat the Yolks: Discover Paleo, Fight Food Lies, and Reclaim Your HealthLiz Wolfe, NTPGood, have not finished it yet
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the CrematoryCaitlin DoughtyToo much - skimmed through toward the end
Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?Roz ChastThumbs Up
The Perfect HopeNora RobertsGood

I was thinking which was my favorite book this month. I thought it might be Eat The Yolks because it explains the Primal/Paleo food movement, scientific thought and reasoning so well. I would highly recommend it.  However, the author’s writing style is a little too chatty for me. On one hand, it’s good because the information is presented at a personal level, but on the other hand, it’s annoying.

Then the tales from the Crematory was really fascinating.  We just hit the 3rd year anniversary of DDSO’s passing, and I was wondering what state his body was in at this point. so it was really good timing for me to happen upon this book.  Not that I got this question answered exactly, because the author worked in a crematorium and DDSO is buried, but she expounded upon many cultures’ handling of death, as well as the body’s decaying progress/process.  So it was good, but it went on a little too much for me and I ended up skimming through the last third of the book.  I would still recommend it though.

I also enjoyed Roz Chast’s book. It was funny, it was moving, it was complete.  A complete story that told the story of her parents’ relationship with each other and with her, and the struggle through their final years. A quick read (2-3 hours) and totally engaging.

In the end, I must go with Carol Wall’s memoir, Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening, as my favorite reading this month.  Carol hired Mister Owita to help with her landscaping and together they also grew a friendship. The book is about how one doesn’t really know what other people are thinking or going through, how one’s perceptions of other people’s lives are never really how you imagine, and how people get along, or don’t. It’s one of those books that you want to know how the relationships and the people turn out but at the same time you don’t want it to end.

Reading Resolution Report

My New  Year’s Resolutions for the past two years have included reading goals.  I am happy to announce that I have surpassed the goal of reading at least two books each month!

I have been coveting the book Ten Years in the Tub by Nick Hornby for some time now. It’s a collection of his monthly column articles, “Stuff I’ve Been Reading” that ran for a decade in “The Believer.”   I’ll admit that I’ve only read the first two columns but I am already hooked.  He is irreverent, funny, literary and insightful.


I am going to adopt his reporting method and share my reading adventures on a monthly basis.

Without further ado, here’s November 2014.

Books Bought November 2014

The Paleo Solution: The Original Human DietRobb Wolf
Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole HogMatthew McCarry and Stacy Toth
Easy Paleo Gelatin TreatsCaitlin Weeks
Make Ahead Paleo RecipesSarah Swanson
The GriftersJim Thompson
The All-Girl Filling Station's Last ReunionFannie Flagg
The HeistDaniel Silva
Ten Years in the TubNick Hornby
Noro Magazine, Fall Winter 2014Magazine
Debbie Bliss Magazine, Fall Winter 2014Magazine
Vogue Knitting 2014 CrochetMagazine

The abundance in Paleo material was due to Amazon’s Kindle special of Paleo-oriented eBooks for $0.99 and above – well, even one was free!  I could not resist!

One of my book clubs is reading The Heist. I’m not liking it so far, but I keep telling myself that book clubs help me read material other than what I would choose on my own.  It will be interesting to listen to the others’ reviews.

Here is my November Reading Report

You Should Have KnownJean Hanff KorelitzOkay
The Warmth of Other SunsIsabel WilkersonThumbs Down (did not finish)
Twenties GirlSophie KinsellaThumbs Down (did not finish)
The GriftersJim ThompsonReally Liked
The Last RunawayTracy ChevalierReally Liked
The All-Girl Filling Station's Last ReunionFannie FlaggNot enthralled, still reading
The HeistDaniel SilvaStill Reading
Ten Years in the TubNick HornbyLoving it so far
Pros & ConsJanet Evanovich and Lee GoldbergHated it
Beyond BaconMatthew McCarryYUM! Will be a good reference.
Easy Paleo Gelatin TreatsCaitlin WeeksUninspiring

I really enjoyed The Last Runaway and The Grifters this month. The Last Runaway is about a Quaker Woman who lives in a community on The Underground Railroad route.  It’s a fascinating read on slavery, Quakers, relationships, history (and quilting) and was written by the author of Girl with a Pearl Earring (on my To Read list) Tracy Chevalier.

The Grifters, written in the 1970’s, is about a man who lived primarily by conning people, but it is also about how he had a normal life in order to hide the illegal one. Since it was written over 3 decades ago, it also provides a glimpse into the culture and customs of that era (in which I grew up!).   This one was made into a movie (for which Anjelica Houston was nominated for an Oscar).  Some members of my book club want to read this during a busy month, so they can watch the movie instead. I think it would be better to read the book first and then all watch the movie together!

Virtual vs. Physical

I know we live in a technological age, but does anyone else feel how odd/amazing it is to pass information along through thin air?

Last night I was sitting in the cozy blue chair in my bedroom, downloading books to my Nook.  It was amazing that I was sitting there, in my nightgown, buying and downloading books.  Then I borrowed an audio book from my local library. This was not the first time I had loaded up my Nook before a vacation.

And it occurred to me that I don’t even have to do this before I go away. If I don’t like a book, I can return it, or just get a new one – even from my local library! – when I’m 4,000 miles from home.

It was so overwhelming that I had to get up and roll a ball of yarn and do something tangible, that I could touch and see and feel.

Virtual vs. Physical

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