sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

June 13, 2019

knit-free unraveling
posted by soe 1:52 am

While I have carried knitting with me a bunch of places, I’ve done nothing else with it this week. So I’m not going to bother showing you this week’s lack of progress on any of those three (!) projects.

I have, however, been reading.

Here are the four books I’m currently working on in paper:

Knit-Free Unraveling

I mentioned that Rudi found Peter Mayle’s final collection of essays at the book sale on Sunday. I’m loathe to rush through them because, well, he’s dead and no more will be coming. I love his humor and count A Year in Provence as one of my favorite books of all times. (And one I’d been thinking of re-reading in the near future.)

I bought Elizabeth McCracken’s Bowlaway at the start of this spring after Rudi mentioned hearing about a book that featured candlepin bowling in Massachusetts at the outset of the 20th century on NPR while driving home from the ski hill. She was reading locally soon after that and I noted how many people at the event enthused about her style. (I felt bad; I’d never heard of her.) The Tournament of Books is running a summer edition, Camp ToB, with several books I’m actually interested in, so I pulled it out earlier this week, and have proceeded to attempt to read aloud to anyone sitting still in my proximity clever turns of phrases, gems of sentences, and even whole paragraphs. (As an aside, isn’t it interesting how reading aloud, particularly to other adults, is such an intimate act, yet we really don’t value it as such? Here is something that nuzzles my soul, we say; I hope you will find it moving in a similar fashion.)

I started Emergency Contact last week and, to be honest, I’ve found the beginning a little slow to get started, and I would give up on it soon if my friend Jenn didn’t rave about it so. Our two main characters have finally just had their first solo encounter, so I’m hopeful that it’s about to pick up.

Finally, I had a day today and at 7:30 finally headed out into the beautiful evening to read at the cafe for a bit. I needed fun and familiar and pulled the latest Discreet Retrieval Agency novel out of my library bag to keep me company. Lola and Bertha (and dog Cedric) are up in Vermont on a case that’s gone pear-shaped just before Christmas. You may remember that I read the third book in the series, Come Hell or Highball, earlier this spring, and I don’t usually like to binge series. But I requested it from the library and it came in quickly and … well, it was what I needed tonight, so I’m glad it was at hand.

Would you like to see what other people are reading and hear about how they actually work on their knitting, rather than shifting it from one bag to another? Head to As Kat Knits for her weekly roundup.

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June 6, 2019

early june unraveling
posted by soe 3:24 am

Early June Unraveling

This needs to be short, because I dozed off writing it and I have to go to bed.

I suppose I would get further faster with my sock if I picked it up on days that didn’t start with “w.” I am through the cuff now and am ready to begin the leg.

New books started this week: Tricia Levenseller’s Daughter of the Siren Queen, the second in a duology about a female pirate & her crew, and Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi, about two friends who meet the day the girl starts college.

Head over to As Kat Knits for other book/craft combos.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 1 Comment.

June 4, 2019

top ten tuesday: mystery series favorites
posted by soe 1:34 am

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic at That Artsy Reader Girl invites us to recommend ten books from our favorite genre. I’ve got ten mystery series I like to share with you (I’ve only included series where I’ve read more than one title, which lets out several great series I’d otherwise also recommend) where I can only attest to the debut book):

  1. The Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas (1st book: A Study in Scarlet Women)
  2. The Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (1st book: The Cuckoo’s Calling)
  3. Miss Fisher Mysteries by Kerry Greenwood (1st book: Cocaine Blues)
  4. The Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourn (1st book: A Curious Beginning)
  5. The Discreet Retrieval Agency series by Maia Chance (1st book: Come Hell or Highball)
  6. The Book Scavenger series by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman (1st book: Book Scavenger)
  7. Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries by Donna Leon (1st book: Death at La Fenice)
  8. Being a Jane Austen Mystery series by Stephanie Barrow (1st book: Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor)
  9. The Lizzy and Diesel series by Janet Evanovich (1st book: Wicked Appetite)
  10. The Evan Evans series by Rhys Bowen (1st book: Evans Above)

How about you? What are books you recommend in your favorite genre?

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May 30, 2019

needing to unravel
posted by soe 1:27 am


I’m going to rip out a few dozen rows on my shawl, I’ve decided. It’s been sitting in time-out while I considered my options, wondering if I was being too picky. Eventually I decided to consult Rudi. If he noticed, without much prompting, what the problem was, then back I should go.

And he did.

The problem is right there at the center “v” of the shawl, where it briefly, but rather abruptly, switches to orange. When I was lining up my leftovers, it didn’t seem like such a sharp changeover, but it is in real life. And if I’m going to have spent six years knitting a shawl, I should probably not include the bit I’m unhappy with at its most visible spot, right?

Luckily, I think that if I just rip back and excerpt that little bit of orange that it will fade much more in concert with the rest of the shawl. And hopefully it won’t cause me to run short of yarn. Keep your fingers crossed…

On the reading front, I’m reading Sandhya Menon’s From Twinkle, with Love, a YA romance featuring an Indian-American teen who wants to be a director. The novel is written in journal format, but as letters to famous female directors that Twinkle admires. In audio, I’m listening to one of this spring’s Audiobook Sync titles, Swing, by Kwame Alexander. So far, I’m finding it far more similar to his sports titles, which I loved, than his previous music-related book, Solo. Although to be fair, Swing combines a focus on music with a focus on baseball, so maybe this is the culmination of both. I’m also reading Grace Talusan’s The Body Papers, a memoir about immigration, abuse, and cancer, because I went to school with one of her siblings. I’m early in right now, but appreciate how hard it must have been for her to share her story with the world.

Want to hear more about what people are crafting and reading? Head to As Kat Knits for the roundup.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 2 Comments.

May 28, 2019

top ten tuesday: favorite books of the last ten years
posted by soe 1:38 am

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic at That Artsy Reader Girl asks us to reflect on a decade’s worth of releases and to give our favorite book for each of the past ten years.

I should note that I started out considering the best book from each year, but then I realized it wasn’t the question and had to go back to my first couple to consider whether it was, in fact, my favorite. Here’s where I ended up:

2009: Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me
2010: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
2011: Erin Morganstern’s The Night Circus
2012: A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
2013: Just One Day by Gayle Forman
2014: Landline by Rainbow Rowell
2015: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
2016: Sherry Thomas’ A Study in Scarlet Women
2017: Word by Word by Kory Stamper
2018: Julie Murphy’s Puddin’
Bonus: 2019: So far I’ve only read two of this year’s publications. The moment’s winner is Jeff Zentner’s Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee.

It does not escape me that my list is very white, with Sherry Thomas being the only author of color, I believe. As I mentioned, these are merely the books I enjoyed most, not necessarily the books I thought were most important or best written, which would mostly have resulted in vastly different lists that included books by Jason Reynolds, Angie Thomas, Kwame Alexander, Nicola Yoon, Jacqueline Woodson, Grace Lin, and Cristina Henríquez.

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May 27, 2019

my most recent library haul
posted by soe 1:26 am

Library Haul

Rudi and I stopped by the local library branch yesterday, where I had a few holds waiting for me. It seems like all my red-spined requests came in at once…

We watched Ant-Man this evening. It was cute. I’ve started The Body Papers by Grace Talusan, a memoir written by the sister of someone I knew from college, and am trying to decide which fictional work to begin next. I’m thinking possibly one of the other books that would qualify for Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which would be Emergency Contact; From Twinkle, With Love; and Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors.

What have you picked up from the library recently?

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