• Books

    Hour 6 and 7: More about the current book

    Page count: 299p

    Kristin’s challenge for the hour is to write a bit about the book I’m reading. First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde is the fifth book in the Thursday Next series, and I don’t remember the first four all that well other than that I enjoyed them more or less as much I as am this one. I think it’s a very fun and very meta book series that is hard to compare to anything else. His writing style is also distinctive and sometimes a bit confusing because of all the meta. The series is not for everyone, but definitely good for those of us who love books, words, and the classics. I think people who like fantasy or unique but amusing humor would like the series too. I also forgot how many plotlines Mr Fforde stuffs into these books. It’s quite remarkable how he balances all the characters and the plots he puts Thursday into. This may not be for people who like more linear plots though. I enjoy the book references none the less and the idea of readers interacting with book characters. Fun stuff.

  • Books

    Russian Reading Challenge 2008

    When I was 13 going on 14, I read Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I loved it. It made me appreciate not only Russian literature, but the classics in general. Tolstoy remains one of my favourite authors to this day, and I read War and Peace and The Death of Ivan Ilych last year. I’ve also always wondered about reading Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. The rules of this challenge are read a minimum of four books on Russia, about Russia, set in Russia, written by Russians, etc. I aspire to complete some of this tentative list, and I’ve picked a couple of moderately lengthed books to help me out.

  • Books

    Hour 5: Slow and steady does it?

    I’ve reached page 167 of my book. Slow progress. I am going to participate in Sarah’s mini challenge of reading an hour in another language after I finish this book. Also, I am going to post my Russian Reading Challenge 2008 tentative book list in the next hour.

    Still drinking some tea and still chugging away through my book.

  • Books

    Hour 4: While my guitar gently weeps

    Nearing 1PM now, I haven’t had much read this hour because I was out for that errand. But I am ready to get back into as I’ve just made a pot of green tea as is my usual weekend habit.

    The challenge for this hour is at Taylor the Teacher. Open my current book randomly, and make 4 lines or so from the first words I see. These weren’t the first words I saw, but I liked it most: “a positive echo”.

    A positive echo in the void.
    It sighs, it laughs, it repeats.
    More than silence, less than voice
    Am I the source of this noise?

  • Books

    Hour 3: Lunch Break and Reading

    Becky and I have been named Readers of the Hour at Dewey‘s blog. I am about 120 pages into First Among Sequels, and I just had lunch. I’m going to finish my current chapter, and then go off on an errand hoping to be back in an hour for an Hour 4 Update. I’m going to make some tea and finish this book before I go to bed tonight, and definitely start another one. Good luck to fellow participants, and thanks for all the comments so far.

    Also, I highly recommend the Thursday Next series I am reading if you have not tried it out, pick up the first in the books called The Eyre Affair. Review of First Among Sequels after the Readathon.

  • Books

    Hour 2 Mini Challenge: Setting

    Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next books are set in a fictional alt-universe version of Swindon, England. Here are some five facts about the real Swindon via Wikipedia.

    1. Swindon’s motto is “Salubritas et Industria” (Health and Industry).
    2. Peope from Swindon are called Swindonians
    3. It is located in the south west of Englan, in Wiltshire, about 130KM west of London
    4. As with many towns in England, Swindon owed much of its growth to the Industrial Revolution.
    5. Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is also set in Swindon.

    From 43 places, only 7 of 15 people think Swindon is worth visiting. Ending on a positive note, Swindon was the location for Polish refugees during World War II and many remained.

  • Books

    And we’re off

    Just got up, and am ready to read. I’m going to start off with Jasper Fforde’s First Among Sequels, the latest in the Thursday Next books. I’ll also be posting about a couple of book challenges I’ve joined for 2008 and their tentative lists as I pick them today. Cheers!

  • Books

    The Pre-Readathon Post


    Tomorrow is the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon. It starts 2PM GMT which is 9AM EST for me. There is a good chance I’ll start at 10AM because I will work late tonight. I do not plan to stay up all 24 hours because I can’t afford to do that during the school year, and I’ve only ever done that when travelling or when I did blogathon a couple years ago (in the summer). I intend to update every couple of hours at least. I’ll post book reviews of any books I finish after Sunday.

    I’m very excited because I have not been able to read very much at all this year. It’s been hectic and it seems it continue to be as I get older. So it’s good to take some time to dedicate to reading. Here are some books I plan or may read tomorrow:

    First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde – I got it today! I love the Thursday Next books; I’m pretty psyched to read this.
    The Illyrian Adventure by Lloyd Alexander – Which I first read when I was 11.
    Neuromancer by William Gibson
    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksande Solzhenitsyn
    Hunrgy Planet by Peter Menzel
    The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
    Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

    So I doubt I’ll finish more than two books (if I’m lucky) in the marathon since most of these books aren’t small and not all are exactly light. These are actually the shortest of the books I have in my TBR queue. See you all tomorrow then!

  • Knitting & Crafting

    Thrummed Mittens

    Thrummed Mittens

    Thrummed Mittens, started August 27, 2007, finished October 8, 2007
    Pattern: Thrummed Mittens Interweave Knits Winter 2006 by Jennifer L. Appleby
    Yarn: 1 skein – Naturally Naturelle 10ply (100g/186yds – 157 – aran/worsted) and alpaca/correidale rovings
    Needles: #4/3.5mm and #6/4.0mm DPNs
    Modifcations: Needle sizes changes, thrums knit tbl as advised by the Yarn Harlot
    Cost of Project: $5 yarn + $6 rovings = $11
    Would I knit it again? Maybe, but with pure wool because the alpaca was fuzzy. I also miss having a thumb gusset.

    Warmth and Fluff

    Pattern Notes and Comments: I became sick not too long after starting this project which is why the first mitten took me a month to make while the second one took only about a week. The second mitten is a little longer and a little less than dense than the first one because my thrums for the first one were thicker. I made the Child’s size which makes them quite snug because I also went down needle sizes. The yarn was on clearance, and it’s 100% pure NZ wool. It’s nice, and I think there’s a tiny bit more lanolin in it than other pure wools I’ve used. The rovings I bought were fuzzy. I hope they felt when I start wearing them in the winter.

  • Books

    Decades ’08

    Time for the 2008 book challenges to start popping up and getting organized. This is Decades ’08: Eight books from eight consecutive decades. That’s the minimum, and I can change my list at any time. The following is a tentative list which is subject to change at any time, and I’ve just named a couple books I’d like to read for most of the decades. I really only intend to read one from each.

  • Books

    Street of Riches (Rue Deschambault)

    By Gabrielle Roy. A Governor General’s Award Winner 1957. This book retells tales from a girl named Christine growing up in French-Canadian community of St. Boniface (now Winnipeg), Manitoba in the early twentieth century. Originally published in French, it is in Roy’s autobiographical and vignettes style. I’ve read one other Roy book before this, and I chose this because I needed to brush up my French and my Canadian literature. The former did not work out as it took me weeks to finish this 160 page book due to school, and I read only two chapters in French. I finished it mostly in English for time constraints. The book is not fast paced either. The vignettes creating a feeling of short stories of similar characters. I think Roy is a good writer, and she’s certainly smart and observant about Canadian culture especially in regards to its minorities. Her style of writing characters is simple, but somehow very poignant. There are some nice moments in this novel. This does not mean I’ll read even more from her; the vignettes sometimes made me wish for a more cohesive plot. The novel is a story of growing up in Canada, and I think I could relate to it even today. It’s probably a very candid and honest look of Canada in the early twentieth century. I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone though because of the pace, but like all stories about growing up, we can glean things from it.

  • Books

    Booking Through Thursday – Decorum

    Do you have “issues” with too much profanity or overly explicit (ahem) “romantic” scenes in books? Or do you take them in stride? Have issues like these ever caused you to close a book? Or do you go looking for more exactly like them? (grin) – BTT

    Not really. I take them in stride, and I first started reading books intended for adults when I was a preteen. That was a surprising, but I learned to take it in stride. Censorship in books is rather an anathema for me. I usually like the books I read so the writing works with these elements or around them to make a decent book. I have looked for these books before, but I’m usually let down by the result. Overly explicit “romantic” books can be rather overrated in the published world.