FO Fridays: Child’s First Sock in Shell Pattern

Shell Pattern Socks

Nothing like an easy peasy pair of lace socks to get me through summer. I worked on most of this in August. This is at least better than the Girasole blanket of last year. I’m starting to become one of those knitters who does not really knit in the summers. I spent much of this summer outdoors which is great.

In any case, my third pair of socks of this year. I always like knitting socks. In some ways, they are the ultimate kind of projects for me: not too easy, not too difficult, comforting, not too big, not too small, and most of all, useful.

I went back to my favourite sock pattern designer for these. I love this Nancy Bush book. I’ve made more things from Knitting Vintage Socks than any other knitting resource. With the cashmere and wool in these socks, I think they will be one of my favourite winter house socks.

Read More

Booking Through Thursday – Quantity or Quality?

Which is more important? Quality for your reading? Or quantity? – BTT

In almost every case in life, quality is better than quantity. Having said that, I aim for both in my reading. I like reading a lot of books. I love them, and I’m very glad to have a range of interests in genres, styles, and periods. I have thousands of books I could read and most of them probably wouldn’t be bad. Yes, there are many books out there that are not “quality”, but I find reading a quality hobby and act in of itself. It’s not often I regret reading a book.

How about you?

The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer

Once I start with Heyer, I find it hard to stop. Her world is distinct and comforting. The novels are often predictable, but the characters are fun and sometimes sweet. I liked this novel’s lead as well. The idea of a slight, quiet soldier who comes home to become an Earl. He seems almost like an everyman in some ways. I also liked the female lead and again, my frequent complaint was that there was not enough of her.

Similar to other Heyer novels I’ve been reading lately, this was mostly mystery with some romance. Still, the little there was of the romance was rather nice. There was better build up in this one and the heroine is brave in her own way. She rescues and aids the hero several times. Heyer demonstrates how compatible they are. I always like how Heyer brings the couple together.

Heyer’s villains are always sent away or forgiven which is ludicrous because sometimes they are really dangerous and sociopathic. It makes reading these books even more funny and unrealistic.

One other reason I am reading the Heyer books is that they are really easy to read. The pacing is usually quick without being break neck and she has lovely archaic diction in it. The safe atmosphere makes them easy to pick up. I read this one on a trip to and from Montreal for the weekend. I have also been reading a lot of Heyer lately because work has been slow in the beginning.

Read on Kindle August 24-25th 2013

The Foundling by Georgette Heyer

This title was a bit misleading. It is about an orphan though. It’s about the Duke of Sale who decides to pretend being normal and has some fun adventures along the way.

There is a romance, but like in some other Heyer novels, it’s an afterthought. The main “foundling” in the novel is a simplistic but beautiful young girl. Thankfully, unlike in Sprig Muslin, this silly female is not featured heavily.

Overall, I liked the main character, but the females in the novel could be developed much more. Lady Harriet seems very good, but a bit one dimensional. Once again, the lack of screen time on the romance makes the reader feel less inclined. Belinda the foundling is too ridiculous.

Better than the last two Heyer novels I’ve read. I should take a break from Heyer, but her books are always addictive. It’s a fun and innocent world. They are pure escapism because nothing really bad happens to them. Sometimes, that’s all you want to read about.

Read on Kindle August 22-23 2013.

The Reluctant Widow and Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer

The Reluctant Widow

This was more mystery than romantic comedy. The lead male was a bit too smooth through the whole thing. It was enjoyable to read most of the time, but I feel like I wanted more of his interactions with the female lead. The romance seemed to be an afterthought in the whole thing. It was amusing mostly.

Read on Kindle August 18th 2013.

Sprig Muslin

Gosh, this book had an annoying young female character. I had a feeling that about the ending early on, but I still had to endure Amanda’s ridiculous schemes. It’s a lot like another Heyer novel, but I can’t remember which one since they all blur together after I’ve read about a dozen of them. The ending was nice, but again, not enough of the main couple. Not one of the better Heyer books.

Read on Kindle August 19-21 2013.

Booking Through Thursday – Second First Time

We all know the beauty of reading a really wonderful book for the first time—when everything about the story and the writing and the timing click to make a reader’s perfect storm … but it’s fleeting, because you can never read that book for the first time again.
So … if you could magically reset things so that you had the chance to read a favorite book/series again for the first time … which would you choose? And why?
And then, since tastes change … Do you think it would have the same affect on you, reading it now, as it did when you read it the first time? Would you love it just as much? Would you risk it? – BTT

I try not to go back in time since what’s happened has happened. I believe the books I read came into my life for a reason. I’d love to experience the newness of Narnia, Harry Potter, or his His Dark Materials again; however, I was young and that was part of the impact. I think most of the books I read I would still like. I like rereading the classics years after and I probably forget some details. In many ways, you never read a book the same way. The change in yourself changes perception.

The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer

Another cross-dressing romantic romp in the Regency era.

Georgette Heyer’s heroines generally fall into two categories:

1) Young, spirited and childlike girl who sometimes cross dresses (These Old Shades, this book, Masqueraders)
2) Mature and more sensible lady (Lady of Quality, A Civil Contract, Arabella)

There is some overlap and all are usually rebellious or headstrong. Still, can you guess which one I prefer? Not to say the more ingenues are bad, but they sometimes lack sense. I find myself less patient with them. On the other hand, they are usually balanced out by a very good lead as was the case in this book.

As I’ve said before, there are only a few instances when I like the romantic leads equally in Heyer books. It’s only happened about three or four out of the 19 Heyer books I’ve read so far. This one is one of the latter.

This book was very much like These Old Shades. It had a lot of twists and complications including disguises, thievery, elopement and murder. It ran the gambit. It was amusing to watch Sir Richard in it all, but not my favourite Heyer really.

I still love Heyer books and they are perfect for summer. Now, I’ve started up with her novels again, I loaded about eight more of her books onto the Kindle.

Read on the Kindle August 17-18th 2013.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

This was a really, really good novel.

I gave it five stars on GoodReads. That’s a rare for me; it’s only the fourth out of 49 books I’ve done that for in this year so far. I usually give five stars to books that I really want to reread or own, but this is not one that I necessarily feel for that yet. I do feel that it touched me in a strange way. Maybe it was the timing. More so, it was the use of so many things I like or could relate to: books, friendship, being a twentysomething in this age, and more.

This is a book for people who love books. It’s a novel that celebrates the beauty of books, and those who create and interact with them. It’s about books as knowledge through time. It’s about humanity’s relationship with knowledge, creativity, growth, and immortality. It’s not a non-fiction or philosophical book. It’s a novel with these features.

It’s a rather simple and short novel too. It isn’t written in any fancy way, and the prose is not literary or extraordinary beautiful. It’s rather cheeky actually, but it has heart. It’s a bibliophile’s kind of novel.

A lovely read.

Read August 17th 2013.

Sunday Salon: Summer Cold

Sunday Salon

This week, I posted my selection for Classics Club Spin 3, a WIP socks post, and my review of Sedaris’s Holidays on Ice.

This weekend, I read Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore (awesome – review to be up tomorrow) and Georgette Heyer’s The Corinthian.

The weather is slowly warming up again. The last hurrah of summer here. As a result, I was out too long in the sun yesterday. I got a headache from that and probably the cough I woke up with this morning. As I try avoid taking painkillers unless necessary, the headache grew worse so I was not able to do much last night except I did read.

It’s marvelous when you’re not feeling well, but you can still read!

I start a new contract this week which is good in that I will get paid again. I will miss my holidays though. It’s like going back to school all over again.

What are you doing this week?

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

This is a holiday themed collection of Sedaris essays and short stories. I’m not as keen on Sedaris’s short stories as his essays except his animal ones.

This series has the classic “Six to Eight Black Men” and a couple of other funny Sedaris essays I’ve read before. The first one in the collection was new to me. It was fantastic essay on Sedaris’s experience as Christmas elf at Macy’s Herald Square. I was horrified and amused by it as I usually am with some of Sedaris’ unique experiences.

Other than that essay, this work may be redundant for Sedaris fans, but it is a very slim read though.

Read August 11th 2013.

Booking Through Thursday – Neither a Borrower…

I’ve asked before how you feel about lending your books. I’ve asked how you feel about libraries. But—how do you feel about borrowing books from friends? Is this something you like to do? Does it make you feel uncomfortable or rushed while reading? Does it affect how you feel about the book you’re reading, pressured into liking it? – BTT

Thankfully, I do not have to borrow books from my friends very often. I read and have more books than most of them. On occasion, I do borrow from friends. I prefer to borrow from the library though. With friends, I feel rushed about it. I often either forget I have the book as it becomes mixed into my own books. Then when I realize it, I must finish it and return it. I personally don’t like holding people’s books on too long. I am not pressured into liking it though. It’s mostly a time and etiquette thing to return the book.

How about you?

August is just flying past…

WIP Wednesday: Child’s First Sock in Shell Pattern

These socks were started near the beginning of summer on July 1st. It feels like time has flown by since then. I’ve been very busy and preoccupied to sit and knit. I need to finish these by the end of the month for Sockdown. I’m past the halfway point though. I only turned the heels on them last week!

As I’ve written in recent posts, knitting has become less and less of a priority for me in the last year. While I continued to accumulate yarn and fibre, this summer has been fairly low on crafting and no stashing so far. I am very glad because I have way too much yarn and fibre. I hope my yarn diet continues to the end of the year.

I use to knit every day, but these days, I feel I knit only a couple of times a week.

When I started knitting seven years ago, I was a frustrated and lonely university student. Thankfully, I am less of all those things now. Knitting has always been a relaxing home activity for me. I’ve tried to be a social knitter, but it’s not in my nature. It’s one of my introverted hobbies that I do when watching TV or movies. These days, I have the blog, books, and other solitary activities.

Furthermore, I am more social again so I’m out and about. Once the weather gets colder, I’ll probably knit more, but I’m actually quite glad that I am knitting less or thinking about it less. The more I think about, the more I want yarn! That’s bad. 😉

Does knitting go in and out of your life as well? Is it always in the background waiting in the wings?

For more WIP Wednesdays and FO Fridays, go to Tami’s Amis.