Month: September 2015

When reading this book, I saw the weaknesses with some of Rowling’s writing. Notably her overuse of certain words (in this case, I counted “salubrious” twice early on) and plot holes. I think her editor could have caught a couple of things. Though I do wonder because with big name authors, editors seem to be less open to suggesting things. In any case, these are minor quibbles.

The mystery was fine. I had an idea who the killer was early on, but Rowling kept throwing lots of red herrings on the way to throw me off. I am noticing that fame and envy are big themes in this series. Cormoran’s own life has themes of these with his family history and his relationship history.

I would like Cormoran more as a character even he did not spend so much time thinking about Charlotte. I don’t like the idea of Charlotte or any character whose primary physical appearance is “beautiful” or so attractive that she made heads turn. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I’m irked by Charlotte’s behavior. Thankfully she does not show up in this book at all and Cormoran shows more character development by getting over her.

I do like the supporting cast a lot and not just Robin. I like Cormoran’s childhood friends and his brother Al. I like Cormoran more when they are around them too. I can only take so much of the anti-hero stuff.

Looking forward to the next book.

Read September 27-29, 2015.

Selected films that I remember watching in August.


The Wind Rises (August 2015) – I cried. I love Hayao Miyzaki. Beautiful.

John Wick (August 2015) – I saw this in August. Loved it. Can’t wait for the sequel.

The World’s End (August 2015)- Hot Fuzz was better.

Only Lovers Left Alive (August 2015) – Tilda Swintonw + Tom Hiddleston = Love.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (August 2015)- Gorgeous. Ralph Fiennes in one of his most lovely roles. Lovely Saorise. Wes Anderson at his best. This may even eclipse my love for Rushmore and equal to Fantastic Mr Fox.

This novel was okay. I did not hate it, but I did not think it was a credit to Agatha Chistie or a particularly great mystery.

Poirot is not quite Poirot. The character felt a bit forced, but I could overlook that. I had more issues with Detective Catchpool who is insecure, inept and I suspect, deeply repressed in some way. I found the character a very poor narrator and simply annoying. He never spoke up. He never wanted to trust in Poirot even though Poirot is well respected and well known. He seemed surprised Poirot was right. I do not how the author could make such a bad detective character. Christie’s novels have good police detectives who are great friends with Poirot and don’t display Catchpool’s incessant anxiety about his work and value. The ending suggested that the author would like to write more about the bumbling Catchpool which I will not partake in reading.

The mystery was alright until it became ridiculously convoluted. At the ending and resolution, I was trying to figure out why there so many random puzzle pieces. It made me miss Christie’s cleaner denouements and closing acts wherein all the facts were laid bare, but without all the extraneous details. Clever, but not cumbersome or padded.

The lesson here is that I need to read much more of Christie before I consider reading another of these adapted works.

Read September 17-18, 2015

This was a lovely novel. I finally found a Tóibín work I adore.

Set in the 1950s, the novel follows an Irish girl as she emigrates to Brooklyn, away from her family and friends. The prose is simple. The characters lightly drawn, but not overly simplistic. The period details were evocative. The themes were classic.

I related to a lot of this novel. Like the protagonist Eilis, I made a journey across an ocean to a place I’d never been, without family or friends, and it took me awhile to adjust. I experienced homesickness in a different way because I do not have siblings, and I chose to move away in away that Eilis did not. Still, living in a new place among st strangers and a different culture will always affect you.

Also like the protagonist, I fell in love for the first time when I went away and the moments Eilis shared with Tony reminded me of those times. It really brought me back. Eilis’s mother also reminded me of my own parents which was unnerving. I find the story very realistic to anyone who has been an immigrant before.

I read this novel in anticipation of the upcoming movie starring Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, and Domhnall Gleeson with an adapted screenplay by Nick Hornby. I knew the general story based on the trailer and this is a love triangle though it’s obvious what Eilis will do however tempting it is. I’m excited for the movie not only because I enjoyed the book. I adore Ronan and think she’s my curent favourite ingenue actress. She’s talented and beautiful. I have a crush on Gleeson, but I know his part will be small. My penchant for Hornby’s work has been documented on this blog before. I think he’s the right author to adapt this work.

All in all, a satisfied book experience in anticipation with what will probably be a satisfied film one.

Read September 6-7, 2015.

These socks took me eight months to finish and then I delayed photographing them for another three months. All in all, it took me about a year to get this post up. I am not knitting as much as I use to be. When I started these socks, I hoped it would get me back into it. In the past, I could finish a pair of socks in two weeks even while working full-time. I blame myself for picking this pattern. The twisted stitches made these socks very slow. It’s too bad as these were my first pair of socks from this book.

Katsura, started September 2, 2014, finished June 2, 2014.Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Katsuara by Judy Sumner from Knitted Socks East and West Ravelry Pattern Page
Yarn: Froehlich Wolle Special Blauband – 50g/225 yards – 2 skeins – #74
Needles: US#1/2.25mm – 100cm circular

Modifications & Notes:

  • Judy’s Magic CO 2AAT on ML using La-Rink and La-Link for toe increases.
  • Fleegle Heel
  • Yarn came with reinforcing thread so I used it for toes but forgot the heels
  • K2P1 ribbing
  • Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy BO

Cost of Project: Yarn was Random Act of Kindness gifted from Ravelry. Thank you. Cost of book was around $10-15CAD probably.
Would I knit it again? No.

I like Bill Bryson’s writing. I like history. I didn’t really like this book.

Certain sections and certain figures were interesting, but the design of the book was disjointed. It moved from one thing to another. I actually like when Bryson writes like this and it works in his memoirs and his previous nonfiction works, but the restrictive timeline of this book limited the topics.

I was really bored during certain sections and found it slow going. I only finished it because after a boring section, it would become mildly interesting again. After the half way point, I decided to just finish it. It was well researched. However, I really have to consider each new Bryson books more thoroughly from now on.

Read August 15-September 6, 2015.

One reviewer on GoodReads called this Kate Middleton fanfiction.

It really is and I don’t even like Kate Middleton. I picked this up from the library Express/popular reads. I have not done that in a long time. I’ve been very behind on my reading this year and have too many books already. I picked up this book for two reasons. First, it was chicklit and I haven’t read that in a long time. I thought it would help me back on the reading horse. Secondly, the authors are the Fug Girls. That cinched it.

I have a lot of fanfiction in the past, but this kind of author self-insertion fanfiction is not something I’ve been keen on. While all the names have been changed, it was still very easy to picture all the real life characters. I think there were a good amount of characters and dialogue for this kind of novel. Prince Nick was a tad too generic romantic hero at times. Then again, that was in line with who he was based on.

This novel was addictive at times. It had enough drama, character moments, and plot twists to keep me reading. I liked the moments between Bex the protagonist and her sister. I found the whole love triangle bit realistic in a complicated way. The ending was a bit rushed though. As a former London dweller, I adored the references to various streets and buildings. However, it also didn’t feel like the authors had actually lived there. Still not a bad research for a chick lit novel.

All in all, a nice quick read. I enjoyed it. For the record, I am a Freddie girl. 🙂

Read September 3-5, 2015.