Saturday, December 3, 2016

November's Book List

The Nameless Dead: An Inspector Devlin Thriller. Brian McGilloway.*

I thought I might want to try out a new crime series, so I checked this out from the library.  I think I'll just get back to the Leaphorn and Chee novels.

This picture has nothing to do with the books I read last month, and I took it 5 or 6 years ago.  The tree is still thriving in our neighborhood and its leaves turned a week or so ago.  Evelyn and I went for a walk last weekend and were impressed with how bright the yellow leaves could be.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

October's book list

"Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?" Roz Chast.*

Man, this was sad.

"The Dark Wind " Tony Hillerman.

I may need a small break from the Hillerman books. Just a small one, though.

Friday, September 2, 2016

August reading list

The Blessingway. Tony Hillerman.
Talking God. Tony Hillerman.
Step Aside, Pops. Kate Beaton.*
Prepper's Survival Hacks: 50 DIY Projects for Lifesaving Gear, Gadgets, and Kits. Jim Cobb.*

The Tony Hillerman books are kind of running together now, but that's okay.

Kate Beaton is hilarious and comics with history jokes are probably the best kind of comics.

The prepper book was light on talks about something knocking out power and heavy on the 'hey, this is a fun project that can come in handy'....which is a tone that was less pleasant on the author's website.  Still, this was an okay book about being resourceful for when the power goes out, you wind up having to stay overnight at work, or you wander off the trail while hiking.  I'm definitely going to try the candles and little cooking flames.

Also, it turns out I read that "Grandmother's Knitting" book this month and not last month.  It was fine, I guess.  It was mostly the editor recapping people's memories of their grandmothers (or grandpas or aunts or whatever), rather than their own words.  The patterns were...fine, I guess.  I cast on for one of the hat patterns and then returned the book to the library without thinking about it.  I'll figure something out.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

July's book list

Things I Learned from Knitting...Whether I Wanted to or Not. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.*
Listening Woman. Tony Hillerman.
People of Darkness. Tony Hillerman.
My Grandmother's Knitting: Family Stories and Inspired Knits from Top Designers. Larissa Brown, ed.*

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A post for April and May's books

Here they are, in no real particular order and without a lot of commentary.  Asterisks mark the library books.  My Tony Hillerman streak continues, happily.

Dry Bones. Craig Johnson.*
The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go so Their Children Can Succeed. Jessica Lahey*
Coyote. Tony Hillerman.*
Blessing Way. Tony Hillerman.*
Dance Hall of the Dead. Tony Hillerman*
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Marie Kondo.*
Pieces: A Year in Poems and Quilts. Anna Grossnickle Hines.*
Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. Marie Kondo.*
The Little Spark: 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity. Carrie Bloomstein.*
The Girl in the Spider's Web. David Lagercrantz.* 

Summary: I love the library, how-to's, pop psychology, and stoic men solving crimes.  I'm not quite ready to follow Marie Kondo's teachings and I don't know why because I love her.  Tony Hillerman makes me want to drive out West more so than usual.  I don't know why I keep reading Lisbeth Salander novels because I don't love them.  I would like to give out The Gift of Failure at baby showers, but feel like that's weird.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

March's book list

Little Victories: Perfect Victories for Imperfect Living. Jason Gay.*
Skinwalkers. Tony Hillerman.*
Thief of Time. Tony Hillerman.*
Wait for Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories. Craig Johnson.*

Little Victories was pretty fun.  It was a humorous reminder to calm down, love your family, enjoy some misadventures, be kind, etc.  I liked it.

Skinwalkers was my first Hillerman novel.  I checked out a book that had all three Leaphorn and Chee novels in it.  Who are Leaphorn and Chee?  Very famous Hillerman characters, apparently?  One is young and spiritual, and one is old and not.  Sometimes I forget which is which, but I enjoyed reading both of those books.  I'm still on the third one, and I'm enjoying that as well.  I think the Leaphorn novels and Chee novels might be my new favorite detective series.  I do like to work my way through detective series.  It's nice to find a new one.

There's a new Longmire novel out (or maybe two) that I haven't read, but Cody found the collection of short stories at the library.  Most of them are centered around holidays.  It was some nice bedtime reading.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Book list for January and February

Evelyn made a library in her room.

I read one book in January, and forgot to say anything about it.  So here's what I read these past two months!


The Kingdom of Little Wounds. Susann Cokal*

I checked this out because the cover was pretty and the name was intriguing.  I like medieval history in small doses, but this....started out weird and ended even weirder.  This was a young adult novel, but I'm not sure what age I'd be okay with Future Evelyn reading this.  Basically, I think I hated this. Don't read it.  It's thematically uneven, and the historical accuracy is so strong that I didn't so much want a shower after this as I did an Old Testament-style purification ritual.  (So much syphilis. much.)


Diving into the Wreck: Selected Poems 1971-1972. Adrienne Rich. 

I love this, and I love Adrienne Rich.  I bought this for $2 off a sale table at Hastings when I was a teenager, and then I didn't read much more of her until some time in college.  Then I went on a big tear and read nearly all of her poetry a few years ago.  I like her.  I always mean to read more of her essays, but then I come back to the poems instead and that feels fine.  I reread this every few years.  I wanted to read more in February, so I started with something small and familiar to get me started. It worked.

Gray Mountain. John Grisham*

Our library did a 'blind date' with a book thing last month.  They had a display of books wrapped up with some indicators about what was inside, and you checked out your book before you pulled back the paper.  I saw notes like 'big city lawyer in a small town' and knew I'd found my match.  It's been a while since I'd read any John Grisham because his dialogue makes me want to scream.  But I read the book in 3 days anyway, and hope there's another story featuring Samantha Kofer some time soon.

The Leftovers. Tom Perrotta*

I've never seen the show, but I checked out the book. I think I liked it?  There are a couple of boys who are usually in the library when we're there, and Evelyn always tries to help them read.  Their mom saw me checking out the book and told me it was weird.  She didn't say it like it was a bad thing, or an exciting thing, just that it was weird.  I get it.  I feel like I should have more to say, but I don't. It was weird. If a sequel ever came out, I would definitely want to read it.

Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads: A Modern Knitter's Guide to Discovering and Exploring Style. Cirlia Rose.*

Nice patterns, and interesting ideas, but not for me.  I had a whole rant typed out, but I was pretty sad and angry when I read through this and wound up feeling unstylish and ugly because I was having a bad day. On a regular day, I'd probably shrug my shoulders at the book and recommend it to knitters who dress more in a more feminine style and enjoy more whimsy.  So that's what I'm doing now.   

It's been a while since I've enjoyed reading books, so this has been a pretty great month!  A couple of Saturdays ago I had a kid-in-a-candy-store moment in our library's fiction section and I've really been enjoying what I gathered up.  It's a really good feeling.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Book list for 2015

Wow, I didn't read a lot of books in 2015.  Well, I didn't finish a lot of books.  Here's what I finished this year:

Little House Living: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life. Merissa Alink*
Hark! A Vagrant. Kate Beaton.*
The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love. Jill Conner Browne
Throw Out 50 Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life. Gail Blanke*
Ready Player One. Ernest Cline
Between the World and Me. Ta-Nehasi Coates* 
Beowulf. Seamus Heaney, translator.
Death of a Naturalist. Seamus Heaney*
Fieldwork. Seamus Heaney*
Teach Your Children Well. Madeline Levine.*
Drift. Rachel Maddow*
Tiny Beautiful Things. Cheryl Strayed.*
A Room of One's Own. Virginia Woolf.

I read plenty of books to Evelyn.  I also started several books and stopped when I didn't want to read them anymore.  There was a book about happiness that went on for way too long, so I guess I'll just have to wing it.  There was a poetry volume of Heaney's that was just...way too smart for me.  I tried to read "The Millionaire Next Door" but it's just a book about how some people got rich several decades ago and I really don't think I'd want any of them to be my neighbor.  There were others, but I guess they didn't make enough of an impression on me for me to remember why I quit reading them. 

A few of these books were re-reads, and I already want to go back to Beowulf and A Room of One's Own.  I'm hoping to read more DIY books, maybe more poetry, and I'd like to reread some of my favorites.  I think I'm going to start with Harriet the Spy.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


Evelyn and I made hot chocolate yesterday afternoon.  I'd gotten a kit for my birthday where you dip some chocolate-covered spoons into hot milk and enjoy some oversized marshmallows.  We even had some leftover Christmas cookies to go with our sweet drinks.   And I decided: 2016 is going to be the year we enjoy ourselves.  I want to actively look for ways we can have fun. 

It's a simple enough thing to do, but not something I'm naturally inclined toward.  But I think this will be a good year for it.  I feel like we've decluttered enough that there won't be any big, overhaul-style cleanings (unless we're going through Evelyn's clothes.  It can't be helped. She grows like an actual weed.  Stacks of leggings become obsolete from week to week!).  We have space to play and grow.  I've got nearly all of my yarn in one space.  This is most of it, by the way:

I'll try to do most of my gift knitting from my stash, and I'm going to work on projects I really like rather than getting concerned about using up the most yardage I can. 

I'm going to try to meet up with friends more often, and when I do I'm going to stop apologizing for Evelyn being super talkative because they don't seem to mind (she's their friend, too! She's everyone's friend! Why do I keep her away from friends?!).  I'm also going to try to stop being so negative, so that when I worry that everyone hates meeting up with me because I'm so negative I can remind myself that I was funny and asked questions about people's interests before possibly falling into a rant about the sorry state of national infrastructure or whatever else it is that sometimes literally keeps me up at night. 

I hope we eat more cake.  I love cake and it's not a big deal to make it. There are worse snacks (maybe).

The moment I stop enjoying something I'm reading, I'm going to stop reading it.  If someone's terrible on Facebook, I can hide them.  Or unfriend them altogether.

I hope I post more here without worrying about keeping up with everything in chronological order. 

I would write more now, but I want to get back to working on a sock I'm trying to knit. I'm not super invested in it, but I like that.  I'm going to knit socks, but I'm not going to be grimly determined or try to knit any tighter because I'm a loose knitter, and a generally relaxed one at that, except for when socks are involved.  But I'd like to try them a little bit more.  And so far I'm enjoying it.  Which is all I need for now.

I have other goals for the year.  I want to contribute to a food pantry every month.  I want to spend more time outdoors.  I want to cook more because I love my own cooking.  I'm hoping we have a nice tiny kitchen garden on our balcony.  And I'm going to enjoy those things too.