Mar 25, 2014

Ten on Tuesday - The Ten Last Books You Have Read.

I've had a lot more time to read lately. Much of it is devoted to satisfying the demands of Miss M who loves a good story. This one is her current favorite. She brings it with her to preschool regularly so that she can share it with her friends. It's got a surprise ending that has the kids in stitches every time.

I've also been reading a lot for my own enjoyment lately. I usually prefer mysteries and thrillers but I've been branching out a bit lately. It's a direct result of my heavy use of Goodreads. I love that I can keep track of the books I want to read and those I already did. I also like seeing what my friends are reading. It gives me ideas and helps me develop my queue.

Here is a list of some books that I've read recently. I wish I could say that I loved them all. 
  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - Both of my teen girls read and loved this one. The morning after I finished it they expectantly asked how I liked it and "did I cry?". I did like it but I didn't cry. It's very good but I doubt that it'll stay with me in any lasting way. It was a good story well-told but not unique.
  2. The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly - I love Michael Connelly. I've heard him speak and I always enjoy his stories.This is the second Mickey Haller book and it didn't disappoint at all. The characters are well crafted and interesting and the story comes together well. 
  3. Criminal by Karin Slaughter - Ms Slaughter is another author I love. I owe all of the enjoyment I've gotten reading her books to the National Book Festival. Ever year I check the list of authors scheduled to appear and often I'll check out someone listed who is new to me before seeing them at the festival. She writes pretty intense thrillers with great characters that develop over the series but here's a little hint - don't get too attached. She really isn't kind to her characters. 
  4. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby - Four people go up to the top of a building on New Years Eve to kill themselves and don't. Then they spend the rest of the book annoying each other while they try prevent each other from trying again. I didn't like any of them and I didn't really care if they jumped. 
  5. two boys kissing, David Levithan - This was an amazingly affecting book. It was beautiful and lyrical and thought provoking. It tells the story of one day in the lives of  young, gay, men in a way that is hopeful and sad and angry and reverent.  This one will stay with me for a long time.
  6. Six Years, Harlan Coben - This author is fairly new to me but I like him. It's about lost love, stuff that doesn't add up and a hero who just can't let go. It was a little implausible in places but it was highly entertaining and sometimes that's all you need.
  7. Gone Missing, Linda Castillo - This is one in a series of books set in an Amish community. The Sheriff is former Amish and a woman which sent up a lot of interesting situations and relationships. I can't say how accurate these books are as a representation of the Amish but they feel true and it adds a welcome twist on the genre. 
  8. Night Film, Marisha Pessl - I hated this book. A lot. I had heard good things and it sounded like my kind of book. It certainly sounded like a neat concept. Unfortunately it was not an enjoyable or interesting read at all. For me it was a slog and took up precious time that I could've spent reading something much better. 
  9. Lost Light, Michael Connelly - No surprise that MC appears twice on my list. His books are always winners for me. 
  10. The Woman Upstairs, Claire Messud - This was an odd book. It's about a woman who has sublimated her own desires and now she is living a life that is fine but unexciting. She has a nice job, nice friends, and a nice life but she feels insignificant and wonders what could have been. She gets involved with the family of a student and it changes her. The best way that I can describe my feeling about this book is uncomfortable.  

Mar 21, 2014

ECF - Last Ice of the Season Edition

I'm really hoping that the title is true and that the next time I see ice on the trees around my house isn't until November or December.

It looks pretty but it's been a very long winter and I'd like it to stop now. Please?

Mar 20, 2014

More New Socks For Me

Last week I talked about a photo shoot for two pairs of socks.  This is the second pair.

This is the Through the Loops Mystery Sock for this year. A two color sock is so hard to plan for just because there are so many great possibilities for color combinations. I love choosing colors and seeing how they mix. In the end I settled with a pair of colors that was far less risky than many others. The dark blue id Malabrigo in Shery and the minty green is Spud & Chloe in Glow Worm. It wasn't terribly risky but I like it.

Knowing that this pattern would involve 2 colors I was a little apprehensive, hoping that there wouldn't be extensive color work or - even worse - intarsia. But a funny thing happened while I was working on these socks. I found myself wishing that the second color was involved just a little bit more. Wow!

In the end I'm really happy with thee socks. The fussy cast on and the stripey toes are fun and add a little spark to the design. Now I have a year to finish the 2012 socks and perhaps a few more pairs before the next mystery sock next year.