Friday, December 30, 2016

Spinning Friday - 2016 Recap

As I'm trying to get back into the groove of blogging more frequently, I thought I'd revisit my Spinning Fridays with this post on the final Friday of 2016.

Some of you might know that I participated in the 2016 Spin the Bin Challenge over on Ravelry.  I had earmarked a total of 125 oz of fiber to spin and while I did spin a few other braids this year, that 125 oz was what I mainly focused on.

If you are interested in all the various and sundry rovings and fibers that I picked for the challenge, you can visit my Ravelry project page for that here.

Most of what I spun were 4-oz increments, but there were a few 8-oz'ers and a few 4-ozs that I paired together for a larger combospin.  I had a couple of smaller batches too, but not many of those.

Here's all the skeins spun up and ready to have grown-up lives as yarn!



There are individual project pages on Ravelry under my Handspun tab if you want to find out any details about them.  The total yards spun from the bin were 9553 yards, which I'm pretty daggone proud of.  More than half were fingering-weight yarns, with just a few sport to DK thrown in there, and only 2 worsted I think.  (I didn't include the odd other braids I spun in that yardage total, but I know it was over 10K yards with those included for the year.)

I've already used 2 of the yarns to knit up items (1 pair of socks, 1 hat), but I can see a lot of other fun projects waiting to be started here.

I'm not going to participate in the 2017 challenge.  I decided I wanted a little less pressure on my spinning time, but I do plan to continue working on my stash next year.  There are still a lot of pretty things to be spun up!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

New Podcast Episode (#41 - 12/22/2016) - Happy Holidays!

Episode 41 is now live (recorded 12/22/2016);



In this episode, I talk about:
FOs:
Snowdrops Mittens (January kit in the Herbarium Club for color/texture).
WIPs:
Sekret sweater project for Spring 2017 Filament magazine.
Cabled vest project for spring 2017 release.
Ongoing KALs:
Handspun KAL: Hosted by me. Runs through December 31, 2016.
Box O Sox KAL: Hosted by Kristen of the Yarngasm Podcast. Runs through December 31, 2016.
Coffee with CC KAL: Hosted by Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick. Runs through December 31, 2016.
Upcoming: Spin From Stash-Along 2017: Hosted by me. Begins January 2017.
Spinning/Handspun Yarn:
Superfine merino/alpaca in “Charcoal” from Pigeon Roof Studios.
Oceanwind Knits
Stitching:
January Word Play from Thy Needle and Thread.
The 2017 Clubs! Listings for all the clubs (Fiber/Handspinner’s Club, Sweater Club, The Herbarium Club (Lace) and The Herbarium Club (Texture/Color) can be found at the Clubs tab on the website here. For more details please also see the thread in the group here!

Monday, December 19, 2016

2017 Reading Challenge - Early Bird Report

I tackled the first week of the 2017 Reading Challenge this weekend - selecting week #43 - a book with a chilling atmosphere, with Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase.

I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting with this book - but it wasn't whatever that was.  The Goodreads preview and other summaries of it made it sound like a ghost story or something long hidden in the creepy rooms of Black Rabbit Hall, but it actually was a pretty tame book with a wicked stepmother and her lies, and a family in conflict at the center.  Meh.  Not exactly Flowers in the Attic, but it was definitely on that sort of vibe.  I read it, but don't recommend it; I wanted something more to the story and was left feeling wanting when it was finished.

Next up, I'm reading A Cornish Maid by Rosemary Aitken for week 4: A title that doesn't contain the letter "E".

The 2017 List
1. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016
2. A book with at least 2 perspectives (multiple points of view)
3. A book you meant to read in 2016
4. A title that doesn't contain the letter "E":  A Cornish Maid by Rosemary Aitken
5. A historical fiction
6. A book being released as a movie in 2017 
7. A book with an animal on the cover or in the title
8. A book written by a person of color
9. A book in the middle of your To Be Read list
10. A dual-timeline novel
11. A category from another challenge
12. A book based on a myth
13. A book recommended by one of your favorite authors
14. A book with a strong female character
15. A book written or set in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland)
16. A mystery
17. A book with illustrations
18. A really long book (600+ pages)
19. A New York Times best-seller
20. A book that you've owned for a while but haven't gotten around to reading
21. A book that is a continuation of a book you've already read
22. A book by an author you haven't read before
23. A book from the BBC "The Big Read" list (
link)
24. A book written by at least two authors
25. A book about a famous historical figure
26. An adventure book
27. A book by one of your favorite authors
28. A non-fiction
29. A book published outside the 4 major publishing houses (Simon & Schuster; HarperCollins; Penguin Random House; Hachette Livre) - check all the editions
30. A book from Goodreads Top 100 YA Books (
link)
31. A book from a sub-genre of your favorite genre
32. A book with a long title (5+ words, excluding subtitle)
33. A magical realism novel
34. A book set in or by an author from the Southern Hemisphere
35. A book where one of the main characters is royalty
36. A Hugo Award winner or nominee (
link)
37. A book you choose randomly
38. A novel inspired by a work of classic literature
39. An epistolary fiction
40. A book published in 2017
41. A book with an unreliable narrator
42. A best book of the 21st century (so far)
43. A book with a chilling atmosphere (scary, unsettling, cold):  Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase.
44. A recommendation from "What Should I Read Next" (
link)
45. A book with a one-word title
46. A time travel novel
47. A past suggestion that didn't win (
link)
48. A banned book
49. A book from someone else's bookshelf
50. A Penguin Modern Classic - any edition
51. A collection (e.g. essays, short stories, poetry, plays) 
52. A book set in a fictional location

Friday, December 16, 2016

2017 Reading Challenge TOPICS

Here are the 2017 Goodreads Around The Year in 52 Books topics I'm planning on tackling for 2017.

I've already got a few picked out, and I already know I'll be using the WildCard option in this year's reading challenge for a couple of the weeks that just don't appeal much to me.

And since it's not like I'm not going to read between now and the end of the year, I'm getting started on the list already!

First up, I've grabbed a book for week #43: A book with a chilling atmosphere, and for this one, I'm reading Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase.

The 2017 List
1. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016
2. A book with at least 2 perspectives (multiple points of view)
3. A book you meant to read in 2016
4. A title that doesn't contain the letter "E"
5. A historical fiction
6. A book being released as a movie in 2017 
7. A book with an animal on the cover or in the title
8. A book written by a person of color
9. A book in the middle of your To Be Read list
10. A dual-timeline novel
11. A category from another challenge
12. A book based on a myth
13. A book recommended by one of your favorite authors
14. A book with a strong female character
15. A book written or set in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland)
16. A mystery
17. A book with illustrations
18. A really long book (600+ pages)
19. A New York Times best-seller
20. A book that you've owned for a while but haven't gotten around to reading
21. A book that is a continuation of a book you've already read
22. A book by an author you haven't read before
23. A book from the BBC "The Big Read" list (link)
24. A book written by at least two authors
25. A book about a famous historical figure
26. An adventure book
27. A book by one of your favorite authors
28. A non-fiction
29. A book published outside the 4 major publishing houses (Simon & Schuster; HarperCollins; Penguin Random House; Hachette Livre) - check all the editions
30. A book from Goodreads Top 100 YA Books (link)
31. A book from a sub-genre of your favorite genre
32. A book with a long title (5+ words, excluding subtitle)
33. A magical realism novel
34. A book set in or by an author from the Southern Hemisphere
35. A book where one of the main characters is royalty
36. A Hugo Award winner or nominee (link)
37. A book you choose randomly
38. A novel inspired by a work of classic literature
39. An epistolary fiction
40. A book published in 2017
41. A book with an unreliable narrator
42. A best book of the 21st century (so far)
43. A book with a chilling atmosphere (scary, unsettling, cold)
44. A recommendation from "What Should I Read Next" (link)
45. A book with a one-word title
46. A time travel novel
47. A past suggestion that didn't win (link)
48. A banned book
49. A book from someone else's bookshelf
50. A Penguin Modern Classic - any edition
51. A collection (e.g. essays, short stories, poetry, plays) 
52. A book set in a fictional location

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Podcast Episode 40 and What I'm Working On

Episode 40 is now live!


In this episode, I talk about:
FOs: 
Self-striping holiday gift socks. 
Balloon Fiesta Shawl: Pattern is here. Yarn is available here. More information on the KAL is here.
WIPs
Sekret mitts and cowl for Spring 2017 Filament magazine. 
Sekret sweater project for Spring 2017 Filament magazine.
Ongoing KALs: 
Handspun KAL: Hosted by me. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
Box O Sox KAL: Hosted by Kristen of the Yarngasm Podcast. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
TBK Sock Club 2016: Hosted by Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
Coffee with CC KAL: Hosted by Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick. Runs through December 31, 2016.
Upcoming: Spin From Stash-Along 2017: Hosted by me. Begins January 2017.
Handspun Yarn: 
SW merino from Two If By Hand in the “Boardwalk” colorway. 
Superfine merino/alpaca in “Charcoal” from Pigeon Roof Studios.
Stitching: 
The Winter Garden from The Drawn Thread
The 2017 Clubs! Listings for all the clubs (Fiber/Handspinner’s Club, Sweater Club, The Herbarium Club (Lace) and The Herbarium Club (Texture/Color) can be found at the Clubs tab on the website here. For more details please also see the thread in the group here!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge - DONE!

I'm happy to report I have finished the 2016 reading challenge!  I finished up The Handmaid's Tale last week and that was my final category book for the year.  If you haven't read this one, while I won't say it's a book I "liked", it's definitely one that will stick with me.  Lots of food for thought, and well-written (I like Barbara Atwood in general), but it's creepy and unsettling.  (Note to self, the holiday season is not necessarily the best time to tackle a book on a dystopia.  Plan ahead for that next time.)

My top 3 books for the year:

  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.
  • Career of Evil/The Silkworm/The Cuckoo's Calling series by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling).
  • River of Doubt by Candice Millard.
All of which were surprises, and I think that's why I like this yearly challenge.  Books that I wouldn't have necessarily picked up wind up being ones I really enjoyed.  (And I like that the challenge gets me out of my mind-candy rut which I tend to drift into when not motivated otherwise.)

I have been waffling around about continuing with the challenge for 2017.  I had thought maybe I'd take a year to just read fluff, but to be honest, I've read a couple of week's worth of fluff already over the last 2 weeks, and I think I'm ready to get back into a more expanded reading list.  So..... I think I'm in for 2017!  I'll put up a post with the next year's topics, but you can also find them on Goodreads in the Around the Year in 52 Books group, if you're interested.


The 2016 List
1. A book you meant to read in 2015, but didn't.  Entwined by Heather Dixon - DONE.
2. A book set in a different continent: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain - DONE.
3. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (winner or nominated) - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (audio) - DONE.
4. A book by an author you discovered in 2015: Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr - DONE.
5. A book with a title beginning with the 1st letter of your name:  Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose - DONE.
6. The highest rated on your TBR: The Clockmaster by Betsy Tobin - DONE.
7. A book about books - Gutenberg's Apprentice - Alix Christie - DONE.
8. A classic book with less than 200 pages:  Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence - DONE
9. A book that was mentioned in another book:  West with the Night - Beryl Markham - DONE
10. A book by an author you feel you should have read by now: Thud - Terry Pratchett - DONE.
11. A book from the Rory Gilmore challenge - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - DONE.
12. A childhood classic:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - DONE.
13. Reader’s Choice:  Vienna Nocturne by Vivien Shotwell - DONE.
14. A book with one of the five W’s -or H in the title (Who/What/Where/When/Why/How) What She Left - T.R. Richmond - DONE.
15. A book set in the past (more than 100 years ago):  Cervantes Street by Jamie Manrique - DONE.
16. A book from the top 100 mystery novels:  The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman - DONE.
17. A book with a beautiful cover: Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood
18. A book on a summer/beach reading list: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith - DONE.
19. A non-fiction book - Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson - DONE.
20. A book with a first name in the title: Jane and the Still-Room Maid by Stephanie Barron.  DONE.
21. A book from the Goodreads Recommendations page - The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers.
22. The first book in a new to you series: The Lazarus Gate by Mark Latham - DONE.
23. The next book in a series you are reading: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith - DONE.
24. A "between the numbers" book of a series (0.5, 1,5, 2.5, etc.):  The Three Monarchs by Anthony Horowitz - DONE.
25. A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you: Mind of the Raven by Bernd Henrich - DONE.
26. A book everyone is talking about - Knitlandia by Clara Parkes - DONE.
27. A book with a beautiful title (in your own opinion): Belle Cora - Richard Margulies - DONE.
28. A biography, autobiography, or memoir: Jack London: An American Life by Earle Labor - DONE.
29. A book by an author who writes under more than one name:  The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) - DONE.
30. A fairytale from a culture other than your own: The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley - DONE.
31. A work of young adult fiction:  The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge. DONE.
32. A historical fiction book: The Scribe by Matthew Guin - DONE.
33. The 16th book on your TBR:  The Dark Lantern by Gerri Brightwell - DONE.
34. A book about mental illness: Adeline by Norah Vincent - DONE
35. An award winning book: River of Doubt by Candice Millard - DONE.
36. An identity book - a book about a different culture, religion or sexual orientation:  Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - DONE.
37. A book that you've seen the movie of but haven't read - The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje - DONE.
38. A book about an anti hero:  Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace - DONE.
39. A previous suggestion that did not make it into the list: Secrecy by Rupert Thomas - DONE.
40. A novella from your favorite genre: The Princess and the Queen or The Blacks and the Greens by George RR Martin - DONE.
41. A book about a major world event (fiction or non-fiction): The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure - DONE.
42. A top 100 fantasy novel:  The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - DONE.
43. A book about a thing that goes bump in the night:  The Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckley - DONE.
44. A book you're embarrassed to read in public: A Stolen Rose by Amy Corwin - DONE.
45. A book related to a hobby or passion you have: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - DONE.
46. A crime story:  The Cutting Season by Attica Locke - DONE.
47. A book with a type of food/drink in the title - Blood Orange by Karen Keskinen - DONE.
48. A dystopia: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - DONE.
49. A book with a great opening line: Paris Red by Maureen Gibbon - DONE.
50. A book originally written in a language other than English:  Tove Jansson's The Summer Book - DONE.
51. A short story from a well-known author: A Queen in Exile by Sharon Kay Penman - DONE.
52. A book published in 2016 - The Dark Lady's Mask by Mary Sharratt - DONE.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

New Podcast Episode (and WIP): Episode 39 - November 30, 2016.

Episode 39 of the Wooly Wonka Fibers podcast is now live:



In this episode, I talk about:

FOs: 
Holly Cowl - pattern and yarn pack. Also available from The Yarn Guys.
WIPs: 
Sekret mitts and cowl for Spring 2017 Filament magazine. 
Self-striping holiday gift socks. 
Sekret sweater project for Spring 2017 Filament magazine.
Ongoing KALs: 
Handspun KAL: Hosted by me. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
Box O Sox KAL: Hosted by Kristen of the Yarngasm Podcast. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
TBK Sock Club 2016: Hosted by Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick. Runs through December 31, 2016. 
Coffee with CC KAL: Hosted by Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick. Runs through December 31, 2016.
Upcoming: Spin From Stash-Along 2017: Hosted by me. Begins January 2017.
Handspun Yarn: 
SW merino from Two If By Hand in the “Boardwalk” colorway.
Stitching: 
January Word Play by With Thy Needle and Thread.
The 2017 Clubs! Listings for all the clubs (Fiber/Handspinner’s Club, Sweater Club, The Herbarium Club (Lace) and The Herbarium Club (Texture/Color) can be found at the Clubs tab on the website here. For more details please also see the thread in the group here!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016 - Week 48

I'm almost there!

I finished up The Drawing of the Dark a week or so ago for week 21.  A fun read - if you like historical-based fiction/fantasy, you'd likely enjoy this one.  There are a few little hidden tidbits that get revealed as the story goes on (and which I won't spoil here), but the story ties in a legend, powerful magic, mystical creatures, and a battle, all of which revolve around a mysterious old man, a tavern built at the site of a monastery and some well-brewed beer.

I then zipped through Paris Red, a historical fiction read, for week 49 - a book with a great opening line. This story follows a young Victorine Meuret from her days working in a silver-smithing factory to becoming the model and muse of Edouard Manet.  The writing in this one is engaging and lyrical, and I thoroughly enjoyed this one.  (And it does have a great opening line FWIW.)

And finally, I'm currently reading The Handmaid's Tale for week 48, a dystopia.  I did start this eons ago, but never finished it, and I'm honestly not sure why as it's a gripping book and I'm already 75% done reading it.  It should be finished by the weekend at this rate and I can call the 2016 Reading Challenge a finish!

The 2016 List
1. A book you meant to read in 2015, but didn't.  Entwined by Heather Dixon - DONE.
2. A book set in a different continent: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain - DONE.
3. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (winner or nominated) - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (audio) - DONE.
4. A book by an author you discovered in 2015: Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr - DONE.
5. A book with a title beginning with the 1st letter of your name:  Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose - DONE.
6. The highest rated on your TBR: The Clockmaster by Betsy Tobin - DONE.
7. A book about books - Gutenberg's Apprentice - Alix Christie - DONE.
8. A classic book with less than 200 pages:  Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence - DONE
9. A book that was mentioned in another book:  West with the Night - Beryl Markham - DONE
10. A book by an author you feel you should have read by now: Thud - Terry Pratchett - DONE.
11. A book from the Rory Gilmore challenge - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - DONE.
12. A childhood classic:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - DONE.
13. Reader’s Choice:  Vienna Nocturne by Vivien Shotwell - DONE.
14. A book with one of the five W’s -or H in the title (Who/What/Where/When/Why/How) What She Left - T.R. Richmond - DONE.
15. A book set in the past (more than 100 years ago):  Cervantes Street by Jamie Manrique - DONE.
16. A book from the top 100 mystery novels:  The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman - DONE.
17. A book with a beautiful cover: Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood
18. A book on a summer/beach reading list: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith - DONE.
19. A non-fiction book - Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson - DONE.
20. A book with a first name in the title: Jane and the Still-Room Maid by Stephanie Barron.  DONE.
21. A book from the Goodreads Recommendations page - The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers.
22. The first book in a new to you series: The Lazarus Gate by Mark Latham - DONE.
23. The next book in a series you are reading: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith - DONE.
24. A "between the numbers" book of a series (0.5, 1,5, 2.5, etc.):  The Three Monarchs by Anthony Horowitz - DONE.
25. A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you: Mind of the Raven by Bernd Henrich - DONE.
26. A book everyone is talking about - Knitlandia by Clara Parkes - DONE.
27. A book with a beautiful title (in your own opinion): Belle Cora - Richard Margulies - DONE.
28. A biography, autobiography, or memoir: Jack London: An American Life by Earle Labor - DONE.
29. A book by an author who writes under more than one name:  The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) - DONE.
30. A fairytale from a culture other than your own: The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley - DONE.
31. A work of young adult fiction:  The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge. DONE.
32. A historical fiction book: The Scribe by Matthew Guin - DONE.
33. The 16th book on your TBR:  The Dark Lantern by Gerri Brightwell - DONE.
34. A book about mental illness: Adeline by Norah Vincent - DONE
35. An award winning book: River of Doubt by Candice Millard - DONE.
36. An identity book - a book about a different culture, religion or sexual orientation:  Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - DONE.
37. A book that you've seen the movie of but haven't read - The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje - DONE.
38. A book about an anti hero:  Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace - DONE.
39. A previous suggestion that did not make it into the list: Secrecy by Rupert Thomas - DONE.
40. A novella from your favorite genre: The Princess and the Queen or The Blacks and the Greens by George RR Martin - DONE.
41. A book about a major world event (fiction or non-fiction): The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure - DONE.
42. A top 100 fantasy novel:  The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - DONE.
43. A book about a thing that goes bump in the night:  The Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckley - DONE.
44. A book you're embarrassed to read in public: A Stolen Rose by Amy Corwin - DONE.
45. A book related to a hobby or passion you have: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - DONE.
46. A crime story:  The Cutting Season by Attica Locke - DONE.
47. A book with a type of food/drink in the title - Blood Orange by Karen Keskinen - DONE.
48. A dystopia: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.
49. A book with a great opening line: Paris Red by Maureen Gibbon - DONE.
50. A book originally written in a language other than English:  Tove Jansson's The Summer Book - DONE.
51. A short story from a well-known author: A Queen in Exile by Sharon Kay Penman - DONE.
52. A book published in 2016 - The Dark Lady's Mask by Mary Sharratt - DONE.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Reading Challenge - 2016

I finished reading the Novella from a Favorite Genre (week 40's topic): The Princess and the Queen or The Blacks and the Greens by George R.R. Martin.  I didn't love this - books which require you to read something else to understand what's going on annoy me.  But if you are rabid fan of Game of Thrones, you'll probably love this one.  (Like GOT, I thought even this short novella could have used some editing!).

I also read A Queen in Exile by Sharon Kay Penman for week #51 - Short Story by a Famous Author.  This quick read focused on 12th century Sicily and Queen Constance (who was queen of Sicily and eventually mother to Frederick, the Holy Roman Emperor of the 13th century).  A great read - well-written, interesting, and the kind of historical tidbit I love.

I'm currently reading week 21's Book from The Goodreads Recommendation Page: The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers - and really enjoying it.  A fun story with a bit of adventure and magical things tossed in.  My plan is to try to finish this one up this week, which will leave me a dystopia (for week 48) and a book with a great opening line (for week 49).  I picked up The Handmaiden's Tale for week #48, as it was on an Amazon Daily Deal.  I think I started this one years ago, but honestly can't remember if I finished it, so I'll see how it goes.  That'll just leave me 1 book to finish up the 2016 challenge then!

The 2016 List
1. A book you meant to read in 2015, but didn't.  Entwined by Heather Dixon - DONE.
2. A book set in a different continent: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain - DONE.
3. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (winner or nominated) - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (audio) - DONE.
4. A book by an author you discovered in 2015: Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr - DONE.
5. A book with a title beginning with the 1st letter of your name:  Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose - DONE.
6. The highest rated on your TBR: The Clockmaster by Betsy Tobin - DONE.
7. A book about books - Gutenberg's Apprentice - Alix Christie - DONE.
8. A classic book with less than 200 pages:  Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence - DONE
9. A book that was mentioned in another book:  West with the Night - Beryl Markham - DONE
10. A book by an author you feel you should have read by now: Thud - Terry Pratchett - DONE.
11. A book from the Rory Gilmore challenge - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - DONE.
12. A childhood classic:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - DONE.
13. Reader’s Choice:  Vienna Nocturne by Vivien Shotwell - DONE.
14. A book with one of the five W’s -or H in the title (Who/What/Where/When/Why/How) What She Left - T.R. Richmond - DONE.
15. A book set in the past (more than 100 years ago):  Cervantes Street by Jamie Manrique - DONE.
16. A book from the top 100 mystery novels:  The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman - DONE.
17. A book with a beautiful cover: Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood
18. A book on a summer/beach reading list: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith - DONE.
19. A non-fiction book - Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson - DONE.
20. A book with a first name in the title: Jane and the Still-Room Maid by Stephanie Barron.  DONE.
21. A book from the Goodreads Recommendations page - The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers.
22. The first book in a new to you series: The Lazarus Gate by Mark Latham - DONE.
23. The next book in a series you are reading: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith - DONE.
24. A "between the numbers" book of a series (0.5, 1,5, 2.5, etc.):  The Three Monarchs by Anthony Horowitz - DONE.
25. A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you: Mind of the Raven by Bernd Henrich - DONE.
26. A book everyone is talking about - Knitlandia by Clara Parkes - DONE.
27. A book with a beautiful title (in your own opinion): Belle Cora - Richard Margulies - DONE.
28. A biography, autobiography, or memoir: Jack London: An American Life by Earle Labor - DONE.
29. A book by an author who writes under more than one name:  The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) - DONE.
30. A fairytale from a culture other than your own: The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley - DONE.
31. A work of young adult fiction:  The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge. DONE.
32. A historical fiction book: The Scribe by Matthew Guin - DONE.
33. The 16th book on your TBR:  The Dark Lantern by Gerri Brightwell - DONE.
34. A book about mental illness: Adeline by Norah Vincent - DONE
35. An award winning book: River of Doubt by Candice Millard - DONE.
36. An identity book - a book about a different culture, religion or sexual orientation:  Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - DONE.
37. A book that you've seen the movie of but haven't read - The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje - DONE.
38. A book about an anti hero:  Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace - DONE.
39. A previous suggestion that did not make it into the list: Secrecy by Rupert Thomas - DONE.
40. A novella from your favorite genre: The Princess and the Queen or The Blacks and the Greens by George RR Martin - DONE.
41. A book about a major world event (fiction or non-fiction): The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure - DONE.
42. A top 100 fantasy novel:  The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - DONE.
43. A book about a thing that goes bump in the night:  The Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckley - DONE.
44. A book you're embarrassed to read in public: A Stolen Rose by Amy Corwin - DONE.
45. A book related to a hobby or passion you have: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - DONE.
46. A crime story:  The Cutting Season by Attica Locke - DONE.
47. A book with a type of food/drink in the title - Blood Orange by Karen Keskinen - DONE.
48. A dystopia
49. A book with a great opening line
50. A book originally written in a language other than English:  Tove Jansson's The Summer Book - DONE.
51. A short story from a well-known author: A Queen in Exile by Sharon Kay Penman - DONE.
52. A book published in 2016 - The Dark Lady's Mask by Mary Sharratt - DONE.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge: Week 42

I finished up Secrecy by Rupert Thomas this week.  I'll give this one the Marlon Brando award - it coulda been a contender.  Great plot concept, but it kind of fizzled out at the end.  There was a great suspenseful buildup and then the last 2 chapters were just kind of meh. I wanted to really like this book, but I ... well... just didn't.

This week, I'm reading a Novella from a Favorite Genre (week 40's topic): The Princess and the Queen or The Blacks and the Greens.  This is in an anthology of short stories (where I will also likely get my Short Story by a Famous Author) about Dangerous Women and titled the same.  This novella is sort of a pre-history of the dragon-riders and the already existing world we know as Game of Thrones (and the remainder of that series).  I'm about halfway through it.  A light read - although I think it helps to have some clue about the world he's already created before reading this one. It makes a lot more sense that way.

I'll probably go ahead and see if I can finish up the short story category this week, and I've grabbed a book from the Goodreads Recommendations list - The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers - which is listed as a "historical fantasy" and would seemingly be right up my alley, although I've only read the first chapter so far.  More to report when I get those read!

The 2016 List
1. A book you meant to read in 2015, but didn't.  Entwined by Heather Dixon - DONE.
2. A book set in a different continent: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain - DONE.
3. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (winner or nominated) - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (audio) - DONE.
4. A book by an author you discovered in 2015: Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr - DONE.
5. A book with a title beginning with the 1st letter of your name:  Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose - DONE.
6. The highest rated on your TBR: The Clockmaster by Betsy Tobin - DONE.
7. A book about books - Gutenberg's Apprentice - Alix Christie - DONE.
8. A classic book with less than 200 pages:  Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence - DONE
9. A book that was mentioned in another book:  West with the Night - Beryl Markham - DONE
10. A book by an author you feel you should have read by now: Thud - Terry Pratchett - DONE.
11. A book from the Rory Gilmore challenge - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - DONE.
12. A childhood classic:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - DONE.
13. Reader’s Choice:  Vienna Nocturne by Vivien Shotwell - DONE.
14. A book with one of the five W’s -or H in the title (Who/What/Where/When/Why/How) What She Left - T.R. Richmond - DONE.
15. A book set in the past (more than 100 years ago):  Cervantes Street by Jamie Manrique - DONE.
16. A book from the top 100 mystery novels:  The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman - DONE.
17. A book with a beautiful cover: Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood
18. A book on a summer/beach reading list: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith - DONE.
19. A non-fiction book - Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson - DONE.
20. A book with a first name in the title: Jane and the Still-Room Maid by Stephanie Barron.  DONE.
21. A book from the Goodreads Recommendations page
22. The first book in a new to you series: The Lazarus Gate by Mark Latham - DONE.
23. The next book in a series you are reading: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith - DONE.
24. A "between the numbers" book of a series (0.5, 1,5, 2.5, etc.):  The Three Monarchs by Anthony Horowitz - DONE.
25. A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you: Mind of the Raven by Bernd Henrich - DONE.
26. A book everyone is talking about - Knitlandia by Clara Parkes - DONE.
27. A book with a beautiful title (in your own opinion): Belle Cora - Richard Margulies - DONE.
28. A biography, autobiography, or memoir: Jack London: An American Life by Earle Labor - DONE.
29. A book by an author who writes under more than one name:  The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) - DONE.
30. A fairytale from a culture other than your own: The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley - DONE.
31. A work of young adult fiction:  The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge. DONE.
32. A historical fiction book: The Scribe by Matthew Guin - DONE.
33. The 16th book on your TBR:  The Dark Lantern by Gerri Brightwell - DONE.
34. A book about mental illness: Adeline by Norah Vincent - DONE
35. An award winning book: River of Doubt by Candice Millard - DONE.
36. An identity book - a book about a different culture, religion or sexual orientation:  Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - DONE.
37. A book that you've seen the movie of but haven't read - The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje - DONE.
38. A book about an anti hero:  Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace - DONE.
39. A previous suggestion that did not make it into the list: Secrecy by Rupert Thomas - DONE.
40. A novella from your favorite genre: The Princess and the Queen or The Blacks and the Greens by George RR Martin. 
41. A book about a major world event (fiction or non-fiction): The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure - DONE.
42. A top 100 fantasy novel:  The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - DONE.
43. A book about a thing that goes bump in the night:  The Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckley - DONE.
44. A book you're embarrassed to read in public: A Stolen Rose by Amy Corwin - DONE.
45. A book related to a hobby or passion you have: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - DONE.
46. A crime story:  The Cutting Season by Attica Locke - DONE.
47. A book with a type of food/drink in the title - Blood Orange by Karen Keskinen - DONE.
48. A dystopia
49. A book with a great opening line
50. A book originally written in a language other than English:  Tove Jansson's The Summer Book - DONE.
51. A short story from a well-known author
52. A book published in 2016 - The Dark Lady's Mask by Mary Sharratt - DONE.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge: Week 42

Uh... why yes.... there have been a multitude of weeks that have passed between now and the last Reading Challenge update.  Mostly because I haven't been reading much at all.

I went through a mind candy episode right after my surgery where I only read British mysteries, but nothing that really qualified for The Challenge List.

I did finally give up waiting on The Rosie Project from my library.  Instead, for week #20, a book with a first name in the title, I read the next in the Jane Austen mystery series, Jane and the Still-Room Maid.  One of my favorite series, I'm not sure why I stopped reading these, but anyway, that week is accomplished!

I'm kind of going "off-book" (ha - a pun, get it?) here for week 39, a previous suggestion that did not make it onto the list - since, to be honest, I'm not sure what topics were previously suggested and rejected, but I'm going with a "previous suggestion" for a book from another reader.  Currently, I'm working my way through Secrecy, by Rupert Thomas.  I'm about halfway through this one and it's.... interesting.  You know I love my historical fiction (which this is), and it's set in Florence in 1691, and it features all kinds of intrigue and court politics, and the Medici's, but it's a bit macabre.  The main character (an artist) is fascinated by the plague and death, which should likely tell you that the book is about that too.  We'll see how it all shakes out.

I don't really have that many titles to go to finish the challenge - looks like:
Week 21: A book from the Goodreads Recommendations page.
Week 41: A novella from my favorite genre
Week 48: A dystopia.
Week 49: A book with a great opening line.
Week 51: A short story by a well-known author.

2 of the 5 left are short ones too!  I'll likely take a run through the library again and see what I can find that might fit the bill.  I'm not sure what I'll read through the end of the year - right now I have so little time for reading, maybe these last 5 will take me the remaining weeks of 2016!!


The 2016 List
1. A book you meant to read in 2015, but didn't.  Entwined by Heather Dixon - DONE.
2. A book set in a different continent: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain - DONE.
3. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (winner or nominated) - The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (audio) - DONE.
4. A book by an author you discovered in 2015: Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr - DONE.
5. A book with a title beginning with the 1st letter of your name:  Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose - DONE.
6. The highest rated on your TBR: The Clockmaster by Betsy Tobin - DONE.
7. A book about books - Gutenberg's Apprentice - Alix Christie - DONE.
8. A classic book with less than 200 pages:  Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence - DONE
9. A book that was mentioned in another book:  West with the Night - Beryl Markham - DONE
10. A book by an author you feel you should have read by now: Thud - Terry Pratchett - DONE.
11. A book from the Rory Gilmore challenge - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - DONE.
12. A childhood classic:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - DONE.
13. Reader’s Choice:  Vienna Nocturne by Vivien Shotwell - DONE.
14. A book with one of the five W’s -or H in the title (Who/What/Where/When/Why/How) What She Left - T.R. Richmond - DONE.
15. A book set in the past (more than 100 years ago):  Cervantes Street by Jamie Manrique - DONE.
16. A book from the top 100 mystery novels:  The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman - DONE.
17. A book with a beautiful cover: Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood
18. A book on a summer/beach reading list: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith - DONE.
19. A non-fiction book - Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson - DONE.
20. A book with a first name in the title: Jane and the Still-Room Maid by Stephanie Barron.  DONE.
21. A book from the Goodreads Recommendations page
22. The first book in a new to you series: The Lazarus Gate by Mark Latham - DONE.
23. The next book in a series you are reading: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith - DONE.
24. A "between the numbers" book of a series (0.5, 1,5, 2.5, etc.):  The Three Monarchs by Anthony Horowitz - DONE.
25. A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you: Mind of the Raven by Bernd Henrich - DONE.
26. A book everyone is talking about - Knitlandia by Clara Parkes - DONE.
27. A book with a beautiful title (in your own opinion): Belle Cora - Richard Margulies - DONE.
28. A biography, autobiography, or memoir: Jack London: An American Life by Earle Labor - DONE.
29. A book by an author who writes under more than one name:  The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) - DONE.
30. A fairytale from a culture other than your own: The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley - DONE.
31. A work of young adult fiction:  The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge. DONE.
32. A historical fiction book: The Scribe by Matthew Guin - DONE.
33. The 16th book on your TBR:  The Dark Lantern by Gerri Brightwell - DONE.
34. A book about mental illness: Adeline by Norah Vincent - DONE
35. An award winning book: River of Doubt by Candice Millard - DONE.
36. An identity book - a book about a different culture, religion or sexual orientation:  Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - DONE.
37. A book that you've seen the movie of but haven't read - The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje - DONE.
38. A book about an anti hero:  Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace - DONE.
39. A previous suggestion that did not make it into the list: Secrecy by Rupert Thomas.
40. A novella from your favorite genre:
41. A book about a major world event (fiction or non-fiction): The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure - DONE.
42. A top 100 fantasy novel:  The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - DONE.
43. A book about a thing that goes bump in the night:  The Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckley - DONE.
44. A book you're embarrassed to read in public: A Stolen Rose by Amy Corwin - DONE.
45. A book related to a hobby or passion you have: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - DONE.
46. A crime story:  The Cutting Season by Attica Locke - DONE.
47. A book with a type of food/drink in the title - Blood Orange by Karen Keskinen - DONE.
48. A dystopia
49. A book with a great opening line
50. A book originally written in a language other than English:  Tove Jansson's The Summer Book - DONE.
51. A short story from a well-known author
52. A book published in 2016 - The Dark Lady's Mask by Mary Sharratt - DONE.

Tour de Fleece - Week 2

I'm pretty happy with my progress for the Tour so far this year!  I've been trying to have a goal of 15 minutes of spinning a day, o...