Friday, March 18, 2011

Good Reads, New Yarn, Spring Photos

I enjoyed several recent reads.

Connie Willis wrote the science fiction time-travel books Blackout and All Clear - well, I should say 'book', because it apparently was written as one book, and then unceremoniously chopped into two books. The first book abruptly ends, with no resolution, so you will have to track down the second - unless you have no interest whatsoever in the dilemma faced by Mike, Polly, and Merope.

These are the three time-travelers that the book focuses on. Their time is 2060, their place is Oxford, England, and their pursuit is history, and the study of World War II. But they don't just read about it - they travel to the time and place, for first person observation. Time travel has been used for forty years, but the trio discovers that it doesn't always work out quite as expected.

These aren't perfect books - the plot drags in places, and occasionally I wanted to slap the characters for whining so much. There are several episodes that completely confused me, until things were cleared up later in the book. But the story did pull me in, and I did care about the characters (esp Elaine & her charges). Enjoy!

 When We Were Strangers, by Pamela Schoenewaldt, is the story of Irma Vitale, who travels from her small town in Italy, across the ocean, to New York, Cleveland, Chicago, and San Francisco. She makes friends with a series of remarkable women - and, indeed, proves to be rather remarkable herself. Schoenewaldt's descriptive narrative is spell-binding, pulling you into the good and bad of Irma's immigrant experience. I recommend this book highly; I couldn't put it down.

Jim came home the other day with a surprise of yarn. This is one of the skeins he gave me; it is likely that it will become another elephant. It's the same yarn I used on my latest elephant, but a different color: Apple Tree. I'm looking forward to knitting with it - but I'm striving for Discipline, which means that first I need to finish the hat I'm making for my grand niece. And, I'm happy to see, that hat is almost finished! The fifth repeat of the pattern is almost done, and Jim & I agreed that I should skip the recommended sixth repeat (the hat would be astonishingly tall, with that additional repeat), and finish the crown. So... it will probably be finished Next Week. (Alas, still too late for wearing this season, but...).

I also finished my sweater, and think it turned out pretty well. I confess, I thought this would be a sweater to wear hanging around the house - but I find I'm more protective of it, and only wear it when going out. Perhaps with time I'll relax a bit!

Next on the needles: the Forest Canopy Shawl. I've had the yarn for several years, and finally knit a swatch last month - so I'm ready to get started, just as soon as the hat comes off the needles. Stay tuned!

The weather the past couple days has been just lovely. Today Bonnie and I walked in the Friendship Village woods, and observed signs that spring is on its way. I'll leave you with a few photos:

1 comment:

  1. Our crocuses have not quite appeared yet, though there were a few bulbs sending up tentative shoots on Saturday... And we've seen a few robins (but none as lovely as the one that visited us in January...) Welcome, Spring!!