Reading Challenge: November 21, 2017

I finished The Shadow Queen by Rebecca Dean from the library to read for week #35 - a book where one of the main characters is royalty.  I was interested to read this book as I didn't know much about Wallis Simpson except as sort of the maligned "other woman" who "ruined" the kingship of Edward VIII.  Obviously readers will know how it turns out in that Wallis does wind up with the Prince who becomes Edward VIII - but this book actually doesn't delve into their relationship that much.  Missing was the information on their German-supporting tendencies and his abdication, and everything about their life together really beyond how they met.  Even that is a little confusing in this book.  I understand it's a historical fiction; however, there are 2 major characters in this book - Pamela and John Jasper - who Wallis grows up with and who appear to be influential in her meeting Edward.  All well and good, except when you read the notes, these 2 characters are…

Reading Challenge: November 15, 2017

I finished The 19th Wife by David Eberhoff, for week 47, a book you saw a stranger reading, last night. This book, which tells the parallel stories of two polygamist wives in Utah (both of whom were counted as wife #19 by the man they were married to), follows Ann Eliza Webb Young who was married to Brigham Young, and also traces a contemporary story set in a polygamist sect in southern Utah.  I appreciated the deft handling of this subject - the author does not cast any moral shadows on the decisions people made throughout - and I think he presents a fairly unbiased opinion of both sides of this issue.  He neatly wraps up all of the social and historical tidbits into two engrossing story lines; I would happily have read either story on its own but I liked how he used the historical story and the contemporary one to show how things have changed, but also how they have perhaps remained the same in some instances. A good historical counting of the growth of the Mormon church in the earl…

FO: Timber Bay Hat

As another stashbuster project this week, I started and finished the Timber Bay hat this week.

This is a slightly slouchy, very simple and quick to knit textured pattern hat.  I did not do a double-layered brim, as written in the pattern. I worked the twisted ribbing for 2" and then started the rest of the pattern.
Project Details: Pattern: Timber Bay by Melissa Schaschwary. Yarn: Madeline Tosh Worsted in the Moss colorway.
Needles:  US size 5 (for the ribbing) and 7 (for the body of the hat).

This one will go into the charity/giveaway bin.  It's not a great color on me personally, but I really liked the shaping and fit of the design, so I know it will keep someone else'e head warm this winter season.  Another great stashbuster and a quick knit.

Reading Challenge: November 8, 2017

I finished Stronger than Magic this week for #52 for a book set in a fictional location. (It's sort of a fictional location.  Philadelphia and Hawaii are mentioned in it, although neither of the places in the book with those names bear much resemblance to their actual locations beyond cheesesteaks and island beaches.)  I gave this 3 out of 5 stars.  It was just okay.  I really liked the premise of the story, but I had a hard time getting attached to the heroine of the book.  There was a lot of whining and I get it - she grows up as the book goes on, but I think she was a little too stereotypically whiny angst-ridden teenager.  The story line itself was a bit predictable.  Not a great read -  I was just sort of meh about this one. 

I also read Tower of Thorns by Juliet Mariller this week for topic #44 using a recommendation website on what I should read next. I should state up front that this book is #2 in a series, and I haven't read the first one.  Despite that, the main chara…

FO: Sagebrush Infinity Scarf

I finished up a great stashbuster project this week - the Sagebrush Infinity Scarf.

Project Details:
Pattern: Sagebrush Infinity Scarf, designed by Romi Hill.
Yarn:  Tendril from Tale and Tendril on Etsy.  Colorway is Gringots.  (Color looks a bit gray-er in the detail shot and a bit yellow-er in the above mood shot.  Color in the final photo is probably closest to real life.)
Needles: US size 3.

I used up all but about 3 yards of the 400-yard skein.  This cowl is worked back and forth, flat, from one end to the other, starting with a provisional cast-on.  The provisional cast-on is then unzipped and the 2 ends' worth of live stitches are grafted together with a 3-needle bind off to create the loop. A very straightforward pattern, nicely written, like Romi's usually are, and perfect for a stashbusting single-skein project.

2018 Reading Challenge Topics

The list for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks 2018 Challenge has been released and I'm loving this year's list.  I'm definitely going to participate in this since I've enjoyed the last several years so much.  (Really thrilled to see the 4 element topics - I'm thinking I'll read one of those in each of the Full Coverage Fanatics FB xstitch group when we work on those quarterly SALs!)

Mostly posting this as a reference point for myself, but if you've got a great book recommendation for me based on any of these topics, give me a shout!

The 2018 List

1. A book with the letters A, T & Y in the title
2. A book from the first 10 books added to your To Be Read list
3. A book from the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards (link)
4. 4 books linked by the 4 elements: Book #1 Earth (in title, cover, content, setting, author...)
5. A book about or inspired by real events
6. A book originally written in a language other than English
7. A gothic novel
8. An "own voices" book*
9. A boo…

Reading Challenge 2017: October 26, 2017

I finished up Speaks the Night Birdby Robert McCammon over the weekend.  Set in early colonial America, it qualifies firmly as a historical mystery and checked week 9 (a book in the middle of your To Be Read List) off.  The plot revolves around a town in today's South Carolina at the edge of "civilization" before the Indian and Spanish-held lands of Florida take over.  The story opens with a magistrate and his young clerk (who is the focus of the story) heading to Font Royal to hear the testimony of locals about a witch in their midst.  There's a lot more going on in this little backwater town than just the witch trial, which the clerk soon finds out and puts his inquisitive nature towards figuring out.  A bit slow in a few spots, it's otherwise a very good read - the last half of the book picks up steam until the point where I didn't want to put it down.  I gave it 4/5 stars. If you decide to try this one, it's the first in a series, FWIW.  

Since I visit…