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Bookish Thoughts

Sunday Salon: books and the cutest thing I’ve ever knit

By December 4, 2011No Comments
Here in southern Indiana, we’ve reached that moment in the semester where you simply cannot believe that you still have to go in and teach classes for yet another week. Surely it is time to be done. This last week will thankfully not be too hectic for me, but I know what is ironically called “Dead Week” for our students will be dead only in the sense that they will probably feel dead by the end of the week.  And then there will be piles of grading for me.

Morehouse Farm’s Amanita hat

There are three weeks left to Christmas now, and so much knitting to be done. This month I finished a scarf, another pair of fingerless gloves, and two hats. The second hat I knit is, in fact, the cutest thing I have ever knit. This is Morehouse Farm’s Amanita hat, inspired, of course, by the mushroom. The gills you make with a knit/purl rib on the underside of the hat’s brim is just about the coolest thing I have ever seen. And the fuzzy merino wool really looks, well, mushroomy. I’m knitting a second one of these in purple and yellow. They’re meant to be gifts for my nieces, but I’m wondering if I’ll be able to part with them. At the very least, I might have to get another kit for myself.

I’m five books away from having read 100 books this year, which is the very modest goal I set for myself each year. Here’s what I’ve read this month:

Across the Wall: A Tale of Abhorsen and Other Stories, by Garth Nix.

The Way of the Pilgrim, Anonymous, reviewed here.

The House on Fortune Street, by Margot Livesey.

After Dark, by Haruki Murakami, reviewed here.

Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir, by Lauren Slater. This was a really interesting read in which Slater reflects on the nature of narrative, metaphor and deception. Where’s the thin line between fiction and nonfiction? She should have started her memoir with a line from Emily Dickinson: “Tell the truth/But tell it slant/Success in circuit lies.”

American Uprising: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Slave Revolt, by Daniel Rasmussen

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs. Jacob had long stopped believing his grandfather’s stories about a mysterious school for children with special abilities, run by a bird and located on a mysterious island. Then his grandfather is brutally murdered by a monstrous creature who only Jacob can see. Jacob’s search for the answers to his grandfather’s last words leads him to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. This compelling story borrows a bit from graphic novels by including photographs within the story. If you liked Little, Big, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake or Her Fearful Symmetry, you might like this book.

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat, by Hal Herzog. Emily at As the Crowe Flies (And Reads) was correct as usual. This was an amazing book. So well written and Herzog is such a careful and conscientious scientist. He describes findings from the area of anthrozoology without dumbing them down too much or making them too difficult to understand. I especially appreciate the way in which he deals with the topic of gender differences. This will probably make my list of top books for the year.

What I’m reading now:

Swamplandia, by Karen Russell. This made the New York Times top ten. I tried to read this and couldn’t finish, so now I’m listening to it, which I find takes less commitment. It doesn’t seem any better in the listening; I think it made the top ten because there are alligators.

The Emerald Atlas, by John Stephens.

What’s next:

The Tiger’s Wife, by Téa Obreht. Also on the New York Times top ten list.

Madison Monday posts for the month:

Madison Monday:  a local holiday.  All about shopping locally for the holidays

Madison Monday:  Village Lights Bookstore.  Much love for our local, independent bookstore and its owners.

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