Sunday, July 10, 2005

Listing to the Left 

My version of organisation usually consists of going through and making lists. Once I've done the lists, I feel fairly satisfied and accomplished and that's about as far as it goes.

So the other night I went through all the pattern books and put bookmarks at patterns I want to do, and made a list for handy-dandy reference later. I came up with 64 items. Hmmm...so this has been pared down to seasonal quickie items:

What I Want to Knit This Summer

  • Victoria Tank by Veronik Avery from the Summer 2004 Interweave Knits (p.s. isn't it sad that the best pic of the pattern a first page google search turned up was by a blogger? And if you're interested in doing the tank check the rest of Teresa's gallery notes, 'cuz it definitely captures what I'm feeling here for the first part, and I love how her picot edges turned out.)

  • Tivoli by Grumperina

  • Criss-Cross Adrienne Vittadini Tank from the cover of the Spring/Summer 2004 Vogue Knitting

  • Shapely Tank Top from White Lies Designs

  • Racerback Tank from the Twinset Italiano from the Fall 2002 IK

  • ChicKami from Bonnie-Marie Burns.

    And since the summer's already almost half over, it looks like I've got a lot of getting tanked to do.


    Hey, if you came here for fibery stuff and aren't interested in books, go ahead and mouse on, don't bother with this last bit. But if you have any info to contribute about wool combs/hackles please help me out (in the comments or in the forum linked, whichever you prefer).


    I have been horrible about keeping track of what I've been reading for the 52 Books, 52 Weeks thing. I think I need to be more organised like MJ and originator of the "meme" Large Hearted Boy. I might do better if I made a list of all I'm reading and all I want to read. But I'm lazy, and the method doesn't really work for my knitting so I don't know that it would work for my reading. Doesn't mean I won't try it though...

    Here's what I have out to read:

  • The Full Cupboard of Life & his Portuguese Irregular Verbs series by Alexander McCall Smith
  • Hard Truth & High Country by Nevada Barr
  • The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin & Nicole Krauss
  • Out by Matsuo Kirino
  • Mystic River by Dennis LeHane
  • The Smartest Kid on Earth by Jimmy Corrigan
  • Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
  • The Hours by Michael Cunningham
  • Running in the Family & In the Skin of the Lion by Michael Ondaatje
  • and I'm working my way through Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series

  • and it won't be long until the new Harry Potter comes out, hooray!

    Here's what I can remember that I've read since I last updated the book thing:

    Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham--a wonderful book and a great one for discussion. (By which I mean it's one of those books that you appreciate & understand even more when you talk about it with someone else).

    Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook--enjoyable chick lit, this is one I listened to from Audible & it was read by the author which doesn't always turn out well but was fun this time.

    The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty--another Audible, read by the author and a great experience.

    Coraline by Neil Gaimon--holy cow, another Audible, read by the author (and, well, have you SEEN what Neil Gaiman looks like? Have you HEARD him read? He could read me the dictionary and I'd be rapt)

    all of the available Lemony Snickets (Audible, read by Tim Curry is the best way to go, lots of fun)

    The Mermaid Chair & The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd--two books about two very different XX chromosomal-bearing beings at two very different phases of life discovery. I think I enjoyed Secret Life... more because of the sensuality of the bees & the imagery of the black Madonna and bee colony info, & because while I should have been able to sympathise with the protagonist of The Mermaid Chair's "who am I, what is my place?" it was too interconnected with the rejection of her husband and her family and the life she'd made for the last twenty years for me to really understand and empathise with her. These were also Audible selections which I listened to while on lunch breaks or doing housework or cleaning crapped crates so that may have had something to do with it.

    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell--Audible, loved the different voices, but I think some nuances were lost with the listening because of not being able to flip back between semi-interconnected stories and see the words. I loved the different genres and echoes through time; I think you might make bridges between this and Specimen Days in style and recurrent themes. There's a 1984 chord humming through at least.

    Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by some guy--Audible, and so fun to listen to the rythms and nonsensibilities.

    The Hamilton Case by Michelle De Kretser--Who do you trust? The narrator? The people? The land? Definitely not the land. All kind of murky and shifting and exotic and sensual and loathsome at the same time. I've picked up Ondaatje's Running in the Family to read because there's something there that feels like the voice of a country.

    Battle Royale by Koushun Takami--A great, archetypal story with inevitable comparisons to Lord of the Flies, but either the translator or the writer's adaptation made it kind of clunky and unsubtle. I just read on to see how it would end (so, not unsuccessful, I think the writer might say).

    Zorro by Isabel Allende--an unequivocal "meh." My Mom and I both read it waiting for the really exciting stuff to start. It never really did. It did lend some realism to legend and split it into three people, and I did care enough to read to the end, so that's something. I wonder if she's heard of Joaquin Murrieta? And BTW, there are some who claim the real Zorro was Irish.

    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro--Much like Remains of the Day, lots of repression of emotion, and most of the fun of figuring out the hook or "trick" of it is done by page 80, especially as some details of the "twist" are left unexplained. His standard themes are explored: What is it to be human? What is the soul? What is love, what is it worth, does it mean anything, do our feelings mean anything, does our being mean anything, what does a postion of servitude give/get you, is living and loving sometimes so exhausting that giving yourself to the slow process of dying is a relief and balm?

    Practical Demonkeeping & Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore--Pure fun, nothing deeper, nothing better than joy.

    Nickel and Dimed (but I blogged about that disappointment already)

    Edited to add: Oh, I remembered some more.

    The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini--I can't believe I forgot this one. This one is one of those books that you read in a day because you can't put it down (unless, like me, you are filled with a frustrated loathing for the narrator so strong you have to set it down and go for a walk, but then, I couldn't help myself, I had to see where it went from there. And I cried.)

    Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi--I think I blogged about this already. Definitely worth reading, and frightening because you wonder how much has changed.

    and the first four in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series
    These are a lot of fun and quick reads, although I suppose the voice I find so charming could become monotonous after a while.

    I hope nobody minds these Amazon-linky things. (Well, if you're reading this post July 15th, you don't know what the hell I'm talking about since I deleted them all as some of them turned into gigantically whorish flashing ads for Amazon instead of a nice sedate framed book link. Ick.)

    I've seen them on other people's sites and went to Amazon to see if they were an easy thing to generate because I like that you can see the book cover and title. Sometimes I don't recognise a title just from a title, but it will be something I've already looked at and discarded and I don't waste my time clicking when I have a visual jog to my memory.

    But it turns out all these little windows are part of an Associate program kind of thing, where you sign up and then they make it super-easy for you to generate these things and if someone clicks and buys through them Amazon gives you a kickback.

    I don't see that happening with my little blog, but I do like how easy it is to make the piccie links...but on the other hand, it feels kind of whorish to have shopping links on what is essentially a journal. "Dear Diary: Buy this." Plus with so many at once, it's kind of visually irksome and not very interesting.

    But this was catch-up. I'll try and stay on top of it, so I can look back at the end of the year and see what I read and how I felt about it right after reading it and see how that's changed. 'Cuz that's my version of fun 'round here.

    Oh, hey, speaking of books, please help me remember that the Yarn Harlot is coming to the Grove for a book signing on Sunday, the 31st at 3pm. San Diego Knitters, you have Inky to thank for suggesting it.

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