Friday, September 28, 2018

The Audiobook Review

There is not enough time to read. I've come to this place and I'm okay with it. So I listen to audio books now.  A lot. A little obsessively. Lately I'm working on a project that allows for this, not all tasks are conducive to listening to narrative. I'm not always listening. I'm often rewinding. But basically if I can, I listen.

I also listen a lot at home on the weekends when I'm trying to do my chores.

I like to listen while baking too. Baking is hobby time. If I'm home and I'm not baking I'd like to be knitting, preferably in front of the television set, because that is how dreams are made, duh. I'm sorry, but knitting and tv. still ranks higher than knitting and audio-booking for me.

So  here's what I've been listening to:

Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist)
Okay this is the winner hands down of my latest "reads". I was like an annoying teenager walking around in my own world of headphones when I was in this. I was knitting and crying while my family watched cult movies that I don't care about. I have told everyone that I loved it. I could think about it afterwards and want to cry. Takes place in occupied Korea and Japan. I forgot how capable I am of getting sucked into a family drama. It covers 4 generations if I remember correctly and it's heart is so full even when broken. A work, people. A work. "Exceeds expectations" LOL

Woman in the Window 
The Woman in the Window: A Novel
In the same genre as The Girl on the Train and the movie Rear Window. There are a lot of old movie allusions. I would say this would be a good vacation read. It's fun, it's not prose, it's a page turner. 2 of my best friends read it while we are on vacation, which is why I picked it up. I did think that the main character was a pretty good balance of broken with a heart in the right place. The author really tries to keep you sympathetic. In terms of what was going on ... yeah I figured that out pretty early, but I was still curious to see how it would all unfold. B

The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Simon & Schuster
This was definitely one I got from the Knitters. I know Kim Knits read it. But I'm pretty sure at least one more of you read it and I'm sorry that my brain cannot remember who. This had all the feels of a PBS special. You know, where a death brings everyone together in a big old house and lands past it's prime. It has family secrets, fraud, and all the good stuff. One thing I was a little disappointed in was that the author used a journal to share some backstory (i.e. clues) and I felt like it took away a bit for me until the main character found the actual journal. This is my issue I realize. I really enjoyed it more than I was expecting. Also the narration was great and I want to learn how to do a Cornish accent now. Just kidding.

A Murder of Magpies
A Murder of Magpies: A Novel (Sam Clair)
Okay before I get into it, the Brits are really serious about their Magpie themes. This is the 3rd book where magpies are a feature or reference. I also had to quick google to tell you that Magpies and Crows are not the same but part of the same bird family, though in the lore they seem kind of interchangeable.

Yeah about the story. I could not STAND the narration of this audiobook. Seriously the woman's intonation was that of an automated phone operator,
"Hello, you've reached (end high) company name (lower here)  pause to speak to  -- (follows same tone") press 2 (same tone)."
* I realize this may not translate and I'm sorry, but that's the best I can do, because I'm not inserting video/recording today.

Look that intonation is fine for a phone operator. It works. but to hear that intonation over and over again was killing me. The saving grace was the Mom character. Despite the main character's feelings of being in her mother's shadow, I liked her and I narrator's voice was better and she even seemed to change the narration a bit. My book friend at work thought I would like it because it's got that publishing world vibe. But the mystery wasn't all that. I honestly couldn't pay great attention to it, since it was more Corporate Financial mystery with a lot of loose screws. I dunno. Someone else read it and get back to me. I admit that my attention span waned so much but I was not invested enough to rewind. I do have it checked out in the book version to do a thumb through to see if what I missed was of any value. I'm not convinced. I'll let you know if that changes. I give it a C tops.

Well that's all for now. I'm working my through The Goldfinch and so far it's LOVE. I'll give you the full report when I finish.

I have a full weekend coming. My hopes and dreams in no particular order:

  • Make good snacks
  • Not get injured
  • No arguing with the teen. May I wish for a spider hug?
  • Bake TWO cakes
  • Finish a baby sweater -- including buttons! You all know how I get all pinched up when it's button time!
  • Dinner with friends who I do not see very often
  • Massage
  • Quality grown up beverage

Tell me, what are your hopes and dreams? Do you feel like you have to choose between reading and another hobby? What hobby do you wish you had more time for? Read anything you'd recommend?

Yours in knitting and best wishes,


Monday, September 24, 2018

Chugging along

I don't really know about the title of the post. It's all I got right now.

Kinda lame post title, I know, I apologize but brain work funny sometimes or doesn't work sometimes ...
Anyways, there are those "things" that are happening. Not a theme of something specific, but -- things.

So let's start w/baking.

I have been trying to do something different or new to me or a rerun of something I wasn't pleased with lately. I aim for twice a week, but it really becomes once, because I still need my regular (people need to eat it) bake as well.

This week I tried blackberry cake using puree from Serious Eats. This was not my best work. Despite reading through the recipe a few times, I still managed to do things out of order and this was not good for the cake. The blackberry flavor did not come through and it was not as airy as I would've liked, a little dense. Fruit is always tricky. Also, I do not use my immersion blender very often so I was a little wild with it initially and my kitchen looked a bit like a gory science fiction blood scene. (Did you see The Thing? Are you familiar with alien blood, not to be confused with "Alien" blood that is actually flesh eating acid? HA!)

Regardless of my self induced mess, because I'm a sucker for punishment, and I like Stella Parks (aka BraveTart) I think I will try it again.

I finally cast on for a baby sweater and it's really cute.

I'm hoping to finish this one up within the week. That may seem like a long time to you for something that basically just needs some edging and small person sleeves, but this is my reality.

In an ideal world I'd cast on a pair of socks after because hello, socks! and I miss socks and I want to knit socks all the time, but I have a few other "to dos" that I think if I knit first, will help me enjoy a year of continuous sock knitting without concern for anyone else. Also guys, little not so secret, if you have too many pairs of socks, you can give them away really easily. People LOVE hand knit socks.

Selfish Sock Knitting -- it's ALL the rage.

Tell me are you knitting for yourself or others? What is your favorite thing to knit? Is it a constant favorite or do you like to trade it around?

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

A pair for a pair.

It took me a while to finish these sock. I had a few setbacks and I won't lie, the extra weaving in for contrast heels and toes was not fun, but I do love to whine about weaving in.

I worried I would have to play yarn chicken to squeeze out the second pair, but once I was half way through the foot on the second sock I relaxed a bit.

When these dry out, I'll need to stick them in the mail.

I knit these for a friend and her daughter. They can share or decide who gets which pair. I hope they bring some warmth and happiness.

I think ankle socks are great warm weather knitting projects. I haven't been knitting as much as I'd like, but that's how it goes.

There is so much to do this evening, but I'm secretly hoping to cast on something else tonight. Fingers crossed, knitters.