Another eclectic month of reading fiction and non-fiction. I am working my way through a long reading list that I’ve had for several years. Up first, a very difficult to find book by one of my favorite authors, Liz Trenow. I loved it, and should have just ordered one on Amazon years ago instead of looking for copies in used book stores.
The Hidden Thread by Liz Trenow – Difficult to put down, this book has compelling writing and a very interesting storyline set in the 1760s silk trade. Based in actual events surrounding the silk riots in England along with the French protestant immigration of the era, it is also based on actual people living at the time. Descriptions of silk weaving were so interesting, and made me want to know more. Once again, the authors notes at the end of the book were fascinating. The fashions on the cover are actual designs from that era, designed by the woman on whom the story is based. Ms Trenow is a fabulous writer, and her books are keepers. Highly recommend!!
The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller – Light reading and fun, although there is some real heartache in the story. Easy read, with a somewhat predicable outcome, but enjoyable. The story is familiar, with a woman on her own, fleeing a situation in a big city, comes to a small town and finds she fits in better than she believed. Sweet with a feel-good ending. Recommend.
Vintage by Susan Gloss – Easy reading story about the power of friendship and making new beginnings. The story centers around a vintage clothing store in danger of eviction due to greedy developers, the customers who bring in their treasures and the stories of challenges they face. It will make you want to raid the attic in your grandmothers home for fabulous jewelry and clothing of the past. With the lovely descriptions of the fashions both in the store and on the runway as Violet tries to save her store, the plot keeps you interested. There is a bit of romance, but this primarily a women’s fiction genre. Recommend.
Personal Injuries by Scott Turow – In a word, boring. Long passages where the action doesn’t advance makes for tedious reading. In addition, the point of view keeps switching from first person to third person, which I find annoying. By 150 pages in, I didn’t care anymore. It was close to being wall-banged, but I slogged through. Disappointing as I have enjoyed other books by this author.
Cosmic Queries by Neil deGrasse Tyson – The perfect book for anyone wishing to learn more about the cosmic questions of how the universe was formed and how the scientists figured that out. Easier reading than you might think, it is written with lots of analogies that bring the science to a level the non-astrophysicist can understand. It would be a great gift book to young people to spark an interest in the sciences. Glorious photography from space, funny quips from the authors twitter account, and short chapters make this one a a fun read while learning. Recommend.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – If you are looking for something different, this is the book. A woman on the brink of suicide is caught in-between life and death at the Midnight Library, a place where an infinite number of books of her life can be chosen. Each book is the story a decision in her life has created, infinite timelines of choices, branching like a tree from every choice made. She can choose to live differently by making a different choice, by choosing the road not taken, or the path to undoing things she regrets. As she chooses different lives to experience, she finds not everything is rosy as it might seem, and the grass is not necessarily greener in another life. The final lesson is one we can all use. Highly recommend!!
So, some great ones and one not so great. Sometimes it is a challenge to find something different to read. I have two on my chair-side table now that look pretty good, several more on my to-look-for list, nine books in the queue at the library, and several more older ones to search for. Of course, I am always interested in your suggestions, know of something different, an unusual story or just a compelling book you can recommend? No murder mysteries please, I am done with that genre.
New releases from C&T Publishing offer quilting and sewing fun. I found a couple that were interesting, and got them in ebook form so I don’t have more on the shelves. Doodle Stitching is a fun book of tiny motifs and projects perfect for quick embroidery projects. Cool Cotton and Whimsical Wool Quilts has 12 quilt projects for felted wool and cotton with motifs that can be mixed and matched for dozens of unique and fun projects. Purr-fect Patchwork has 15 adorable projects for the cat lover. Stress Free Sewing Solutions is a new take on classic techniques for making clothes with chapters for most aspects of clothing construction from buttonholes to facings, pockets, plackets, zippers and more. One chapter is 50 Ways to Relax Your Sewing, with lots of ideas, some really hilarious including how to say no to your friends who want you to sew/alter/fix something of theirs. That chapter alone is worth the price of the book!!
What are you reading now?