How are we five days into February already?! Is it me or did time suddenly just speed up drastically? Sadly, my knitting has not taken the same turn and in fact it all feels quite January-like as I slough through these rows! Sorry for the miserable photo but we are back to grey days again! (and the great brown blob just really isn’t at all photogenic!)
My January making was really not bad at all! I completed two hats (one for me and one for my daughter), one Felix Cardigan, and two Esme Tunics! .
January reading in numbers was quite impressive! I finished 13 books, reading 1,913 pages and listening to just over 81 hours of audiobooks! Most of them were solid reads that I enjoyed tremendously. This year I am spending more time thinking about the rating I give a book (last year I gave LOTS of 5-stars, but some of those were so much better than others) but I did read two 5-star books this month (Conversations with RBG and Night Sky with Exit Wounds) I feel very good about giving them 5-stars because both books have stayed with me! This week’s finishes were as follows:
Transcription by Kate Atkinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. This is not Life after Life, but that is okay. I like Juliette – she is smart and I did not always quite know what she was up to. But, the book moves you along in a most pleasing way to the most delightful ending (Wow, I did not see that coming!) In the audio version I listened to, I really enjoyed Atkinson’s explanation of how she wrote this (un)historical fiction. I highly recommend!
Dangerous Melodies: Classical Music in America from the Great War through the Cold War by Jonathan Rosenberg
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This book made me wish I knew more about classical music, but sadly, I don’t. I did make a list of the songs I did not know with plans to listen to them. I never thought about politics and music being linked. If you are a fan of classical music, you would enjoy this book tremendously.
Fever by Mary Beth Keane
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Oh boy, this book would not be one I would have finished if it was not for a book club. I struggled to like the characters and the book itself could have used some editing. Many things made me angry in this book – the treatment of Mary (vs. the treatment of males who were carriers of typhoid) for one.
There was so much that I did not know about this time period that I spent some time looking up to understand. I think the book could have done a better job with including some of those left out facts. All in all, I do not recommend this story.
I also set one book aside, Olive Kitteridge, I could not finish this book at this point in time. Perhaps I will try again some day, but at this space in life it was just not something I could ease into reading.
That is all I have for this week, what about you? What was good this week?
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every row knit is a row completed! I was side tracked by knitting another preschooler hat and mittens. Phew, I am back at my regularly scheduled knitting now.
I struggled with Olive Kitteridge on my first attempt too. I think you have to be in the right place/right time for it!
Your pheasant pullover looks lovely. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week!
I think Pheasant is looking quite photogenic! I grew up in the woods of PA and would see loads of pheasants every day, but no longer. Yours reflects the birds’ colors perfectly! For something good this week I’m taking myself out to lunch today (as long as it doesn’t rain on me during my walk there)!
I think Pheasant looks great! Like Bonny, we used to see pheasants a lot (sadly no more) and the colors of your sweater are spot on! Sorry you did not like Olive Kitteridge (loved it) and was hoping for a better review of “Dangerous Melodies.” I may see if my library has that book as I love classical music.
The “brown blob” looks pretty darn good!! I’m only about half-way through Fever and if the discussion is over before I finish, I might abandon it… I really wanted to find something to like about Mary.
I love Pheasant, it looks great.
I am with you regarding Fever, I was so looking forward to reading that book and so disappointed. Totally flat, with a few pages of,( this is typical male BS). Male history with regard to Womens’ Health crosses often to abuse and bodily violence. So typical and so sad.
Your sweater is looking great! And you read a LOT in January, too. I’m pretty particular about giving 5 stars. Generally if I finish a book it’s going to get 3 and then if I really love it I will give 4.
Your sweater has more knit than the last time you shared it, so that’s progress!
I’m about three chapters (stories?) into Olive Kitteridge, and while I’m enjoying the writing, it’s not really pulling me in. I guess I expected Olive to play a bigger role than she has so far; to me, she seems like more of a secondary character in a series of short stories.
I also had a DNF this week with Tea Obrecht’s Inland. I just couldn’t do it.
It seems people either LOVE Olive K. Or they don’t. I was in the LOVE IT camp, but I know so many people who just . . . weren’t. I think it’s a wise reader who can put down a book and . . . let it go . . . when it’s just not doing it for them. There are SO MANY books out there, it makes no sense to waste your precious reading time on a book that you’re not getting into. 🙂 I am very stingy with my 5-star ratings! And I really love your Pheasant. XO
I have to say I agree with you about Fever. I think it needed some editing. I think the story had quite a lot of potential. Your brown blog looks lovely to me. You do get lots of making and reading done. I felt the same about Transcription. I can’t recall I may have listened to the audio. I hope February brings a little more sunshine.
What a great month of finished makes and your pheasant is looking oh-so-pretty! reading through the comments I was reminded that I didn’t care for Olive the first time through either. I might’ve raised my rating from 2 to 4 stars when I re-read her last year. I have also looked back on prior ratings and been appalled. ashamed even. (rarely pleasantly surprised) and this year, I’m going to try to simply embrace those stars as a reflection of the reader I am today – good, bad or indifferent – and hope she gives grace to the reader I will be in the future. I’m headed off to Carole’s now to see the discussion about Fever. I think I’m in a small minority who actually enjoyed the book!
It was all I could do to get through Fever. I found it poorly written and I never understood the motivations or the characterizations. I may have learned a little more about typhoid but it wasn’t worth the effort. ugh I grew up in a house of classical music (all music) playing at all times. I knew/know more than most about classical music and some of the politics involved. I’m thinking about at least thumbing through Dangerous Melodies. At the moment I’m working my way through all of Beethoven’s string quartets-a love passed down from my father. I love your brown blob!
I’m so inspired by all the colorwork I’m seeing so maybe that will get added to my wardrobe this year. I wasn’t “wow-ed” by Fever for several of the reasons you stated, and I forgot to get on-line for the discussion which I would have enjoyed. Looks like some great reading for January.