Greetings, dear Unravelers!
Welcome to the first Unraveled Wednesday of September!
It has been a slim making week… too much Holiday Weekending which left me with lots of catch up things to do on Tuesday! But!! There is a new Mystery Gnome… and I have Clue One done! Woot! Clue Two comes out tomorrow and I am planning that for my evening knitting!
Sadly, no sewing… which I hope to remedy today. Really! Ha!
I did however manage a few minutes each day for spinning… thanks to my trusty pop-up reminder! It is a thing I look forward to each afternoon. I have spun about a third of this “braid” and enjoying it tremendously! It is really such a lovely mix of fibers…BFL, Shetland, and Manx Loaghtan – a signature blend from Hipstrings. It is lovely to spin – not to slippery, not to sticky… just right!
The reading this week though… oh my. Excellent books, each and every one. And all so incredibly different from one another and all new-to-me authors!
Did you hear mammy died? by Seamus O’Reilly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I am not quite certain how this brilliant memoir came across my radar, but I am so very glad it did!
A peek inside a family living in Northern Ireland… a family of larger proportions…so buckle in and enjoy the ride.
Seven would have been considered crisply eccentric, and nine plainly mad. To be one of eleven was singularly demented.
O’Reilly tells a poignant tale… life after his mother died… poignantly, beautifully, and with a healthy dose of gallows-ish humor. The writing is pure and so spot on… at times it made me chuckle and at times it took my breath away. I finished it and wanted so much more…
I think you will too… I highly recommend!
The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is my first Pilcher book and I am left wondering why on earth that is!
This was a beautifully written story of the very well lived life of Penelope Keeling and her entirely imperfect children… and some “children” who were not really her children, but she loved them profoundly.
At times I worried this story would fall into the “romantic novel” category and while it veered close, it never quite crossed the line into that territory. The characters are richly developed… the story is beautiful and it quite made me want to say YES, I will go with Penelope to Cornwall with you! I confess… I shed a few tears through the journey and this is a book I won’t soon forget!
Dead-End Memories: Stories by Banana Yoshimoto
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I knew nothing about this author or this book, but the cover called to me and so I requested the audio version of this book from Netgalley. And then, I was simply blown away…
This is a collection of 5 short stories with a common theme… they are all lonely women. The stories at times discomforting… and more than a bit strange… but despite that, I could not stop listening. I needed to know where the stories would go… and they left me with a bit of hope and the promise of something better. They are stories that require some work for you to get through… you must listen carefully and sadly, I found the audiobook narration, by Kathleen Li, a bit stilted at times – making it difficult to pay attention. I had to go back and listen to bits several times. Thus, I think this book would be better read with your eyes… and that was the reason this book did not get 5-stars from me.
I would like to thank Netgalley and HighBridge Audio for the copy of the audiobook.
And there you have my update on what I am making and what I have read… what about you? What are you beginning September with?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!
yay for gnome clues!! I’m working on my sweater and a pair of socks for my husband and am enjoying both of them!
Certainly sounds like a banner reading week for you Kat! I read The Shell Seekers years ago and enjoyed it. The other two books you review I have not heard of, so thanks!! The start of your next gnome – the hat – is wonderful. Love the colors (that teal blue!). And your fiber – swoon!
The Shell Seekers is one of those books I re-read every . . . decade . . . or so. I’m not exactly sure why I find it so satisfying (every time I read it), but I do! I’m glad you found it! 🙂 And look at that little gnome-y hat! I can’t wait to see him all finished!
I love your color choices for your gnome hat and that fiber is quite lovely, too! I also love The Shell Seekers. Some of her books veer a little too close to romance for me (the shorter ones for some reason), but I also enjoyed Coming Home, September, and Winter Solstice. Dead-End Memories was wonderful in its own strange and spare way! I eye read it, and the writing style was so different from anything I’ve read before that I can’t stop thinking about the characters (and ghosts and cake rolls)! Thanks for the recommendation!
Ah, Buoy, one of my favorite things to spin! You’re absolutely right that it is the perfect blend that is neither too slippery nor too sticky but just right (perhaps Jill should have named it Goldilocks?). I have not spun in several weeks because I’ve been so focused on knitting projects, and I miss it!
I’m hoping to finish my current pair of socks today so I can get back to my preview knit of my cotton/linen sweater. I feel like we’re now really moving toward fall weather, and it would be nice to be able to wear it once before I have to pack it away.
Looking forward to seeing the gnome. I have just started The Shell Seekers, and your review will keep me reading.
I have not begun the latest Mystery Gnome, but I have the pattern… might take it as part of my vacation knitting. Remains to be seen whether any reading or knitting happens on vacation, but y’know, I’ll be prepared!
Definitely adding the Seamus O’Reilly book to my list! Definitely my genre…
I still remember what a blockbuster The Shell Seekers was when it came out! And that gnome hat is making me very excited to see what comes next!
The Gnome knit-along looks like great fun. This new hat is very sweet. Funny you should mention Rosamond Pilcher. Last winter I listened to Winter Solstice and really enjoyed it. This week while feeling very distressed by the news and the climate, I decide to look for another of her books as a bit of a break from all the heaviness in the world. I also would like to read the O’Reilly book.