knitting: with all my tip top secret deadline knitting finished (except for one project, whose deadline got pushed way back) i felt it time to start knitting for baby lemon. and what to knit for a little sister but a little sister dress (rav link)? it seemed the most obvious place to start! (plus i love this pattern, and paired with this yarn, neota designs zephyr in colorway western sunset, it's like knitting a little tiny baby sister dream come true.)
reading: since i posted a little under a month ago i've been on a bit of a reading bender. i've read 5 books (one is for children, but still...) and enjoyed them all!
first up is inversions by iain m banks. i read this right on the heels of excession, which as i stated last time, i didn't really enjoy due to it's lackluster ending. i have to say that mr. m banks redeemed himself thoroughly. inversions takes his usual approach to culture novels and flips it (perhaps a play on words with the title?), telling the story from the point of view of the alien species the culture is studying. it's a slower pace, feeling at times more like reading historical fiction than science fiction, but with all of banks' deep character development and twists and turns. and if you're keeping tabs - the ending? it was spot on.
then i took a break from the scifi (mostly because i had to wait for my amazon order with more banks books to arrive since they don't carry them at our local barnes & nobles - don't let me get started about our mankato barnes & nobles...) and read the completely charming the unlikely pilgrimage of harold fry by rachel joyce. it's sort of a coming of age story where the protagonist is in his upper 60's. i was worried that it would tend towards the sappy and overly sentimental, but ms joyce did a wonderful job of keeping things grounded and genuine, even when the plot was veering towards sentimentality. and again, the absolute perfect ending made this book one that i wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone looking for an easy, enjoyable, sometimes emotional, read this summer.
up next was unclean jobs for women and girls by alissa nutting. i first discovered ms nutting's work back when i read my mother she killed me, my father her ate me and i was so taken by her story in that collection that i looked her up to see what else she had written. i have an aversion to short story collections in general, so it should show how impressed i was that when i found a book of her short stories i ordered it without second thought. (this was back in august of last year, the fact that it took until now to read it is a testament to my wariness regarding the genre.) i should not have worried. this book is an absolute treasure. each story is quirky and offbeat in it's own strange yet charming way. i think i tore through this book in two sittings.
then, since i was still awaiting my aforementioned amazon order with my next banks books in it (also don't get me started on my theory that amazon is trying to bully everyone into paying for prime by making all other shipping options so slow you want to gouge out your eyes in frustration...) i read one of my favorite books of all time, little house in the big woods by laura ingalls wilder. really is there anything to say about these books that hasn't already been said? i have loved all the books in the little house series since i've known how to read. growing up in nebraska with long brown hair i always felt a special affinity with laura, and honestly, melissa gilbert from the television show. we long-haired brunettes need to stick together.
finally my amazon package arrived and i read look to windward by iain m banks - i stayed up waaaay too late last night to finish it actually. i know i've said a million times how much i love iain m banks, and this book just continues to confirm why. i feel i've rambled on here for more than long enough and will just say that if you like intelligent well-written science fiction you really can not go wrong with mr. m banks. look to windward is no exception. (and again, since we seem to be keeping score in this post - the ending was worthy of praise. i didn't have a clue how he was going to bring things to a conclusion right up to the end... and was quite content when he went in a direction i had not anticipated but was the absolute perfect place to go.)
phew! i'm a blabber mouth today! tell me - what have y'all been reading?!? someone else please, talk for a while!