Friday, August 1, 2014

Looking for a Good Book - Off the Wall Friday

Finally, I'm at the quilting stage with The Curves.  I love machine quilting  -  it means the end is in sight with a project.  Still, no matter how much I like quilting (hand or machine), by the time I get to this point in a project, I'm pretty much sick of it.  Also, I've decided I totally hate it.  Oh and why did I even bother spending all that time making such rubbish.

Needless to say, I get so close to a project that I've lost perspective.

So the only thing that keeps me going to the finish line is a good book.  I have a habit of listening to my favorite music when I'm creating and a good book when I'm quilting.  Lately, though, I'm having trouble finding a good book.  Is it me or has pop literature been dumbed down in the last 10 years??  Years ago, it seemed I never had trouble finding good fiction that although might not have been the most academic mind boggling works, at least had a little meat to them.  Now a days, it seems like everything has been written on a 5th grade reading level with plots to match.  Sighhhhh

I did sign up for a library card at the Free Library of Philadelphia when I found out that any PA resident could get a card for free.  Not only am I amazed at the huge electronic collection of resources that this library owns but that I can access it free with just library card and wifi.  Very Cool.

But now with this new resource, I'm at a loss at what to pick.  Because of that, I went back to my all
time favorite author, Laurie R. King and her Mary Russel series.  Right now I'm re listening to The Game.  Just in case you never heard of this series, its the story of Mary Russel who meets Sherlock Holmes when she's 15 and he's in his early 50's.   As he is in semi-retirement, he takes on Mary as him apprentice who later partners with him and eventually marries.  I love the series not only because it cleverly adds a whole new dimension to my favorite detective but also because King always is throwing in something  that I didn't already know.  I not only find myself googling word meanings, but also historical events and places.  

Anyways - that's my recommendation for a book (or series - it starts the the Beekeeper's Apprentice) that although fiction won't turn your mind into mush.

And since I'm only got 10 hours so far into the quilting and have least 20 more to go. . . . .

What's your Recommendation?

Oh and of course. . . .

What have you been up to creatively?


  1. Have you read Gillian Flynn "Gone Girl"?

  2. I second what Vera just said - "Gone Girl" was a GOOD read ;-) And I have to highly recommend the Maisie Dobbs series by J. Winspear - when you love Ms. Russell, you should like Maisie Dobbs, too ;-))

  3. I go through the same process-somewhere along the line I move from "my piece sucks" to "I suck" and then when it's all over, I like it again! And yes, literature HAS dumbed down. Because of that I rarely read fiction anymore.Great post!

  4. I'd set the quilt aside and work on something else. Maybe when you have some time away and come back you'll see it in a new light.

    Thanks for the reading suggestion. I too love Sherlock Holmes. I love the new Sherlock on PBS!!

  5. Are you kidding? I'll take your 'rubbish' any day!!!

  6. I am with Mary, I will gladly give your rubbish a home! I don't like to listen to books, I like to hold the book and turn pages. My mind tends to wander while listening to the radio, one minute I am singing along with my favorite song and the next thing I know it has moved on and it is in the middle of another song and I never "heard" the start.

  7. Yes, I agree, put it aside and come back to it later with a fresh view. I enjoyed the Beekeeper's Apprentice... will look for the rest of the series. Read any of the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny?

  8. Sorry - can't recommend Gone Girl as the others did. The ending was such a cop-out and huge disappointment. I've just finished Lisa Unger's In the Blood. Her first two were exceptional, the next couple a little disappointing, but now she seems to be back on track. She weaves story lines, keeping you wondering what the connection is.

    Anyway, kudos to you for discovering your library. I can't believe people spend so much money on books they will only read once when they have already paid (via their tax dollars) for an incredible treasure trove of material (not just books, but magazines, dvds, cds and more) which they can now access at no additional cost. I think all libraries also provide the service of inter-library loans - if your library does not have what you are looking for, they usually can get it from another library, and again, usually at no additional cost. OK, I'll get off my soapbox now!

  9. Outlander by Diana Galbaldon
    the first in a series about Claire Randall, a WWII nurse who finds herself in 1740"s Scotland: WELL written [similar to the detailedness of Laurie King] Historical Drama, adventure, a a tale of love lasting over 50 years...

  10. I didn't mention that Starz is releasing Outlander as a sereis this fall [Augc9]

  11. I didn't mention that Starz is releasing Outlander as a sereis this fall [Augc9]

  12. I have a love, hate, love relationship with almost every quilt I make. I don't listen to books on tape, perhaps I should. I read Gone Girl and hated the ending. I think a much better choice would be Defending Jacob.
    Many thanks for doing this every week. I've learned about so many great blogs this way.

  13. I am an Outlander fan through and through. I find quilts look horrible when I first start quilting them. Something about just a little quilting in an otherwise up quilted top looks strange. In the end they look great.

  14. When's the last time you read to kill a mockingbird? If it's been a long time revisit it in audio - I think it's best in audio. The one I listened to, the voice of Scout was so right on.
    I have probably read about 5 (4 to many) of the Stephanie Plum series and they are light and ok but her two book so far series - the catch and then the heist is better. I just picked up the cd at the library today of the second one
    I agree with the Outlander - fabulous!
    My personal all time favorite series is the Pendergast novels by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston. LOVE!
    Guess you have a lot of quilting/ reading to do ;-)

  15. I second the Maisie Dobbs series. I nearly always have a book running when I am in the studio. A few favorites are Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns and the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. I am a sucker for anything told from the perspective of a bright, observant, but innocent pre teen/teen. The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman is a fascinating take on the plague from the perspective of a young woman forced to supplement her income by renting a dress in order to be a classier lady of the night.

    Aren't our projects such teases - always full of promise at the beginning, turning and snipping at us midway and ultimately settling into a grudging truce. A few months or years and that same troublesome piece miraculously improves. :)

  16. Books - I love Laurie King -all of her series. Maisie Dobbs is great, and love Flavian de Luce. Pretty much any series featuring interesting girls or women. I have mostly switched over to e-books - really easy to read on transit to and from work, and in bed before sleeping. But I'll have to try audio books while I create and sew - I usually listen to CBC radio.

  17. Quilting - I'm usually nervous to start quilting, but once I start I enjoy the process. With a large quilt, about half way through quilting I start getting bored, but by that time I'm invested and just motor through it. But by the time I get to the binding, sleeve and label, I'm getting really bored. I have to force myself to finish before starting a new project.

  18. I have four words. Diana Gabaldon's Outlander Series.


Thank you so much for your comment! Its great to get feedback!!!