Long time, no see…

I do exist. It’s been a year since I posted last and I’m not sure how that happened. I read 105 books total, in case anyone wondered. While I didn’t actually post any, I did update my Books of 2015 page.

So far this year, I’ve read almost 70 books. It’s been a good year in reading.

It’s been a good year in knitting, too. Nine finished projects, and three in progress. Christmas will be here soon, so lots more knitting to do. 🙂 Always fun.

^My first pair of socks. (Even though you only see one.)^

^A not so great picture of the lace cowl I made for a friend.^

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^The nerve racking Pencil Case made for a different friend. I had to use the sewing machine for this one.^

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^First real cable project. A gift for the friend who got the pencil case.^

Img_20160616_114406_mediumImg_20160710_195833_medium^Self-written pattern I call Jenny Wren^

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^Blanket for my baby brother. Lots of good books knitted into this one.^

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^A shawl for me. Not a recent picture, but the only one I have on the computer. It will be very pretty.^

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^And the next pencil case. Another bad picture of a pretty good knit.^

I want to try to post more often. Actually talk about what I do. Book reviews, goofy family members, knit projects, and all that jazz. Who knows. I hope y’all have a wonderfilled week and are blessed. 🙂

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Books of July and August

   When looking over everything that I’ve been reading this year, I noticed that I have read a LOT of Mysteries. I didn’t realize that I read and enjoyed them that much. For some reason I thought that I read more historical fiction and fantasy. Who knew?
                                     July:
Quest of the Fair Unknown, by Gerald Morris: 4 stars
I know I have said before that I really enjoy Mr. Morris’ Squire Tales series, and that I haven’t read them in order. I really enjoyed this one, but knew all along that the Fair Unknown wasn’t Lancelot’s son, as he was not the greatest knight. In my opinion, at least, and also in my siblings. It was just as funny as the other books, and Arthur and Gwenivere are wonderful when the Fair Unknown comes to their court.
     Titan’s Curse, and Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian, by Rick Riordan: 2.5 stars
These are just like the other two. Some parts made me laugh in my head, but they weren’t all that great. I suppose my expectations were just too high, after seeing all those other people raving over them.
     The Lioness and Her Knight, By Gerald Morris: 4.5 stars
This and The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf are my favorites in this series. It was hilarious. Morgana is wonderfully sarcastic and has a heart under her hard shell. Mother and Daughter are very much alike, and their knights put up with them perfectly.
     Jeeves and the Tie that Binds, and Bertie Wooster Sees it through, by P. G. Wodehouse: 3 stars
Both were hilarious, and caused me to shake with laughter. I am going to take a break from Wodehouse, however, as it does get slightly repetitive. But his writing style is extremely humorous.
   The Sweetness at The Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley : 4 stars
Flavia is a new favorite. When my library card lets me, I’m getting the next book. It’s an adult book, but the main character is eleven, and a wiz with poisons. She puts poison ivy in her oldest sister’s lipstick to get back at her for locking her up in a closet, and takes notes on how long it take to take effect. The attic is her lab, and her best friend, or the closest friend she has, is the Gardner.
     The Silent Boy, by Lois Lowry: 4 stars
This is a story told by an old woman of something that happened in her childhood. It was a very short, deep story. It makes you think about how we deem life. How we judge the quality of life in others.
     Deadman’s Folly, by Agatha Christie: 3 stars
Another mystery by Agatha Christie, with Hercule Poirot. It was a nice read. I was a trifle shocked by one character. She was the man’s mother, but she knew better than to do what she did.
                                   August:
   The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins: 4 stars
This was the third time I’ve read it. Listening to the audio counts as reading it. I loved it. The Reader did a good job and I cried when Rue died, like always. All three books were good, and thought provoking.
    The Great Tree of Avalon and the Child of the Dark Prophecy, by T. A. Barron : no stars
I did not enjoy this book. It’s about Merlin’s heir, I thought it would be more like the King Arthur stories, that Merlin would actually have a large role, but it’s not and he didn’t. Avalon is a tree, the countries are roots, and the trunk is like space? People in reviews said that it was like a work of J. R. R. Tolkien. It was not. It was almost boring, and there are two curse words. I kept reading, because I hoped that the story would start to liven up, but it didn’t, and I wasted my afternoon. I am not reading the other books.
    Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer, by John Grisham: 4 stars
I really like this book. Mostly, because his parents were there. They were involved in his case. And I liked his uncle Ike. I like the characters that seem hard and callous, but are really soft.
    Theodore Boone: Abduction and Theodore Boone: Accused both get 3 stars, and weren’t as good as the first book. We get to see more of April, Theo best friend, and see and harassing Parrot and spitting Lama, but other than that, it was rather dull.
       I lived on Butterfly Hill, by Marjorie Agosin: 4 stars
I thought that this was a sweet story. Parts of it made me cry, always a good sign. There was a good deal of magic- telling the future- but I skimmed over that, as part of the culture. Eleven year old Celeste was forced to leave Chile during the political unrest, and her parents went into hiding. She was sent to Maine to live with her Aunt, until it was safe to come home. She has to learn a new langue, she make friends just to lose them, then gains new friends, and has to leave. She learns to keep a house, and takes her gift of words to change a country. Her love for others is touching. The Author had to leave Chile when she was a girl, for the same reasons as Celeste, so it was very interesting to see the resemblance of what was in her bio in the book, and the story.
      A Series of Unfortunate Events #12: The Penultimate Peril, by Lemony Snicket: 3 stars
I haven’t read this series in order. I didn’t feel as if I had to. I like Snicket’s humor in his narration of the story. It doesn’t break away your attention, or jar the story.
      The Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt: 4.5 stars
Second time reading this. I love Holling Hoodhood being there for his sister, Mrs. Baker being there for him, and everything about the story. Hilarious reading, as is laughing out loud while reading, and feeling the urge to read to the people looking at you weirdly what you just read. Holling has to read Shakespeare, because he’s Presbyterian. He plays Ariel in a play, and later is chased by rats.
    Dear Hank Williams, by Kimberly Willis Holt: 3 stars
This was also a sweet, funny story. A lonely girl, her great aunt and Uncle, and teaching herself how to sing. It’s right after WW2, and hard feelings are mentioned. It’s about Tate getting over a very hard time in her life. I cried, even thoughI figured out about Frog before anybody else in our house did.

And now I only have September left. I am caught up! Joy! Also, I have read almost 80 books this year. My sister, Lydia, was gloating about having read more than me, until I pointed out I have more school work. Out of all of the kids in our house, you would think that I read the most.

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The Books of June- Extremely Late.

We moved, didn’t have internet for a while, and I knit a cowl and a hat. Blogging wasn’t at the top of the list, because I preferred knitting.

The Mysterious Mr. Quinn, by Agatha Christie: 2 stars

This started out very interesting, but then the ending was weird for me. I don’t really know what I think about it. Also, it’s been two months since I read it, so I may be misremembering* it. I did think that the ending of the first mystery was nice. It was a happy ending.

*Spellcheck is saying that is not a word. I think it should be a word, and I will use it.

The Lightning Thief, By Rick Riordan: 3 stars

I read blogs and follow people on Pintrest and some of them really love the Percy Jackson books. So, when my mom brought it home from the library, thinking Caleb might enjoy it, I wanted to read it too. Percy is the son of the Greek god Poseidon. He’s a demigod, and people want to kill him, and he works with a bunch of other demigods and mythical beings to save the world. It sounded interesting. It was okay for me, but not great. Some parts made me laugh, and I did enjoy some of the characters, but I didn’t love it. I have read the rest of the series, though.

Scorch Trials, By James Dashner: No stars

I really don’t like the Maze Runner books. I don’t. I will finish the series because the idea was a good idea, but the writing is awful to me. Thomas is annoying, and nothing makes sense. Why throw in Brenda and make a love triangle? Why have Thomas “betrayed” by having Theresa and Aris throw him into a gas chamber, leave him, and then pull him back out?The gas didn’t harm him in anyway. It was pointless. The first book was more middle grade, but this one was definitely Young Adult, due to some scenes. Momma did say that maybe the story only revolving around Thomas is because Mr. Dashner wants the story to be about Thomas and nobody else. But the people who you are around, and are your friends mold and define you in a way, and we get nothing of anybody but Thomas, Brenda and Theresa.

I Capture the Castle, By Dodie Smith: No stars

This was very disappointing. I thought Cassandra would be writing- as in writing a book-, not practicing shorthand. Ms. Smith was trying to write a 1920’s Pride and Prejudice, I think, and it didn’t work out. It seemed pointless, and some things very unnecessary. It says that the Castle captured at the end of the book is the reader’s heart, but I only finished it because I was hoping the ending would redeem it. It didn’t. It was flat.

Beneath, by Roland Smith: 4 stars

After reading the above, and seeing that so far, the books of June have been disappointing, this is a good mini review.

I though this was a very interesting book. I loved Pat’s and Coop’s relationship. Even though the Coop wouldn’t let Pat hang out with him, and then left, when Pat realized something was wrong, he went looking for his older brother. He faced his biggest fears to go find Coop, and to help him out. I love stories with family who will do anything for each other. Their parents had divorced, but at the end of the book, are willing to try again to help their boys. Who are on the run from creepy people who have lived underground(literally) unknown to the government, want to take over the world, and get rid of the boys. And a girl named Kate that’s with them. I thought it was a sweet story, and since the ending was a very open one, I’m hoping for a second book.

The Dark Lady: 1 (Sherlock; Lupin; and Me) By Irene Adler

In my list for June, I wrote down The Dark Lady, but without the Sherlock; Lupin; and I. I look it up, to find the Author, and the books that come up, I would never read. But Momma found it for me.

If the author’s name is really Irene Adler, this was genius. I enjoyed the story, and would probably read the next one. I thought that it was very interesting to see the three children, and seeing how they worked together.

One think that bothered me was that the Holmes family was portrayed as very poor, and Sherlock did all the work, when in Doyle’s work, he’s the second son of a country squire, and were he’s not rolling in money, he’s comfortable.

The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan, #4 of the Enola Holmes Mysteries, by Nancy Springer: 3 stars

I have mentioned before that the only reason I was continuing to read this series was to discover what had happened to the mother and the usage of the Victorian flower language. This answered no questions, an if I remember correctly, hardly mentioned the mother at all.

The Case of Bazzaire Bonquet, #3 of the Enola Holmes Mysteries, by Nancy Springer: 3 stars

Better than the other one, because the villain of this mystery is mentioned in an actual Holmes story. Watson really did cause the woman to be out in a mental hospital. I only discovered this recently, but still. And, lots of flowers.

The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye, #6 of the Enola Holmes Mysteries, by Nancy Springer: 2 stars

The reason the mother left fell flat with me. It wasn’t a good enough reason. She had cancer and wanted to live her last days the way she wanted. She says that she isn’t like most mothers, she doesn’t love the way others do, but she did love her children. She said. But it seemed to me she loved herself more. What mother leaves a 14 year old daughter by herself without a word? On her birthday, too!

However, Enola and her brothers are together and Mycroft won’t force her to go to a finishing school. She, at now 15, can live the way she has for the past year, with the exception that her brothers are involved. She runs a boarding house, solves crime, and gives to the poor.

Ms. Springer is writing more Enola Holmes books, but I do not know if I will read them. After going on and on about Mrs. Holmes, and then finding out what happened was wrong to me.

The Legend of the King, by Gerald Morris: 5 stars

I have always enjoyed the tales of King Arthur and the Knight of the round table, and I think the Squire’s Tale series may be my favorite retellings. This was the last book, and so they die. Most of them, anyway. I cried. I cried over who died, and who lived. I cried for the last 100 pages, probably. Or from the middle to the end. Lynet and Gareis were so sweet. Terrence, Gwaine, Kai, and the others so brave and loyal to their King. The ones who lived(Can’t say who, ’cause I can’t remember how to spell the names) were the same, to carry on, and make sure no one forgot. It was wonderful.

Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan: 3 stars

This is the same as the first. I liked Tyson and Percy together. And I like Clarisse.

Absolutely Truly, by Heather Vogel Frederick: 4 stars

I have read two books by Ms. Frederick before, and didn’t really like them, but this one was very good. I thought that it was a sweet story. Truly’s family is military, and her dad lost an arm. They move to their grandparents’ house in Maine(I think), and Truly isn’t happy. Everybody is on edge and stressed. Their dad is struggling, their Mom is going back to school, they moved right after just moving, and Truly had to leave her best friend behind. Truly is very tall for her age and sticks out. She’s picked on, and she loves birds. Owls especially. And there is a mystery. I enjoyed it very much.

Skimmed Books:

Under Painted Skies, by Stacey Lee: No stars

I skimmed this, because after the first couple of pages, it was trash to me. It was very unrealistic for the time period and the setting. How would to girls find jasmine scented soap to bathe with that would last them months going across the prairie? Why would a guy keep a girl’s shawl after he bumped into her in town, and it fell, but she wouldn’t stop for it? Keep it for months, and then give it back when he tells her that he has known for a very long time that she really wasn’t a boy. It was horrible. It was also very centered on the romance, which annoys me.

InkDeath, by Cornelia Funke: 2 stars

I read InkHeart, and thought that it was interesting, but I didn’t like the story. I read Ink spell and thought that Meggie and Fadrid were going a little to far, and then just skimmed Ink death because the only person I cared to know about was Dustfingers, and since he lived, that was all that was of interest to me.

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