It’s Wednesday – which means it’s time to link up with my fellow Unravelers! Kat at As Kat Knits hosts a weekly linkup for knitters and readers to share their current projects. Please go to her site and check out the other bloggers participating! Today I have two WWII books and one sleeve to share. Come on in to my Cozy Burrow and see what I’ve been working on!
Finished Reading This Week:
I decided to read The Diary of a Young Girl because I needed a book that was originally published posthumously for my summer bingo card. The last time I read it was in junior high. I liked it, but didn’t really see what all the fuss was about, other than knowing Anne’s fate and how it connected to the history of the Holocaust. But here I am, at least twenty years later, and I finally get it. How could a 13-15 year old girl have so much insight into the world? This was just amazing and it’s now been added to the list of books that I plan to reread every decade! (Other books on the list include Jayber Crow and Anne of Green Gables.)
Do you remember when I started The Splendid and the Vile way back in May and really struggled with it? I kept (literally) falling asleep despite wanting to read it so badly. Many of you recommended the audio version and now here I am – finished! And I’m so glad because this was a fabulous look at Churchill during the war, his family, and a lovely collection of accounts from diaries across Britain. I had no idea that the government encouraged every day Brits to keep diaries about their time in the war – it was called the Mass-Observation Project. Apparently it actually started in 1937 and covered a whole range of British life. This is rabbit hole for the wannabe historian in me! This book also included quite a few details from diarists in the German military, which I found endlessly fascinating. My favorite chapter? The one that described tea as a tool of fortitude for the British people!
I love it when my reading accidentally lines up like this. Both books are set during WWII, so it’s so interesting to see Anne literally begging for help in Holland while Churchill is also begging for help around the world. Another fun coincidence: Anne talks about loving royal families and says very kind words about Queen Wilhelmina’s “time away,” while there is a spotting of an exiled Queen Wilhelmina with her ladies in waiting in The Splendid and the Vile in a luxurious hotel.
And yet – a closer look at the timeline of these two books shows an even deeper tragedy. The Splendid and the Vile only documents one year of WWII: May 10, 1940 – May of 1941. The attack on Pearl Harbor was on December 7, 1941, which marks the beginning of the United States’ official entry into the war. Meanwhile, Anne started her diary in June of 1942 and went into hiding in July of that same year. She was captured in August 1944, died in February or March of 1945 (no one is certain), and the war ended in September 1945. Anne and her family (along with countless others in Europe) suffered immensely throughout the entirety of the war — despite how hard Allied forces were working. It is all so heartbreaking.
But reading these two books over the last book has re-energized my efforts with Home Fires. I’m back to watching an episode on Friday nights!
I started my Spark cardigan (Ravelry link) on Saturday! The observant among you might notice that this is not the pink that I was so excited about last week. When my package arrived, my first thought was this is so perfect! I cannot wait! and then my stomach dropped. I realized that I was sent the Rosa Rugosa colorway and not the Conch that I ordered. But then I remembered that my first response upon seeing the yarn was that it was perfect! And it is – I am so happy with the Rosa Rugosa and this charcoal together. (I emailed the shop owner just to let her know about the mix up in case it complicated her inventory system, but called it divine providence and told her that I wanted to keep the yarn!)
Last night I finished one sleeve and started on the second. It’s only one sleeve, but I’m always impressed with Andrea Mowry’s patterns. She is so thorough and thoughtful when writing them – everything is explained and the charts are well-sized and easy to read. I’m so excited to continue working on this!
So please tell me – what are you reading lately?!