Kat at As Kat Knits hosts Unraveled Wednesday each week – a gathering of bloggers who share their reading and stitching for the week. Today I’m sharing several finished books (!), my current cross-stitch obsession, and an update on my scrappy crossroads quilt.
Finished Reading This Week
To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
Set in the late 1800s, a contingent of US soldiers explore the Alaska territory after the US purchases it from Russia. Written entirely in letters and field journals, we get to know some of the soldiers and Sophie, the pregnant wife of the Colonel. This book was full of the legends and superstitions of the Indigenous people of Alaska and was a bit creepy in a few spots. I enjoyed every minute of listening to this book! 5 stars.
Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday
I was planning to read this in January but couldn’t wait any longer. Holiday attempts to help the reader find stillness in their life by focusing on three major areas – the mind, spirit, and body – and uses the wisdom of ancient philosophies to support his ideas. I felt that this book stayed on the surface and could have dug in a bit deeper. It doesn’t even contain a bibliography (the end of the book instructs you to email for one), which I was looking forward to perusing in order to identify further reading for my 2021 year of Stillness. So I was a bit disappointed and was left looking for more.
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Little House books on audio have been the perfect nuggets of nostalgia for the last couple of weeks. In this one, the Ingalls leave their snug little home in the big woods of Wisconsin and move to Kansas in the hopes of settling land. They spend a year building their home, getting to know their neighbors, and learning to live with the Native Americans who aren’t very happy about the settlers encroaching on their land. Soon it becomes clear that they won’t be safe staying in Kansas any longer and they pack up their wagon and search for a new home.
On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
After leaving Kansas, the Ingalls find a new place to live in Minnesota – a dugout! This was my favorite Little House book when I was a child because I was captivated by this family living in a hole in the ground like hobbits. Friends, they live in an actual cozy burrow! Maybe this is where my obsession with burrows began?
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
This might be one of my favorite books this year. I don’t even know where to start talking about it! A well-off family is vacationing in North Hampton when there’s a knock on the door of their rented house. The actual owners are there. They’re escaping the city because something has happened, but no one is quite clear what. The electricity in NYC is out, there’s spotty cell service at the vacation home, and now the cable TV isn’t working. This book was amazingly crafted – full of dread and the unknown. I actually spoke to this book, several times and out loud, “what WAS it?” or “what is HAPPENING??!” This had a Station Eleven vibe to it, except Station Eleven was mostly what happened after the Apocalypse. This was more about what it will be like for people when it happens. The author played with race, class, our internal biases. He made stark contrasts about the images we project about ourselves and what’s really below the surface. It was amazing. 5 stars.
Stitching This Week
I’ve begun handsewing the binding on my big old Scrappy Crossroads quilt! I thought this blue striped binding would be a fun choice, given all of the blue in my quilt. I was hoping to have this on our bed this weekend, but I worked on it for several hours on Sunday and am not even halfway finished. That’s okay – I’ll plan to do some more stitching on it while watching TV this weekend and maybe I’ll be able to finish it.
I’m still making progress with this cross stitch! Just one more word at the bottom and then I’ll finish the text at the top. It will eventually say, “a plump wife is a gift to the famer. His garden is cared for – his nights are much warmer.” It still makes me laugh every time I read it! Maybe I’m just a middle schooler at heart.
No work on my hexies quilt so far this week. I think a nice, long break is exactly what I need. I’m sure I’ll get motivated to finish it up soon. But what a week for reading! I don’t know how long this burst of reading will last, but it’s an exciting end to the year. Only 2 more full weeks of 2020!