Unraveled | Knitting & Reading | Week 26 in 2021

Hello Unraveled friends! This is my first linkup with Kat and the Unraveled gang since the end of March because it’s been a quiet year for knitting. But I managed to do a little last week and hope that sharing the progress will help me keep a tiny bit of momentum. And of course – it was a great week for reading!

I’ve made progress on the second sleeve of my second Spark cardigan! (here’s the blog post in which I featured the first one I finished.) It’s been so long since I shared any details about it, so I’ll try again: I’m using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Gull for the main color and Knit Picks Chroma Twist in Lupine for the contrasting color. I haven’t used Knit Picks yarn for sweaters before and I don’t have any complaints about it so far. Let’s see if I can finish this sleeve before next Wednesday?

And now… onto the reading!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive – all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.”

I read this book in 2009, but it was time for a re-read. This time, I listened on audio and it was positively delightful. I’d forgotten how many characters were featured in the book because I’d gotten so used to the movie on Netflix! This book is everything I love: post WWII England, tea, flowers, books, and writing. It’s a true book lover’s book and I was walking on air for days after finishing it.

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
“Because—and he still did not understand how people like his brothers could not see this—inside the pages of each and every book was a whole other world.”

This is another book lover’s book! Set just after WWII in England, it focuses around an unlikely group of people who work to create a museum in the house where Jane Austen wrote several of her books. The village is tiny and full of secrets. This book was a bit darker than Guernsey and had some difficult themes, such as drug use and the loss of a newborn, but there were also story lines that felt distinctly Austen-esque, which made it fun. And it reminded me that I need to reread some Jane Austen!

Recovering by May Sarton
“I am starved for tenderness and that is what is the matter with me and has been the matter with me for months.”

This journal was written in 1979 when May was 66 years old. She was living in her home in York, Maine and recovering from the end of a long-term relationship and a diagnosis of breast cancer that required a mastectomy. And as always – depression lurks just in the background.

This one was interesting to read after Journal of a Solitude and Plant Dreaming Deep – she’s younger in those and relishes in a life of solitude. But here she shares some of the letters she’s written to readers in which she encouraged them to marry, have children, and live a life amongst others — saying this is how we learn the truths of life. It was an interesting shift.

I enjoyed that it was set in York – a town I love and typically visit at least once a year. She also spent time in Sandwich, New Hampshire several times in this journal – another town I love visiting. It’s strange that we sort of share a stomping ground!

I’d love to read more of her journals and think I will move backwards and pick up The House by the Sea, which is the journal she wrote when she left Nelson, NH and moved to York. I’m excited!

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
“The problems we face today eventually turn into blessings in the rearview mirror of life. In time, yesterday’s red light leads us to a greenlight. All destruction eventually leads to construction, all death eventually leads to birth, all pain eventually leads to pleasure. In this life or the next, what goes down will come up. It’s a matter of how we see the challenge in front of us and how we engage with it. Persist, pivot, or concede. It’s up to us, our choice every time.”

Well, it has to be said: Alright, alright, alright. I wasn’t going to read this, but Laila at Big Reading Life enjoyed it so I decided to get on the waitlist for the audiobook. And I’m glad I did because this is a performance, friends. McConaughey and I both grew up in Texas and are Longhorns, so I feel a particular kinship with him. He’s also a teller of tales so I take his stories with a grain of salt, trusting there’s a nugget of truth in each one and just enjoyed the ride without actually believing everything he said.

This book was relaxed, funny, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you want to spend a few hours with Matthew McConaughey’s voice in your earbuds, then I say go for it. It’s a fun summer read and I’m pretty sure you’ll get a few laughs out of it — I definitely doubled over in laughter several times!

Okay friends – I’m planning to be back on Friday with a handful of joy. Until then – take good care!


18 thoughts on “Unraveled | Knitting & Reading | Week 26 in 2021

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  1. Your socks look like they’ll be just the right thing for cooler weather days —-and I’m a great fan of Guernsey Literary Society; I might reread as an audio book; thanks for the idea. Read, knit on and enjoy!


    1. Thanks, Honoré! I definitely recommend rereading Guernsey – it was so much fun! And those are sleeves! But I agree – they totally look like socks in this picture, ha!


  2. Those socks!! Gah! They are so cute! Go you!!

    But really, lets just settle in with the books you read this week! I loved Literary Society so much! (an excellent book to reread!!) But I have not read any of the others! Would the McConaughey book qualify as a biography? I have a few squares yet to fill on my Summer Bingo card and these recommendations are just perfect! Thank you so much!


    1. Kat – the McConaughey book is an autobiography and I definitely think it would fit into that square!! It was a FUN book and perfect for summer bingo 🙂


  3. (Fellow Longhorn here! HOOK’EM!!!)
    Lovely knitting, as always – and whenever inspiration hits. I adore May Sarton, and have just started re-reading Plant Dreaming Deep this month. And I think memoirs are such great summer reading! Glad you enjoyed Matthew M’s — I’ve heard it’s a fun one!


  4. Those socks are so pretty. Enjoyed your reading list. Many years ago, I read most of May Sarton’s journals. A difficult person with a fine mind. Always interested in what she had to say.


    1. Thanks Laurie! They’re sleeves for a sweater but I agree – they totally look like socks right now, haha 🙂 I’m happy to hear that you’re another May Sarton fan! I love that her journals are full of Maine and NH – two of my favorite places in the world 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the subtle color changes in your Chroma and think this sweater is going to be really stunning when it’s done (though I imagine you’re not in a hurry to finish it right now, seeing as it’ll be a while before you can think about wearing it!).

    I’m really intrigued by Matthew McC’s book, and thank you for reminding me that an audiobook is an option — probably what I’d prefer in this case!


  6. Your sleeves are lovely – both the colors you chose and the patterning. Literary Society was a great book and I’m really going to have to look into May Sarton. I don’t think I’ve read anything by her and this one looks particularly interesting. And Matthew’s voice is one I wouldn’t mind hearing for a few hours!


  7. I LOVE Knitpicks yarn for sweaters – haven’t used Wool of the Andes, but I’m sure it’s just as nice as the others I have used. and what a great reading roundup. I adored Austen Society last summer and one of my favorite things was spotting bits of Austen’s stories. I haven’t heard much about Greenlights but I think I could happily fill my ears with his voice … gonna check that out!


    1. I’m so happy to know that you enjoy using KP for sweaters… I don’t know why I doubt the quality so often? Confession: I’ve only read P&P and Emma. I’ve always wanted to read the other Austen books but struggle so much with them! I think I’m going to try them on audio and see if that helps.

      Greenlights is fun – knowing that I’d get to listen to McConaughey’s voice for a few hours is what pushed me into trying it. It’s not a GREAT book and I doubt you’ll find anything life changing in it, but I do think you’ll get a few laughs!!


    1. Laila — the Guernsey book is SO good. And relatively short, so it’s not a huge commitment. It’s one of my all-time favorites and was the book that pulled me out of a YEARS long reading rut in the early 2000s.

      Liked by 1 person

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