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!