Unraveled Wednesday | Books & Knitting | Week 30 (!) in 2021

It’s time for another Unraveled Wednesday with Kat! This week I’m sharing an update on my Spark Cardigan and three more finished books.

My lovely second Spark Cardigan is coming along quite nicely. I finished the short rows of the collar last week and am busy working on the whole shawl collar now. I’m not rushing through it – it’s been a total delight to knit despite being the second one I’ve worked on. I haven’t been bored or found any part of this process tedious – it’s been dreamy. I highly recommend this pattern!

Reading this week has been odd. I have a few excellent finishes and am in the middle of a big tangle of books; I just can’t work out where to focus my reading time. That usually means I’ll have a glut of books to share the next week, so we’ll see how that ends up!

Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger
β€œWhat life gives us, good or bad, we seldom deserve.”

I hadn’t heard a ton about the Cork O’Connor series from Krueger, but this was an Amazon Daily Deal a few weeks ago and I snapped it up because I love his stand alone novels. Imagine my surprise when I discovered there are 17 books in this series!

Cork O’Connor is part Irish, part Anishinaabe and used to be the Sheriff in Aurora, a rural Minnesota town. His marriage is on the rocks, he got voted out of office, and he’s living in an inherited burger joint, so things aren’t looking too bright for him this Christmas. And now he’s hearing the whisper of the Windigo, a vicious legend that calls out for people before they die, as seemingly unconnected deaths and disappearances start adding up to something bigger. What is happening in Aurora?

Cork is turning out to be an interesting character and I can’t wait to see him develop. I will definitely be returning to this series!

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
β€œI had my chance.’ He said it, retiring from a lifetime of wanting. ‘I had my chance, and sometimes in life, there are no second chances. You look at what you have, not what you miss, and you move forward.”

This was a lovely little escape about a sliver of life during WWII that I haven’t explored. Henry is a Chinese-American living in Seattle after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He meets a young Japanese-American girl, Keiko, at school and they become fast friends. Through Henry’s eyes, we see the treatment Japanese-Americans endured during the war and how it spilled over to all Asian Americans. Despite their different settings and time periods, this book reminded me a lot of The Stationery Shop, which I also loved!

This book rekindled my interest in several areas: Asian tea culture (which I realize is a vast topic), books about the Asian American experience during WWII, books set in the Pacific Northwest, and cooking Japanese and Chinese food. It set my imagination on fire!

The Silver Swamp by Katrina Charman

This was our read aloud last week and is the 8th book in The Last Firehawk series. Skyla and Tag continue looking for Blaze and find her hidden in a giant bird’s nest. Skyla falls victim to a poisonous glitter and they have to rely on an untrusted new character that appears. Claw introduces himself as the innocent twin of Thorn — but who is he really?

This was another fun installment to this series. Deciding whether to trust Claw created a great discussion about his true identity (is he really Thorn’s twin or could it be Thorn pretending?) and about how people gain our trust. I’m excited to read the next book and see how our predictions play out.

That’s all I have to share right now! But I have three books nearly finished, plus a nice stack of library books I can’t wait to dive into, so I’m already looking forward to next week’s update. The big news? The Silver Swamp was my 100th finished book of the year! 2020 was my best reading year ever and I finished with 109. Unless something goes completely off-kilter, I expect that I’ll blow past last year’s total sometime in August. But if not: that’s okay, too. I’m embracing the slow this year and that means savoring books, especially big, fat ones.

I plan to be back on Friday with a few joyful moments from the week. Take good care until then!


9 thoughts on “Unraveled Wednesday | Books & Knitting | Week 30 (!) in 2021

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  1. Your cardi is going to be amazing, especially with a big, cozy shawl collar.

    Congrats on some amazing reading! I am constantly impressed by how much you manage to read with three kiddos! I have no doubt that you’ll blow past last year’s mark; the real question is by just how much.


  2. This sweater is practically flying off your needles! I just love every bit of it! I am really in the “cozy book” mode so thank you for adding more to that stack! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, your sweater is almost finished and it is beautiful. My husband likes the Krueger mystery series. I read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet quite awhile ago and enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My dad loved the Cork O’Connor books … I have yet to pick them up because the library waits are always LONG (which is obviously the sign of a great series)! Congratulations on your reading milestone (and I’m sure you’re gonna blow by last year’s total this month). I read The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane a few years ago (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25150798-the-tea-girl-of-hummingbird-lane) and loved the bits about tea culture. The neighbor who chose the book for our bookclub DID make tea and that was my favorite part of the whole thing. They’d been to China the summer before and she brought back the tea and the how-to about the ceremony. It was fascinating.


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