Welcome to Wednesday, friends. I hope this week has been treating you well. As I type this introduction, a hummingbird is visiting the feeder stuck to my window so I can’t complain too much! I’m here to share some of the reading and stitching I’ve done this week, thanks to Kat’s Unraveled Wednesday linkup.
KNITTING THIS WEEK:
I haven’t managed a ton of knitting, but did add a few rows to my DRK Everyday Sweater. There might be an increase of just an inch since last week, but I used my new barber cords to stretch out the stitches which makes for a much prettier picture. There’s about 6″ of the body done and I’m shooting for 9″ before the ribbing, so I’m nearly there. Luckily I have some great audiobooks queued up so I’m hoping to spend some more time with this sweater in the upcoming evenings.
READING THIS WEEK:
I threw a little fit on Sunday. I stomped my feet and said to Matthew, I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to finish a book again! Between my lack of concentration and being pulled in a thousand different directions by everyone here at home, it’s been difficult to sit down to read more than a sentence or two. Despite my frustration, I feel lucky to have finished a couple of books this week.
The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse is the most recent book in Mary’s Erdrich-Along. This is – so far – my favorite Erdrich novel. It tells the story of Father Damien, the priest who arrived at Little No Horse in 1912 and died in 1996. It is written with gorgeous details and I spent the entire time swooning over Erdrich’s prose. I’ve always enjoyed her stories but found her writing to be top-notch here. So many secrets within the Nanapush, Puyat, Kashpaw, and Lazarre clans are uncovered, as well as Father Damien’s own secret life.
The biggest secret (especially after reading Love Medicine) is revealed towards the end of the book, but I studied the family tree so carefully when my copy arrived that I already knew what was coming. That didn’t ruin it for me; in fact, it made me excited to dive in! I am looking forward to learning more about these families and am crossing my fingers for more June Morrissey, who did not make an appearance in this one. I started reading this on April 27 and finished on May 16, which is quite a long time for me given the length of this book (my edition is 361 pages). I think that shows how delicately I tiptoed through Erdrich’s words, soaking them all in just a little at a time. Despite wanting to sit down and binge through it, it was a lovely way to read this book.
I’m hoping to start The Beet Queen next week? I don’t want to jinx my chances by talking about it too much.
Heartwood: The Art of Living with the End in Mind was recommended to me by a dear friend and it is a powerful little book. It begins by describing a challenge that Becker took on as her childhood friend was dying of cancer: what if she lived a year of her life as if it were her last?
In the subsequent pages, Becker shares so much of what she’s learned about death from those around her. She’s led an incredible (and quite privileged) life and has had the opportunity for a myriad of experiences. The best part is that she works hard to find reverence in all of them. This book is moving, thought-provoking, and intimate and I appreciated Becker’s vulnerability as she was writing it.
I’m knee deep into a couple of other books that I hope to share with you all next week. It feels good to have a small reading momentum again. My first inclination in the morning has been to get an iced coffee from Dunkin and spend the day reading on my front step. Of course – we have so many other things to get done during the day, especially with homeschooling, so that’s not an option. But I’m finding small pockets of time to read a paragraph or two and that adds up to a lot. Somehow. And I’ll take it!
I’m planning to be back on Friday with a few more updates. Until then – I hope you’re able to find your own pockets of time to do what you’re enjoying right now. Stay cozy!
Your sweater is coming along nicely Katie and I love that color! Reading has been hit and miss for me here lately, so I get what’s you’re saying. Both of your books sound quite interesting and good for you in finishing them both. Enjoy your day, and your reading 😊
Thanks, Tina! I hope you’re finding some books that hit the spot for you!
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I’ve been in the same place in the past week or so where it feels like I just do a little bit on everything — knitting and reading — but never make a significant amount of progress on any one thing, so I understand the frustration. But I also know that all those little bits do add up over time. I completely agree with you about Last Report; I too took my time with it because I was wanting to savor Erdrich’s writing. After I finished, I went online to Thriftbooks and ordered about 10 more of her titles. You should see the stack of her books I have now! I’m excited to get into The Beet Queen, Tracks, and Four Souls (and I fully expect that I will end up reading all her books in the end).
Your sweater is really coming along! Go you! And I really loved The Last Report… although it was not my favorite Erdrich book. But I have never read the Beet Queen. Thank you! 🙂
Thanks, Kat! Oooh… it’s exciting to know that there’s an Erdrich out there that’s BETTER than Last Report. I’m on a mission to find it! 😉
Happy sigh … I loved Last Report so much and I’m glad you did, too. I finished Tracks this morning and enjoyed seeing Fr Damien through Nanapush’s eyes. I’m pretty sure Erdrich didn’t suspect Fr Damien’s secret when she wrote Tracks and I cannot wait to hear what y’all think!
Oh goodness. Now I need to know! Did you already read The Beet Queen? Or are you taking them a bit out of order? So much to look forward to!!
You do so much reading for a woman who homeschools three small children! I’m amazed at all you get done. Truly. I’m sorry it hasn’t felt like enough. I know that feeling. So many delicious books out there and so little time! Here’s hoping some more pockets of reading open up to you this week and weekend.
Thank you, Laila! Everything comes in waves for me and that feeling has already passed because I’ve finished 2 more books since writing yesterday’s post and am close to finishing another 2. I am just so moody!! I hope you have a great week!
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I just your royal blue jumper, its so cheerful. Can’t beat a REALY good book.
Thank you, Cathy!
I know – sometimes I flit from project to project and feel like I’m not making much progress but every stitch counts. I loved The Last Report . . . I think whatever Erdrich book I’m reading is the one I enjoy the most. Heartwood sounds very interesting to me. I’m going to look for it.