Sunday, 8 February 2015

Reading Challenges

2015 seems to be the year of reading challenges, and I decided to join in with one of them, following a link from a blog I read sometimes. I can't now remember the link... or something like that possibly? Anyway, although I was put off by some of the content of the site, celebrity gossip and fashion not being of any interest to me, the reading challenge was certainly different. There are fifty categories of books to read in the year - a favourite book from childhood, a favourite book of your mother's, a graphic novel, a trilogy..... some of which would take me out of my comfort reading zone, and that's no bad thing. I knew I could easily manage the fifty, since I read about a hundred books each year on average.
So I've made a start... of the books I've read so far, in the photograph, I've been able to tick off the following:
A non-fiction book - the Rick Stein autobiography.
A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit - 'A Good Yarn' by Debbie Macomber, set in a wool shop in Seattle, somewhere I've wanted to visit since becoming a fan of Frasier!
A book with a colour in the title - 'Tolstoy and the Purple Chair' by Nina Sankovitch, a non-fiction book about Nina and her decision to spend a year reading a book a day, how she chose the books she would read mixed in with reviews of those she read, family stories and news. Very readable and one day, one day, I'll go through her list of  books and see what I fancy reading. I have already read some of them, but only a handful.
A book by an author you've never read before - 'Stop the Clock' by Alison Mercer. A novel about three women friends; Lucy who wants life as a wife and mother to be perfect, Tina who aims for the life of a single career woman as a journalist, and Natalie who just wants to be happy with her man and her life. Ten years on, and their lives have not gone quite to plan.
A book by a female author - 'The Arsonist' by Sue Miller, one of my favourite authors whose books I collect, and who never fails to please. This was no exception, I read the last quarter of the 300 pages in one sitting as I had to find out how it ended. Set in a small town in America, the inhabitants feeling under threat by an arsonist, who they know has to be one of them, known to them. Amongst all this is a love story, between Bud whose just bought the towns newspaper, and Frankie just returned from Africa and uncertain about what to do next. Highly recommend this one.
And not shown on the photograph 'The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul' by Deborah Rodriguez which ticked 'A book set in another country', and 'The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman' by Denis Theriault which had been translated from French to English and ticked the box 'A book that was originally written in another language'. So that's seven boxes ticked already, well on the way, though some of them are a  bit off-putting - A book that scares you.... a book set in the future... neither appeal much I have to say.

Another sort of challenge, is making small throws, or lap blankets, call them what you will. A couple of Christmases ago I took a box of a dozen hand-knitted or crocheted lap blankets to a small, local old people's home and decided to do the same this year. So far, three completed as seen in the photo, though you can't see the one at the front very well - it's knitted in blanket stitch, 12 knit, 12 purl along the row, then after a dozen rows, change to 12 purl, 12 knit, inspired by a blanket made by Kristen and shown on her cozymadethings.blogspot. These are lovely things to make at this time of year, when it's cold, snowy, sleety, frosty and generally wintry, outside.

And even though it's winter, we still get amazing sunsets...

Hope this finds you all keeping warm and well, and thanks for stopping by.