Sunday, January 03, 2010

2009 Reading in Review

I met and then amazingly, surpassed my 52 books in 52 weeks goal - 64 was my grand total. I think I really nurtured this hobby more than any this year, I tell myself that I am good role model for my kids, reading and reading. And then I learn from my fourth grader's teacher that my daughter has to be told to "put her book away" throughout the day as it is distracting her from other things...well, I meant well. Okay, if this is the worst thing...*sigh*


Far and away, my favorite guilty pleasure read of '09 was The Bright Side of Disaster by Katherine Center. A friend picked it up on a fluke and I loved it. So much I bought a new copy for an Christmas gift and shared two other used copies ( is a great place to get duplicates for little bling). The book is downright funny - authentic and charming. The main character is Jenny, a naive and very pregnant mom, with a pretty absent boyfriend. Sooner than later VERY absent boyfriend, who is a schmuck. The antics are funny, her desperation is so genuine - you are rooting for her and feeling kind of sad for her all at once. It is kind of short and a superfast read - which I always find to be a mixed blessing. I find myself wanting more - and imagining what Jenny might do next.


Another favorite - that was longer and a little deeper, was The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. This book touched me - maybe because one of the speaking parts was told from the perspective of Almondine, Edgar's faithful dog. But Edgar was also a sweet boy who really got a crappy hand dealt to him. This was another book I truly enjoyed sharing and purchasing again to share - with some mixed reviews but mostly good. Good news I recently heard from Mr. Wroblewski - via Oprah - is that this book is planned to be one of a threesome - not a trilogy per se, but more backstory from different generations told in three books. I hope Mr. Wroblewski hurries up with this. You know, for me. And he needs to come back to Oconomowoc for a book signing since I missed him TWICE! doh!

And because, this is mostly a knitting blog - I am trying a sweater. Scares the bejesus out of me to start a sweater with my most coveted Plucky Knitter MCN Early Light - but nearly a year of "thinking on it"'s time. I am knitting the Ingenue by Wendy Bernard (of knit and tonic) from her Custom Knits book. I might even try to knit some short rows - because I wasn't scared enough.


I am almost to the part where the raglan is divided for the arms, and I am thinking I need to make the effort to put it on longer needles so I can try it on before committing to anything. Any advice for me?


Blogger Jodi said...

Thanks for the book recommendations, and best of luck on Ingenue. It's going to be just gorgeous! That yarn looks absolutely amazing. ;-)

7:44 PM  
Blogger Clumsy Knitter said...

Thank you for sharing your book recommendations--I added them to my list of titles to watch for.

As for the sweater, that yarn looks amazing and I'm sure it will be beautiful. I would suggest that if you're unsure of when to divide, just slip the stitches onto a length of waste yarn and try it on. There's nothing to lose, and you will gain some peace of mind.

7:48 PM  
Blogger mle said...

I was just thinking about casting on for Ingeune too! I haven't swatched yet though. Yours is going to be gorgeous!

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Katherine Center said...

Howdy! Just a note to thank you for mentioning my book The Bright Side of Disaster! I'm so glad you liked it! And buying it for an Xmas gift rocks! (I'm all for swapping, but I have to support buying in a big way because it's the only way the publisher knows if people are reading authors' books: the sales.) I have a book that came out last year called Everyone Is Beautiful, and I have another one coming out in April called Get Lucky. Both have that same kinda bittersweet comic voice... Hope you get a chance to check them out, too!
Happy 2010!
Katherine Center

11:39 AM  
Blogger Hilary said...

How exciting that you're knitting a sweater! Putting it all on waste yarn is a great way to make sure it fits, and then you can also twirl around in the mirror and get excited about how cute it will look when it's done. And don't be scared of the short rows - you can always rip them out if you don't like how they look!

2:03 PM  
Blogger Trisha said...

Thanks for the review of two books I haven't read yet. I will have to pick those up soon. And how awesome that one of the authors left a comment on you blog!

I am so excited for you to knit Ingenue. It is a beautiful sweater and will be even more beautiful in that gorgeous yarn you picked. Love that color! Good luck! And I recommend the waste yarn idea to try it on too.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

That is going to be such a cushy sweater! Waste yarn is good, 2 circs will work, or if you have the knitpicks interchangeables, I often use my 60" cable when it's time to try on. Thanks for the book recommedations too, I am trying to branch out from mysteries.

10:16 PM  
Blogger IrishgirlieKnits said...

I love your book reviews! I really need to read Edgar Sawtelle...its been on my desk for a year!

I should also think about my potential Plucky sweater in that exact same yarn and color too!! Maybe you'll inspire me!

11:07 PM  
Blogger Knitting Kris said...

You know, it's pretty amazing when the author comments on your blog, just sayin'!
I loved your knits in review, and also your courage to start a new sweater in Plucky. I have to do the same. Last night I broke out the Plucky cashmere to start a project for me. It's lovely knitting with it so far! Have fun!

7:15 AM  
Blogger YarnThrower said...

No advice, but that sweater is going to be so cute on you!

11:29 AM  
Anonymous kim said...

I love that pattern. It's going to look great on you, and you will do fine. You've already made a baby sweater. This will just be bigger.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

New to your blog (linked via a comment) and no advice on the sweater...but wow, that yarn looks amazing! Gorgeous color! I can't wait to see the finished piece.

Thanks for the recs too...edgar sawtelle is on my night stand already but the other was new to me!

4:20 PM  
Blogger The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Ingenue is like the best thing I've ever knit. SO many compliments on it and it's really easy, I swear!

9:10 PM  
Blogger Kellie said...

go you, oh brave knitter! I have one sleeve to go on a top down cardigan in Noro silk Cardigan and i will have completed my first successful 'full size' project for me! Next up comes another cardigan in Sanguine Gryphon Bugga, so I feel your fear about stuffing up with the luxe yarns, lol. But just thread some waste yarn trough your stitches to try on as you go and you will be sweet. looking forward to seeing this one!

11:14 PM  
Blogger Kellie said...

dang! That should have said Noro Silk Garden not 'cardigan' (bloody 4 year old is jibber-jabbering away in my ear - as he has been all day, lol). And woot! Author comment! Very cool :o)

11:16 PM  
Blogger Ratze Family said...

I came across your blog today and wanted to invite you and your knitting friends to our "Knit Night" at Yola's Cafe on Wednesday, January 20th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m..

Yola's Cafe is conveniently located on Madison's Westside in the Cortland Commons Shopping Center at the corner of Watts Rd. and Commerce Dr. (just west
of the Princeton Club-West). Our address is: 494 Commerce Dr., Madison, WI 53719, ph: 608.827.5800web:

Our cafe seats up to 50 people comfortably and has a variety of soft seating as well as several tables. One of the highlights of the cafe is our gas fireplace
which provides plenty of heat for these cold wintry days.

Knit Night Description:

Bring your knitting, crocheting or other portable hand work to share a casual evening with old and new friends while doing something you love. It's free and its fun. Everyone welcome.

Come hungry! We have many great sandwiches, salads, and soups to choose from on
our menu - Of course, we have coffee, tea, and
other delicious specialty espresso drinks as well.

If you can't make it on January 20, but would like to knit at the cafe on another evening, don't hesitate to let me know and we can reserve an evening for your group to meet.

Lance Ratze
Yola's Cafe

5:31 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I just found your blog through a comment you left on my friend Kari's blog, Kari's Corner. I am not a knitter but do admire the art and love reading blogs from other Madison bloggers. :) Anyways, I will add The Bright Side of Disaster to my library list...thank you! I also loved Edgar Sawtelle. so good. I recently finished The House at Riverton and really enjoyed that. Happy New Year!

8:07 AM  

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