The cats took the weekend off for the holiday, so there’s nothing new to report! Instead, how about another Instagram update? We’ve made it all the way to Christmas 2014… only 7 months behind now, ha!
Another quick month of reading in the books. I had a really great string of books all in a row – love it when that happens!
Below is my Reading Log for June 2015, with my thoughts about each book to help me remember what I read. I’ve included all the books that I’ve read or finished during the month (even if I started some of them outside of the month). And of course I keep track of my rating on the grade system, the binding, genre, etc… just for fun!
HB = Hardback, PB = Paperback, AB = Audio book, K = Kindle.
F = Fiction, HF = Historical Fiction, NF = NonFiction, YA = Young Adult,
CL = Children’s Lit, B/M = Bio/Memoir, SFF = Sci-Fi/Fantasy, C = Craft
|The Book of Strange New Things,
by Michel Faber
|The Last Anniversary,
by Liane Moriarty
|The Corner of White,
by Jaclyn Moriarty
by Robert Gilbraith
|Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,
by Jesse Andrews
|The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3),
by Rick Riordan
by Noelle Stevenson
by Nick Hornby
|Modern Log Cabin Quilting,
by Susan Beal
The Book of Strange New Things, by Michel Faber – A+
First, the plot: In the near-future, a British minister is chosen as missionary to the native population of a far-away space colony. While Peter is far away from home and acclimating to a strange new planet and its inhabitants, his steadfast wife Bea’s faith begins to crumble as conditions on Earth spiral out of control. The synopsis intrigued me, but it was Faber’s writing that really drew me in… I just didn’t want it to end. Even though the plot is pretty out-there, the characters are so real that even the aliens felt almost mundane, especially as events on Earth begin to outweigh the strangeness of the aliens. I loved the exploration of faith, science, and relationships through the letters back and forth between Peter and Bea. Writing that sentence makes it seem like a thoughtful romance, but it’s much more complex than that. As the world falls apart in front of their eyes, so does their relationship. The ending was sad and a bit ambiguous, but in a good way (at least that’s what I keep telling myself).
The Last Anniversary, by Liane Moriarty – A+
I just had to stay up late one night to finish this one – Liane Moriarty’s books always do that to me. Another fun cast of characters that are almost more enjoyable to follow than the actual plot – the unraveling of a decades-old mystery involving an abandoned baby, the pair of sisters who found her, and the lucrative tourist attraction spawned by the mysterious circumstances. I loved the POV chapters as we got closer and closer to the truth, and as always the women were relatable and hilarious. Maybe not as powerful as Big Little Lies or What Alice Forgot, but still a joy to read furiously until the very last page.
A Corner of White, by Jaclyn Moriarty – TBD
Still reading. I have to admit that the first thing to catch my eye is the fact that the author is sister to Liane Moriarty – one of my very favorites! I’m hoping that writing runs in the family… I’ve listened to about 5 hours so far, and I’m having a bit of trouble getting into the story. But the characters from two different worlds are finally starting to interact, so I’m hoping it gets more engrossing.
The Silkworm, by Robert Gilbraith – A+
The third book in the Cormoran Strike series was just announced with a release date in October, so I jumped Book #2 to the top of my list. Once again we follow private detective Cormoran Strike and his trusty sidekick Robin, as their working relationship and backgrounds are more fully fleshed out amid another gruesome murder case. It’s a relief that the characters are already set up from the first book and now we can just enjoy their partnership. This book revolved around the publishing industry, which was fun for me! There were loads of funny jabs at the insular world of publishing, from trendy small presses to self-published authors to egotistical writers. JK Rowling never disappoints with the snappy writing and interesting characters (aside from A Casual Vacancy – not my cup to tea) and I was glad I read this one on the Kindle as I made frequent use of the dictionary feature. Can’t wait for the next installment!
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews – A
Man, this book. I didn’t want to give it a chance since it seemed like a TFIOS ripoff and the movie seemed to spring up to capitalize on their success, but it was completely different. There’s still a girl with cancer and still three friends and not much of a plot, but it worked for me. It’s much more hilarious than a book about cancer has any right to be. I was giggling and quoting every other page. The author really nails the high school voice, and you definitely have to exercise your inferring skills to figure out how the main character really feels since it’s written in the first person and the narrator is definitely unreliable. I wanted a more satisfying ending, but that’s life.
The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3), by Rick Riordan – TBD
Still reading. Sometimes I just want some old-fashioned adventure, silly dialogue, and some Greek mythology thrown in… Percy to the rescue! I’m reading this series at the slowest pace ever, but enjoying it.
Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson– A+
I’ve heard a lot of buzz around Noelle Stevenson’s comics LumberJanes, and when I heard that she wrote a standalone YA graphic novel, it sounds like a good entry point to get into her work. I was not disappointed! The story moves quickly, pairing a mysterious shapeshifter and a villain together in an alternate medieval world. There were some laugh-out-loud moments but ther depth of the characters made the brief tale much more endearing that I expected. This is exactly the kind of thing I wish I could’ve read in middle school. I loved the ending, and even though it’s not a series (yet), I’m hoping for more!
Funny Girl, by Nick Hornby – TBD
Still reading. One of my favorite podcasts, Pop Culture Happy Hour, chose this novel for a discussion a couple months ago and it sounded intriguing enough to add to my library Hold list. It follows Sophie Straw as she pursues a comedy career in Britain during the 1960s. I can’t say I know much about the pop culture details across the pond at that time, so I’m really appreciating the fun photos throughout the book, from actresses to commercials to buildings that are mentioned in passing. So far, so good!
Modern Log Cabin Quilting, by Susan Beal – A
I’ve had this one on my Amazon wish list for years… so when I saw it on the bargain table, I snatched it up. Log cabins are such a traditional block, but depending on the layout and fabric choices, they can also fit the modern aesthetic. I liked the quilt patterns, but I rarely feel interested enough in home décor projects to actually want to make them, and that was the case for this book too. I also wish there were measurements provided for smaller versions of each pattern, since I don’t do queen size quilts on my home machine. I also have a pet peeve that popped up in this book – artsy photos that don’t show the entire quilt top. I appreciate the “lifestyle” look, but when I’m trying to decide if I want to follow a pattern, I would rather see the whole quilt top than a pretty photograph. But on the whole, I’m glad to add this title to my crafty book collection and I’m pretty sure my next quilt will be a log cabin in some way!
So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of June. I’m always looking for more book recommendations – are you reading any good books?
Another weekly update on my current WIPs!
Low Volume Plus Swap
Remember the low volume plus blocks I made a couple months ago?
Lindsay of Lindsay Sews put the swap together, and she brought my swap blocks to the June Music City MQG meeting. I requested warm colors, and over the weekend I finally got to play around with layouts. It’s so much fun to see all the fun fabrics that went into each block, and to be almost finished already!
I think this is the layout I’m going with, but flipped around so the yellows are in the top right corner, progressing into orange and red in the bottom left corner. I’m going to do QAYG blocks again so hopefully I can have this one hanging over the couch by the end of the summer.
Impossible Cross Stitch
Picked this up again and made some progress! It’s about time to put it down so I can get back to the Woodland Creatures cross stitch, but I’m having fun seeing this come together.
Love Patchwork & Quilting mini project
My favorite quilting magazine comes with a free gift each month – sometimes notions or supplies and sometimes mini projects. I started this adorable hoop applique and have been working on it when I have some free time. I haven’t done any embroidery in quite a while, so it’s been fun to practice that again on a no-pressure project.
And that’s about it!
Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.
I found out over the weekend that Caroline of Caroline’s Days nominated me for the Liebster Award! Thanks so much, Caroline!!
Here’s how it works. You must:
Thank the person who nominated you,
Link to their blog,
Answer their 11 questions,
Create 11 of your own and nominate 11 bloggers to answer them.
Another High Five for Friday!
2. Pillowcases. The Music City MQG made 120+ pillowcases in 4 hours to donate to the Ronald McDonald House in Nashville. Riley Blake donated fabric and the combos were so super cute. It was a great assembly-line project for the group and now I want to make a bunch for myself!
4. Kacey Musgraves. I’ve been humming along to her new album all week. Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy :)
5. Book Therapy. I haven’t been to a real live bookstore in a while, but it was such a treat to wander the shelves for a bit… and come home with a fun stack, of course!
- carrot sticks
- Kalamata olives
- pita bread
- tortilla chips
- leftover ground beef, chicken or fish
- black beans
- sour cream
- tortilla chips
- shredded cheese
- It’s easier and quicker to get out the door in the morning!
- I’m not so worried about “likes” on social media… I didn’t realize that I had become addicted to the feedback and attention.
- I gave myself permission to wear the same clothes more often, and not worry if I wear the same pair of pants three times in a week.
- My jewelry has become a lot more simple – instead of a different statement necklace every day, I’ve been wearing one delicate necklace that goes with everything.
- Without the external motivation of “likes” and comments, I’ve definitely let my style go a bit. The simplicity is mostly a relief, although sometimes I miss being more creative.
- I’m less active on social media without the daily motivation to post. I wouldn’t say that’s a good or bad thing, just a side effect.
- When I posted every day and recapped my outfits once a week on the blog, I also had a quick review of my day-to-day life in a nutshell. This year, I started using a 10 Year Journal (best Xmas present!) so I still have that daily journal of my life.
Modern Log Cabin Quilting by Susan Beal
I’ve had my eye on this one for quite a long time and I have been wanting to make a log cabin quilt lately, so when I saw this on the bargain table I was sold! One of my favorite quilt pins comes from this book, and I’m excited to dive into more inspiration. Somehow I never feel guilty about impulse buys when it’s a book.
What are you reading right now?