Friday, December 30, 2016

Binge Reading the Month Away

The October Daye series by Seanan McGuire:

I read the first book, Rosemary and Rue, last month, and fell head over heals for this Urban Fantasy series.  I'm not going to go into descriptions of each book, but will say that I enjoyed this series considerably more than I expected....and in fact will, at some point, be buying my own copies.  (I checked them out from the library, not wanting to spend so much on a single series just now.)  The truth is that I've been very disappointed before in long-running series by other authors, particularly in this genre.  What starts out great tends to fade into boring or repetitive or diminished quality.  Not this time.  The books maintain their standards without, with characters who do grow and change (albeit slowly).  It's been a long while since I got sucked into a series so compelling that I had trouble putting the books down.  Excellent way to end my reading year!

1. A Local Habitation
2. An Artificial Night
3. Late Eclipses
4. One Salt Sea
5. Ashes of Honor
6. Chimes at Midnight
7. The Winter Long
8. A Red-Rose Chain
9. Once Broken Faith

and the October Daye novellas:
10.  Dreams and Slumbers - Focused on Arden, and immediately following the events of Once Broken Faith
11. Full of Briars - Quentin centric, and a follow-up for Chimes at Midnight.

I should point out that the novellas are truthfully not fully-fleshed out stories, but are rather character builders.  Doesn't make them any less fun or important, just different!  There are other short stories and such in this series available....but after this I felt it was time to move on to something else for a little while.  I'll come back to them later.

12. Books for Living, Will Schwalbe (also library) - I adored Schwalbe's earlier book, "The End of Your Life Book Club," in which he documented the last year of his mother's life through the books they read together.  This time, he writes short essays about the lessons learned through books.  I got to spend the end of my year reading about reading, in a book written my someone who understands what books mean to someone like me.  It was a beautiful way to end the year.  (It also gave me the perfect way to refocus my reading after being so immersed in the October Daye books for so long!)

My audio for the month, courtesy of J.K. Rowling...because sometimes you need to revisit old favorites!

13.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
14.  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Then Came This....

If you look closely at the pictures of the ornaments in progress, you will notice a fourth shape.  The fourth and final animal in the pattern is a walrus.  While I was knitting the first walrus body, though, I couldn't help but notice that it was shaping up to look just like a certain intergalactic gangster....

And I couldn't help myself.

JABBA CLAUS! was born!

Which made my husband very happy.

Also, he says I'm not to ever make one for anyone else....

So our one-of-a-kind Jabba will remain, truly one of a kind.

And he is,without a doubt, the coolest ornament on our tree.

Yes, I did make all of the parts for two actual walrus ornaments....but I think those will have to wait for 2017.  I'm ready to move on! 

Jollying Myself Up

I spent my inbetween time in December making whimsical Christmas ornaments...because they were fun, and because they were exactly what was needed to improve my mood.

I  made two of to keep, and one to gift!

I love them more than I can possibly say...and may have to make more!

Arctic Attire Ornaments, by Annie Watts
in Adorn, by Knit Picks
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette, mostly scraps left over!
Needles: Knit Picks wooden DPN's, varying sizes
November 26 - December 31, 2016