They Left Us Everything

Another Evergreen book update. I just finished Plum Johnson’s They Left Us Everything. It covers the year and a half or so after the death of Johnson’s mother as she works to clear out the family home and prepare it for sale.

It was an interesting read, but it was one of those books where I just could not relate at all to the people in it. I would say that Johnson comes from a relatively privileged background, the family home was full of family artifacts that could be traced back for centuries. Her family was full of prominent people doing important things and leaving behind solid records. They lived in that huge lakefront home for well over five decades, some of them were born, married, and buried there. There was just such a wealth of family history for her and her siblings to go through. I don’t know if it was jealousy or what, but as I was reading this I kept thinking I don’t really care.  There was a lot that Johnson (at least in my view) almost treated like a burden, but that I think I would see as a blessing. I will admit that she seems to change her tune towards the end, but by that point I didn’t really like the person I was reading about. I know that makes me sound callous, but that’s just how I felt.

Maybe this is a book I would have appreciated more if I encountered it at a different stage in my life, but reading it now I simply didn’t care for it.

Lionheart, Part 1

I really enjoyed the last Erica Lueder sock pattern I made so I decided that my next pair of socks would be Neville’s Socks. It’s a subtle stitch pattern that’s easily memorized so these are just flying off my needles.

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Gryffindor Red

At first I thought I would make them in green as a nod to Neville’s love of herbology, but the more I thought about it the more I realized how much Neville truly embodied Gryffindor’s core values – so red it was! The yarn is Stroll in Firecracker Heather.

Out on the Lanai, Episode 1

It’s no secret that I love The Golden Girls. From cross stitch to project bags, I can never have enough of my favourite ladies. So of course I had to buy Jim Collucci’s new book, Golden Girls Forever: An Unauthorized Look Behind the Lanai, when it came out last month. It’s a great book for any fan and it inspired another Golden Girls related project.

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Loving this colour combination!

I’d been playing around with the idea of making a crocheted blanket for a while now and decided to take the plunge and order some Knit Picks Mighty Stitch yarn in colours inspired by the Golden Girls living room set. Continue reading

All Saints

I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m not a fan of short story collections. So it was with some trepidation that I approached my next Evergreen read, All Saints by K.D. Miller.

And for about the first half of the book I dreaded every minute of reading it. This book is comprised of ten short stories, all of them are connected in some way to All Saints, a fictional (I assume?) Anglican Church in Toronto. I was indifferent to most of the stories (perhaps even a little bored by them) but there were two  that I flat out hated – I’m sure they had their artistic merit, but the characters were unlikable and they ended up in awfully  depressing situations. The turning point came towards the end, I actually quite enjoyed the last three stories. This was when things started to come together and I started to appreciate the way Miller crafted the collection as a whole.

This is the kind of book that garners all sorts of literary acclaim, and deservedly so. But that’s not why I read, I read books because I enjoy them or want to learn something or find them interesting, and this book just didn’t do any of that for me. I certainly would not prevent anyone from picking it up, but I also would not recommend it either.

Seconds

One of the Evergreen nominees this year was the graphic novel Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley (of Scott Pilgrim fame), my first time reading a graphic novel as part of this challenge. It tells the story of Katie, a stressed out chef who dreams of opening her own restaurant. A mysterious spirit leaves her a mushroom that allows her to undo one mistake in her life, but upon finding a stash of the magical mushrooms Katie gets carried away and things spin out of control.

It was a very quick read and an interesting concept. O’Malley’s style is a little cutesy, which is an interesting contrast to the subject matter. I’m not sure that I really have that much to say about this particular title – because of the format I finished this in a couple of hours compared to the several days I’ve spent on the other titles so I feel like I didn’t really get a chance to really know this book. It was enjoyable enough, maybe I’ll try rereading it.

 

Rice Pudding

I’ve been feeling sick for the past few days and craving comfort foods, especially pudding. Rice pudding is one of those desserts that feels wholesome and is dead easy to make (plus it’s easy on a sore throat).

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The perfect combo for when I’m under the weather

I’m off to eat my pudding and reread a childhood favourite.

Read on for the recipe!

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