My post title was actually going to read Almost (Thank Goodness) End of the Week Mishmash, but there wasn't enough room. Is it just me or has this been the longest week? It's felt like it should be Thursday (or even better, Friday) since about Tuesday. But we're getting there. I really don't like to wish the week away (and thus speed up time), but I am very much looking forward to the weekend. So just a little mishmash of things today.
Any guesses what the little brown thing is in my current needlework project?
If you said rabbit, you're right! You can see what the finished project will look like here (just scroll down a bit to get to the chart photo). I am very much enjoying working on this. This is the first point of what will be an eight-point star, which ultimately will be a pincushion. The half diamonds on the border are what's known as bargellos (which I love and think are pretty cool). Often they are made with satin stitches, but here they are simple cross stitches. It's easy, repetitive and strangely meditative (even relaxing) work. There will be eight squares total--four stitched on the flax color linen and four on the pink, which is hiding there underneath.
I very much want to work on this more, but it's always an agonizing choice (as silly as that sounds)--whether to read or stitch. When there is limited free time . . . Usually reading wins out, but I have been stitching for about 15-20 each morning before I start work.
Anyway, so you can visualize--eventually the squares will be folded over and stitched closed with the bargellos meeting up on the bottom. I really love this design and hope I can continue to be motivated working on it.
I have maxed out my (public) library account! I didn't even realize that you could do that, but apparently you can only request up to 40 titles at one time. Requests are for both books that you want to check out that need to come from other branches as well as forthcoming titles. This is the first time I can remember having so many requests at once. Maybe I had better check to see what the check out limit is? I guess I have not yet met it since they let me bring home this stack last night. The top book, though is an interlibrary loan book from the library where I work (how bad is that--I use not one but two libraries to satisfy my bookish needs). From top to bottom:
The Girl Who Loved Camellias by Julie Kavanagh - The subtitle reads The Life and Legend of Marie Duplessis, and it is about the woman who inspired Alexandre Dumas fils to write The Lady of the Camellias. Do you think the son writes as good a story as the father?
The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood - I am very keen to read this as I have heard good things about it, and it is set partially in 1906 San Francisco. It is one of those stories with parallel narratives, which when done well can be very entertaining.
The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy - I hear he is a very good writer. "In The Illusion of Separateness, award-winning author Simon Van Booy tells a harrowing and enchanting story of how one man’s act of mercy during World War II changed the lives of strangers, and how they each discover the astonishing truth of their connection."
Across the Pond by Terry Eagleton - It's always interestintg to read about your country through the eyes of a foreigner--and eye opening very often, too.
Lina & Serge by Simon Morrison - "Serge Prokofiev was one of the twentieth century’s most brilliant composers yet is an enigma to historians and his fans. Why did he leave the West and move to the Soviet Union despite Stalin’s crimes? Why did his astonishing creativity in the 1930s soon dissolve into a far less inspiring output in his later years? The answers can finally be revealed, thanks to Simon Morrison’s unique and unfettered access to the family’s voluminous papers and his ability to reconstruct the tragic, riveting life of the composer’s wife, Lina." This sounds good, but depressing!
Lost by S.J. Bolton - The latest Lacey Flint novel. It seems to have gotten favorable reviews, and unsurprisingly sounds a bit on the dark side.
My book puchasing is going to have to be severely curtailed (save for finishing up a gift card left over from my birthday earlier in the year--now will really be hoarding it) for the foreseeable future. I have run in to a few financial snags. Somehow my regular medical check ups have coincided with house issues. You know how expensive (even with insurance) doctor's visits are. Then lump on to that not one but two plumber's visits (I think I am in the wrong profession, though plumbing is really dirty work, so I really don't envy them) and now an expensive air conditioning problem and you have one very empty wallet. I had planned for my medical check ups, but the other problems seem to have come along at a bad (is there ever a good?) time. And on top of it all I was supposed to be saving (thinking I would have a nice little cushion and no money worries) for my vacation in October. One thing at a time, though, right?
So, what does Dashiell Hammett have to do with it all? This is one of the very last books I ordered (I think I may have one or two more stragglers that will grace my mailbox), and which just arrived yesterday. I'm excited to have it, though. I would have just checked it out from the library had I been able to find it locally, but I think it is well worth owning. It is a biography of Hammett by his daughter Jo: Dashiell Hammett: A Daughter Remembers by Jo Hammett. It is less than 200 pages but lavishly illustrated. I'm really looking forward to reading it.
I guess I should be happy about those 40 books that I am in line for at the library, since they will be my infusion of new books for a while. I think one of my goals at the beginning of the year was to read more from my own shelves. Now I guess I can finish out the year that way, too!
Oh, and last week's faithful reading? I did so well, but this week it is once again all over the place. You should see my bedside stacks. At least I am mostly 'just looking'. There's nothing wrong with that. Anticipation is a good thing--something to look forward to.