reading recap-ish

I took a look at my reading challenge on goodreads today and I’m two books behind my goal right now. I have abandoned more than a few books this year already, so it feels like I’ve read more than I guess I actually have. Also, I am catching up pretty quickly right now, I have a stack of books from a garage sale to get through and about three books waiting for me at the library right now. I don’t think it will take me long to get on track again.

Of all the books on this list, there’s only one I can say I really didn’t enjoy much  (Boyfriend Sweater).  If I hadn’t already confessed that I have abandoned books, you’d think I was having some really amazing reading luck!

  1. When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Wahlen – 3 stars
  2. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate – 5 stars
  3. A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale – 3 stars
  4. Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge – 4 stars
  5. Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson – 3 stars
  6. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee – 5 stars
  7. The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne – 5 stars
  8. The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn – 2 stars
  9. The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater by Alanna Okun – 3 stars
  10. The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie – 5 stars
  11. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah – 5 stars

Just sharing my star ratings, I feel at a loss for words when I’m trying to describe what I thought about the books for some reason. It’s very frustrating! I really used to love writing out reviews, I don’t know what happened.

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currently…

knitting:

fresh off the needles! 💜 yarn is @knit_picks Felici in the Ever After color way pattern is a vanilla with a FLK heel

I finished a second pair of Knit Picks Felici socks, this pair is for my 11 year old daughter. She said she’d really like a pair too after I finished the socks for her sister. She put them on as soon as I finished and has been wearing them a lot already.

after almost four years of knitting, it's now 195 squares big 💖 probably a few more years to go

I finished knitting some squares into my cozy memories blanket to square it off. It’s now at 195 squares, still not big enough but I’m still so happy having this one to pull out every so often.

I’ve also finally got a sock on the needles for me! not pictured right now, it’s a blueberry waffle sock in some gorgeous Flock Fibre Studio yarn.

crocheting:

my magic ball seems big enough to let me crochet on this for a good while! it's been almost a year since I've had it out  #craftastherapy #crochetrabbithole #crochetersofinstagram

I pulled out my scrappy granny stripe blanket recently because I thought the magic ball I was making was finally big enough to use for quite awhile. It shrank so fast sadly! I’ll be putting it aside again soon 😦

trying to get the hang of tapestry crochet today

I’ve had this bunny pattern in my ravelry queue for quite a long time and I decided it was time to finally crochet it. It’s done as tapestry crochet, not hard at all but it took me a little bit to get the hang of keeping the tension on my yarn consistent. You can see in the face that I was struggling a bit but I didn’t want to rip back, so it’s staying that way. I’m really excited to see this one finished! I just need to stick to working on one thing.

reading:

I just finished reading Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. I loved the book so much! I really took my time with it because I just didn’t want it to end. It reminds me a little of the book Homegoing but it doesn’t go through as many generations as that book and everyone in the book knows each other.

After finishing Pachinko, I picked up The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. I only read about 1/4 of the book, it’s not terrible, it’s actually quite good but it’s so crazy and sometime unbelieveable that I just couldn’t keep reading it.

life:

My last update about my biopsy has an update, not a great one. I do have to go in for a lumpectomy in April now, it’s not my cyst they want to remove but the area next to it. The radiologists say that there wasn’t enough sample taken and they can’t see enough of it that it would just be safer to remove it just in case. I’m keeping myself positive because I really do still believe that there’s nothing major to worry about. Surgeries don’t happen so quickly here, so the fact that it’s moving so fast is a little unnerving but I’m trying to ignore that! It will all be totally fine.

Anyway, the kids are about to be off for Spring Break this week. I’m hoping this week that no kids will be sick, my nephew will be over with us and I have a couple fun outings planned. Also, I’m hoping it will warm up for next week, we’re back in the cold again, -26 with the windchill. blech! Spring needs to just stick around here already.

reading recap

Last year for my reading challenge on goodreads, I set my goal at 25 books. I passed that goal by finishing 34 books!

  1. The Girl Before by Rena Olson
  2. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lepena
  3. Lost Souls by Kelley Armstrong
  4. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  5. The Bear by Claire Cameron
  6. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
  7. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  8. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  9. Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran
  10. Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
  11. The Widow of Wallstreet by Randy Susan Meyers
  12. A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner
  13. This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
  14. Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy
  15. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
  16. Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser
  17. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
  18. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
  19. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
  20. Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
  21. Our Short History by Lauren Grodstein
  22. Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
  23. Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
  24. Rituals by Kelley Armstrong
  25. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  26. A Beautiful, Terrible Thing by Jen Waite
  27. Nobody is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey
  28. A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
  29. The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman
  30. Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
  31. The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon 
  32. Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
  33. Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley
  34. The Good Widow by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

A couple of the books I actually don’t remember much about, which shows me that I really should be better about writting out reviews! The books in bold are the ones I do remember most about and know that I definitely liked them.

For this year, I’ve set my challenge up for 30 books. I’m not off to the best start, I started a couple different books that I just couldn’t get into, it’s such a frustrating feeling! But, I am now reading When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen and am liking it so far.

What are you reading right now? I’d love suggestions to add to my list!

 

May/June reading recap

I’m getting this up later than I intended since it is already July! Between May and June, I got quite a bit of reading done, I’m now four books ahead of schedule according to Goodreads. I wasn’t feeling into books much in May but I did manage to squeeze out two books!

The Widow of Wall Street by Randy Susan Meyers

I went into reading this one knowing I would most likely enjoy it, I’ve read all of the authors previous books and liked them all. So, of course I liked this one. This one follows a family and the aftermath that happens when they find out the father has been running a Ponzi scheme.

Recently on HBO they had a movie called The Wizard of Lies that I watched, I might not normally watch this type of movie right when it’s released but after reading The Widow of Wall Street, I thought it might be a good movie to see. The movie is not about the book but about Bernie Madoff, so the theme is the same. There were so many similarities between the movie and the book. I did like how the movie showed us how his children felt during the whole ordeal, that was something I would have liked to have read more in the book. It was a really good movie, check it out if you haven’t!

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

The book goes between two women that lose men they love, one in September 1911 and the other in September 2001. I liked the book, I preferred the story about the woman in 1911, although some things that happen irked me just because of the cheese factor.

This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

This was such an amazing book. I honestly don’t think I can explain this book in the way it deserves. The book follows a family who’s youngest child is transgender. So much happens, my emotions were just all over the place so much reading this.

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy

I was expecting something very different when I started reading this book and was a bit disappointed when I started but I kept going and ended up enjoying this one quite a bit. A family goes on a cruise vacation and while on an off shore excursion, the children go missing. From the description of the book, I thought that as the reader, you would question the parents a lot more but the book follows where the children are the whole time, so it’s not a mystery where they are. It was still a book that hooked me, I finished it in a little over a day, I could not put it down.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

I’m really glad that I decided to pick this book up after hearing about it on the Simply Summer Street blog. It was such a sweet and enjoyable book. One year after Arthur Pepper’s wife has died, he’s decided to go through her belongings. He finds a charm bracelet that he knows nothing about and goes on an adventure to find out about her life before they met. This was just a happy book, a good relaxing read.

Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

This was another one of those books that you can’t put down because you just have to know what’s going to happen. The book is told from three different characters perspectives, in the present and in the past. While on vacation, Violet’s husband disappears with their three year old son and no one knows why. It eventually makes sense but of course you have to go through all the different characters and the different times. I enjoyed the book, some things, especially the “happy” ending irked me. I think maybe I’m just starting to feel a little bit over these types of books.

Now I’m reading Moloka’i by Alan Brennert. It was a book club choice at my library but I didn’t get in time to participate in that. I’ve just started and I’m already enjoying it. What are you reading?

♥ Casey

happenings

crocheting
I’ve been doing a bit of crochet on my Hexie Love Actually blanket, I got really excited earlier this month and decided I wanted to get it finished before my birthday at the end of June. BUT, I don’t think I even want to. I thought I was closer to finishing than I actually am, I finished another round and I want it bigger, so that means I need to order a little more yarn again…. and because of that I don’t want to work on it again. Oh well, I’m not going to beat myself up over it! It will get done when it gets done, I’ll be happy whenever that is.

🌻no more letting this one sit for months on end. My goal is to have it finished for my birthday, June 29th! I can do it! 💪💪 #crochetersofinstagram #crochetgirlgang #craftastherapy #hexieloveactually #makersgonnamake

knitting
I’m actually not knitting anything right now.  I not only finished the pair of socks that I was working on last time I shared my knitting but I started and finished another pair as well!

All the ends are sewn in, so they're officially finished! 😍 they make me happy! #knittersofinstagram #sockknittersofinstagram #socktawk #craftastherapy #makersgonnamake #nikkislipp #manosdeluruguay

These were so much fun to knit up, I’m so happy with them! The stripes are from a mini set I bought from Nikki Slipp on etsy and the grey is Alegria in the Marshes colorway. The pattern I used for the texture is Hermione’s Everyday Socks.

finished these pretties up! Yarn: @havenfibrearts in Flower Shop Pattern: Lavender Sachet Socks (free on ravelry) #knittersofinstagram #sockknittersofinstagram #socktawk #craftastherapy #havenfibrearts

This next pair that I knit is a yarn from Haven Fibre Arts in her Flower Shop colorway. It was my first time using this yarn, it did not disappoint. Jess does an amazing job dyeing yarn, I’m not always happy with how yarn looks at the gusset because you can tell there’s more stitches by the way the yarn changes but I think with this you really can’t tell at all. It’s perfect and makes me crazy happy! I wanted to only have patterning on the cuff with this yarn, I searched and searched until I finally found the Lavender Sachet pattern, it was exactly what I wanted, I only used the patterning on the cuff and left everything else out.

reading
I just finished reading This Is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel, I loved this one! It took me a couple of days to find myself officially hooked but it happened and I could not put it down. It makes you go through so many different emotions, so good! This blurb about the book is the only way to really explain without giving too much away:

This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it’s about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don’t get to keep them forever.

I’m now just starting to read Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy. Most of the time, I find it pretty hard to get into a new book after finishing a really amazing one but I’m hoping it won’t be a problem this time.

feeling
I’m feeling irritated by all the blogs that have too many ads on them, they take FOREVER to load! I most often just exit and don’t bother with them anymore, it sucks because there’s patterns I would love to check out but I won’t because of the wait times. I know that I can’t be the only one who feels this way! Just stop!


It’s the weekend now! We have a busy day tomorrow, there’s some fun things happening at the library that should keep us busy most of the day and then we are going mini golfing for my nieces’ birthday. Should be a fun time. I hope everyone out there has a great weekend too!

♥ Casey

April reading recap

Every time I check out books from the library I’m asked if I want my printout but I normally decline because I know how long I have with the books. My son likes to take his to use as a bookmark and one day I glanced at his and noticed at the bottom they tell you how much you save by taking books from the library. I decided I should take mine and see what my number is at.

library

$672.73! That’s a crazy, awesome number! I love that they share this number. I used to buy books all the time until I decided to go back to using the library, how I stopped in the first place, I couldn’t say. I really like seeing that I’m saving money with one of my habits.

Unfortunately, now I am having a harder time getting books I want through the library since budget costs caused the end of their ‘One Province, One Card‘ program. The program made it so you could request books from any library across the province and it would be sent to your library. A lot of the books I request aren’t in my city’s libraries, so I was getting books from so many different cities all the time. The province recieved a lot of backlash from that cut back (and pretty much the whole budget but no need to get into all of that here) and they have since reversed the library cuts decision. I’m hoping they will bring back the program again soon.

Anyway, onto my April reads!

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

This books seems a bit like a book filled with short stories, they all work together but with every narrator change I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t read the rest of their story. Other than that, I really enjoyed the book. I liked that there was a family tree in the book for reference, sometimes I didn’t know which side of the family a character was from.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Knowing more would have been nice but this was an amazing book even with not knowing what happened to the world. I couldn’t put it down, read it in one night.

Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

This was another great read! The book follows a young woman who makes her way into the US to find a better life for herself, from the start, it doesn’t go the way she plans. I enjoyed her story a lot. I was frustrated with one of the characters pretty much the whole book, I could feel for her situation but damn, she was a bit selfish! I still liked reading her parts, even though I was kind of rooting against her the whole time. The ending isn’t wrapped up nicely like most readers would want but I was completely fine with it.

 Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller

This was a slooow read for me, it took over a month to actually finish this one. I also technically finished in May but I spent most of April attempting to read it. The book isn’t bad, I ended up really liking it when I finally finished it. This is definitely a book I normally would have read quickly but sometimes I have a rough time after a string of great books. The book goes between letters written by a mother who has disappeared and the now adult children taking care of their dying father. The letters are all hidden in books for her husband to find, he collects books to find trinkets in them. I liked that after each letter, you are told what book it was hidden in, could be fun to look them all up.

Thanks for stopping by today!
♥ Casey

reading recap (January – March)

I’m going to attempt to do these ‘reading recap‘ posts every month or two, I’ve been terrible at writing up reviews again on my goodreads account. Something I want to work on again and maybe a recap post will help me with that.

This year, I’ve set my reading challenge goal at 25 books on goodreads. I’ve read six books this year, one I only read half of but it still shows up towards my challenge annoyingly, I need to figure out a way to stop that.

The Girl Before by Rena Olson

This was my first read of 2017 and it was a good one, I read it entirely in one day, it was just too hard to put down. It’s not a slow paced book, you know what’s going on from the start and it’s quite disturbing. Loved this one, a great start to my book reading year.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

I had seen this book around quite a bit and it sounded like it would be a really good read, so I was happy when it finally showed up on my hold shelf at the library. I read more of this than I normally do before completely giving up on a book, I made it half way through but I just couldn’t deal with the writing anymore. The writing style reminded me of books I might have read as a tween.

Lost Souls by Kelley Armstrong

I was excited to read this one! One day I decided to check out Kelley Armstrong’s facebook page and found out about this one, I hadn’t heard anything about this one being out. I bought the e-book immediately and sped through it. This is another book from the Cainsville series, mainly about Gabriel and Patrick. Patrick brings Gabriel a fake case that ends up not so fake, so he can spend time with him, there’s a reason for that but if you haven’t read the books, I think it’s a bit of a spoiler. I really enjoyed it, it was a good read to hold one over during the wait for the next Cainsville book.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

I have seen that a lot of people read this one in high school, it was never a book that we read in school, so it wasn’t really on my radar I guess. A lot of people seem to be rereading this one again, so I noticed it and picked it up. This is a good one and I understand why it would be a book read in school.

The Bear by Claire Cameron

This was such an interesting book! It’s told from a five year old girl’s point of view and I think it was done really well, although some parts didn’t quite sound right. So much of this was intense to read, Anna (the five year old) wakes up on a camping trip and her parents are being killed by a bear. Terrifying. It’s really not that gory because she doesn’t really understand anything that’s happening around her. The book follows her trying to take care of her little brother while they wait for their parents. This was such an intense and sad book, I definitely recommend reading this one!

Commonwealth by Kim Patchett

I was at the library at the cover of this one caught my eye so I grabbed it without even really checking what it was about. This book follows two families that break up because of an affair. The book flies between family members through many years but it worked. I enjoyed this one a lot, it was written so well. I’ll be checking out more books by this author.

What books have you been enjoying this year so far? I’m always happy to get recommendations!

♥ Casey