May 2014

photo-8Today is my birthday. I am twenty-nine (29) now, a prime number. I prefer prime numbers and prime numbers tend to be years of transition for me. For instance,  when I was twenty-three, I moved across an ocean to start my postgraduate degrees. Six years later with a PhD in hand, I’ve moved back across that ocean, wondering ‘What now? What next?’

I saw out the end of my twenty-eighth year by travelling to Asia and the Southern Hemisphere and I have celebrated my birthday with my dear friends, the Williamses, who I am so thankful to have in my life. We went to two museums today to see the space shuttle Endeavour and dinosaurs (among other things). Isaac was an enthusiastic guide.

My travels over the last month featured lots of time spent in airports and on planes; naturally, I read quite a few books. It became soon apparent that the three big books I brought with me would barely carry me through our sojourn in Thailand, let alone the rest of our journey, so I had to buy a couple along the way. Since I was in an Australian airport and then in New Zealand when I did so, I bought books by Australian and New Zealand authors respectively.

Books read in May:

  1. Dragon Slippers. Jessica Day George.
  2. Kraken. China Miéville.
  3. Flight Behavior. Barbara Kingsolver.
  4. The Golem and the Jinni. Helene Wecker.
  5. The Light Between Oceans. M. L. Stedman.
  6. The Whale Rider. Witi Ihimaera.

I would be hard pressed to choose a favourite book out of the books read this month, as I enjoyed all of them. They were all new books to me, and all but two were new authors to me as well. Now I am reading The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald, in a beautiful illustrated edition, which I must finish before I leave Los Angeles for San Antonio…

WIP: Fluffy Brioche Blanket

2Photo on 2014-05-07 at 17.46

This is the second time I’ve started this blanket. I had started it a month or so ago, but set it aside to work on another knitting project. Unfortunately, that other project needs more yarn, which didn’t arrive in time for me to take it with me to work on during my trip to Thailand and New Zealand. (Oh yes, I’m traveling right now! Hadn’t mentioned that yet.)

So, I picked up this project again, saw that it had gone wonky in one section, and subsequently unraveled and restarted it. What you see in the photo here is what I knit during the four films I watched on our flight from Denver to Tokyo.

The pattern is Fluffy Brioche Baby Blanket from The Purl Bee. I’m using Queensland Collection Pima Fresca, which I got for a steal from Tuesday Morning. It doesn’t have an intended recipient yet — I just love knitting with cotton and this was a pattern I had been wanting to try, so I am. Isn’t it lovely? I’m curious to see how the colours play out over the whole blanket.

April 2014

Oops, I’m a day late.

Books read in April:

  1. Sum: Forty tales from the Afterlives. David Eagleman.
  2. Seraphina. Rachel Hartman.
  3. Tropic of Serpents: A Memoir by Lady Trent. Marie Brennan.
  4. The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two. Catherynne M. Valente.
  5. Blood of Tyrants. Naomi Novik.
  6. Tooth and Claw. Jo Walton.
  7. Dragon Keeper. Robin Hobb. (50%)

This month’s theme of choice was dragons. All but the first book on the list feature dragons in some form or fashion, ranging from a half-dragon, half-library ‘wyverary’ in The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland, to having the entire cast of characters be dragons in Tooth and Claw. I’ve always loved dragons and I enjoyed exploring new books and discovering new authors. Some were duds (like Dragon Keeper, I just couldn’t stand the prose), and others were simply fantastic. Seraphina was my favourite by far, followed by Tooth and Claw and Dragon Slippers (which was finished today, so will be included in May’s list).

Of course, now I have to decide what I’m going to read over the weekend and then what to bring with me when traveling. Some massive tome that will last a few weeks? Or several smaller books? Books I want to read but don’t mind leaving behind in an airport or hotel? (Though, that might prove difficult, for I am very like a dragon when it comes to my hoard.) Decisions, decisions…