My red hat is finally done. Pattern is Sockhead, but it doesn’t slouch as much as it should because I was afraid of using too much of the red yarns that The Big Red Blob uses. Bubbles The Hat Model’s head is significantly smaller than mine, so it does slouch a bit more than in the photos.
The handspun socks are nearly done. I double stranded them, one with red and one with blue. Such is the joy of having an expansive stash.
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd. This one is for my book group; I would never voluntarily decide to read a novel about Jesus’s wife. Back in the day I read The Secret Life of Bees by this author, and it was very good. Then I read her next book, The Mermaid Chair, and was not impressed, so I did not read any of her other books. Until now. Longings is well-written and -plotted; it was the subject that I didn’t care for. 3★
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I have long wanted to read this, and a person in my book group chose it for our February book — yay! I don’t know what I expected, but this was not it. The first thing I noticed was that it is much longer than I expected, nearly 500 pages. Not a problem because I started it in plenty of time. The second was that it was not so much a novel with a traditional story arc; rather, it is a series of vignettes in the life of Francie, who is seven at the beginning, and the story follows her until she is nearly 20. She grows up in Williamsburg, a then-poor neighborhood in Brooklyn, with her parents and younger brother. The story, set in the early years of the 20th century, was fascinating to read — how a few pennies or even a dollar could make the difference between eating and starving. Francie loves to read and intends to be a writer when she grows up. 4★
Her Second Death by Melinda Leigh. I was mightily surprised at this one — it turned out to be a short story rather than the book I expected. There is a lesson in that: read the description, Kat™! The story is a murder mystery, except that there is little mystery and the crime is solved in one hour and twelve minutes of listening. 1✭
Zero Day Code by John Birmingham. I am only about an hour into this audiobook, but it is gripping. The writing reminds me of Tom Clancy, in that there are multiple story lines with multiple characters, all of which will eventually come together. I had to start over when I realized that there were so many characters and stories; second time I am keeping a list to refer to when necessary. Zero is the first book in a trilogy, The End of Days. This one begins with a glitch that takes down the internet. 4★ (if you, like me, like long complicated stories with lots of drama; if not, this is not the audiobook for you.) (It is only available as an Audible.com audiobook.)
Doc Martin. We watched this series when it was carried on the Twin Cities PBS station. Smokey loved it, I found Doc Martin to be too annoying. But I got used to him and grew to like the show. Well, earlier this week Smokey found it online somewhere, We will be watching all nine seasons (#ten has been filmed and is scheduled to come out this summer) when we are not continuing to watch Cold Case. I recommend the series; Doc is probably somewhere on the autism spectrum, which makes his interpersonal dealings… problematic. The Cornwall setting is gorgeous, the writing is top-drawer, and the supporting cast is excellent. 5★