Did you know, in the UK 77 Million brand new books go to pulp each year? That means only 17% of books get a good budget for marketing. I didn’t know that until I decided to join “A Box of Stories”
What is A Box of Stories? It is a subscription service that helps stop books from going to pulp and allows authors to get their hard work read by avid readers like me, and maybe you too. Even though I read many many books each year, so far 36 read this year, I decided to go for a box every three months, so that’s 16 books a year which will be easy to get through along with all the others I read. You can link your GoodReads account to it so they can make sure that they never send you a book that you have read, which is a win in my eyes.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in, then feel free to join via my link here that will give you £4 off your first box, or copy the link below.
I have to say, I really enjoyed Christmas Day. Not only was I spoiled completely by M, but it was a nice easy day, with no stress at all. Even making Christmas dinner went off without any problems, and everything was ready when I aimed for it to be, and needless to say, it was rather delicious.
As mentioned, I was spoiled by M with a Yamaha Electronic Baby Grand. Not only is it a Baby Grand, but it has hundreds of different “voices” (instruments), and it can teach you how to play. I learned by ear when I was a kid, but due to my father being an ass hole I was never able to take it further. My uncle taught me stuff and let me play on his piano. Two of my uncles are pipe organ tuners and restorers. Both of them told my father (their brother) that he should encourage me as I had a talent and that one of them would get a piano for me, but the ass hole said not and that was that. M to the rescue all these years later and I am giving it my best shot. I admit, when I opened it I was shocked and rather intimidated as I knew that I had not played since I was about 14/15, and being 51, that’s a long time, almost biblical. My wrists are aching a little along with my fingers from all the stretching, but at least I am giving it my all. I feel 2021 is going to be a full packed year of piano, crochet and reading.
M bought me lots of books too including The Colour Purple, Malcolm X autobiography, James Baldwins Notes of a Native Son to name a few. I also got a beautiful William Morris tea set, William Morris notebook, oh, also a Vogue Knitting Colour Work Paper book that will enable me to design and plan some Fair Isle projects. I received so much more and will keep the details for another post as and when I get to them. There were so many gifts for each other we all, including the dogs had stockings full of gifts that we kept until Boxing Day, which we have decided will be a tradition from now on.
Over the past week, I have been looking at Shetland knitting after seeing some of the incredible items in one of my knitting magazines. I have done Fair Isle knitting in the past and do stranded knitting quite a lot, but I have never really gone the distance and made any Shetland garments. The blanket I am currently making is getting close to the end and I am doing the lace pattern edging now, so I thought I would look for something to make over the next few months, and a Shetland Kep seems in order. One that I have found that I really like is Uradale Fisherman’s Kep kit which I found at uradale.com site. It isn’t all that cheap, £42.40 including postage, in the kit you get a copy of the pattern and 6 balls of 25g each and 1 ball of 50g, a total of 200g of organic Shetland breeds wool. Not a massive amount for the money, but worth it as it is top quality wool which should knit up something special. If I get it, I will first try with other yarn to get used to the patterning again as I have not done Fair Isle for quite a bit and do not want to waste any of the good stuff.
Another project I quite fancy is home dying yarn. I have found a kit from UK Alpaca for £40.75 including postage. The kit contains 2 x 50g skeins of DK and 2 x 50g skeins of 4ply and of course, the dyes and full instructions. It looks like a lot of fun, and all I will need to do is find something that I can make with the skeins, I was thinking about socks, as that is the go-to for the 4ply, but the DK I am not too sure about at the moment.
Whilst on my Shetland journey I have also found a book that looks quite interesting and may give me an insight into the joys of Shetland knitting. It is suitably entitled “Shetland Wood Adventure Journal Volume 1”. Quite fitting I think for my latest adventures in knitting, and it has 6 patterns, recipes, walks and much more. £23.95 including postage. I am a sucker for a beautiful book on knitting and this one covers other topics that I love. Okay, so I have now ordered the book. I was writing this and thought, stuff it, I want the book. As I said, I cannot resist beautiful books. More on it when it arrives in the next week.
I look forward to showing some of the projects I will be embarking on, and if any of you have done any traditional Shetland knitting, please let me know, and as always, any handy tips and advice will always be welcome.
I decided to go for another classic as my first book of the year. I love classic literature and have read many, but I had never bothered with “Frankenstein; or, the Modern Day Prometheus”, to give it the full title. I think it was due to the constant stream of films that were based, however loosely on Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s novel, don’t you just love her name?
As it was written in 1817 the language is quite different to ours 203 years later, with words changing meaning over the centuries, but the darkness in the tale is very apparent. Not that that was a problem, as mentioned, I have read many classics and gothic novels. One thing that did strike me was how different the novel is to the films. I felt like I was reading a different book to that of the depictions of cinema. Frankenstein was horrified by his creation but lacked the ability to kill it, so ran from it. The monster fled and learned to speak whilst hiding and spying on a family, helping them out without them ever knowing, When he came face to face with Frankenstein later, he told him of his journey after rejection and promised to destroy everything Frankenstein ever loved. As a result, Frankenstein lost his family and loved ones at the hand of his monster, who followed him about the world including the UK. But the most surprising thing was this was all told to someone on a ship whilst they looked for the monster and relayed via letter. Again, never depicted.
I have always ran by the fact, to me at least, that a book is much better than the film or TV show of it, and this book proved again to me that it was.
At the beginning of the year, I decided my Goodreads challenge would be 30 books. Now for those who really know me, know that I usually have about 10 to 15 books on the go at one time, and flit between them. I need constant stimulation when reading and if I find that the book is lulling a bit, then that goes down and I get another one and read till that gets to that point, or more often than not, I decide that I need a different story, feel, drama, whatever, it just needs to be changed. I can sit in bed at night and start to read, then after say 30 minutes swap books and continue to read.
So, after 8 full months and a few days, I hit my 30 book challenge. I have mixed it up quite a bit and changed genres throughout. One of the best reads so far was The Salt Path by Raynor Winn which is about her and her husband Moth losing their home, business and everything due to a bastard so-called friend. Their journey of being homeless, dealing with Moth’s diagnosis of a terminal illness, wild camping and surviving on very little money and dried noodles really was a testament to their determination. This really is a book I loved and would recommend it to everyone. Oh, yes, his name really is Moth!
Other books read which completed the challenge since my last book post was Bundy: Portrait of a Serial Killer by Robert Keller and Neverland by Jeff Dosser. Both books proving I really do swap from genre to genre.