What I’m Into: October 2017

baby boy knitted cardigan

dog

boots

fritters

It’s so helpful for me to reflect on each month and think about the good things I did/read/made. It always makes me feel grateful. October wasn’t all apple fritters and pumpkin patches, but it did have a little bit of these things, and I guess that made it a pretty good month.

Here’s what I’ve been into.

Books

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I probably would have enjoyed this book more if I’d ever watched any of the TV shows written by the author (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, etc). But without that background, I still found the book thought-provoking and inspiring. She lives a very, very different life from me (e.g. unmarried by choice; successful career woman; etc); but I could still see myself in some aspects of her personality, especially her natural tendency to say no to things in favour of hiding at home alone. So I was encouraged by her story of learning to say yes to the things that scared her, and how that changed her life. She’s a very talented and engaging storyteller.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, narrated by Elijah Wood. I enjoyed the audio version of Tom Sawyer so much last month that I decided to listen to Elijah Wood reading Huck Finn. Unlike the first book, I’d never read this one, deeming it unreadable as a child, on account of the Southern U.S. dialect used throughout the entire narrative. (I’d have an easier time reading Middle English.) So I had no idea what was going to happen. At one point I actually yelled out loud, “No, Huck! Don’t do it!!”

And let me tell you, Wood’s narration is a treat. He nails that southern accent, as well as all the different voices and dialects of the sundry characters, bringing the whole thing to life. And just like the earlier book, this one is freaking hilarious! I was guffawing through the whole thing. Huck is such a charming little liar. I cheered aloud when he decides he’d rather go to hell than give up Jim.

The treatment of race is troubling, of course — I really don’t think this book is appropriate for children.  It is painful to hear the n-word used so much (well, at all). But I learned so much about what was happening in the U.S. in the 1800’s (so long ago, and yet so recent!), something I honestly haven’t read about extensively as a Canadian.

(P.S. Did you know Elijah Wood actually played Huck Finn in a 1993 Disney film version? I so want to track it down! He looks adorable in the trailer!) (P.P.S. You can get the audio version for only $1.99 if you buy the kindle version for $.99. What a deal!)

book

The Brutal Telling: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny. I love this series so much and the fifth novel did not disappoint. All our favourite characters are there, and the murder is dark and weird and intriguing. Penny’s writing is beautiful as always, and probes deeply into the human psyche. This book is the first in the series to introduce ambiguity at the end (Did Gamache arrest the right person??), and is also the first one that would not be great as a stand-alone novel (it has to be read in the context of the rest of the series. A lot of the subplot details would seem irrelevant and uninteresting to a first-time reader). (Note: if you get the audio version, MAKE SURE you get Adam Sims, not Ralph Cosham. The first is a magician; the latter is a disgrace.)

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I read this one aloud to Lydia, but it’s another classic I’d never read before myself. I’ve since learned that the translation I have is not the best one, and I wonder how different the experience might have been with a better translation.

Parts of it are breathtakingly beautiful; but for the most part I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. I’d seen the movie and thought it was absolutely spectacular; the book kind of disappointed. Also, the dark and ambiguous ending didn’t seem quite appropriate for a six-year-old.

Television

OH MY GOODNESS STRANGER THINGS SEASON 2!!!!!!

We watched the whole season over the course of the first weekend it was released,* and I am still speechless. Those child actors blow me away. I love everybody so much. The storytelling is fantastic. Just . . . wow.

Either you’ve already seen it too or you have no idea what I’m talking about, so I’ll just leave it at that.

*(The weather was garbage)

Knitting

knitted baby cardigan

I knitted a sweater! It took me approximately one zillion hours. It’s by far the most complicated thing I’ve knitted so far. Knitting involves a lot of math and counting, you guys! But it was a fun challenge and I’m delighted by the finished results. Look at those sweet wooden buttons!

baby boy sweater

I knitted it for a dear friend who was going to have a baby, and finished the day he was born! Honestly, though, the baby was just an excuse to knit something that excited me.

Oh, and I knitted another pixie bonnet for another little friend, who just had a birthday.

knitted pink pixie bonnet

I got Felix to model it.

pink pixie bonnet

If  you’re into this kind of thing, you can get all the details on these project on Raverly.

…Aaaaand that’s a wrap for this month.

Hope you had a good one!

*As usual, linking up with Leigh Kramer.

*Post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting the site!

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Comments

  1. Oh Kathleen, I love it here! The boots, the sweater, the baby!

    Serene.

    A quick hi from your neighbor at Leigh’s!

    ;-}
    Linda Stoll recently posted..On Making Excuses, the Joys of Cozy + My Blueberry Scone RecipeMy Profile

  2. I always think of the Gamache novels as a mental vacation. I honestly believe that 40% of those books advertisements to visit the town of Three Pines. :) I’d love to live there. Also, I’m intrigued by what you said about Adam Sims vs. Ralph Cosham. I’ve only ever experienced her books via Ralph Cosham’s voice…..I can’t imagine hearing these stories from anyone else! I’ll have to check him out, though, if it’s better.
    reb recently posted..System Status: October 2017My Profile

  3. I am completely in awe of your knitting.
    Thanks for sharing all the goodness of October!
    Michele Morin recently posted..The Necessary Work of the World: Jayber Crow Discussion Group (9)My Profile

  4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an amazing audiobook, I really enjoyed it! Great choice!

  5. Your knitting projects look amazing!
    Christina recently posted..What I’m Into October 2017My Profile

  6. Oh man, I remember that Disney version with little baby Elijah Wood (I mean, not literally, but still). Oh man. Childhood.

    We had to read both Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn in school. I enjoyed them both, but that Elijah Wood narration sounds like a /delight/. Thanks for the heads-up on the deal!

    I don’t think The Little Prince is really a children’s book, which is maybe part of it. I like it, it’s sweet and a little haunting (speaking of translations, I’ve read it in both English and German (the translation I own is German), which is always an interesting way to compare translations, from one original language into two different translated ones), but don’t idolize it the way some do. I also have not seen the movie, and obviously if I do I’ll have read the book first, so that changes things.

    Also: Stranger Things 2. !!!!!!11one Yes. Yes yes.

    That blue sweater is adorable.

  7. Your knitting is so beautiful.
    I have yet to see Stranger Things 2…maybe next week (haven’t really been watching things lately in general).
    Victoria the Justice Pirate recently posted..Items to Buy When Having a Baby as a MinimalistMy Profile

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