Mythopeoic Award Challenge

It’s official! I’m challenge-sign up happy. Actually, this challenge is a great fit for me. It’s my favorite genre, there are several books I’m already planning on reading that qualify, and there are even more books I have in my library TBR list I wasn’t yet planning on reading for anything in particular, but that definitely qualify.

The challenge is to read 7 books that are either Mythopeoic Award winners or nominees any time in 2008. Since my list is somewhat library dependent, I’ve added an extra book, just in case.

My list is:
Susanna Clarke – The Ladies of Grace Adieu
Keith Donohue – The Stolen Child
Inkheart – Cornelia Funke
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
The Forgotten Beast of Eld – Patricia McKillip
Moonheart – Charles de Lint
Tam Lin – Pamela Dean
The Line Between – Peter S. Beagle


Graphic Novels Challenge

This challenge could be subtitled “a walk through my boyfriend’s bookcase.” My BF has an extensive graphic novel and comic book collection, and though I’ve dipped into it (Sandman. Bone, and Fables being my particular favorites), I’ve barely broken the surface of what’s there. So this challenge is a really great opportunity for me to sample some of what’s available.

My list is:
V for Vendetta – Alan Moore
Astro City: Life in the Big City – Kurt Busiek
Hellblazer: All his Engines – Mike Carey
Hellboy: Odd Jobs – Mike Mignolia
Death: At Death’s Door – Jill Thompson
Runaways, Vol 1: Pride & Joy – Brian Vaughn

Knitting Notes

I couldn’t stand the lack of anything on my needles, so I ran to Knit Wit yesterday and grabbed some yarn for a Foliage hat (above), and some alpaca sock yarn, which I think I’m to try making some Monkey socks with. (I had to get the right size DPNs for this, which I did this morning, so I may cast those on tomorrow.)

I’m loving the Foliage pattern. I’m making version 2, and I was flying through it last night while the game was on. (Go Pats!) I have a lot of errands and other fun stuff to do today (I’m illicitly posting while I should be paying some bills, bad me!), so I’m not allowing myself to work on it until everything is done, but it’s hard, let me tell you! This has been such a better experience than my last attempt at lace. In fact, I think I’m going to toss that scarf pattern and think of something better to do with the yarn I bought for that.

Now, if only my Knit Picks order would come in with my yarn for Sitcom Chic, Fetching and Coronet, life would be perfect! (I also ordered some gorgeous sock yarn from Etsy, and I can’t wait to see that either.)

Indoor Garden Notes

I got not one, but two amaryllis for Christmas (one from my Dad, one from aunt). Interestingly, they’re clearly both from the same supplier (they’re in fact the same variety), but have wildly different box designs. Anyway, I was very excited to get these, as I’m getting to the point of missing my currently buried under two foot snowdrifts garden. It’ll be nice to get a punch of color into the house. And, come March, my clivia should bloom, which is always a lovely show. It’s amazing to see what such a seemingly drab plant can produce. So here’s hoping I have great success in the flowering plant department this winter.

TBR 2008 Challenge

It occurred to me that I’d left out a major part of my TBR list when I made my initial list of books for this challenge. My wishlist functions mostly as a TBR list for books that are actually located at my local library, and some of the books on that list have been there a looooong time. So, I went ahead and picked 12 books that actually physically exist in my house as the main picks for this challenge, and then picked the 12 alternates from my library TBR list.

Here’s my final list for this challenge:

The main list:
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break – Steve Sherrill
The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing – Melissa Banks
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse – Robert Rankin
Carter Beats the Devil – Glen David Gold
Cordelia Underwood – Van Reid
Coyote Blue – Christopher Moore
The Stolen Child – Keith Donohue
Lord of Light – Roger Zelazny
Gonzalez & Daughter Trucking Company – Maria Amparo Escandon
Idylls of the King – Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Herodotus – The Histories

The Yiddish Policeman’s Union – Michael Chabon
Tamlin – Pamela Dean
The Silver Rose – Susan Carroll
The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
The Hero with a Thousand Faces – Joseph Campbell
Austenland – Shannon Hale
Civilzation and the Limpet – Martin Wells
The Botany of Desire – Michael Pollan
The Devil in the White City – Erik Larson
The Professor and the Madman – Simon Winchester
On Writing – Stephen King

The Greener Shore – Morgan Llywelyn

962979909cf006c596949756667434f414f4141I read Druids, the predecessor to this book, ages and ages ago, and I found myself wishing I’d reread it before reading this book. It wasn’t that this book was completely incomprehensible without having recently read Druids, but I felt like I was missing some of the flavor of the story, and why the characters were the way they were.

That being said, I have the vague feeling that this book had a smaller scope than the first. This was a quicker story about fitting into a new land, rather than the much larger story of why they had to leave their ancestral home. I’m now tempted to find Druids so I can compare flavors.

I definitely enjoyed the book. It had a good air of truth, even though I know we know very little able these people, and necessarily must invent our stories about them.

Christmas, Part 2

My mother made me the coolest needle roll. I love, love the fabric, and there’s room for more needles than you can shake a stick at. And, she says there’s also a knitting bag on the way. I feel so lucky to have such a crafty mom!

It’s been a good day. I’ve been blessed with some wonderful heartfelt gifts (including a gorgeous, hand-thrown casserole from a Maine potter, two(!) amaryllis, and a number of books that several people obviously took some time and effort to pick out for me).

Tonight, we’re going the simple route with a lasagna dinner, followed up with the gingerbread cake I made yesterday, and some brownies with real raspberries mixed in that my mother made. That, and tons of cookies contributed by a number of people. It’s shaping up to be a lovely holiday.

Christmas, Part 1

Yesterday was Christmas with my (de facto) in laws. BF’s brothers were both in (from DC and CO), so his parents came over from VT, and we had a feast last night. I’m still full. There was absolutely more seafood than you could shake a stick at (for the brother in CO, who likes to indulge when he can get it fresh), tons of really good munchies (the gourmet cheese!), and a chocolate cake with death in its name. Have I mentioned I’m still full?

The best gift I received last night was yaktraks and a safety light from BF’s younger brother (BF got a matching set). I’ve been wanting a set of those for years. My exercise has been pretty much cut to nil will all the snow we’ve gotten so far this month (not to mention the complete lack of daylight by the time I get home from work), so this will hopefully be a good step to get me back out at least a little bit. (I still have to be careful when it gets down in to the 20s or below, because my asthma kicks in pretty readily at that point. Ah, the joys of winter living!)

I also have decided I need to cultivate a better blazer collection. My MIL gave me a really cool Celtic-styled pin from a collection I discovered the last time we drove to visit them in VT. She’s really good at picking out neat pins, and I have almost nowhere to wear them. I so need more good, fitted jackets.

I have tomorrow off (courtesy of my company, hurray free vacation!), so I’m planning on making a Cranberry Gingerbread cake for dinner with my family on Christmas. I’d also like to make some cookies, with hopefully enough to give to our neighbors downstairs (because Dave is awesome and shoveled out from the last storm before we were home from work), and for friends we plan to visit Christmas afternoon. I’m not quite sure what I want to make yet. I usually make triple chocolate-cherry cookies and gingerbread brownies, but neither recipe tends not to make a very big batch for the amount of time involved, and I’d rather get more bang for my limited afternoon cooking time. So we’ll see. I’ll have to make sure I decide on that tonight.

Knitting Notes

I’m getting very close to done with my mother’s socks. This after having frogged them all the way back to the beginning when I reached the heel flap and realized I’d gone about three rows further than I had on the other sock. I tried very hard to frog only the three extra rows, but managed to get completely lost in the circle, and ended up frogging the whole thing. I’m sure this is somehow character building, but man was it frustrating.

I got the winter schedule of classes at KnitWit a few days ago, and am seriously contemplating a beginning lace course. It’s only two Saturdays, and would hopefully help get me over my minor bewilderment of yarn overs.