RIP VII Reading Challenge 9/1/12 – 10/31/12

Well, based on the unfinished state of my current read, I think I can safely close out my RIP VII reading now.

I did the first challenge, which was to read four books in any of the challenge categories.    I read:

Considering that half of these books weren’t even in my house when I started the challenge, I’m pretty pleased with how much I did read.     I found several new series I’m looking forward to continuing – all and all, it was a good run.


Knitting Notes

And, last but not least, in the grand catch up, I’ve cast on some Loria Mitts, using Pinewoods Sock yarn in the Nor’Easter Blue colorway.

I have actually had these going long enough that I had a size medium left mitt done all the way up to just before the bind off, decided it was too tight,and therefore ripped out the whole thing and started over (above) with a size large.

Changeless – Gail Carriger

Read for the RIP VII Reading Challenge.

Alexia Maccon, Lady Woolsey, is woken up in the middle of the afternoon by the sound of her husband yelling at the top of his lungs.    Considering that he’s a werewolf, and should be asleep at that hour, this can’t be a good thing, especially when he then disappears, leaving Alexia to deal with a sudden plague of human-ness in London’s supernatural community.

In true steampunk fashion, this book involves a tricked out parasol and a dirigible ride up to Scotland.    There, Alexia has to interfere in werewolf pack politics, learning quite a bit about her husband along the way, and managing to figure out the humanity plague.

I’m not sure what to say about this book.   On one level, it’s fluffy fun, and I did enjoy it, but there’s something about this series that kinda irritates me, and I can’t put a finger on what.    I’ll definitely keep reading, partially because I want to figure out what’s bugging me.

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Portlandia Cloche by Emily Johnson
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in the Copperbeach colorway
Needles: Size 3 DPNs

I’ve had an eye out for patterns to use up some of my larger batches of sock yarn, and choose this hat as one.    It’s a nice little pattern, not to difficult, but still interesting, and since it’s a hat, it’s small enough that it’s done before it gets boring.

I really do love this yarn, it’s my kind of colors, and I really enjoyed watching them change as I was knitting.    I had a bit leftover, and made two more hexipuffs to complete finish out the skein.

Further Adventures in Domesicity

Yeah, I’m a little behind on the blogging, what with the combination of my mother’s breast cancer surgery (she’s fine, thank God) last week, and an unexpected funeral, and the associated, er, festivities over last weekend.

On Surgery Day (10/15), after I got my mother home and on the couch with tea, I came home and made chutney.   It’s a Green Tomato and Apple Chutney I was drawn to because it uses cherry tomatoes, and I had two and half pounds of the buggers after de-tomatoing my plants just before our first frost on 10/12.

It’s still curing, so I haven’t been able to try it yet, but smelled pretty decent while it was cooking, which is pretty good, considering how much vinegar’s in it.

Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor – Stephanie Barron

Read for the Once Upon a Time VII Challenge.

So here’s a slightly different take on the proliferation of Jane Austen continuation stories – this is the first book of a series that has Jane Austen herself solving mysteries.   The conceit of this book is that the author is the editor of some letters and journals that were found in a distant Austen relation’s attic in Maryland, that show that Jane was quite the detective.

In this first book, Jane has gone to visit a dear friend who is newly married, and now a Countess.   On the day of the party to celebrate the marriage, the Count dies rather horribly of a dyspeptic fit, but there are some at the household, Jane included, that believe he was poisoned.

Before long, Jane’s friend Isobel, and the new Count (the old Count’s nephew) are suspected in the murder.    Jane is the only one able to put together all the clues to find out who really did it.

This was definitely a different viewpoint of Regency life than you’d get in an actual Jane Austen novel – Isobel ends up in Newgate prison, and the author spares no detail of how terrible that place was.    There are also some interesting details about the court system, and she throws in some interesting footnotes about a whole lot of other little things.    They’re the kind of thing you can get most of the meaning from context, but there were several terms I thought I understood that had a slightly different meaning that’s been lost over the years.

This was actually a pretty interesting little mystery.   If the whole Jane Austen thing turns you off, if you pretend she’s some other Jane, I’d think it would still be enjoyable.

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Reversible Cables Baby to Toddler Hat by Gretchen Chan
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash
Needles: Size 8 Circs and DPNs

Ok, I think I’m safely set for L’s Christmas presents this year.   Sadly, I didn’t use up all of the yarn, so I will have to come up with something else to finish off the last of that last skein.

The Infernals – John Connolly

Read for the RIP VII Reading Challenge.

The Infernals continues the adventures of Samuel Johnson, his dog Boswell, and his friend Nurd, the demon.     After the events of The Gates, when the ruler of Hell sent the evil Mrs. Abernathy to Earth to clear the way for an invasion (by way of the Large Hadron Collider), the portal has closed, with Nurd and Samuel on opposite sides, figuring they’ll never see each other again.   That is until Mrs.  Abernathy, in an attempt to win her way back into the Great Malevolence’s favor, opens the portal back up, and drags Samuel into Hell.

Samuel and Boswell are not the only ones brought in, there’s also the local constables, an ice cream truck and its driver, and four dwarfs that happen to be driving through town when the portal opens.

I pretty much have to sum this book up as hijinks ensue, because it’s otherwise really hard to explain.   If you’ve read the first book, you’ll have a pretty good idea of the kind of things Samuel and Nurd manage to get themselves into.   (And if you haven’t read the first book, go out and read it – it’s goofily fun – a la Terry Pratchett – footnotes and all.)    It may be a book about Hell and demon invasions, but it is a hoot to read.

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Owlet by Kate Davies
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash
Needles: 8 and 9 DPNs

My only totally committed Christmas knitting is done.     This is for my niece, and it’s so cute.    The pattern is super easy to work with – this would a good project for pretty much anyone.

The yarn is lovely – really soft.   I actually have about half a skein left, so I’ve cast on a cabled hat to go along with the sweater.