RIP IX Reading Challenge 9/1/14 to 10/31/14


Well, it being the second to last day of the month, and while I am a fast reader, I am not that fast, I think it’s safe to say I’m done with the RIP Challenge for the year.

The challenge was to read at least four books in the challenge categories.   I managed six:

It’s been a lovely Fall, and I look forward to repeating it next year.


Shade’s Children – Garth Nix

Read for the RIP Reading Challenge.

In the future, humanity has been enslaved by a race of Overlords that use people as the raw materials to construct their armies.   Children are harvested on their 14th birthday.

Occasionally, children do escape, and some find their way to Shade’s hideaway.    Shade was once a man, but is now a personality trapped in a machine.     His sole purpose is to fight the Overlords, but with his soul gone, is he truly committed to this war?

Four of Shade’s children have come closer to any others to finding the source of the Overlord’s powers, but with Shade’s true intentions in question, will they be able to bring about the Overlord’s downfall?

I’ll admit, this book is fairly depressing, as post apocalyptic stories go.       The future world is terrible, and Shade is not a great ally.     What the four children (young teens, really) are able to do together is rather impressive, considering what they’re up against.     I have trouble saying it’s truly an enjoyable read, but it is satisfying.

Further Adventures in Domesticity

So what do you do when you have a batch of fairly tasteless apples, and you’d rather move on to the much better batch you bought at the farmer’s market?    Make applesauce!

This is using the recipe from Canning for a New Generation.   Sadly, I did fall prey to my occasional issue where I only get about half of the batch amount it says I should.    I started with six pounds of apples.     This is not six pints of applesauce.

At least it tastes good.

End of an Era

Today, the above, became the below.

The yellow one was still blooming, but it’s to the point now where barely any of them were ripening, and the weather’s not getting any warmer.    We have plans for next weekend, so I wouldn’t have been able to take care of it then, not to mention next weekend is officially November.     So it just seemed for the best to take them down today.     It’s been an amazingly long run.

Regency Buck – Georgette Heyer

Read for the Georgette Heyer Reading Challenge.

The more Heyer I read, the more I realize I like her older books better.    They’re light and fun, like all her books, but less likely to run to the absurd.  This book is one of her earlier books, and it runs toward the absurd frequently.

Judith Taverner and her brother Peregrine (that’s Sir Peregrine, but he’s only eighteen, so the honorific seems a bit premature) are journeying to London against the express wishes of their guardian, Lord Worth.    It seems that their father held the elder Lord Worth in great esteem, but didn’t realize that the elder Lord Worth predeceased him.     So Perry and Judith (and Judith being an heiress of 80,000 pounds!), find themselves the wards of an eligible bachelor.     You can see where this is going.

Judith is so rich, she catches the attention of all the interesting people in town, including Beau Brummell, the Prince Regent, and a number of the prince’s younger brothers.      There are plenty of parties, and riding engagements, and trips to Brighton.    Oh, and someone wants Perry dead because Judith is his sole heir.

The book’s not terrible, but it veers to the silly too often, and since I’ve more recently read some of her more mature work, I found myself missing that.   (It didn’t help that edition I have has a particularly terrible cover.)


Knitting Notes

Pattern: Noodles by Joeli Carparco
Yarn: KnitPicks Stroll Tweed in the Down Heather colorway
Needles: Size 2.5 DPNs

This is a great little pattern, with a wide range of larger than baby sizes.     The pattern is simple, but still interesting, so no boredom.    I’m happily adding it to my “use up sock yarn” pattern repertoire.


So, it’s the middle of October.   It’s been close to 70 degrees almost every day this week.   I’m currently sitting here in short sleeves, and no socks, with all the windows open.    Oh, and we’re in the middle of a thunder storm.

Needless to say, it’s been a weird Fall.    I mean, I like it when it’s warm out, but this is getting a little ridiculous.    It’s even been muggy a few mornings this week!

So, no frost yet.    Which means the tomatoes are still going.    They’re blighty and ugly, but there are tomatoes, and the yellow one is still blooming!    They’re toast the second we get a frost, but at this point, I don’t see that happening.    We’re now at the point where it’s getting dark early enough that I can’t always get out every night after work, so I am actually having some go bad on the vine before I can get to them.    It’s just really weird.    I’m thinking of christening them the zombie tomatoes.

Knitting Notes

Christmas knitting has begun!   This is my gift for my niece – it’s the Wee Ambrosia cardigan by Gudrun Johnston.    I’m using Knitpicks Wool of the Andes superwash in the Columbine colorway.    (The yarn is not quite as pink as the picture.)

So far, so good.   I’m in the easy part of the body.   I’m really looking forward to the yoke pattern, and my first hood!

The Leper of Saint Giles – Ellis Peters

Read for the RIP IX Reading Challenge.

I really hadn’t meant to have a historical mystery theme to my RIP reading this year, but that does seem to be what I have in my TBR pile lately.    This is book five of the Brother Cadfael books.

Brother’s Cadfael’s abbey is in a bit of an uproar – they’re hosting the wedding of one of the area’s largest landowners, to an heiress who also has extensive lands.     When it turns out that the groom is old enough to be the bride’s grandfather, and she arrives more or less under constant guard by her guardians, Cadfael’s interest is peaked.    Ivetta is the granddaughter of a man Cadfael fought under in the Crusades – a hero who died in the Holy Land.

When the groom is murdered, the accused, a young man who had been in the groom’s retinue and had fallen in love with Ivetta, takes refuge among the lepers of Saint Giles – their asylum being not far from the Abbey.    The lepers, especially an elderly wanderer who calls himself Lazurus, seem to have taken a special interest in the murder, and Cadfael does all he can to solve it, for the sake of Ivetta, and the young man who loves her.

I really liked this book.   The romance could have been overdone and fraught, but Peters handled it well.    I also had no idea who the real murderer was – definitely the sign of a well thought out mystery.