2014 Books Read

Here’s the list for this year.   I managed to hit 80, by the skin of my teeth.

There were only two books this year I started and couldn’t find.    They can be found here.


2014 Completed Knitting Projects

Here’s the final project wrap up for the year.    Not too shabby, and I paired down a fair amount of my stash.

I’m not sure yet what next year brings.     I do like having something to do with my hands, but I don’t always have a reason to give away knitwear, so I’m thinking of some other avenues of activity.    There will still be knitting, but perhaps not as much.

2014 Books Started and Not Finished

1.    The Windup Girl – Paolo Bacigalupi
This is one of those scifi books that throws you straight into an advanced world with a lot of new tech, with weird names.   In this case, apparently all of the food sources in the world have been overrun with disease, so you can make a ton of money if you can find any variety of food that will still grow normally.
Couple that with about 100 different plot threads (ok, maybe five), and I just couldn’t.    The clincher came when I ended up going to bed really early one night, and didn’t read anything before bed.     The next night, I realized I hadn’t missed the story at all.    So that was that.

2.    The Silver Metal Lover- Tanith Lee
The Claidi Journals, except in early 80s scifi form.    Claidi drove me crazy with her whining, though I stuck out all four books because the setting was interesting.   I just couldn’t bring myself to do that again.

A Celtic Miscelleny – Kenneth Hurlstone Jackson

This book is a collection of translations from all the Celtic languages, meant to give a flavor for Celtic literature.    It’s most heavy on Irish, Scottish and Welsh, but does bring in a bit of Manx, Cornish and Breton.

The stories are loosely grouped by subjects – some are general, like Nature, but there are also categories for Celtic Magic, their particular take on religion (both old and Christian), and their bardic tradition.       It’s a nice mix – and there are notes at the beginning of each section to show where pieces from other sections cross over.

I ended up flagging several pieces – two in the Nature section, one in Elegy and one in Religion.      I really enjoyed the mix, and it did seem like a good survey of Celtic themes in translation.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park – Felton, California

Let’s face it, my camera couldn’t possibly do justice to these beauties, but it doesn’t mean I sure didn’t try!

Henry Cowell is quite close to Santa Cruz (we’d actually intended to do it the same day as Wilder Ranch, but ran out of daylight when we were side tracked by downtown).     It has a really nice loop through a first growth redwood grove – nicely marked, with some interesting facts to guide you through.

One thing I really noticed was the smell.    Being from Maine, I’m well familiar with the white pine laced smell of the forest here, but the pine scent there was on steroids.   Makes sense, I suppose, with the corresponding height differential.

Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz, California

The day after Christmas, we decided to get some Pacific Ocean into the mix.    Our original plan had been Ano Nuevo State Park, which has a colony of elephant seals.    Because it’s breeding season, you have to go on a guided tour, and because we weren’t sure of the weather, by the time we could commit, the tours were booked.     So we consulted a book of San Francisco area walks that C had taken out of the library, and found Wilder Ranch instead.

This was a beautiful walk – nice and easy – super family friendly.     There were also pelicans, and harbor seals, so I really feel like I got my wildlife fix.

I’m also really happy we got to Santa Cruz.     We stopped there for lunch, and wandered around the downtown a bit, and we all really enjoyed it.   It’s a nice little city – a great antidote to all the suburbia we were stuck in the middle of where we were staying.

San Francisco, California

I really enjoyed San Francisco, even though we didn’t get to do as much of it as we could have hoped, and even if the traffic getting out of there was probably worse than Boston.

Because we started out the morning at Tartine, we wondered around the Mission District, which was architecturally really cool, and the general vibe was also great.     We also checked out the playground at the Mission Dolores park, which definitely received my niece’s seal of approval.

After that, we moved to more downtown, taking in a view of the waterfront and then moving up into the hills.   (C wanted to get a picture of the apartment where his daughter had lived a number of years back.)      Wow – those hills!   I have seen pictures of Lombard Street before, so I was aware of the hilliness, but it’s an entirely different experience to actually be there.      They’re crazy!