The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin

d793508c0676e38596a61596b67434f414f4141A.J. Fikry lives above the bookstore he opened with his wife on an island off the coast of Massachusetts. Sadly, his wife passed away, and he’s at the point of the process of grief where he pretty much hates his life and doesn’t see a way past how he’s currently feeling. That’s when a two year old girl is left in his shop (her mother shortly turns up drowned), and A.J. ends up adopting her.

This story is entirely framed by books – Maya turns his life around, and allows him to reach out to other members of the community in a way he did not before. It’s a sweet story – nothing complex, just lovely small town characters interacting in a bookstore. If you’re a real reader, you’ll love the setting.


Garden Notes


Both gardens are planted up – I had a marathon afternoon after work yesterday.   Both the community garden bed and side garden are now pretty much crammed with stuff.

I do still have a few lavender plants to put out, and I think I’m going to try and get the tomato cages out at least, maybe with the center stakes.

It was supposed to get cool again for the holiday weekend, but so far today it’s been in the 70s, so I think we’ll be good.

Garden Notes

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Well, the iris are budding now, so that’s a better sign for this weekend.   I may manage to actually plant out the main parts of both gardens, though based on the forecast, that might need to be on Friday.

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I did go over to the community garden plot and put out shallots and the remaining two kale.   I meant to plant some green onion seeds, but left them at home by accident.

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Knitting Notes


The Adama cowl is done, but I’m not sure when I’m going to be able to block it, so I’m not really counting it as done yet.    (And let’s face it, I’ll probably not be able to wear anytime soon, so blocking may take a bit.)

I finally finished the thumb on the first Tursas mitten.    You can see from how much larger the bottom looks how much I’m pulling in the jogs.   The variegation in the yarn also got weird, just at the tip of the thumb.  Up until then, it had been varying between colors very nicely.    And suddenly, AQUA!   It’s a little odd.   However, I’ve pretty much chalked these up as a practice pair, so I suppose that’s ok.

Garden Notes

05192018 019aFor reasons that will be discussed later, I did my plant shopping at the Farmer’s Market this weekend.    So, I have two Baron poblano peppers, three tomatoes (Sun Gold, Purple Russian and Early Girl), oregano and regular basil in the hoop house now.    Parsley and thyme are in the garden.

Since it’s been so cool, not much is ready to get in the ground, but I did today plant out the Swiss chard, half the calendula, and the marjoram I bought in Cape Cod.    I will also be planting out the rest of the kale and the shallots by Monday at the latest.      Everything else is now in the hoop, but I’m not even sure I’ll be able to get it out next week, at the rate the weather is currently going.

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The current state of the iris.   (My personal planting harbinger)

Knitting Notes


I finished the hand on the first Tursas mitten, and it’s too small for me.    I also don’t love how the yarn jogs are.   This is definitely a practice pair.     Which is also a little demotivating – I’ve yet to finish the thumb.    (I will say, I love how thick the fabric is.    I think this is a skill worth working on.)

So I moved to this Adama cowl.    It’s from yarn I bought with a Christmas gift certificate.   It’s a pretty easy knit, and I adore the yarn.    Definitely a nice break.

Matilda Bone – Karen Cushman

f3cf55b3b4f2c1959707a486777434f414f4141Matilda has been brought up by the manor priest since her father, the lord’s clerk, died. But he’s been called to London, and she’s being left to stay with Peg, the bonesetter. It’s a completely different life than Matilda’s used to, and it takes some getting used to, but she learns to like the new world she’s been thrown into.

I really like Cushman’s historical stories- she’ll focus on the story of a young person, and layer in a lot of other interesting history around them. This book gives you an interesting overview of medieval medicine, as well as the contrast between the church and lay people. It’s a charming story – I read it in one night.

Jane and the Wandering Eye – Stephanie Barron

380c536451d9019597937685977434f414f4141Jane is back in Bath, absolutely not enjoying herself, and is more than happy to accept a commission from Lord Harold Trowbridge to keep an eye on his niece, the Lady Desdemona. At a party given by Mona’s grandmother, a shocking murder occurs, drawing Jane into the world of the Bath theatre.

Yes, this is Jane Austen solving mysteries. And it’s completely anachronistic. (At least in this book, her family starts commenting that she’s spending a bit too much time in some rather unladylike pursuits.) But it’s all good fun, and other than Jane not really being Jane, the author layers in a lot of other interesting historical flavor.