Knitting Notes

This is number one of a pair of Zostera marina socks, by Hunter Hammersen. The yarn is Blue Moon Yarn Silky Sock in a nice mix of bluey green and purple.

I’m enjoying this pattern – there are instructions for varying the spirals so you can make the socks mirror each other, which is pretty cool.

False Value – Ben Aaronovitch

Having forgotten to read the blurb on this book before I stowed the dust cover (we have this in hard cover, and I hate reading books with a loose dust cover), I was mighty confused when Peter suddenly had left the police force and was getting hired on as security at a tech company in London. I don’t think I’m spoiling much by saying it turns out he’s under cover, and what a job that is.

The company is run by a tech genius from Silicon Valley, who’s surprisingly familiar with magic, and Peter soon finds some very interesting goings on. Add this into impending fatherhood, and things get really interesting. I do like how Peter and Beverley’s relationship is evolving, because neither of them are normal (Bev less so of course), and having kids together is going to be very interesting. We also start seeing more of the implications of Bev’s magic and how it influences (and how she becomes responsible) for those around her. I do love this series.

Garden and House Notes

It was in the 70s the weekend before last. So of course, I was away, and therefore had to put the garden to bed in 30’s November weather yesterday. I suppose it could have been worse – I did see the forecast, so avoided doing it today in the 20 degree wind chill and snow showers.

But in much more interesting news, after signing up for it in April, we finally got our solar panels installed! We’re not hooked to the grid quite yet, but we’ve powered ourselves during the day for the past two days. (We have an app where we can track our usage vs what we’re generating – that thing is addictive to watch.) I’m so excited to be using a local energy source, and to be on our way to not having to pay anything out to the electric company.

The October Man – Ben Aaronovitch

This novella is set in the world of the Rivers of London series, but takes place in Germany, without any of the regular characters making an appearance, except as a passing reference.

Tobias Winter is Germany’s version of Peter Grant, and we get to follow a case of his. We get to meet some different Rivers, and see some particularly German attitudes toward magic, and how it’s starting to become more common again. It’s a fun side story.

Knot of Shadows – Lois McMaster Bujold

Another great Penric and Desdemona story.

Pen and Des are summoned to the healer’s house over a most unusual illness. What they find is even more usual than the healer had suspected. A man who was fished out of the harbor is actually dead, but appears to be alive because he’s being inhabited by another spirit.

What follows isn’t anything earth-shattering – it’s just the untangling of a complex web of mysteries and deaths that occurred at the same time. It’s really hard to explain without going into detail, but it’s a great example of Bujold’s world building, especially around the religion of the five gods in this world. This story gets into the core of what it means to follow the Bastard – Pen and Des draw some very moving conclusions in the end.

The Hermit of Eyton Forest – Ellis Peters

I’ve been cycling through books recently – I’ve actually got three open books on the Kindle at the moment that I haven’t been able to keep attention on long enough to finish. (I’ll probably nope out on one by the end of the year, and another is a short story anthology that I’m really enjoying, but is incredibly dense to read, so I can’t read it straight through.) I realized I’ve been avoiding my physical book to read pile, and as soon as I looked at that, realized I could do some comfort reading.

This particular edition of this book doesn’t have its order on it (most of the books have “The nth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael, of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Peter and Paul, at Shrewbury” as part of the cover), so I should have read it a few books ago. Fortunately, the stories are pretty standalone, so other than what’s going on with the ongoing battle between Empress Maud and King Stephen that serves as the backdrop of the stories having events that already happened, the actual events of things in Shrewsbury flowed along quite nicely.

This book is really hard to summarize without giving away plot points. What I will say is that there are two murders here, and the reasons for both, and how the individual murderers are punished are so very reflective of the times of the setting, and I really appreciated that. The end of the book ends up as a discussion between two of the characters about the morality of one of the murders, and it’s not how that conversation would have gone between two people today. I just so appreciate the attention to historical details in this book.

Once Upon a Curse

This is a fun anthology of darker turning fairy tale interpretations. The darkness is pretty variable – in some cases, it’s just using themes that are considered dark. And like most anthologies, some of the stories are definitely better than others.

There were two different interpretations of the Morrigan that I enjoyed, and “Magic After Midnight” had an interesting taken on the evil stepmother from Cinderella. Definitely worth a read – might lead you do a few new authors.