Wednesday 4 March 2020

Books for March, TBR shelves & knitting

How about some bookish photos for a wet March day? Not that I'm bored or anything..........

First up, books I plan to read this month. Maybe.

My camera gave up the ghost recently, well it was easily 15 years old, possibly 20, and I can't decide whether or not to buy a new one. These are taken with my phone and I think they're ok so I may not bother, I have a new Kindle Fire 10 which takes super photos too so maybe I don't need an actual camera. I'm so terrible at decisions like this. Anyway, my 'to read' pile for March, bit ambitious perhaps with two classics on there but I would like to read one of those at least and a few of the others.

And these are the 3 books I'm currently concentrating on reading:

The Patrick Leigh Fermor and the Frederick Forsyth are excellent, enjoying those very much. Castle Skull by John Dickson Carr I'm a bit iffy about. It's a bit melodramtic but I'm not that far in so hopefully it will grow on me. Nice cover though and if I can get to the end it will be perfect for Germany for the European Reading Challenge as it does have a nice sense of the river Rhine.

Back at the beginning of January I did a post with a photo of the shelf I'm trying to read from this year. It wasn't a very good photo so I'm putting these two up instead. Various books have been pulled out or discarded so it is slightly different but it gives me a good idea of where I'm heading... or trying to head.

The top shelf of the 2nd. pic has more tbrs of course. On the left a few books for the European challenge again, next to those some BLCC vintage crime yarns I want to read this year etc. etc.

And I mentioned to a few people, Yvonne, Judith and Cathy I think, that I was going to start knitting again. So I did. I haven't knitted in what must be well over 20 years so I thought I'd start simple and knit myself a scarf in some pretty wool. This is my progress so far:

It's a double moss stitch pattern, I think maybe I choose wool that was a bit too dark to show the pattern properly but no matter, I'm pleased with it. Long way to go if I want it to be about 5ft. long but 'mighty oaks from little acorns' and all that.

Happy March reading... and knitting if you're a knitter.



DesLily said...

Hooray! The Woman in White!! I hope you read it and I hope you like it!!

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Cath,

Hubbie is definitely the prolific photo taker in our house, but these days he too tends to use only his phone, which has so far earned him praise from some quite influential sites, when he posts to Instagram. Technology moves ahead so quickly, that I can't see him investing hundreds of pounds in a new camera system any time soon!

You have a great selection of books to share this time, with the two which caught my eye being the Sally Vickers and the Carolyn Wells. Neither of them have great ratings and reviews on Goodreads, but I don't tend to be too influenced by that. I have read Sally Vickers in the past and enjoyed her writing a lot. Carolyn is a new name to me, but I wouldn't mind trying her out!

I haven't done much knitting in the past few years, as I find crochet much easier to pick up if I just have a few minutes to spare and I don't seem to get all the 'tension' issues I would then get with knitting. It looks as though, like myself, you tend to be quite a close, even knitter, whereas my MIL manages to knit really loosely, which makes everything rather uneven when it is finished. The wool you are using is lush and I like the idea of the integral garter stitch border, to give the finished scarf some structure and eliminate 'curling'. Moss stitch is very underrated as a stitch, as it is so easy, yet very effective.

Thanks for sharing and giving me the heads up about the post, I appreciate that and happy Knitting :)


Judith said...

Oh, Cath, I love the color, or should I say, the various hues within the scarf! That's a great color for me as well. I'm so happy to see you're doing so well with it--beautiful. So why does that make me wish we could sit by the fire with our knitting and have a good chat? But it does.
Secondly, I enjoy browsing your book shelves. Doctor Thorne by Trollope--is that a Barsetshire novel? I now own Barchester Towers--(gosh, hope I have the title written correctly). I hope to get to it before too much time has passed.
Have you read other novels by Trollope? And which ones?

TracyK said...

My husband enjoys taking photos, we all do for that matter, we go to parks, etc. to take photos on weekends. He owns at least 10 cameras, mostly mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses, but he is also content using his phone camera for many purposes, so I agree that could work for your needs.

I love the scarf. You have given me some encouragement that maybe I could try simple knitting again (I have lots of yarn). Back in 2007-2008 I taught myself to knit and knitted some scarves and even some fingerless gloves, but gave up after that. I decided it took too much concentration to get a good result, I would never be able to knit effortlessly... which I can sort of do with crocheting (which I also haven't done in years).

I look forward to reviews on some of those books.

Sam said...

I've become a phone-camera-only photographer, too, especially since my iphone 11 has a night vision mode that takes some really excellent pictures in very low light that I can't easily match using my old camera anyway. These days it seems that only "serious" photographers use actual cameras - something the camera industry can't be too happy about, I suppose.

I enjoyed browsing your shelves up close that way to see what books I recognized and which ones appeared to be more unique to your part of the world. I can never help doing that kind of browsing, even when someone is being interviewed on a news program and they are sitting in front of their personal bookshelves. When that happens I freeze the picture and study the shelves at my leisure because it's amazing what you can learn by looking closely at someone's book collection...usually more than they are willing to reveal about themselves in the actual interview, in fact.

Good luck on your March reading. Can't believe we are already five days into the month...keep turning the pages.

Cath said...

Pat: Yep, I've even taken The Woman in White downstairs to sit on the coffe table, which mean I will be starting it soon... just have to get the three books I;m reading out of the way. lol

Yvonne: Thanks for your input about taking photos on phones, I suspect I will stick with that for the time being and see how it goes. At the moment it seems to be working well. My husband tells me that actually modern phones take a better picture than my 20 year old camera. I have a sneaking suspicion that he may be right.

I'm not greatly influenced by Goodreads ratings on books either. They're of interest but I don't decide whether or not to read a book based on that. So many books have 5 star ratings and 2 star ratings... meaning they're both loved and disliked. Impossible to know what to make of it so I don't try.

I mentioned on your blog that I can't crochet to save my life, well a bit, but always get lost somehow. Yes, my knitting is fairly close and even, many years of practise I suppose, my grandmother taught me to knit when I was 9. Yes, I decided on a garter stitch border each side to prevent curling and give it a finished look. I'm not using a specific pattern just using a bit of experience and winging it.

Judith: Thank you, I ordered the wool online so it was a bit hit and miss as you can't always be sure what's going to turn up... it's by King Cole a make my MIL swore by. Wouldn't it wonderful to sit by the fire knitting and chatting? So much to talk about I'm sure.

Yes, Dr. Thorne is a Barsetshire novel. I read The Warden first and then Barchester Towers, both really excellent books. I haven't read any others (apart from his travel writing) but plan to as I love AT's writing.

Cath said...

Tracy: I enjoy taking photos when we're on holiday but am not really a serious photographer like your husband. So I think it probable that I'll stick with my phone for the time being and see how it goes. I may change my mind. Thanks for your input.

Thanks, the scarf is growing nicely, easily double the size in the photo now. I do think people are either knitters or crocheters. A few people can do both well but most are one thing or the other. I've tried crochet but somehow or other, like you with knitting, I can't really get on with it and it doesn't come naturally.

Sam: Yes, I have wondered how the camera industry has coped with the phone camera phenomenon, it must have pretty much destroyed it though I assume there are still plenty of serious photographers to buy their products.

How funny, because when they interview people on the news in front of their bookshelves I'm so intent on seeing which books they own I forget to listen to the interview. I have been known to shout, 'Oh my God, he's got such and such a title!' It earns you some strange looks from family....

Yes, it is rather scary how quickly the year is starting to whizz by.