Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | July 2022

Hello and welcome to a post highlighting my reading, crafting, and life over the past month. This month I finally felt like I had free time and I could relax a bit. I for sure kicked up my feet and read some thing month, which I am thrilled about. I also was on a making kick and was able to go on some adventures as well.

Reading

Gwendy’s Final Task by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar, I went into a bit more detail of my thoughts of this book in my post, The Mid-Year Freakout Book Tag, but I will say I ended up DNF’ing this book about halfway through. The reason I DNF’ed the book was because all of the real world references within the book kept taking me out of the story and into the real world and I kept drifting into my thoughts. I will try this book again down the road because the writing was great.

The Facemaker by Lindsey Fitzharris, this was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I read Fitzharris’ first book and adored it as well, The Butchering Art. This book took a deep dive into the the beginnings of reconstruction surgery during and after World War I. While this is a nonfiction read, the author is very talented and made this read as if a friend was telling you about something interesting them learned. There is a lot of information in this book, but you never feel bogged down etc. You also got to know the life of the doctors, the patients, and nurses so you they don’t come across as just people who worked there or just subjects.

The next two books I ended up reading during a impromptu 24 hour readathon. If you wanna see some more details on how that went, you can see that in my post, Impromptu Personal 24 Hour Readathon Wrap-Up.

The Employees by Olga Ravn, Martin Aitken (Translator), I really enjoyed this wild ride of a science fiction. It is very hard to put into words why I liked this book so much. But, trying my best I think it comes from they way the story is told through very brief interviews. Even from these small interviews you get a clear picture of the ship, those on the ship, and the challenges they face. The atmosphere that is created is so detailed you find yourself reacting to the interviews subconsciously, you just get feelings deep down in your gut. Not only this, but it explores the idea what it means to be human.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (Translator), this book is really a wild ride. You go into it thinking you are going to read a general fiction about a man who was left by his wife for whatever reason and going to explore him navigating this. Well, as always Murakami always seems to add another layer to his books. This novel takes a supernatural/magical realism turn that makes this novel addicting to read. When I picked this book up I didn’t think I was going to finish it during the 24 hour readathon, I was wrong. I ended up reading this 600 page book in a single day.

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut, Adrian Nathan West (translator), this fiction book takes real life players and events and takes the reader on a wild ride. It does talk about both mathematicians and physics, not knowing too much about both, just general knowledge, I was not lost in the slightest. The author did a great job of blending fact and fiction and really makes the reader think about the question if humanity is going forwards or backwards through discoveries. It plays on the quote from Jurassic park, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” It for sure is a book that sits with you and makes you think.

Willie the Weirdo by Stephen King, this was a mere 18 pages so I don’t really want to say too much, but I will say this this short story really had the creepy vibes I have been missing from his more recent works.

Slow Boat by Hideo Furukawa, David Boyd (Translator), this book was meh. It was not bad by any stretch, the writing was very well done, but this story was kind of boring. I read 45 pages the first sitting, which was a huge dent since this book is so short, but it was a struggle to pick it up again. If this book was any longer I probably would have DNF’ed it because it just didn’t pull me in personally. Like I said, the writing is really good, for a short book, the author did a lot in those pages, which is impressive.

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune, this story made my heart hurt, It was imaginative in all the right ways. I read this in a 24 hour period from cover to cover. I don’t get too emotional while reading, but this book certainly pulled at my heart strings between friendships, found family and just the growth of the main character . Plus, GHOSTS, I am 100% on board.

Crochet, Knitting and Crafting

Anker’s Summer Shirt

Anker’s Summer Shirt by PetiteKnit, this was my first time working a pattern by PetiteKnit and I can see why other knitters lover her patterns so much. They are simple, but have enough going on to keep you engaged. The styles are classic and timeless and are great for layering. I want to work another one of her patterns already. I made this project out of Sandnes Garn Line, which is a blend of cotton, rayon, and linen so it was perfect to make this summer shirt for sure. I really loved the textured yoke of this top down sweater.

Duotone Cowl

Next project I completed was a Duotone Cowl (Non-ralvery Option) by Orange Flower Yarn. I did this project as a stash busting project with the intent of donating it come colder months. I happened to have two skein of
Ritual Dyes Marona in a pink color and a dark green so I whipped up this project. I really loved how this pattern didn’t work with equal sized stripes all around, but made one color dominate in one half and then reversed on the second half. It makes this scarf look more intricate than it is and I love that in a project, plus it is a free pattern and very well written!

Vanilla Socks

The next and final project I finished was a plain vanilla sock with a contrasting heel and toe for sock week 2022, I did an entire post dedicated to this project and you can find that here, Sock Week 2022 Journal. It was a fun quick project before jumping back into some larger ones.

Life

This past month I did a bunch of fun things. I went to the beach a few times, getting that fresh salt water air really helped me get over a cold I had for over two weeks. While at the beach I was able to get some reading and knitting done as well. It was just truly a relaxing experience and I needed it greatly. I always forget how much I need to be around nature and how calming it is personally to me.

Showing off Slow Boat by Hideo Furukawa on the beach

I also went on a lovely nature walk with my boyfriend this month. We walked around for about 2 hours easily looking at statues and enjoying all the different plants, flowers, and trees. We even found one that looked like it was growing tiny bananas. I think my favorite part of this walk was any time we came across the water. We found a water fall, a stream with a ton of koi fish, and even found a frog among the water lilies.

waterfall through a stone window

As you can see I spent a lot of time doing the things I love and enjoy this month and I really hope to keep this going. I want to go to the beach a few more times before it gets chilly again. I do have some fun plans coming up in August that I am really looking forward to sharing with you! But, that was my month of July! I hope your July was just as wonderful if not more so.

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Hauls & Unboxings

February Book Haul

Hello and welcome to the first book haul of 2022. Each year I have a list of books I really want to take the time to read throughout the year, most of which are from the International Booker Prize shortlist. Since my reading was so reduced in December I held off on picking any of them up. But, with my reading taking off in January with 9 books, I thought it was a good time to add these books to my tbr pile since I am activity reading a ton.

Stack of hauled physical books.

Physical Books

You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann, I read another book by Kelmann last year called Tyll and I loved how out there it was. Knowing this one of my friends off line picked this book for me to pick this year for my 12 in 12 challenge. This short story is a horror novel that follows a family that spends 7 days in a rented house. From the description I am getting Jack vibes from The Shining by Stephen King for the main character. Which, for me works because I love The Shining. I am curious how this short story is going to turn out because his other works were wild and out there, but also mesmerizing and I couldn’t put it down.

The Employees by Olga Ravn, this is a science fiction novel. This too was on the shortlist for the International Booker Prize, but I am intrigued due to the fact that in the description it mentions it follows those who were born and other who were created. That really piqued my interest.

Breast and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami, I have read about 2 other works by this author and this one has been on my list for a bit. I finally decided to pick up a physical copy. This book takes a look at being a modern day woman in Japan. The story itself is fiction, but it touches on the experience of the author and others. At least that is my current understanding.

When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins, this one I added to my TBR because it was picked by Little Miss Booklover 87 for my 12 in 12 challenge I placed on twitter where I asked people to pick a book for me to read this year. All I know about this book at this point is that it is a thriller that takes place many years after a double murder. Where someone finally decides to break their silence. I have not read a ton of thrillers over the past few months so I though this would be a good time to read it.

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut, this is a nonfiction novel, but seems to have some fiction as well, that takes a look at science, discovery and those who make these breakthroughs. It appears that this book touches on Albert Einstein, Alexander Grothendieck, Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg.

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enriquez, this is a collection of short horror stories that was also placed on the International Booker Prize shortlist. I love horror and it is refreshing to have some short stories on my shelf to grab when I don’t feel like reading an entire novel.

The War of the Poor by Éric Vuillard, is a horror novel that was placed in the shortlist for the International Booker Prize. It deals with inequality and takes place during 16th century in Europe. With the combination of horror and history I feel like this book will be a win for me personally.

Digital Books

Immune by Philipp Dettmer, I picked this up because I heard it mentioned on a twitch stream with Bob, Wade and Mark. I thought it would be a really interesting read and I do love myself a good nonfiction here and there.

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