Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Little Worried

I've actually had a little time to knit, here and there, betwixt and between. I got a lot of knitting done Sunday evening during the Emmy awards. I made it all the way to the eyelet band in the middle of Hallett's Ledge:

Once I hit that nice little milestone, I put it aside to concentrate some more on Paper Crane. As of my last post, I had bound off for the armholes and finished the little front panels. Since then, I've knit all the way up the back, doing the armhole decreases, and finished the increases and the casting on for the fronts, as well:

All I have to do now is knit 79 more rows and the body of the sweater is done. Unfortunately, I'm beginning to wonder if this will fit me. It seems small. Very small. I know that it will grow a bit in the wash, but I'm still afraid it won't fit me. I'll be very sad if that's the case, after all this work!

Now that I've done all that, I'm going to put Paper Crane aside for a day or two to go back to Hallett's Ledge. I need a few days of worsted weight after all that laceweight.

In ankle news... I haven't been back on the treadmill since my Saturday attempt. My ankle was definitely sore and achy for a few days after even that short, gentle walk. I really don't want to overdo it and make my recovery longer, but this is driving me nuts.

The gimpiness did allow me to read a lot while we were away, and now is as good a time as any to give a reading report. First up is One Day, by David Nicholls. This novel tells the story of two people who meet up in college and have one date. Over the years, they stay friends, though they both have feelings for each other. Their friendship survives miscommunications, missed signals, life changes, and more. The book was well-written and enjoyable. I think I particularly liked it because the characters were very much my contemporaries. I liked it so much that I read another book by Nicholls called Starter for Ten, about a young man going to college and trying to prove himself and find himself. I liked this book less, perhaps because the main character wasn't that likeable to me, and I found his complete cluelessness annoying and not very believable.

After those, I read Mr. Peanut, but Adam Ross. It starts out seeming to be about a man wondering how to kill his wife, but is really an exploration of marriage and how married people can be so close and so in love, yet not really know each other at all. There are many layers to this book, stories within stories within stories, including examinations of the marriages of two policemen involved with the main character, one of whom happens to be Sam Sheppard, whose wife's murder was the subject of much tabloid reporting and also became the basis for the television show (and movie) The Fugitive. Mr. T didn't like this book, finding it overlong and full of extraneous stuff. I, on the other hand, liked it a lot. The ending really did put things in perspective, too.

After that, I picked up The Three Weissmanns of Westport, by Cathleen Schine. This book examines the fall-out from an elderly man's decision to divorce his long-time wife and take up with a younger woman. His wife, along with his two step-daughters, leave Manhattan for exile in Westport, Connecticut. I enjoyed this book quite a lot, even if I did harangue Mr. T about not divorcing me when I'm 73 years old. I did want to smack some of the people in the book, too, for being clueless, easily manipulated, or just plain mean.

I read The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman next. I almost didn't read this, because it sounded a bit chick-lit-y for me, but I was happily proved wrong. Like The Three Weissmans, it features two sisters, one more responsible and one more flighty. The book portrays life in the dot-com boom and bust period, with a dash of 9/11 thrown in, but in the context of two young women finding their way in the world and discovering what they want and who they are. I enjoyed this book a lot, more than I thought I would.

I'm still reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and enjoying it a lot. I'm almost done with it. The book is written wonderfully, about the interaction between Europeans and Japanese back at the beginning of the 19th century.


For now, I'm dealing with ants in the kitchen and everyone getting antsy about the start of school next week.


Scott T. said...

I'm still making my way through Mr. Peanut. Still think it could be tighter.

Sharon said...

Wow--that was an amazing review post! I started Mr. Peanut on the Kindle on the plane back from California last month, but Sam stole the Kindle once I returned and I haven't been able to get it back! I hadn't gotten very far into it, but was intrigued. Based on your review, I'll go back to it.

I just read the NYTBR review of Franzen's new one and am chomping at the bit to get my hands on it. Right now, I'm almost done with a short story collection my husband got me as a portion of an anniversary present (last week!) (you'll appreciate that the main gift was a new seat for my bike)--"Death is Not an Option," by Suzanne Rivecca. Very good, but the writer is a young woman and her characters remind me of my darker, younger self. Sorry to babble on--should have written elsewhere! Yesterday my baby turned 13--how is that possible?

Loren T said...

Happy Birthday to Samantha, Sharon! I guess the wait between b-day and bat mitzvah is because of the High Holy Days? I'll have to check out that Rivecca book, as someone who also had a younger, darker self. Still fairly dark, I suppose :) I'm ambivalent about the Franzen, having read some iffy reviews.

My trouble with the reading posts is not getting too English majory on people, but then I feel like all I do is say "I liked this," or "I didn't like that."

Sounds like Sam needs her own Kindle ;p