Apr 10, 2008

Another Sock and a Few Books

Picture 019Well, I didn't get everything done last night but I did finish the painting and this sock. The picture is kind of lame because I took it in my office this morning. I'll get better shots when I show it as part of a pair. So far, the sock and the yarn are working just fine. The yarn is Elann Sock It To Me 4-ply and it's fine. I'm not in love but it's perfectly nice yarn and I expect that it will wear well. It's just not exciting - not like the Storm Moon yarn I'm using for the Zombie socks. That stuff's got attitude!

The pattern is nice too. It' the Wishbone socks by Nancy Bush. The lace is easy to remember but that doesn't mean that I haven't made an eror or 2. Most errors are just the result of losing track mentally of which row I'm on. Nobody will notice but me so it's all good.

Peony in LoveI also finished a book yesterday. After reading a few positive reviews and hearing an interview with the author, I picked up Peony In Love by Lisa See. It's a wonderful book that is unlike anything else I've read. It's told in first person by Peony, a sheltered girl from an important family in ancient China who we meet on the eve of her sixteenth birthday. She is preparing to marry the man chosen for her by her parents when she accidentally meets a handsome stranger at a production of her favorite opera - The Peony Pavilion. She becomes obsessed with this man and with the Peony Pavilion and, like other women before her, dies of lovesickness. She spends the rest of the novel as a ghost - interacting with other spirits and observing those she left behind.

I'm usually a mystery girl so books about ghosts stories are totally outside my comfort zone but I really enjoyed this. The details about the customs and rituals in ancient China are really amazing. The author really makes it come alive. Sometimes, as with the depiction of foot-binding, the presentation may be uncomfortably vivid but it's through these customs that we understand the status of women in that society. Through Peony we see the life she was bred for and the possibilities she never knew existed.

I've also read City of Fire by Robert Ellis which caught my eye last summer when it appeared in People magazine as a "Beach Bag Pick" by Janet Evanovich. I figured that any book recommended by the author of the Stephanie Plum books was worth a try. The heroine of this book, Lena Gamble, is trying to solve a series of gruesome murders. Unlike Ms. Plum, she's got no time for shoe shopping and no parents to make her dinner. She's just a great detective with a little extra baggage - her rock star brother was the victim of an unsolved murder a few years earlier. She is still pretty new in her division when she draws the lead on a horrible murder that turns out to be the work of a serial killer. After one of the subsequent victims turns out to be the best friend of her brother she feels a connection but can't quite put her finger on it. The story takes a few twists and turns before arriving at a suprising and satisfying conclusion. It looks like this will be the first in a series and I'll be watching for it to continue.


Carole Knits said...

City of Fire sounds like something I'd enjoy. I just finished Innocent Traitor about Lady Jane Grey and that was very good if you're into English history at all.

Carol said...

Painting, reading and great socks? I must know what vitamins you're taking!