Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mostly Books and a Little Quilting

First of all, just a little about quilting. For those of you on a fabric diet, please plug your ears, hum a little song, and turn away for a minute or two--you can pick right back up with the next paragraph. Last night I received an e-mail from Keepsake Quilting advising me they have selected wide quilt backings at 30% off. Not a bad deal! So, if you're in need, click here.

Now on to books. The photo above is my bookshelf of books I haven't yet read. Looks a little like my fabric stash! I've added a little box on my sidebar entitled "Current Reads." I know many of us enjoy reading, and from looking at some of your blog profiles, I think many of you have tastes similar to mine, so I thought I'd add this little feature to my blog. Yeah, I know I'm not Oprah any more than I'm Martha Stewart, but I wanted to share my recommendations and reading list with you anyway. If you don't read much, plug your ears, hum a little song, and go order some wide quilt backings. Oh, and check back with me tomorrow--I'm hoping to have a quilt finished and may have a photo to share, thanks to those of you who encouraged me over my slump.

My favorite books tend to be mystery-type fiction with the occasional well-written historical romance thrown in for variety. Sometimes I like to read what I categorize as "fluff books"--usually fast reading, fairly light mysteries. One of my favorite mystery writers, though, was Agatha Christie, and I developed a taste for somewhat more complex, psychologically-driven mysteries, which I think the British writers do so well.

A few days ago, I started reading The Remains of an Altar by Phil Rickman, the seventh and latest book in the Merrily Watkins series. Rickman is one of those British authors whose writing I enjoy. The first book of the series is The Wine of Angels, and the main character, Merrily Watkins, is a newly-ordained minister who is also a widow with a teenaged daughter. Strange things take place in the village to which she's assigned, and she gets caught up in them. The reviews posted on Amazon by the "experts" and "customers" give you a good idea what the series is about. As one reviewer summed up, Rickman's books are filled with "interesting characters with a lot of depth, mystery with a tinge of the supernatural, and charming recreation of English village life."

I'm always a little hesitant about reading historical romance unless something's been recommended to me because so much of it's just too darn light and predictable for my tastes. I love the books by Diana Gabaldon and Sara Donati and pick those up as soon as they come out. If you have any historical romance book recommendations, I'd love to hear them.

And, of course, as is the case with most of you quilters, I enjoy well-written fiction involving quilting. I just finished Jennifer Chiaverini's The Quilter's Homecoming and loved it. I also like Emilie Richards' series that began with Wedding Ring.

I doubt that I'll talk about every book I read, but you can keep an eye on my "Current Reads" and feel free to ask me any questions you have about whatever I'm reading and let me know if you read something you think is really outstanding.

If you're not much into reading, then I hope to better entertain you tomorrow when the subject will be: 27 Craft Projects You Can Make Using Belly Button Lint.


Patti said...

Hee, hee! I can hardly wait until tomorrow!

Reading is the other thing I love as much as quilting. I seem to go through periods where I read lots and lots and quilt a little, or quilt lots and lots and read a little. I would be very ashamed to tell you how many books I have waiting for me to read them! I read all kinds of things except very little non-fiction. I'm always looking for a good new mystery author, so I'll have to try this one. I, too, love British writing.

I love a really good historial romance too, but you are so right - so much of that is just fluff. my favorite are those set in the Regency era - think Jane Austen's books. A good Regency will have a lot of great, dry humor along with the romance. If you've read Jane Austen and like her, try Georgette Heyer. People either love these or hate these. They can be a bit wordy until you get used to them. She wrote many over a long period of time - the 1930's to the 1960's. They don't have sex, so if that's part of what you like then these aren't for you. They have all been reprinted many times so are easy to find in used bookstores. As far as mystery writers go - have you read any Tony Hillerman? His are set in Navaho country and the main characters are a two Navaho policemen, and much of the mysteries revolve around various Navaho religious beliefs. Fascinating! I'm reading them in order and have a lot to read still. Another one my husband really likes that I want to start reading is J.A.Jance.

Marcie said...

I just finished Sara Donati's book, Queen of Swords. I loved it, as I have loved all her books. You should read These is My Words, and then Sarah's Quilt by the same author. Dang, can't remember her name. I will have to write down the English books. Can't wait for your next post--you never run out of intrigue.

The Chicken Lady said...

I'm in a book club here and love it, because it MAKES me read, and it makes me read books I wouldn't normally pick up. We just finished Left To Tell, by Imaculee Ilibagzia (or something like that). It was about the Rwandan Genocide. Pretty depressing subject, but very well written and I actually enjoyed reading it (in 2 days). If you haven't read the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, I'd recommend picking up a copy. That was a very interesting, fun book to read. It's about a family who goes to Africa as missionaries and is written from the wife and 4 daughters' perspectives. Interesting. Good luck on finishing the quilt and I didn't even look at the link! I'm so proud! ;)

Greenmare said...

oh I love reading too, and the invention of books on tape and cd is the greatest thing since fat quarters! I love mysteries, and my version of fluff reading is the cat who series. I prefer the older ones, the new ones are not good in my opinion.
but Agatha Christie! Yes!
Recently I read/listened to
The Secret Life of Bees, and it was just awesome! The language is wonderful and the verbal pictures are fantastic! and that is my book revue for today!

Michelle said...

I have one of those bookshelves full of unread books - but yet I still complain I have nothing to read.

Is that like not having enough fabric with boxes full of fabric?

And I agree with Cindy - LOVED The Poisonwood Bible.