Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Snowy February

This has been a long time coming especially after reading The Circle by Dave Eggers. As I've said in that book review, I have been debating on whether to quit all social media or keep a few because I've noticed that I've been spending way too much time on Facebook in particular and feeling agitated when I surface from it. Not good, not good at all. So this Lenten season, I have decided to quit social media and to only check Facebook once a week and to only check my notifications to see if someone has tagged me especially updates from family and very close friends. In light of that decision, I have turned off all app notifications and automated a few things so I won't have to do it myself and have deleted the apps on my phone. So far, it has worked out great. I now have more time to do the things that I enjoy doing like playing the piano, painting watercolors, crochet, read, walk the dog and spend time with my husband. So the only social media I'm still active on are the quiet ones: GoodReads and Ravelry. GoodReads I primarily use to track the books I own, have read, currently reading and of course, those that I want to read and Ravelry, I primarily use to track which yarns I still have in my dwindling stash and to also keep track of the projects I currently am working on (which thankfully has been, so far, limited to 2 at any given time), and have completed. I also use Ravelry to track which hook sizes I have as well as the patterns that I have.

I don't know about you but here in Colorado Springs, we have seen a lot of snow fall lately and I cherish the days when it's sunny and warm outside and my dog and I definitely take advantage of it to walk around the neighborhood.

I don't know if I've talked about it here on the blog or not but late last year, I have been researching and reading lots of posts online about traveling with your knitting needles and/or crochet hooks and though the TSA website itself shows that you can bring them on the plane with you, there are still a handful of people who had their needles/hooks confiscated which concerns me (a lot) because I'm about to go to New Zealand and would like to bring 1 project with me with my favorite Clover Soft Touch crochet hook. I did bought a set of Bamboo crochet hooks for this purpose but when I used it, I found out, I really don't like how grippy (and therefore, slow) the bamboo hooks are even when working with slippery acrylic yarn. I still prefer using my Clover Soft Touch hooks. Apparently, I prefer metal hooks over wood or plastic hooks. And to think I even crocheted a functional case for it with a notions pocket in the front. Well, if you want to win this Bamboo Crochet hook set, head on over to Ravelry and participate in The Knitted (or Crocheted) Knockers CAL hosted by Hannah of The Cozy Cottage Crochet Podcast and good luck!

Books I've Read Since Last Blog Post

Currently Reading 

Finished Objects

C2C Baby Blanket - yarn used was Caron Simply Soft, Sage & Persimmon, 100% Acrylic, Worsted weight, total amount used was 452.1 yards/244 grams of the Sage and 553.1 yards/298 grams of the Persimmon colorways respectively; using a Clover Soft Touch US H/5.0mm hook, finished measurements are 35.5" x 27.5"

Currently Knitting/Crocheting

Gorman Street Toe-Up Socks by Rohn Strong - yarn used was Patons Kroy Socks, Amethyst Stripes, 75% Washable Wool, 25% Nylon, sock weight, using a Clover Soft Touch US C/2.75mm hook

Product Reviews


Just in case, I would like to share the blogs and/or podcasts I'm really enjoying which are also listed on the side bar...and these are in the order I discovered them...hope you'll enjoy them too!

Friday, February 2, 2018

[Book Review] Every Note Played by Lisa Genova

Every Note Played by Lisa Genova

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hardcover Edition, 320 pages
Genre: Contemporary Medical Fiction

Disclaimer: As a member of NetGalley, I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.

Part 1: From The Book Cover

From neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice comes a powerful and heartbreaking exploration of regret, forgiveness, freedom, and what it means to be alive.

An accomplished concert pianist, Richard received standing ovations from audiences all over the world in awe of his rare combination of emotional resonance and flawless technique. Every finger of his hands was a finely calibrated instrument, dancing across the keys and striking each note with exacting precision. That was eight months ago.

Richard now has ALS, and his entire right arm is paralyzed. His fingers are impotent, still, devoid of possibility. The loss of his hand feels like a death, a loss of true love, a divorce—his divorce.

He knows his left arm will go next.

Three years ago, Karina removed their framed wedding picture from the living room wall and hung a mirror there instead. But she still hasn’t moved on. Karina is paralyzed by excuses and fear, stuck in an unfulfilling life as a piano teacher, afraid to pursue the path she abandoned as a young woman, blaming Richard and their failed marriage for all of it.

When Richard becomes increasingly paralyzed and is no longer able to live on his own, Karina becomes his reluctant caretaker. As Richard’s muscles, voice, and breath fade, both he and Karina try to reconcile their past before it’s too late.

As poignant and powerful as Jojo Moyes’s Me Before You, Every Note Played is a masterful exploration of redemption and what it means to find peace inside of forgiveness.

Part 2: Recommendation

I'm no concert pianist but having played the piano since I was 12 years old, I completely understand the fear of not being able to play the piano anymore or crochet or paint. 

Every Note Played opens with Richard at his last concert and from there the story moves forward, between following Richard as ALS increasingly claims his body and Karina's life, interspersed with back flashes from when they were both at Curtis. The pacing of the story has a meandering, kind of exploratory feel to it when it comes to Richard's and Karina's thoughts of both the past and what lies ahead. There's no surviving ALS and the readers know that Richard is not going to get any better but despite this grim reality, I couldn't drum up enough sympathy for Richard knowing he's been a horrible husband to Karina and a very absent father to his only child, Grace. The true beauty of this book lies in how Karina, Grace and Richard find the ability to forgive one another through the difficulties of living with ALS and later on, the freedom to finally move on and pursue your dreams.

I really appreciate the amount of work that the author, Lisa Genova, put into this book and it showed especially through Richard's struggles with ALS. It's like you, the reader, is right there in the den in Richard's body or in Karina's or in Bill's. Lisa Genova successfully showed and with great detail exactly what ALS is all about. Because I couldn't put down this amazing read, I had a nightmare about being paralyzed and that it started with a tendonitis-like pain in my left thumb, which in real life, I was experiencing pain in my left thumb when I stretched it out and away from my hand. The pain in my left thumb is gone now after 2 days of not using my thumb to left click on the track pad of my work computer, thank God it wasn't anything serious. 

In conclusion, if you want to know more about ALS without having to read lengthy medical texts, with excellent, well-developed characters, this is the book for you.