Saturday, October 1, 2016

Turning the Page on September 2016

october collage

*It was a bit of a weird month for us. Jarrod's schedule flip-flopped so many times and I felt like I was constantly adjusting my routine. He was on regular-person hours, then noon to 8 p.m., then 2 a.m. to 2 p.m., then 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and now 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. -- and of course, he never actually gets to leave right when his shift ends. (The joys of the Air Force: 14-hour days!) There was a stretch of about 10 days when, between work and sleep, I only saw him for about an hour a day. Luckily October should be more normal, and Jarrod mentioned possibly taking off the entire week of my mom's upcoming visit, which would be wonderful!

*We went to the beach 4 or 5 times and I'm slowly beginning to lose the ghost-white paleness I cultivated during our three years Ohio! Being un-tan here marks you immediately as a tourist, and Hawaii is a place where it helps if you look like you belong. Anyway, I did lots of reading on the beach while Jarrod surfed.

*I made cinnamon rolls for the first time ever and they came out pretty darn well, if I do say so myself. I used this recipe from Bakerella for pumpkin pecan cinnamon rolls with maple frosting. I love to bake and I love cinnamon rolls, and I can't believe I've never tried my hand at them until now. That's probably 'cause yeast and I don't always get along, but we luckily we remained amicable this time. I also made orange-lemon poppyseed muffins (recipe) this month and they turned out pretty well, too!

*While Jarrod was working all those crazy hours, I watched the first season of the BBC period drama-ish "Lark Rise to Candleford," which is just so utterly charming and I quickly fell in love with the characters. I also -- for once -- chose the right new shows to try out this fall. I'm loving "This is Us" and "Designated Survivor"!

*I was having a shitty day the week before last so I decided to splurge and buy the most perfect mug from Etsy that I'd been eyeing for months. I love foxes and I say "for fuck's sake" a lot, and my new mug makes me smile. (Here's the Etsy shop.)


oct books

Books read: 10
"The Hike" by Drew Magary (2 stars)
"Sirius: The Little Dog Who Almost Changed History" by Jonathan Crown (3 stars)
"The Magicians" by Lev Grossman (3.5 stars)
"Fist Comes Love" by Emily Giffin (4 stars)
"All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr (5 stars)
"The Other Einstein" by Marie Benedict (4 stars)
"Curious Minds" by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton (3 stars)
"Dark Matter" by Blake Crouch (5 stars)
"The Royal We" by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (4.5 stars)
"American Housewife: Stories" by Helen Ellis (3 stars)

Currently reading:
"His Majesty's Dragon" by Naomi Novik (book 1 in the Temeraire series)

Favorite book: Well, seeing as I awarded it the honor of the best WWII book I've ever read, I'm gonna have to go with "All the Light We Cannot See." Beautiful writing, dynamic characters, unique story... I loved it!

Biggest let-down: Ugh, "The Hike." I started it in July, put it down for a while, finished it and was left utterly disappointed. I have to applaud anyone who can get a book published, but this one just struck me as so amateur. (Case in point, at its very core, "Dark Matter," which I also read this month, is about a similar topic, but it is infinitely better in every possible way.)

October release(s) I'm most excited about: "The Comet Seekers" by Helen Sedgwick. I've been looking forward to this novel, which is set in Antarctica, for months! And I'm always happy to read the latest installment in Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily historical mysteries -- one of the few series I actually manage to keep up with -- and the eleventh book, "A Terrible Beauty," comes out in a couple weeks.

Book I'm most excited to read in October: "Rebecca" by Daphne DuMaurier. I've been planning to read it for years, and for some reason I've always had it in my head that I wanted to read it in October. Well, the October has finally arrived!

Books added to my to-read list: 10 (could be worse!)

Books added to my maybe-to-read list: 11

Most intriguing TBR addition(s): Both non-fiction books with telling subtitles, but on two polar-opposite topics: "What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains and Ourselves" by Benjamin K. Bergen, and "Hillbilly Elegy: a Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis" by J.D. Vance.

Books read from my summer reading list: 2 ("The Royal We" and "American Housewife")

Books read from my must-read-in-2016 list: 2 ("All the Light We Cannot See" and "The Magicians")

Favorite bookstagram: I like everything about this picture! I have a huge appreciation for books that include maps, I love my little fox mug (apparently I have a thing for fox mugs!) and those poppyseed muffins were so tasty! (That's the flyleaf of "The Magicians," by the way.)


sept knitting

I spent most of September working on my beautiful Earnest cardigan but hit disaster when I discovered my gauge was off (I think because of the yarn I was using) and it was coming out way too small. I realized this when it should've been down to the bottom of my waist and was still up at my bust. And I shed my first ever knitting-related tear (mostly for all those wasted hours of work) and shoved the whole thing in a coffee table drawer.

Luckily a diversion came last week when a friend from my library job in Ohio asked if I'd knit her a little stuffed hummingbird pattern she came across in a library book, and it was just the project I needed. I had fun deciding on yarn -- in the end I used two different yarns held together to better replicate the shimmer of hummingbird feathers -- and it was a quick and fun little knit to work up. Isn't he adorable? I've had requests to make a few more, so that's what I'm busy with at the moment.

Favorite post: My Fall 2016 Reading List. I love putting together these quarterly to-read lists. It's fun to look back through the loooong list of books I want to read, as well as new and upcoming releases. I used to throw these lists together and then not look at them again, but I now I put a lot of thought into them and really make an effort to read the books I've put on the list.

Book reviews:
"I Let You Go" by Clare Mackintosh
"The Things We Keep" by Sally Hepworth
"Sleeping Giants" by Sylvain Neuvel
"First Comes Love" by Emily Giffin
"The Magicians" by Lev Grossman
"The Hike" by Drew Magary
"Curious Minds" by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton
"All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr

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