Thursday, September 29, 2011
"That was the thing about the world: it wasn't that things were harder than you thought they were going to be, it was that they were hard in ways that you didn't expect." - Lev Grossman, The Magician King
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
The story starts out with a gruesome massacre, and hypnotist Erik Maria Bark is called upon to hypnotize the gravely wounded son, the only witness, so that the police can try to identify and catch the killer before he find's the family's other remaining living member, the boy's sister. But what Erik finds out surprises Detective Joona Linna, who has a track record of always solving his crimes. As they begin to act upon what they learned, they discover there are unforeseen consequences of Erik's action. Ten years ago, he promised that he would never hypnotize anyone again after an incident involving one of his patients. In addition to this, he's also dealing with his own problems, including a prescription drug addiction and a marriage that's falling apart. Just like in real life, everything seems to fall apart at once for Erik.
The many layers of this complex story kept me turning the pages. Just as one plot thread seems to get resolved, another one develops and moves into the forefront. What you discover in the end isn't what you were looking for in the beginning. I'm looking forward to the next translations of Kepler's work.
The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2011)
My rating: 4 stars
Monday, September 26, 2011
Now that we have created the basic crochet hat, I think it would be a good idea to look at all the basic crochet stitches. I am excited to try some new projects since the hat was so successful. Here is a wonderful, illustrated article on how to read crochet patterns publish at http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/tip_crochet.html by Jean Leinhauser.
How to Read a Crochet Pattern
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Although some of my mystery book club members have raved about George Pelecanos, this is the first book of his that I've picked up. He introduces a new protagonist in this one: Spero Lucas is a 30-year-old Iraq vet returned to his native D.C. area. He's picked up work as an unlicensed private investigator and specializes in finding things and taking a 40 percent cut of whatever he finds. But when he starts to investigate the burglary of some Fed Ex-ed marijuana for an imprisoned drug dealer, he finds things are more complicated than they seem.
While one of the book's promo blurbs touted Pelecanos as one of the crime thriller writers who elevates the genre into literary fiction, similar to Dennis Lehane (whose books I love), it didn't quite reach that level for me, although it was definitely entertaining and held my attention. Lucas seemed to have elements of Robert B. Parker's Spenser and Michael Harvey's Michael Kelley in him. Curiously enough, he also reminded me somewhat of Seth Quinn in Nora Robert's Chesapeake Blue, the fourth book in her Chesapeake Bay Saga.
For those interested in the local music and restaurant scene in D.C., this would also serve as an excellent travel guide.
The Cut by George Pelecanos (Hachette Book Group, 2011)
My rating: 3 stars
Monday, September 19, 2011
The next step in creating the owl hat is to create the eyes. I have used the brown and green to match the hat and added white for contrast. This was fairly easy to do because it follows the same pattern as beginning your hat. I now need to sew on the eyes and then move on to the beak and ears. This project is really coming along! Here is the video tutorial:
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
This is the first in a series of novels featuring Kati, a German living in Istanbul. She owns the city's only mystery bookshop and when her acquaintance/friend/movie star comes to town to film a movie and the movie's director is murdered, Kati can't resist the chance to try to find out who did it. Now she can finally put into practice all the theoretical knowledge she's gained from reading mystery novels. Kati is also a woman who can’t resist a good man, and the ups and downs of her romantic escapades are woven throughout the mystery.
This is a translation into British English and it seemed a little awkward and stilted at times, although I enjoyed the tidbits about Turkish life and Istanbul that were woven into the story. The mystery itself was a bit predictable and the epilogue seemed a little heavy-handed. I think those details could have been worked into the final chapters of the book to make it a smoother read. That aside, this was an interesting peek into the culture of Istanbul. As a German Jew who has lived in Istanbul for 10 or 11 years, she brings a unique lens to that city’s culture, which she describes as being different than the Turkish culture in general.
Hotel Bosphorus by Eshmahan Aykol, Ruth Whitehouse (translator) (Bitter Lemon Press, 2011)
My rating: 3 stars
Monday, September 12, 2011
My 20 month old son loves this adorable Twinkle Twinkle Little Star video on youtube.
He watches it over and over and sings along. It has a cute little owl singing to a star. The owl is his favorite character, so I decided he should dress up as him for Halloween.
To start the project I am crocheting an owl hat. I figured this would work best because he would never wear any kind of mask, but he may keep a hat on. This project will be posted in
steps, the base of the hat will be the first step.
I found this very clear tutorial and was able to make the base of the hat in just a few hours:
Be sure to check back throughout the month as I complete the rest of the costume.