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maryknitsdotcom » book review


March 30, 2012

Private Reading

Filed under: book review — mknit @ 3:08 pm

Thesis :)

Here’s a peak at my Kindle books… It’s a little embarrassing truth be told. I never thought that I’d be embarassed as to what i’m reading, but looking at this playlist, I wish I had more thought provoking titles in there, like something about the world war, or political or what not… but nope, it’s mostly fluffy work that I enjoy reading for fun, that and knitting patterns and children’s books.

The main reason I took a pic of what I’m reading is that my friend can see that I’ve loaded his thesis in my Kindle so that I can read it whenever the desire strikes me. I mean I haven’t gotten to it yet, but I will before he leaves taiwan.

I think I hadn’t felt the shame of revealing what it was that I was reading in awhile because I just read on electronic devises, and no one can stare at my device and see that i’m reading this trashy novel…oh wells, at least it’s in English, just purely reading that out in public here in taiwan, I have the chance of 50% of the people not understanding what I’m reading, so I’m safe.

How do you sort out your Kindle books? Do you hide them in collections?

May 26, 2009

constantly moving

Filed under: book review, crochet — mknit @ 10:18 pm

by the next time you hear from me, I’ll most likely be blogging from Taiwan!  Yay!!  I am trying to figure out what to take home with me, and I think I shall leave most of it here, and perhaps come back for all the stuff in 2 months. 

I can’t believe I am actually getting to leave. 

I finished another book, a new brit chick-lit.  Robyn Sisman, her book Just Friends was pretty good.  I rather like the twists and turns of the story even though i KNOW that the book would end in a happy ending as most chick-lits are.  I am getting a lot of reading done between the Kindle2 & the ereader, it’s just so easy to get in a page or two while waiting or something.  I believe this is what those sock knitters are like getting a few rows here and there…

as for yarn related news, I am still working on the Jumble throw, I need more worsted yarn, which I think I’ll be able to get more yarn in Taiwan for it, I need a massive amount of the same color to finish the throw.  I am undecided on what color to connect all the squares, what do you think? what color would go best with all these squares?DSC_0060

May 17, 2009

read me!!

Filed under: book review — mknit @ 1:36 am

i wrote a short story, i have plans for it to be a part of a collection, but so far there’s only that one story. I have published it on in hopes to get some strangers to read it and give me some feedback, or encouragement, and suggestions.

What is in it for you, my knitting friends? I thought i’d host a first time ever give away. All you have to do is sign up for or just go to (you don’t have to sign up to download a book), find my short story, download it, read it (well you don’t even HAVE to read it, how the heck will i know anyway?), post to your own twitter with the trend topic #ForLetLeaEmry or @reply me on twitter with the #ForLetLeaEmry that you’ve DL my short story, and I’ll pick a random lucky reader on May 31 my time.

I will try to remember to announce that I’m closing the give away this way I can give those of you who want to wait until the last minute to DL to do so. I’ll announce the randomly picked winner on twitter & on my blog on June 1.

if you’re not following me on twitter, please do so now! @mknit

What am i giving away?  Sock yarn of course.

April 14, 2009

Anne of Ingleside

Filed under: book review — mknit @ 3:30 pm

would you mind a short break from knitting, and indulge me in a fit of literary complaint?

Anne of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables No. 6) Anne of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables No. 6) by L.M. Montgomery

My review

rating: 1 of 5 stars
I am not finally finished with this book, but I am calling it quits. maybe i’ll get back to this book someday, but I am tired of Anne… or rather, this book has very little Anne, and a lot of stories that aren’t about Anne at all, but of her many many kids. and well, i’m just not that into that. I tried to read as much as I could, but towards the end, i just couldn’t take it anymore. so this will go into the holding pile.

Life is too short to be sitting here reading about the thoughts of the children, like how their mother was going to die because she was giving birth to their youngest child. Or how one of the twins had this girl crush on a fellow classmate, but the classmate turned out to be a liar. The Blythe children are too innocent, they live in this sheltered fairy tale life that was suitable for Anne Shirley, but she was an orphan, and needed her imagination to get her thru her tough life, but the Blythe children are nothing short of deprived of love.

Maybe i am just tired of the whole series… perhaps i need a break from it all.

Since I was at 84%, I forced myself to finish the book with the lure of a nice Gilbert and Anne moment at the end.  I guess the moment was nice, but since I was really not in the mood to be reading anymore lame jealousy, misunderstandings from the series, I did not find the nice moment as nice as it could be.

Anne & her antics cease to entertain me.  I might put away the series for a while, and pick up something new.  Something not so fluff.

In order to read my own books, I may continue to read, the girl who played with fire, but the paperback is thick, and i dislike reading from it, since I have gotten used to reading on the Kindle, and larger paperbacks.  The only perk to reading the paperback is that i have this cool bookmark that my mother got me from Ireland when she went to visit last year.

I would talk about knitting, but talking about knitting without pictures isn’t that much fun to talk about.  All i can say is that knitting on magic loop isn’t as hard as i thought it was, the way Marie showed me, the stitches are split up like 2 circs, but using one long needle to knit it, so less shifting.  I don’t know why i didn’t think of it that way.  I wonder if I have enough length to do 2 socks at a time… would be an interesting experiment no?

April 12, 2009

Water for Elephants

Filed under: book review — mknit @ 10:54 am

Water for Elephants Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
for a lack of books to buy and short on time, I picked this one up at the HK airport.

This book sat on my bookshelf for a real long time, I really didn’t except much from the title, nor the cover nor the back of the book summary…  By the time I re-picked up the book, I had entirely forgotten why I had thought this book was exciting to read.

I really only picked it up to read because I was trying to do some “read your books challenge” but once i read an excerpt of the beginning, I was hooked. The circus life, a mystery, and romance, I just had to finish the book at once.

The story flashes back and forth from present day to memories of Jacob, present day he is in his nineties, and in memory he is a college boy.  It’s all very interesting, the present day is interesting, and the memories are gripping.

If you judge a book by the cover, please ignore the cover, instead just read the beginning, and you’ll be hooked, it’s a great story.

I’m really glad I read the book.

View all my reviews.

March 22, 2009

book report

Filed under: book review — mknit @ 9:48 am

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

I don’t remember what drew me into listening to this book, as I purchased it off audible (I have a membership, and every month, they bill me for one credit). I think it must have just been the title of the book.

First I want to talk about the audio spect of the production, the narrations were very well done by a few cast members, I think it played well, and helps to distinguish the letters in different “voices” than if i had just read it.

Second, I was listening to parts of this book while waiting to board my plane this past weekend, and I may have gasped out loud at a particularly dramatic part of the book, it was that gripping… or perhaps it’s just me, i can’t help but laugh when appropriate not caring what’s around me.

on to the book. this book takes places after the WWII, it’s in letter form from various main characters, Sydney Stark, Sophey Stark, Juliet, Elise, Dorsey, just to name a few. (I might have spelled their names wrong, i don’t have the book to use as a reference) It’s their correspondences about their lives. the main character Juliet is an author, she had written a column turned novel about a girl in the time of the war, and she’s just coming off her book tour, and is looking for a new story. Thru a coincidence, she starts a correspondence with Dorsey.

Dorsey informs her that he belongs to Guernsey literary and potato peel pie society, and of course Juliet is intrigued and would love to hear more about this literary society with such an interesting name.

Sydney is her editor, and brother to Sophy. Sophy is her best friend.

All this correspondence leads her on a journey to Guernsey island, and to seek out the story for her next book. What she finds once she lands on Guernsey island is that this was the home she has been looking for for her whole life. the islanders are drawn to her as much as she is drawn to the island.

I didn’t mind that this book was in letter form, I think because it’s multi-narrative, the letters are less static. the letters move along, instead of feeling like there’s lots of background story to be told to you, as a lot of letter written novels are prone to feel like to me.

Right about the time the story plot revealed it self that Juliet was looking for her next novel, and it sounded like the perfect story to get the novel from her experience about Guernesy, I started to be turned off to it. I really don’t like when a novel is about a novel, if you know what i mean. I looked at the time left on the audio and decided just to keep listening on, I only had 2 hours left, and it would be a waste to not finish.

At the conclusion of the book, I was glad that I had finished. The book takes you on the twists and turns of the post war emotions, and it was really less about the war, then it was about relationships and kindhearted Guernsey people.

I highly recommend this book.

March 21, 2009

Books, check!

Filed under: book review — mknit @ 8:44 am

Reading has always been a passion for me, I don’t remember reading much pre-America days, but I have distinct memories of feeling self sufficient in riding my bike to the local library next to Cooks’ the supermarket, and checking out tons, like 20 books, and going thru them in a few days.  (what a run on sentence) I’d spend hours in the library just browsing the books, hoping to discover a new book.

I had a reading light clipped to the head of my bed, and would use it to read into the night. We really didn’t have a curfew that i could remember, so i’d just read until i got tired. I grew up on, Encyclopedia Brown, Judy Blume, Romona and Beezus, and the Babysitter’s club.

Now a days I still like to browse for books, just I do it in a bookstore instead of a library.  I am noticing a growing numbers of books on my shelf that are just sitting there gathering dust. Most likely a cause of me trying to stimulate the economy and purchasing English copies of books whenever i see them, for fear of not knowing when shall be the next time I’ll be able to have access.  Due to the excessive amount of unread books in my possession, I am thinking of going on a book diet, a 2 for 1 deal.

Read two books then I can buy one new books, and they have to be in the same format, as in… 2 kindle book does not equal 1 physical book in the library… I can only purchase another kindle book. The main point to this is to cross off the books, and well you know how much i love to cross things off. So here’s the list, it’s not complete by any means because i have a few Chinese books that are not listed, and the books that are in Taiwan are not listed as well, but I shall update them when i get back to Taiwan, next time. It shall do for the time being.

Kindle 2/iphone app:

Anne of Windy Poplars - currently reading
Anne’s House of Dreams

Anne of Ingleside - 4/14 finished
Rainbow Valley
Rilla of Ingleside
Anna Karenina
Chronicles of Avonlea
Further Chronicles of Avonlea
The Mysterious Benedict Society - currently reading 4/4
me and mr. darcy

Ereader books:

The hopeless Romantic’s Handbook by Gemma Townley 4/19
The Importance of Being Married by Gemma Townley
The Other Queen by Phillippa Gregory
Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
Prince Caspian by CS Lewis 4/16
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
Swimming without a Net by Mary Janice Davidson - 4/24
Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett


Peter and the StarCatcher - listening
Your heart belongs to me

Personal Library (China):

The book thief
A great and terrible beauty
Water for elephants
The beach house
Things I wish my mother told me.
The girl who played with fire - currently reading
The Pilot’s Wife

Personal Library (Taiwan):

What to do when someone dies by Nicci French

March 8, 2009

Sunday book review ~ Persuasion

Filed under: book review — mknit @ 8:02 am

I will be honest, I’m not really into the classics. I mean, I so desperately want to be classy and intelligent and sophiscated enough to lurve the classics, but i pre-judge. I really do.

I think it was Colin Firth that made jane austen fashionable… or was it just him that made mr. darcy fashionable to me? Anyways, another book I was intrigued to read was Persuasion. I had first heard of the novel from the movie, the glass house (the sandra bullock/keanue reeves movie). The character played by Bullock mentions that she likes the book because of the waiting and the wanting… it’s a love story about the two previous lovers meeting up again later in life, both still single, yet not knowing if too much time and hurt feelings has passed…for a rekindled love, if perhaps they should go their separate paths and find new loves.

First I got the book, or rather Vicky gave the book to me as a gift… but it just sat there for awhile… I opened the book, and at the beginning there was a 24 pages intro. I put it down immediately… i didn’t want to read 24 pages of introduction before i can read the book. It sat on my bookshelf for awhile. One day browsing thru librivox, i found the solo project of Pipesdreams and subscribed it.

I was still very skeptical when I started listening to it on librivox. I mean what a bore, all this old classic talks, Elizabeth and Sir Walter bored me, I hate Mary Elliot and what’s with all these formalities, but a few more chapters in, I was really drawn in by all the tension between Anne and Captain Wentworth. the rest of the book really flew by, perhaps cuz I was knitting while listening, or perhaps cuz the reader (moira) is a really good librivox reader. Her speech is clear, and not any disturbing background noise.

Upon finishing the book, i exclaimed to myself that “I love this book!” I have not known how much i would love this book, but i truly do absolutely love it. I haven’t felt this way about a book in awhile… even twilight, or harry potter, or jemima jane. those books just does not compare to how much i love Persuasion.

If i can explain it in modern terms, i’d say it’s emo love.

December 31, 2008

48/52 Books for 2008

Filed under: book review — mknit @ 11:59 pm

*archiving this post. ie burying it in 2008 to declutter the sidebar

Book Challenge 2008… read 52 books in one year?!? One book a week?

*Dec 26 2008… 4 more books to go in 5 days!!! Let’s go do some reading!!

*I found a place that lets me log my Chinese Books! Yay!!

my Goodreads shelves

  1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  2. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
  3. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
  4. A tree Grows in Brooklyn By Betty Smith
  5. Slam by Nick Horby
  6. Be Careful what you wish for by Alexandra Potter
  7. Knit One, Kill Two by Sefton, Maggie
  8. French by Heart by Rebecca Ramsey
  9. Other People’s Wedding by Noah Hawley
  10. Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich (audio)
  11. Kira-Kira by Kadohata, Cynthia
  12. Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me by Karlin, Ben
  13. What I Learned From Knitting (whether I wanted to or not) by Pearl-McPhee, Stephanie
  14. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer ( unfinished draft)
  15. Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich. (audio)
  16. Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson. (audio)
  17. Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
  18. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (international edition)
  19. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (audio)
  20. Mary Poppins by Pamela L Traverse (audio)
  21. Undead and Unappreciated by MaryJanice Davidson. (ereader)
  22. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (librivox)
  23. A study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (ereader)
  24. Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich (audio cd)
  25. Claudia and the Genius of Elm Street by Ann M. Martin (2nd hand copy)
  26. Encyclopedia Brown Cracks the Case by Donald J. Sobol (ereader, Oct 11 2008)
  27. Undead and Unreturnable by MaryJanice Davidson (ereader, Oct 11 2008)
  28. Undead and Unpopular byMaryJanice Davidson (ereader, Oct 12 2008)
  29. Undead and Uneasy by MaryJanice Davidson (ereader, Oct 13 2008)
  30. book1
  31. book2
  32. Made for Mischief by Regina Carlysle (ereader)
  33. I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak (Oct 22 2008)
  34. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (Oct 26 2008 ereader)
  35. Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella (Oct 27 2008 ereader)
  36. Can you keep a secret? by Sophie Kinsella (Dec 1 2008 ereader)
  37. The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks (Nov 3 ereader)
  38. Be careful what you wish for by alexandra potter
  39. On a Snowy Night by Debbie Macomber (Dec 6 2008 ereader)
  40. Knitting rules by Stepnie Pearl-McPhee
  41. Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann
  42. the shoe bird by Eudora Welty, Samuel Jones (audiobook)
  43. Knit Two by Kate Jacobs (ereader, dec 13)
  44. Fish out of Water by Mary Janice Davidson (ereader, Dec 12)
  45. Hound of the Baskerville (libriVox, Dec 15)
  46. Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowlings(audio, Dec 25…this is a repeat listen)
  47. Foul Play by Janet Evanovich (audiobook, Dec 26 2008)
  48. How to Ruin Halloween for the Grim Reaper by Crymsyn Hart (ereader, Dec 26)

100 books

Filed under: book review — mknit @ 8:49 am

at the end of this year… I am giving myself the day off and just posting a meme… in which i hope to use this list as a means of reading next year. Perhaps next year, I shall have more books crossed off the list.

1) Look at the list and cross out those you have read.

2) Bold those you intend to read.

3) Place ** after the books you LOVE.

4) Post your list so we can try and track down these people who’ve only read 6 and force books upon them.(it took me awhile, but I’ve searched for books that are available on LibriVox and have linked them. I might have missed some, since the list is sooo long, and I’ve only looked at what seems like classics. I’ve also have wiki linked the books title to which I have no idea what it might have been.)

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen librivox link

2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte librivox link

4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling ** i especially love book1, 3, 6

5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6. The Bible

7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte librivox link

8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott LibriVox

12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare librivox links

15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18. Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger I did not get this book…

19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20. Middlemarch - George Eliot librivox link

21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens librivox link

24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy librivox links

25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky libriVox

28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll libriVox

30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (Kindle)

31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy librivox link

32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens LibriVox

33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34. Emma - Jane Austen librivox link

35. Persuasion - Jane Austen (currently reading 2/26/09)

36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis Did i read this… it’s been sooo long ago.

37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41. Animal Farm - George Orwell

42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery librivox link

47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood I thought this story was really racy for its time.

49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50. Atonement - Ian McEwan

51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52. Dune - Frank Herbert

53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen LibriVox

55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas librivox link

66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding (i didn’t read this one, but the next in the series, the one they made 2 into, and well this as a novel does not read well.)

69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville LibriVox

71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens librivox link

72. Dracula - Bram Stoker LibriVox

73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (thanks to librivox & kayray)

74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75. Ulysses - James Joyce LibriVox

76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78. Germinal - Emile Zola

79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80. Possession - AS Byatt

81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens LibriVox

82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker ** this was a good story.

84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert librivox link

86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White

88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (all the adventures of just one adventure?) LibriVox

90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94. Watership Down - Richard Adams

95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas LibriVox

98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl ** I also enjoyed this book.

100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

(I’ve read 20 as of Jan 26 2011)

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