Another month of books has gone by and it was a great month because there isn't a disappointment in the list. Behold the Dreamers was a wonderful surprise and the others were all very good. The last 2 non-fiction books were chose specifically for vacation drive time and beach reading so I don't expect either of those to have general appeal.
Have you read any good books this month? I usually set a 10 hour minimum for audiobooks so the longer the book, the better! Which brings me to a question. Has anyone read Infinite Jest? I saw it in a bookstore in Hatteras and put it in my Audible Wish list but it is 56 hours so I'd like to get an opinion or two before I get into it.
By Robert McCammon, Narrated by Marc Vieter
Robert McCmmon is the author of the Matthew Corbett series that I enjoy so much. That series is set in the 18th century. With this book, a standalone book, we are taken to Depression-era Louisiana and introduced to John Partlow and Ginger LaFrance, two hucksters who take advantage of the gullible.
Elsewhere there's Curtis a young black man who is a redcap at the train station and, unknown to everyone, has a special talent to communicate telepathically and he currently has regular conversations with a young girl named Nilla. When Nilla is abducted he feels compelled to help.
I'm generally not into any book that crosses this close to sci-fi but, I admit, this is a very well-written tale and the telepathy is handled very well. It was a great book to start off the month.
Hong Kong Black
By Alex Ryan, Narrated by MacLeod Andrews
This is the second in the Nick Foley series. Nich is a ex-Navy SEAL working for an NGO in China to provide clean drinking water to poor populations. But, as in the last book, he's drawn back into his old life. This time he's called by his CIA agent friend to check in on another missing agent, Peter Yu. He discovers that the agent hasn't been see in 4 days. Meanwhile, Nick's love interest, Dash, has been investigating a situation where dozens of mutilated bodies have been washed ashore. Once of them is the missing Yu.
The story is action packed and moves along at a good pace. The plot is very interesting and as I read it I just hoped that the things being done here really possible in real life....although I'm not confident.
I don't see any evidence of a 3rd Nick Foley book but the authors (Brian Anderws and Jefffrey Wilson) have lots of other books to choose from.
Behold the Dreamers
By Imbolo Mbue, Narrated by Prentice Onayemi
I almost passed on this book because it was so hyped when it came out and, frankly, I'm not a big Oprah fan so avoid her recommended books. But this one came up as a Deal of the Day bargain so I decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did!
Jende Jonga has immigrated to New York City from Cameroon to try to make a better life for his wife, Neni and their young son. He eventually finds a job as a chauffeur for an executive at Lehman Brothers.
This is a book about life, life choices and cultural norms. It's about the consequences of which immigration lawyer you hire, who you work for, what your priorities are in life and finding out what "home" is. It's a nice story with the addition of the Lehman Brothers crisis I think that many readers might think this is a biography. It's not, it's purely a novel but you could see how this could be someone's real life story.
The narrator is fantastic!
The Secret Soldier
By Alex Berensen, Narrated by George Guidall
This is #5 in the John Wells series. Wells is a former CIA agent who still has a need for the challenge. In this book he is hired by the Saudi government, specifically King Abdullah. Someone is attacking the Saud family and trying to send the country into turmoil.
This is very fast paced and I couldn't put it down. I think it's my favorite in the series so far.
The Confessions of Young Nero
By Margaret George, Narrated by Steve West, Susan Denaker and Katharine McEwan
There are few authors who write as thoroughly researched historical fiction novels. The first one I read was Memoirs of Cleopatra and it's still my favorite. But this one was right up there. It tells the story of Nero as if he is narrating the story. She stays very true to historical events as well as they can be knows. There is no actual documentation from contemporaries of Nero so our history of him is told by historians of later generations. At the end of the book George explains her research, things that she interpreted differently from other historians and literary license that she took with some time periods and place names. It was 20 hours of great entertainment.
I contain Multitudes
By Ed Yong
Although I'm including the Audible link for this book I actually read this one with my eyes! Gasp!
Last year I started reading The Gene on vacation. It's a big undertaking and actually took 2 vacations to finish but it was a great book about about the history of genetics and current research in the field. I Contain Multitudes is a great complement to The Gene because microbe research is front and center for research and new treatments for all sorts of auto-immune diseases. Researchers generally agree that gut health is the secret to so many of our ailments including obesity, allergies, asthma, diabetes, cancer and much more.
I don't think this book is as well organized or as well written as The Gene but the information was very interesting and valuable. I learned 2 things that are relevant and useful today. First, fiber is incredibly important for gut health. He says "where you have populations with little poop (constipation) you will have the need for lots of hospitals". Second, is that the probiotic yogurts that we are eating are great to help prevent diarrhea after antibiotics but not much use beyond that. The microbes in them are quite generic and not in high enough quantities to make a difference. It would be like taking my quarter acre pond water and dumping it in the Atlantic Ocean to try to bring down the salinity level.
On the hopeful front there's some great progress being made in mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and zika.
If you are interested in science you might enjoy this one.
By William Warner, Narrated by Henry Strozier
When Chris and I go on a trip we try to find a good book to listen to. Often is a mystery or a humor book by Carl Hiaasen. This year we decided to go non-fiction and local.
Beautiful Swimmers is an old book originally published in the 1970's and it's all about the Blue Crabs of the Chesapeake Bay and the Watermen who build careers around them.
A lot of the information in this book is dated but it's still a great read about one of my favorite foods. In a way it was good to read the dated information because it really shows how far we've come in cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay and restoring many of the native species, including crabs.
It isn't for everyone but Bay locals might enjoy it.
The Secret Place
By Tana French, Narrated By Stephen Hogan and Lara Hutchinson
This is #5 in the Dublin Murder Squad series. I read #6 in this series a few months ago and now I realize that it would have made a lot more sense if I had read them in order!
In this one there's been a murder at an all-girls boarding school. A boy from a nearby school was found dead on the grounds of the girl's school. The case went cold until one of the students found a note on a bulletin board called "The Secret Place". It's where the girls can post anonymous thoughts. The note that's found says "I know who killed Chris Harper".
The narration is great and the author captured perfectly the annoying dialect of teenagers. It's tots amazeballs.
I so look forward to my family's annual beach trip. It's funny that we all get along really well but we rarely see each other because we are all a bunch of homebodies. It seems that renting a giant home is enough of a draw that we can all still be anti-social but also be together.
A couple of family members couldn't make it so I was able to invite two of my favorite introvert friends. They fit in perfectly.
As usual I couldn't make it a week without an injury. I had a "shower mishap" that again reinforces my lack of grace and stability. The shower in the master suite is a demonic shower connected to a tub with steps up and down to get in and 2 doors. It's best suited for really tall people. I was standing on the edge of the tub to hang my bathing suit when, predictably, I fell forward. I now have my right upper arm covered in KT tape and enjoying frequent ice packs on a probable torn deltoid. It would be a freaking miracle if I could make it one day without a bruise or cut or some sort of muscle pain. I'm already feeling better but it means another week away from dyeing.
But there's good news too! This house has a indoor balcony from a partial 4th floor and that motivated me in another way.
I finished the quilt! I knew that balcony would be the perfect place to hang it for a photo so I took it along with me and finished it Monday. Don't fret over the look of the lower left corner. The quilt does lay flat but that's the last corner I worked on and it was still a bit wrinkled. I wasn't about to get an iron out at the beach!
Frankly, finishing it was kind of sad. Now I'm at a loss for a new handwork project and we all know that's something of a crisis. I can't watch TV without having something to work on or else I'll eat myself through every show.
Here's the last blossom. This was a coincidence but quite poetic that the last blossom was in my Grandma Dove's favorite color: purple.
Now to commence agonizing on how to quilt it. But there will be no quilting going on this week either!
I'm back from a wonderful beach vacation with my family and some friends. I'm grateful to one of my friends for reintroducing me to the joy of flying a kite on the beach!
It was a great week to celebrate a lot of things. Now I'm back and it's time to celebrate with you! Here are the winners from last week's Celebrate Summer Giveaway
Monday Warm Fabrics: Sylvia Anerson
Tuesday Cool Fabrics: Nancy Phillips
Wednesday Earth Fabrics: Sherry Whitford
Thursday Ice Dyed Fabric: Kathy Sevebeck
Friday Waste Fabrics: Peggy Davie
Saturday Gift Certificate: Naomi Mankowitz
Congratulations to all of the winners! All have been notified. If a winner doesn't respond within a week I will pick a new winner.
Fabric of the Week - Groundhog Day
The fabric of the week this week is Groundhog Day Gradient! If you want some for your stash get it before it sells out. Through Sunday (or while supplies last) this fabric is 25% off or $6.75/half yard.
More Fabric News!
Two new Stash Packs are in the shop this week! Canyonland evokes the oranges and russets of sun baked canyons. Crossroads is a complement to Pebbles and Rocks for your art quilt road beds.
How's this for a Grand Finale? The winner of today's drawing will get to pick whatever fabric they want from the shop!
Don't miss the chance to enter this one and find out if you are a winner when I post all of the winners May 29!
Giveaway Week is winding down but I'm saving the best for last! These are my famous "waste fabrics" and are always the most popular fabrics in my giveaway. They are 6 - 8" wide strips the full width of fabric. I call them waste fabrics because they are used in the process of dyeing gradients. I used only "waste" fabrics in my Catena quilt.
Enter below for a chance to win these fabrics. The winner will be announced May 29.
I hope you are enjoying the Celebrate Summer Giveaway prizes and are entering every day!
Today's prize needs a little explanation. When I ice dye the Crystal mandalas I put a piece of fabric in the bottom of the bin to catch the runoff dye. The results are some of the Galaxy fabrics. I absolutely LOVE these fabrics. The texture is so unique and it's one of these fabrics that I'm using in my Antelope Canyon quilt.
The fabric for today's giveaway is actually a bolt end of 108" wide fabric. It wasn't wide enough to be a quilt back so one day I used it in the bottom of one of the ice dyeing bins and got a great result! This photo is only about 1/3 of the whole piece. It's over a yard in length and 108" wide.
If you like it enter below! The winner will be announced May 29.
Welcome to the third day of our Celebrate Summer Giveaway! Today is the last batch of themed fabric. Today's fabrics are all loosely categorized as "earth" fabrics. They have lots of texture and a variety of greens, browns and other earthy colors.
If these appeal to you enter the contest below. The winner will be announced May 29.
Welcome back for the second day of our Celebrate Summer Giveaway!
Today I have even more hand dyed scraps. These are mostly bolt ends of fabrics that were dyed with leftover dyes at the end of my dye sessions. They have some really interesting color combinations and lots of texture. Most are long strips and this collection are mostly cool colors of greens, blues and purples.
Enter in the Rafflecopter box below. Winners will be announced May 29.
All of the giveaways this week are fabric. Today I'm starting off with a collection of fabrics in warm colors. Some of these are scraps from my own projects but most are strips of bolt ends that I dye with leftover dyes at the end of my dyeing sessions. Enter using the Rafflecopter block below.
(If there are any problems with the giveaway box any day leave a message on the post. I'll get an email and will look into it.)
You know how I love working with the leftover fabrics from my own quilts so I was thrilled to see that Patricia Caldwell loves the leftovers too! This is a small quilt that she made with the leftovers of her Copper Canyon #2 quilt that I shared last week. This is made with the Nightfall Gradient.
If you have made anything with my hand dyed fabric I hope you will consider sharing it in the Customer Gallery. In appreciation you will receive a 20% shop coupon that's good for 3 months!
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.