Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Unraveled, Week 33/2021

It's a dark, rainy Wednesday here as we are dealing with the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred. Kat is taking the week off from blogging and thus isn't hosting a link-up for Unraveled Wednesday, but I've been posting every Wednesday this year so far, and I'm not about to break my streak! Plus, I have quite a reading update, and as I expect to be back in the office at this time next Wednesday, it doesn't make sense to wait until next week.

I am focused today on finishing up that baby-sized Flax Light that I shared yesterday -- I've got a couple of inches left to knit on the first sleeve, so that doesn't seem like too big of a stretch. I can also report that while it isn't all that pretty, the stash is officially contained in its new home, the closet of what is now the guest/stash room:

The only things that aren't in the closet now are two bags that are in my bedroom, one containing some handspun that I've been slowly adding to Instagram for sale and one containing a fleece, which I've put there in the hopes that seeing it will inspire me to finish processing it so I can spin it (I am planning to spin for a Dissent Pullover).

Reading has been good this past week, and I've finished three books:

I had put Home Fire on hold at the library after Mary recommended it, and then it was mentioned on last week's episode of Novel Pairings about mythology-inspired titles, so it all felt very timely. This novel is a modern retelling of Antigone that focuses on three English siblings, children of Pakistani immigrants who were abandoned by their father and then orphaned when their mother died, leaving the two youngest children, twins, to be raised by their teenage older sister. They are grown when we meet them, but they are still grappling with their past and dealing with their connections to Islamic terrorism and conflicts within their Muslim community. It's a heartbreaking and moving book. I gave it 4 stars.

Bingo square: An author of color

On that same episode of Novel Pairings, Sara and Chelsey mentioned Lovely War, which I'd never heard of but put on hold at the library right away. The main narrative of this book is set during World War I and follows two couples as they make their way through the war facing all sorts of challenges, but this story line is actually a story within a story: When the book opens, it's the middle of World War II, and Aphrodite and Ares have been caught in a tryst in a New York City hotel room by Aphrodite's husband, Hephaestus. The story of the two couples in WWI is told by Aphrodite in a trial overseen by her husband to explain why he has found her with Ares, and in fact the story reveals just how much love and war are intertwined. I listened to the audiobook, which uses music strategically to enhance the narrative. I'll admit that my attention wandered at some points, so the book was perhaps a little long for my taste, but I enjoyed it in general. I gave it 3 stars.
Bingo square: Story within a story

My final finish for the week was completed yesterday afternoon. I'd had The Rose Code in my to-read stack for the entire summer but only just got to it this month. This is definitely one of those books that, if I'd picked it up on vacation, I would have sped through in a day or two, but reading it before bedtime made it take much longer. The story takes place in two timelines, one during WWII and one in the days leading up to the marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, and follows three women who all worked at Bletchley Park during the war. In the later timeline, one is falsely imprisoned in a mental hospital because of something that happened at Bletchley, and the wartime chapters slowly reveal why. This is a 600+-page book but didn't feel like it, and I really enjoyed the setting because I've been fascinated by the code-breaking efforts at Bletchley for quite a while. There's a very interesting author's note at the end that you must read, and she also gives a list of other books (both fiction and nonfiction) and TV shows and movies that tell more about Bletchley Park. I gave it 4 stars.
Bingo square: Color in the title

My second bingo card is filling up quickly, and I'm challenging myself to complete a second cover-all before Summer Book Bingo ends!

You can see that I already have one bingo (the right-most column), and I'm hoping to soon have a second (the fourth row). I am listening to the audiobook of The Final Revival of Opal & Nev and am, according to my Libby app, 64% through it. I also started The Illness Lesson last night after finding a copy of it in my neighborhood Little Free Library earlier this summer; I haven't yet added it to my card, but it's going in the "That you want to read because of the cover" square. That leaves me seven squares to fill, and I know what I'm reading for five of them for sure. Even if I don't manage to fill this card, I will for sure have done some excellent reading this summer!

How is your reading going this week?


  1. Kate Quinn has other books that I love. Check them out.

    1. I have already read and enjoyed The Alice Network, which is I why I was keen to read this one!

  2. Isn’t it wonderful to get a closet cleaned out. I also listened to and enjoyed Opal and Nev.

  3. Congratulations on moving the stash, and I hope you successfully wrestled the old furniture to the curb last night. The Rose Code sounds especially intriguing to me, so I'm off to place a hold. (I'm also crossing my fingers that you don't have to go in to the office next week.)

  4. Bravo for getting that stash moved! :-)
    I love Kamila Shamsie. Her book Kartography is one of my favorite books of all time. (I loved Home Fire, too.)

  5. Woohoo for getting the stash moved! and for more good books. *adds Kartography to TBR - thanks, Kym!*

  6. Wow - congrats on that second bingo card AND a great reading week! I just loved The Rose Code - that's the one where they drank a lot of ovaltine? Or am I confusing it with something else? Either way - I loved the scenes in the huts at Bletchley Park, with their pencils and their coding machines. I want to read more set there!

    And well done on getting your stash moved - what an accomplishment!

  7. You certainly have had a great reading summer. I bet it feels good to have moved the stash and have it in one place. I have four bins of stash in three different locations. I should probably get it together somewhere except right now I know where everything is located.

  8. That's a fabulous stash closet! And it looks like a GREAT week for good stories over there. I haven't finished one darn thing. I have a smock ready to be blocked and two books languishing as we unpack and re-orient three kiddos who start school (yesterday and today). Transition always looks like this around here...