I am slowly getting back in the habit of both reading and blogging, so please bear with me…
On the reading front, I’ve been enjoying translated Chinese light novels and am looking forward to a particular Star Wars companion novel.
I am currently reading volume 5 of Chinese author, Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù’s novel series Tian Guan Ci Fu.
Tian Guan Ci Fu (or Heaven Official’s Blessing) is, so far, a sweet story following Xie Lian, a god who has ascended three times and is now adventuring in the mortal realm with friend (and love interest) Hua Cheng.
Their travels have been fun to read about and I can’t wait to see how volume 5 ends… I have a feeling it’s going to be rewarding in a number of ways.
I am a huge fan of the video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and can not explain how excited I am to play the sequel.
So, when I found out there was a novel that fits between the two games, I knew I had to get my hands on it!
My sister, a bookseller, was able to get Star Wars Jedi: Battle Scars for me and it is currently on my side table, just waiting to be cracked open… I’ll let y’all know what I think of it when I’m through, lol.
Have you read any light novels? If so, share the titles with me so I can add them to my TBR! ;D
I’d entirely forgotten that Fiber in the Boro was happening until I saw a post mentioning that this would be the last year the festival would be held. So, I texted my mom quick like a bunny to see if she minded dropping me off at the Fest while she continued on her dog run (she transports rescue dogs) and guess what? She said yes! Whoo boo!
The first place I stopped was the Traveling Yarn Yogi, an older short bus that had been renovated into a mobile yarn shop. They had SO much yarn inside the little bus and I was sorely tempted to purchase something, but I haven’t been able to knit in months and knew the yarn would just languish on my shelves for ages. So, instead, I purchased an adorable pin replica of “Purl” the yarn bus!
Then it was time for lunch, as I hadn’t eaten any breakfast and was famished. Luckily for me, the Smokin’ Buttz food truck was parked near the yarn bus, so I got a super tasty pulled pork sandwich with a side of coleslaw.
And then I was ready to check out the actual fiber fest…
After wandering through the two large rooms filled with vendors of all types, I stopped at Smaywork Design’s booth to watch Cathy spinning some art yarn.
I had made a promise with myself to NOT get into spinning yarn, because as a knitter/crocheter I have amassed a rather large collection of yarns that are just sitting, waiting to be used in a project. And I just knew that if I picked up spinning too, then it would only be more stuff to ‘collect.’
But, since my arm was injured on the job, I haven’t been able to knit or crochet or do much of anything fiber-related and it has been slowly eating away at me that I can no longer participate in something I find so much joy and relaxation in.
So, there I was, mesmerized by Cathy’s seemingly effortless spinning with a drop spindle. She could tell I was interested and was more than happy to explain what she was doing and how easy it was to pick up… even with a brace on my dominant hand, I was able to spin the drop spindle and start spinning!
I mentioned my injury and that I really wished there was a way I could do something fiber-related and Cathy told me that she had a drop spindle she’d be willing to sell me… and the rest, as they say, is history.
My first drop spindle was just $15 and Cathy even through in some of the gorgeous wool she was using for me to practice with… and here are the results:
From the Smaywork Design’s booth, I wandered around just kind of ‘window shopping’ and watching various vendors plying (lol, fiber pun) their trade. I stopped and talked with the lovely ladies of Brick House Fiber Arts and discovered that they hand craft hexagonal knitting needles from, get this, USA sourced materials!!!
I chose to go ahead and get one of their 42” size 7 circular needles, in the hope that I get to use them as soon as my arm is recovered, and look forward to giving them loads more of my business in the future.
If you are looking for a high-quality, American made knitting needle, please check out Brick House Fiber Arts!
After that, I wandered over to the neighboring booths of Deertrace Farm (of Fayetteville, TN) and Arcadia Farm of Seymour (of Seymour, TN) and purchased some wool from each.
I picked up approx. 3 grams of black, baby alpaca wool from Deertrace Farm without realizing how much or little yarn I would get from that amount of wool and was pleasantly surprised!
At Arcadia Farm of Seymour I picked up a mixed wool from two of their sheep as well as some unscented sheep’s milk soap and am really excited to try out both!
Fiber in the Boro was officially over at 4 p.m., but I still had a little while to wait before my Mom would be back to pick me up, so I spent the time sitting out front, practicing on my new drop spindle. We got dinner at McNamara’s Irish Pub in Nashville and headed home.
It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday and I can only hope that this particular fiber festival finds a way to continue on in the future, because it was quite possibly the warmest welcome I have ever received when picking up a new hobby.
Have you been to a festival recently? What kind was it?
Title: Red, White & Royal Blue Author: Casey McQuiston Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin Release date: May 14, 2019 Format: Paperback Page count: 421 Genre: Contemporary My rating: ★☆☆☆☆
First things first, this is NOT a young adult title, it is New Adult. The author herself doesn’t claim it is young adult, but the bookseller who told me about it clearly saw the cutesy cover and assumed it was young adult (which is what I was looking for).
Secondly, I really really really wanted to enjoy this book. So much so that I purchased a copy, rather than getting it from the library (something I haven’t done in AGES because my bookshelves are entirely too full).
Basically, if I’m not planning on re-reading a book, then I borrow rather than buy. Now, here’s why I have buyer’s remorse…
The premise sounds SO good! Enemies to lovers is a trope I am ALL in for! Awkward trans-Atlantic, politically fraught romance! These are all really great things in my mind… but the execution leaves much to be desired, as they say.
The author either hates Republicans or really wants her readers to think she does and, judging by Alex’s way of thinking, Democrats can do no wrong and have basically saved America from itself. From the first chapter, the politics in this book are just… toxic.
Published at a time when the then-President of the United States was very controversial, Red, White & Royal Blue reads like some wishful, alternate universe fan fiction.
At the end of the day, there were these brief moments of really GOOD storytelling, writing that I wanted to see more of! But those moments were overshadowed by this desperate attempt to fix all of the ‘problems’ in the world… Really, I think it comes down to the author trying to do too much.
And you know what? She might have been successful, if it hadn’t been contemporary fiction. This book is supposedly happening now-ish and based in a believable world, but it just… isn’t. It’s such an idealized view of what the author wishes the world to be that it’s entirely lacking in enjoyment. Each time I read something I liked, it was instantly overshadowed by the ‘politics’ and my enjoyment was lost.
While this title has been seemingly well-received by the bookish community, I think it could benefit from some taking a step back and remembering that sometimes a reader just wants to enjoy a book and have it be an actual escape from the world in which they live.