Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Reading & Watching (February through April)

I've been neglecting this space for a bit for everything (that chevron cardigan still doesn't have any completed pictures), but before I start losing track of all these pages in my notebook, here's my reading & watching (movies) list from February to now.


  1. Henry IV & V (Hollow Crown BBC series)
  2. What Good are the Arts? by John Carey
  3. The Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller
  4. The Outsider by Albert Camus
    • Why did it take me so long to start in on Camus? I mean, I've read the Myth of Sisyphus & other essays, but his novels/novellas!
  5. Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs by Lisa Randall
  6. Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution by Rebecca Stott


  1. Vlad the Impaler by M.J. Trow
    • I really wish this were a bit more about historical Vlad than about the history of vampires in literature & film, but alas. Perhaps there really is too little known about the historical Vlad?
  2. The Savage God: A Study of Suicide by Al Alvarez
    • Yes. I enjoyed this immensely and would recommend it to just about anyone. That being said, it only covers the Western world, and I'm sure it's not totally comprehensive, but still really interesting in terms of seeing how views on suicide have changed and why these shifts may have occurred.
  3. The Fall by Camus
  4. Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut
    • Same for Vonnegut. Loved the graph on Kafka. Sometimes it felt like he was trying too hard to be funny, but I suppose that's his style. Having read this makes me want to read his novels though, so those are now higher on the list than they were previously.
  5. Banjo of Destiny by Cary Fagan
    • Danny, Who Fell Down a Hole, was also on the list of to-read, but didn't happen. Banjo of Destiny was surprisingly enjoyable (considering it's a children's book)! The straightforwardness and simplicity of the plot was a little irritating, but I suppose I can't expect too much complexity for the targeted age group, and it even made a jab at psychoanalysis. Loved it.
  6. The Educated Imagination by Northrop Frye
    • This was a re-read. Still glad my English teacher got us to read it early on in grade 10.
  7. So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
  8. Reasons of Love by Harry G. Frankfurt
  9. On Truth by Harry G. Frankfurt
  10. On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt
    • Another re-read, because I recommended these and wanted to make sure I knew what I was talking about.
  11. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
    • It's been a long long while since I've read a YA book, but I'm glad I did! Burned through it within a day.
  12. The Thing (2011)
    • Couldn't for the life of me get my hands on a version of The Thing by John Carpenter. Got this one by accident.
  13. Frank (2014)
    • YES.

April (the month of mostly movies)

  1. The Master (2012)
  2. A Wolf at the Door (2013)
    • Whoa.
  3. Death of a Cyclist (1955)
    • I wasn't sure until the moment she decided what to do what she was going to choose. To an extent, I did know, because of course it had to be that way, but there was a part of me that really sincerely hoped otherwise. And then the sort of bright look toward the future, because the cyclist went to get help at the end.
  4. The Sunset Limited (2011)
  5. The Big Lebowski (1998)
  6. Inherent Vice (2014)
    • Everything was pulled off so very well. All the connections. I mean, a bit simple in terms of how they presented it all to the viewer, but at the same time, the viewer would have been completely lost if they hadn't filtered it down to the most important information and made sure to emphasize the connecting points/names.
  7. Her (2013)
    • Incredibly beautiful. The entire movie: visuals, soundtrack, the plot.
  8. Stalker (1979)
  9. The Bear by Claire Cameron
    • Had my doubts at first because of the POV, and the lack of anything concrete in terms of the bear itself, but I suppose the overarching presence of the bear sufficed and the novel didn't need the bear to actually reappear at all. Whether it was a dream or not where it did reappear, is another issue. Also, you're constantly thinking about whether Anna is a reliable narrator of events, and how much she actually did remember when she says that she remembers everything that happened.
  10. Octopus! The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea by Katherine Harmon Courage
    • I gave up on reading the other book on octopuses because of the way it was written. I picked up this one instead, which was well-written and engaging, but touched on the surface only of all the information that could've been passed on. I really wish these two books could have been put together into one, so that people interested in reading about octopuses wouldn't have to deal with horrible formatting and awkward writing in the former, and an insufficiently sated curiosity in the latter.
Still making my way slowly through these ones:
  1. Plato's Republic has taken a backseat, unfortunately.
  2. The Fruit, the Tree, and the Serpent by Lynne Isbell
  3. Dostoevsky's Demons is still unfinished
And made a trip to Doug Miller's Bookstore, which is a real gem that I hope to visit again another day, and came out with another stack of books, so this will be a very busy summer.

A Little Too Free-Spirited

over the shoulder throw
You can just throw it over your shoulders and it'll still land more or less evenly over them!

Another test knit for the lovely Nadia CrĂ©tin-LĂ©chenne: I chose to knit Free Spirit out of the Shawls Junkie collection. And apologies in advance for the lighting: I completed everything very last minute due to school & applications for calls. But a huge thank you to my mom, who took the photos!

from the back
Double wedge by mistake... but I kind of like it.

Unfortunately, I made it a little too free-spiritedly, first knitting the reconnecting stripes section wrong (see the first two triangle sections, which look a bit thinner because I didn't knit to the correct part), then knitting a double-wedge section into one!

closer look at my mistakes
In full. Including the thinner stripes.

Still, the patten was easy to follow (despite my own carelessness), and it had enough interesting parts that kept you on your feet (though I clearly sat right down). Once you reach the second or third wedge, you probably won't even need to refer back to the pattern anymore, which is actually probably why I messed up so maybe don't take my advice, and you'll be able to knit it while watching a movie or two.

pretty happy nonetheless
Staying squarely on my shoulders. Love it.

The shape of the entire shawl sits very nicely on your shoulders and doesn't threaten at every move to shift and fall off your person, which is quite nice also.

Which is all to say, go make your own Free Spirit! Perhaps not in quite as free-spirited a fashion as I did, taking liberties all along the way to make little mistakes here and there, or perhaps so. I'm not too miffed about the double-wedge, to be honest, and I'm mighty pleased that I've completely used up the Riverside Studio singles (doubled up to approximate pattern weight), as well as started in on the Spellbound (in Throne), along with biting into the Estelle Super Alpaca that I've had in my stash since the very very beginning. Not bad!