Friday, September 30, 2016

Try to Remember

The kind of September... Where I finally start on the weaving project I was supposed to be working on all throughout the summer as well as got ready for my Introduction to Bookbinding Workshop (tomorrow!).
  1. Criminal That I Am: A Memoir by Jennifer Ridha
  2. flesh and bone (2015 miniseries)
    • Everyone needs a Pasha in their lives. Everyone.
  3. If This is a Woman: Inside Ravensbruck: Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women by Sarah Helm
    • My comment on this is going to be shorter than I would like it to be simply because of the nature of this book, but it was so incredibly difficult to keep up with all the characters, what with the way the chapters picked people up and dropped them and some would show up again and some you might never hear of for the duration of the book! I understand that to write the events in a chronological order would make it so that you would have to jump around here and there to talk about these people, then those, but still! The atrocities started to blend into one another towards the end, which really makes clear how easily one can grow numb to it, but it really struck me at the end the woman who went home (I believe to France) and got a jump in line for food handouts because she was too weak, and when someone told her off for it, she responded that she just came back from a concentration camp, to which the man retorted "mais quand même, they have to line up in concentration camps, don't they?". For which she hit the man. That brutal insensitivity, right in the face of the person who had to undergo that! Thank goodness she hit him.
  4. The Book of the People: How to Read the Bible by A.N.Wilson
    • Well with a title like that, I suppose I should have expected the tone that the author took throughout the entire book - not that I disagree with it per se, it's just that what I'm interested in is something a little different. I guess I was expecting more of a critical look than what the message I took away from it came out to be, namely something along the lines of: don't read the Bible literally (... duh?), stop trying to force your own views and interpretation of the Bible onto others (again, duh?), and God is the living word, through which one's life can be enhanced if only it is lived and acted upon (which is swell and all, don't get me wrong...). But this could have been a much better book. Perhaps I was simply reading the wrong book for my interests. What I did take away from this book that I think I might want to follow up on is that I should read the Bible. Although that's kind of a lie: How to Read Literature Like a Professor re-implanted the idea in my head (it's been there since high school at least, if for all the wrong reasons, something like "keep your friends close and your enemies closer", not that religion was ever my enemy, so to speak), so it's more like this book gave me more reason to actually read The Book.
  5. The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall
    • A seemingly very large section on memory and how fallible memory is. I also just recently queued up a book about memory (and identity): The Memory Illusion. I haven't read it yet, but somehow things always make sense in terms of how I queue up what to read next, even if by the time I get around to it, I've - the irony! - forgotten why.
    • "J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books... are twice as long in their entirety as War and Peace" (p.276). Well golly. Now I have even less excuse to not have read War & Peace!
  6. Quicksand by Steve Toltz
    • I very much enjoyed reading A Fraction of a Whole by Toltz a while back, so when pondering over what fiction to read next, I figured I probably wouldn't go wrong with more Toltz. Rambling, vaguely articulate yet very disturbed characters seem to be Toltz's thing. Not that I'm complaining, since I very much enjoy these characters, but all the same. There's a sort of surreal, almost forced - forcedness - to them, in that they are so incredibly thrown, although they don't disintegrate into flatness because of that, which I think is a piece of work in and of itself. That being said, I enjoyed A Fraction of a Whole more than I did Quicksand, in that I was able to immerse myself much more into the world of the story. I'm sure I missed so many allusions and references to other literary works in both novels that there's much to be said about reading them both again, with a bit more focus, but in terms of the sort of relaxing read that is about all that I'm in the mood to read about right now (in terms of ease of reading, not in terms of being uninformative or uncritical), this ranks a little lower down the list than expected, based on my memory of the first novel.
  7. Born to Be Blue (2015)
  8. The Memory Illusion by Julia Shaw
    • I'm probably remembering wrong, or not all of what I read, but I'm almost positive that I learned all this at some point or another throughout my psychology degree, to some degree. Which is not to say that a reminder course every now and again isn't good to keep me on my toes and continue to make me doubt my memories & their veracity, but anyway. A great crash course into the fallible nature of memories.
    • Does this mean we fabricate our own identities more than we may like to admit? In that case, shouldn't we simply own up to it, and not say that we're "phony" (rather to die than to be phony, was it? Catcher in the Rye reference referenced in At The Existentialist Cafe), but instead make full use of our freedom to choose who to be?
  9. At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Bakewell
    • Alternative title suggestion: 50 Reasons You Should Be In Love With Jean-Paul Sartre
    • I read this book very much as a love story.
    • Bakewell renders Sartre into literally the most adorable human being of all time, in the same way in which I view Plato's portrayal of Socrates as being adorable, except maybe more so. Just a teaser: when tasked to write a foreword for Genet's book, Sartre hands over a 700-page manuscript, though no word on whether he got that foreword done or not; and even though he didn't know much English, by the second time he went to America, someone (I forget who) was struck by his loquacity despite that little inconvenience - I'm paraphrasing Bakewell here, but, he couldn't say much, but he just wouldn't shut up! Also, Bakewell does wonders with the literary device of foreshadowing. Reading Sartre's foibles & (what appear in hindsight and at a remove, as I am reading now) horribly executed freedom - his practice of existentialism within his own life? - is akin to what I would imagine watching a trainwreck would be like, except combine that experience with that depicted in No Longer Human (by Osamu Dazai). On the topic of Camus' death, Sartre noted that he was probably the last good friend (despite their major falling out prior to his death after which communications were superficial and sparse). Merleau-Ponty, on the topic of Sartre, spoke something along the lines of "Il est bon", even if it doesn't come across in Sartre's writings, etc. He is essentially good, and in Bakewell's portrayal of him, it is heartrendingly sad in a way that rips you apart precisely because you know he is doing what he thinks is in the best interests of everyone, or he thinks he is right, and is only doing what is in accordance with what is right. For all his decisions that might be frowned upon, he was essentially good. That's what makes Bakewell's rendering of his story all the more tragic.
    • Bakewell has an incredibly engaging style of writing and I would very much like to read her other works. It probably helps that, like her, I was besotted with Sartre & the idea of existentialism in high school, very likely around the same age as she was when she became enthralled with him. And I still remain so now (if it wasn't obvious by the above paragraph on how adorable Sartre is and how I basically have no trouble at all believing that for all his physical imperfections he had no troubles scoring lovers & admirers), if in a slightly different way.
  10. The Epiplectic Bicycle by Edward Gorey
    • ... what did I just read? Did I miss a joke, or some allegory, or perhaps a variety of literary references? Did some literary devices just pass me by? I'm so incredibly confused. What does epiplectic even mean? Why 14 yellow boots? Why an obelisk? WHO ARE THESE SIBLINGS?
Working on:
  1. KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps by Nikolaus Wachsmann
    • Saw it on a list somewhere, I think (new additions to the library, perhaps? I do believe I'm the first person to get this book), towards the end of my reading about Ravensbruck. Apparently there's a memoir by a concentration camp prisoner called If This is a Man, which I didn't know about, and which makes the title for the book on Ravensbruck (If This is a Woman) make sense also, as a nod to that. But Helm also mentioned the phrase, 'if this is a woman' in some other context - poetry, I think? - and possibly also as one of those quotations that starts off a chapter; I'm not sure what those are called.
  2. The Borgias and Their Enemies: 1431-1519 by Christopher Hibbert
    • I'm halfway through this book or so and I have SO MANY THINGS TO SAY. But I'll satisfy myself with just one comment for now: if you're going to write a book about a historical subject such as this, which has been written about before, and recently to boot (e.g. Meyer), and you're not going to contribute anything new, in either sources or interpretation, and it's not even going to be as thorough - perhaps I'm being too harsh here, so let's tone that down to more thorough - than the previous books, what's the point? I did a research project for my personality disorders course on Cesare Borgia, so maybe it's only because I've read up on at least one person from the family (though all of the books touched upon pretty much all the members of the family) that I'm incredibly frustrated and tempted to just drop this book altogether. That being said, I want to believe there's some redeeming feature to it, so I'm going to finish it before ranting on.
    • I lied; one more note: there are no footnotes/endnotes/in-text citations. Zilch! Nada! How are the readers supposed to know who said what when, and judge whether the sources are reliable in which circumstance? I mean, anyone looking to read about the Borgias has more than enough old sources if they want to read about juicy gossip and myth-making. Is this actually just a gossip column on people long gone? A republishing of all the malicious rumours? It seems as though Hibbert has just been repeating every slander that could possibly have been said against the Borgias and not looking into the truth of every one of them as far as can be investigated; he is very clearly biased in his approach is the feeling you immediately get upon reading. Anyway.
  3. The Evolution of God by Edward Wright

    Knitting Block (Still Weaving Though!)

    Weaving a pie crust recipe

    So I haven't actually knit anything for what seems to be a very long time. I've been working on the burgundy cardigan (top-down, raglan, v-neck, pockets) for a while and just passed the armholes, but I'm really just not feeling it, so it's going to be frogged. I just ripped out my red dress (third time is decidedly not the charm) that had been on the needles for a very long time indeed. I haven't been working on that black brioche dress either, for which I'm in the process of deciding whether to rip out and start over as a regular ribbed turtleneck tank dress or to simply continue onward as is.

    Difficult colours to capture on a cloudy, cloudy day

    At the very least, though, I've still been crafting away! In reality, this was something I was supposed to be working on all summer, but which in fact I've only started some couple of weeks ago and finished the first part of a couple of days ago (it's a series). So I'm counting that as a little victory.

    Is it a scarf? Is it a table runner? The possibilities are endless!

    I was supposed to have had this done months ago, and by this point to have had the entire series just about complete. Sadly, I didn't realize how tuckered out I was going to be after complete liberation from the educational system that is university, so I wasn't able to follow the proposed (admittedly probably a little herculean) schedule I had submitted for my grant. I got right on purchasing the right colours of yarn from colourmart more or less immediately after I got the grant, so that I could start weaving anytime, but then lost all momentum once I settled into my new job/position. It didn't help that the yellow I had ordered for the butter colour turned out to be more like a turmeric yellow (I ended up using it in my mokoshi).

    I think I finally sat myself down and figured out ingredient weight ratios for some recipes (all pies, since those were what had started the series) on excel sometime around halfway through summer? And then my original plan was thwarted because Sandy, my floor loom, was too large to be set up in my room - or anywhere else in the house for that matter, apart from the basement, and there were a couple of logistics as to why not the basement. So I had all my materials, but couldn't do the twill that I had originally planned on doing, because twill! And thus completely fell out of it again.

    One pick of the subtlest of all clasped wefts probably ever woven

    In the end, I set up the table in my room again (since I had put it away for a good chunk of the summer months to free up some walking space) and set up Coraline, the AKL. I completely scrapped the twill idea after very briefly considering, then immediately discarding, the idea of doing a 3-shaft twill on the AKL. I figured I'd get pretty much the perfect sett if I simply used two 12.5dpi heddles to double the epi and didn't want to risk having a sparsely populated warp just so I could end up with a weft-faced twill. I'm very happy to say that I'm incredibly pleased with the way this wrap turned out! The yarn is incredibly soft, which helps a bunch, but the subtle hues and surprising amount of water content that goes into a pie crust, even if the majority of it evaporates, came out to be a pleasant surprise. I somehow expected much starker delineations between the ingredients (probably because I had originally intended them to be completely separate, one colour chunk after the other), but I quite like how randomly dispersing the ingredients turned out, both visually and as a parallel to the process of making the crust.

    Well-proportioned scarf.

    I'm thinking of putting the entire series into my etsy store once I complete it. For the time being though, work on that grant update in the hopes of being able to receive financial backing to complete it.

    Sunday, September 25, 2016


    Culture Days TPL
    Waxed Linen Thread & Mini Bone Folder

    I've been getting ready these past couple of weeks or so for my Introduction to Bookbinding workshop on Saturday October 1, from 2-4pm at the McGregor Park branch of Toronto Public Libraries! The event is 100% free, so all you need to bring with you is yourself and preferably enthusiasm for bookbinding in some form! The workshop is going to take place as a part of Culture Days. There are a bunch of other (free) activities happening everywhere, so take a look and see what interests you!

    I drew up the instructions for a bunch of different bookbinding methods, with and without needle/thread, so I'll upload those to either here or my art happenings blog after the workshop. The first time I planned and ran a bookbinding/zine workshop, we ended up using Shannon Gerard's illustrations and handouts (with permission) from when she did a bookbinding workshop in our class, so participants this time get to have the first sneak peak at the booklet I've put together!

    Paper, needles, thread, rulers, etc. + decorative cover paper + instruction booklets

    The only thing I'm really worried about at this point is how many people are going to show up, since I realized somewhat belatedly that it would have made planning a lot easier had I made the event registration-required instead of drop-in. I have enough materials to be fully prepared for 15 participants, including pre-cut covers in rag paper. If any more participants show up, we'll just share the needles and see if we can cut some more paper on the spot. I'll be bringing my cutting mat and some scissors/x-acto knife for that purpose also.

    Regardless! The McGregor Park library is almost like the sister branch to the library I currently work at, across systems: they're both small community centre libraries (though McGregor Park is definitely smaller) and they're both closed on Mondays! So it was definitely meant to be! I'm really excited about this, so if you're free that day, feel free to drop by and learn how to bind your own books!

    Crossposted at lukprints.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2016

    It Looked A Lot Darker At The Store...

    Louet Black Norwegian Wool & sweetgeorgia yarns merino (silver)

    I've finished spinning up one bag of that Black Norwegian Wool, with a total of 201g between all 4 skeins. Some of the remaining 24g had gone to the samples I spun up prior to doing the entire batch, but a bunch of it was lost during skeining on the niddy noddy because it was underspun. It held together fine while on the wheel, but I think the combination of not-quite-enough-twist + this stuff was top, not carded fiber + relatively short staple = big fluffy mess of tufts of fiber coming apart as I wound the skein. In the end, I added some twist to 3 of these skeins, giving up on the idea of winding them as is after the first one was done.

    lukknits handspun
    Not-so-black Norwegian Wool

    After a good soak, the water came out a yellowish tinge - lanolin, I'm assuming? - and the yarn didn't twist in on itself at all once hung up on hangers, even without any weights. Hopefully that's a good sign that it won't bias too much when I actually knit with the stuff. On the upside, they're very soft and feel light and lofty! They came out pretty much exactly the way I wanted them to (if you ignore the inconsistencies in thickness), in the skein. We'll have to see how they knit up. On the downside, I kind of didn't realize how brown - not dark dark dark almost-black brown, just a very dark brown - this fiber was. 'Kind of' because I knew it was a dark brown from the outset, but it still looked a lot more like black down in the basement of Romni's. So the turtleneck is probably going to come out as a dark brown, almost-but-not-quite-existentialist, sartorial statement.

    Speaking of existentialism, there was a little anecdote in At The Existentialist Cafe about Sartre being commissioned to write a preface for someone's book or another, and a while later returning to his editor with a 700-pg draft, which subsequently became its own book - I didn't note whether or not Sartre ever delivered on the preface though. Man after my own heart.

    lukknits handspun
    sweetgeorgia yarns merino fiber (silver)

    And now back to the spinning: the merino, spun on a drop spindle many many many moons ago (2014, according to my ravelry handspun project notes), held up much better. Only one section that came apart out of the entire cop. I'm probably going to just spin the rest of it on the wheel, aiming for a 2-ply laceweight yarn, I think.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2016

    Last of the Heatwave

    Heatwave Singles

    We're back to 30°C weather, hopefully for the last time this year, so I think it's rather fitting I should have finished off the last of all the Shetland fiber (colourway: Heatwave) yesterday. I really just had to skein the rest of the singles up and finish them, but I made it in time to catch the heat again.

    nbk shetland fiber
    Leftover singles on the wheel

    First were the leftover singles that I had on the bobbin, all 13g of it. I found it much easier to pull things off the niddy noddy when I had it at 2 yards as compared to the 1 yard length. Less room to maneuver with only 1 yard, I think.

    nbk shetland fiber
    Singles on the Houndesign Dali Lace drop spindle

    As for this skein, weighing in at 17g (I lost quite a bit of the singles since they kept breaking on me while I wound this up), I finally pulled it off the spindle after probably a year or so? You can see all the different colours much better on this skein than any others though: that beautiful lilac-grey transitions into the mustard, before finally dissolving into a rusty brown. The original plan had been to keep all these colours separate for the wheel skein and then navajo it to keep the transitions, but my ability to navajo kept that idea at bay. Ah well. Next time.

    Sunday, September 4, 2016


    Heatwave, fresh off the drying rack

    Remember this NBK Shetland fiber that I purchased way back when? The blog says May 25, 2014. That's over 2 years that this has sat in my fiber stash. Granted, I don't actually spin as much as I would like myself to (in my ideal version of self, not in terms of free time), but this is still a bit ridiculous.

    Tiny tiny skein

    This is all leading up to say that I finally finished spinning the remainder of Heatwave on my Lendrum! It came up to a lot less than I expected (the finished skein is only 70g and has approximately 158 yards to it, in what I'm estimating at fingering/sport weight), but I'm glad that that's finally off my list! The spinning itself took very little time once I actually applied myself, and finished yarn came out pretty nicely if I do say so myself. The only issue was with the dye running - mostly reddish browns in the water - which I hope has been fixed with the healthy dose of citric acid that I added afterwards. I'm thinking of using it to make colourwork mittens.

    Lendrum niddy noddy in pieces (1 & 2 yards)

    Encouraged by how easily and quickly I spun this fiber up, I went and got myself a Lendrum niddy noddy - I had been using the backs of two chairs placed together up till now, and while it worked, I have to say they weren't optimal working conditions - as well as 1lb of Louet Black Norwegian Top. The fiber was an unplanned purchase, but I was so surprised at how incredibly dark the fiber was that I decided right then and there to spin and knit myself a black turtleneck (I've been reading At the Existentialist Cafe, and something about black turtlenecks being the quintessential existential sartorial choice just stuck).

    Louet Black Norwegian Top x 2 = 1lb

    A rather risible goal if you look at my track record: I've spun half a pound of Corriedale (2013), 100g of merino (2015), and 4oz of Shetland (above, 2016). Tack on some more bits of fiber here and there and you get the sum total of my spinning career. But I'm determined to make this work this time, since the fiber practically grabbed me and demanded to be made into a turtleneck once I saw it. Who am I to refuse? And so, I've purchased the conveniently on-sale Craftsy class, Drafting from Worsted to Woolen, in order to actually learn how to spin, since I've sort of just been doing it willy nilly thus far. (Everything after that Corriedale was spun using a short forward draw, essentially.)

    It says Spelsau on the Louet website but why not say that instead of Norwegian?

    So I'm aiming for a fingering-weight singles that's lofty and plush, since this yarn is incredibly soft and I'd like to keep that soft airy quality in the finished sweater. I'm leaning heavily towards spinning long draw on the fold, since I've spun up a sample that way as well as one using long draw with pre-drafted strips, and while both are overtwisted and the one spun on the fold is still drying and has yet to be knitted up, it kind of looks and feels lighter and all-around more like what I'd like it to be than the first sample.

    And in the worst case scenario, even if I don't get a turtleneck out of this, at least I'll have learned something about spinning, right? Or one should hope.

    Thursday, September 1, 2016

    August List

    Not that this list is particularly august.

    But I have been working at the list of library books at home this month, and my piles have been dwindling (hurrah!). My queue, on the other hand, has been ebbing and flowing from the limit (100), so I've been trying to free up pockets, which is how I queue everything up anyway: a bunch of items on a particular topic or theme at once, then a break, before another topic captures my interest.
    1. Animal Wise by Virginia Morelli
      • I talked about this at the beginning of the month in my other post.
    2. Le Petit Prince (2015)
      • GO WATCH THIS IMMEDIATELY. If you've already watched it, watch it again. And maybe a third time. I need to get my hands on my own copy.
    3. The Son of a Certain Woman by Wayne Johnston
      • I didn't need to read #5 to understand the use of irony here - Johnston practically hits you over the head with it, and then some. Which is great, actually. You expect so much more to go on at the ending; I didn't realize it was the end until I flipped the page. It starts off rather monotonously (for me at least, I didn't get hooked till about halfway through or so), but then there's all this foreshadowing to what is never actually in the novel. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't read it again.
    4. Capture: Unravelling the Mystery of Mental Suffering by David A. Kessler
      • Very largely anecdotal, which, after reading the books about animals and research on animals, specifically the view of anecdotes in research on animals, I couldn't really decide one way or another how I felt about it. That being said, I enjoyed the bit on David Foster Wallace especially, and the other little tidbits were also entertaining, though I wish there was more theory and it was more grounded in research specifically on the concept of capture as defined by the author. That being said, the notes section is incredibly extensive, and while I didn't make my way through them because I failed to look at the notes while I was reading (as perhaps a better reader might have done?), it all seemed a bit too much to catch up on all at the end for me. I flipped through them and saw they were very detailed and in depth, explaining concepts and theories brought up in the chapters, as well as what the author is referring to, say, when he refers to Jung.
    5. How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Revised) by Thomas C. Foster
      • "Time and time again, experience has shown that while I might be "just anyone", I'm definitely not "everyone". What I like, what I admire, what I dismiss, I can only find out by reading for myself" (Foster, 414) - yes!
      • I very much enjoyed this both in terms of content and in terms of style - lively, engaging, and very easy to read. Although it was made painfully clear to me how much more practice I need in critically analyzing what I read, despite how much I might think I do read. Which makes it all the more sad, really. That simply means I don't put enough thought into it at all. Perhaps some revisiting is in order, notably of Sartre's works, which I haven't read since high school, though they resonated quite incredibly with me at the time. I might even argue that Sartre was what began my collection.
    6. The Soul of the Marionette: A Short Inquiry into Human Freedom by John Gray
      • Roadside Picnic referenced, and it's on my list? Love when that happens! Also, now I need to actually read Nietzsche and not give up on it.
    7. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
      • It's always interesting to read about the historical figures behind religions, as well as the political conditions out of which religions (and their leaders) arise. I wonder what the implications of the incredible difference between now and then for Christianity are, for believers? In the sense that it might be a touch difficult to reconcile these differences - assuming one would even want to reconcile them and not simply choose one or the other or something in between - and also in the sense that we should be armed with the full knowledge that even religion is not impervious to social conditions. Are the teachings still the Truth, or is it simply interpretation (especially given the ambiguous phrasings of passages in the Bible, different interpretations of which have created many schisms)?
    8. The Club (2015)
    9. Thinking in Numbers: On Life, Love, Meaning, and Math by Daniel Tammet
    10. I Saw the Light (2015)
      • I really wanted to become besotted with the movie. Which is not to say I didn't enjoy it, because I did, but not to the extent to which I would have liked. Whether that's due to my expectations or not is up in the air.
    11. American Psycho (2000)
      • ... So was that all his imagination? I mean, the whole pscyhopath description at the back of the DVD case didn't seem to fit with the character, so I was pretty confused throughout anyway, but it could have just all been planned by the director (or author? I'm not sure how closely the movie adaptation follows the novel inspiration). I mean, to begin with, I'm not too sure how it would work, having an "alternate psychopathic ego" (from IMDb website), considering the lack of empathy he'd need to have for this alternate ego, and how that would mesh with his regular old ego. But again, that's just me riffing off of the description.
    12. A Beginner's Guide to Immortality: From Alchemy to Avatars by Marie Birmingham, illustrated by Josh Holinaty
      • This was on the "new books" list on the library website, and it looked kind of fun, so I ordered it in - what a delight! I'm sure it doesn't go quite as in depth as a book on the quest for immortality could have done, but given that it's aimed at children, I think the author & illustrator did a heck of a job! Speaking of which, I love the illustrations.
      • Interestingly enough, I read about Jeanne Calment, who lived to the ripe old age of 122, not too long ago! I wish there could have been space to put in some information about the leasing agreement she had for her property, because it's quite funny if you read it with a generous dash of ironic humour. Here's an article from the NYTimes, since I can't remember where I read about it originally.
    13. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
      • I realized halfway through or so that the author had inserted herself into the novel (talk about being dense!), since some of those footnotes were less "this is me, the distanced author with authority and knowledge over the material in the novel, telling you what this means or is about" so much as "this is me, the author-cum-character, telling you I searched up what this was and didn't find out definitively what Nao was referring to". And now I can't help wondering whether or not the À la Recherche du Temps Perdu journal & watch & letters were actually found, and whether the epilogue is not an actual message out to a Yasutani Naoko out there who had written and packaged everything and thrown it into the ocean (or perhaps simply off the same beach on that island?).
      • I was tempted to purchase it before I read it, along with At the Existentialist Cafe (which I also held back on, below), but now I really do want a copy on my shelves!
    And now, I usually don't just abandon books willy nilly after picking them up, but I aborted the effort for one title along the way, after getting almost to the end (I think I was over 3/4 of the way through):
    1. What Should We Be Worried About? edited by John Brockman
      • Not that any of these issues or possibilities aren't important, or that we shouldn't worry about any of it, but this simply didn't resonate with me in the least. One of the short essays, however, did. I forget what it was called, but it said something to this effect: what we should worry about is that Edge is asking some of the foremost thinkers to answer this question (i.e. what should we be worried about?) as opposed to employing their smarts to actually producing suggestions that can be implemented and rewarding a winner based on their solution to a world problem. 100% agreed.
    Working on:
    1. Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality by Edward Frenkel
    2. The Grapes of Math by Alex Bellos
    3. If This is a Woman: Inside Ravensbruck: Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women by Sarah Helm
    4. At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Bakewell
      • I was very tempted to purchase this book while idling around at Indigo, but remembered we have a copy at the library. So far, it seems like it would be worth the purchase though.
    Although speaking of books I've been thinking of purchasing, here are a couple more I've been holding back on. I'm probably going to see whether I can track down the two Natsume Soseki ones at a used bookstore somewhere, especially considering how much Light and Dark is (though I would totally shell that out for Natsume Soseki).
    1. The Art of Joy by Goliarda Sapienza
      • Haven't actually a clue what it's about really, but it was on sale for $5 (how is the hardcover on sale and the paperback version not though?) and although it's kind of a tome and I already have way too many books for my bookshelf to comfortably house, I've added it to my eternally unfulfilled shopping cart on the Chapters/Indigo website. Eternally unfulfilled only because there are books that have been sitting there for months. (Even more sitting in my wishlist for a further eternity.)
    2. Light and Dark by Natsume Soseki
      • Because Natsume Soseki.
    3. The Miner by Natsume Soseki
      • Ditto.
    On the topic of books & shelves and my poor bookshelf that's probably over capacity, I'm seriously thinking about adding another Billy to my life. (At least, I think the one I already have is a Billy... you never really know with items that are so old...) I just need to measure & make sure it would fit, and decide whether or not to get rid of my desk - the unequivocal answer to which should be YES, considering it's really just storage space for me right now, and has been for many many years now. I don't believe I ever used it for homework, or much else, after elementary school, to be honest - after which I can probably both set up my floor loom in my room as well as purchase another bookcase. Wouldn't that be swell! Sandy (the loom) & two Billies.