Sunday, April 15, 2007

Knitting content and a book (or two)

It seems like a long time since I've had a finished object. There's very little knitting time anymore. I'm not even getting knit break times at work, as I've been very good about going to the gym every day, and I have discovered that knitting while working out causes discomfort in my shoulders and arms. SIGH. What I'm working on here is a pair of socks for Socks for Soldiers, made from donated Mountain Colors yarn, and they are getting close to being done. The toe-knitting on the completed sock was a beast, and I need a break before starting the next one. The other pair is a pair I started on a whim. I needed some quick and easy sit-and-wait knitting one morning, and nothing I had was really in a good portable state, so I just grabbed some needles and some leftover 100% wool yarn and started a pair. These are for afghans for Afghans. After all, I've been wondering what to do with that yarn.

The most recent irresistible book to cross my desk is Burning Bright, a fiction about William Blake. The sucky thing is that I've not had a speck of time to read it. This grad school stuff is totally intense. Years ago, in high school English Lit, we had a substitute teacher one day who taught the lesson on William Blake, and I totally fell in love with his work. I ran off and special-ordered Songs of Experience and Songs of Innocence at our small local bookstore. A few years later, I told that substitute how much her lesson had made an impression, and how her passion for the works had totally shown through. She looked at me all puzzled, and after a few moments, "Oh, right! I remember that day. I'd had hardly any time to prepare and I'd never even heard of him before, I just put it together at the last minute." Wow, she must have been a good substitute!

Now not to be on a gothic theme or anything, but, well, this seems to follow the gothic theme started when I read Dirty Job. Keturah and Lord Death is another book about the physical manifestation of Death, yet where Dirty Job is crude, flippant and funny, Keturah is ethereal, sweet, and beautiful. Keturah, a 16 year old, gets lost in the woods, and weakened, comes face to face with Lord Death. When she charms him, he offers her a boon, he will spare her and take anyone she chooses in her place. But she cannot think of anyone who she would wish to die, and refuses the boon. Set in a pre-industrial feudal village, it's a charming setting, with sweet characters and a memorable sweeping storyline, though it does have a bit of a convenient tidy-up of storylines as it approaches the end. I'm not quite sure who the intended audience would be. Gothic readers may find Keturah too sweet and pure, and people who like sweet and pure characters may find the friendship with Lord Death discomfiting. But the prose is sublime.

The nice thing for me is that since it's a young adult book, I can read it in a very short time, in the late evening time when I wouldn't have been studying anyway. I read this Friday night before falling asleep.

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