10 May 2016

What I'm reading/watching/listening to: May 2016

As a designer inspired by literature, I read a fair bit. As a knitter constantly producing more FOs, I watch a lot of stuff on screen. As an exerciser, I listen to all sorts of podcasts and music to keep me moving. Here's what's on my bedside table/television/iPhone this month...*

What I'm reading...

  • Eligible: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld
    This is a modern retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice set in Cincinnatti, Ohio, in 2014. The title refers not only to the Bennet sisters and other characters in their sphere, but also to the Bachelor-style reality show this book's Bingley starred in. BTW, NYTBR, Chip is a nickname for Charles, not a name change for the character as your reviewer stated. Being such a devotee to Austen's original language/settings/characters, it took a little while for me to get past the modern setup, but I am now more than halfway through and enjoying the book.
  • Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology by Andrew Bolton
    If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I attended the Members' Preview of the new show, Manus x Machina, at the Met last week. We won't get into my feelings about the Met's new logotype, but the new show is fabulous for this 21st century handcrafter. Lots of food for thought, so don't be surprised if touches of this show find their way into my work. If you can get to Manhattan this summer, come see the show (let me know you're coming, and I'll probably meet you there). This is the catalog to accompany the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Spring 2016 Costume Institute show, and as a book creator of many years, I appreciate the technologies that went into printing and binding this book and am looking forward to reading the interviews in the back insert.
  • Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
    My older daughter and I read this for our Mother Daughter book club last month. It's an interesting novel about an intelligent but profoundly disabled girl (she cannot walk, speak, nor does she have full control of her arms) who finally is able to communicate with the help of a computer. The book begins a little slowly but then really picks up steam and doesn't always go in the expected direction. I'm so glad we read this for our book club, as I think it did a great job of empathizing with the protagonist - an important glimpse into a different world for the tweens I know.

What I'm watching...

  • Game of Thrones
    Yup, I'm totally into it. While there aren't as many bewbs this season, it still has sex and gore and dragons. I read the books last summer (and still can't keep all the characters and locations straight) with mixed feelings, since George R.R. Martin isn't a profound writer and seems uncertain as to where we are ultimately going in the world of Westeros, but I do enjoy the show. Probably in part because I read a LOT of fantasy as a young reader. For people who prefer realism, there probably isn't enough to pique your interest, but I do think the show is well done. And now that we've gone beyond the books, it's kind of exciting to see where things will go.
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
    Pretty much any show with a guest arc by Tina Fey will earn a spot on my Watchlist/DVR. And the rest of the show is entertaining, too, though I tend to agree with critics who think some episodes aren't as tight on Season Two as they were when Season One had been crafted with the 22-minute network TV model - on Netflix a show can be as long as it wants. While some extra comedy gems may have been stuffed into episodes, we all know that brevity is the soul of wit. That being said, the survivor story and sly NYC jokes somehow all work together.
  • The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
    I'm pretty sure there are two kinds of people in the world, when it comes to the Real Housewives franchise: those who love the show, and those who think it's just the worst. While I don't love the entire franchise, I have a special fondness for New York (no surprise), early New Jersey seasons, and Beverly Hills. With BH I've come to realize it's the combination of a voyeuristic interest in Beverly Hills excess, my personal fascination/repulsion with the Los Angeles area, and an empathy with Kyle's struggles with her alcoholic sister (and how the rest of the characters cope). My ex-husband was an alcoholic, so Kim's behavior and that of the people around her have pulled me in from the beginning. It's definitely crazy salad, but I can't quit it.

What I'm listening to...

  • Woolful
    Lots of interesting fiber folk on this podcast. Sometimes I find it a bit too long-form for me (I have limited listening time when I'm exercising, but that's my problem), but I've really enjoyed many episodes, including Pam Allen's (and her son Ryan's), the Fibre Company gals', and Mary Jane Mucklestone's.
  • Vogue Podcast
    If you enjoyed Andre Leon Talley's turn on America's Next Top Model, you will enjoy this podcast. Sometimes I get annoyed, since ALT can be a little more ditsy than I would expect (he seemed less prepared to speak with Andrew Bolton, Curator of the Met's Costume Institute, than I would have liked - I feel like I knew more about Mr. Bolton than he did, and ALT is editor-at-large of Vogue).
  • Truly Myrtle Podcast
    My friend Libby's podcast is lovely - sometimes very personal, other times it has charming interviews, and it always has the best theme song. Definitely give a listen to Libby's Down Under accent and thoughtful discussions on clothing and craft.

So, what are you reading/watching/listening to? I'm always looking for good suggestions, so leave me a comment below.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

*None of these links are affiliate links. I'd rather spend my time sharing what I'm enjoying with you than tracking those down. Go see if your library or local book store (shall we make LBS a thing, like LYS?) has the books, check your local listings or favorite streaming service for the shows, and visit the podcasts' websites directly to find the best way for YOU to enjoy their content.


  1. My goal this year is to read as many memoirs as I can. Mary Karr published a list in the back of her book "The Art Of Memoir," which has 201+ entires so I am starting there. My daughter gave me James Baldwin's "Notes of a Native Son" and that is what I am up to now. Recently read "H is For Hawk" by Helen MacDonald which is excellent and deserves a closer listen.
    I also listen to audio books and I love thriller mystery cop novels. My husband and I isten together. I am listening to "Extreme Prey" by John Sanford. Also Love Jo Nesbo series with Harry Hole. Next in my audio queue is The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse " by Anna Fields.
    I listen to rock and roll when I paint. It drowns out the inner critic. Mostly.
    I read the Game of Thrones series and liked it so I watch the series and like it. Great costumes;) I bought books one and two on adible and dd and I listened to it when we drove to Texas. But got burned out at the end of book one.
    I aslo am a Criminal Minds watcher. My husband makes fun of me and does not get why I watch this stuff but I do not lose sleep over it. I am also studying "Sourdough", and just bought a book called the "Art of Manipulating Fabric". That is all my brain can hold at the moment.

    1. Thanks for sharing this! I saw your memoir photo post on Instagram and wondered what that was about - now I know :) I've heard good things about H is for Hawk, so I may add that to my pile once I read it down a little. Usually I save audio books for long car rides to keep me paying attention. xoxo, k


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