Book review: The Library at Mount Char

As I am currently working on things that I am not able to show you just yet, I start a new post series on one of my favourite subjects: books…..

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  • written by:  Scott Hawkins
  • ISBN: 978-0-553-41862-0
  • published by: Broadway Books
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Fantasy, Horror
  • Rating: 5/5
  • German version: –

Plot:

Carolyn is a little bit odd – but still less odd than the others she is living with in the Invisible Library. They have been living there since they were little after a catastrophy nearly wiped out the whole area. Only a couple of kids were safed by Father and trained by him to become experts in their field. Like Carolyn in languages or Michael in animals as well as fields like war for David or death for Margaret. Hardly anybody would know about the Library and get in contact with them, so social competence has definitely not been on their list of studies. But then Father disappears and they are all locked out of the library by a very destructive barrier. The weird group is on their own now struggling to find out what happened to Father and how to get back inside the library. And there is Steve, a guy with a black spot in his past, who struggles hard to be a good guy – which is not easy when he meets Carolyn. Or Erwin, a war veteran and cop who does not always play to the rules and just knows that something fishy is going on – and Carolyn is involved in it somehow.

My opinion:

First thing you need to know is that I usually don’t do horror – I just don’t because I am such a scardy cat that I can’t sleep for weeks afterwards. I picked this book up in the fantasy section of my favourite book store. I read the plot on the back and found it interesting – definitely not mainstream fantasy. When I started reading – there on the beach in Filitheyo Island – it was like “Hell, what? Really? What have I gotten myself into? How can someone even think of writing that”. It’s hard to understand without having read it but I just could not put this book down: it’s weird – a lot – and gross – in a lot of chapters – but it is written so well and the story evolves in so many unsuspected jumps and leaps that it’s a fascinating read. I just needed to know what happened to Father and how everything fits together. Kudos to the author for coming up with such an unespected gemstone which is definitely not for the feable hearted or for kids.

 

 

 

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DIY Gift wrapping paper storage

48207BE2-858F-4EEB-868F-7B3098FDAD27Last week I already outed myself as being early for Christmas this year. Well, thinking about presents always ends in thinking about how to wrap up packages. And the continuous question: do I have enough wrapping paper or do I need to buy some? Of course I could have just gone and bought some – just in case as every year – but this time I wanted to actually check out what I still have at home.  I can tell you that I was not much amused about what I actually found. I had stacked everything just in the corner of my craft room and it was not easy to get a special wrapper paper out. What a mess!

19321AB4-B612-4D91-BEC9-DFF4388A5343So of course I wouldn’t be me if I would not come up with an idea how to clean up this self-made chaos. I remembered a project I had read about on someone else’s blog – sadly I did not save the link so I actually do not know any more where exactly. I would love to give credit where credit is due.

For the storage you need:

  • some round boxes: as I had eaten quite a lot of muesli and had kept the boxes I was set with that easily
  • some wrapping paper: honestly, I was making this storage for wrapping paper so I definitely had enough of that …
  • some glue
  • a ruler and a craft knife for measuring and cutting the wrapping paper to size
  • a glue gun

2DFE253A-07C8-42D6-937E-104202015D31The process is quite simple: take a measure of the size of your box – height and all way round – and cut a piece of wrapping. paper to the same size. It’s best to calculate some overlap going round so that you do not by accident end up too short. Then glue the paper on to the box – you can use the same paper for all boxes or play around with different papers. Be as creative as you like – there’s no right or wrong in this. Next clue the boxes together – with your glue gun put a strip from top to botton on the box you want to add and press both boxes together. In case you have two contact points when adding a box, put a stripe on both – just check without glue where you need to put it. You could actually do some maths to figure it out or just wing it like I did. Keep adding as many boxes as you like – or have. In the end you can store your rolls of wrapping paper easily in your boxes. You can differ between Christmas and birthday papers and whatever else you have in your stash.

Now I definitly know that I really don’t need to buy wrapping paper for Christmas ….

Getting ready for holiday season

497CBF25-1108-4E4E-8D53-00EAAC71028FOutside it’s getting colder and more gray every day. That’s the time of the year when I snuggle up with a blanket and a cup of tea and get ready for hibernation – well this year I am starting to think about Christmas and the holiday season. Each and every year I come up with a new idea for my hubby’s advent calendar. It does not need to contain much – just some chocolate sweets.

I stumbled over this cute little advent calendar pattern from @melly.elly.crochet that was posted at Hobbycraft. It contains 24 little stockings that are large enough for small chocolates like Milka minis or similar. Just perfect and really not difficult at all. It was a quick and easy in-between project. Aren’t those little stockings cute?

BE61EC97-DCC2-4D68-8867-001B5B0AB5B5Now I am actually starting to work on some Christmas presents. Something totally different and new. Sadly they are top secret as I know that the receipients are reading this blog too. So no preview this time…

FAL finish: Ross Poldark

This week I finished the gorgeous blanket by Catherine Bligh – the Ross Poldark. I had only the middle square left to do as well as all the joining and the border. I decided to do an alternative border as the originial one was a little bit to flimsy to suit my hubby. I went for a plain moss stitch with just some colour accent. It fits the blanket well in my opinion. However when I was finished I realized that it was way to small for my tall husband. No way he can snuggle into it when it get‘s cold – it hardly covers his legs. I am so frustrated! Not sure how I will sollve this issue – I can add to it but at the moment I don‘t have the heart for it. Maybe I just leave it like that and make another one – one that‘s big enough for him.

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Now with a project finished, I was again looking for something to do next. Even though I should continue finishing WIPs, I decided to start something new for the upcoming holiday season. I‘ll give you a sneak peek to what will be up next week.

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FAL progress – Ross Poldark

C48FE79B-7705-46CD-818B-B54DF7BA4042After cleaning up my craft space last time I really found my crojo again that got lost a little during my vacation. Also seeing my current WIPs all displayed like that made me realize that finishing them was not an unreachable goal. With only one project in my project basket again I set off to work on finishing the first one – my Ross Poldark blanket. I was actually surprised by myself – never before have I progressed so much in only one week before. I had week 4–7 still to work on – with tedious 8 squares in week 4, four rectangles in week 5 and the central big square.

E776B464-97CF-4B59-AF46-94F70D467AACI had one square of week 4 finished before my vacation and now worked the missing 7 squares in paralell. This works really great with repeating patterns as you don‘t have to read the pattern over and over again. I did week 5 once in total to get a feeling for the pattern but did all three others the same way again. Those rectangles need some serious blocking though.

I even started with the central square and got already pretty far. So hopfully next week with a public holiday coming up I am able to finish this project. Just in time for the cold season – my hubby might need his blanket pretty soon.

48C5818B-F7C5-4D55-8CEA-7FD6189C09E1There‘s also one reason why I want my WIPs finished: I got squishy mail this week! I was lucky for doing home office on Friday when the postman came. It‘s the current running Spirits of Life CAL by the amazing designer Lilla Björn. I always wanted to give one of her patterns a go – they are quite challenging even for a long time crocheter like me. I will learn C2C and her gorgeous mosaic stitch for this project. Isn‘t that something to look forward too – and the yarn is so soft and squishy *sighs happily*. But I am not allowed to start something new until something is finished ….

Storage clean-up time and preparations

IMG_0463Over the last year I collected a lot of stuff for my crafts. This year was really productive and therefore all the stuff started to spread from my craft room to the living room for easier access. Now though it might have been easier to have everything close, the solution was less than perfect. I ended up with a punch of boxes stacked next to the couch which were hard to access nevertheless.

IMG_0464Recently my hubby started. to talk about this – he was quite annoyed whenever I started something new or got additional material. This was the time where I realized that I had to do something about this. I searched for a solution and finally came up with one based on the Ikea Eket series. This can be stacked however you want and has doors to close everything in so that it does not gather dust. Now after several long minutes figuring out the instructions – who ever said that those are easy to understand? – and building the 3D-puzzle, I am now proud owner of my new craft storage in my living room. Now it’s fun to work on my WIPs again and hubby is happy too.

Speaking of WIPs – Polly Plum is hosting a Finish Along CAL where the goal is to finish as many WIPs as possible in ten weeks. In the progress of cleaning up my craft space I also made an imventory of all my current WIPs to set my goal for this CAL. Here is the list I came up with:

  1. IMG_0474the second Nuts about Squares in Earth colours
  2. my beach bag that needs some fabric added
  3. Sophie’s Universe
  4. a shawl I started quite some time ago but am not happy with the design
  5. Ross Poldark which I am currently working on tomget finished
  6. a lalylala bunny which is missing the cross-stitched roses
  7. Charlotte – 2 of 25 squares finished
  8. a gothic amigurumi doll
  9. some squares that should have become a throw for my couch but now will end up as a bag instead

Let’s see how far I can get in the next 10 weeks – especially as I have several new projects on my mind.

Drinking coffee with Genevieve Cogman

Everyone that knows me in person, knows that I am a total book nerd. Even though I have already a rough count of 800 books – not to count the digital ones – I am always on the look out for something new.  I blame my mother for my passion for books as she gave me books to shut me up when she needed some quiet time.  However it’s not easy to find good quality fantasy books that are not plain copies of the same old plot: Good vs. Evil – and the good always wins. Worse are stories with dwarfs, elves and other magical creatures that so call out Tolkien-write off that I just can’t even try to read them.

IMG_0459Recently I stumbled over a new face on the block – so to say. The story of a heroine (yes, these are rare creatures) who even was a librarian. What better can a book worm such as I wish for. Of course the library was not a simple library but quite a magical one and the librarian was not a plain simple working woman either. It’s fantasy after all. And therefore it has a good amount of magic, romance and the fight between Good and Evil too – though it’s not always easy to see who’s who.

I have the habit to stalk authors that I love to read on Goodreads – if they are there and active. So first thing after finishing the first book, I added Genevieve Cogman to my favourites list. I also try to follow on what those authors blog but it’s hard to fully keep up to date with all of them. However I was lucky to read her latest blog entry recently and skimmed over the comments of other readers too. She was talking about a trip she planned and someone commented something about Australia. I was like “Oh, yeah sure – Australia, what else. None are ever coming to this tiny little country called Austria”. I really hate it when authors come over whatever ocean to Germany or other big European countries and never ever consider that there might be a fanbase in Austria too. But than Genevieve Cogman corrected that she actually planned to visit Austria and not Australia. I almost dropped off my seat in surprise and had to restrain myself not to hop up and down lest the people in the subway would have wondered about this crazy woman. I thought I might give it a try and ask if there was a possibility of getting some books signed – and guess what: even though it was her vacation (it really was not even a business trip as an author!), she agreed on meeting in a small coffee bookshop.

IMG_0460When I went there I was so nervous – I had never met an author before and feared that she might be enoyed of fans bugging her. I got my friend who got hooked on the books recently  too and my husband who has read and enjoyed the books to accompany me, so I had a solid base of support. However I could throw my fears overboard really soon – Genevieve Cogman is such a nice and great person! We had a great chat about her inspirations (she is an avid book and comic reader as well as a roleplayer), her future projects (yes there will be more about Irene and her companions) and her other hobbies (she does beading and knitting – how cool is that!). She gave us 1 1/2 hours of her precious private time – and we gave her some insider tips on what to see in Vienna. I hope she found everything she was looking for and enjoyed the rest of her stay afterwards. I for my part need a new set of her books to read now because those three are too precious to read in the train on my way to work. As well I might need to put them in a safe now – seems like she is sending Irene to steal some books here soon and I won’t make it easy for her :P.

Thanks Genevieve Cogman – you are fabulous!