A place to come to see what's new at Heritage Spinning & Weaving – Lake Orion, MI




I haven’t run into many fiber-folks who aren’t into reading. Some knitters, like my mom (pictured above) read while knitting. Some, like my neighbor Joy, listen to books while knitting. Some, like me, could never, ever end a day without reading to relax and occasionally listen to a good book while weaving or knitting. For some reason, I never “read” while spinning. Haven’t a clue why!

Nearly every time a guest instructor comes, we swap book titles and often books. Annie Szuch, one of our volunteers and a U-M Flint librarian, has also made an impact on my reading. The blog seemed a good way to share some good reading and get some new ideas for authors. Please leave your author suggestions for all of us – make sure to tell us a little about the books/authors. Here are a few books and authors I’ve found enjoyable – don’t expect any “deep” reading titles. I read purely for relaxation. I’m not a fan of self-help books. I gave most of my cookbook collection to my son. I read my share of fiber books, but that’s for education and not to relax. These are for fun:I just finished a couple Jeffery Deaver books. His main characters are Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs, criminologists from New York City. Rhyme is a quadriplegic and relies on Amelia to be his feet at crime scenes.

I’m halfway through the latest Janet Evanovich novel (on tape – thanks for the loan, Joy) with Stephanie Plum, the New Jersey bond bailswoman. Those books always make me laugh. A lot.

After Annie introduced me to the Bee Keeper’s Apprentice and the “further adventures” of Sherlock Holmes and his young wife Mary, I sped through all the books written by Laurie R. King, which includes the Mary Russell series and a modern series with Kate Martinelli, a lesbian cop in San Francisco. There’s even one book where both worlds meet. Great reads all of them – and Mariah, my 14-year old daughter, enjoys the Mary Russell books, too. She fell in love with San Francisco when Mary visited there in one of the books.

Deb Menz suggested the series of books by Sujata Massey that has Rei Shimura, a young Japanese-American as the “Jessica Fletcher” (you know – wherever Jessica ever went someone was murdered – same goes for Rei). These books teach a lot about popular and traditional Japanese culture. Mariah likes these books, too.

The Dragonfly in Amber series by Diana Gabaldon was an enjoyable read. Even though I’m not much of a “time travel” fan, I enjoyed the history in these massive books, including mentions of the fiber arts.

Laura Fry recommended The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier, a historical fiction story about the development of a real tapestry woven circa 1500. I found it interesting because it describes the process of making a tapestry, guilds and even a bit about dyeing. Though a work of fiction, it is clearly based on fact.

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry, a young reader chapter book that Mariah read in Battle of the Books one year, is the story of a young weaver who uses her creativity to survive. It is one of those stories that

I’ve been flirting with the Elizabeth Peters novels that have a very strong female protagonist solving puzzles in Egypt at the turn of the last century. They move a little slow at first for me, but with perseverance, I do enjoy them.

Steve Hamilton is a mystery writer than writes about the U.P. It is always fun to read a book with familiar references that is fairly well written. Nothing real deep here, but a pleasant read that you don’t have to work at.

Randy Wayne White writes mysteries that revolve around Doc, a former CIA agent and now a marine biologist that seems at one time naïve and worldly. Kinda the same caliber as the Hamilton books.

Nevada Barr writes a nice series about a female ranger who works her way around our national parks, including Isle Royale.

Lawrence Block is another author I’ve enjoyed. He’s got a couple different main characters, including Bernie the bookseller come burglar.

And, then, there’s J. K. Rowling and Harry, Ron and Hermione. They’ve been a favorite since the beginning. However, I’m not a fanatic like my daughter (she won the costume contest at Border’s last Friday night). Now, I’m either going to have to get my own copy of the book or wrestle it from her. She’s on the second time through already.

So, now it is YOUR turn. Share some of your favorites with the rest of us!

Comments on: "Read a Good Book Lately?" (10)

  1. I love Wally Lamb’s ‘She’s Come Undone’ and ‘I Know This Much is True’. And, anything by Nicholas Sparks – easy and fast, will always bring on a good cry! We are huge Harry Potter fans, and have to buy two books because Shawn won’t share. He was at Borders on Friday, he was telling me about the girl who won. I’ll have to tell him it was Mariah.

  2. I like Susan Wiggs, light romance but fun.
    Susan Wittig Albert- herbalist/lawyer mysteries.
    Robert B. Parker- mystery, (Jesse Stone author, movies on tv with Tom Selleck)
    I am rereading Mary Higgins Clark.
    Agatha Cristie
    “Aunt Dimity’s” series-author, Nancy Atherton.
    I like Faye Kellerman, Ruth Rendell, P.D. James, Dorothy Sayers, Diane Mott Davidson, Janet Evanovitch.
    And all of the fantasy series, don’t have the lastest Harry Potter yet!

  3. I forgot Nevada Barr! Love her books– but I also forgot Barbara Block. Stephanie Plum in a pet shop almost– good stuff!

  4. I’m too lazy to type a list. I started keeping a ‘reader’s journal’ after publishers started publishing later editions w/ new covers and tricked me into buying the same book twice.

    The readers journals got filled up and were difficult to search, so I joined online readers’ communities to keep track of what I’ve read and get suggestions from other readers w/ similar interests.

    You’ll find a lot of fiber people at http://www.librarything.com. My list is here: http://www.librarything.com/catalog/tangledthread

    Another readers’ community is at: http://www.reader2.com and yep, I have another (older) list here: http://reader2.com/vmusselm

  5. Right now I am reading Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. It was/is a series on the SciFi channel but the books are much more interesting and fun.

    I am also a fan of Janet Evanovich, MaryJanice Davidson, and Diana Gabaldon. I go back and forth between light fiction and deeper stuff. I basically like things that teach me something or make me laugh.

  6. I agree that no day should go by without investing some time reading. I can’t fall asleep unless a read for at least a little while. I also enjoy the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich. They are often laugh-out-loud funny. Then there is the “In Death” series by J.D.Robb about Eve Dallas, a New York detective in the year 2054. They are an interesting mix of futuristic devices and status quo human nature. Eve Dallas and her husband, Roarke, are both complex and have dark pasts which you only learn about a little at a time as you progress through the books. For a more practical approach to detective work, there is the “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” series by Alexander McCall Smith. These books take place in Botswana and are about a “traditionally built” woman who opens a detective agency. She feels you should be able to just observe a problem to discern the solution and that the quickest way to get information is to ask for it – and it works for her. Then… let’s see… there is Jonathan Kellerman and his series with Alex Delaware, child psychologist turned amateur detective. Other things in the legal thriller/detective genre are almost anything John Grisham (several of his books are not legal thrillers), , Sheldon Seigel (characters are a divorced couple still practicing law together in San Francisco), James Patterson and the Women’s Murder Club novels (they are the numbered titles), Steve Martini (character is defense attorney Paul Madriani), Sue Grafton’s series with private detective Kinsey Millhone (each of these have a letter of the alphabet in the title), anything of Patricia Cornwell’s with the Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta… I could go on… There is David Liss who writes historical fiction. Several other books that are memorable are “The curious incident of the dog in the night-time” by Mark Haddon about a high-functioning autistic boy and the murder of the neighbor’s dog. One last, “The Lady of Arlington”, a novel based on the life of Mrs. Robert E Lee (Mary Custis, great grand-daughter of George Washington). Very interesting historical detail. I’ll stop now…

  7. I give a lot of credit to those of you that can knit and read a book at the same time. The only thing I’m reading when i knit is the pattern over and over again! When I’m not knitting, i’m mostly reading True Crime books by Ann Rule. You should not read these before bedtime because you would have nightmares. Ann Rule really digs into the facts of the crime. One of her first books was of Ted Bundy who she once worked with and was shocked to discover he was a serial killer. Her books are real graphic, but they are page turners.

  8. Ana Ouzounian said:

    I love to read while knitting, too. But you should get your mother an Itty Bitty book stand. It’ll save her neck.
    Anyone who likes police procedurals should try the Detective Rebus series by Ian Rankin. I read about them in a NY Times book review & love them all.

  9. I can’t imagine trying to read and knit at the same time! I can barely follow a movie or T.V. show while knitting. But in my free time I love to read Historical Fiction. These books are based on facts from history but woven into a story. I enjoy these easy reads during lunch or before bed. The latest is the Lights of Lowell series by Tracie Peterson. Also anything from Janetter Oke is good and if you love a good laugh the books by Patrick McManus are funny if you know anything about hunting and fishing.
    Thanks for all the suggestions for the new books to check out.

  10. If you’re looking for a powerful story….here you go. It’s narrated in first person by an eight year old – The title is “Me and Emma” written by Elizabeth Flock. I can’t get the story out of my head. Somebody… please read so we can talk about this book! The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a very intersting story and great read as well.

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