Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Interested In Maine History? July 4, 2017

IMG_3646  Here’s the book for all history enthusiasts.  In a book store in Mystic Connecticut, I found this book about the history of Maine – titled The Lobster Coast, Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier, by Colin Woodard.  As one would expect, there’s quite a bit of detail about fish and the fishing industry, particularly  lobsters.  But there is also a lot to make one think about the rights of Native Americans and the rights and relationships between the original settlers and the subsequent waves of  “newcomers”, right up to the present day transformations of land use and the questions of distribution of wealth.

In my genealogy research I have been able to trace most of my ancestors back many generations.  At present I am trying to concentrate/focus on the immigration experiences of these branches in my family tree.  These would be the 6th-9th great grandparents.  About 90% of these forebears came to New England.  I have one case of an abrupt end of the trail with my 3rd great grandparents Joseph Reed and Sarah Maddox.  They were each born in Maine in the late 1700’s.  Joseph died in Maine in 1850.  Their daughter Abigail was my great great grandmother.  She was born in Gloucester in 1804.  But I do not have any information re Joseph and Sarah’s forebears, my 4th great grandparents etc.  Did they come to Maine as immigrants?  What happened to them in this remote and harsh part of the American frontier.  Did they perish in an encounter with one of the many tribes of Native Americans who raided the settlers villages and isolated dwellings.   I wonder.


Binge Reading April 24, 2017

IMG_3020   Alexander Hamilton – yes I finished it.  A bit slow at times ……but the concluding chapters made it all worth reading.  Now I want the music!


Reading Surprise April 22, 2015

Filed under: Authors,Book covers,Book Reviews,Books — Janet @ 5:31 am

stephen king 003   Joyland by Stephen King.  A good author but going by the cover I had my doubts about this one.  Much to my surprise it turned out to be a potboiler or a cheap thriller/horror.  It was a very GOOD READ.   I liked it a lot.  And it’s small size made it easy to carry about.  A good one to have for airplane travel.  I’m still an old fashioned reader of paper copies.


Per Petterson April 14, 2015

Filed under: Authors,Book Reviews,Norwegian language — Janet @ 5:02 pm

I went to a very interesting event last night – an author, Per Peterson, reading from his own work.  It turned out that he read from his lasted novel to be published in English, I Refuse.  For those readers unfamiliar with this author, he is a Norwegian writer who has won many awards, including the Dublin IMPAC Award.  He is possibly best known for his first book to be translated into English, Out Stealing Horses.  I enjoyed the evening in hindsight.  At the event itself, I found Per hard to hear and hard to understand.  I was basically disappointed.  In the row in front of us (us  being daughter-in-law Susan and fellow norskis  Jill and her cousin Karen), a woman was knitting – I dearly wished I had brought my knitting as well.

Now this morning upon reflection I enjoyed the evening.  I looked up Per Petterson in Wikipedia and following is part of the entry:

Per Petterson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Per Petterson
Per Petterson vinnare av Nordiska radets litteraturpris 2009 vid utdelningen i Stockholm under Nordiska radets session (1).jpg

Per Petterson, winner of the Nordic Council Literature Prize 2009
Born July 18, 1952 (age 62)
Oslo, Norway
Occupation Author, novelist
Nationality Norwegian
Genre Fiction

Per Petterson (born 18 July 1952, Oslo) is a Norwegian novelist. His debut book was Aske i munnen, sand i skoa (1987), a collection of short stories. He has since published a number of novels to good reviews. To Siberia (1996), set in the Second World War, was published in English in 1998 and nominated for the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize. I kjølvannet, translated as In the Wake (2002), is a young man’s story of losing his family in the Scandinavian Star ferry disaster in 1990 (Petterson himself lost his mother, father, younger brother and a niece in the disaster); it won the Brage Prize for 2000. His 2008 novel Jeg forbanner tidens elv (I Curse the River of Time) won The Nordic Council’s Literature Prize for 2009, with an English translation published in 2010.

His breakthrough novel was Ut og stjæle hester (2003), which was awarded two top literary prizes in Norway – the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature and the Booksellers’ Best Book of the Year Award. The 2005 English language translation, Out Stealing Horses, was awarded the 2006 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (the world’s largest monetary literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English (€100,000). Out Stealing Horses was named one of the 10 best books of the year in the December 9, 2007 issue of the New York Times Book Review.

Petterson is a trained librarian. He has worked as a bookstore clerk, translator and literary critic before becoming a full-time writer. He cites Knut Hamsun and Raymond Carver among his influences [1].

Petterson’s works have been translated into almost 50 languages.


Losing Count – Scarf Number …… March 23, 2015

Filed under: Authors,Book Reviews,Books,Spanish Civil War — Janet @ 6:47 pm

IMG_6370       IMG_6367   I seem to have a COD (Compulsive Obsessive Disorder) with regard to knitting these simple scarves.  Here is my latest and the empty needles and the yarn waiting for the next one.  My stash seems endless.   Color combinations have a fascination for me – hence, on I go knitting scarves with many changes of color.

I’ll slip in a book recommendation as well.  Both my husband Ian and I enjoyed the latest book by Alan Furst – Midnight in Europe  In fact I thought it was Furst’s best book ever.     IMG_6341

Maybe I was just in the right mood for it after struggling to read Then We Take Berlin by John Lawton.IMG_6379


Book and Film Recommendation October 12, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Films,Riddles — Janet @ 5:21 am

It is rare for me to read a particular book and also see the film.  This was particularly special because one of my granddaughters has reached an age where we can  enjoy sharing our reading and viewing choices.  She and her mom recommended both the book and the film – so I read the book and then five of us watched the film  together (husbands and grandfather were included). *

200px-The_Fault_in_Our_Stars  This is the book and Wikipedia has the following to say about it.

The Fault in Our Stars is the sixth novel by author John Green, published in January 2012. The story is narrated by a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel Grace Lancaster, who is forced by her parents to attend a support group where she subsequently meets and falls in love with the seventeen-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball player and amputee. The title is inspired from Act 1, Scene 2 of Shakespeare‘s play Julius Caesar, in which the nobleman Cassius says to Brutus: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” A feature film adaptation of the novel directed by Josh Boone and starring Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort and Nat Wolff was released on June 6, 2014.[

Fault_in_our_stars filmHere is a photo from the film.


I enjoyed both the book and the film and they both received critical acclaim. Five stars to both from me.


“This makes me think of a riddle which my father used to pose – “This man’s father is my father’s son but brothers and sisters I have none.  Who is speaking?  I must ask my sisters for the answer to see if I am remembering this correctly.


Curious Philatelic Activities June 26, 2011

  a curious book about an eccentric Englishman who enjoyed challenging the postal system

  if you can read the fine print on the back cover of this book, you can find out a bit more about this man W. Reginald Bray (1879-1939).  He really was eccentric.

My philatelic activities are a bit more mundane.  Here are several postcards I found recently.

  I don’t know what breed of dog this is.  For some reason I have a feeling it’s Belgian.  The seller of the card thinks the card dates from 1907 but there is no message or stamp to give any more clues.  It will go  into the album with my other dog postcards.

  “The Return of the Oyster Fishers”, original painting by Francois Nicolas Augustin Feyen-Perrin (1829-1888).  According to the inscription of the card, the painting hangs in the Luxumbourg Gallery in Paris.  Again no message or stamp on the back to give any further clues.

  this is a card of the Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College in Oberlin Ohio.  I bought this card (for the princely sum of 50 cents) with Oberlin friends in  mind, but they are not postcard collectors so I am quite happy to keep it.  I think that building is just magnificent.