Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Books and a Cat January 21, 2018

Filed under: Book stores,Books,Cats — Janet @ 6:59 pm

26962194_2006148942746355_579432745000458838_o  Ophelia’s Books in Fremont, Seattle

Needless to say this is one of my favorite bookstores.


Reading Choices January 2, 2017

Filed under: Book stores,Books,Films,Reading — Janet @ 8:40 pm

I’m forever working through my pile of unread books.  The pile of unreads grows faster than the pile of reads.  Makes me think of the Walt Disney  film Fantasia back in the 1940’s.  One of the first films I ever saw – probably in the University Theater in Harvard Square.    The water kept coming despite Mickey Mouse frantically trying to keep ahead of the deluge.



img_2138  Here’s a book for the New Year 2017.  Truth Like the Sun by Jim Lynch.  An interesting fictional take on Seattle’s history since the World’s Fair in 1962.   I found this book 2nd hand at Eagle Harbor Books over on Bainbridge Island. It had lurked near the bottom of my unreads pile for about a year.


Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair November 4, 2016

img_1624   Here are my purchases from the Seattle Book Fair back in early October.  Busy times – I have just unpacked the bag containing my purchases.  I loved the Fair – and would have liked to repeat the experience in Boston this past weekend when we were on the East Coast.  Can’t have too much of a good thing – but maybe not enough money or room in my suitcase!  There are so many books out there I want to read and/or collect.


Shopping For Books February 22, 2016

Filed under: Book buying and selling,Book stores,Genealogy — Janet @ 7:37 pm

What could be easier – working on my genealogy, sitting at home, using the computer – I find a reference to a publication and decide to check on whether I can find it on Amazon.  Surprise.  It’s available and not too expensive.  I press a few more keys and the publication is on its way.




Birthdays June 3, 2015

Filed under: Authors,Birthdays,Book Recommendations,Book stores,Books — Janet @ 4:37 pm

Larry McMurtry Larry McMurtry --

Today is Larry McMurty’s birthday.  He is 79 – approximately 6 months older than I am at 78..  He is one of my favorite authors.  He is having an interesting life and his books certainly reflect his life and interests.  Following are a couple of references.

from Wikipedia


McMurtry has won the Jesse H. Jones Award from the Texas Institute of Letters on three occasions; in 1962, for Horseman, Pass By; in 1967, for The Last Picture Show, which he shared with Tom Pendleton‘s The Iron Orchard; and in 1986, for Lonesome Dove. He has also won the Amon G. Carter award for periodical prose in 1966, for Texas: Good Times Gone or Here Again?.[4][5] In 1964 he was awarded a Guggenheimgrant. In 1960, McMurtry was also a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where he studied the craft of fiction under novelist Wallace Stegner and alongside a number of other writers, including Ken Kesey,Peter S. Beagle, Robert Stone, and Gordon Lish. McMurtry and Kesey remained friends after McMurtry left California and returned to Texas, and Kesey’s famous cross-country trip with his Merry Pranksters in a day-glo painted school bus ‘Further‘ included a stop at McMurtry’s home in Houston, described in Tom Wolfe‘s New-Journalistic book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. At the time (1964), McMurtry was also a Lecturer in English at Rice University. His students were entertained with stories of Hollywood and the filming of Hud for which he was consulting.

McMurtry has been a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books[6] and is a past president of PEN.[7][8][9]

In 1986, McMurtry received the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award. The Helmerich Award is presented annually by the Tulsa Library Trust.

Frond IMDbPro


Busy Days December 24, 2014

Filed under: Africa,Authors,Book stores,Books,Kenya,Reading — Janet @ 2:21 am

Yesterday we went to Half Price Books over in the University District. Not that I needed any more books, but I always like to browse. I’m currently reading Black Star Nairobi by Mukoma Wa Ngugi.  A crime novel set in Nairobi Kenya.  It was  a surprising find back in early  November in the Toadstool Bookstore in Milford New Hampshire.          IMG_4904     It is quite good but I am not doing it justice by reading only 5-10 pages late at night.

The Toadstool Bookstore also had birthday cards and this is the one Ian chose for me – this was a month early but you can see that maybe he was thinking ahead of getting a cat.  (We got Katerina shortly after we arrived back in Seattle after our trip to the East Coast.)



I did not do justice  to the previous book  I finally finished.       IMG_4797   99 Girdles on the Wall.  A memoir about holding it in, letting go and coming to grips (to quote the cover), by Elena Louise Richmond.  I bought this book from the author who was selling it along with her paintings and cards at a craft fair at the Finnish Lutheran Church.  I found it rather a strange book with a lot of angst and guilt and surprises and a happy ending.   Again, only reading a few pages at a time – and trying to knit as well.

IMG_4888  and this is the result, Scarf 7


To return to browsing at Half Price Books – guess what caught my eye  – a favorite which I have read many times but no longer own.  I decided it would be a good addition to my shelves and that I wanted to reread it.IMG_4905  Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass by Isak Dinesen









It’s Not The Same July 30, 2011

Filed under: Authors,Book stores,Books,Jane Duncan — Janet @ 6:19 pm

Somehow for me there is not the same “frisson” about finding a book on Amazon or Alibris or any of the other book search engines.  Recently, in Victoria B.C., I was browsing casually in Renaissance Books,  a “fine books”  used book store.   Lots of books of great interest – I could have bought more than a few if the mood had been right.  I was nearing the end of my browse when I happened to glance at the shelf labelled collectible paperbacks.  Frisson moment.  There were several My Friends paperbacks – the My Friends books were written back in the 1960’s.  The author was Jane Duncan, a Scottish author, possibly more famous for her children’s books about Janet of Reachfar.

It was my mother who discovered the My Friends books years ago and recommended them to me.  They are charming.  In more recent years I have spotted a few here and there and have bought them for old times sake.   I paid nominal amounts for them and they are sitting on my bookshelf.

Now each of the ones sitting on the shelf at Renaissance Books has a price of $15.  The proprietor there told me they are now  rare and have become collectibles.   So now I find that I have several collectibles on my shelf.  Fun.  I plan to keep them on my shelf for a while longer.  But just think, I could go over to Victoria again maybe and finance the trip with my books.

  My “My Friends” collection


Where To Start June 2, 2011

Filed under: Art works,Artists,Book stores,Books,Crochet,Postcards — Janet @ 12:03 am

We have had such a busy past few days/week, I hardly know where to start.  So here  are a few postcards which I found in a shop in Anacortes where we went for the holiday weekend

Marc Chagall and His Family, Paris, 1933 a photograph by Andre Kertesz

  a Carte Postale – i.e. it’s French,  the original is in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris     Johann Walter – 1804-1877

   Bathing Beauties on the Beach, Long Beach, Long Island, N.Y.     this card makes me think of my sisters

What were we doing in Anacortes??  a 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle!

And later we found a used bookstore, much to my delight.   I found several books of interest, including this one about spindle spinning.

A simple little book titled Handspindles.  Written and illustrated by Bette Hochberg and published in 1977 in Santa Cruz, California.  I am quite hopeless at spindle spinning but am still keen to have a book like this in my textile collection.  Nice illustrations – some old photographs, some drawings by the author.


In downtown historic Anacortes there were some very interesting paintings on the walls of some of the buildings.  They gave a lot of colour and conveyed a cheerful fun atmosphere.

  a bit of artwork gracing the wall of a building in downtown historic Anacortes, jumping off point for going to the San Juan Islands.  I have yet to find out more about the artist, but wonderful art deco type silhouettes grace many of the buildings.                                                                                                     






And just to show that I wasn’t neglecting my own work, I started a simple crochet blanket.  Quite mindless, fun to do, and easy to chat while working on it. 


Another Book Store April 22, 2011

Filed under: Book stores,History,U. S. History,U.S. Civil War,Weavers,Weaving — Janet @ 10:46 pm

I didn’t get a photo of another book store that we went to in Scottsdale, but in our wandering the streets of Old Scottsdale we spotted a big sign which directed us to Guidon Books, a few blocks away.  They had recently moved  so we emerged from the shade, crossed several very wide streets and walked several blocks.  It was hot.  The heat was just shimmering up off the pavement in mid-afternoon.  But Guidon Books was well worth the trek – for me at least.  I don’t think the rest of the family was quite so interested.  I found some Civil War replica postcards which I quite liked – and I found a book on tapestry weaving.  And a brochure about the Arizona History Convention to be held very soon – too late to attend this year but the list of papers to be given looks very interesting.  Next year, 2012, will be Arizona’s centenary.  It is just amazing to me that Arizona only became a state, the 48th, 100 years ago, the year my mother was born.  I feel a part of living history!

  Guidon Books – they have moved a few blocks to a nicely shaded building, many interconnecting rooms, but we only browsed the Civil War area.  Further afield, I think, were the Western Americana books that I really wanted to see.  Hope there will be a next time.  This was really just a reconnaissance.

   a replica Civil War postcard – a  scene from the Gettysburg Cyclorama.  Hospital Scene.  A surgeon amputates the leg of a wounded man in the shed on the right.

   brochure for the upcoming Arizona History Convention.  I was told that Guidon Books will have a stall.

  my book purchase – a new book about tapestry weaving.


What Has Been the Highlight …..

Filed under: Biography,Book stores,Books,Knitting magazines — Janet @ 7:32 pm

What has been the highlight of our visit so far?…….this was a favourite question posed for family discussion on our recent trip to Scottsdale Arizona.  So I’m going to tell just one highlight.  A trip to Barnes & Noble! 

  Barnes & Noble in Scottsdale Arizona

It’s not as if I can’t go to Barnes & Noble here in Seattle, or in Glastonbury Connecticut, or lots of other places.  But I needed a book to read at that point in time, having nearly finished the two I had brought with me.  And son David needed to find a printed book which he could read and avoid the glare in trying to read the books on his electronic devices.  I liked the approach to this B & N – quite impressive – but inside it was pretty much like any other B & N I have been to.  I suspect this is deliberate – like Starbucks.  Nevermind, I immediately found 2 knitting magazines of interest, my grandaughter found her American Girl magazine, my daughter-in-law spotted an interesting book to order for her Nook, and I eventually found a biography which I am enjoying immensely.  Savage Beauty, The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay, by Nancy Milford.  Edna St. Vincent Millay – a familiar name, I knew she was a poet, and in the dim and distant past we studied her in school.  It wasn’t a book I would have deliberately set out to look for – no, I just happened to spot it as I was browsing.

                                                                                                                 Savage Beauty, The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay, by Nancy Milford

Now I am about half way through the book.  I hadn’t realized, or remembered, that she grew up in Maine and went to Vassar.  And she is very much of the era of my parents and grandparents.  I am just savouring the New England setting and the social history which form the background for her life.  When one is on vacation and well away from the everyday demands at home, one of the luxuries is to to just sit and read at any hour of the day or night without feeling guilty about the ironing, for example.  Now that I am home I just want to carry on reading and with this book I can justify neglecting the chores because it is fuel for my research into the lives of my parents and grandparents – which is probably why I chose it in the first place.  Hooray for Barnes & Noble with such a wide range of books to choose from.

                                                                                                            a kiddies fountain just in front of B & N

  the two books I brought with me.  I quite liked the John Grisham stories.  I had not read anything by him before, popular author that he is.  The other book, A Marked Man by Barbara Hamilton, turned out to be about Boston in the days and months following the Boston Tea Party in 1773, three years before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.  The book is classified as a historical mystery.  One thing that was bothering me about the book was a reference early on to a church on Brattle Street in Boston.  All the other historical detail seemed very accurate but the only Brattle Street I knew was in Cambridge.  Somehow while we were there in Scottsdale we didn’t look it up on the I-Pad but now at home I find that sure enough there was a Brattle Street Church in Boston and it was attended by many of those familiar names – Abigail Adams for one.  (Abigail Adams is the amateur sleuth in this book – sort of like the Miss Marple of her day.)