Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

The Cat Is Still Here August 24, 2010

Well, the packers have come and gone and Slinki the cat is still here.  She very wisely went out while all was happening.  Those packers worked fast.  Too fast in fact – they packed a box of gardening tools that they weren’t supposed to.  Alas.  The packers came early and I hadn’t finished all my last minute sorting to be ready for them so it was a bit of a scramble.  Thankfully we found a few items in the freshly run dishwasher in time to include them in the packing but there wasn’t enough time for some wet clothes to dry and be included.  We’ll just have to squeeze some last minute things into the suitcases.

Now we can just sit back and relax until we depart as well.

A couple of days ago I was browsing in the crime section of Hughes & Hughes Bookstore.  I was looking for more Scandinavian crime fiction, given my current spate of reading Henning Mankell, Sjowall & Wahloo, and Jarkko Sipila.

first, the author’s name caught my eye – Sebastian Junger, the author of The Perfect Storm

secondly, the title, A Death in Belmont – my hometown!

This was compulsive reading – and true.  Wow!  I was fascinated.  The book is away now in one of the cardboard boxes.  I tell you, reading it certainly delayed me in getting ready for the packers.

this black blob is the cat, resting peacefully after the flurry of the packing – I must say that I was relieved to see her walk past the window after all the boxes had been sealed.  There was a snippet on the radio this morning about a woman dropping a cat into a dustbin and walking away.  15 hours later the cat was rescued, apparently no worse for the time spent.  Probably had a nice sleep in there.  But, I’m curious – if this woman was seen fondly saying goodbye to the cat and then dropping said animal into the bin, why didn’t the observer rescue the cat then and there.  Maybe the observer was a security camera of some sort and then when the cat was found, the film was reviewed.  Or did I just dream all this instead of getting up earlier this morning in anticipation of the packers arrival at 9.


It All Started On An Airplane August 22, 2010

Filed under: Air travel,Book covers,Books,Detective Stories,Knitting — Janet @ 2:00 pm

Less than a year ago, late September 2009, I was flying across the Atlantic to attend my 55th reunion of the Belmont High Schoool, Class of 1954.  I was seated next to a person with a very interesting looking handknit sweater – she was not ready to tell me about her sweater – only that her sister had knit it – very abrupt conversation-stopper answer.  As the air miles went by I cast sideways glances at what this person was doing.  She had several books stacked up on her tray, including a book of Crosswords from the Guardian Newspaper, and 2 books by an author I had not heard of, Andrea Camillieri. 

After the reunion in Waltham Mass., I went down to Connecticut with one of my classmates and visited with son David and family in Glastonbury.  That gave me a chance to have a look in Barnes & Noble for the author that my uncommunicative airplane seat companion had liked so much.  Well, the graphic designs of the covers of the Camillieri books were so appealing that I felt compelled to try reading one.  Hard to choose.  My choice, according to the cover I liked best, was The Terra Cotta Dog.        

                                    Now, less than a year later, I have read almost all 11 of his books – and the 12th one is due to be released in October.  I can hardly wait.

 Andrea Camillieri, born 1925        image from this website

  another one of the Camillieri books

  coming in October 2010

List of Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano books

Inspector Montalbano
1. The Shape of Water (2002)
2. The Terra-Cotta Dog (2002)
3. The Snack Thief (2003)
4. Voice of the Violin (2003)
5. The Excursion To Tindari (2005)
6. The Smell of the Night (2005)
     aka The Scent of the Night
7. Rounding the Mark (2006)
8. The Patience of the Spider (2007)
9. The Paper Moon (2008)
10. August Heat (2008)
11. The Wings of the Sphinx (2009)

If you have a look for any of these books, the one you find might not necessarily have the cover shown here on this blog.  The publishers keep changing these covers – rather annoying – when I find a different cover I can’t be sure that I have read the book!!


Detective Stories August 17, 2010

After writing about the Nancy Drew series of books in my previous blog, I came across some  other information about that genre of literature.  Several  articles in other issues of The Book and Magazine Collector caught my attention and set me to thinking about these types of books.  Some are mystery stories, some are detective stories, some are police procedurals, some are thrillers.  Have I covered them all?

Incidentally, the most famous literary spinster of all time made her novel-debut in 1930, the same year as Nancy Drew.  Miss Marple in The Murder at the Vicarage, first published in 1930.

 image from The Book and Magazine Collector, April 2010

It’s not a genre I read very often – that is until recently when I have been going through a spate of them.  But the ones I have been reading are not the traditional cosy Miss Marple types.  I have never taken to the Agatha Christie books but I love the films.  Authors I have read occasionally in the past have been Georges Simenon and Graham Greene.  No Ellery Queen or any of the American writers.  Ellery Queen was one of my brother’s favourites.

But now I am caught up in reading a number of Scandinavian thrillers.  First there was Henning Mankell, then the Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo Martin Beck series of 10 books.  Feeling in the mood for more Scandinavian thrillers I tried one from Finland and that turned out to be very good.  Against the Wall by Jarkko Sipila.  For a review of this book and information about the upsurge in Scandinavian crime fiction being translated into English I refer you to this website. 

photo from the internet

Jarkko Sipila has written a second book, Vengeance.  It is now available in English so I am on the look-out for it.       Again, the photo is from the internet.

The photos of these covers remind me of the cover of a book which I saw recently at my Irish Conversation Group, Cupla Focla.  One of our regulars, Seamus, aka James, has written a book on the History of the Irish Astronomical Society.  This book was self-published in 2006.  For the cover he used a detail of a rug which he and his wife had hooked.  The image was the Belt of Orion.  A very striking image in black and red.  The general conclusion of the Irish Group was that it was a latchet hook rug done from a kit.  But I don’t think so.  (Of course my comprehension of Irish isn’t brilliant so I could be all wrong.)

Those kits for doing latchet hook rugs had much more mundane images, like horse’s heads or whatever.  I suspect that Seamus’s wife had designed the rug and then they could well have purchased the cut packs of rug wool and indeed used a latchet hook and rug canvas purchased from the famous Needlecrafts store on Dawson Street here in Dublin.   Alas, shop is long gone now.  That is the way I did a number of hooked rugs back in the 1970’s.  I had a small book from Norway and it had some lovely designs for hooked rugs.  I put a grid on the small pictures in that book and then enlarged the design for making the rug on my rug canvas.  I used a latchet hook and I bought little packs of cut wool in the colours of my choice.  Below is a photo of one of the rugs I made.  The book with the designs was very small and somewhere it disappeared – how I would love to find that book again.  It was from Norway and on the cover it had a picture of a family grouped around a rug frame and happily doing their hooking.