RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, watching}

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{A once-a-week post about what I’m reading, knitting, listening to, and watching.}
{Joining Ginny for YarnAlong.}

Reading: Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. I’ve been reading the Percy Jackson series for years now. I’m sad to say, the final installment left me pretty…underwhelmed. I’ll go more over that later.

I’ve been having trouble finding something new to read. If you have any suggestions, I’ll gladly take them! Just leave me a comment with your recommendation and I’ll be sure to look into them.

Knitting: I finished my Hugs by Post and it turned out so cute! Very dainty, which is a look I like. I also started a pair of the most eye-searingly bright socks in the history of eye-searing. I’m using Reiga Fluormania in the Neon Beach colorway and my normal sock pattern. Let’s see, what else? My Bofur socks, of course. I’m also knitting my April socks a bit early, using the Show-Off Stranded stitch pattern and my normal sock numbers. I recently ordered a bunch of gorgeous yarn from Knit Picks which got here on Wednesday! I’m fighting castonitis, since I want to cast everything on! Lots of knitting happening around here, y’all.

OH! And let us not forget a project that was influenced by other knitters in the blog sphere. The sock yarn blanket. I have never had any great desire to knit one. Then I saw Kristin’s post. And Andi’s. It was all over after that. Oh, yeah, I got sucked in. I cast this on at 10pm one day. Finally! Justification for knitting socks. Okay, I don’t need justification for knitting socks. Maybe for buying sock yarn…

Listening: Music. It varies from day to day. I’ve been loving me some Lindsey Stirling, Ivan Torrent, and Adrien von Ziegler of late.

Watching: Still finishing Call the Midwife and I managed to find Season 4 of Downton Abbey from the library. After Season 5 is over, of course…

Wow, this is a link-rich post. Be sure to click on them if you’re interested.

What are y’all reading, knitting, listening to, or watching?

RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, watching}

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{A once-a-week post about what I’m reading, knitting, listening to, and watching.}
{Joining Ginny for YarnAlong. And drinking lots of tea.}

Reading: Walden by Henry David Thoreau. It’s boring my brain.

Knitting: Okay, so you’ll notice that there are two pictures for this week. The first one I took on Monday and the second one today. Since Monday, I’ve finished my first March sock, Burning Rings of Fire, cast on the second one, and started another cute shawlette, Hugs by Post. The pattern is so cute and easy, I’m surprised more people haven’t knit it. There are only nine other projects. I’m using some baby acrylic from the stash. And I love the Burning Rings of Fire pattern. It looks odd on the needles, but amazing once on. 🙂 I nicknamed this pair Bofur’s socks, since the yarn looks like the colors from Bofur’s scarf. Yeah, I do crazy things like that; nickname socks and plop them on my head and… Oh, did I say that out loud?

Listening: A new favorite song: The Empire by Jason Munday. It’s the story of Episode Five: The Empire Strikes Back condensed down into a song. LOVE. Another nerdy heart love. 🙂

Watching: Call the Midwife, a new to me BBC drama. So far, it’s enjoyable, although there are a few episodes and circumstances I didn’t like. In the middle of season 2.

What are y’all reading, knitting, listening to, or watching?

RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, and watching}

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{A once-a-week post about what I’m reading, knitting, listening to, and watching.}
{Joining Ginny for YarnAlong.}

Reading: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I started it on Monday and am s l o w l y slogging my way through it. I am glad that it stays open on its own so I can knit at the same time. You’ll probably be seeing quite a bit of W&P over the next few weeks as I work through it. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book so large. It’s 1386 pages long, to be exact. Whew…talk about a brick of pages!
I decided I needed a little fluffy reading to counter W&P. Time to scan the shelves! Enter Shadow Games. Yes, I consider Star Wars to be “fluffy”. No using of the over-used brain here. It’s silly and crazy and Star Wars. Yeah, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to Star Wars. (read: I’m obsessed and have been for more years than I care to count.)

Knitting: The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief is a first for me. I never knit a shawlette before and I’m really liking it! I think the yarn I’m using might have something to do with it. Smooshy, squishy, purple perfection. It is a little darker than it is in the picture.
I really, really, REALLY have crafting ADD. I bounce from craft to craft to craft and back. Some days I’m content to play with Miss Singer (my sewing machine) all day. The next, my hands ache from knitting so much. Do I finish projects? Sometimes… Eh, that’s just how I roll. 🙂

Listening: My music tastes are also all over creation. Movie soundtracks, piano solos, rock, singer/songwriter, a cappella, more movie soundtracks, just about anything. 🙂

Watching: Downton Abbey!! Just now finishing up season 3. Oh, I’m excited for season 5!

This is my first time joining Ginny for YarnAlong. I was so glad to find her!

What are you reading, knitting, listening to, and watching? Leave a comment below!

RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, watching}

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{A once-a-week post about what I’m reading, knitting, listening to, and watching.}
{Feel free to join along and link to your post in the comments.}

Reading: The Complete Father Brown Stories by G. K. Chesterton. Yes, still working my way through it. I’m demonstrating my ability to read and knit while holding the book open with my toes. Odd, isn’t it?

Knitting: Smaug socks! (Click for link) *grumble, grumble* I’m a little worried that Smaug may triumph over me. I’ve turned the heel and I’m working on the gussets right now. I hope it isn’t too snug! There might have to be a good deal of blocking… Only problem? No sock blockers….

Listening: The Nutcracker! I’ve had this record for years. And I only paid 25 cents for something I listen to all year round. 🙂

Watching: Oh, North and South, I do love thee. I’m not thrilled that the library put a sticker over Richard Armitage’s face! Talk about uncool much. I love the mini-series to death, so now I want to find the novel. Did you like it?

What are you reading, knitting, listening to, or watching? Leave a comment!

RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, watching}

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{A once-a-week post about what I’m reading, knitting, listening to, and watching.}
{Feel free to join along and link to your post in the comments.}

Reading: The Complete Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton. I’m about half way through this book. I really think reading Sherlock helped me understand Father Brown, even though they are both very different. I’ve read Fr. Brown before, but was never really able to make heads or tails of it… Slowly, slowly, I’m working my way through it. 🙂

Knitting: Smaug socks! I want to have both of them done before the Battle of the Five Armies comes out in our area. The pattern is my second actual patterned sock. I love the way it is knitting up. The pattern really looks like scales.
Disclaimer: I don’t have more than one sock project going right now. I finished the socks from two weeks ago, and the sock from last week. If I had more than one sock going at once, I would be in big trouble… 😉
(P.S. The second picture is a sneak peek at something I’m working on right now. Stay tuned till next week! Can you guess what it is?)

Listening: Since it is officially Advent, listening to Christmas music is acceptable. I give you leave to listen away. 🙂

Watching: Return to Cranford, the sequel to Cranford. Oooo!!! Talk about a great show! This one has Tom Hiddleson in it…better known, I’m sure, as Loki from the Avengers. I will warn you, though, Cranford, both of them, have high body counts. Way to rip my heart out, BBC!!

What have you been reading, knitting, listening to, or watching? Comment below!

burning questions!

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{picture by me}

I have a few burning questions I would love to be answered by y’all my readers. I’m super nosy like that, you know. 😉 Spill all your book secrets!!!

Question time! Leave a comment if you feel the need to answer any or all of the questions. I love comments. 🙂 I’ll try to answer the questions to give you an idea of what I’m asking you.

What is the best book-to-movie adaptation you’ve ever seen? (Best as in most like the book in your mind.) 

I would say it’s a toss-up between Anne of Green Gables (the first one) and the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice.

What is the worst book-to-movie adaptation you’ve ever seen? (Worst as in as far from the book as possible.)

Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story and Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters. *sigh* There are no words for how much of a travesty those movies are. Can we say destroying the story much???

What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation? (Doesn’t matter how close it is to the book, just how much you like it!)

The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit movies. Anne of Green Gables one and two. I also really like the Hallmark series When Calls the Heart. 🙂

What book have you read the most? + an average number of times you think you’ve read the book.

Ummm….. Good question! Either Eight Cousins or An Old-Fashioned Girl, both by Louisa May Alcott. I’ve probably read them both about 70-75 times. That’s just a rough guess, though. Another close one is Anne of the Island, my favorite of all the Anne books.

What was the most disappointing book/book series you’ve ever read? 

Don’t cast me out, but I was seriously disappointed in the Hunger Games trilogy. Out of all of them, Catching Fire was the only one I even tolerated. I didn’t like the other ones at all.

What book/book series do you think has lived up to all the hype about it?

Was there ever any hype about Shannon Hale’s Books of Bayern? I love those books! They’re fairy tale retellings. I haven’t read the second, third, or fourth ones in a long time. I do have the first one, (got it for a trip), and it’s a retelling of the Goose Girl. That’s what it’s called, in case you’re wondering. 🙂

Favorite classic book and why?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Pride and Prejudice. Because Jane Austen is my hero.

What genre (eg. fantasy, classic, history) do you read the most?

I read everything. I tend to lean more toward history-like books, (because I’m a nerd!), fairy tales and Star Wars, (because I’m a geek!).

Best book series?

I’d say The Penderwicks books are the best series I’ve read. They are just so amazing and sweet. 🙂 I also like The Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

Who is your favorite book character?

Can I have more than one? Well, since I’m the one asking the questions, I say yes! Feel free to say more than one. 🙂 I love Anne Shirley, Percy Jackson, Elizabeth Bennet, Han Solo (he counts!!), Gilbert Blythe, Meg March, Father Brown, Blanche and Rose Brier, Bear, Skye and Jane Penderwick (all the Penderwick sisters actually), and Henderson from The Boy on Cinnamon Street.

Biggest literary crush??

Gilbert Blythe, Percy Jackson, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Thornton from North and South (even though I haven’t read N&S yet…), Henderson from The Boy on Cinnamon Street, Ren from the Tiger’s Curse series. Sigh…

What is the best book you’ve ever read in the course of your whole book-reading existence?

Okay, this question is pretty much impossible to answer. It’s like asking a parent to choose their favorite child.

Thoughts on e-readers: love ’em, loathe ’em, consider them practically against your religion?

I’ll take option number 3, please.

Do you freak your friends out by the sheer amount of reading you do? 

Can I plead the Fifth on this one??

Can you do other things while reading?

I can read and knit at the same time. The secret is to hold the book between your toes. 😉 But it really only works on larger books….

Favorite snack while reading?

I eat lunch while reading. I love Goldfish, Cheeseits, and crackers, but I’ll eat just about anything while reading. Bad for the books, I know….

Favorite period drama? (This may not apply if you’re not it to that kind of thing.)

North and South, Pride and Prejudice, and Anne of Green Gables (one and two, avoid the third one like the plague as an adaptation. As its own movie, with no reference to the books, it is slightly tolerable.)

Seriously, if you have never watched North and South, you are missing out on something stunning. Everything about the show is wonderful. The cast, the costumes, Richard Armitage, the setting, the storyline, Richard Armitage…. Sorry, I have a bit of a one-track mind sometimes. 😉

Favorite superhero movie? Marvel or DC? (I just had to ask, even though it has nothing to do with books!)

Captain America: The First Avenger and The Winter Solider. Hands down, the Cap has my heart! And it’s Marvel for me. 🙂 Just because of Captain America, of course. Squee! I’m looking forward to the next Avengers movie. It looks pretty amazing.

How many books do you have and how do you store them??? 

I have a lot of books. I’d say a conservative estimate would be 350-400, possibly more. I’ve never counted. I need help with my book habit. And my sock yarn habit. But that is a different story all together…..
I really need help in the storage bit. I’m still on the lookout for a good bookshelf. 😛

 

So, leave a comment if you want to answer any or all of my questions! Thank you!

the great controversy

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Have you seen Pride and Prejudice?

I ask that question sometimes when I meet a fellow British drama fan. If the answer is yes, I’ll (cautiously) pose the following question.

Which version? {raises eyebrow, looks out of the corner of the eye} The Colin Firth one or the Matthew Macfaydon one?

Isn’t it interesting how the different versions are identified by who plays Mr. Darcy? This tells you how interesting my life must be if I argue about British movies in my spare time then write blog posts about it. 🙂 And if you must know, the correct answer is the Colin Firth version. I tried to be objective when watching the 2005 version and not compare it to the 1995 one, but, oh, it was hard. They are. just. so. different. I’ll start with the 2005 movie.

What I liked about the 2005 version:

I recognized most of the cast from other movies I’ve seen. For example:

Judy Dench as Lady Catherine (Cranford)
Kiera Knightly as Elizabeth Bennet (Pirates of the Caribbean)
Simon Woods as Mr. Bingley (Penelope, Cranford)
Rosamund Pike as Jane Bennet (Wives and Daughters)
Kelly Reilly as Caroline Bingley (Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows)
Claudie Blakley as Charlotte Lucas (Lark Rise to Candleford, Cranford, Bright Star)
Tom Hollander as Mr. Collins (Pirates of the Caribbean, Wives and Daughters)

Mrs. Bennet wasn’t nearly as squawkingly excitable. (THANK GOODNESS!)

Jane was lovelier. It was funny to me that Jane was called the pretty one in the BBC show, but that Elizabeth was much prettier.

I’d rather go to the balls in this one than at the other one. They seemed more fun. The whole scene when the Bennets are embarrassing themselves was almost completely cut out, which relieved me. Of all the scenes, that was my least favorite. Talk about cringe-worthy relatives!

I liked Georgiana better. She was younger and more real, even if you only saw her for all of a minute and a half.

The music was amazing! I would buy the soundtrack. The theme is distinctive and is woven nicely all throughout.

The set seemed to be more lived in, like the Bennets had lived at Longbourne for more than just an hour.

Favorite scene from the movie: when Mr. Bingley comes to Longbourne and they bolt through the room cleaning up! I love that they aren’t all prim and proper all day. This movie seemed to be more lighthearted.

What I didn’t like about the 2005 version:

Some of the characters were just off, such as:
Mr. Collins wasn’t slimy like he was supposed to be. He was just weird.
Mr. Bingley and Mr. Bennet were ridiculous, even more so than usual.
And Wickham, the villain of the story, was barely in the movie! He had three scenes at the most. I know that it was a much shorter movie and very little time was devoted to back story, but it was just silly. Little to no explanation was given why Lydia ran off with him, or why he and Darcy disliked each other so much. Disappointing.
Charlotte Lucas wasn’t played too well. Neither was Mrs. Bennet. I liked that Mrs. Bennet was quieter, but when she complained of nerves, it wasn’t as believable.

The story jumped around a bit too quickly. It was hard to tell what was going on sometimes.

The historical inaccuracy was appalling. They couldn’t seem to decide what period the clothes should be from. Bingley would NEVER have gone into Jane’s sick room. Elizabeth should have always worn a hat when going out. Caroline Bingley wouldn’t have worn a sleeveless dress at the Netherfield ball. Lady Catherine, soul of propriety, would not have appeared in the middle of the night to yell at Elizabeth. And walking around in their night-clothes being okay? No, no, no!!

Oh, Mr. Darcy… He had one good line. That’s it. It was a good line, though. Why did he keep just walking into other houses? Talk about random.

And don’t mess with Jane Austen’s words. That is a big, BIG no-no. Honestly, I think she knew what she was doing when she wrote them!

What I liked about the 1995 version:

How much of the story they were able to put into the show. It’s so detailed, rich, and does justice to Jane Austen’s wonderful novel.

The costumes and setting were accurate. No detail was missed. Seriously, I would LOVE to wear Elizabeth’s clothes. Stunning!

You’re able to see back story and character development. Like, the Bingley sisters, Mrs. Gardiner, Wickham’s past and connection to Mr. Darcy, you know, that kind of thing.

Wickham is actually a bad guy! Lydia is an air-headed girl who’s only interest is boys! Mrs. Bennet is in the fidgets all the time! Mary is snooty and silly!

Mr. Bennet is really a funny character. Watching him play opposite to screechy Mrs. Bennet is hilarious. His sense of humor is so dry and sarcastic without being sarcastic.

Lady Catherine is suitably haughty and grand. She’s so demanding. “I am most displeased!”

Mr. Collins… Ooo…he’s so slimy and gross! The other one was just weird, but he is physically repulsive.

And finally….Mr. Darcy. Colin Firth really captures the brooding, dark gorgeousness that is Mr. Darcy. Sometimes he takes the brooding just a bit far. Like when you can count on one hand how many times he smiles! He’s sharp enough to counter Elizabeth’s wit, but vulnerable enough to feel. I love when he and Elizabeth run into each other at Pemberly. Classic! There has never been and never will be a better Mr. Darcy. Unless Richard Armitage played him…

The music is so amazing and distinctive. Unfortunately, it’s unavailable for purchase. A friend found me a copy at a thrift store not that long ago. Love that album.

What I didn’t like about the 1995 version:

Mr. Darcy was right. The Bennets displayed a complete lack of propriety just about anywhere they went. It was hard to watch.

Mr. Collins. Ugh, he creeps me out. I just don’t like the character at all. And he shouldn’t have married Charlotte Lucas. Mary Bennet would have been a better match for him!

I don’t think they cast Caroline Bingley very well. She looks nothing like Mr. Bingley.

Let’s summarize!

All in all, I think that the 1995 version wins for me. Now, if they could take the best parts of both movies and put them together, it would be an amazing movie.

All right, sound off. 1995 or 2005? Colin Firth or Matthew Macfaydon? Tell me which one you prefer! Do you ever have violent arguments about British dramas? I’ll chat about them with you if you don’t have anyone else! 🙂 Comment and tell me all about it!