Bleak Midwinter

I’m currently reading In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming, a pretty local author.  It’s the first in a series of mysteries, and I don’t usually read mysteries.  I love this book!  I started it yesterday evening, and I’m almost done.  I checked out the second book in the series, so I can prolong my experience.  This book has been recommended to me by a handful of people, and every time someone described the plot to me, it didn’t sound like something I’d like.  So I’m not going to describe the plot here at all.  Also, the title sounds a bit…bleak.

We’ve all be challenged at the library to read outside of our usual comfort zone.  I had a hard time describing what I usually read, and finally settled on a term that is probably accurate but sounds pretentious – literary fiction.  My favorite authors are all described in Novelist or Wikipedia as literary fiction, so I just went with it.   A quick story about what I like to read – a woman asked me for a book recommendation the other day.  She wanted something light and fun to take on vacation, and it had been awhile since she’d read anything, so she wanted something good.  I wavered, and since I didn’t have any other authors to go on, I was thinking about what is popular here, and what might be good, and drawing a blank.  She asked me what I like to read, and whether I’d read any great books lately.  I had to admit that what I like to read is generally the opposite of light and fun.  I like dark or challenging books that make me think differently.  I like books to push me a little, and make me see things from a different perspective.  If I want something light, or something distracting, I watch a movie or knit.  I’m too slow of a reader for light reading.  Having said that, some of my favorite books that I’ve read recently have been light – Twilight comes to mind.  So I had to call on someone else to help her find a book, and I felt like a bad librarian.  To my credit, she was in an awful hurry and didn’t want to wait for me to cough up some decent light authors, but all the same, if I can’t recommend good books to people, I’m not doing my job.  So when I decided to read In the Bleak Midwinter, it was for two reasons – it’s our library book group selection for February, and it falls outside the genre I usually read, so it counts for our work challenge.  And it’s opened my eyes to a new genre, which is awesome.  Hopefully, the more excursions I make from my genre, the better I will be at matching books to people.

In other news, Jim and I were watching Futurama last night.  I love that show.  The opening sequences are just so funny.  As are the rest of the episodes.


Knitting Break (not in a good way)

I’ve had to give knitting a break for a couple of days – I overextended my right thumb, probably shelving books, and then knit for many many hours this weekend, which added to the pain.  When I started working as a librarian, my coworkers advised me to avoid picking up stacks of books with one hand.  Most of them have had a thumb injury at one time or another, and know from experience how easy it is to overextend.  Being a bit younger than everyone else I work with, and feeling myself invincible, I promptly overextended my thumb anyhow.  Lesson learned, I try to avoid picking up more than two books at a time.  Fast forward to late last week, I was trying to unload a book truck as quickly as possible, was picking up 4 or 5 hardcover books at a time, and overextended.  Nothing serious, just enough to keep me from knitting.  Good story, eh?

We picked up a bag of white whole wheat flour this week to experiment with.  It has more fiber than white flour, slightly less than regular whole wheat flour, and is pretty light in color.  I made our bread this week with half whole wheat / half white flour, and while there is a detectable difference in flavor, there is no difference in texture.  Yay!  Just as moist and delicious as regular white bread!  Whole wheat bread is less sweet, which is probably why most recipes call for honey instead of sugar, and more of it at that.  I’ll probably try honey this week, unless we decide to just eat bread that’s less sweet.  I’ll probably eat less as snacks.  It does taste fine made into a sandwich.

I’ve agreed to work this Saturday, which means 6 days of working in a row.  I’ve gotten old and grown soft, so it will probably be a long week for me, although I expect no sympathy – not only are there tons of people out there who regularly work 6 or 7 day weeks, but I’m lucky I even have a single job that pays all the bills.