Tuesday, 30 September 2008

2nd Canadian Book Challenge

I have recently signed up for the 2ND Canadian Book Challenge, which is to read 13 books by Canadian authors before the next Canada Day (July 1, 2009). Its open to all readers regardless of Nationality or Country of residence.
I found out about it on Kathleen Molloy's website and followed the links till I ended up at John Mutford's The Book Mine Set.
While I have read books by several Canadians this year, they won't count against my 13. That's not a problem, there are so many wonderful Canadian authors that I shouldn't have any difficulty finding more to read.
My first book(s) will be by author and playwright Tomson Highway (as suggested by Kathleen in her blog entry earlier this week). At first I was going to read books by authors that are new to me, now I think I'll refine it to First Nations Authors. I will really enjoy this challenge.
I'll try and remember to put the challenge logo in each entry and post my running total. So right now I stand at 0/13. If you have joined in this challenge let me know which books you are reading.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

A quilted Running Shoe

Terrific progress was made on the quilt this weekend. I now have 4 of the 5 rows of blocks completed. For the fifth row, I need to draft the block and then I can work on the paper piecing.

The paper pieced running shoe was designed by Linda Worland at the Paper Panache website. If you haven't visited Linda's site, you really need to take a look. It's amazing the blocks she has designed.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Candy Box

This Candy box block was a little more fun to piece. It was still quite straightforward, nothing tricky, but a few spots you will want to match and pin.
Pattern is by Ula Lenz. I did change it a bit so that it is leaning sideways. You'll understand why when I post the picture of the finished quilt. I also enlarged this paper pieced pattern by about 25%.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Origami Crane Block

I have been finding some time most days to work on this newest quilt. Not as much as I want, but the project is proceeding.
I decided to make this crane with some Japanese themed fabric. Quite fitting I felt. The pattern is paper pieced and is from the Kitten's Mitten site.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

One More Sunday by John D. MacDonald

A murder mystery by a prolific author. Before his death in 1986 he penned almost 500 short stories and 78 novels.

This story peaked in to look at the inner workings of a "Religion based" empire. Seems that life is not always as 'pure' as it appears in the carefully crafted church services that are broadcast on TV.

I loved the writing in this book, particularly the chapters involving the Reverend Tom Daniel Birdy. He managed to cut through all the garbage and get to the real issues. I could picture him with his plain speaking telling Reverend Mary Margaret some truths that she desperately needed to acknowledge.

I will admit that for me this wasn't an edge of the seat read, but I did find myself admiring the masterful writing style of Mr. MacDonald. I would definitely read more of his works.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Neon Lotus by Marc Laidlaw

Lately I find that every time I read a book, I have to do a Google search on the author. I'm glad I do, as I have been finding interesting stories. Always, the author is far more that 'only' a writer.
In this case, Marc Laidlaw is also renown for his work on the computer games of the Half-Life series from Valve Software. You can read further about him on Wikipedia, or you can visit his blog.
I enjoyed this book which is mainly set in Tibet. It gives just enough information about the struggle for Tibet's freedom from the Chinese that I need to find out more.
Some books are just mind candy, they occupy my time and give me immediate pleasure. They don't stay with me for days and weeks afterward. Then there are the books that feed my imagination and keep my pondering on them for various periods of time. This is the later type of book. I admit that I don't know much about Tibet and its people and beliefs. I do know that I look forward to the challenge of finding some books that will fill in the gaps.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

A New Quilt Project

I really wasn't planning to start something new until I finished a long standing project. But life happens and things get shoved around. So here I am putting my books aside and digging into something new. I can't release all the details, but I can say it is turning out to be lots of fun and its stretching my imagination and skills to try and pull it all together.

This Teacup block is from Quilters Newsletter Magazine Online Extras . I did fussy cut the main fabric piece of the cup so that the crane is centred.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Offspring: A Novel of the Silent Empire by Steven Harper

Today my entry is not so much about the book I read, but rather about the timing. I find it an amusing story, whether you do???
As you may be aware, a week ago a federal election was called in Canada. By chance that is the day I started to read this book. The author of the novel is Steven Harper, and our current Prime Minister is named Stephen Harper. Now the part that amuses me. The day I finished reading the first book in this series was the day that Stephen Harper was first elected.
There is no connection between the two men that I am aware of. In fact, Steven Harper is really Steven Piziks.
I did enjoy this book and found my self looking forward to "whats going to happen to Kendi and his partner next". I was fairly easy to suspend any disbelief that people could communicate telepathically over great distances.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Making Cards

I tried something different on Saturday. I was going to a birthday party and needed a card. OK, time to use those supplies I had been collecting, or buying for my daughter.
I few weeks back I bought a magazine "Card Maker" the September 2008 issue. On page 12 is a lovely card with the word 'Celebrate' across the bottom. Since I don't like to copy, I made my own version.
My friend loved it.
I will have to search out some books on card making and see what I can create from them.

Monday, 8 September 2008

No Highway by Nevil Shute

How is it that a book published 60 years ago can still be timely?
The issue of aircraft safety comes to light with every flight incident that hits the news headlines. In this novel, Mr. Shute considers the potential of metal fatigue due to various flight stresses. When Mr. Honey's research first comes to the attention of Mr. Scott, his manager, it is met with scepticism. While further explanation brings Mr. Scott round to his way of understanding, he experiences this disbelief with each person to whom he presents his thesis.
History has shown that this is often the case with new ideas/research.
One of my favourite passages in the novel is when the actress Monica Teasdale is reflecting upon her life. In retrospect, she very clearly realizes who the most important people have been. It's not her "movie" people as you might expect. I can only hope that I view my life and relationships with such clarity.
I feel that this novel should still have a broad audience including historians, those with and interest in aeronautics and sociology.
I have read several books by Mr. Shute and each has been as gripping as the previous. If you are interested in learning more about this author, please visit the Nevil Shute Norway Foundation.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

From the surface, Odd Thomas is a young man you'd expect to find in any town. Almost immediately we find out that he is frequently visited by ghosts and that he can see unearthly creatures he calls bodachs.
Its very easy to like the character of Odd. He's just an everyday guy, he goes to work, visits with friends and neighbours and loves his girlfriend Stormy. Just about what the rest of us do.
The story-telling style of this book makes for easy reading, though it is hard to put down. Even though I knew that something 'really bad' was going to happen, Mr. Koontz managed to keep it a mystery and it seemed that he 'sprung' it on me all of a sudden.
The character of Odd appears in 3 further novels as well as a graphic novel. There is even a web-site visit that is solely devoted to Odd.
I do hope that in one of the future novels we get to 'meet' Odd's Aunt Cymry (his mother's sister). There is a mystery to her that we are clearly introduced to, but it is not explored.
Read my review of the other books in the series:

Friday, 5 September 2008

Point Blank by Catherine Coulter

This story sucked me in from the first pages. I could have read it through without a break if it weren't for other everyday obligations (such as family and food).
I enjoyed meeting FBI Agent Ruth Warnecki as she explored Winkel's Cave. You could forsee right from her rescue by Sheriff Dix Noble that a relationship would develop between them.
We are also introduced to FBI Agents Savich and Sherlock, who are investigating their own twisted mystery.
I enjoyed the interaction between the four law enforcement officers. Lucky for me the three FBI agents have been featured in previous novels, which I will be on the look out for. You can check Catherine's website for a complete listing of her books.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

A Virtual Soul by Kevin Teixeira

This futuristic novel is a first for Kevin Teixeira. The main character is Josh Numes, an em-printer (he gives personalities and memories to test tube people) finds himself caught in a web of corporate espionage involving mass murder.
I found this a compelling read. Through-out the day, each time I walked past the book I had to pick ti up and read at least a few pages. I needed to know whether Josh would get his life back or would the corporation win.
Angelica developed into an interesting character of hidden straights. I was sorry to see the story end when it did.
I did expect to see a follow-up book by Mr, Teixeira, but nothing yet at my local bookseller.
Thanks to my bookcrossing friend who passed it along.
Turned out to be a good summer read.