Saturday, May 06, 2006

Some Stash… Summer Reads… and… my house is worth what???

I feel guilty about this but the craft store near my house is closing in 4 days and everything is 70% off (plus I bought a membership there ages ago that gave me an additional 7% off). So today, I bought silk flowers and of course yarn and more patterns. Sock yarn in beige and a varigated lilac (that isn't showing up very well) and some yarn in an acrylic/alpaca/mohair blend for a shawl and ribbon yarn for a tank top. All together I spent less than $50 and came away with yarn for 2 large projects and 2 pairs of socks, Massive bouquets of silk flowers one of hydrangeas and the other of sunflowers and a smaller assortment of brightly coloured gerber daisies and a brooch to pin the shawl I'm currently working on. I'd rather not have got the deals and have the store remain open but what can you do?

Also, real estate in Calgary is officially INSANE. There is an open house next door to me today, the house is the same age and size as mine, it's on the same size lot except it's a corner lot and they have a basement suite. The asking price… $519,000. It's an unrenovated post war 2 bedroom bungalow with a basement suite (see pic)!! I just about keeled over. When I got my house, it was well under $100,000. Holy, whack me over the head Batman!

I was out with a friend today and told her, I am convinced my mother's spirit is slowly taking me over. My Mom was class personified. She had impeccable good taste. She loved reading, knitting, home decor and gardening. I have always loved reading but only more lately become possessed with knitting, gardening and home decor. It seems these days like she's watching over me and smiling.

I have been in the same book group since my son was three-years-old. The ladies in the group are a diverse, wonderful bunch. Every June, we pick books for the following year so that we all have a nice selection to read over the Summer. Anyway, it is almost Summer and everyone likes to have a good read for at the beach… or the cottage… or their own back yard… where ever the Summer takes them so I thought I'd share some of my personal favourites, no trash here, these are all well crafted books. First of all: "The Republic of Love" by Carol Shields. This is a lovely little romance about two people, a woman who can't commit and a man who commits all too easily. It's just a nice story about love over the age of 35 and because it's Carol Shields, it's very well written. "About a Boy" by Nick Hornby, speaks volumes to me about the harsh realities of being a single Mom and the shallowness of men who want to remain little boys forever. My dear friend "The Hanger" is Will to a Tee--he's so shallow it's almost charming--I said almost. I love the movie too. For sheer fun, I suggest "The Eyre Affair" by Jasper Fforde. Not only is it totally whacked (in a Douglas Adams meets Penguin literary classics meets Nancy Drew kind of way) you'll love it even more if you've read some of the classics like "Jane Eyre" but it's fun even if you haven't. If you like the first one (and I loved it), there are three more in the series. I also recently read "Small Island" by Andrea Levy, I'm planning to recommend it for my book group. It's set in Post war Britain and looks at the several thousand Jamaican men who joined the RAF and what happens to one couple when they emigrate to England post war. It won the White bread and Orange prizes for fiction. Finally there is one of my all time favourites "The English Patient" by Michael Ondaatje. Heavier than the rest but a stunningly beautiful book, winner of the Governor General's Award and the Booker Prize that was turned into an equally beautiful movie. I could go on and on… but I'll leave it there, a few suggestions for those warm days ahead. Oh, and while I reference Amazon for my books, this is my favourite place to buy them.


Anonymous canKNITian said...

Republic of Love is one of my all-time favourites, and The English Patient is pretty high on the list too. But I have to ask -- have you read In the Skin of a Lion? That's my favourite Ondaatje so far.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

"In the Skin of a Lion" is also an all time fave of mine! I would be very hard put to actually decide between that and "The English Patient" as I love them both.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Lorraine The Knitting Hammy said...

Thanks for the book reviews- it's always interesting to have recommendations. Sorry about your LYS- but where one door closes, another opens. Besides, there's always the internet (very dangerous)!

4:15 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Thank god for Make 1 to fill the void!

Loved the English Patient and Small Island, as well as Republic. Have you read Deafening; it is a beautiful book (lent mine out and need to get it back). My other favourite authors are Vikram Lall and Anne Marie MacDonald. We have some wonderful writers here in Canada.

7:22 PM  

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