Sunday, July 26, 2015

Betty Hechtman

With only 3 published books in the Yarn Retreat Mystery series, Betty Hechtman is the latest in the knit-lit mystery genre - thought she started publishing crochet mystery books before she began writing this series. When looking at the covers on her books I realized that most knit-lit books have cats in them - except in Maggie Sefton's Kelly Flynn series is a dog - and it made me smile.

Casey Feldstein is hosting her 3rd Yarn2Go retreat at Vista Del Mar conveniently very close to her home in Cadbury by the Sea. Kevin St John, manager at Vista Del Mar is still unhappy of Casey's decision of not letting him organize and run the retreats as displeased that he could not convince her to postpone her retreat as is happens to be scheduled at the same time as the My Favorite Year 1963 retreat - he landed that event/retreat when the former venue burned down and as eying the possibility to get future My Favorite Year retreats in the calendar.

Casey's ex-boyfriend gets entangled in a murder, as one of his magic props, a silk scarf, is found next to a dead body outside in the bushes. While trying to figure out who the killer is, Casey has challenges with the theme of her retreat, mystery bags, where the participants are handed a bag with random yarns and accessories to create a personal project: scarf, bag, worry doll etc.

Worry dolls from Guatemala - never heard about them until reading this book - and there's a pattern on how to make one. Well got me intrigued, so it is now on my to-do list. If you see the author's FaceBook page, she's featuring a worry doll on her photos at the moment.

The cats next to Wound Up in Murder are from Italy and a gift from a friend who's two cats I used cat-sit when she was traveling. The last of the two cats was put to sleep earlier this month due to bad health and will be greatly missed. Even though I was not the cats' owner (well cats do not have owners - they have servants ;o) ) I still developed a relationship with them and they were very cuddly and fun. I used to be a cat owner and miss having cat(s) around me, but they are not allowed in the building where I live. So reading the knit-lit books are not just because I like mystery and knitting - but also as I like the description of the cat(s) in these books.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Watch the Birdie

I saw something similar a couple of years ago but never photographed them - but now the birdhouses have popped up at another street corner in the city. Nice to see something else than the election posters that were hanging everywhere 1½ month ago.

So colorful that they make you smile. A little sadness added as no birds will find there homes there as the holes are too small. But they do brighten up you day spotting them.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Anne Canadeo

Another author from my watch list - she had already published 3 books in the Black Sheep Knitting Mystery Series, when I discovered her and the 4th was about to arrive in the book shops. The Postman Always Purls Twice came out earlier this year and is the 7th book in the series.

The title is inspired by a well known movie with Jack Nicholson in the lead - he is not starring in this book but the picturesque village of Plum Harbor is taking part of a movie set for a new Hollywood movie and Maggie Messina's Black Sheep Knitting Shop plays a big part in the movie.

The Hollywood glamour turns out to have a scary dark side, where a stalker is after one of the main characters while she is spending a little time with the Black Sheep Knitters to get some inspiration for her character/role in the movie. A movie set (actually in the yarn shop) where strange accidents happen and the murder......

Maggie and her friends start gathering the ends together and hope to find the villain.

The book made me think about two things:

Julia Roberts that is apparently always knitting on the movie sets when she is off the camera, and Tom Hanks that created a prank about her knitting to make her laugh.

Britta Wilfert - she used to be a clothes designer at a movie company and she later started her own yarn label and opened a shop. She closed that shop a couple of years back (I miss that shop, the atmosphere, the help, the yarn.....) and took a leap to work in the health business instead

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Authors I Know

Authors I know.... most people will start naming the authors who have written books, that they have read. This time I will push that a step forward and talk about authors you actually know (acquainted with) in person. Surely I have had teachers and professors who have written our study books but it gets a bit more personal when it is about people's private experience.

Rejsen til frihed (translates to Journey to Freedom) by Linh Nguyen

I know Linh from my previous company and once in a while we are on the same bus to/from work. I knew, that she was one of the 3628 Vietnamese migrants rescued from the ship Truong Xuant back in 1976 but have never known any details. When I found out, that she published a book, it was immediately ordered.

The book is her and her family's story about escaping from Vietnam on a boat, being rescued by the Danish merchant ship Clara Mærsk, spending time in a refugee camp in Hong Kong and getting the news that Denmark would offer them a place to stay.

Along with Linh's words, the book is full of clippings from newspapers, a letter from the captain of Truong Xuant and other official letters.

There are lots of migrants by sea in the Mediterranean these years fleeing from Middle East and Africa so it is a topic that is still a hot political potato in a lot of countries. Often you "just" hear the news when you are living away from where the migration takes place, but in this case it becomes a little more personal when you have actually met a former migrant.

Stik by Stine Dige and Marie Ladefoged

Stine organized yarn bomb event last year and she has published a poetry book with Marie about fertility and reproduction. Apparently 1 out of 8 have problems with reproduction - you do not think much about that high  number until you stop and realize how many you know that might have received medical help to get babies.

I am not a mum nor will I be. A choice I have made partly (mostly) because of my MS - sometimes I think that it is not fair to those who are unable to give birth, on the other hand I made the decision with my heart as if I had a baby I want to be there when the child would need me - something I can not rely on a 100% with MS. Yes nobody knows what will happen with them, but I already know that I have a higher risk of disability because of the MS.

Especially one of the poems in the book made me think:

Let's Go Shopping
The writer mentions that she wishes to be one of those who hates children, has hobbies etc....
I just realized that some of my parents friends never had children, and my parents do not know why. They never asked if it was infertility or not wishing to be parents, and it is too late to ask know as they have both past away. One thing I do know: they were older (10-20 years) than my parents and treated me like I could have been their grand child offering to look after me if my parents had to attend parties etc. But wonder if they could sense that others were talking about them wondering why they never had children without asking them directly?
Maybe that is why I have chosen to be open about why I am not having kids?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sally Goldenbaum

I have a list of authors on my watch list so I try to stay updated about when they publish a new book - A Finely Knit Murder by Sally Goldenbaum was published a few days before my trip to New York, so it was on the top of my wishlist, when I entered a Barnes&Noble bookstore in New York. It is the 9th book in the Seaside Knitters Mysteries series.

Reading a series like this makes you feel, that you often visit Sea Harbor in New England USA and you are staying with friends - a good way to spend a nice day outside on a bench reading and drinking tea. Only one "problem" when reading those books: when you read you want to knit, and when you knit you want to finish your book.

The teenager Gabby is back with Birdie where she starts attending Sea Harbor Community Day School- an old girls school where she happily embrace that the Seaside Knitters have started knitting as part of a school program.

A board member at the school is murdered and now suspects are investigated, as she has been outspoken in a way that have offended a lot of people. The school girls parents feels somewhat unsafe about the situation, and while keeping Gabby safe the Seaside Knitters once again puts their minds together to help solve the mystery.

A finely knitted scarf in the making

Monday, July 13, 2015


Storytelling. I have heard about it but never been to an event with a storyteller. Not one reading aloud from a book, but one person on a stage that has memorized a story, that he/she retells allowing body language as the sole special effects.

We have books, eBooks, audiobooks, movies, TV, internet - with modern technology it is very easy to access stories, but can recommend stepping back just for a couple of hours if you get the chance to listen to a story teller.

If you look it up, story telling has existed for lots of years and is still key source of information in many cultures, that are key source of information, education but also a bond to old traditions, that they wish to preserve.

Through the local BookFriend initiative by Danish Red Cross, I heard Dorte Futtrup tell two stories (Nordic style) in April which was a pleasant encounter with something I had only heard about but never encountered. I am a book lover so it was a nice way of being entertained  without any disturbance of modern technology just like when I reading books. The invitation to the event was sent in an old fashioned letter which was a nice touch as you felt like "back to basics" and no stress. 

The majority of things I do at work depends of modern technology, and I think that is why book reading and crafting appeals to me after work hours to relax and rest - I even try to limit the usage of social media in my spare time + use of phones as does one really need to be that connected all the time?

The following photos are a bit blurred as captured with my iPhone as only camera at hand, but gives you an idea how body language helps Dorte telling her stories.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sara Blaedel

Thanks to two freebies with a weekly Danish women magazine I encountered Sarah Blaedel's police detective, Louise Rick, and her crime solving cases. There are opinions pro and con when it comes to freebie books, but to me they have proven to be excellent appetizers, persuading me to buy new releases or check-outs at the library if I found the author to be good. Other authors not my taste, but at least I have given them a chance.

Book number 9 in the series was published last fall and is according to the author the last book in the series and she has already started creating material for a new book with other main characters. Me, I have all 9 books in my book case.

A lot of appearances in local magazines and awards have had Sara's name written on then as she is very popular reading. She recently launched Forgotten Girls (the 7th book in the series) in the US and gotten good appraise from a fellow crime writer Michael Connelly and from Oprah.

The 9th book "Kvinden de meldte savnet" (loosely translated - as I have not seen an English title yet for this book: The Woman They Reported Missing). A woman is murdered in England and the case catches the attention of Danish police as she turns out to be Sophie, who went missing 18 years ago.

The twist is that Sophie's boyfriend, at the time she went missing, is Eik, Louise's partner both private and workwise. What is Eik's involvement in this case as it clearly has an impact on his behavior, what has Sophie's been doing in those 18 years and why did she have a Swiss bank account? We are soon exposed to people pro and con active death-assistance. 

It is evident that the author has researched a lot for the details in the book . My mind wandered a bit to Jojo Moye's  "Me Before You" that I read earlier this year, as the topic has occurred a lot in the press, litterature and movies the past few years

Saturday, July 11, 2015

June 2015 in Books

Posting this a bit late, but one day takes another at the moment.

Just learned, that an old book shop Atheneum in Copenhagen is about to close business. They opened the doors in 1874 (141 years ago) and have always been ready with advise and suggestion, if you were a bit stuck with the choices available or needed inspiration - but the internet business and the end of bookstores having lost the monopoly on selling books here in Denmark, so the supermarket chains can sell books at incredible low prices have proven to be too much competition. Makes me think of the movie "You've Got Mail" where Meg Ryan's children's book store has to close - just proves that some of the points in that movie are still valid. *sigh*

Here is the list of books, that I read in June:

Rejsen til frihed by Linh Nguyen
(Translated title: Journey to Fredom)*

Den sønderjyske farm by Erling Jepsen
(Translated title: The South Jutland Farm))*

Stik by Stine Dige and Marie Ladefoged

(Translated title: Sting)*

Miss Perigrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Library Book

Aase Seidler Gernes

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D.James
Library Book

The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes
Library Book

*Translated title: the book has not been published in English version, so title is not an official title of the book.