Yarn Along

Yarn Along photo 8.19

The brown English rib sweater (Yes… still) is the perfect project for me this week because it’s easy and can be worked on mindlessly, which is what I need during my first week on a new job. I got a lot of knitting done this weekend and even spent some quality time with CNN, the sweater, and takeout dinner from Noori Indian restaurant on Tuesday night. All right – I didn’t actually knit while I was eating my chicken saag – but close enough.

Back when all the hype about The Book Thief was in its heyday, I considered reading it and then decided against it. My reason can be loosely summed up as follows: I already know that tragic subject matter like the Holocaust can be written about in unusual and even lighthearted ways, and this is a lesson one needs to learn only once. I don’t need to read this book, my reasoning proceeds, because I’ve already read Time’s Arrow, I’ve already seen Life is Beautiful, and I’m familiar with the comedy of Mel Brooks. (I’ve also been yelled at by Mel Brooks on a boat, but that is a story for another day.) I will be teaching this book beginning next week, so I’m reading it and making plans about how to discuss it, and I know that many of my young students may find this novel BRILLIANT and LIFE CHANGING, as its cover insists it is (the cover says it is ambitious also, but only in lower case). For that reason, I don’t dread teaching it, and I think our discussions will be fun. But for myself as a reader, I’m not too impressed. I don’t care one whit about any of the characters, not even the ones who are clearly undoubtedly doomed, and every time the first-person narrator says something to remind me that he is supposed to be “Death,” I just snort.

But in other news, my new job is just down the road from one of my favorite yarn store. Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, as they say, though I don’t see myself waiting for April.


Yarn Along is hosted by Ginny on her blog, Small Things!

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13 Responses to Yarn Along

  1. caffeinegirl says:

    At this rate, your sweater will be done before too long. Sweaters are a slog.
    I am so glad I am not the only person who wasn’t taken with The Book Thief. I didn’t finish it. The conceit of death as narrator just didn’t work for me.

  2. Donna says:

    Well isn’t that nice – you will have a yarn store real close every single day!

  3. badkitty1016 says:

    I am going to remind you that I read The Book Thief because you recommended it to me even though you hadn’t read it yourself. I actually did end up enjoying it, though Death as narrator was kind of awkward at the start. The kids will probably like it.

  4. badkitty1016 says:

    I think the genre I’d put this book in is “not all Germans were Nazis during WWII.” All the Light We Cannot See is also in that genre.

    • bedstrom says:

      I have trouble building a genre around something so obvious.

      • badkitty1016 says:

        I hate to admit that it wasn’t always so obvious to me…. I used to think that all Germans were responsible for the death of Anne Frank. (Just like all the Jews killed Jesus.)

  5. Lucy Bowen says:

    Your sweater is looking great!

  6. kathy b says:

    Happy New job and happy new yarn store

  7. Maria Caswell says:

    Late comment. I read the book thief and did not particularly like or dislike. Now please tell us about Mel brooks yelling at you on a boat!

    • bedstrom says:

      Haha – I’ve never told you that story? I was with my employer and her 4 kids, taking a “taxi” boat from Lido to Venice (summer of ’97 – nanny job). The oldest boy had learned from experience that if he stood out on the deck of the boat and looked adorable, sometimes the pilot of the boat would let him drive for a little while. It was raining, and Mel Brooks (who was on the boat too) started yelling that “that boy shouldn’t be allowed to be out in the rain! Who is responsible for that boy? Make him come in out of the rain!” That is the story.

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