What I'm Listening To: Bonnie "Prince" Billy -" I See A Darkness"

Saturday, September 12, 2015
This week I've been rocking out to my Ol' cousin Will ( I'm not actually related to Will Oldham aka. Bonnie "Prince" Billy to my knowledge). Bonnie "Prince" Billy originally wrote and performed back up vocals to the Johnny Cash version of this song on the 2000 album, American III: Solitary Man, before releasing his own, more upbeat performance of the song. Check it out!


Knitting for Charity: The Mother Bear Project

Tuesday, September 8, 2015
During the summer I knew that I wanted to do something with my time to help others. Awhile back, I had heard about The Mother Bear Project, a non-profit organization that provides hand knit and crochet bears to children in emerging nations affected by HIV/AIDS, and I had noticed that they have a growing online community on Ravelry which included monthly bear themed challenges (we all know that I love a good challenge!). I have inherited a TON of random yarn, so this seemed like the perfect project to both stash-bust and help a good cause, so I decided to give it a go. For a $5 donation, you can receive either a knit or crochet pattern and some tags to name your finished bears. I chose the knit versions.

1) Pierre Bear
    For my first bear, I decided to knit the pattern as written including the scarf. This one is inspired by Frenchmen and my husband's first teddy bear. 

2 & 3) Val & Tyne
     These bears are obviously inspired by Valentine's Day. 

4) Sunshine
    This bear has his swim trunks on because he's ready for summer.

5) Kaiser Bear
    In July I wanted to knit a sports themed bear, so I created a bear inspired by the South African Kaiser Chiefs Football (Soccer) Team.

All together now!

Here they are on their way to their new forever homes.


What I've Been Reading in August

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
At the beginning of August I wrote about the week-long binge read-a-thon called BookTubeAThon, and while I didn't expect that I would ACTUALLY read 7 books in a week, I made a hypothetical list of the 7 books that I would read if I could read 7 books in a week. 

So how'd I do? By the end of August I have successfully completed 4 out of the 7 books that I hoped to read (and I'm currently 25% through another book from the list). 

Here's what I read in the month of August:

The Road by Cormac McCarthy / After finishing Ayn Rand's Anthem, I decided to pick up another post-apocalyptic/ dystopian future novel. Sure, this book was depressing, but it's also a great depiction of endurance, and the bond between a parent/child and father/son. It's both a terrifying and beautiful read.

Locke & Key, Vol. 5: Clockworks by Joe Hill / I'm another book closer to finishing this series. This book developed a little more of the character's back story. Only one more book to go.

Americanah by Chiamanda Ngozi Adichie / After reading two scary books, I was looking for a change, and the back of this book promised me a love story. And this book is a love story, but it's so much more than just a love story. This book follows Ifemelu and Obinze, two young people from Nigeria who are each others "first love". When university strikes begin to shut down universities in Nigeria, the couple make plans to migrate West to finish there educations- Ifemelu ends up in the USA and Obinze in England.

I really enjoyed the way that Ifemelu highlights the cultural, social, and racial differences between her life in Nigeria vs. her life in The States through her experiences and in the blog that she writes.

I felt like this was a very timely read given the many migrant headlines in both the USA and Europe and reading about the character's experiences made be feel more empathetic towards those people who are struggling to migrate to other countries to leave difficult (and sometimes dangerous) situations in order to achieve a better life for themselves and their families.

Lost at Sea by Brian Lee O'Malley/ I didn't plan on reading this book right away, but when I found it mis-shelved in the library I had to take it home. I could identify with the main character, Raleigh, being newly out of high school and feeling lost and I enjoyed the weird cat scene and the illustrations. But this book left me disappointed as it lacked the fun of the Scott Pilgrim series and it seemed like Raleigh could only be fulfilled by being in a romantic relationship.

Have you read any of these books? Have you read anything else good lately and have any book recommendations? Let me know in the comments below.
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