04 February 2007

Why Technology Sucks and January Book Report

Now don't get your knickers all twisted, reading the first part of the title to this post. I truly appreciate the things that advances in technology have allowed to happen, I am not completely a Luddite. Believe me, anything that makes the electric eraser a thing of the past has my full support. (And if you have never heard of an electric eraser - or more horrifying, had to use one - please stop reading immediately and drop to your knees and thank whatever deity you believe in that you have been spared!)

Blogger has switched to a new (and therefore, by extension, better, because new is always better, right???) interface. Having no experience with any other blog creators/providers/whatever they are called, I have nothing to compare. "Old Blogger" and I got along well enough, and for the most part, had an amiable relationship. "New Blogger," not so much, at least not so far. First, I couldn't post a comment on anyone else's blog, if they had a blogger account, because I didn't exist. Surely you see the problem here - I do exist, and as you may have gathered, I have a comment on just about anyone or anything that you can throw at me! As a result, other knitting bloggers were deprived of my wit and wisdom for nearly three days! But then, all of a sudden, I existed again, and could comment away to my hearts' content. (Of course, who knows what golden nuggets from me have been lost to the ages?) Well, I thought, New Blogger is just settling in, getting used to everyone, etc.

Besides having many comments to share, I had a few posts I wanted to write, over the course of the past few days. I mean, I had a great one for Friday, with lots of neat pictures, and the one I had for yesterday, though not illustrated, was OK. But though I would try on several different occasions, I could neither upload images, or even publish my posts - they would just disappear, due to Error BYW^^9876!+ or whatever.

So this morning I decided to give it one last shot. Well, so far so good, as it did allow me to load an image of the book that Kim sent to me this week:

Yes, I am now the proud owner of Folk Vests, and fortunately, my copy is not this blurry. I got a note from Kim, saying that she had some books she was finished with, and was I interested. This was the only one I didn't already have, and so she sent it along to me, with a surprise of a pattern for a beaded smoke ring inside! I just think it was so nice of her to do that, and am thrilled with the book. There are a couple of the patterns that I have decided that I would like to try - I haven't done much multicolor/charted knitting, so maybe this book will inspire me to try. Thank you, Kim - not only do I appreciate your thoughtfulness, but it was fun to get a package in the mail!

January Book Report

This month, I only finished one book, the January choice for Knit the Classics, The Woman in White by Willkie Collins. When we were voting for the next group of books to read, I voted for this title, because of the choices listed, I'd never read it.

I will admit that at first, I wasn't sure I was going to like it, and it took me about 50 pages before I was totally sucked in to the story. It has a little bit of everything - class wars (of course!), a delicate ingenue, and her brave, "mannish" looking half-sister, international intrigue, murder, and a case of mistaken identity - all in 600+ pages. There are different narrators of the story as it goes along, which is interesting because what one character deems inportant, another may only mention in passing.

Basically, it's a detective story, set in Victorian England. Collins does a good job of providing details so strong, that you feel that you can picture the people and places he is describing. The story every once in a while becomes predictable, but then there is a twist that keeps you going. There are two half-sisters, Laura (the ingenue, fair, delicate, and well, kinda boring if you ask me), and Marian (the "mannish" looking one - I decided this meant she had dark hair and was rather plain compared to "beautiful" Laura. Of course she is way more interesting). The woman in white of the title may or may not be Anne Catherick, who was a favorite of Laura's late mother, who ran a school in the area. When Walter Hartright comes to the estate where the sisters live to be their drawing instructor, he runs into a woman on his way from London, who is dressed in white, and seems rather frantic. Only when he gets to Limmeridge, the estate, does he hear about Anne Catherick, and the bulk of the story is determining whether or not she is in fact the woman that Walter saw and spoke to, and whether or not she knows a terrible secret of Laura's eventual husband, Lord Percival Glyde. (God, I hate the name Percival.)

Of course, there is much more to the story, and Collins keeps it going until right near the end. Then, it feels like suddenly, all of the loose ends are tied up neatly - sort of like he got up one day and said to himself, "I'm tired of writing this, I'll finish it up today." And then the ending that he provides is not as satisfactory as it could be. All of the good people survive, and it appears that they will have happiness and wealth in their futures. The bad people meet terrible ends, and to be honest, I think it would have been a better ending if at least one bad person was left, even if they were in prison. (Unfortunately, I was not alive at Collins' time to suggest this to him. I'm sure he would have wanted my input ...)

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend it. For the most part, it moves along well, and the story really piques your interest as you continue. It is a commitment, due to its length, but one that you'll be glad you made.

Between this book and finishing my Red Scarf, January did not have a lot more going on for me!

In other news ...

I recently started reading Purly, another knitting blog out of Gloucester, Massachusetts (one of my fave places). Earlier this week, Kathleen posted that her dog, Spenser, had gotten away from their dog walker, and was missing. Since it was really cold this week, she was extra concerned. She posted a couple more times, once to say he was still missing, and once to say she had seen him in the woods, but some other dogs nearby had spooked him, and he'd run away. Then on Friday, she posted that he was home, safe, sound, and warm! I can't tell you what a relief it was for me to read that, and how good it felt to end the week on such a happy note. S0 welcome home, Spenser!

OK, if you are reading this, it means New Blogger was being agreeable. If not, well ...


Stephanie said...

Thanks for the Woman in White review. I felt exactly the same as you did about the story!

Carol said...

I went through this mini Wilkie Collins phase a while ago. The Moonstone is also good. And maybe it's just me, but I assumed a "mannish" woman meant lesbian. (To quote Seinfeld, not that there's anything wrong with it...)

I missed your razor-like wit and shining presence at work yesterday. At least I can partake of your company virtually.

Scarlett said...

I saw this on PBS Masterpiece years ago and loved the story too.

Glad to see that Beta Blogger accepted you into blogosphere.

Kathleen said...

Thanks for the mention, Bridget! Hope you had a nice weekend.

lmj said...

How nice that Spenser is home warm and safe. That truly makes me all kinds of happy.

However...I'm supposed to plod through 50 pages before things get going in this book? Sheesh. I'm trying but it's not looking too good. InStyle is tres seductive, non?

ps) stop thinking about my knickers