Monday, August 17, 2015

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children

Much like my last book review, this book series is also supernatural, but with a completely different flavor. Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children is more of a young adult novel, but still enjoyable. The author, Ransom Riggs, was inspired by a collection of vintage photos, which are printed throughout the book.

Jacob, the protagonist, is a 16 year old boy struggling with the death of his grandfather. As a child, his grandfather used to show him old photos of strange children he claimed were from his past. In the present, a mysterious letter leads him to travel to Europe, where he meets the children from the photos. These "Peculiar" children, who have supernatural abilities, live in hiding on a remote Welsh island. Danger forces the children out of hiding, and Jacob sets off with them in an effort to restore them to safety.

Only two books in the trilogy are available so far: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and Hollow City. The first book ends with a pretty big cliff hanger, and the second one ended with an unexpected twist. Library of Souls should be out this fall, and I'll be ordering it. Have you read these books? What did you think?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fiber Revival

This past Saturday was Fiber Revival, a small fiber gathering held at a beautiful farm in Newbury, MA. There's only a handful of vendors, but knitters and spinners bring their chairs and their projects, and spend the day working on their projects outdoors.





There was a beautiful rooster who kept walking up to the crowds and demanding attention. I finally met JessaLu in person, after many years of Instagram stalking, and came home with a Doctor Who toile project bag. In a moment of extreme poor judgment, I bought a Merlin Tree Hitchhiker spinning wheel. This is a terrible idea because I learned to spin precisely 8 minutes before buying it. I blame the wool fumes for clouding my judgment. I chatted with Dave and Kathy, owners of Merlin Tree, who are absolutely lovely, and clearly very slick salespeople. Goal for the rest of this year: get much, much better at spinning. For now, I'll keep torturing some poor merino fiber that deserves much more adept hands.




Monday, August 3, 2015

Book Review: The All Souls Trilogy

I first encountered these books when I saw someone reading the first of the series on the commuter train a couple of years ago. I was intrigued by the title, A Discovery of Witches. But in this age of Twilight (which I am open about having a serious distaste for), I find myself almost embarrassed by my love of supernatural stories. I grew up immersed in supernatural stories and folklore. At age 11, a friend and I bought tickets for some age-appropriate movie, and then snuck in to watch Interview with the Vampire (sorry mom. Well, not really). My love of vampire and werewolf lore was something I enjoyed immensely, but with the development of some sparkly reinterpretations of said lore, it's become a bit of a delicate topic. All this to say: I love stories about witches, vampires, and werewolves - but I am hesitant to announce it openly because of how they've developed in the media in the last few years. And now, after the lengthy precursor, on to the actual books.


The All Souls Trilogy includes A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life. The protagonist is Diana Bishop, fictitious descendant of factual Bridget Bishop, who was executed during the Salem Witch Trials. Diana is a present-day historian, and the books follow her as she comes to terms with being a witch and solves the mystery of an old manuscript. The author's interpretation of supernatural lore is very interesting, as she brings a scientific approach to it. The books also take an interesting path into historical fiction and introduces some great characters along the way.

Each of the books is quite long, but I ended the trilogy wishing there was more. I definitely recommend these books. There's much more I could say about the story, but I won't to avoid spoilers. If you've read it, leave a comment, I would love to know your thoughts.