Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Peanuts Movie.

I've been a Peanuts fan ever since I was a kid. Like most everyone else, I grew up watching all of the different holiday specials. Peanuts has always been my favorite comic strip and for a long time, it was the only one I even read in the newspaper. I used to cut out the Peanuts comic every day and keep them in a box under my bed. (No, I don't do that anymore and I've since thrown them out. I'm not a hoarder!)
When I first heard about the new Peanuts movie, my reaction involved a lot of scoffing and eye-rolling. (I'm generally not a big fan of modern remakes. When the original is good enough, why even mess with it?) But when I saw the trailer in theaters, it was actually cute and made me want to see the film.

I was so pleasantly surprised with The Peanuts Movie! It was adorable. Really, that's the best word I can use to describe this film, ha.

This movie pays homage to Peanuts in such a sweet, respectful way. It feels modern but somehow it has all of the charm and timelessness of the original specials and the comic strip. It's familiar, full of classic Peanuts quotes and characters and themes, but it never feels repetitive. Even the animation style isn't too glossy or modern...it's got a slightly sketchy, imperfect look. I also really loved the voices of all of the kids. (And they still used Bill Melendez's voice from recordings for Snoopy and Woodstock, which was such a nice touch!)

It turns out that Charles Schulz's son and grandson were very involved in the making of the movie, which is why it turned out so well, I'm sure. I'm glad that the humor is classic Peanuts style, and not dumbed down jokes or potty humor like so many modern kids' movies.

I'm sure nostalgia had something to do with it, but I had a goofy grin on my face during the whole film. It made me laugh a lot, and I even got teary-eyed several times. At almost 25, I'm quite a bit older than the intended audience, but I enjoyed this movie so much. And honestly, to me Peanuts has always seemed just as much for adults as for kids. I wish they were making more films like this.

{My only complaint is a tiny one: there's a modern song in the film that feels out of place. It's a bit jarring after the classic jazzy background music and it clashes with the timeless feeling of the movie.}
Have you seen The Peanuts Movie? What did you think?

Thursday, March 24, 2016


It seems like it's been a long time since I wrote anything other than a Yarn Along post! Things have been busier than usual lately, in the best sort of way. But I feel like I've been knitting on the same projects for months now, which makes for repetitive blog posts. Anyway, here's a rambling glimpse of what I've been up to...

Knitting: With the weather turning warmer, I've lost all motivation to work on my two big projects: my In Stillness sweater and my handspun shawl. Most of my sweaters have been knitted during the summer, so I don't know why this is an issue for me now! The sweater is so close to being finished: less than one and a half sleeves left, and the neckband. But I guess knowing that I won't be able to wear it for months has diminished my desire to work on it. As for my shawl, I was waiting on a longer cord to arrive for my interchangeable needles. Well, it came weeks ago and I haven't touched the shawl since. Apparently at the moment I only want to knit socks. I'm nearly halfway through with the second sock in my newest pair, so expect to see pictures of those soon. :) I've already caked up the yarn for my next pair. (I recently realized that most of the yarn I own is sock yarn, so I guess that's inspiring me? Also, I've really just missed knitting socks.)

Spinning: Nothing right now. My wheel was acting odd with the last yarn I spun, so that's been worrying me. But soon I'm hoping to start on that pretty blue Merino fiber.

Reading: I'm still reading Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, but as soon as that's finished, I'm hoping to breeze through several mysteries for Mysteries in March. I've got a stack of books that I'm excited about reading, plus the gorgeous new issue of Taproot.

Watching: I've been watching through The Wonder Years for the first time and really enjoying it...at times it definitely reminds me of Boy Meets World, one of my favorite nostalgic shows. (And of course, the leads in those two shows are real-life brothers and look more alike the older they get.) I'm watching Psych again and possibly loving it even more the second time through. And I'm getting ready to rewatch the eighth series of Doctor Who to refresh my memory before I finally see the ninth series! (Peter Capaldi hasn't grown on me yet, so I haven't been as obsessive about keeping up with the newest episodes.) Oh, and I recently saw my first James Bond movie (Spectre) and liked it so much more than I expected to, so I'm going back and watching the rest of the Daniel Craig ones.

Listening: To the Avett Brothers, as always. I have a routine...I listen to Magpie and the Dandelion on the drive to work, The Carpenter on the drive to knitting group, and all of their albums on repeat at home. :) I was so excited to hear they're releasing their new album on June 24th! I'm really hoping this song is on it, because I'm loving that song.
What have you guys been up to lately?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Yarn Along

Reading: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, by Morgan Matson. It's been so warm lately that I wanted to read something light and summery, so I picked this up. I've heard nothing but good things about it and I really enjoyed the only other book of hers that I've read (Since You've Been Gone).

Knitting: I should be working on my sweater or shawl, but I can't seem to stop knitting on this sock now that I've started. I love the way the yarn is knitting up...a lot prettier than it looks here!

{Yarn Along is a weekly link up hosted by Ginny where you can share what you've been knitting and reading.}

Friday, March 11, 2016

Mysteries in March.

I like watching bookish videos on YouTube, and one of my favorite channels is Words of a Reader. We seem to like the same sorts of books, and some of my new favorite books were recommendations from her videos. During the last week of March, from the 24th to the 31st, she is hosting a reading challenge called Mysteries in March. (You can find out more in this video or this blog post.) There aren't any real rules...the goal is just to read as many mysteries as you want to during that week.

I was thinking about trying to read one mystery that week. But looking through my books, I own quite a few mysteries that I haven't read yet. And it turns out that I'm going to be off most of that week, so maybe I'll have a little extra reading time. There's no way that I'll be able to read all of these in one week, but I went ahead and picked out five mysteries from my shelves. They're all pretty short books, so it's possible I could read two or three of them that week.

The Fairy-Tale Detectives, by Michael Buckley. I've been curious about this children's series for a while. The reviews for this book seem mixed, so I'd like to give it a try to see if it's worth investing time in the entire series or not!

The Secret of the Old Clock, by Carolyn Keene. Somehow I made it through childhood without having ever read a Nancy Drew book! I picked up the first two books at Goodwill years ago, and while I don't anticipate them becoming new favorites, I do want to see what they're like.

The Sign of Four, by Arthur Conan Doyle. Last year, I read A Study in Scarlet and loved it. I'm trying to read the Sherlock Holmes books and stories in order, so this one's next!

A Pocket Full of Rye, by Agatha Christie. Just a random unread Agatha Christie novel from my shelves...I have several of those. :) I especially love Miss Marple mysteries, and this is one that I haven't yet seen an adaptation of, so the story will be a surprise.

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, by Alan Bradley. The next in one of my favorite series, the Flavia de Luce books. After this one, only one more book and I'll be caught up until the next one releases later this year (or next year?).

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Yarn Along

Reading: I'm reading The Key to Extraordinary, by Natalie Lloyd. Natalie is such a sweet person, and I loved her first novel, A Snicker of Magic. She writes sweet middle grade stories, with a lot of quirky characters and a bit of magical realism thrown in. This is her newest book that came out at the end of February, and I'm so excited to finally be reading it. :)

Knitting: Both my sweater and my shawl are too bulky to easily carry around now, and I've been itching to knit more socks, so I decided to go ahead and cast on a pair. (My first socks of the year, after knitting about ten pairs in 2015.) I'm just doing plain vanilla socks. But my gauge has loosened and my last few pairs have been a bit baggy, so I'm going down to size 1 DPNs and casting on a few extra stitches, hoping that results in a pair that fits perfectly. :)

{Yarn Along is a weekly link up hosted by Ginny where you can share what you've been knitting and reading.}

Friday, March 4, 2016

Thoughts on not finishing books.

I know that a lot of readers are perfectly fine with not finishing a book. They say that life is too short to waste time reading something that you're not loving. I do agree with that. There are so many books that I want to read, and of course I'd rather be reading a book that I love rather than something I'm having to force myself to finish.

But I have a hard time giving up on books! First of all, I always wonder if maybe things are getting ready to turn around. Maybe the next chapter is the one where the book goes from mediocre to amazing. I'm afraid to put a book aside, not knowing if it's going to get better later, and I just didn't give it enough of a chance. Also, there's the fact that I can be stubborn and it bugs me to not finish something that I've started.

Lately I've been having this issue with middle grade books. I love children's books! I especially love clever, imaginative, memorable children's books. But over the past few months, I've read a lot of dull, repetitive middle grade stories. With most of them, I've been so tempted to just stop. The thing is that most of those books are quite short and easy to get through. Even if I'm not loving them, it seems silly to not take another day or so and just finish it. {I have to admit that I wouldn't feel that way about a big, intimidating book. I wouldn't have a problem with quitting a 500 or 600 page book that I wasn't enjoying.}

And then I think about books that weren't easy for me to read (certain classics like Bleak House come to mind). The plot might have dragged at times...maybe I was bored and had to pull myself through it. But by the end, I'm usually glad that I finished reading those books. (Even Wuthering Heights, one of my least favorite books ever. At least now I never have to wonder if I'm missing out on that one, ha!)
So what about you? Are you okay with not finishing a book, or do you feel the need to keep going? Do you read a certain number of pages before stopping, just to make sure?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Yarn Along

Reading: Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu. This is a middle grade book that's apparently inspired by the fairy tale "The Snow Queen." With the snowy atmosphere and cover, I figured I should try to read it before spring gets here. :) I'm liking it so far...it's nothing spectacular but it's getting more intriguing.

Knitting: Though I'm still working on my sweater, I decided to go ahead and cast on for my new shawl. I'm using the Boneyard Shawl pattern and knitting with this domestic wool that I spun. I rarely knit with bulky yarn so it keeps surprising me how quickly this shawl grows. The black section is finished, and I've made a good start on the gray...I think the shawl might turn out bigger than I expected. Also, I didn't think through the needle situation and it's already nearly too bulky for the 32" cord in my interchangeable set, so I've had to order a longer cord.

{Yarn Along is a weekly link up hosted by Ginny where you can share what you've been knitting and reading.}

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

What I Read: February

Only three books this month! Honestly, I didn't make a lot of time for reading in February. Here's hoping that March is a better reading month! As usual, click on the title for my Goodreads review.

Penny Dreadful, by Laurel Snyder. I couldn't get into this book at all. It was generic and dull, and I wouldn't have even finished it if it hadn't been such a quick read.

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. I was planning on rereading P&P this year anyway, and my new illustrated edition was the perfect excuse to go ahead and do it! Besides some typos, rereading one of my favorite stories in this gorgeous edition was such a nice experience. :) I love this book so much.

The Wide Window, by Lemony Snicket. Since that copy of Pride and Prejudice was too big to carry around, I picked up the next book in the Series of Unfortunate Events (a series I've been slowly rereading) to have in case I needed to take a book along with me. {A strange but practical habit of mine: always bringing along a book or knitting. Or even better, both.} It was good, though these books do get repetitive after a while.