Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hearing the Holiday Train Roaring Down the Track

This past week, I had to set aside the crafting and focus on getting ready for this week's book club meetings. Yes. On Tuesday evening, I have book club meetings 5:30-7 and 7-8:30. Of course, just to make things even more interesting, I'm leading the discussion in the second group. Fortunately, the members of the first book club were willing to meet in a restaurant just two blocks from where the second group is meeting.

The first club will be discussing Steven Johnson's The Ghost Map, about the 1854 cholera epidemic in London that helped establish the science of epidemiology. This is a really good 200-page book filled with sociology, biology, politics, geography, etc. Unfortunately, the book is buried inside a 250-page book. I recommend this book with the caveat that one be prepared to simply skip several pages at a time in a couple of places. I am looking forward to seeing what my fellow clubbers have to say about this book.

The second club will be discussing Dorothy Day's 1952 autobiography, The Long Loneliness. This is a woman who lived one of the richest lives of the 20th century. As a teenager, she was jailed as a hunger-striking suffragette during the final years of the women's suffrage movement. She worked as a journalist, getting published in an assortment of Socialist, labor, and Catholic magazines and newspapers. In her long life, she wrote books of reflections, novels, and plays. In her late 20s, upon the birth of her daughter, she left her common-law husband and became a Catholic. A few years later in the mid-1930s, in the depth of the Depression, she co-founded the Catholic Worker movement that, 30 years after her death, is still thriving with more than 230 houses of hospitality located across this country and in many others as well. I have long considered her a challenging voice in the Church and someone who makes me very uneasy. This book very much comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable. She sees the world very much as a place that can be fixed and must be fixed now. I read somewhere that someone said to her once, "Someday, you'll be canonized a saint." She is said to have snapped, "I wouldn't want to be dismissed so easily." I could hear that voice crackling through this book, and I am looking forward to reading more by her, I think.....

Having finished that book, I turned my attention back to the Christmas knitting, and this afternoon I finished #5, the Impressionist Cowl, using Malabrigo Rios yarn in the colorway Indiecita (yarn that I purchased at the Busy Hands shop in Ann Arbor). Here it is before blocking.
This morning at the coffee shop after church, I laid out all five of the cowls (this one was still on the needles), and the gals looking at them gasped at this one. "Oh, Liz! This is the one they'll fight over!" I just love the stitch pattern and how it plays with the variegated colors.

Finally, here is the cat picture of the week. Last evening, Hubby said, "Oh, look at the Big Guy!" and we both started taking pictures of our dog-like tomcat. He's 16-and-a-half years old. As far as I'm concerned, he can strike any pose he wants.
Time to go cast on cowl #6! Have a great week!

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