Heritage Spinning & Weaving
Downtown Lake Orion


Read a Good Book Lately?


I haven’t run into many fiber-folks who aren’t into reading. Some knitters, like my mom (pictured above) read while knitting. Some, like my neighbor Joy, listen to books while knitting. Some, like me, could never, ever end a day without reading to relax and occasionally listen to a good book while weaving or knitting. For some reason, I never “read” while spinning. Haven’t a clue why!

Nearly every time a guest instructor comes, we swap book titles and often books. Annie Szuch, one of our volunteers and a U-M Flint librarian, has also made an impact on my reading. The blog seemed a good way to share some good reading and get some new ideas for authors. Please leave your author suggestions for all of us – make sure to tell us a little about the books/authors.Here are a few books and authors I’ve found enjoyable – don’t expect any “deep” reading titles. I read purely for relaxation. I’m not a fan of self-help books. I gave most of my cookbook collection to my son. I read my share of fiber books, but that’s for education and not to relax. These are for fun:I just finished a couple Jeffery Deaver books. His main characters are Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs, criminologists from New York City. Rhyme is a quadriplegic and relies on Amelia to be his feet at crime scenes.

I’m halfway through the latest Janet Evanovich novel (on tape – thanks for the loan, Joy) with Stephanie Plum, the New Jersey bond bailswoman. Those books always make me laugh. A lot.

After Annie introduced me to the Bee Keeper’s Apprentice and the “further adventures” of Sherlock Holmes and his young wife Mary, I sped through all the books written by Laurie R. King, which includes the Mary Russell series and a modern series with Kate Martinelli, a lesbian cop in San Francisco. There’s even one book where both worlds meet. Great reads all of them – and Mariah, my 14-year old daughter, enjoys the Mary Russell books, too. She fell in love with San Francisco when Mary visited there in one of the books.

Deb Menz suggested the series of books by Sujata Massey that has Rei Shimura, a young Japanese-American as the “Jessica Fletcher” (you know – wherever Jessica ever went someone was murdered – same goes for Rei). These books teach a lot about popular and traditional Japanese culture. Mariah likes these books, too.

The Dragonfly in Amber series by Diana Gabaldon was an enjoyable read. Even though I’m not much of a “time travel” fan, I enjoyed the history in these massive books, including mentions of the fiber arts.

Laura Fry recommended The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier, a historical fiction story about the development of a real tapestry woven circa 1500. I found it interesting because it describes the process of making a tapestry, guilds and even a bit about dyeing. Though a work of fiction, it is clearly based on fact.

Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry, a young reader chapter book that Mariah read in Battle of the Books one year, is the story of a young weaver who uses her creativity to survive. It is one of those stories that

I’ve been flirting with the Elizabeth Peters novels that have a very strong female protagonist solving puzzles in Egypt at the turn of the last century. They move a little slow at first for me, but with perseverance, I do enjoy them.

Steve Hamilton is a mystery writer than writes about the U.P. It is always fun to read a book with familiar references that is fairly well written. Nothing real deep here, but a pleasant read that you don’t have to work at.

Randy Wayne White writes mysteries that revolve around Doc, a former CIA agent and now a marine biologist that seems at one time naïve and worldly. Kinda the same caliber as the Hamilton books.

Nevada Barr writes a nice series about a female ranger who works her way around our national parks, including Isle Royale.

Lawrence Block is another author I’ve enjoyed. He’s got a couple different main characters, including Bernie the bookseller come burglar.

And, then, there’s J. K. Rowling and Harry, Ron and Hermione. They’ve been a favorite since the beginning. However, I’m not a fanatic like my daughter (she won the costume contest at Border’s last Friday night). Now, I’m either going to have to get my own copy of the book or wrestle it from her. She’s on the second time through already.

So, now it is YOUR turn. Share some of your favorites with the rest of us!


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