two books and a bag

I started this book, then returned it to the library, then checked it out again because there was something there, in those first chapters, that was calling me back. It was a good choice because I loved this book so much. I am hesitant to say that about books, I mean, what if I loved it but you think, not so much. But this one (and the next) captured my heart and my head. What did I love about it? The characters were complicated (some will think a few of them unlikeable) and yet I wanted them to work it out. This book jumps around in time and it absolutely works for this story. I think Maggie O’Farrell is moving to the top of my favorite authors list.

I put this one on hold before it was published in the states because it is on the Women’s Prize shortlist and those Sunday knitting readers are a strong influence. The ebook came up just as I was falling in love with This Must Be The Place so I almost put in a delay on delivery but I decided to read a few chapters and see if I wanted to continue. The answer was yes. For a few days I read Maggie in the morning and Claire in the evening. Then I gave TMBTP my full attention before returning to the story of Jeanie and Julius, 51-year-old twins who have just lost their mother and their world is in a spin. What did I love about this book? Again, complicated characters that climbed into my heart and asked me to really listen to their story.

And then there is the bag. I have talked about this at some point. I bought the fabric (waxed canvas) a few years ago. I knew it would be a small tote/purse. I had the lining, the zippers, the straps, and the hardware. But it all felt so precious. I had enough for two bags and my daughter made her version last summer on a day when I sat in a chair and watched. Last week, she returned the favor. She sat in that same chair with her knitting and cheered me on. I almost used a different strap but the yellow on the orange is so cheerful. I have been using this bag all week and it is perfect. This is the Pepin tote although I changed the dimensions of mine.

Three things, Thursday, linking up with Carole.

Published by Juliann

Recently retired and ready for adventure

10 thoughts on “two books and a bag

  1. I just love your bag! Thank you for linking to the pattern — I very well may buy it and attempt to make my own (it does say it’s a beginner pattern!). I’ve got both books on hold at the library but will have to wait a while to get them. It’s good to know that they will be worth the wait.

  2. Great photo of you and your new bag! Love the yellow strap – perfect. On or the other if not both of the titles may make my summer TBR lsit…off to check library availability …

  3. Thanks for the book recommendations! They both sound good.
    I don’t know if I’m more impressed by the bag or the sweater. Both are gorgeous! I do agree that the yellow strap really makes it pop.

  4. Such an awesome bag! And I’m glad that you’ve been getting use out of it 🙂

    I still haven’t finished Unsettled Ground. I’m finding it… unsettling? So I’m taking it in small bites, so I’m glad I decided to buy it instead of borrow it from the library. I’m encouraged to see that you loved it!

  5. Sarah has me thinking I could sew this bag too! (yes, I am getting good about procrastinating that quilt … and I’m not sure why!). I know what you mean about saying out loud how much you love a book – I’m trying to get better about not taking it personally if someone disagrees with my favorites and to just savor the connection when we agree! (I’m so looking forward to Unsettled Ground and to more backlist from O’Farrell and Fuller!)

  6. What a fun bag! And it looks perfect for our sometimes rainy weather. Thanks for the book recommendations! Isn’t it crazy how books on hold seem to all arrive at once? Have you read Educated?

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