Archive | January 2016

Cable Scarf

I relearned how to knit cables over winter break and brought a pair of size 8 needles back to California with me. When one of my fellow grad students hosted an art party last weekend (think stamp making, drawing, and calligraphy, both Western and Chinese), I decided my craft project would be a cable scarf. I picked out some blue wool yarn at Michael’s and started knitting.


The scarf so far. It has a seed stitch border and a four-strand plait on a purl background.

That same weekend, I saw this piece on the health benefits of knitting! Hopefully I’m de-stressing or something. There are actually several knitters (that I know of) in my department, and my advisor told me the MIT department used to have a knitting evening. Maybe they still do.

The Books I Read in 2015

Last year, I read 113 books (more or less). Not quite as many as in 2013, but 20 more than in 2014. It’s true I spent the last week or so of 2015 reading a lot. The books are listed below (bolded titles were rereads–yes, I did read Shadow Scale twice with only five books between reads–and books I’ve blogged about have links):

The Story Girl L. M. Montgomery
Lirael Garth Nix
Embroideries Marjane Satrapi
El Deafo Cece Bell
Dirty Wings Sarah McCarry
Scarlet Marissa Meyer
Ancillary Sword Ann Leckie
The Language of Food Dan Jurafsky
The Witch’s Boy Kelly Barnhill
Otherbound Corinne Duyvis
A Creature of Moonlight Rebecca Hahn
The Story of Owen E. K. Johnston
Greenglass House Kate Milford
The Three-Body Problem Liu Cixin
How Many Languages Do We Need? Victor Ginsburgh and Shlomo Weber (did not finish)
The Secret Sky Atia Abawi
Mermaid in Chelsea Creek Michelle Tea
Dark Triumph Robin LaFevers
Six Feet Over It Jennifer Longo
A Corner of White Jaclyn Moriarty
Conversion Katherine Howe
Some Oscar Wilde plays
Shadow Scale Rachel Hartman
La peau de chagrin Honoré de Balzac
I’ll Give You The Sun Jandy Nelson
Gabi, A Girl in Pieces Isabel Quintero
A Mad, Wicked Folly Sharon Biggs Waller
This One Summer Jillian and Mariko Tamaki
Shadow Scale Rachel Hartman
Brown Girl Dreaming Jacqueline Woodson
Heap House Edward Carey
Abhorsen Garth Nix
How It Went Down Kekla Magoon
The Shadow Cabinet Maureen Johnson
Mortal Heart Robin LaFevers
Last Night at the Blue Angel Rebecca Rotert
The Mathematician’s Shiva Stuart Rojstaczer
Trouble Non Pratt
Clariel Garth Nix
Days of Blood and Starlight Laini Taylor
Dreams of Gods and Monsters Laini Taylor
Rivals in the City Y. S. Lee
The Riverman Aaron Starmer
The Whisper Aaron Starmer
Prairie Fire E. K. Johnston
Fat Angie e. E. Charlton-Trujillo
Everything I Never Told You Celeste Ng
Wildlife Fiona Wood
Songs of Willow Frost Jamie Ford
A Discovery of Witches Deborah Harkness
Hild Nicola Griffith
Egg & Spoon Gregory Maguire
Frog Mo Yan
Under a Painted Sky Stacey Lee
Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
All the Truth That’s in Me Julie Berry
The Darkest Part of the Forest Holly Black
The Reeducation of Cherry Truong Aimee Phan
I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister Amélie Sarn
Out of the Easy Ruta Sepetys
Mambo in Chinatown Jean Kwok
Birthmarked Caragh O’Brien
Prized Caragh O’Brien
Promised Caragh O’Brien
The Winner’s Curse Marie Rutkoski
Prisoner of Night and Fog Anne Blankman
Behind the Scenes at the Museum Kate Atkinson
The Whispering Skull Jonathan Stroud
The Winner’s Crime Marie Rutkoski
Cuckoo Song Frances Hardinge
Black Dove White Raven Elizabeth Wein
The Shadow Behind the Stars Rebecca Hahn
Uprooted Naomi Novik
Magic Under Glass Jaclyn Dolamore
100 Sideways Miles Andrew Smith
I’ll Meet You There Heather Demetrios
Serpentine Cindy Pon
Aurora Kim Stanley Robinson
The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction Henry James
The Tight-Rope Walkers David Almond
Fangirl Rainbow Rowell
The Cure for Dreaming Cat Winters
The Uninvited Cat Winters
The Book of Unknown Americans Cristina Henríquez
Brutal Youth Anthony Breznican
Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few Robert B. Reich
Archivist Wasp Nicole Kornher-Stace
Promise of Shadows Justina Ireland
Cruel Beauty Rosamund Hodge
Dumplin’ Julie Murphy
The House of Dies Drear Virginia Hamilton
The Silver Crown Robert C. O’Brien
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma Trenton Lee Stewart
Out of Darkness Ashley Hope Pérez
Invisible Cities Italo Calvino
The Traitor Baru Cormorant Seth Dickinson
A Thousand Nights E. K. Johnston
The Hollow Land Jane Gardam
Alif the Unseen G. Willow Wilson
Ancillary Mercy Ann Leckie
Soundless Richelle Mead
Honor Girl Maggie Thrash
Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy Noelle Stevenson, Brooke A. Allen, Shannon Watters, and Grace Ellis
The Trilogy of Two Juman Malouf
More Happy Than Not Adam Silvera
West of the Moon Margi Preus
Delicate Monsters Stephanie Kuehn
The Awesome Eva Darrows
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly Stephanie Oakes
The Night Gardener Jonathan Auxier
Razorhurst Justine Larbalestier
Lizard Radio Pat Schmatz
The Walls Around Us Nova Ren Suma

The Numbers:

  • Total books read: 113
  • Books in French: 1 (and it was reaaaallly boring)
  • Books that were not novels: 4 (4%) (Non-fiction: 3; Plays: 1; also Embroideries, El Deafo, This One Summer, Honor Girl, and Lumberjanes are graphic novels)
  • Books read in translation: 5 (4%) (French: 2; Chinese: 2; Italian: 1)
  • Books read for the first time: 110 (97%)
  • Books read not for the first time: 3 (3%)
  • Books by female authors: 85 (75%)
  • Books by male authors: 28 (25%)
  • Books by authors of color (obviously, how someone identifies can’t always be deduced from a name and an author photo, so this isn’t guaranteed to be 100% accurate): 24 (21%)
  • Books by category (as decided by me): Adult: 29 (26%); Young Adult: 67 (59%); Middle Grade: 16 (14%); Indeterminate: 1 (1%) (The Hollow Land)

And lastly, my favorite books of 2015. I made myself choose 15, and it was actually tough. On a different day, the list might’ve been different. With that caveat in mind…

  • Ancillary Sword Ann Leckie
  • The Story of Owen E. K. Johnston
  • Greenglass House Kate Milford
  • Shadow Scale Rachel Hartman
  • Abhorsen Garth Nix
  • Prairie Fire E. K. Johnston
  • Hild Nicola Griffith
  • Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Out of the Easy Ruta Sepetys
  • Cuckoo Song Frances Hardinge
  • Uprooted Naomi Novik
  • The Traitor Baru Cormorant Seth Dickinson
  • The Hollow Land Jane Gardam
  • Alif the Unseen G. Willow Wilson
  • Ancillary Mercy Ann Leckie

Honorary mentions to:

  • West of the Moon Margi Preus
  • The Night Gardener Jonathan Auxier