Monthly Archives: September 2018

The Lido – Libby Page (book review)

The Lido

  • The Lido by Libby Page
  • Source: Library
  • Publisher: Orion, 2018

The Brockwell Lido has been home and comfort to Rosemary since her childhood. Going for swims during WW2, meeting the love of her life George and making friends in the neighborhood has kept Rosemary going strong for nearly all 80+ years of her life. Paradise Living is an uppity high-rise building, paving over memories type of corporation that put in a bid to buy the Lido and turn it into a member’s-only gym for their tenants. Now Rosemary has partnered with newcomer journalist Kate to try and save the Lido.

This book is really a heartwarming and sweet story about friendship and perseverance. I wish I can be like Rosemary when I’m 87. She’s an amazing character, fragile and strong, smart and naive. Kate is also a great compliment to Rosemary. Kate is a bit more dull, but still a sweet, if not naive, character. All of the characters were kind of too good to be true. it would have been nice if someone from Paradise Living had made an appearance as a physical form of the conflict Rosemary and Kate are battling against. The story is pretty much one-sided with only Rosemary and Kate’s perspective on why and how the Lido should remain open. Then again, corporations like Paradise Living do quietly swoop in to purchase and delete the old standby’s of neighborhoods before anyone really notices that they’ve gone.

This is a great “beach read” though, because all of the scenes with Kate and Rosemary had me wanting to jump into a pool and start doing laps.

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New Adventures

As much as I read, I also love to craft. I’ve been knitting for almost 15 years (still beginner level), but I’ve always wanted to learn how to sew. When I was in elementary and middle school, I would spend hours in class doodling away, designing different outfits on paper dolls that I would draw. My fashion career never really passed the paper stage.

Now, at 35, working a full time job in the library with a child in Kindergarten, I’ve finally decided to fulfill a dream of mine from childhood. I’ve signed up for beginner sewing classes at the local adult education school. Its an evening course once a week for 5 weeks. Each class is 3 hours long. Its a dedicated time devoted to learning the basic techniques of sewing with like-minded learners. Its an evening class, so I can just zip over there right after work.

It wasn’t until I signed up for this class that I realized how precious a dedicated 3 hour block of time once a week really is. Its something I never get to enjoy with life and responsibilities. It feels wonderful to treat myself to this luxury of time to learn this new skill.

We have 4 main projects that we’ll be working on for this course. A pin cushion, burp cloth, a travel pillow and a tote bag.

This one was a tricky one to do! It didn’t help that my old sewing machine wasn’t functioning well. Its been deemed beyond repair. I had to buy a new one. My first attempt was so mangled. This pin cushion is actually my 2nd attempt. I did a ladder stitch to seal it off, and that remains unseen for a reason. I did learn about seams, pressing, learning how to backpress on the sewing machine, threading the machine, winding a bobbing, and stuffing.

The 2nd project has been a burp cloth. This was seemed much easier to do than the pin cushion. Maybe I’m just getting more used to sewing?

For this one, I learned how to read a pattern, pin it to the fabric and cut out the fabric. I stitched the pieces together, smoothed it out, uncurled the edges and pressed it before finishing it off with the ladder stitch. I’m so proud of the ladder stitch on this project. Its practically invisible! All that’s left for this is the topstitching for a nifty little design.

Next week, we’re starting on the travel pillow. Hopefully I can start and finish it during class. I already have plans to sign up for the Sewing 102 course being offered in October. That course continues from what we learned in Sewing 101, and its centered on just one project, pajamas!

The Secrets We Carried – Mary McNear

The Secrets We Carried (Butternut Lake, #6)

The Secrets We Carried by Mary McNear

  • Source: William Morrow Publishing – Advanced reader copy
  • Publication date: 9/25/2018

Quinn LaPointe returns to Butternut Lake ten years after the unexpected and tragic death of her then boyfriend and his two best friends. A dedication ceremony for the departed brings up untouched memories and guilt as Quinn tries to make sense of her emotions and make amends in her old hometown.

I loved McNear’s writing easy-going writing style. She makes the lake sound extremely beautiful and tranquil, despite the tragedy that happened on the frozen-over lake. Quinn was a likeable enough character, although I never really understood why she felt so guilty for what happened between her and Tanner or between her and her former best friend Gabriel. The small town did carry a lot of secrets, a lot of secrets that everyone presumes lead to the death of Tanner Lightman, each person finding their own version of guilt and responsibility for his death. Although its #6 in a series, it seems to be a stand-alone title.