Sunday, October 4, 2020

Art and September Books

 Hi everyone. Hope your weekend is going well. 

My daughter  is here for a few days as she is taking a vacation from work.  She and I were supposed to be leaving today for a mother-daughter trip to Iceland for a few days. Some of you may possibly remember how I visited Iceland with some friends back in 2016, and my daughter has since wanted to go.  Of course with covid that isn't happening. We have a few things planned locally instead. I'm looking forward to some fun with her.

Here's a spread from my  Mystery, Mayhem and Magic journal. This is a new journal I started, as I like making some "Halloweenish" pages at this time of year. I am trying to make some non-traditional style pages this year, incorporating the fall season  as well certain aspects of the spooky-fun  holiday.

I never remember to link up to challenges that aren't in my usual habit, but I am trying to be better at  joining into new things. Here's a branch out that I am hoping will become a regular challenge for me. I am linking up to the Creative Mixed Media Challenge, their 65th. The theme is always Anything Mixed Media Goes. There's plenty of mixed media in my page: cloth, die cuts, ink, paper tape, postage stamps, paper ephemera, stamping.

And can you find all the lines in this spread?  I see straight lines, circular lives, wavy lines all over the place.

I am linking up to Chris' HOLD THE LINE challenge at Art Journal Journey.

Now that September is over, it is time for me to do my monthly book post.  As I say every month, I do this list for my own info.  Yet I learn so much from  the comments you share with me and also have found some super reads from your book recommendations, that I post each month. Please don't feel you have to read through my list if this is not your interest.

I listened to a few books last month, but I only finished one actual book.  I was into a few TV shows in the evenings, and the one book I read was a long one.  For me, it didn't seem like as many as usual, but looking at my list, I still managed quite a few stories.

My first book I listened to was book 7 in Sookie Stackhouse series.  I've read this whole series when each book came out, but that was quite a few years ago. It was time to reread, as I have been doing over the last several months. These are pretty quick listens; some are books better than others, and I'd say this one is setting up for the next book(s). I liked it, but it (like book 5) have not been my favorites of the series so far.  I like the character Quinn, the weretiger, but I am waiting for Erik Northman, one of the vampires, to get back into the story.

Then it was onto Charles Dickens.
I can see why his books are still in print, and why he is considered such a great writer. I especially like having his books read to me. If you chose to ever listen to one of his books, Simon Vance is my narrator of choice. He does a great job with the voices and really puts you into the story. 

I was familiar with some of the characters and thought I knew Oliver's story. Yes, I did know bits, about the street gang with Fagan and The Artful Dodger, but I really didn't know the story. Dickens created some fantastic characters and developed a lot of  suspense. I know this book was originally published as a serial, not as a completed book, and it must have been difficult to wait for the next release with some of the cliffhangers Dickens used. Yes, this was one of those books I ended up commenting to out loud as I heard certain parts. More than a few "Oh nos!" and other phrases came out of my mouth.

Moving on to slightly more modern time (at least more modern than the Victorian age), I went onto to read this historical novel by Marie Benedict. This is the second book by this author I have read; the first being about Einstein's first wife. I enjoyed this novel as much as the one called The Other Einstein. Although not a heavy detailed biography that someone researching Mrs. Churchill might want, this was a great introduction to the Clementine Churchill, her life and mostly her character. She did lead quite the amazing life being married to Winston Churchill. I think Marie Benedict did a super job giving the reader some main details and bringing Clementine Churchill  to life.

Sepulchre  was the actual book I read. It is the second part of a trilogy, the first part  being the book Labyrinth. The first book took place in medieval France as well as modern France, in particular the Carcassonne area of southern France/Languedoc.  This second book jumped ahead to late Victorian times as well as modern times, but was still set in the same areas of France. There was murder, adventure, mystery and great characters once again, and I really enjoyed all 500+ pages of this novel.  Now I need to get my hands on the last book of the series to finish it off. And thanks again  Alison for the recommendation. 

My last listen was an older children's novel. 

I love Roald Dahl's books, and I discovered that they are even better being read to you. I picked this book up on a 2 for 1 Audible sale. I remember the film, but have never actually read (of listened) to the book. This one was read by Kate Winslet, and she did an amazing job. I love Matilda and Miss Honey, and of course, I enjoyed all those terrible characters your are meant to hate. I fact, I enjoyed this so much I am now listening to Roald Dahl's The Witches, which I have read in book form before. Only it is so much better being read to you by someone who can do the grandmother's Norwegian accent. If you are looking for something on the shorter side and want a little fun, definitely read one of Dahl's books. 

And I have made a good dent into this mystery novel set in England during and directly after  the 1666 Great Fire of London.

I haven't finished it so I don't want to recommend or not, but so far, I am really enjoying this book. Plus I have learned quite a bit about that time in history.

That's it's for me today. I'd love any book recommendations you might have. 
Wishing you a good end to your weekend. 


CJ Kennedy said...

Lovely textured Halloween page. I like the owl with his 31 days, but fairies under the mushrooms saying the days go by so fast it feels like 20 days to the month! When the Young One was little we loved watching Matilda on VHS. Enjoy the time with your daughter.

Valerie-Jael said...

Love your beautiful journal page! Have fun with your daughter while she is visiting. You are reading some great books. I remember m Auntie Betty reading Oliver Twit to me when I was about 3-4 years old, I cried buckets but never wanted to stop! Charlaine Harris is always fun, too. Hugs, Valerie

pearshapedcrafting said...

This a brilliant page for 'Hold The Line' - I love that stern looking woman - toxique indeed!!

You have been busy with your reading and listening - I recently read Kate Mosse's 'The Burning Chambers' and I'm looking forward to the follow up book at the start of next year,
I have the 'Ashes of London' but still have to read it! 'Lady Clementine' looks good, she worked hard for sure!!!
When I was in my early teens a family friend gave us her Dickens collection - I wish I still had them as they were beautiful books - I eventually read my way through all of them. Some memorable , some not!!!

Have great week, Chrisx

R's Rue said...


craftytrog said...

A fabulous spread Erika, and I'm so glad you enjoyed Sepulchre!
Enjoy your time with your daughter.
Alison xx

Andree said...

A super journal spread. Fabulous textures, natural elements and ephemera.
Thank you for joining in with our October challenge "Anything Mixed Media Goes" at Creative Artiste Mixed Media. Good luck x

Divers and Sundry said...

Dickens is always re-readable, though sometimes I'm sure he got paid by the word ;) The Kate Mosse books are ones I've enjoyed back when I found a few at a used book store. I think of myself as a fast reader, but you have me beat :) It can make it hard to keep the to-be-read stack filled lol

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

I love junk journals such as this Erika, a place to put anything and everything where they meet and work in harmony I can see you having great fun bringing those little pieces of ephemera to life in your Mystery, Mayhem & Magic altered book. A story within a story, i'm so happy to see you shared your pages with us over @ Creative Artiste. Thanks so much for joining in with our October Challenge..
Hugs Tracey xx
P.S Dickens was a genius, his tales are timeless!!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I enjoyed reading about your recent book listens and reads, Erika. I have just recently started listening to audio books after reading a lot of e-books downloaded from our local library this spring & summer. I recently listened to Eight Perfect Murder (Peter Swanson) and recommend it. I'm currently listening to The 7-1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. I also read Lady Clementine and enjoyed it. Thanks for the heads up on Dickens novels and I will confess to not having read many, but will check our library's audiobook selection.Thi weekend, I picked up a reserved copy of One by One (Ruth Ware). The plot seems akin to a couple of Agatha Christie novels, wherein people in a group are being murdered. haven't gotten far into it yet.

Meggymay said...

I've enjoyed my catch up morning Erika.
Its a fantastic journal spread, Halloween will soon be here, I wonder how the children will celebrate it this year as they cannot go trick or treating.
You shared some super photos of your walks as well.
Enjoy having your daughter stay with you.
Stay safe.
Yvonne xx
I have read the Kate Moss books and would recommend them as well.

Iris Flavia said...

Love your artwork! But... help. I still have way too many books unread already!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

WOW, oh WOW. I love your beautiful not-at-all spooky Halloween page. It is glorious. I wanted to join that CMM challenge, too, but read the rules. I didn't want to be forced to become a follower, which they say you MUST if you enter their challenges. Seems like holding a gun to my head in order to share my art. I'm delighted you shared it with Chris's theme at Art Journal Journey, though because it is perfect for her theme, too. SO many lines!!!

Sorry to read that you and your daughter had planned to visit Iceland together. Maybe next year that will happen, or 2022 for sure. I look forward to sharing your time together through your camera lens.

You read SO many books in a month. You must be a fast reader. I am not. People have told me they can't understand how I ever made it through school because I read every word. That Clementine Churchill novel sounds good, but so does the last one. When I was researching the Kings and Queens altered book I made for Kathy, I became even more familiar with the London fire, so I would LOVE to read that one. Give me a mystery and I'm a very happy camper.

butterfly said...

Such a great page spread - I love the burlap texture panel, and the characterful woman framed by the leafy stems, and the overall charred look is so atmospheric. Great book round-up too. I hope you have a wonderful time with your daughter even though you can't get to Iceland. I'm sure you will find plenty to enjoy nearer to home together.
Alison x

Jeanie said...

Lots of good books. Sepulchre and Fire in London both really intrigue me. So does Lady Clementine, although I have a mixed feeling about historical-fiction biographies. I like them but never know where the "line" is. Still, as you said, a good introduction and I'd like to know more about her.

I'm so sorry about Iceland. I'm able to empathize but that doesn't take you there. I hope next year or the year after all will be safe to fly and travel. (And I love your pages!)

Neet said...

So sorry you two did not get time to spend together in Iceland but I am sure just having your daughter around meant a lot to you.
Love your pages, and yes, there are certainly lots of lines here. I mean - just look at her dress for starters.
Lovely autumnal colours and the choice of an owl is perfect for the month of October. We have one which screeches for a mate every night - well she did, but I think she has found one as we heard a 'twit to whoo' the other night and apart from that it has been quiet.
Thanks for the book review, will try to remember the Oliver Twist reading.
Hugs, Neet xx

nwilliams6 said...

Very cool journal spread. Love the pieces you added and the texture. I love the spooky but artsy look - especially the owl.

Iceland seems like a wonderful place to venture to - maybe you can do it when all this improves - I hope so. Mother/daughter trips are so precious.

Wow, you are a serious reader and your book choices are fab. I love reading youth stories as well (love Dahl). I am reading the Mysterious Benedict Society now - my 5 year Grandson picked it out for me at the Thrift store. It is really for preteens but I love it.