Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History by Joel Christian Gill

 

 

 

Today’s ebook and crochet selection is #strangefruitcomic by #joelchristiangill
This title is available to purchase as an ebook from #kindle or #googlebooks $11.99
This title is not available as an audio book
This title is available to borrow from #hoopla as an ebook

This is a comic book or graphic novel.
This features true stories of Black Communities and notable individuals in the US from slavery and beyond.
What I really like about this is that the images are engaging and beautifully drawn. The characters covered feature more well known folks like Henry Box Brown and less well known incidences like what happened on Malaga Island in Maine. The text is interesting but limited. This mostly serves as an introduction to the subject matter.

I can not stress how much I thoroughly enjoyed this. It’s longer than I realized and extremely accurate. There is a sequel to this and the author/illustrator has a series called ‘The Talented Tenth” and it’s all benn added to my to read and to purchase list.
This is perfect for kids and I plan to purchase for my grand kids.

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Currently on the Hook: Holiday Cables Throw, row 57

I am still really enjoying this pattern. The stitches I’ve learned have just enough repetition for me to become expert but not bored. The only problem I’ve had this week is problems with the surgical mesh used to correct an abdominal hernia. I was unlucky enough to get recalled mesh and am waiting on the surgery to correct it. In the meantime the mesh has repeated infections which leak blood and puss. It’s really gross and uncomfortable. This proved to be a bad week health wise so not much got done. I should be able to have the recalled mesh removed later summer or early fall. In the meantime I just try not to stress over the repeated infections.

I used a size J 6.0mm Hook for everything except the waffle stitch which I used a size K 6.5mm Hook. If I do this pattern again I will use a size K 6.5mm and an L for the waffle stitch. I crochet too tightly and have fallen out of the habit of making testing my gauge since I’ve mostly been doing mini C2C graph crochet.

Holiday Cables Throw by Bonnie Barker.

Pattern free on Ravelry:  https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/holiday-cables-throw
Helpful YouTube videos: https://youtu.be/IxmI8v5Dk20

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I’ve found that this pattern uses a lot of yarn. I’ve already used an entire Caron One Pound and half of a second. I made sure when I picked up the Mint (Caron One Pound pale green) yarn for my MIL’s blanket to pick up several more skeins of this.  I love this color, Caron One Pound Cream, and use it often so extra’s shouldn’t be an issue.

I primarily use Caron one pound yarn because I’m broke, it’s cheap and I like it better than Red Heart Super Saver (RHSS), which I also use. Caron yarn is thicker and softer in my opinion. I didn’t notice the difference in thickness between the 2 until I started doing graph crochet. It’s a real pain to use certain colors in RHSS because the thickness isn’t standard it throws the graph off. Because I used scraps on my MIL’s 3amgrace Nature CAL, some of the colors were RHSS. It was a real challenge to maintain uniform sized mini corner to corner (C2C) blocks. I’m pretty much no longer buying RHSS period.

The top stitch in the above picture is the Celtic Cross Stitch. I’ve used a similar stitch before, Interweave Cable Stitch or sometimes listed as Interweave Celtic Cable Stitch. The challenge for me with this stitch is not to fall into the rhythm of the other stitch since I am more familiar with it.

I am probably going to finish this before returning to my MIL’s afghan. My hope is that my excitement for this project will be carry over to finishing MIL’s afghan.

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

 

Today’s audiobook and crochet selection is #mondaysnotcoming by #tiffanydjackson
This title is available to purchase as an ebook from #kindle or #googlebooks $9.99
This title is available as an audio book from #audible $21.55 or #googlebooks ☆☆$16.19☆☆
This title is available to borrow from #hoopla as an audiobook

This is a young adult mystery/thriller.
The main character of this novel is a 14 year old black girl named Claudia. It’s the first day of 8th grade after she’s spent the summer at her Grandmother’s in another state and she can’t wait to see her best friend Monday. However, Monday never shows up to school and really, almost no one seems to care but Claudia.
This has some harrowing and very upsetting elements but isn’t nearly as raw as #allegedlybook This deals more directly with family and community relationships: friendship, parent and child, sibling, teacher and student, and of course kid to kid. This also deals with the abysmal response to missing black girls by folks in authority across this nation. The statistics are shameful and horrifying. Which brings to light just how much our education system and social services fail our young folks everywhere.

The mystery feels more sad than shocking. Still I really enjoyed this, as much as her first novel but in a very different way. The characters feel familiar, almost like family. I find myself deeply invested even in the more minor characters. I liked the gentle flow and pace of this. I also liked Claudia’s parents even when they weren’t listening to her.

This book is not as highly rated as Allegedly. I think largely because this is a quieter tale. The chapters are divided between before and after; I found the chapter jumps to be a bit confusing on audiobook. I found myself pausing the audiobook, which I borrowed from Hoopla to compare with the ebook I purchased to make identify if the chapter I was listening to was taking place before or after. I listened to this in a day and usually only get ‘lost’ like this if I listen to the a book over 7 or more day period, or if start listening to audiobook A and pause it for book B and return to audiobook A. In this case, every hour or so I needed to reference the audiobook especially as events begin to peak. So that was frustrating and I think unique to the audiobook experience and so I did not count that in my review. I add it here to say if you listen to the audiobook be aware.

This feels teen or even tween friendly. Certainly serious and adult themes are discussed but all in relation to kids toddler age to teen. This is a solid 4.5 stars for me.

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

 

 

Today’s audiobook and crochet selection is #allegedlybook by #tiffanydjackson
This title is available to purchase as an ebook from #kindle or #googlebooks $9.99
This title is available as an audio book from #audible $20.75 or #googlebooks ☆☆$15.59☆☆
This title is available to borrow from #hoopla as an audiobook

This is a young adult mystery/thriller.
The main character, Mary B Addison is a black 15 year old girl living in a group home after being released from ‘baby jail’. Allegedly she killed a white 3 month old infant her mother was babysitting and who was in bed asleep with her when she was just 9 years old.
This novel at times is harrowing, raw and disturbing. Content Warning for sure.
The group home is rowdy, filthy, and infested with critters. The people running the home are hostile and neglectful to the point of abuse.
Mary is smart, well read and deeply damaged from her experiences.
She never really participated in her defense or tried to set the record straight about what happened the night Alyssa died. Now, 6 or 7 years later Mary wants a new life and when an unexpected opportunity presents itself, she will need to tell her story about what happened that night inorder to take advantage.
This was SO good. I stayed up listening to this and can’t imagine I won’t read it again.

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin

Today’s ebook and crochet selection is #bingolove by #teefranklin
This title is available to purchase as an ebook from #kindle or #googlebooks $6.15
This title is not available as an audio book from #audible or #googlebooks
This title is available to borrow from #hoopla as an ebook

I don’t read many graphic novels/comics. So I was really surprised not only how much I enjoyed this but also how much I cried! Never thought this genre could move me to tears.
At heart this is an adorable lesbian grandma love story😍

Hazel and Mari met at Bingo in 1963. They were in their early teens and became fast best friends. They did everything together and their mothers referred to them as ‘joined at the hip’. It was more than friendship for Hazel but she wasn’t sure how to tell Mari. If she didn’t feel the same would their friendship be ruined?
This is the 60’s and not a welcoming time in which to ‘come out’. This book deals with how parents and adult children feel about sexual fluidity, bisexuality, pansexuality, queerness. So many labels we apply to love💗

This was really sweet and beautiful. The art work is gorgeous and I fully intend to read the other installments in this series.

Dawn by Octavia Butler

Today’s audio book and crochet selection is #dawnnovel by #octaviabutler

This is the first novel in a trilogy that is labeled and sold both as Lilith’s Brood and Xenogensis in addition to the stand alone novels: Dawn, Adulthood Rites and Imago.

This title is available to purchase as an ebook from #kindle or #googlebooks for $8.51 or all 3 books in the trilogy sold as #xenogenesisseries or #lilithsbrood for $9.99
This title is also available as an audio book from #audible for $13.96 and is not available from #googlebooks

This title is available to borrow from #hoopla as an ebook

This is the first title I ever read by Octavia Butler. I found it in a bookstore when I was a young mother, my daughter was 6 months old. That was so long ago that the cover art didn’t even reflect that the main character was a black woman. I consumed this novel pretty much in a single sitting.

Butler has been my favorite author ever since. I was deeply effected when she died and totally blame the publishing world for not treating her with more honor and respect and less racism and sexism. Reading her journal entries about her struggles to be paid for her award winning work infuriated me. If I could meet any author living or dead it would be her.

This novel is solidy sci fi and is a first contact story plus some. This was published in 1987 and some of the politics and technology are dated. The basic premise is nuclear war has devstated the planet. Western countries are the worst impacted and have the least survivors.

Lilith Iyapo has returned to university after a recent personal tragedy and is studying in South America when this happens. As a result she survives long enough to be picked up with the other survivors. The novel opens with her waking up in a cell with no idea where she is, who is holding in her captivity or how much time has passed.

The answers are not at all what she is expecting. Earth has been destroyed beyond the capacity to support most life but is being healed by Lilith’s rescuer-captors. The Oankali are gene traders. They wander space in living ships looking for various lifeforms to mate with. They have saved humanity but they haven’t done so from a place of altruism.
The Oankali are alien in every way. From the way they look, covered in tentacles, to the way they mate with 3 instead of 2. They biologically have 3 genders and all are necesary for reproduction. The third gender, the Ooloi well… I’ll let you discover about them yourselves.
I am incredibly excited that this is being developed into a TV show by the incomparable Ava Duvernay. It’s like a dream come true💗

Currently on the Hook: Holiday Cables Throw, row 43

I still haven’t been able to pick up the mint yarn to finish the Nature CAL. At this point I’m leaning away from pillows or a smaller afghan of just 4 squares. I’m planning to make an additional top and bottom banner, divide the 16 flower squares between them and end up with 2 afghans. That should make both afghans a usable size.

In the meantime I started The Holiday Cables Throw by Bonnie Barker. The pattern is available free on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/holiday-cables-throw

Also includes helpful YouTube videos: https://youtu.be/IxmI8v5Dk20

This panel is 3 feet wide.

I used a size J 6.0mm Hook for everything except the waffle stitch which I used a size K 6.5mm Hook. I tend to crochet very tightly and probably could’ve done the whole afghan in size K. I truly need to start using test swatches to choose the correct size hook, sigh.

I am thinking maybe I could start this with a foundation single crochet (FSC) row. I find starting chains so tedious but as this is my first time using this pattern I followed the directions as stated.

 

 

 

I’m loving this pattern! It’s intricate and I found the written pattern confusing but the videos are very easy to follow. I often struggle with patterns. I have been crocheting for almost 20 years but most of that only knew how to do granny squares and a basic double crochet (DBC) stitch. A few years ago I started teaching myself to read crochet patterns using books and YouTube videos. I still struggle and tend to pick patterns that have corresponding videos if they are intricate. I hope to get good enough to read vintage crochet patterns which I love the look of but am not skilled enough to interpret.