my favourite reads of January 2024

Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac (1981)

(I bought my copy for $5.75 at the World’s Biggest Bookstore, according to the price tag on the cover. That would be in the late eighties, I guess. I was such a cool teen.)

Elizabeth Zimmermann is my favourite knitting writer and teacher, bar none. She was smart and funny and no-nonsense and I’m positive she was the reason I decided so early on in my knitting career to work things out for myself and not blindly follow patterns.

Literary Lapses by Stephen Leacock (1910)

Speaking of being a cool teen, this particular edition was published in 1982 and I’m sure I asked for it for Christmas not all that long after, proving I had the tastes of a septuagenarian even as a child.

Leacock himself might have been a bit of an ass, but he did have the knack for writing humour. There’s nothing like reading a book published over a hundred years ago to highlight how much things have changed, but it’s also amazing how human nature hasn’t changed at all. His observations on people’s behaviour are the real winners in this collection.

Mossy Trotter by Elizabeth Taylor (1967)

Not that Elizabeth Taylor. Ugh, how tiresome it would be to share a name with a major celebrity.

This is an entertaining novel for children about a boy who doesn’t want to participate in his mother’s friend’s wedding. It was well-observed (read: definitely written by the mother of a young son), although I thought the ending was a bit flat and abrupt.

The Pebble Spotter’s Guide by Clive Mitchell (2021)

As a huge fan of both collecting pebbles and collecting identification guides, I can’t believe it never occurred to me to look for a pebble identification guide. This one is geared to the UK, although I did recognise a few I’ve picked up here. The author’s enthusiasm is as charming as the watercolour illustrations. Now I just need to find the Canadian equivalent.

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