reading sketchbook |eleanor.

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I read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman about a month and a half back–I actually listened to it and the reader’s voices were incredible. The Scottish brogues really brought this story to life in ways I wouldn’t have experienced if I simply read the book.

I’m featuring this entry in my Reading Sketchbook because, for the first time in a good while, this was a read I just simply didn’t want to end.

What are you reading? What should I put on my To Be Read list?

More from my reading sketchbook here.

summer | read.

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This was me, literally all summer. I avoided a laptop for 8 weeks (minus prepping for one conference presentation) and dove headlong, all day, into books. My best friend and pooch, Jackie B. Lee, joined me in all those stories and relaxation.

As a result, the only knitting projects I got to this summer were three kind of matching, scrappy, striped sweaters for my nephews. I read so many great stories. You can see what I was reading at my reading sketchbook here.

Any recommendations for me to read this fall?

journal projects | tracking makes.

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I’ve really gotten into tracking things. Coffee consumption, cool ideas, how much I make things, how much I read things, etc. I’m not into tracking other habits of mine and find that some can be a bit too much and unsustainable, but I’ve found a rhythm for me.

One journal to track when I make something, when I knit, when and how much time I spend reading every day, what books are on my to be read list, which books I’ve completed and when, how much coffee I’m drinking every day (it’s a lot and I don’t plan on changing), what gigs Sean and I go to and what venues they were at, a headline for each day of the month, a savings tracker and a wish list and rewards system, and things I’m crushing on every month.

One journal to track the books I’ve completed, when I completed it, how long it took me to read, whether it was a recommendation or my own choice, if I loved it or hated it, whether I own the book, musings on it, and my own artistic rendering of the book’s cover.

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One journal to track the specifications and color stories of my knits (and in the future– my sewing projects). It includes a drawing of the item I knit, the color palette I want to use, the yarn used, the needle size, and any notes about the pattern itself.

This has been a goal of mine for awhile; to have some tangible proof of the things I do, and how to do them better, more often, or to know when things get crowded in my life–whether I’ve had to back off on some of my passions. It’s a barometer and also a log of the things I make. And I hope it makes me a more thoughtful maker and consumer.

What do you keep track of?

You can see my tracking journal here. And my reading journal here. And my knitting journal here.

read | challenge 2017.

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In 2017, I agreed to take on a Reading Challenge. I don’t normally participate in those kinds of things because I like to read what I want, when I want, but this one seemed interesting and reasonable and maybe a challenge is good for me.

The 2017 challenge prompted a read every two weeks or 24 books on the year in various categories, including a book translated from another language, one from childhood, one from school days, something more than 500 pages, a book that takes place somewhere you traveled that year…and on.

I started off slow–my first read was Tolstoy’s classic War and Peace, a 1300 page sweeping epic that actually took me well over 2 weeks to complete. And so, I got behind. I picked up steam in the summer, reading well more than a book every two weeks. But, still, it wasn’t enough to make up with starting a new job and picking a number of 500+ page novels.

I came really close. I missed completing the challenge by 5 books. And it prompted me to start a reading journal, in which I keep track of everything I read, when I read it, how long it took me, whether it was a library book, a kindle book, or a book I own, and some general musings on what I liked or didn’t like about it. I’m pleased it pushed me to really start keeping track of my reads in a unique way, and I’ll carry on.

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How do you keep track of the books you read? Do you at all? I never used to. And so, in this space, I’m going to also keep track of that process, too. Because this blog, while I hope I have a reader or two, has been a great long term companion to me, my makes, my likes, my pursuits.

See more (a sample) from my reading journal here.