Tag Archives: fiction and fabric

Fiction and Fabric, Round 4

With the beginning of Spring this week, I want to introduce the book we will be sharing for this round of Fiction and Fabric.  I have really enjoyed each of these book sharing events. Just in case you haven’t participated, you can read more about them here and here.  In a nutshell, I select a book that I would like to share. Those interested sign up (very quickly) in the comments. We then start reading it (the same copy) one after the other. I send the book with three fat quarters of fabric that I tie to the book in some way to the first person. Once that person has read the book, she makes a little note in the front cover saying what she liked (or didn’t like) about the book and sends it to the next person with three fat quarters that she chooses, again based on the book.

It has been great fun to hear the thoughts of the other readers as well as seeing what fabric they send.  Beginning with this round, if you are on Instagram, please share a picture of the book and the fat quarters you receive.  Let’s tag it #fictionandfabric. I don’t always get to see the other fabrics people select and it would be nice to see the different choices.  Remember that if you sign up, please don’t keep the book for too long – try to read it within three weeks and have it sent off to the next reader. If you choose “media mail” for shipping it is much less expensive (though it may take a bit longer to arrive). For this round, I am only opening it to readers in the US. We have had people in the UK and Canada participating but the book takes such a long time to get there and it is fairly expensive for the person that has to mail it out of the country as well as the international reader when she mails it back into the states.  I am sorry about this.  If anyone has suggestions on making it more feasible, please let me know in the comments.

More about the book!! I first read The Book of Bright Ideas when it was loaned to me by my good friend, and fellow book lover, MaryAnn.  We meet for coffee each month (we used to work together) and often bring a book we think the other might enjoy.  I loved the book. It is a coming of age story set in small town USA and told  from the perspective of a young girl. She is living in a fairly dysfunctional family when two sisters move into town.  They are free spirits with a very different approach to life. The story follows the friendship of the two young girls, Button and Winnalee, as well as the relationship that develops between older sister, Freeda, Button’s mother, and Aunt Verdella. The story is set in the 1960’s when women were becoming a bit more independent and wanting to experience more in life. As with many good stories, the ending took me by surprise. I read this one quickly because it held my interest throughout.

This is the first book I have read by Sandra Kring. Ms, Kring resides in northern Wisconsin and this is her second novel to be published. She tells us that the idea came to her as she watched two young girls playing dress up and she began to think about the importance of that first close friendship made between two people. From there the character of Button evolved and told the story of how this happened to her one summer. There is a sequel to this book, A Life of Bright Ideas, in which Sandra brings Button and Winnalee back together two years later as eighteen year old young women living in the 1970’s. I haven’t yet read it but I plan to. When the first book ended, I was left wanting to know what becomes of these two little girls. Luckily, I will be able to read about it. 🙂

I know you will enjoy it as much as I did.  Sign up in the comments, first come first served. The group is limited to six people or it takes too long for the book to make its way through the group. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Sign ups are closed. We will do another round of Fiction and Fabric in June!

Winter Bookshare

Who is ready for another book share? The summer book, Vinegar Girl, has made it’s way home to me. The Fall book, The Double Bind, has reached the last reader in the group and should be on it’s way home to me soon. I think that means it is time for the third round!

If you aren’t familiar with this activity, I select a book that I have read and think people will enjoy. If interested, you sign up by leaving a comment (first come, first served) and we share the book. I mail it off to the first person on the list with three fat quarters that I relate back to the book in some fashion. Once that person is done reading it, a note is written in the front cover of the book for others to read. We usually just share a couple of sentences describing our thoughts about the book and then forward it on with a new set of fat quarters for the next person to enjoy. This has been a lot of fun and I enjoy hearing other’s opinions of the book.

For this round, I selected a book by Elizabeth Berg. She is one of my very favorite authors. A prolific author, Ms. Berg has never disappointed me. I believe I have read all of her books except for the  most recent one. (Only because it hasn’t been available at the library when I have checked!)  The book I selected, Open House, is wonderful. So much so, that this is the second time I read it. This novel is about a woman dealing with divorce. It is a heartwarming story of the process that the main character, Samantha, goes through as she grieves the dissolution of her marriage and figures out how to heal and become whole again. One thing she does is open her home to boarders so that she can afford to stay in her house.

Elizabeth Berg has the ability to develop characters that the reader easily relates to. I usually come to love the protagonist and almost always feel just a little sad when the book comes to an end. Berg writes about real people dealing with real life situations. Her stories are not deep or complicated but they are genuine. In this book, she does a good job of developing the secondary characters (the boarders and Samantha’s friends) and I enjoyed each of them. My only criticism is that the happy ending for Sam might have been better served if it hadn’t involved a man. She got to the other side of her divorce a much stronger person and not just because of her new relationship. This is a quick read and one that I am happy to share. This book is not a long one which will be good for the group. It takes a while to get the book to each reader so I thought it might be nice to choose a book that was on the shorter side.

Ope House  is an older book which was published in 2000.   I find it interesting that this was actually Berg’s first novel. After writing it, she decided she didn’t like it and went on to write another one. Later she pulled it out and worked it over, publishing it as Open House. It is often the case that we make something and feel disappointed in it, only to shove it back in the closet somewhere. Then we bring it back out another time, change it up a bit, and give it new life.  There is usually value in our work – it just doesn’t always become apparent at the very beginning.

Books are such a great escape for me. Ray and I both read quite a bit and I am pleased that our children enjoy reading as well. Here is a picture of Julia a few years back.  I found her in her room, looking over her stash of books and somehow she ended up balancing a stack of them on her legs. It made me smile to see this! (Granted, the photo isn’t the greatest quality – I snapped it with my phone.)


I will be out of touch for a week or so. My son is getting married next weekend. We are traveling to Toronto,Ontario for the wedding. Things will be back to normal in a week or ten days. Until then, be creative and make something you love. 🙂

Post Update: sign ups for this book share are closed- Sorry to disappoint anyone. Let me know if you wanted in and I will give you a heads up when I post the book for the Spring Book Share.