On a Quest for a Good Book to Knit With

I’m in a pickle. I don’t get a chance to read very much, other than blogs in the morning. See, I’m an editor, so I spend as much as 9 hours a day reading technical textbooks and instructional materials. When I come home, I just can’t be bothered. Lately, though, I really want to read something!

So I’m on the hunt for a good book. I don’t know really what I want to read yet. I don’t know if it should be long or short. I’m not really sure what genre. I don’t know if I need it to be an ebook or physical book. I’m not that into fantasy fiction anymore or romance novels. Horror is okay when done well, which is frankly quite rare. Historical fiction can be fun at times, though runs the risk of being too dry. Science fiction can be too goofy or it can be really awesome. Literary fiction can be beautiful or pretentious. Oh the options! There’s just too much to choose from!

This is the most stressful time I have, trying to find a new book.

The last few books I’ve read have been very different. In December I read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. That was quite entertaining, actually. It was fun to see how close so many of the adaptions have been. Before that, I started the Wool series by Hugh Howey, which is a post-apocalyptic series. It’s good too, but I haven’t been in the mood to finish. I’m on “book” three right now. Before was, I think, The Shining by Stephen King.

Like with my knitting, I’ve been known to quit a book if I’m just not that into it. I’ve done that many times. Sometimes I quit on books that are actually quite good but aren’t the mood I’m looking for. Maybe I’m just too indecisive a person!

Apologies for all the rambling. I think the problem is I don’t know what kind of adventure I’m in the mood for. I want to find something I can sit back and knit with. I’ve always wanted to try knitting and reading at the same time, but haven’t figured out how and haven’t had a good book to do that with. Maybe I should try a book about knitting, like Casting Off by Nicole R. Dickson. I just don’t know.

How do you pick your next book? Do you have any suggestions of books I should try out?

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19 thoughts on “On a Quest for a Good Book to Knit With

  1. Finding good books is a chore! And, everyone’s different so recommendations don’t always work out. Here’s my two cents: I just recently finished Wool. Thought is was good but not great. I’m just starting The Book Thief which came to me with high praise. We’ll see. My favorite book I’ve read recently was The Help, but if you’ve seen the movie, it’ll probably not be worth the reading. (I haven’t seen the movie- it just can’t be as good as the book!) Stephen King’s 11/22/63 wasn’t too bad. The Kitchen House was pretty good.

    I listen to books while I knit because if I take my eyes off my knitting it’s a disaster. If you have a good library at your disposal, you could get audio books from there. I also have an audible subscription so I can download just about anything.

    If you stumble across a really good read, you’ll have to post so I can add it to my audible queue. I’m always on the hunt for what I’m going to listen to next. 🙂

  2. These are pretty light reading, but I’ve enjoyed them. Jo Walton’s Farthing, Ha’penny, and Half a Crown series. It is alternate history which I thought I would hate, but I’ve enjoyed them quite a bit.

  3. My go to book is Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I listen to books when I knit, like the first commenter, I’ve never figured out how to actually read and knit at the same time. Another go to is Stephen King’s The Stand. I discover something different every time I read it. BTW, thanks for reading.

  4. Books are heavy and hard to read when you have two orange kittens at your feet playing with your yarn as you knit. I think throwing a book into the equation is impossible like some knitting patterns I’ve heard of. However, if you dare I would suggest reading Hopscotch. Hopscotch is a story (or stories, for it can be read multiple ways) of a bohemian drifter, written in a surrealistic style that is captivates and entrances. Good luck finding a book!

  5. I’ll suggest my favorite books, even though you’re probably not interested haha. I love “The Dragonriders of Pern” series by Anne McCaffrey. They’re placed in the fantasy fiction category a lot but once you read them it’s really more science fiction, but done in a tasteful, believable way. It’s about colonists on a new pastoral world that are left to defend themselves against a rain of deadly fungal spores that drop down on the world every few hundred years from a rogue planet, and they have to use their last bit of technology to genetically develop “dragons” from a smaller local life form. The dragons can flame the deadly rain from the sky. The series is filled with moving stories and characters that you can get close to. I’d start with “Dragonflight,” then “Dragonquest,” then “The White Dragon.” Those are the first she wrote and are recommended for starters.

  6. I bounce between reading and knitting but often do both in the same evening. My latest reads include:
    –The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg, a Scandinavian murder mystery
    –The Hunger Games trilogy, because I like to know what my teenager is reading
    –Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, the Swedish vampire story, a little hard to take early on (not because of the vampire)
    Tried and true reads include:
    –The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, probably read it a dozen times
    –The Stand by Stephen King
    –So Long a Letter by Sengalese writer Mariama Bâ

  7. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to manage reading and knitting simultaneously (well, not if I want mistake-free knitting)! I’m about to start reading Kate Grenville’s ‘Secret River’.

  8. The last book I physically read was the Hunger Games and though it is a young adult book I really enjoyed it. Also if you are looking for a book that involves knitting Maggie Sefton has a cute knitting murder mystery series, I didn’t know who the murderer was until the end so it left me guessing. I once read an Octavia Butler book in a Science Fiction class I took in college, it was the only book in the class I enjoyed besides the Time Machine by H.G Wells. The book is called Dawn, it is actually part of a trilogy, but I have never gotten around to reading to reading past Dawn, but Dawn ended in a way that I’m fine with not reading the whole trilogy.

  9. I find it easiest to knit and read if I’m using an ipad or other e-reader to make it easy to turn the pages. I just re-read the Harry Potter series, I read Beautiful Creatures (teen witch drama), and Freedom by Jonathan Franzen for a second time. I really enjoyed them all. If you’re looking for non-fiction, I recommend The Female Brain, or A Billion Wicked Thoughts.

  10. I am in love with Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, and knitted the gloves that show up in the book as well. I’d recommend avoiding all the reviews as it’s nearly impossible to talk about it without giving anything away. Well, I reviewed it, but I was super careful to not say anything important, if you wanna see what I thought: http://reviews.c-spot.net/archives/4459

  11. I’m not going to suggest a book but I’d like to note that you would need someone to flip your pages (like a pianist) if you want to read and knit at the same time. It made me smile to imagine it!

    • I’ve been thinking about this (and that description made me giggle!). The only practical way I can think of is to try reading and knitting with the kindle instead of a physical book. We shall see!

  12. I don’t read while I knit, but you could maybe do audiobooks?

    As for books, for some reason your post brought to mind The Help and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Hope you find something that works well for you!

  13. In the last year, I have started listening to audio books. I get a lot more sewing and quilting done this way!

  14. I have a really hard time working out knitting and reading…how do you hold it open? how do you avoid hunching over the book? I do have an e-reader, but I so much perfer real books. I always end up knitting in front of the tv instead…

    • I’m a TV knitter too. I find it’s just easier, but I’ve been wanting to try this sometime. Unfortunately, many of the books I’ve been wanting to read lately aren’t available as ebooks, so I’d have to figure out that conundrum first.

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