I mentioned that I had Book Club last weekend and I thought I'd talk about the book we discussed:
Pretty Little Mistakes by local author Heather McElhatton. If you're around my age (39), you may remember the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books that were popular when we were kids. This book is sort of a grown up version of that. Page 1 starts with your graduation from high school (the book is written so you, the reader, are the narrator) and you choose to either go to college or travel. You flip to a different page, depending on what your choice is and read a bit, and then are faced with another choice. You keep making choices until your story ends - as all of our life stories do, with death. Each story is pretty short and doesn't take longer than maybe 20 minutes to read, so you can flip back and start all over again, making new choices, and having a different life. The cover says there are 150 different stories, but I didn't count. I also didn't read every single one, though I did do quite a few.
At first, I didn't really like the book. In the Choose Your Own Adventure books, you would have quite a bit of story in between each choice, so there was more of a narrative thread. In this book, each section is only 1-3 pages long, so you're constantly making choices and there's a lot of jumping around. it doesn't flow quite as smoothly as you would expect a novel to flow. However, I got really hooked on going back and making a different choice at different points and seeing how my life would change from that point on. A lot of the choices don't lead where you would expect - you think if you make a "good choice" something "good" will happen. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you do something that you know is wrong, but you're amply rewarded for it. I kind of like that. It is just like life. Not everyone who works hard and lives well is rewarded. And not everyone who has good things happen to/for them is a good person. There's a lot of darkness in the book - lots of drugs and violence. A lot of the deaths are violent. There aren't a lot of stories about getting married, having children and working a regular job. It also seems like you can perhaps tell the author's biases. For instance, it seems like the stories that come after you choose to travel are a lot better than the stories if you choose to go to college. And the author travelled after high school herself. However, I really did like this book. It was really fun, easy reading - perfect for a sunny Summer afternoon!
I've also been knitting of course. I'm almost halfway done with the border on my Weeping Willow shawl:
It still doesn't look that great, but I'm hoping that the blocking will work its usual magic. Here's a closeup of the edging:
I bought two balls of yarn for this shawl and thought maybe was going to be enough, but I'm coming close to the end of the first ball. I may have to just break into ball #2. Still love this yarn (Zephyr).