Sunday, Sept 29. Episode 55: Babies Need Hats
Today’s segments include: drafting, fully drafted, a purloined thumbs up/thumbs down, lit review, and noteworthy. Let’s knit together!
Hobbledehoy BFL silk on Highland Handmades spindle for the Yarnraising podcast new to you spinalong.
Vanilla socks in Fibernymph dye works colorway Tardis on size 1/2.25mm signature needles. 72 stitches, top down with a sweet tomato heel.
Tubey by Wooly Wormhead in Socks that Rock Mediumweight, colorway Koi Koi
Star of the Day
by Susan Lawrence in Socks that Rock Mediumweight colorway Koi Koi on size 5 needles.
Lit Review: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
This book was the book club selection for September. It was suggested and put on the list by one of the book club members who had seen the movie and wanted to read the book, hoping there was more of the story line involving Oskar Schell, but it did not. I had seen the movie prior to reading the book, but there were enough differences between the 2 that I don’t regret seeing the movie first. If anything, it helped me make sense of the book a little more easily.
That being said, this is a difficult book to make sense of. The main reason for this is the multiple story lines, and the fact that one story line makes more sense than the others, at least until later on in the book. The premise of the book is that Oskar Schell’s father who died in 9/11 left clues to a treasure hunt for his son to follow, and Oskar, a socially awkward (possibly on the spectrum) boy, follows the clues around New York City, searching for someone with the last name “Black” who may know about a key Oskar discovered in his father’s belongings.
As Oskar visits with various Blacks around the city, he gets to know people who get to try to help Oskar with his search, and as the movie plays up, this brings people together over the tragedies of 9/11. I find this particularly an interesting book to be reading at the backdrop of Juniata’s summer reading for this summer The Warriors by J Glenn Gray. Like Gray, Foer is trying to make sense of the traumas that come from “battle” or destruction in this case. Foer brings WWII and the destruction of that war into how he tries to make sense of 9/11. I can’t help but do that too as Gray is also talking about WWII. He talks about how the enemy is like us, people, and the cost of war is more than lives, but about how to deal with the taking of innocent lives. 9/11 is the closest we have to war being fought on our soil since the Civil War. It’s a part of the American psyche that we really need to think more seriously about, especially as we keep getting involved in wars all over the world. Without an end goal in mind in these wars, what is the taking of innocent life about? How is it affecting our soldiers, but also those who don’t go to battle? We shouldn’t forget about this. This book reminded me of this over and over.
I also loved the visual writing in this book. As a writing teacher, I love the idea of making meaning not just through the content of the text but through the design of the text as well. Foer uses photographs, he uses handwriting, he uses line breaks, and he uses font in many ways to convey what Oskar was seeing, or what the other characters in the book were feeling. Although I listened to the book on audio, when I spent some time with the hard copy, I could see the way Foer used these visual texts to add to the different characters in the book. Those who read the book on the kindle also noted that they appreciated looking at the pages of the hard copy even more to feel the impact of this method of writing.
I commented in book club that I rated this book 4 stars especially because it is not a terribly weapy exploration of 9/11. Perhaps it is because of my Jewish heritage that I feel learning about tragic events like the Holocaust and like 9/11 has been very important to me. There is the idea of “Never Forget” so that we don’t repeat these mistakes. I think 9/11, although horrifying, took America to a place that many people in the world who live with war are on a daily basis. It’s horrifying that anyone must experience that. However, I like to think that like Oskar, we can come to terms with these tragedies, and that these tragedies aren’t in vain. We who are still here can learn about them and fight hard to ensure that they stop being repeated for people, all humans, all over the world.
September personal yarn club prize is a bag and stitch markers donated by Absolute Wonder
October personal yarn club prize is announced
Wherever you travel, bring your knitting along, and engage your creative process!