Links: Kirkus, Audiobooks, Lying Cat, and Crafty Crafts

Lying CatCarrie sent me this link to an analysis of a single scene from the comic Saga, which Carrie reviewed here in November. 

It's a scene that is poignant and powerful on first read, and takes on additional layers with this analysis from Matthew Derman: Lying Cat, Sophie, and Me.

Then in this month’s Saga #14, Lying Cat and Sophie shared a one-page scene that reestablished their core concepts in a beautifully boiled down, purified way, and also made me like them both a lot more than I ever have before. It was such a straightforward, simple, and heartwarming moment, at once making Sophie’s lack of depth feel earned and using Lying Cat’s abilities in the best way we’ve seen thus far.

I recently recommended Saga to a friend, who immediately had to buy all the collected editions out so far because it's so good, and so addictive. 


Thank you to G.K. who sent me these links: 

Rings of books with Romeo and Juliet or Pride and Prejudice

Rings that look like books? YES, please!

There's a Romeo & Juliet book ring, and a Pride & Prejudice book ring, and they're both adorable. 

They're $10 each, too. That's a rather spiffy price for a very cute gift (for yourself! Or someone else. You know, whatever works). 



Romance novel pendant with sex scene pasted on front

Another link? Yup. Romance novel spicy scenes made into jewelry? Yup yup!

The pendants are “mature audiences only” which always makes me laugh because I don't think of myself as very “mature.”

This necklace is $13 – and there's only one – but you can find more romance crafts in that artist's store.



I'm over at Kirkus this week, talking about my rediscovered love of cross stitch, and listening while I sew:

Reading is still something we do by ourselves, and it's mostly a sole focus activity, by which I mean I can't read a book and do other things (well, I can walk and read a book but that's a skill that took years to learn and I wouldn't do that around Jersey drivers. They don't always stop for pedestrians, the jagoffs). Audiobooks allow me to split my attention between the book I'm listening to and the needle I'm trying to thread (AGAIN, DAMMIT) and, doofy as it sounds, I'm tremendously happy. Audiobooks and cross stitching are the peanut butter and chocolate combo my brain craves—now that I've cleaned out the closets, anyway.

Right now, I'm listening to George Carlin Reads to You, which is so not safe for kids, but is very salty and funny. Do you stitch and listen, too? What's your craft of choice?


The Link-O-Lator

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  1. 1
    Jennifer says:

    Just read your piece at Kirkus. I often listen to audiobooks while I cross stitch, or do the housework.I started reading the Big Sky books during last week’s sale.  I got hooked and know i am listening to the audio book of Big Sky Wedding while cross stitching. Great for keeping me occupied during the long flight home from Europe to Australia.

  2. 2
    CarrieS says:

    FYI the scene with Lying Cat is from Vol II of Saga and it is, in my opinion, the best scene in comics…well, ever.  It’s simple and powerful and with just a few words and simple images takes the myth that the victim is somehow complicit in abuse and grinds it into the dust forever.  It’s deeply moving, positive, and healing.  But it is about the aftermath of abuse, and I wanted to give you all a heads up that it’s not a light and fluffy scene.  Nothing explicit is discussed and again – the scene is about healing, affirmation, and comfort.  It’s positive but I still cry like a baby every time I think about it.  HAVE TISSUES AVAILABLE.

  3. 3
    CarrieS says:

    oooh, I thought of a better way to make my point.  The scene from Saga should come with a trigger warning for discussion of child abuse.  But usually a trigger warning means “you might want to avoid this” and in this case I’d say that the more this is a trigger for you the more highly I recommend the actual scene, because it is so sweetly, gently healing in nature.

  4. 4
    kkw says:

    But have you seen the lying cat nail polish? I need it. I just lost an hour of my life looking at photographs of sparkly nails. Maybe I actually hate it.

    Having learned from romance novels, when I am inexplicably attracted to something and feeling resentful about it, I need to…take it home with me and punish it until we fall in love?

  5. 5
    CarrieS says:

    @kkw – I LOVE the nail polish.  Take a look.  OMG they have a “Non-corpoeal babysitter” color that is pink glitter and it GLOWS UNDER BLACK LIGHT.

  6. 6
    JacquiC says:

    I knit and listen to audiobooks. I actually listen to audiobooks while I’m on the streetcar going to work, while I’m walking to get lunch, and any other time when I can’t sit and read and need something to occupy my mind.

    I used to watch TV while I knit, but I am not always great at knitting without looking at what I’m doing. So audiobooks are the perfect solution, especially as I’ve started knitting more complex patterns.

    I am currently listing to Just One Evil Act by Elizabeth George.

  7. 7
    kkw says:

    @CarrieS oh yeah, I know. And did you go to the etsy site and see all fifty-seven, yes, 57 glittery options? Including:

    I. Just. Gah.

  8. 8
    Nee in Germany says:

    After reading your review, I bought the first volume for my 16-year-old, and she immediately wanted more. Now sad teenager is sad that she’ll have to wait for volume 4 to be completed before she can get her mitts on it.

  9. 9
    Vicki says:

    The girl at the gaming store called me out for buying Saga for my 11 year old grandson. But we both love it, we talk about it, and, as he explained to the store clerk, the other kids at school are reading much worse books. Way more violent. As I explained, by this age, most kids in the country know way too much about war and loss and abuse, etc. When we read something like this at the same time, we can talk about it and that leads to talking about issues both personal and societal. Plus they are great books. Both of us love Lying Cat.

  10. 10
    garlicknitter says:

    I used to spin (making yarn using a spinning wheel, not the exercise kind of spinning) while listening to audiobooks.  I got through Anna Karenina and many other fine books that way.

    The first book I tried, though, was an Elizabeth Berg novel, and the narrator sounded like she thought she was reading Winnie the Pooh – very syrupy voice.  That had to go back to the library, but I tried again with something else, and I’m glad I did.

    (I tried adding a closing tag for italics at the beginning of this post.  Hope that worked.)

  11. 11
    garlicknitter says:

    Guess not.

  12. 12
    Jo says:

    I’ve been waffling about buying Saga but that link has finally tipped me over. Told hubby I bought it & he’s amazed I’ve waited since November :-)

  13. 13
    Jasmine Daigle says:

    I do that too! I used to work on a bookmobile (spending 9+hrs on a daily basis in a moving vehicle) and audiobooks saved my sanity!!! Now I’m hooked! En route to work, home, grocery shopping, errands, walks, scrapbooking, and cross stitchin’!

    But @garlicknitter I completely agree: the narrator makes a world of difference. Ever try one with an accent? *swoon*

  14. 14

    I love audiobooks while I clean the house and do dishes. They fill the spaces when I run out of SBDA podcasts! But I have a super-hard time listening to sex scenes – I just laugh too much and I can’t follow the story. So I mostly listen to other genres.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I don’t spend enough time in the car ALONE to listen to adult-themed books there, so most of my audio book suggestions would be for middle-grade or below.

    One really grade kid book that I listen to for myself instead of for the kids is the young James Bond books Silver Fin, etc. Excellent English narrator, and although they’re written for kids the dramatic tension is very high, and people die graphically in an adult thriller book way. The school kid James Bond is at the stage in life where he says snotty things to girls he likes, and they knock him down and he learns something important about women—I loved that. Silver Fin had man-eating eels and my kids were too freaked out by it, so it became an adult audio book at our house and I had to listen alone. I couldn’t stop. Man-eating hybrid eels.

    The Little House audiobooks have an award winning fiddler playing along, and our family loved the Railway Children audiobook version of E Nesbit’s classic, Five Children and It, and The Saturdays. For sheer hilarity, Dame Edna does the Olivia series by Ian Falconer – I recommend reading the books before listening b/c the jokes in the illustrations must be understood to appreciate Dame Edna’s interpretation.

    I haven’t actually listened to the audio version of my own book. I tried, but it isn’t the voice I hear in my head. I’m sure it’s a great narrator, but it felt sort of like what it might be like if my husband suddenly started speaking in a woman’s voice, and I had to stop. Any other authors freak out listening to their own audiobooks?

  15. 15

    Oh – one thing you CAN do while reading a paper book – make risotto!

    I have definitely stood at the stove stirring and stirring with my left hand and holding a book in my right, and the family still got dinner.

    If you have to chop, I recommend watching Castle or audiobooks instead.

  16. 16
    EC Spurlock says:

    As a professional cross stitch designer, thank you for the endorsement! :-D

    I usually listen to music while I’m designing but recently won an audiobook and am looking forward to trying that next time I have a sizeable project to work on. I also tend to crochet, sew or stitch while watching TV. My optometrist suggested it years ago as a way to keep my eye muscles from fatiguing and my focus from getting fixated at one depth and having difficulty readjusting.

  17. 17
    Bianca says:

    LOVE audiobooks!!! A favorite is Catherine, Called Birdy, the unabridged version of course. You wil laugh out loud, it’s amazing!!!

  18. 18
    Jillian says:

    I love listening to audiobooks while knitting, cross stitching or making jewelry…or cleaning the house (ick).  My favorites are the Outlander novels narrated by Davina Porter; words cannot describe how good they are.  :) Lately I’ve been listening to the Scoundrels of St. James series by Lorraine Heath…so good!!

  19. 19
    Tam says:

    That scene’s definitely Vol III of Saga, not II.  (I just bought it today, and came home to see this review!)

  20. 20
    CarrieS says:

    @Tam – you are right!  I made a typo.  sorry everyone!

  21. 21
    Kelly S. says:

    I love audiobooks.  I usually check them out from the library which becomes challenging if you find a series you like.  If it is a long series, The Cat Who … Books for example, I’m stuck in the middle while waiting for them to get made and/or converted to audio.  They work from the ends inward.  Also, much smaller selection and frequently they’ll have book 3, 9, and 14 in a series available. I want book 1, then 2, then 3… I can’t skip around.

    While listening to audiobooks, I’m either in a car, quilting or housework.  Crocheting is done at church and when a passenger in the car.  Used to crochet, cross-stitch or knit in front of the tv.

    Up next is book two in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.

  22. 22
    SB Sarah says:

    I fixed the italics – sorry about that. (One thing the future redesign will have is better editing capabilities for people to modify their own comments.)

    I listened to an audiobook on the plane this weekend, while cross stitching. It was nonfiction (about how the brain is modified by exercise in many positive ways) but listening at 1.25x speed while sewing made the flight seem like it was half an hour long. I love that.

  23. 23
    Lindsay says:

    I so hear you on stitching being chocolate for the brain! Cross-stitching especially, I love to do it while listening to an audiobook or podcast, I can feel my brain relaxing. I also hand-sew a lot of things, mostly clothing, and having something to listen to really helps the time pass.

    I listen to audiobooks at work sometimes, but mostly while I’m in spreadsheet hell or someone’s forgotten to build the sound files again. I tried on transit and found that I couldn’t because suddenly everything seemed really loud and distracting (I can read on transit and miss my stop repeatedly I tune things out so much), so it’s nice to be able to have times to listen.

    I LOVE George Carlin Reads To You, but I really love most books where the narrator is also the author. I know a lot aren’t comfortable doing that, but it’s really interesting to me when they are and the emphasis they put on things! I hope one day A Permanent Courtship of Sally Wade is an e-book, I find George Carlin fascinating (and am always sad when people quote him in a completely serious way).

    For cross-stitching, I used to get overwhelmed doing big projects, so my house is full of little 4×6 or smaller things. They’re harder and harder for me to find anywhere but online, but the Dimensions Gold patterns are usually the right level of detail + size for me. I buy some patterns off etsy and have tried making my own but I think my brains just don’t work right for anything but that pixel art = cross stitch. That and I need a local place to buy floss from!

  24. 24
    denise says:

    I like scrapbooking/paper crafting

  25. 25
    Fiona McGier says:

    I have done both knitting and cross-stitching, but what I really like is crocheting…especially afghans.  We tend to keep our heat set pretty low to save on heating bills, and especially during the past winter, here in the Midwest it got pretty darned cold in our house!  So there are afghans all over the living room, multiple ones on every couch and chair.  We all have them on our beds…and I give them to my kids and other relatives so they can stay warm also.  Nothing says “I love you”, like a hand-made afghan to keep you warm!

    Or a fresh-baked-from-scratch pie, but that’s another of my hobbies.

  26. 26

    Thank you for the lovely mention of my jewelry! I am very honored and it is very much appreciated! More romance jewelry will be hitting the shop soon! Thanks again!
    -Rachel of Patina Perfected.

  27. 27
    Nemo says:

    I used to knit while watching The Sentinel episodes as they were uploaded to the internet.  It happened every Friday and I would rush home with the weight of the week falling away to curl up in my computer chair and watch Jim fight crime.

    Recently I’ve been embroidering to Lord of the Rings, the entire unabridged audiobook.  Of course my adorable birds keep wanting to turn into swords and armor during the battle scenes!

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