I've been doing some reading lately of what have been called "knit-lits". (Well, that is what one of the authors in the genre, Rachael Herron calls them!) I sometimes find that when I am having trouble with a pattern, it helps to take a break and read something light and fun that incorporates the craft I am doing.
As it is fall, I've mentioned that I've been putting away the papercrafts and switching to knitting, and I wanted to find some books about knitting. Enter Rachael Herron's series, the Cypress Hollow books, which are indeed contemporary chick-lit books (romance novels, if you will), that all feature protagonists who knit or deal with knitting. From a doctor to a bookshop owner, a hand-crafts seller to an author, the characters featured in this series are all strong women who deal with everyday life. I heartily approve of this series and its characters, and the icing on the cake is that each of the books includes a free pattern in the end, a project that the protagonist worked on during the novel. How cool is that?
I must admit that I started reading Rachael's books accidentally (I'd been searching on my library's website for knitting ebooks, and one of her books actually popped up along with the pattern books), but I've enjoyed all of the thoroughly. I started with the first, and within a week not only worked my way through all of them, but bought four out of the five books! With my own money! (Cheapskate that I am, that is a BIG deal.) That's how good the books are. Now, these are romance novels, so they also do have the spicy bit. :)
I also read my way through the first of Terri DuLong's novels, Spinning Forward, which was good but somehow paled against Herron's books. I found the protagonist a little wishy-washy, and things seemed to happen too much in coincidence. Overall, though, the story is strong, and I would give this book a read again, if only through checking it out from the library.
Friday Night Knitting Club was my third pick, the book that apparently (in my ignorance I read third), started the whole "knit-lit" genre! It was a great story about a single-mother/yarn store owner, and I cried over the book when it ended. The characters were great and the story believable, but somehow I felt like some parts that could have been more elaborate were shorter, and other exposition that could have been cut went on and on. Overall, I loved the story, and I may buy this in the future for a re-read.
All these books were a pretty quick/light read, and reading them definitely helped me to become motivated again to knit. Most of these books are available in audiobook form, so you can think about knitting while listening to a novel about knitting while actually knitting...mind=blown!