January Craft and Reading Update

My creative effort this month has taken the form of a crocheted cat doll made from a pattern I found in the adorable book “Amineko” by “Nekoyama.” My amineko did not turn out exactly like the pictures in the book, but I think it’s not bad for my first crochet project in something like 10 years, and definitely my first actually following a pattern.

I think if I made another one it would be better, because apparently crocheting, like most things, requires time and effort and practice in order for there to be improvement. With my “Jack-of-all-trades, master of none” personality, however, I will probably move on and try my hand at something else.

On another note, I will probably not finish “The Gene” by the end of January. I only read about a third of it and then it was due (I borrowed it from the library) and I had to give it back because other people were waiting for it. I also borrowed it on CD for my dad, however, so maybe I can listen to the rest of it.

Paradoxically, my dad enjoys books but not reading. He has a bit of ADHD, so he’s never been able to sit down and concentrate on a book for very long, although he does fine when he has to — he’s great at his job, and finished a master’s in counseling with no problem. Recreational reading, though, was never his thing — until my mom and I started getting him books on CD from the library. It seems he can pay attention to audiobooks with little or no trouble. Now the difficulty is simply that he doesn’t like to pick them out on his own, and prefers that I select his reading for him.

It’s both easy and challenging to pick out books for my dad. He’ll listen to just about anything I give him, but it’s hard to get him to pinpoint what exactly he likes to listen to. For the most part, I just get him books that I’ve read and enjoyed, and that I think he’d like too, but my tastes run mostly to nonfiction, especially anything science-y or medical. He seems to enjoy these sorts of books too, but it would be easier if he’d just try to identify a few topics of interest on his own.

Some of the books I pick are fun and light, like Mary Roach’s “Packing for Mars” (his current selection), while others are ponderous and more demanding (“The Emperor of All Maladies” comes to mind). We’ll see how far he gets into “The Gene” (and how for I get, for that matter).

I’m also reading “Zika: The Emerging Epidemic” by Donald G. McNeil Jr., which is short and reads like a popular magazine article. I doubt it’s available on audiobook through the library, but I’ll check. I think my dad would like it too.