Friday, June 22, 2018

Literary Sewing Circle: the Summer Edition!

It is time for a new round of the Literary Sewing Circle! This time we're going have a slightly extended summer edition -- lots of time to read and sew, until the end of August.

I am happy to announce that our group read this summer will be:

The New Moon's Arms by Nalo Hopkinson


First it's her mother's missing gold brooch. Then, a blue and white dish she hasn't seen in years. Followed by an entire grove of cashew trees. When objects begin appearing out of nowhere, Calamity knows that the special gift she has not felt since childhood has returned-her ability to find lost things. Calamity, a woman as contrary as the tides around her Caribbean island home, is confronting two of life's biggest dramas.

First is the death of her father, who raised her alone until a pregnant Calamity rejected him when she was sixteen years old. The second drama: she's starting menopause. Now when she has a hot flash and feels a tingling in her hands, she knows it's a lost object calling to her. Then she finds something unexpected: a four-year-old boy washes up on the shore, his dreadlocked hair matted with shells. Calamity decides to take the orphaned child into her care, which brings unexpected upheaval into her life and further strains her relationship with her adult daughter. Fostering this child will force her to confront all the memories of her own childhood-and the disappearance of her mother so many years before. 

I read this book a few years ago. You can find my original review over at my book blog, The Indextrious Reader.  This is an older title, but it's well suited for our summer reading as it features a Caribbean island, a prickly main character and magical elements that will engage your imagination! It's a little harder to find but I hope that everyone will be able to locate a copy and read along. Our schedule is five weeks of posts & book information and chat, and then we'll have a little longer to make our projects, until the end of August. 

About Nalo

Nalo Hopkinson was born in Jamaica and has lived in Guyana, Trinidad, and Canada. The daughter of a poet/playwright and a library technician, she has won numerous awards including the John W. Campbell Award, the World Fantasy Award, and Canada's Sunburst Award for literature of the fantastic. Her award-winning short fiction collection Skin Folk was selected for the 2002 New York Times Summer Reading List and was one of the New York Times Best Books of the Year. Hopkinson is also the author of The New Moon's Arms, The Salt Roads, Midnight Robber, and Brown Girl in the Ring. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, and splits her time between California, USA, and Toronto, Canada.

phto by David Findlay, c. 2016

This book is available for purchase in both hard copy and ebook formats.  

You can find the ebook at:

And the hard copy at:

Or, of course, check your local library!


How does the Literary Sewing Circle work? We read a book together, discuss it, and then make something inspired by our reading. As long as you can point out what inspired you from your reading, even if just a sentence, you can share your makes in our final roundup!

Anyone can join, and you can sew, knit, quilt or embroider - any textile art that you like doing - to participate. This is a reading/sewing circle, very low-key; no prizes or competitions here, just reading and sewing for fun. Join in, and share!

Literary Sewing Circle Schedule

June 22 - Announcement & Introduction

June 29 - Inspiration post - possible patterns

July 6 - Author interview 

July 13  - Halfway mark: book talk

July 20 - Inspiration post

July 27 - Final Post: book discussion wrap up & posting of project linkup

(Project Linkup will then be live until the end of August for you to come back and post your finished project)

This time around we'll discuss the book any time you wish; put your questions and comments in the comment field on any #LiterarySewingCircle post (try to avoid spoilers until closer to the end though). We'll have an official discussion post halfway through to really dig into things but feel free to talk about your reading at any time!


  1. This sounds awesome! I have an audible subscription right now and they have an audiobook version of his books too. I don’t see a link to how/where we sign up. Could you clarify?

    1. Hi there -- there is no 'official' sign-up; just a note here saying you are in is good enough ☺️ Glad you are interested!!

  2. Hi Melanie. This is great. I have ordered a copy from ebay, as state library does not have a single copy of any book from that author!! I will have to donate this book when I finish.
    I can already picture bright coloured fabric, colours of the summer ocean.... my mind is going crazy. Particularly as we sit by the fire in the middle of winter!! Summer sewing here I come.

    and as a side note..... This week I went to see the film, 'The Bookshop', a really lovely film. But I was delighted to hear right through out the film, reference to Ray Bradbury. If it had not been for your Literary Sewing Circle I would have had no idea who they were referring to. The main character was introduced to the books by this author early in the film, and the reference kept being made as he admired the writings so much.'

  3. So glad you found a copy right away Sara! I was concerned about being able to source one there!

    And am also glad to hear your story about The Bookshop & learn that this project was useful 😊 Now I' even more eager to see it !

    1. Yes, you as a book lover and a sewer really do have to see the film. Some critics were a little hard I think. If I see a film, as opposed to a book, the visual is as important as the plot in a way. If I really want to get in to the plot and enjoy how a tale is written, then you cannot beat the book. But as for the film, I loved the clothes, and probably the era, and kept having 'ahhhh' moments as I would see a collar, or trim, a way of wearing clothes, or knitted garment that took my eye. Plus the scenery was lovely. And I enjoyed the acting.

    2. Excellent to hear. I also like the actors in it so will most likely watch it sooner than later :)

  4. Ooh! I usually find 'mainstream' lit rather dull but I do like some magical realism ['The War of Don Emmanuel's nether Parts', anyone?]
    I've just ordered a 2nd hand hardback copy, as the paperback ones were twice the price!

    1. It's kind of crazy how book prices differ. I'm glad you found a copy, and hope you'll enjoy it!

  5. Aack! My library is supposed to have one, but it isn't on the shelf. We made it missing and hopefully it will show up. Otherwise I may end up doing an ILL

    1. Yikes, hope you can find one! I'd love to hear your response to it.


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!