Friday, September 13, 2019

Literary Sewing Circle: A Tale for the Time Being

Fall has arrived, and with it our Literary Sewing Circle autumn round! I'm really thrilled to have both a wonderful Canadian book as our featured read, and an amazing sponsor too!

I'm happy to announce that our group read for this round of the Literary Sewing Circle is

A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki


In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying, but before she ends it all, Nao plans to document the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in a ways she can scarcely imagine.

Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future. 

Full of Ozeki’s signature humour and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.

(from Goodreads)

About Ruth:

A longtime Buddhist practitioner, Ruth was ordained in 2010 and is affiliated with the Brooklyn Zen Center and the Everyday Zen Foundation. She lives in British Columbia, and New York City.

Her first two novels, My Year of Meats (1998) and All Over Creation (2003), have been translated into 11 languages and published in 14 countries.

Her most recent novel, A Tale for the Time-Being (2013), won the LA Times Book Prize, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award.

(excerpted from Ruth Ozeki's website)

photo by Latrippi

This book is available for purchase in both hard copy and ebook formats, as well as in audiobook format (read by the author!)

You can find many formats at all of these locations:

Book Depository


Chapters Indigo


Barnes & Noble

ABE Books

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 competitions here, just reading and sewing for fun. Although we are very lucky to have a special sponsor offering this time around -- one of the finished projects will be chosen at random to receive the free pattern offering. Just finish and post your project by the end of the linkup and you will have a chance to win.

There is no official sign-up to worry about; just start reading along if you wish, and leave your thoughts on the book or your project on any of the Literary Sewing Circle posts. We do have a dedicated book discussion post halfway through and again at the end, but leave your thoughts anytime. And when the final post goes up, so does the project linkup -- you can leave a link to your finished project there, whether it is on your blog, a pattern site, or even Instagram. It's easy :)

So, join in, and share!

Literary Sewing Circle Schedule

Sept 13 - Announcement & Introduction

Sept 20 - Inspiration post & featured sponsor

Sept 27 - Author feature

Oct 4 - Halfway mark: book talk

Oct 11 - Inspiration post

Oct  18 - Final Post: book discussion wrap up & posting of project linkup

(The project linkup will be live until November 15 - a month - so you have enough time to get your project posted)


And now for our sponsor! 

Yuki of Waffle Patterns has agreed to sponsor this round of the Literary Sewing Circle! Waffle Patterns are chic modern styles with a Japanese flair, and can be purchased via the Waffle website. 

Waffle Patterns has just released a new jacket pattern, the Arare pullover, a classic anorak style jacket which is currently on sale as a launch deal. Check it out!

Anyone who reads along and posts a link to their finished project by Nov 15 will be eligible for the draw to win a 30 Euro coupon to the Waffle store! (~3 patterns). Get your projects in to have a chance for this great sponsor offer. Thank you Yuki!

My favourite Waffle pattern: the Snowball Dress!


  1. Count me in! I found it in my local library and they even have an audio book version.

    1. That's great! I hope you will find the audiobook interesting, since it's read by the author too.

  2. Yes, my library also has this book, so it is coming my way very soon! In fact they have all Ruth's books, and they certainly sound appealing, with food for thought.
    The Waffle Pattern site is also very interesting - I love that latest pullover, and particularly as it is sewn with wovens. I guess the long zip in the yoke enables easy on/off.

    Looking forward to starting reading!

    1. Glad to hear your library has it too. A Booker nomination does seem to increase availability of a title :)

      Waffle has some very nice designs. I bought the Snowball Dress but haven't made it up yet. I hope you'll enjoy the reading and be very inspired.

  3. Ordered! One of the reviews described it as sounding like a chick lit book, but it turned out not to be, so I relented [because it DID sound chick lit lol] I listened to a couple of minutes of the sudiobook sample, and was mildly irritated by 'Edith Pilaff' so I knew I had to see in print if this was deliberate or not. I hate it when audiobook narrators mispronounce things lol I am intrigued to find out what the sewing links are...

    1. Oh, no, not a Chick Lit at all. Lots of darker issues and themes to think about here, as well as philosophy and the Meaning of Life ;)

      It was deliberate - the author is also the audiobook narrator. You'll see why it was in there once you start.

  4. I listened to this book at the tail end of 2018, and I loved it! It may be time to revisit - and to read it this time rather than listen, although I really enjoyed the author’s reading.

    1. I'm doing it the opposite way around - reread it and am now listening to the audiobook for the first time.

  5. I listened to this book when it first came out, courtesy my library. I loved it. It was a compelling read about a traumatic incident, woven into a wonderful story. Now I want to read it and be a part of this.

    1. I hope you will join in! Thank you for your comments on this book, I agree with you that it managed to tell a harrowing story with grace.

  6. Audiobook now downloaded ... let's see if I'm struck by sewing inspiration lightning when I listen to it. I have read one book by Ruth Ozeki before, so I was pretty easy to lure into buying this one.

  7. This is such a lush idea, going to the library tomorrow now :)

    1. Good luck finding a copy! Hope to see you joining in :)


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