Friday, April 12, 2024

Literary Sewing Circle, Spring 2024


Our Spring 2024 session of the Literary Sewing Circle starts today! 

I'm pleased to announce that our group read this time around is:

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis 

This book is from the 90s but it is a true classic of the time travel genre! Connie Willis is a master of the speculative novel, and this one is part of her Oxford Time Travel series. It's also the funniest one by far -- if you've ever read Jerome K. Jerome's Victorian "Three Men in a Boat", you'll know where the title and the inspiration for this story came from.

It follows some time travellers from 2057 Oxford to Victorian days, with side stops in WWII, the 30s and even a brief visit to the 1300s. There is lots of humour, animal sidekicks, Willis' classic misunderstandings, and of course some true love. My thoughts from my first reading are here, but I've reread it a number of times since then, and I hope you'll enjoy it too!


From Connie Willis, winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, comes a comedic romp through an unpredictable world of mystery, love, and time travel.

Ned Henry is badly in need of a rest. He’s been shuttling between the twenty-first century and the 1940s in search of a hideous Victorian vase called “the bishop’s bird stump” as part of a project to restore the famed Coventry Cathedral, destroyed in a Nazi air raid.

But then Verity Kindle, a fellow time traveler, inadvertently brings back something from the past. Now Ned must jump to the Victorian era to help Verity put things right—not only to save the project but also to prevent altering history itself.

(from publisher)

By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0

About the Author: 

Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis is an American science fiction writer. She is one of the most honored science fiction writers of the 1980s and 1990s.

She has won, among other awards, ten Hugo Awards and six Nebula Awards, including Hugos for every book in the Oxford Time Travel series. Willis most recently won a Hugo Award for All Seated on the Ground (August 2008). She was the 2011 recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA).

She lives in Greeley, Colorado with her family.

(via Wikipedia/Goodreads)

This book is available for purchase in multiple formats.

You can find this title at all of these locations:


Chapters Indigo

Barnes and Noble

Powell's Books

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, crochet, 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. 

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 you can follow along on Instagram too if you like: look for @sewmelwyk and the hashtag #LiterarySewingCircle and you'll find us.

And when the final post goes up on week 6, 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

April 12 - Announcement & Introduction

April 19 - Inspiration post 

April 26 - Preliminary book talk

May 3  - Inspiration post

May 10 - Author feature

May 17 - Final Post: book discussion wrap up & posting of project linkup

We will have our project linkup live for two weeks after the final post to allow you to finish up and post your projects, which takes us to the end of May, when the linkup will close.


  1. I'm not generally a fan of time travel stories, but I just downloaded this book from my eLibrary and am going to give it a shot.

  2. I just found it as an audiobook on Hoopla. I will listen as I generally knit with audiobooks. Not sure I will do a project as I will be traveling (physically not time!)

    1. Thank you for mentioning Hoopla! I was trying to find the audio book and couldn't locate one. Just downloaded from Hoopla.

    2. I can only access it as an ebook via Hoopla in my library -- I would love the hear the audio version! Hope it's satisfying.

  3. Sounds like fun! Tory in Nova Scotia

    1. It's a funny, light read and I hope that more people will enjoy it!

  4. Another whole new genre!! I have never heard of this book or the author, so I am looking forward to exploring this style of writing. Just from the review, including the one from 2008, I am getting ideas for 'making'.
    ..... Sara

    1. Oh I hope you like this one too, Sara. It's fun, with lots of literary references to enjoy.

  5. Oh I love this book! Sounds like fun !

    1. I do too, and I think there are lots of potential directions for sewing projects!


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