sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 17, 2018


top ten bookstores i’d like to visit
posted by soe 3:03 am

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic asked which Bookstores/Libraries I’ve Always Wanted To Visit (in no particular order):

  1. Shakespeare & Co. in Paris (France’s most famous English-language bookstore)
  2. The Book Barn in Niantic, Connecticut (I’ve driven past this used bookstore many times over the years, but somehow never stopped in. I have been to a different, unrelated used Book Barn in Amity, which may explain the oversight.)
  3. Bart’s Books in Ojai, California (it’s mostly outside)
  4. Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis (a kids’ bookstore)
  5. Kitchen Arts & Letters (NYC cookbook shop)
  6. John K. King Used & Rare Books in Detroit
  7. Left Bank Books in St. Louis
  8. The Last Bookstore in L.A. (it looks like a museum)
  9. Murder by the Book in Houston (mysteries!)
  10. Parnassus Bookshop in Nashville (one of the more famous indies, because it’s co-owned by Ann Patchett)
Category: books. There is/are 0 Comments.

October 11, 2018


worth four in the bush?
posted by soe 3:12 am

A Bird in the Hand

I dozed off with my knitting in my lap and just want to go to bed now, so instead of books and yarny stories today, you’re getting a photo of a new sculpture we saw on Saturday.

I like it.

Category: arts. There is/are 1 Comment.

October 10, 2018


adaptations i’m looking forward to
posted by soe 1:00 am

While adapted works rarely live up to the originals, I still enjoy checking them out. Here are ten I’m looking forward to across several media:

  1. The Hate U Give film is based on a book by Angie Thomas that I loved.
  2. Dumplin’ is coming out sometime on Netflix and is based on a Julie Murphy novel, with original songs by Dolly Parton and Jennifer Aniston playing the mom.
  3. I haven’t seen any of the three previous films of the same name, but I’m still looking forward to the Lady Gaga/Bradley Cooper version of A Star Is Born.
  4. I read today that there’s a Greatest Showman tribute album coming out next month. It’s a great soundtrack and I always find one or two songs that transcend the original in cover albums.
  5. I still haven’t seen the Cormoran Strike series made by the BBC last year from the Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) novels. It’s on sale at Target, though, so I should see if it’s coming to a Redbox or if one of the other nearby library systems has it.
  6. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is going to feature Misty Copeland and Helen Mirren, so I am there. Plus, you know I’m a sucker for a Christmas film.
  7. A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston is an adaptation of One Thousand and One Nights that came out a few years ago, but the Renée Ahdieh adaptation came in first, and I didn’t want to read two so close together, so put this one off.
  8. I’m curious about the impending publication of Marilla of Green Gables, a prequel of sorts to Anne, by Sarah McCoy.
  9. The House with the Clock in Its Walls looks a little spooky, but only a little bit, so Rudi and I are going to try to catch it this month.
  10. Mary Poppins Returns. I mean I was always going to see it, but add in a cameo by Dick Van Dyke and a lead role for Lin-Manuel Miranda and I’ll queue up for it.

How about you? Do you enjoy adaptations? Are there any you’re looking forward to?

Category: arts,books. There is/are 0 Comments.

October 4, 2018


first unraveling of october
posted by soe 1:16 am

First Unraveling of October

I have not finished any knitting projects recently, which probably means I need to focus my attention on one or the other or the third and finish one off. While later this week is supposed to return to the 90s, fall weather has to show up sooner or later, doesn’t it? I wore jeans on Saturday night, after all, even if it was too warm to be accompanied by anything but a tshirt on top.

I have bookmarks in many books right now. (Figuratively, of course. I have nothing keeping my spot in any of these books for some reason.) On paper, I have Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Joan Aiken’s The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, and Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X going, alternating between books depending on where I’m reading or which bag I’ve taken to work.

In my headphones, I have not yet finished Being Jazz, in part because I’m bored by it. It’s not long and I should just finish this frequently banned memoir about a transgender teen girl’s experiences already. I got the alert earlier tonight that one of the other libraries I borrow audiobooks from on Overdrive had a copy of Crazy Rich Asians for me, so I quickly downloaded it and just resumed listening. I paused the start of the third and final part to start writing here. I also have Julia Alvarez’s Tía Lola Stories and local author Lillian Li’s Number One Chinese Restaurant downloaded to my phone.

How about you? What are you working your way through?

Head over to As Kat Knits for links to more knitting and reading.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 1 Comment.

October 3, 2018


new york city
posted by soe 1:59 am

The weekend before last, Rudi and I I caught a bus up to New York City for the weekend. We arrived with just enough time to get down to our hotel, drop off our bags, and get back up to Broadway for a play.

The Lifespan of a Fact was in its second night of previews. Featuring only three actors — two-time Tony winner Cherry Jones, two-time Emmy winner Bobby Cannavale, and Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe — the show takes centers around, respectively, a magazine editor who assigns a star essayist’s piece on a Las Vegas suicide to a twenty-something intern for fact-checking. Armed with only the single sheet of notes that the writer has provided, the intern starts to discover the writer has “massaged” some of his facts in pursuit of a larger truth. It was well-acted and well-staged and if I did not love the ending, I did at least understand why it was what it was.

The Lifespan of a Fact

The show was put on at Studio 54, the famous nightclub turned Broadway theater, which was beautiful if slightly incongruous with its decor. The theater space itself is elegant, with ornate carvings on the walls and ceiling, but the stairwells and hallways have leopard-print carpeting. It boasted both a disco ball and a Tony in its entrance hall.

The next day, Rudi went off with some friends to celebrate the reason we’d all come to New York — Paul Simon’s final tour date. They had brunch and then went and got space right next to the stage, giving them a front row view of the show.

Saxon Merino Wool

I do not love crowds, so I took a more leisurely approach to the day, taking in a street festival (way more cell phone accessories for sale than at D.C.’s street fairs) and then heading to the Green Market at Union Square, where I procured some snacks and bought some yarn from a wool vendor, Catskill Merino Sheep Farm. This is Saxon Merino Wool (175 yards of what they call sport weight and that I’d probably say is closer to DK) in the Blue Boy colorway.

Paul Simon and Edie Brickell performing "Me and Julio"

After that, I headed out to Flushing, a neighborhood in Queens known for being the home of the Mets’ ballpark, the U.S. Open tennis facilities, and Corona Park, where both the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs were held. The show was good, but mostly the same as the other two we saw on the tour. He did bring a baseball glove and ball with him, since he grew up playing baseball nearby, and played catch with the audience. (On the third try, an audience member finally got the ball back to him.) His only special guest was singer Edie Brickell, his wife (wearing the red hat), who did the whistling for “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard.” He gave shout-outs to his high school and other landmarks. And he definitely got a little choked up toward the end of the show, as he realized he was ending an era.

On Sunday afternoon, my college roommate, Eri, came into the city, and we spent several hours hanging around the Financial District, where our hotel was. We checked out a merry-go-round on the riverfront and then ate some tasty bagels from a nearby shop for a late lunch, before Rudi and I had to catch our bus homeward.

Speaking of hotels, should you ever be looking for one in Manhattan, we definitely recommend the Wall Street Inn. The lobby was classic, the room spacious (even when not considered by NYC standards) and comfortable, and breakfast was included. While the front faces out on one of the city’s older winding streets, the back opens up onto a cobbled alleyway, which was filled with picnic tables from the local bars and restaurants, including a French bakery with award-winning croissants and delectable hot chocolates.

Rudi on Stone Street

Category: arts,travel. There is/are 3 Comments.

October 2, 2018


authors i’d love to meet
posted by soe 1:16 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday asks which authors we’d love to meet. I’m fortunate to have both some amazing bookstores and the National Book Festival here in the city, so I’ve been able to meet many of my favorite living authors. I turn into a hair-twirling word-bungler around writers whose works I admire, giving me all of eternity to regret the interaction, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. If given a shot, I’d love to embarrass myself in front of:

  1. J.K. Rowling
  2. Toni Morrison
  3. Jason Reynolds (I’ve come really, really close)
  4. Katherine Paterson
  5. Neil Gaiman
  6. Brian Selznick
  7. Naomi Novik
  8. Erin Morganstern
  9. Fannie Flagg
  10. Rebecca Stead

(When I originally made the list, I accidentally put in twelve authors. It was hard to knock a few of them off the list, and I’d totally love to meet any of them!)

How about you? Which authors are you dying to meet?

Category: books. There is/are 1 Comment.