sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

January 23, 2020

where my bookmarks are at
posted by soe 1:57 am

No new knitting news to report at the moment, but I do have some reading updates.

I have finished listening to Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia. Next up in the headphones will be the second installment in Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series, A Fatal Grace. I put both my paper books aside. I have a plane flight next week, so if I’m awake for any of it, it should be good listening.

I put both my paper books aside last week to finish Tuesday and am in no rush to pick them up again. I have a bunch of middle grade and YA titles out of the library right now though, so sampled a couple tonight to decide what will be next. Lynne Kelly’s Song for a Whale looks promising, but didn’t grab me the way Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia did. In this story, Tristan’s best friend has died, leaving him a journal filled with African and African American-based folklore stories from a class project they’d been working on. Except now the journal glows green and has an unusual symbol on the cover. Tristan is heading to Alabama to work on his grandparents’ farm for the summer and get past his grief, except that now, in addition to mending fences, he might also have to help John Henry and Brer Rabbit contend with African gods. Doesn’t it sound so good?

What are you reading?

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January 21, 2020

top ten new additions to my book collection
posted by soe 1:49 am

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic, That Artsy Reader Girl invites us to share the top ten most recent additions to our personal bookish collections:

  1. Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller: I picked up this at a Little Free Library on Saturday.
  2. Kate Murphy’s You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters: This book came as a freebie with the purchase of …
  3. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern: I bought this on New Year’s Day, when one of our local indie bookshops was having a sale, because I loved her debut novel.
  4. A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader, edited by Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick: Karen gave me this collection of letters for Christmas.
  5. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang: A surprise gift from my parents for Christmas.
  6. The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling: Rudi’s mom gave me the illustrated version for Christmas.
  7. Hillary McKay’s The Skylark’s War: I picked this up while doing some last minute Christmas shopping when I saw it, because I hadn’t realized it had finally been published in the U.S.
  8. Jasmine Guillory’s Royal Holiday
  9. Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
  10. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary: All three of these books came from my #TBTBSanta, Helen.

What are some of the most recent additions to your personal library?

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January 16, 2020

unraveled and unphotographed in mid-january
posted by soe 1:27 am

This week’s check-in of books and knitting is without a photo because my phone is charging and I am too lazy to go unplug it and to pull out my knitting, which is currently sitting beneath an avalanche-ready pile of laundry on the couch.

So instead, I’ll just tell you. Last weekend I got a row knit on my shawl. That would seem unimpressive (and it is), but since I haven’t done anything besides use its presence as an implement of guilt since September, I’m deeming that success. There is a possibility that I could knit the final row and then bind it off this coming weekend, but let’s not get carried away with things.

On the reading front, I’m listening to Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia. I didn’t finish it on Overdrive, so I took it out on cd, which means I’m way less good about actually listening to it. But I’m enjoying this quest-read about a hospital development researcher (and her friends) who gets caught up in a scavenger hunt/quest game in the wake of a Boston billionaire’s death. I’m more than halfway through and would love to spend some time this weekend listening to it.

On paper, I’ve got two books in progress. Jennifer Chiaverini’s Christmas Bells tells the parallel stories of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow during the Civil War and a contemporary Boston-area music teacher/choirmaster and the organist who is in love with her. It’s fine, but a bit slow-going since chapters alternate between eras and points of view. My other book, We Met in December, is a cute contemporary rom-com, but it, too, is going to shift perspectives. Three books on the go with this literary device is really too many, so maybe I’ll put one on hold and pick up something that can commit to telling a story from a single character’s perspective. I’ve picked up a bunch of the Cybils finalists from the library, so there’s probably at least one of those that doesn’t shift perspective by chapter.

What are you reading and/or crafting these days? (If you want to see what others are working through, head to As Kat Knits for her weekly roundup.)

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January 14, 2020

top ten bookish discoveries of 2019
posted by soe 1:34 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl is bookish discoveries of the past year. I’m choosing to interpret that new-to-me authors I particularly enjoyed:

  1. Comic illustrator Debbie Tung
  2. Author and illustrator Ngozi Ukazu
  3. Fantasy and science fiction novelist Nnedi Okorafor
  4. Author and illustrator Katie O’Neill
  5. Jasmine Guillory, who writes contemporary romance starring African Americans
  6. Linda Holmes, author and NPR host
  7. Author and illustrator Nick Hayes
  8. Writer Jessica Townsend
  9. Author Sonali Dev
  10. Writer Mary H.K. Choi

How about you? What were your bookish discoveries of 2019?

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January 12, 2020

just a january saturday
posted by soe 1:23 am

Just a January Saturday

Sitting outside in a tshirt, reading and knitting, as one does when climate change is a reality…

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 2 Comments.

January 9, 2020

an embarrassingly overdue thank you
posted by soe 1:01 am

I suddenly realized that I owe an embarrassingly overdue public thank you to Helen at Helen’s Book Blog for a delightful package of goodies she sent me back in November.


Helen was my #TBTBSanta this year. She sent me an amazing box filled with a wonderful assortment of delightfully shaped gifts.

I opened them over a period of three weeks, squeezing a whole lot of joy out of the mystery.

#TBTBSanta Goodies

There were little packages that I immediately knew were nail polish — a cheery red and a lovely blue-green. Mum and I both benefitted from that gift.

There were colorful pens.

Helen even sent Corey a present. This is the least blurry shot I have of him playing with his new toy.

Corey Loves #TBTBSanta

And there were books! Three of them! Jasmine Guillory’s Royal Holiday (which I’d been on the wait list at the library for and which I devoured after Christmas), Cath Crowley’s Words in Deep Blue (which matches the nail polish and which has been on my TBR list since it came out in 2016), and Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare (which got such good reviews this fall and which I saw on several people’s best-of lists for the year).


Thank you, thank you, thank you, Helen, for such a great package. I loved every bit of it, and opening all the packages (and then reading Royal Holiday) brought such light into my Christmas season. I look forward to many more hours of reading this winter.

And thank you, too, to Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl for hosting #TBTBSanta this year. I really enjoy taking part every year, and I appreciate how much work must go into organizing such a massive endeavor.

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