sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

January 17, 2018


top ten tuesday: bookish goals/resolutions
posted by soe 1:23 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (now hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us about our bookish resolutions. As I mentioned last week, I do have some aspirations for this year’s reading:

  1. Continue to read books by diverse authors representing different backgrounds. I did better with this plan last year, in part because I started actively keeping track and holding myself accountable.
  2. Read more books that I already own. I own a lot of books. Like A LOT a lot. But I’d say that my reading is probably 90% library books. I’d like to scale it back to 75% if possible.
  3. Choose more nonfiction, more poetry, and more classics. I read a lot of current fiction with a smattering of celebrity memoir on audio. I’d like to get back to reading more broadly, so I’d like at least 10% of my reading to fall outside my comfort zone.
  4. Read more books in translation or, at least, more books by authors from more countries. The past couple years I managed two books in translation each year. I’d like to up this category to five, which doesn’t seem unreasonable.
  5. Hit up older titles. This has been a problem since I did the Cybils, when I decided that if I were going to participate again that I ought to stay on top of current publications so it was less overwhelming. I don’t plan on throwing my name into the judging ring again at this time, so it’s okay to pause and take a look behind me.
  6. Cook out of my cookbooks and knit out of my knitting books. I have a weakness for pretty pictures of finished objects, be they sweets or hats, paired with instructions on how to make my own version. (I even got a new cookbook for Christmas!) But I own a lot of cookbooks and knitting books I’ve never even made one recipe or handknit from, and I shouldn’t keep them if I’m not going to use them.
  7. Keep track of how many pages I read in books I abandon. If I make it far enough into a book, it usually ends up in Goodreads, but if I abandon a book in its first 50 pages, that’s less of a certainty. But I have a suspicion of approximately how many pages I read in books I don’t finish and I’d like to know if I’m right or not.
  8. Attend more author events. I wasn’t great about this last year, only making it to the National Book Festival. What’s the point of having some many literary venues if I don’t do a better job of taking advantage of them?
  9. Purge books from my house that don’t bring me joy for one reason or another. (That joy might be being reminded of the person who gave it to me or the memory of the class I read the book in, not just that I loved the book itself. I’m not Marie Kondo; I get to make my own rules!) Just before our Christmas party, I pulled a whole bag from one of my shelves. I need to repeat that with the others and take them all to Little Free Libraries or Goodwill or a library book sale.
  10. Review the damn books I read on my blog in a timely fashion!

How about you? Any reading goals for 2018?

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January 16, 2018


west end branch library
posted by soe 1:38 am

Rudi at West End Branch Library

Early last month, on a snowy Saturday morning, Rudi and I awoke early and hustled the eight blocks to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony that marked the re-opening of the renovated West End Branch Library.

West End Branch Library

(more…)

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January 15, 2018


corey and me
posted by soe 1:44 am

I took a break from cleaning and Corey came over to sit on me and quickly dozed off.

Corey and Me

I told him he should open his eyes and look at the camera, so he did.

Corey and Me, with Eyes Open

And then he got down and I went back to cleaning.

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January 14, 2018


saturday sunset
posted by soe 1:38 am

Saturday Sunset

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January 13, 2018


mlk weekend to-do list
posted by soe 1:32 am

It’s a three-day weekend for me, so I’m hoping to get a bunch of things accomplished:

  • Enjoy the Christmas tree for a final weekend. We’ll take it down during the week.
  • Volunteer. D.C. is having a big event this weekend, and I signed up for a shift tomorrow morning.
  • Take myself out to breakfast or lunch.
  • Go to the library. I have holds at two branches, and the West End library is having a big party on Monday.
  • Clean out the freezer. I bought a shelf to put in it last month and I want to clear out some things, since everything kind of tastes freezer-burned right now.
  • Write my best books of 2017 post.
  • Bake. I’m thinking cookies. Also, maybe a lasagna or a quiche.
  • Stop by a sporting good store to see if they have volleyball sneakers in my size to try on.
  • See a movie with Rudi (he’s away coaching until Sunday night). I’d like to see The Showman or The Post. And I’m going to watch Everything, Everything on dvd tomorrow night. (Rudi didn’t know what it was, so I don’t have to feel bad about watching it while he’s away.)
  • Finish a couple books, including Pirate King’s Daughter and Turtles All the Way Down.
  • Pull out my ukulele.
  • Register the car.
  • Have an ’80s dance party with the cats. (I know they’re looking forward to that.)
  • Catch up on some sleep. I already started by taking an after-dinner nap.

How about you? What are you hoping to do to this weekend? Whatever it is, I hope you have a nice one!

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January 12, 2018


sweet cinema, sloppy, and stunned
posted by soe 12:59 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I had the chance to see Paddington 2 earlier this week, and highly recommend you do so, too. Like the first movie, this film has a luminous cast who give strong performances, a solid script aimed at both youngsters and those young at heart, and gags and jokes that remain funny without tipping over into stupid, crass, or childish. (The first film is streaming on Netflix and I assume it’s available in other places, including on dvd at your local library.)

2. For his Russian Christmas present, I invited Rudi, who grew up in Salt Lake following his local basketball team, to watch the Jazz play the Wizards this week. While there were several moments of grace and gravity defiance on the court, the game really was marked by a lack of attention to detail, a seeming dislike for running plays or covering offensive boards, and, on the Jazz’s part, an inability to pay attention to the shot clock — all of which was mind-boggling to someone who follows the high caliber of the UConn women’s basketball team. And, yet, the game was surprisingly close and, in the end, the Jazz prevailed, so we counted the evening — and the gift — a success.

3. My coworker, who hosts a short weekday radio program in which he interviews scientists doing current research, celebrated its 30th year on the air this week. A colleague organized a surprise party for him, including several top muckety-mucks from our organization, but he’d decided to go cover an event without telling anyone, which meant that he had to be lured back to the office through subterfuge with increasingly urgent emails and texts telling him there were potential funders waiting to meet him. He flew into the office in a bit of a panic and stopped, dumbfounded, when we all shouted, “Surprise!”

How about you? what’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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