sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

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 13, 2020

sunset on sunday
posted by soe 1:52 am

Sunday Sunset in January

It was a surprisingly balmy weekend for January, and I was lucky enough to be able to spend a good deal of it outside. Which means my living room is still a hot mess, only one load of laundry got done, and the tree is still inside and covered in lights (although the ornaments are off).

I don’t regret any of it, and I’m glad that some of my tasks were mobile. I’ll be spending some of my evenings playing catch-up this week, but I think it will have been worth it.

How was your weekend?

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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 11, 2020

january weekend planning
posted by soe 1:24 pm

Oops! Apparently in my haste to finish my post and go to bed, I forgot the key step of hitting publish. Here’s my weekend planning, now partway in:

I think this is the last weekend I’ll have without plans for a while, although there’s a possibility that bowling doesn’t start until the following week. Volleyball does kick off this coming week, so at the very least it’s the final week where my physical activities consist only of walking and cycling. (Don’t be impressed by the cold-weather biking; it’s pretty much just the couple miles to work in the morning. And even then it’s only because I’m impatient and a procrastinator and would rather leave for wherever I’m going at the latest possible moment.)

Anyway, how am I thinking I’ll spend these next two uninterrupted days of inactivity?

I have some fun things lingering from Christmas (movies I wanted to watch and a couple other things), so Rudi and I may queue up some dvds after he gets back from ski coaching tomorrow and Sunday.

I put a bunch of things on hold at the library and then failed to put some of those holds on pause, so I have nine (!!) books waiting at the local branch. I also have a couple dvds they’d like back, so I’ll take a walk down there and then tote my treasure home.

My living room once again looks like hobos reside in it while I’m at work. I mean, sure, they’re using Rudi’s and my stuff, but I’m certain that’s just a coincidence, right?

Laundry must be done so I don’t have to wear fun but uncomfortable underwear to work this week. (I refuse to believe I’m the only one here swayed by cute patterns at the store only to find elastics will not stay in the right spot when you want to do something strenuous like walk more than a dozen steps.)

We also need to then take down the Christmas tree. Ornaments are starting to slide down branches, and I fear breakable baubles will soon fail to defy gravity.

And finally, I hear rumors that the sun will peek out at some point over the weekend — likely on Sunday — at which point I will drop whatever I’m doing (unless it’s breakable, in which case I will carefully put it down first) and run outside to soak up some wintry rays. The sun is back to setting after 5 p.m., so that could potentially include quite a few hours outside reading and/or knitting. Hooray!

What do you have planned for the weekend?

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January 10, 2020

go home, one last christmas celebration, and ‘free’
posted by soe 12:08 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. We had early dismissal due to a winter storm on Tuesday afternoon. Those of you who live in snowy places will be amused, but in part such caution has to do with the long distances people commute here and the prevalence for icy highways. At least two major roads shut down due to jack-knifed tractor trailers. I, on the other hand, spent the end of my workday napping after walking home in the rain via the bagel shop.

2. Rudi and I celebrated “Little,” or Orthodox, Christmas this week. (His mom was born in Russia.) Rudi made borscht and we exchanged a few last gifts.

3. I used up the last of my use-it-or-lose-it healthcare savings account fund just before year’s end and today the box arrived. Opening it felt like a very practical Christmas present, in part because the money was deducted from my paycheck before I ever saw it and it felt free. We are set for contact solution, sunscreen, and bandages for a while.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world this week?

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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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