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broodings from the burrow

February 16, 2024


grass in winter, early spring, and daunt
posted by soe 5:45 am

Daunt Books

Three beautiful things from my 50th-birthday week:

1. The weather in D.C. is lovely for February, so my pal Mario invites a small group out to play volleyball all afternoon.

2. Spring flowers are in full bloom in London, where I’m spending this week.

Crocuses in London

3. Friends of a friend of Rudi’s recommend we visit the Marylebone location of Daunt Books. I’d like to move in.

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


February 13, 2024


top ten books with ‘love’ in the title
posted by soe 1:12 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday post from That Artsy Reader Girl invites us to share our favorite reads that contain “love” in the title. Here are mine:

  1. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
  2. Love Is a Mix Tape by Rob Shefffield
  3. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  4. The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
  5. My True Love Gave to Me, edited by Stephanie Perkins
  6. Book Love by Debbie Tung
  7. Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
  8. Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern
  9. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
  10. Donuts and Other Proclamations of Love by Jared Reck

The History of Love was a five-star read, and the others all earned four. I recommend them all.

How about you? What “Love”-entitled books do you love?

Category: books. There is/are 4 Comments.

February 6, 2024


top ten books to read in an afternoon
posted by soe 1:25 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl is Top Ten Quick Reads/Books to Read When Time Is Short. Here are ten four+-star books that can be read in an afternoon (all of them well under 200 pages):

  1. The 13 Clocks by James Thurber
  2. Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
  3. A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas
  4. If God Invented Baseball: Poems by E. Ethelbert Miller
  5. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
  6. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  7. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  8. March: Book One by John Lewis
  9. Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
  10. For Every One by Jason Reynolds

How about you? Are there books you’d recommend grabbing if time is short and you just want to while away a few hours?

Category: books. There is/are 1 Comment.

January 30, 2024


top ten new-to-me authors i read in 2023
posted by soe 1:15 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl invites us to share ten authors we discovered in 2023.

Here are 10 of the 31 new-to-me authors I read last year, all of whom I recommend:

  1. GennaRose Nethercott (Thistlefoot)
  2. Martha Wells (All Systems Red)
  3. Sangu Mandanna (The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches)
  4. Travis Baldree (Legends & Lattes)
  5. Hannah Nicole Maehrer (Assistant to the Villain)
  6. Richard Osman (The Thursday Murder Club)
  7. Colleen Oakley (The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise)
  8. Dave Grohl (The Storyteller)
  9. Suzanne Park (The Christmas Clash)
  10. Sher Lee (Fake Dates and Mooncakes)

How about you? Who were some authors you read for the first time last year?

Category: books. There is/are 5 Comments.

January 23, 2024


delayed gratification reads from 2023
posted by soe 1:37 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl could be interpreted through a lens of regret — books we meant to read last year and didn’t get around to. Instead, I’m going to consider them delayed gratification or prolonged anticipation reads — ten books that I put on my to-be-read list, were published, or came into my possession last year and that I still get to look forward to diving into:

  1. Brian Selznick’s Big Tree
  2. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  3. David Grann’s The Wager
  4. Lies and Other Love Languages by Sonali Dev
  5. Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett
  6. Anna-Marie McLemore’s Blanca & Roja
  7. Woman Without Shame by Sandra Cisneros
  8. In the Lives of Puppets by T.J. Klune
  9. Bill Watterson’s The Mysteries
  10. A Tempest at Sea by Sherry Thomas

How about you? What books do you still get to look forward to that you were sure would be read by now?

Edited to add: I went back and looked at the past four times topics of this sort have been covered, and I’ve read 8 of the ~35 books I shared at the time. Oops.

Category: books. There is/are 7 Comments.

January 16, 2024


bookish goals for 2024
posted by soe 1:59 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl asks us to share our bookish goals for 2024. But first, let me do a final touch of 2023’s goals:

Last year I finished 52 books, 12 of which I own. The other 40 were from the library, including 14 audiobooks. (Thank god for libraries!) Nearly a third were from diverse authors and about a quarter by authors who were not Americans (including four in translation — three from Japanese and one from Swedish). Five books were nonfiction, one was poetry, and the rest were fiction (10 of which were graphic novels).

I failed completely at only two and generally hit the mark on most of the rest, so, yay!

Now, for this year:

  1. Read 52 books.
  2. Review said books here on the blog, even if it’s just a couple of sentences. And get any best of lists — definitely 2023, but did I post one for 2022? — published here, too.
  3. Buy books in another country. (More info on this goal coming soon!)
  4. Read at least two classics, including a Russian novel.
  5. Finish the School Library Journal’s Top 100 Children’s Books. (Maybe I have 15 left to go, none of which were at my local library branch when I checked for them last month. (The system has them, so I just need to place some holds.))
  6. Read 13 books from my own collection, including at least five I’ve had for more than two years.
  7. Listen to 20 audiobooks.
  8. Read at least three books of poetry.
  9. Read at least five books in translation.
  10. Get all my books onto shelves (which will necessitate donating some to make space).

How about you? Do you have bookish goals for this year?

Category: books. There is/are 6 Comments.