sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

January 18, 2022

top ten 2021 releases i didn’t get to
posted by soe 1:20 am

Thanks, everyone, for the kind messages about Rudi’s mom. We’re working on a tribute and I’ll be sure to share it here once it’s complete. Suffice it to say, 2022 has been challenging so far.

We’re still in Salt Lake and still dealing with things, so I’m not ready to start blogging every day yet, but I do want to step back in with a couple posts this week so I don’t get too accustomed to not writing.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl asks about the books that came out last year that we were really excited about, but that for one reason or another (see: life), we didn’t get to cross off our TBR lists before 2021 headed out of town. Here are ten of mine:

  1. Sherry Thomas’ Miss Moriarty, I Presume?
  2. Beth and Amy by Virginia Kantra
  3. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
  4. The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary
  5. Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Sãenz
  6. Aurora’s End by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  7. Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli
  8. Mackenzi Lee’s The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks
  9. Pumpkin by Julie Murphy
  10. Mary H.K. Choi’s Yolk

How about you? Were there books that came out last year that you couldn’t wait for — but it turns out that you did?

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January 11, 2022

top ten most recent additions to my book collection
posted by soe 3:34 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl asks us to share the ten most recent books we’ve added to our collections:

  1. Miss Moriarty, I Presume? by Sherry Thomas
  2. Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman
  3. Once Upon a Camel by Kathi Appelt
  4. Vanishing Fleece: Adventures in American Wool by Clara Parkes
  5. One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
  6. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik
  7. Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
  8. Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
  9. No. 91/92: A Diary of a Year on the Bus by Lauren Elkin
  10. An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten

How about you? What have been some recent additions to your bookshelves?

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January 6, 2022

first unraveling of 2022
posted by soe 1:59 am

First Unraveling of 2022

Greetings! It’s been a few weeks since you’ve seen any knitting in these here parts, since I went dark before the holidays as I was working on a Christmas present for my mom, who reads this blog. (Hi, Mum!)

As you can see here, I am still working on her Christmas present, despite this being the project (work or otherwise) that I most wanted to finish by year’s end. But the great thing about knitting is that it will be a great shawl when I do hand it over, hopefully the next time I see her — maybe next month? After all, it’s bigger than a babushka now!

I started a new book this evening, another Christmas romance. It’s overdue back at the Virginia library from which I borrowed it, but the 8 inches of snow we started the week with made it impossible to return it on Monday when I’d planned to, and then I had to get on a plane on Tuesday afternoon. So I figured if it was going to sit unread on my coffee table until I got back to town, it might as come with me and get read. Plus, I suppose I can always mail it back if need be.

Head over to As Kat Knits to see what others are reading and crafting this first week of the new year!

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January 5, 2022

bout of books 33
posted by soe 1:19 am

The start to 2022 has been a little more distressing than we’d expected, which means that until I happened to check Twitter on Monday evening and discovered the Bout of Book Twitter chat going on, I’d neglected to see that we’d come back around to our thrice-a-year readalong.

I did follow up the Twitter chat by finishing two books — one in print and one audiobook — so whatever happens the rest of the week is icing on the cake.

Might you be interested in participating?

The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 3rd, and runs through Sunday, January 9th, in YOUR time zone. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are reading sprints, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges, but they’re all completely optional. For all Bout of Books 33 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Come join us!

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January 4, 2022

most anticipated books coming out in the next 6 months
posted by soe 1:46 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic at That Artsy Reader Girl’s Blog is Most Anticipated Books Releasing In the First Half of 2022:

  1. Serendipity, edited by Marissa Meyer
  2. An Impossible Impostor by Deanna Raybourn (the next book in the Veronica Speedwell series)
  3. The Great Troll War by Jasper Fforde (at least one site says the final book in the Last Dragonslayer series will be published in May, although Fforde’s site says it has yet to be contracted for the U.S.)
  4. The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith
  5. The Maid by Nita Prose
  6. Reclaim the Stars, edited by Zoraida Córdova
  7. The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill
  8. Sense & Second-Degree Murder by Tirzah Price
  9. The Emma Project by Sonali Dev
  10. The Secret Princess by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz (Have you ever thought, “What if there was a mash-up of The Secret Garden and A Little Princess? Me neither! But I’m still excited to learn someone has!)

What new releases are you looking forward to in the next six months?

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December 30, 2021

into the stacks: september and october 2021
posted by soe 10:45 pm

Getting closer…

Here are the books I finished in September and October:

The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett: I enjoyed listening to this first-in-a-new-series mystery that features Queen Elizabeth as our sleuth and her assistant personal secretary, Rozie, as her leg(wo)man. When a young pianist dies at Windsor Castle, apparently by suicide, HRH is not convinced and utilizes her young assistant to investigate. Turns out, she’s been solving mysteries since she was a child. The second book in the series came out late this year and I’m looking forward to listening to it.

A Lady’s Formula for Love by Elizabeth Everett: Lady Violet Hughes runs a public ladies’ institute, which is a front for a private women’s science club and laboratory. She’s also a brilliant chemist in her own right, currently looking into a scientific problem for the British government. When her life is threatened, her stepson organizes the most trustworthy bodyguard he knows, Arthur Kneland, to watch over her. But he may not have imagined the other type of chemistry that would bond the two of them. Solid feminist historical fiction romance. Recommended even if you don’t normally like all three of those descriptors.

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price: In this reimagining of Austen’s most famous work, Lizzie aspires not to find a husband, but to be accepted as her father’s heir at his law office. After all, she routinely solves mysteries, but she never gets to take the credit. But now, she’s heard about a wealthy young man, Mr. Bingley, accused of murder and is in the process of getting him to let her help him — if only his current barrister, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, doesn’t prevent him from doing so. A really enjoyable reworking of the classic.

Class Act by Jerry Craft: In this companion middle-grade graphic novel to the award-winning New Kid, Craft centers his story on Jordan’s friend, Drew, who is now in seventh grade and his second year at the prep school where he and Jordan are some of the only Black kids enrolled. This year, they’ll deal with colorism, remaining friends with someone whose family has a lot of privilege, and the question about why all the Black kids hang out together, among others. Another beautiful story about aggressions and microaggressions.

Heist Society by Ally Carter: This is the first novel of a series about a master teen thief, who tried to leave the family business behind for high school, and her band of fellow young con artists, explosive experts, and grifters. In this story, she’s kicked out of school for a prank she didn’t commit only to learn that her dad has been similarly framed for an art heist — but his accusation comes from a terrorist, rather than an uptight headmaster. Will she and her friends be able to find who actually took the art and return it in time to save her father? Cute, if a little slow, given the number of characters who need to be introduced.

Donuts and Other Proclamations of Love by Jared Reck: It’s Oscar’s senior year, and since his grandfather refuses to let him drop out to help full time with their food truck, he’s hoping to coast by with his large block of culinary independent study and persuasive speech class. But his irritating class valedictorian, Lou, has other ideas when she brings him into her final Girl Scout project about food waste and literally dumps thousands of apples in the culinary lab for him to deal with. Will their friendship be as sweet as what he decides to do with the unwanted fruit from the school cafeteria? Adorable.

Nancy Drew: The Palace of Wisdom by Kelly Thompson and illustrated by Jenn St. Onge: In this graphic novel adaptation of the famous young sleuth, Nancy is summoned from River Heights by an anonymous note that hints that her mother’s death years before is more than just an accident. Now she’ll need to team up with her old friends, George, Bess, and Joe and Frank Hardy to solve that mystery, another that dates back to the same time as her mother’s, and some that are much more recent. Nancy Drew meets Veronica Mars. Highly enjoyable.

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