sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 28, 2013

booking through thursday: current events
posted by soe 5:09 pm

btt2This week’s Booking through Thursday meme post asks:

What are you reading right now? (And, is it good? Would you recommend it? How did you choose it?)

I am seemingly incapable of monogamous reading. Or, rather, I suppose I’m fully capable, but disinterested in it.

So, I am in the midst of:

  • Dodger by Terry Pratchett: The last of the Cybils nominees that I put aside after I’d ruled that they weren’t going to be in contention for my top nominations but that were good enough I wanted to finish. It’s good (it was named a Printz Honor Book last month) and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or who enjoys Dickens.
  • Mrs Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn: A fictional look at what might happen if elderly Queen Elizabeth decided to go rogue. It’s good, but I’m a bit tired of stories told from a legion of points of view.
  • Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley: It appeared on a number of book bloggers’ best-of year-end lists and was the Printz Award winner last year. It’s good, but I’m not sure how much I’m enjoying it the further in I get. Could be I just have to push through a little further.
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: Another book that lit up the year-end lists (literally, since the cover of non-library-bound copies apparently glows in the dark). I’m bitterly disappointed that I’m not enjoying this as much as I feel like I should be.

I also read the first paragraph of Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins last night, but I’m pretty sure that’s not enough to go on.

What this highlights is the surprising fact that I am only reading books by men right now. How unusual!

How about you? What are you reading right now?

Category: books. There is/are 5 Comments.

three monthly goals: march (and february extended)
posted by soe 1:41 am

I should probably have recognized that my goals for February were too extensive when I came up with them nearly halfway through the month.

March will also be challenging, given I’ll be in Salt Lake for a good portion of it. So here’s my thinking:

First, I’m going to give myself an extension on February’s goals, which were:

  1. Ice skate at the two new rinks in D.C. I’ve been to one and need to get across town to the other sometime in the next two weeks.
  2. Mend all my clothing that needs it. I only got as far as gathering some of the clothing together. No actual repairing has occurred as of yet.
  3. Begin a 100 push-up program. I keep putting this off — partly because I’m lazy and partly because I know that our upcoming trip will throw this off.

We’ll consider them a success if I accomplish them by the end of March.

And I’ll give myself three smaller goals for March that also seem manageable:

  1. Sign up for a spring volleyball team. I took both the fall and the winter off and that was probably a mistake. I’d like to get back into this, at least for a few months.
  2. Go to a yoga class. Either here in Dupont or at a studio in Salt Lake while I’m there.
  3. Invite people over for an evening gathering. An incentive to tidy! An incentive to bake! An incentive to hang out with our elusive friends!
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February 27, 2013

seeking a book recommendation
posted by soe 1:29 am

Hey, all!

I’m in the mood to read some short stories, but I don’t want just any short stories. I do not want stories that leave you depressed and raw and empty at the end of them. I want stories that make you laugh or that make you feel life is worth living or that just end happily. But at the other end of the spectrum, I decidedly do NOT want sappy, saccharine-filled Chicken Soup for the Soul-esque pap.

There have to be literary, upbeat short story collections out there somewhere. Can you help me find them?

Category: books. There is/are 3 Comments.

February 21, 2013

underoos, warm breakfast, and basking
posted by soe 5:43 pm

I’m a little sleepy today, but it’s a good kind of tired caused by staying up late with an enjoyable book. Nothing compares to a satisfying volume in a beloved series of novels, but let’s see what else we can find:

Here are three more beautiful things from my past week:

1. I have, in the last week acquired four new pairs of underwear featuring Wonder Woman (or, at least, her logo), Minnie Mouse, Animal, and Cookie Monster.

2. The breadmaker finishes its cycle just as Rudi turns off the shower. By the time he nudges me out of bed, there’s a mug of loose-leaf tea and a still-warm piece of buttered bread awaiting me.

3. I came across some older strands of Christmas lights recently and Rudi strung them around the living room for me. The pink glow they emit is enough that I can turn off the other lights and still see my knitting.

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

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 2 Comments.

February 20, 2013

top ten favorite characters from my cybils reading
posted by soe 1:25 am

The Broke and the Bookish‘s Tuesday meme asked this week for you to consider your favorite ten characters in a specific genre. Since so much of my recent reading has been for the Cybils, I figured I’d focus there, even though that’s not technically a genre.

So without further ado, here is my list, in no particular order, of favorite characters among the 60 Cybils nominees I read:

  1. Maddie from Code Name Verity, because you couldn’t ask for a more loyal friend
  2. Autumn from Pinned, because she was self-confident despite her lack of academic prowess
  3. Micha from The Storyteller, because a little girl should always feel like a princess
  4. The entire Garrett clan from My Life Next Door, because if you could move in with a fictional family this is the one you’d pick
  5. Boy21, aka Russ, from Boy21, because he returned from the edge to be a better friend than he ever could have thought
  6. Louise’s grandparents from The Boy on Cinnamon Street, because quirky senior citizens rock
  7. Max from Messy, because she surprised herself
  8. Charlie Dickens from Dodger, because the wordy English author could have been more bad-ass than you think
  9. Howie from I Hunt Killers, because what other hemophiliac do you know who’d confront a serial killer?
  10. Verity from Code Name Verity, because she did exactly what she needed to do

You may not be able to play along in my category, but I’d be interested to hear about some of your favorite literary characters.

Category: books. There is/are 2 Comments.

February 19, 2013

posted by soe 1:37 am

It was a three-day weekend, which means I have 50% more weekend to report:

  • Dinner at our friends’ house. Lots of delicious food, concluding with homemade cherry turnovers.
  • Breakfast with Rudi before his ride.
  • Laundry.
  • Beginning The Woman Who Died a Lot.
  • The usual February letdown begins, but a little later than normal … and perhaps a little less severely, at least so far.
  • New reverse lights for the car — and proving that there was a screwdriver in it to access the panels.
  • Snacks and shopping at Union Market followed by additional shopping in Virginia (where I had to go to return a library book).
  • Three episodes of Doctor Who.
  • A cold wind means my homemade sweater joins my turtleneck and handknit woolen accessories.
  • The farmers market brings produce, breakfast, and a bouquet of tulips, ranunculus, and anemone.
  • Chai and muffins for brunch.
  • Duckpin bowling. Rudi wins two out of three, but I don’t care.
  • The documentary Kings of Pastry.
  • Finishing a pair of socks for Rudi — the first in probably 9 months. (Photos to come later this week.)
  • Sleeping ridiculously, luxuriously late.
  • Getting dressed into workout clothes, but never actually working out. (It’s not really the thought that counts.)
  • The beginnings of a deep clean.
  • A fresh tablecloth.
  • Colorful fairy lights restrung around the periphery of the living room.
  • Tuna sandwiches.
  • Good Neighbors.
  • Disappearing into the bedroom with my book and a cat during intense tv.
  • Savoring the first few pages of Kindred over a cup of tea. (This is not a zine to be read quickly.)

How about you? How was your weekend?

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