sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

January 31, 2015

read harder
posted by soe 3:04 am

Book Riot has created a reading challenge for 2014 that calls for participants to read books that cover 24 areas designed to broaden our horizons.

These “tasks” are as follows:

A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25

A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65

A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people)

A book published by an indie press

A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ

A book by a person whose gender is different from your own

A book that takes place in Asia

A book by an author from Africa

A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.)

A microhistory

A YA novel

A sci-fi novel

A romance novel

A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade

A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.)

An audiobook

A collection of poetry

A book that someone else has recommended to you

A book that was originally published in another language

A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind

A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over)

A book published before 1850

A book published this year

A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”)

Interestingly, the task I see myself having the hardest time with is the guilty pleasure. What would that be for me? I’m not inclined to feel guilty about what I read, so maybe I’ll categorize that as something someone else might feel guilty about. (In checking out the discussion on this topic in Goodreads, I see others with similar concerns have suggested impulse buys and re-reads as ways to fill this category.)

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January 30, 2015

reader, double date, and love note
posted by soe 2:36 am

Three beautiful things from the past week:

1. I barely have time to take my shoes off and pull up a piece of floor before 2-year-old Caroline has grabbed a book off the table and plopped herself in my lap.

2. Our friend Shawn introduces us to his boyfriend over dinner at a fancy restaurant.

3. One of the great things about being a pedestrian in a city is how close to people’s lives you are (without, you know, being part of their lives). Last Sunday, I spied this sign on a Georgetown front door:

Dear David

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

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January 29, 2015

late-january yarning along
posted by soe 2:06 am

There has been no knitting the last few days. I was washing the mandolin on Monday night and sliced my finger with it. It wasn’t especially deep, but it’s taking its time healing since it’s right where I keep opening it back up by typing and washing.

Hopefully, we’ll be back in the saddle again tomorrow or so. When we are, I’ll be casting on a new pair of socks in this yarn, The Fiberists’ Audubon Sport in the Cornus florida colorway:

Late-January Yarning Along

I’m still working my way through Signed, Sealed, Delivered, reading a chapter every few days. I’m enjoying reading about letters through history. Tonight’s chapter talked about how letters have been used to convict/implicate suspects in crimes, including the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. I put Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Autobiography down for a few days in favor of tearing through the first volume of Ms. Marvel (loved it!), but I anticipate being done with it by Sunday, given NPH’s breezy style and the short “chapters.”

Yarning along about books and crafting with Ginny.

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January 28, 2015

love stories
posted by soe 2:09 am

In honor of the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday and to combat my continuing low mood, I’m looking for some suggestions of love stories to read.

Before you hop down to the comments, let me clarify: I want a book that leaves you smiling at the end. Think Rainbow Rowell, Jane Austen, or Gayle Forman. (I’m already thinking David Levithan and Stephanie Perkins.)

The biggest caveat is that I don’t want a tragedy. A little sadness is okay, so long as the overall tone is a positive one. (Think The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, for example, over Code Name Verity.)


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January 26, 2015

posted by soe 2:01 am

Because of weather predicted in Pennsylvania, where Rudi coaches skiing on the weekend, we decided the smart idea was for him to spend Saturday night out there, rather than making the trip back to D.C. in what could have been treacherous conditions.

That, of course, meant I had even a few more hours to fill myself.

I did not have to fill it all myself, of course. Yesterday, Sarah and I met up for milkshakes (and lunch) at Ted’s Bulletin. Sarah opted for a more traditional burger and fries, while I was delighted to discover they’d not yet sold out of the mythical cinnamon rolls they billed as being “as big as your head.” I’d always wondered if that was hyperbole. I’m here to tell you it’s not:

me and a cinnamon roll

That’s a dinner plate, folks, and the icing arrived in a gravy boat. I made it around that first outer ring yesterday at the restaurant, through part of the second as a late-night snack, and finished it off as brunch today. Not surprisingly, I was very excited to eat some vegetables this evening.

Sarah was not the only one to take pity on my lonely existence. Susan and Phillip invited me over early this evening to hang out with them and their children. We read stories, built train tracks, and caught up on things.

I also filled my time with reading from Signed, Sealed, Delivered and Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Autobiography, the format of which was so diverting that it caused my metro stop to disappear. (I swear I looked up, noticed I only had one more stop to go, got off at it, and discovered it was the stop after where I needed to be.) I knit a little on my cowl, although less than I wanted to. However, as it turns out, there may be an error in the pattern, so a lack of progress was less devastating than it might have been otherwise.

I broke in a new lounging cardigan. It’s a long, oatmeal-colored hoodie made of cotton and cashmere that I picked up on Friday (along with a new pair of pj’s) at a deep, deep discount from TJ Maxx. One of the nice things about knitting is that I know how much yarn costs, and let’s just say I got a really good deal.

I spent quite a bit of Saturday night on Netflix. I discovered a couple episodes of Leverage I’d somehow missed over the years; started a new series, The Fosters, about a two-mom house and the brood of children living with them (biological, adopted, and foster); and Rent, which, in retrospect, was a poor choice for a winter night on my own. (On a related note, I bought more tissues today.)

I went to the farmers market, the highlight of which was frozen raspberries that I have not yet decided what I’m going to do with. I may save them for something birthday’ish next month.

I took myself on a nearly 6-mile walkabout, stopping by the library to pick up Ms. Marvel along the way and enjoying the nice weather. (We did not get any of the snow that hit the northeast yesterday, and by today it was 50.)

This evening, Rudi helped me get the bin out of the closet I’m hoping to relocate the ornament boxes into. That process prompted a bit of an organizing/cleaning spree for both of us, so putting the ornaments away will have to wait for tomorrow. I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with him then.

Weekending along with Pumpkin Sunrise.

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January 24, 2015

weekend plans
posted by soe 2:26 am

My weekend is formal-plan-free, so I’m hoping to get a few things accomplished:

  • Saturday is Reading Day, so I’m hoping to get in a few chapters.
  • I’d also like to make some progress on that cowl I’m test knitting.
  • There is a mountain of laundry around the house that needs doing, so it’d be nice to put a dent in that.
  • While I took the ornaments off the tree last weekend, they did not get put back in their boxes, so that needs to happen. Since I also didn’t pull the container out of the closet that I hope will hold the ornament boxes, it’d be nice to take care of that, too.
  • I’m hoping to get together with Sarah at some point.
  • A trip to the Georgetown library is in order, since Ms. Marvel awaits!
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