sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 13, 2020

top ten tuesday: long book titles
posted by soe 1:11 am

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl asks us to consider super long book titles. Did you know that according to this article, fiction titles should have no more than five words in it and non-fiction no more than ten, including any subtitle.

That sounds … silly. But it may not be wholly inaccurate if my own Goodreads list is any indication.

Anyway, here are ten books I’ve enjoyed that have many more words than a successful titles should:

  1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows — This one has so many words I often wonder if I’ve gotten them all in or if a few extra have snuck in under the radar. I imagine it’s like a large family; it takes you a while to ascertain that everyone in a room belongs there.
  2. Crazy ’08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History by Cait Murphy — I loved this book about baseball at the turn of the 20th century.
  3. The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America’s Enemies by Jason Fagone — Elizebeth Smith Friedman’s story is brought to light.
  4. Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds — Reynolds tells the story of ten middle-schooler’s trips home from school.
  5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg — A classic!
  6. Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle — I was reading this book and its sequel just before the 2016 election and the fact that real life didn’t get the kick-ass feminist ending this pair of novels did just about ruined me.
  7. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg — I feel like so many of us came to this novel through the movie that we forget that’s an abbreviated title.
  8. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia — A recent favorite based on African and Black folklore and mythology.
  9. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall — I found this book old-fashioned and charming.
  10. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by M. Catherynne Valente — Kudos to Valente for getting all these words in without the need for a colon! I should really track down the second book in this middle-grade fantasy series.

How about you? Do you think the length of a book title matters? Are you inclined to forget a book’s title if it goes on for too long?

Category: books. There is/are 5 Comments.

October 12, 2020

coffeeneuring 2020: ride #1
posted by soe 1:36 am

Coffeeneuring 2020 Stop #1

Saturday marked the start of the annual seven-week-long Coffeeneuring Challenge, which pairs riding bikes and drinking hot beverages (not at the same time). It is an enjoyable rite of fall, and you can even take your hot beverages with you, as long as you stop in different spots to drink them each time. Find the rules here if you’re interested in riding along.

For Five Coffee Roasters
2000 L St., N.W.
Saturday, Oct. 10, late afternoon
Conditions: Overcast, but dry

For Five Coffee Roasters

An afternoon nap and COVID hours on Saturday meant my options were limited as I headed out after four. For Five Coffee Roasters had opened in the West End earlier this year and it seemed reasonable to stop in before they closed at 5.

There are several rectangular bike racks on that block, so I had no problem locking up right outside. Their patio was full, but I haven’t gotten brave enough to eat outside yet anyway, so I wasn’t worried.

Even if you didn’t know this was a transplant from NYC before you arrived, you could figure it out when you arrived. It’s all black and silver and sharp lines and hip pre-corporate vibes.

For Five Coffee Roasters

They had somewhere in the range of 10 loose leaf teas, including a Nepalese option, which is what I chose. The tea was hot and strong, and I don’t know what else you could look for in a cuppa. I give them kudos to having black tea options other than English breakfast and Earl Grey.

When asked about contents of the bakery case, the barista confided he really liked the cinnamon buns. Probably earlier in the day they were delicious. However, after sitting out under a heat lamp all day, mine turned out to be dry and uninspiring. I’d definitely keep time of day in mind in the future if considering dessert, since nothing is covered.

For Five Coffee Roasters

However, I did ask the barista about their hot chocolate and he informed me they make it with chocolate ganache. So I’ll definitely be back to try that option.

I walked the bike over to seating area outside the nearby elementary school, where I could read eat and drink sans mask without worrying about being in others’ vicinity for a while. I then biked over to Trader Joe’s and stopped at the garden, as well, to pick tomatoes in the fading light.

Mileage: 2.15 miles

Category: sports. There is/are 2 Comments.

October 11, 2020

home alone, day 1
posted by soe 2:22 am

Gerber Daisies

Treat Yo’ Self Day is later this week. I’m celebrating early.

Rudi headed out west early this morning, so after returning from the airport, I took myself back to bed. Corey kindly did not argue with my sleeping in.

I got up, had some breakfast, and then took a nap on the sofa. Apparently I was tired.

I did eventually rouse myself to head outdoors. I hopped on the bike, did a little reading outside, and then stopped by Trader Joe’s and the garden. In the book I’d been reading, The Trouble with Hating You, I’d just finished an Indian baby shower scene with detailed descriptions of the buffet. You can guess where this led…

Food and Food for Thought

I came home with their pumpkin samosas (among other things). I combined amba sauce with yogurt for some dipping sauce. It was a fantastic combination. Who said cooking had to be hard!

Ice Cream Sundae

I also heated up hot fudge sauce for dessert, which I had after a scene where the main characters went out for gelato!

And then, because I still wasn’t done with the book, I paired half a bag of snack mix (think Chex mix, but made with Indian ingredients, like chickpeas and curry leaves and puffed rice) with a mug of chai.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad Saturday. Here’s hoping my next book is equally inspiring!

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are Comments Off on home alone, day 1.

October 10, 2020

solo weekend planning
posted by soe 12:03 am

Indicator Maple

Rudi is off to see his mom tomorrow, braving two flights to Salt Lake City. He’s going to stay for a while, which will be great for his mom and will let him breathe in some mountain air for a while.

Corey and I will be holding down the fort here in D.C. and will spend our time trying to clean the apartment a bit, knitting, and working through the large pile of library books I have checked out. I do not have any boxes of cereal in the house, so I guess I’ll also have to do the cooking; you’d think Corey could at least take care of the dusting, wouldn’t you?

Next week I have 25 Zoom/Teams meetings (many of them virtual conference workshops/lectures) over the first four days of the week, so this weekend I will try to spend time outside, off screens, particularly tomorrow, when the weather looks to be drier. Rainy weather will mean phone calls, laundry, and baking.

What are you planning to do this weekend?

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are 1 Comment.

October 9, 2020

edamame, helping hands, and home state pride
posted by soe 2:16 am

Fading Pinks

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. Soybeans at the midweek farmers market.

2. Neighbors and family friends out in Utah who can stand in as caregivers for us.

3. The Seattle Storm won the WNBA championship this week over the Las Vegas Aces. Since the Storm had three UConn women’s basketball alumnae and the Aces had none, I didn’t have to feel mixed feelings about who won. Plus, the Storm is helmed by Sue Bird, who at 39, is the second-oldest player in either the men’s or women’s NBA.

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

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 1 Comment.

October 8, 2020

early october unraveling
posted by soe 1:51 am

Early October Unraveling

Behold! A sock that is nearly complete! I’ve started the toe decreases and anticipate wrapping this one up tomorrow evening, perhaps while up at the park.

Or, I’ll be reading. Both of these books are overdue with holds on them. I’d like to get The Trouble with Hating You by Sajni Patel back to the Arlington library this weekend. I have another book overdue there, as well, but my hold on its D.C. equivalent is waiting for me at the MLK library downtown, which I hope to be able to collect tomorrow or Friday. It took me a little while to get into this alternating-POV romance about a woman who runs out on a dinner where her traditional parents have ambushed her with a potential marriage match — who turns out to be the new lawyer she’s going to have to work with on a regular basis. But now that I’m past the set-up, I’m enjoying it.

Sarah has promised me that We Ride Upon Sticks does not contain Horrible Events (outside of the normal day-to-day horrible things that happen to real-life teenage girls), so I have picked that back up again. Its foreshadowing and style of narration had stressed me out and I’d put it down for a while.

Head over to As Kat Knits for her weekly Unraveled wrap-up.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 1 Comment.