sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

September 30, 2021


final september unraveling
posted by soe 1:28 am

Final September Unraveling

The good news is that I touched all three of these today. The bad news is that none of them are moving fast. But tomorrow is another day.

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September 29, 2021


counting down
posted by soe 1:35 am

I have nine days to get through until I have a four-day weekend.

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September 28, 2021


first ten books i read this year (into the stacks 2021, part 1)
posted by soe 12:26 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl is a freebie, so I thought I’d do a quick rundown of the first ten books I read in 2021 and see how far into the year that gets me:

  1. In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren: A cute holiday romance about three families, their grown children (and grandchildren), and the holiday cabin they visit every year. What happens when the adult daughter of one couple falls for the adult son of another? And what happens if they relive this one vacation over and over again? Groundhog Day meets Hallmark holiday movie.
  2. Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore: I don’t remember how this one came onto my radar, but it’s set in Victorian times and features a young woman who gets the chance to attend university and who takes up with the suffragette movement. One of their hopes for an upcoming swing vote is a young duke, who’s been commissioned by the queen to quash the movement. A solid historic romance.
  3. One Day in December by Josie Silver: A girl on a bus and a guy at a bus stop see each other one day in December and fall instantaneously in love. But the next time they cross paths it’s when her roommate introduces her to the guy she’s been dating, whom she thinks could be the one. Of course it’s him! And so it goes for years. Fans of Cecilia Ahern will enjoy this one.
  4. Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev: In a tribute to the Jane Austen classic, the second in this interlocking series of four stories about an Indian-American family focuses on Ashna, a chef, who is paired in a celebrity cooking contest with Rico Silva, a soccer star, who just happens to have been her secret high school boy friend — and the boy her father sent away because he wasn’t good enough for her. I love this series and recommend it to everyone.
  5. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig: A young woman attempts suicide only to find that she’s been transported to a purgatory where she’s allowed to try out the different stories she might have lived if she’d made different choices through the years. The idea was an interesting one, but its execution didn’t live up to the premise.
  6. Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez: A cute middle-grade story about a boy, who in his grief at losing his mother a couple years earlier, accidentally found a way to access the multiverse. When he starts at a new school, a girl with an eye for details figures out what’s happening, and they set out on a series of adventures that just might destroy the world.
  7. An Unexpected Peril by Deanna Raybourn: The latest in the Veronica Speedwell mystery series, it this time focuses on a  nation caught in the pre-WWI European machinations, its princess (who just so happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to our plucky lepidopterist), and a female climber who died while attempting to summit its highest peak. When the princess goes missing prior to a retrospective of the climber’s life that Veronica and Stoker are mounting, her envoys request Veronica’s assistance with some diplomatic subterfuge to save a treaty. Always a fun series.
  8. The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jiminez: A woman is on her way to her fiance’s grave on the one-year anniversary of his death when a dog jumps through her open sunroof. Turns out the pup belongs to a guy who’s currently in Australia, and she agrees to take care of the dog until he returns. But they start to fall in love through texts and cell phone calls and emails — until he returns and she finds out that he’s both exactly who he says he is … and also so much more. A romance that looks at what happens when one half of the couple has experienced the ultimate loss.
  9. Murder on Cold Street by Sherry Thomas: The latest in the Lady Sherlock series, this Christmassy story sees Charlotte, Mrs. Watson, and Lord Ingram having to solve a murder that Inspector Treadles has been accused of. I adore this series and highly recommend it.
  10. The Bounty by Janet Evanovich and Steve Hamilton: The latest in the Fox and O’Hare series focuses on FBI agent Kate and master burglar Nick, their respective fathers, and a heist that leads back to Nazi Germany. It’s better than the last book in the series, but lacks the joy of the books co-authored by Lee Goldberg.

And with that, we’re caught up through my April reads.

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September 27, 2021


final september weekending
posted by soe 1:41 am

Out at the Library for Art All Night

Saturday started with sleeping in, which I needed, but which also ate into my time outside. This is why it’s helpful to have a backyard or a beach. You can throw on a bare minimum of clothing and go back to sleep outdoors. But I did eventually get myself out and down to the garden, where my harvest included two sweet potatoes, most of the rest of this year’s basil, two types of sorrel, and several tomatoes, peppers, and tomatillos,

I met up with Rudi and we took ourselves up to Petworth, to one of our local bookshops, which was having a sale. I bought the short story collection Black Boy Joy and a collection of poems written on bus commutes. After stopping by the house to feed the cat and drop off the car, we took ourselves out to Art All Night, the annual celebration of late-night art. We visited an embassy and an art space in our neighborhood and then metro’ed downtown to the park by my old office, which has been rehabbed for the past year. They’ve done a beautiful job of updating the space, and if they can find a way to let the homeless use it unimpeded, I’ll be totally pleased with their work. We ate some jollof rice from a Nigerian food truck, enjoyed some music, and then took ourselves off to the library.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is our main library and reopened during the pandemic after a major renovation to the Mies Van der Rohe building. And after a public dedication during normal business hours, they opened it up for alternative programming for the festival, with juggling, community performances, a Black art pop-up, a film screening, and an outdoor hip hop show by Black Alley.

Today was chiller, with a trip to the farmers market and later to a farm, where I picked apples, and the Tonys concert. Overall, a good weekend, but over too soon.

How was yours?

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September 26, 2021


a sign of the times
posted by soe 1:55 am

Big Acorn Cap

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September 25, 2021


next week
posted by soe 3:01 pm

As of today, the sun is setting at 7 here in D.C. I haven’t wrapped up work before that time all week, so I’m going to have to be very intentional starting this week to shut the computer at the time I’m supposed to, not at the time the work is actually done. (Because, to be honest, the work is never actually done.)

The weather is now pleasant enough to want to be out during daylight hours, so I’m going to need to get up earlier and try to get a walk or cup of tea in the park in before my workday begins. And then I’m going to need to scurry out to the garden or to the towpath for a bike ride or to the only cafe with evening hours on this side of town after it’s supposed to end. Because if I go straight through my favorite season without ever seeing the sun on weekdays, it’s going to be a huge problem.

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