sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 28, 2023

top ten works of speculative fiction on my tbr list
posted by soe 1:10 am

Top Ten Tuesday logo

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl offers a topic of our choosing relating to genre of our choosing. Here are ten works of speculative fiction (the catch-all for fantasy, science fiction, dystopian, and other novels of “not the real world”) that are on my to-be-read list:

  1. A Restless Truth by Freya Marske
  2. In the Lives of Puppets by T.J. Klune
  3. Kelly Barnhill’s When Women Were Dragons
  4. The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal
  5. Dhonielle Clayton’s The Marvellers
  6. Angie Thomas’ Nic Blake and the Remarkables
  7. Aurora’s End by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  8. The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
  9. A.J. Sherwood’s How I Stole the Princess’s White Knight and Turned Him to Villainy
  10. Red Side Story by Jasper Fforde

How about you? Are there other works of speculative fiction you think I should add?

Category: books. There is/are 6 Comments.

February 24, 2023

abloom, time outside, and leaving something
posted by soe 1:55 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I know much of the country is under snow and ice and a cold snap, but we hit nearly 80 today. The daffs and croci are in full bloom, the early cherries and magnolia have popped, and I saw hyacinth today in at least one south-facing yard.

2. I shut down three patios today in my quest to spend as much time outside as possible. The last one, my local yuppie grocery store & bar, has the decided advantage that when you’re on their patio as they’re closing up, they’ll offer you complimentary loaves of bread if they have any left they need to get rid of. Plus, they have picnic tables, so if you aren’t quite ready to head home when they depart, you can stay and read a little longer.

3. I’ve decided not to take part in Sock Madness this year after all. The qualification round pattern is gorgeous, and I’ll definitely knit it at some point, although maybe as mittens instead of socks. Much of it seemed fiddly and my brain said that it didn’t want to make fiddly right now. So I’ve pulled out my in-progress brioche shawl and will also start some green stripey socks to knit on when I’m watching anime and reading subtitles. I’m feeling a lot lighter since making that decision.

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

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

February 21, 2023

top ten favorite book heroines
posted by soe 2:03 am

Top Ten Tuesday logo
In this week’s Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl, we’re invited to share ten of our favorite literary heroines. Here are some of mine, all of whom could be described as prickly, quirky, loyal, and independent:

  1. Meg Murray from Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and subsequent related novels
  2. Thursday Next from Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair and subsequent books
  3. Elizabeth Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  4. Petrova Fossil from Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
  5. Jo March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  6. Xan from The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
  7. Charlotte Holmes from A Scarlet Woman and the other Lady Sherlock novels by Sherry Thomas
  8. Phryne Fisher from Cocaine Blues and the rest of the series by Kerry Greenwood
  9. Anne Shirley from L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and the other books in the series
  10. Felicity Pickle from A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

How about you? Who are some of your favorite literary heroines, those characters you’d love to have as IRL friends?

Category: books. There is/are 5 Comments.

February 18, 2023

presidents’ day weekend to-do list
posted by soe 1:33 am

Things I’m hoping to get to this long mid-February weekend:

  • Get to the library
  • Buy a King Cake
  • Play volleyball with friends
  • Start my Sock Madness sock
  • Take pictures of the socks I finally finished today
  • Do laundry
  • Put away the Christmas decorations (I know, I know!)
  • Buy molasses
  • Mop the kitchen and bathroom floors
  • Write a best-of 2022 post (again, I know!)
  • Finish reading a book
  • Maybe plant some peas?

How about you? What are you hoping to fill your weekend with?

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February 17, 2023

valentines, flowers, and a happy birthday indeed
posted by soe 1:28 am

Birthday Squared

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I made homemade Valentine’s cards for the volleyball team, with puns and freestyle drawings on the front and personal notes on the back about what I love about playing with them on the back:

Volleyball Team Valentines

Overall, they were a hit, and I was surprisingly pleased with how well they turned out.

2. In the week between visits to Palisades, an entire hollow of snowdrops appeared as if fairies conjured them in the warm February overnight.

3. Tuesday was my birthday, and Rudi, my family, and my friends made sure it was a fun one. I got lots of greetings, including from some friends who never send messages. My mom sent an abundance of lovely presents and a delicious homemade strawberry mousse cake south with Rudi. And Rudi and I spent a couple hours bowling, visited a yarn shop and a library, stopped at several coffee shops to cash in birthday freebies and to soak up the unseasonable warm sunshine, and pizza at my favorite restaurant for supper. It was a good final birthday of my first half-century and marked a positive way to start my fiftieth trip around the sun.

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

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February 10, 2023

active, time to chat, and yuca fries
posted by soe 1:44 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I spent a solid half hour playing soccer (poorly) with elementary school kids as part of my volunteer gig. Afterwards, I still felt lively enough to go for a stroll.

2. A friend and I do the 20-minute walk to and from our volleyball games together twice a week.

3. My favorite Cuban restaurant has opened an outpost in Dupont Circle. I picked up yuca fries and garlic aioli to supplement supper the other night.

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

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