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broodings from the burrow

January 30, 2024

top ten new-to-me authors i read in 2023
posted by soe 1:15 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl invites us to share ten authors we discovered in 2023.

Here are 10 of the 31 new-to-me authors I read last year, all of whom I recommend:

  1. GennaRose Nethercott (Thistlefoot)
  2. Martha Wells (All Systems Red)
  3. Sangu Mandanna (The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches)
  4. Travis Baldree (Legends & Lattes)
  5. Hannah Nicole Maehrer (Assistant to the Villain)
  6. Richard Osman (The Thursday Murder Club)
  7. Colleen Oakley (The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise)
  8. Dave Grohl (The Storyteller)
  9. Suzanne Park (The Christmas Clash)
  10. Sher Lee (Fake Dates and Mooncakes)

How about you? Who were some authors you read for the first time last year?

Category: books. There is/are 5 Comments.

January 26, 2024

pep talk, making the ask, and walking
posted by soe 1:34 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I started to get anxious about playing in a competitive league for the first time in ages. What if I suck? Will this group of pickup pals regret having invited me to join them? But I reminded myself that they did ask me, even knowing my weaknesses (because you can’t play with someone multiple times a week and not know their flaws on the court), and that my strengths include that I will show up consistently and play my hardest every time, and those are big plusses. We lost our first match and I made a few bad plays. But I also made some good ones, just like everyone else.

2. I decided, bravely and rather spur of the moment, to invite an acquaintance out for supper the other night. She accepted, and we had a nice time and are planning to do it again.

3. I walked back under sunny skies from the Cathedral last weekend, my longest stroll of the winter. It felt good to stretch my legs, even if I would have liked some of the sidewalks to have been better tended to after the snow from the day before. And it was fun to start an audiobook in a series I enjoy while I was on the move.

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

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January 23, 2024

delayed gratification reads from 2023
posted by soe 1:37 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl could be interpreted through a lens of regret — books we meant to read last year and didn’t get around to. Instead, I’m going to consider them delayed gratification or prolonged anticipation reads — ten books that I put on my to-be-read list, were published, or came into my possession last year and that I still get to look forward to diving into:

  1. Brian Selznick’s Big Tree
  2. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  3. David Grann’s The Wager
  4. Lies and Other Love Languages by Sonali Dev
  5. Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett
  6. Anna-Marie McLemore’s Blanca & Roja
  7. Woman Without Shame by Sandra Cisneros
  8. In the Lives of Puppets by T.J. Klune
  9. Bill Watterson’s The Mysteries
  10. A Tempest at Sea by Sherry Thomas

How about you? What books do you still get to look forward to that you were sure would be read by now?

Edited to add: I went back and looked at the past four times topics of this sort have been covered, and I’ve read 8 of the ~35 books I shared at the time. Oops.

Category: books. There is/are 7 Comments.

January 19, 2024

tickets, not it, and marshmallow world
posted by soe 1:25 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. We have booked a trip for my birthday next month.

2. It snowed several inches on Monday, and Rudi was around to shovel. (This was particularly beautiful because he will *not* be around for Friday’s snow.)

3. With snow still gently falling, a day off for many people already, and nearly two years since we’d had any accumulation, folks had a lot of fun playing outdoors. I watched kids (and parents) sledding down on on the “beach.” At at the Circle, one very excited Bernese alternated between flopping and rolling around on the ground and tugging on its leash to pull its adult owner and its child on a sled around faster and faster.

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

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January 16, 2024

bookish goals for 2024
posted by soe 1:59 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl asks us to share our bookish goals for 2024. But first, let me do a final touch of 2023’s goals:

Last year I finished 52 books, 12 of which I own. The other 40 were from the library, including 14 audiobooks. (Thank god for libraries!) Nearly a third were from diverse authors and about a quarter by authors who were not Americans (including four in translation — three from Japanese and one from Swedish). Five books were nonfiction, one was poetry, and the rest were fiction (10 of which were graphic novels).

I failed completely at only two and generally hit the mark on most of the rest, so, yay!

Now, for this year:

  1. Read 52 books.
  2. Review said books here on the blog, even if it’s just a couple of sentences. And get any best of lists — definitely 2023, but did I post one for 2022? — published here, too.
  3. Buy books in another country. (More info on this goal coming soon!)
  4. Read at least two classics, including a Russian novel.
  5. Finish the School Library Journal’s Top 100 Children’s Books. (Maybe I have 15 left to go, none of which were at my local library branch when I checked for them last month. (The system has them, so I just need to place some holds.))
  6. Read 13 books from my own collection, including at least five I’ve had for more than two years.
  7. Listen to 20 audiobooks.
  8. Read at least three books of poetry.
  9. Read at least five books in translation.
  10. Get all my books onto shelves (which will necessitate donating some to make space).

How about you? Do you have bookish goals for this year?

Category: books. There is/are 6 Comments.

January 12, 2024

old friend, finalists, and expedited indeed
posted by soe 1:14 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. It’s been ages (like since spring), but BW and I finally got a chance to have a nice, long call to catch up.

2. Our volleyball team beat the #2 team on a solid hit by one of my teammates who is sometimes reluctant to spike the ball to advance to the league finals. We lost that game, but the four of us who went out for dinner afterwards agreed that it was a good night regardless.

3. My new passport has arrived in record time. (Literally — it took a week.)

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

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