After a few glorious 60-degree days (Walks! Bike rides! Reading on the porch!), the cold blew in and just won’t leave. Early last week it snowed 8 inches, which is enough to shut down a city in the Upper South, and it still won’t melt. We’ve been playing Monopoly, drinking tea, and reading, all of which are lovely … but I’m yearning for spring.
What I’m watching
I’m watching Downton Abbey again, but the season’s almost over. I’m hoping (against hope, I fear) they can pull together a satisfying finish.
You know we’ve been watching Project Runway. Thanks to your suggestions, the kids and I have fallen in love with MasterChef Junior. They love the show, and I love how they’re creating their own “challenges” in our kitchen. I haven’t cooked dinner in a week: my 9-year-old is doing it.
What I’m reading
I’m well on my way to breezing through two authors’ whole catalogs.
My Oyster trial (get yours here) gave me the push I needed to finally read Lisa Genova’s Still Alice. I finished that and promptly blew through Left Neglected and Love Anthony, and I’m getting ready to start Inside the O’Briens (coming April 7.)
I mentioned to a friend that I was reading The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos (coming March 15) and she gushed over Love Walked In. While I was reading Love Walked In, another friend emailed me about Falling Together. Now that I’ve finished Falling Together, I might just finish reading everything she’s ever written. I just borrowed Belong to Me from the library …
I’m also reading writing books. Lots and lots of writing books. My local writing buddy recommended Second Sight (useful despite its YA focus), and a big stack of books arrived yesterday.
In my ears
Will and I went to hear Ben Folds with our local orchestra (so great) at the beginning of the month and I’ve been listening to his stuff all month.
I feared Middlemarch might drag as an audiobook; it didn’t. (1.5x speed didn’t hurt.) I feared Faithful Place might be too overwhelming for my HSP self as an audio book, but 5 hours in (out of 16) I’m enjoying it so far—not that there isn’t some cringing involved. Like French’s other Dublin Murder Squad mysteries, there’s serious family dysfunction, violence, and f-bombs galore. But the narrator is terrific.
Can’t wait for
Rifle Paper Co. announced they’re adding to the Puffin in Bloom collection with this dreamy version of Alice in Wonderland. Coming this November. I’m not much of a book collector, but I couldn’t resist the first four books in the series. I hope there are more to come …
On the blog
Books that changed the way I live, love, and parent. Saying that a book has actually changed the way I engage with the world is a huge compliment. These 7 books are special because they have fundamentally altered the way I live, love, and parent—on a daily basis.
7 ways I’m minimizing decision fatigue in my daily life. A few obvious and not-so-obvious ways I’m streamlining daily decisions to boost creativity and productivity.
Every ten years you have to remake everything. “Sometimes, you break things on purpose so you can reassemble them, stronger this time. Sometimes, they are broken for you, and you have to put the pieces back together.”
The books I can’t stop recommending. 9 past and current favorites I find myself recommending all the time. (Plus, my thoughts on Oyster’s Netflix-for-books subscription service.)
What’s saving my life right now. Even though most of us can easily articulate what’s killing us, few of us pay attention to what’s giving us life. This is my list of the life-giving things that are getting me through this hardest season. You all share yours, too, and I loved reading through your lists.
Best of the web
This giant poster plots all the many fiction genres. I could get lost in this … until it makes my head explode, which is a real possibility.
Ballet-dancers’ hardest moves in slow-motion. Incredible. Best line: “Not everyone can do this.”
40 tiny tasks for a richer reading life. #4. #15. #16. But not #18. At least not till the snow melts.
MasterChef Junior: the secret ingredients are moppets and empathy. “The funny thing about this show, though, is that they’re kids, and they’re all pretty nice people who have a legitimate skill (that would be cooking). That gives the audience a chance to enjoy some of the really fun things about competition shows (growth, personality, triumphs) without the bad things about competition shows (backbiting, unpleasantness, resentment).”
What Ira Glass explains in one minute will change your life forever. “All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good.”
What were you into in February?
Linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into lately.