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Currently | The Shortest Day of the Year

currently december 21 2014

Briefly | It has been an eventful week! A new restaurant opened in town (this is a huge deal for a town our size), work was very stressful, and we had a plumbing issue in our basement. Our landlord is coming to look at it again today… hopefully it’s an easy fix.

Time and Place | 8:30 a.m. on my comfy chair in the living room. My office is unusually chilly this morning.

Eating and Drinking |  Black tea and homemade chocolate chip cookies, the breakfast of champions.

Reading | Since fall tv is on hiatus, I’ve spent a ton of time reading — and my books finished this week reflect that! Continuing on last week’s Laura Vanderkam/time and productivity binge, I finished What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, a collect of three shorter pieces she wrote looking at best tips for maximizing your morning, your weekend, and your time at work. All these ideas are dovetailing nicely into what, I think, will be my One Little Word for 2015 (my 2014 word was “curate”) — more on that after the new year.

On the fiction side, I finished Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, a really beautiful book about family, honesty and identity, framed by the challenges of being a mixed race family in the late 1970s. I had so many moments where I just felt heartbroken for these characters and the way their personal anxieties were hurting the people they love most — exactly like what real families do. And finally, I started in on my Christmas comfort reads with a reread of Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (the American title is The Golden Compass).

Watching | Last night, the boyfriend and I watched The One I Love, a weird little indie movie with Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss. It was really a fun movie to watch,if you ignore the fact that the way they try to explain all the weirdness makes absolutely no sense.

Cooking | I was busy in the kitchen yesterday — lasagna, chocolate chip cookies, and sugar cookie dough for cutout cookies today. It was fun!

Blogging | Last week I shared my favorite fiction of 2014. This week I’ll have my favorite nonfiction of 2015 post up, then I’m taking a little blogging break for the holidays.

Promoting | I really like the way Jenny (Reading the End) describes her experience of trying to read more diversely, specifically how it affects her book-finding habits. This is what I hoped to say in my post on this subject, just much more clearly than I managed.

Pondering | I’m still trying to decide what I’m going to throw in my bag for my trip home for Christmas. Book friend Rebecca Schinsky offered this formula for travel book packing:

Although we’re driving and space isn’t really an issue, I’m still trying to limit the number of books I stuff in my suitcase. So far I have The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass (absorbing novels, second and third in a trilogy), The Republic of Imagination by Azar Nafisi (audio), and The Unspeakable by Meghan Daum (essays). I’ll probably grab at least one more book, probably nonfiction, but I don’t quite know what yet.

Hating and Loving | I hate that there is so little sunlight today — the sunrise was at 8:01 a.m. and the sunset will be at 4:42 p.m. where I live — but I’m glad that we’re now up the upswing to longer days.

Loving | A new Mexican restaurant opened in town (this is a huge deal), so I went out for dinner and drinks with my boss on Monday night. They had the best margaritas, in many flavors.

Anticipating | The boyfriend and I, likely with Hannah in tow, are headed to my parents’ house for Christmas on Wednesday afternoon. His parents are joining us this year, so it’ll be a big, different celebration. I’m excited.

Happy Sunday! What are you reading today? What are your reading plans over the holiday?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Bryan G. Robinson December 21, 2014, 8:55 am

    I’m listening to a song on the radio that just began “Sun, sun arising…” And yet no sun. So I’m with you on not being thrilled with this being the shortest day of the year. I still plan to pack in a lot of reading (if napping doesn’t “intrude” first).

    I’m planning on doing a one word again for 2015, although right now it’s leaning toward two. It might be two. I’ve never been one for following the “rules” anyway. Plus I’m a bit confused. There’s a One Word project online and now a One Little Word? I think I’m going to start a project: Just Two Words. 😉

    • Kim December 21, 2014, 9:17 am

      One Little Word is a workshop that a scrapbooking/memory keeping blogger has been hosting for like five or six years now — it’s where I learned about the concept. One Word must be similar? In any case, lots of ways to get at the same idea — I bet no one will care if you pick two words 🙂

  • Belle Wong December 21, 2014, 10:21 am

    I’ve been pondering my One Word, too. So many options – I’m hoping they will all come together into one just-right word. I really want to read 168 Hours – I just put a hold on it, plus a few of Vanderkam’s other books. I’ve been noticing I’m much happier when I’m feeling productive!

    • Kim December 22, 2014, 9:09 pm

      Laura Vanderkam is great. I love her no nonsense approach to time and money — it’s all stuff that I need to hear.

  • Sandy December 21, 2014, 11:23 am

    I did a word for 2014…not officially but a bunch of us at the trainer did it and put our words up on the wall there. Pretty cool, even though I’m certain I did not live it very well. I probably need to come up with a new one for this year so I at least have a goal. I am personally VERY excited about your favorite non-fiction for the year. You are the expert!

    • Kim December 22, 2014, 9:10 pm

      I didn’t always live my word this year, but it was nice to have it sitting around as a guide while I was making decisions — I felt like it helped set a tone for how I approached things. I’m hoping to do that again.

  • Vasilly December 21, 2014, 11:35 am

    It is good that we’re on the upswing of winter now. As much as I love the season, I hate the long nights. I’ve spent the last few days thinking about my one word for 2015 (“leap” was the word for 2014). I think it’ll be “bloom” but I’m also leaning toward having two words instead of one. “Courage” may be the second word. Looking forward to finding out what you’re focusing on in 2015.

    • Kim December 22, 2014, 9:12 pm

      I hate the way it is already dark when I leave work… it feels impossible to get any sunlight until the days get longer.

  • Shaina December 21, 2014, 12:10 pm

    Your One Little Word from this year was wonderfully selected! I can’t wait to see what you chose to define 2015. 🙂

    Happy holidays!

  • BermudaOnion(Kathy) December 21, 2014, 2:50 pm

    I’ll be glad to have the shortest day behind us too. I hope y’all have a wonderful Christmas!

  • Leah @ Books Speak Volumes December 21, 2014, 3:45 pm

    Have a nice trip home! The boyfriend and I will be heading to my parents house (2 hours away) Christmas morning and staying until afternoon the next day. We’re debating whether to bring the kitten (unsure of how he’d react to my parents’ cat and dog) or just leave him home with a big bowl of food. Have you traveled with Hannah before?

    • Kim December 21, 2014, 5:14 pm

      I have traveled with Hannah a few times, usually if we’ll be gone more than about three or four days. She’s ok at home alone for a day or two, as long as she’s got a couple bowls of food (she’s a good eater, so I don’t worry about her stuffing her face or anything). I brought her home last Christmas (six days, I think) and she was ok. My sister’s cat was also there and they didn’t get along super well, but managed to tolerate each other by the end.

      I guess it really depends how anxious versus destructive you think the kitten would get. Hannah doesn’t do well her in her carrier or new environments, so I try to not put her through that when it doesn’t seem necessary. My sister’s cat is pretty chill (and can be destructive if left at home alone too long) and so she brings him places a lot.

  • Jenny @ Reading the End December 21, 2014, 8:07 pm

    I’m super glad you liked the post on reading diversely. I didn’t feel at all confident that I’d managed to say the things I wanted to say about it. All this past week I’ve been thinking of better ways I could have said what I wanted to say — but alas! It’s already published! :p

    • Kim December 22, 2014, 9:12 pm

      I do that all the time… but don’t worry, it made sense to me!

  • Jennine G. December 22, 2014, 7:07 am

    I am in school today while most other area schools are already done for the break…I could use one of those drinks right now! Lol!

    • Kim December 22, 2014, 9:13 pm

      Out district had to add in a day today because we already had one snow day this year… ridiculous!

  • Jeanne December 22, 2014, 9:25 am

    As always, I love the photo of Hannah! We had a gift exchange with friends last night, and I got the new John Scalzi novel to take to my brother’s house for our Christmas celebration.

    • Kim December 22, 2014, 9:14 pm

      That sounds excellent! It’s always kind of hard to pick books to read during the holidays. I’ve done YA the last few years and felt like that ended up being a good choice.