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Currently | Lonely Hearts, Brussels Sprouts, and the Oligarchy



Briefly | I was planning to do a January reading wrap up post this week, but when I sat down to write it I realized I only finished two books last month – A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab in print and Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick in audio. It’s not the most auspicious way to start off my 2017 reading life, but I guess that means things can only improve from here.

Reading | One of my goals for February is to read for 30 minutes every day. The two books I’m jumping between right now are The Power of Meaning by Emily Esfahani Smith (a look at the four pillars of leading a meaningful life) and A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (the second book in the Shades of Magic trilogy). They’re both comfort reads, in different ways, which feels exactly right for this strange season of life.

Listening | The last couple of months have been all about podcasts. I recently discovered another NPR gem, Hidden Brain, about many of the unseen forces that shape our lives. A November 2015 episode called “Lonely Hearts” hit me right in the feels this week.

Watching | I’m really enjoying PBS’s new Masterpiece show on Queen Victoria, and I’m excited that The Magicians came back on SyFy last week. And although it was kind of twisty and dark, I really liked the ending of the first season of The Good Place, which wrapped up a couple of weeks ago (and is coming back for another season!).

Cooking | Over the weekend, I made this creamy bacon bow-tie pasta with Brussels sprouts recipe that Meg (Write Meg) recommended on her blog. It was excellent – so delicious and simple that I may just buy the cookbook it came from.

Missing | I’ve been in my new, long-term living situation since October, but I still haven’t gotten around to getting a new library card. I miss browsing at the library a lot, so I’m hoping to remedy that situation this month.

Hating | I can’t even really think of where to start on this one. The current political situation is bananas and infuriating and I can’t imagine trying to sustain this level of outrage for the next four years. That’s really all I can muster up about that. I put the cartoon from Poorly Drawn Lines at the top of this post in my daily to do list notebook last August as a joke… it’s not really so funny anymore!

Loving | Losing the boyfriend the way I did has radically changed my perspective on the world, in both bad and good ways. One of the good things has been more gratitude for the people in my life who have stepped up in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I’m trying to find ways to recognize, reciprocate and remain grateful for that.

Bragging | The newspaper I worked for until last August earned a first place general excellence award in our state’s annual community newspaper contest. Awards don’t always mean much, but it felt really good to have the work during my last year at the paper – a year that was challenging in a whole host of ways – recognized as being really good.

Promoting | The second edition of the nonfiction newsletter I’m writing for Book Riot, True Story, went out on Friday. If you haven’t signed up, you can do that at this link. And if you missed it, you can read the first edition, a big juicy list of 15 of my favorite fun and fascinating nonfiction books, at this link.

And that’s all I’ve got for now. Happy February, and happy reading! What are you excited about diving into right now?

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Kailana February 5, 2017, 7:15 am

    I am really looking forward to A Conjuring of Light in a couple weeks! Really enjoying the trilogy and excited to see what happens next. Hope February is a great month for you!

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) February 5, 2017, 8:27 am

    That pasta dish looks outstanding! Congratulations on the award!

  • Nupur February 5, 2017, 8:42 am

    I love Shankar Vedantam’s Hidden Brain podcast! The pasta sounds easy and wonderful. I have been enjoying cauliflower cheese soup these days.

  • Jenny @ Reading the End February 5, 2017, 1:49 pm

    Yayyyyyy another Good Place fan! I love that show so much, and I was thrilled to see it got renewed for a second season. Everyone in the cast is just gold, and I can’t wait to see what it’s like now that we know Michael’s real agenda. I also just binged The Magicians this week and liked that a lot (was glad to be forewarned about the rape scene, cause it was dark as hell), so keep me posted about how the second season goes!

  • Amelia February 6, 2017, 1:41 pm

    I can’t wait for the second season of The Good Place. There are so many questions left to answer! Queen Victoria is on my to watch list, which is starting to grow just as long as my to read list.

    I did miss the newsletter and have now signed up!

  • iliana February 7, 2017, 4:36 pm

    That is awesome about the award! I’m glad you are finding some comfort in books, podcasts and good food. By the way, last year you had posted a link to some overnight oats recipes and I am hooked on those. So thank you!

  • Kristen M. February 8, 2017, 2:45 am

    I finally watched the first episode of Victoria this week and really enjoyed it. Lately I’ve been liking books but not loving them so I’m hoping February brings me something really special that I can get lost in.

  • Michelle February 10, 2017, 11:49 am

    I made that same recipe of Meg’s a few weeks ago. It was DELICIOUS – and I am not a Brussels sprouts fan. When I make it again, I’ll probably end up going with asparagus instead because my family pretty much refused to eat it. I didn’t mind because I got all the leftovers!

    I know exactly what you mean about keeping up the outrage and call to action over the next four years. It is at unsustainable levels, but there is a real fear that holding back would mean submitting and who knows what that would bring. I have no idea anymore what is going on in the world or why, and it is terrifying.

    I hope you get that library card soon and can get back to browsing. There is nothing like a good library browse to make a person feel better!

  • Unruly Reader February 11, 2017, 10:01 am

    Kim, it’s so good to hear your voice! I think of you often, and I’m so glad there are some bright spots. Congratulations on the newspaper award — That Is EXCELLENT.

    And I’m super excited about your getting your new library card. It’s like a free gift you get to give to yourself, and it’s a gift that keeps on giving. (Librarian geek-out there… sorry not sorry.)

  • Julie @ Smiling Shelves February 11, 2017, 9:25 pm

    I really enjoyed A Darker Shade of Magic, but I haven’t gotten around to the sequel yet. I’ll have to remedy that soon!

  • Tina February 17, 2017, 7:28 am

    You just have to get a library card! It’s a portal to so many good books and movies, as if you didn’t know that 😊

    I want to try the bow tie pasta you wrote about, will check the blog for the recipe. I just finished the 20th book in the DCI Banks series by Peter Robinson, about to start The Girl Before.

  • susan February 20, 2017, 10:19 pm

    Congrats on the newspaper award. I’m listening to the Lynsey Addario memoir right now — which I believe you recommended, so thanks. I’m liking this book about her career in photojournalism. Hope you are well.

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