Rambling (Wo)man

I assume it’s snowing out there by now. I can’t confirm with my own reportage, because I’ve spent most of the day in bed. Yes, that Creeping Crud came roaring in on all cylinders overnight, so my day has mostly been about sleeping, hydration, a bit of iPad gaming, trying to read and not having the clear-headedness for that, medication, more hydration, and yes, more sleeping.

Not exactly the kind of day brimming with writing material. But I don’t want to drag my achy, germ-ridden body across the house to get the “box o’ writing prompts,” either.

So what’s a gal to do?

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Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness by Marie Turell Soderberg

  • PopSugar #44: read a book during the season it’s set in

I’m trying to recall when I first learned of the concept of hygge. A couple years ago, I guess. I don’t remember the exact circumstances–it was on the Internet, obviously, but I can’t be more specific than that. Some item somewhere. A link to Facebook? A book review of The Year of Living Danishly?  Gaia knows.

What I do recall is the deep sense of recognition, that aha! moment, when I saw the term and its definition. Hygge–which, roughly speaking, unpacks to an amalgamation of coziness, contentment, enjoyment of life’s simple pleasures–is about the most natural habitat for this homebody duck as I could possibly imagine.

I think I learned the concept a tiny bit ahead of the big hygge craze in 2016-2017, but I did take the opportunity that craze provided to get a couple books about hygge into my home library. (Which, in typical fashion, I never got around to reading.)

But Mr. Mezzo and I have been intentionally doing things this winter to “get our hygge on,” so when I saw this particular category on the PopSugar list, I knew exactly what I wanted to choose for my “season.” And so I pulled out the prettiest of my hygge books and put it on my “challenge shelf.”

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The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

  • Started as a Bonus Read
  • SWAPPING IN: Book Riot #5: By a journalist or about journalism

If I’d been a tiny bit more on the ball, I could have swapped this into my list before I posted my review of Alyssa Mastromonaco. Oh well: hindsight is eagle-eyed, but my foresight is sometimes more akin to a bat wearing a blindfold. C’est la vie.

Anyhoo, Michael Lewis’s journalistic bonafides look a lot more, well, journalistic than Mastromonaco’s, so I’m glad to have a better choice for a weak category so quickly.

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Who Thought this Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco

  • ATY #2: One of the 5 W’s in the title
  • PopSugar #16: Question in the title
  • Book Riot #5: By a journalist or about journalism (reaching)

And just like that, I’m caught up again! (At least for now.) As I predicted, the memoir I had lined up for Week 2 did go quickly, so I’m back on schedule, a status I predict will be maintained till the wheels fall off the cart in March.*

But hey, might as well celebrate being on track for whatever window of time I can claim that virtuous status.

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The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart

  • ATY #1: Nominated for or won an award in a genre I enjoy
  • Book Riot #3: Book by a woman or AOC that won a literary award in 2018

I expect it’ll take me a few go-rounds to figure out exactly how I want to format this year’s “book reviews,” but I’m pretty sure I’ll keep using the same primary components:

  1. a reminder about what challenge category(ies) the title checks off–or if it’s a bonus read
  2. my thoughts/opinions about the book itself
  3. any personally relevant stories or anecdotes about choosing the book or why it speaks to me

That last element is the least traditional, but I can’t see myself completely eschewing those sorts of stories. Especially when this first book has already gifted me with that kind of story: one about the power of unintended consequences.

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No, I’m Not Keeping ALL My Books

Wow, that Marie Kondo book thing hit a bit of a nerve. In addition to the article I posted two days ago, I’ve seen numerous more hot takes since then, from both sides of the “give away your books” debate (yes, purge ’em and no, keep ’em), to snarky twitter-meme roundups (one and two). They been propagated (and re-propagated) by enough of my book-loving friends on social media, that I can understand why a different friend of mine threatened to cut a bitch if she (to paraphrase)

saw that “Marie Kondo is wrong keep all your old books including the Y2K guide to AOL” article one more time.

Okay, she just promised to yell a lot, not to “cut a bitch.” Maybe that’s what I’ll do if I have to see these articles too many more times.

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