Happy Christmas Eve’s Eve! I can’t believe the day is upon us – this entire month has moved so quickly. But since it’s Wednesday, I’m joining up with Kat to share my weekly reading and stitching projects. I had a week of 5 star finishes and played with some beautiful fabric. Please keep reading to see what I’ve been enjoying!
Finished Reading This Week:
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
I’m going to be bold and say that this was my favorite book of the year. I couldn’t stop reading! This is about Gifty, a brilliant 20-something neuroscientist who is researching how to stop addiction. She grew up in Alabama within an immigrant family – her beloved older brother and parents were born in Ghana. As a young child, Gifty was deeply rooted in her evangelical community. As an adult and a scientist, Gifty grapples with her early religious identity and what it means for her now. She also thinks about how racism affected her family and contributed to her brother’s addiction and eventual overdose of opiates. This was beautifully written and thoughtful. A future re-read! Also – a lot of this book takes place in Gifty’s lab, which made me think about the scientists working on the coronavirus vaccines, so it felt like a timely tie-in!
A Promised Land by Barack Obama
Oh, President Obama. A Promised Land chronicles Obama’s campaign through the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound – part 2 is forthcoming. Listening on audio was an excellent choice – he narrates, so it’s like sitting in an armchair, in front of a fire, and listening to all of his stories. He also does accents and little impressions, which are perfect. A Promised Land was a much needed glimpse into his life in the White House, a nuanced take on world issues while following an internal moral compass, and a walk down memory lane. It also felt really raw and honest in some places, which was refreshing. I can’t wait until the next part is released!
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab
This was just plain fun. In the 1700s, Addie LaRue makes a deal with the devil. She wants time to explore the world, so he gives it to her. She will be immortal until she’s ready to trade in her soul to him. The trade-off: she’s cursed to be forgotten by everyone she ever meets. This makes things like getting a job, making money, and living any kind of normal life difficult. But throughout the centuries, Addie finds ways to make do. Her face shows up in countless works of art, her melodies find their ways into classical pieces of music, and she spends multiple lifetimes learning ancient languages and reading books in their original versions. Until one day. 300 years after she makes a deal, a handsome young man remembers her on their second encounter.
Stitching this Week:
I finished my Patchwork Swoon quilt top! Friends, I am so pleased. Thanks to the jelly roll, this came together so quickly! This project was addictive and I found myself itching to go down to the basement all of the time to sew a few seams. I’m already thinking about how I want to quilt it… I think I’m going to have to break out some free motion quilting, but I haven’t even attempted that in nearly a decade. So I’m nervous.
(I keep calling this “Scrappy Swoon,” and I have no idea where I got that. Sorry!)
The next few days will be full of cooking and cleaning. Last night I finished wrapping presents. I finally mixed the gingerbread dough yesterday and today we’ll roll it out, bake, and decorate our gingerbread people! This afternoon I’m planning to mix another batch of sugar cookie dough and we’ll do the same tomorrow. Plus – all of the other cooking that I’m going to work on in the next few days (baking bread, preparing breakfast casseroles, pies, prepping veggies for cooking on Friday, etc). So I’m not sure if I’ll make it back here on Christmas morning or not. If I don’t, then I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season! Please stay safe, warm, and happy!