I ♥ Monday

Plain Kate by Erin Bow: One of my favorite books this year. It’s a lovely, ominous book with a ghost-story feel. After her father’s death, Plain Kate is feared a witch by the superstitious townsfolk because of her marvelous skill as a wood carver. She bargains with a witch-white: her shadow for her heart’s desire. Her journey as she searches for a new home is magical and sweet and sad. And the prose is just gorgeous; I stopped several times to read bits out loud to my patient husband. Erin Bow is a fantastic wordsmith.

♥ Debut authors. Of the 60 books I’ve read so far this year, 20 have been debuts, and I have at least 10 more waiting on my TBR pile. I love supporting new authors. They are so worth taking a chance on. Five of my very favorite reads this year have been from incredible new authors:  The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (out in December! Don’t worry, I’ll remind you), Plain Kate by Erin Bow (see above), Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves, and Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony.

♥ My neighborhood. We live just a few blocks from the developing H Street neighborhood in DC, and the change in the area since we bought our house last July has been amazing. It was an area devastated by the riots in 1968 and as recently as a few years ago, it was crime-ridden and run-down. Now there are houses being renovated and new restaurants, bars, and shops opening every month. My favorite coffee shop/wine bar, my favorite sushi restaurant, my favorite happy hour, my tattoo artist–these are all on H Street. But we’re also a quick walk to the Eastern Market/Barracks Row neighborhood, where my favorite yoga studio and a bunch of my favorite restaurants and my favorite indie bookstore are all located. Plus there’s the Market itself–where yesterday I refrained from buying jewelry but did get some fantastic fresh smoked mozzarella ravioli.

♥ Earl Grey. I have lots of black tea, including some English Breakfast and some Blackberry Sage, but something about Earl Grey both comforts and wakes me up like nothing else. And since my to-do list today at work is a mile long (three days to my boss’s retirement! two days to my anniversary getaway!), I really need it this morning.

What are you loving today?

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