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Lazy Days

I love this time of year. For me, summer is all about water and books. I always take a few weeks off over Christmas and into early January, so that I can flop. I am a total water baby - I love to swim and I will stay in the water for ages, until my fingers and toes are pruny and my nose and cheeks are pink, no matter how much sunscreen I’m wearing. My country boy husband is always slightly perplexed by my want of a swim, several times a day, every day the week, even after more than 30 years together. Don’t get me wrong, he likes a dip when it’s hot, but he’s often happy to wander up and down the beach or throw a stick into the water for Chippie, while I float and try to gauge how long before he’s bored and I need to get out. It’s raining this afternoon though… shame, as it’s humid and I’d love a swim. Ah well, theres always tomorrow!

I started my Goodreads 2024 Goals list on January 2. Last year my goal was to read 24 books - 2 books a month. I was a teenager who never moved unless she had a book in her hand - even walking between classes at school I would have my novel out, and read while I walked. Even after I had kids I would read late into the night after they were asleep. In the last ten years though the business has sucked all my time into its hungry maw, and I often fall into bed late after sewing all night, after sewing all day, to get up and do it all again in the morning. And so, the reading had died a fair bit and I was reading maybe 6 books a year, and I was missing it badly. I don’t usually make New Years Resolutions, because I feel like its a recipe for not keeping them and then feeling bad about it! But last year I DID resolve to read more, and it’s so nice to have my mojo back. I made my goal of 24 books plus a few extra, finishing at 27! So this year I’ve set 30 as my goal and we will see how we go. 

I already finished my first book for 2024, Maggie Nelson’s The Red Parts. It’s about her aunt, who she never met, who was murdered in 1969 in Michigan, just outside of Ann Arbor. For years, it was assumed that she was part of a string of murders by a serial killer known as the Coed Killer, but in 2002, DNA proved otherwise and her real killer was arrested and tried. The book is about the case, but its also about Maggie, and how her aunt’s absence affected her life, her mother’s life and the way she was parented. I enjoy true crime but I think anyone would enjoy this book - while its about a murder, its less about that than a personal essay about loss. I enjoy Maggie’s writing style very much and I was lost in this book. It’s only about 200 pages so it’s not too taxing a time investment if you want to see what you think. If you read it, let me know - I’d love to know what you think!

One of my besties, who lives in Tasmania and so we only “see” each other online, talked me into joining an online book club for 2024. It’s called Books with Bec and Jane. I think there are a few days left before they close the signups if you’re interested. It’s kind of similar to the book club I ran during Covid, in that theres live chats, and chats with the authors, and reading notes and a Facebook group to talk to the other readers. You can join up just for a few months and see if you like it, which is what I did, and you can buy the books yourself if you don’t want to order them. The first book we are reading is Trent Dalton’s new one, Lola in the Mirror. I am absolutely loving it, I can’t put it down! In fact as soon as I finish writing to you, I’m back to it. His characters are so alive, I loved his first book but Lola is way better. Highly recommend.

And next….. next I’m going to read one of these. Has anyone read any of them? Let me know which you think I should dive into first. I’m leaning towards the Zadie Smith, but I’m easily persuaded and will change trajectory at the drop of a hat. Look, squirrel! :D

I’ve started a few new sewing projects too, but I think I will keep you in suspense and tell you about them next week. None of them are for work, mainly because I’m in the throes of finishing the four new books I have coming out at the end of January ( you can see them and preorder them here), and also finishing up the Stop, Thief! BOM quilt so that I can start quilting it. You can sign up for that here, we start on January 15! If you’re not on social media you will have missed the little sneak peek of the border construction that I posted yesterday, so here it is again. The seaweed looking block next to it is part of a quilt that I’m making for my son and his partner at their request, inspired by the paper cut artworks of Henri Matisse. More about that one as it goes along too. 

Happy New Year Smites. I’m so glad you’re here with me, and together there’s lots of fun stuff to look forward to in 2024! See you next week, stay safe

Sarah x

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