A Couple Pros of Reading Nonfiction

I don’t read a lot of nonfiction. That sort of vaguely bothers me–I guess I always wanted to be like Rory Gilmore, one of those people who devours all books because I love them so much. (I know I’m not the only one. I’ve read somewhere about a Rory Gilmore book challenge.) But in reality, I like very specific genres, and nonfiction isn’t one of them.

Or, as I should say: most nonfiction isn’t on my list. In recent years, however, I’ve been challenging myself to read a little more widely. And although I don’t expect to ever like nonfiction as much as I like fiction (and particularly my favorite genres), it has some definite pros. A couple of the big ones, for me:

  • Learning something.
  • Depending on what kind of nonfiction you read, it can be a nice reprieve from the frenetic pace of some fiction books. I don’t tend to read harrowing nonfiction–in general, I want books to be vacations/escapes–so that may be part of why it’s easy to take these books slowly.

Anyway, that’s all I have for you today. There’s still a great deal to do, and my brain isn’t really in the right frame to string together a long, coherent post. But before I go back to my to-do list: I hope that Monday is treating you all well, and that you have a splendid week!

Japanese Food to Go (Sacramento)

I was in Sacramento again this past week, and even though I was pretty exhausted, I couldn’t pass up the chance to try a Japanese bakery and a ramen shop that I’d read about on Yelp. (Ah, Yelp. That’s a whole other post.) These are the places I tried:

  • Mahoroba Japanese Bakery (couldn’t find a website, but again: Yelp)
  • Ryujin Ramen House

The bakery was adorable. I got there after 11:00, I think, and there was still a good selection, so I got to try all the things I’d been reading about online. It’s funny, when I lived in Japan, I remember being frustrated by how light everything was. Not to say it wasn’t delicious (obviously I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to obtain Japanese baked goods if I didn’t like them), but sometimes I just wanted a dense chocolate cake or a brownie. So I don’t know, there’s something fitting about taking the time to track down a Japanese bakery now that I’m back in California. Plus, trying new food is always fun, right? It was this time, at least.

My lunch stop that day was Ryujin. Ramen is one of those things that I’ve never been able to finish in one sitting, so getting it to go was a pretty solid option there. And a couple of things stood out with that experience: first of all, the ramen broth was delicious. (I also liked the gyoza, but the ramen broth edged it out slightly as my favorite thing in the order.) Second, the way they packaged the ingredients was phenomenal. You can see in the picture that the noodles and other components were separate from the broth, so nothing got soggy on my trip home. It was a subtly brilliant thing that I wasn’t expecting.

So anyway, that was my outing last week. Next up: tea, food, and/or books, I’m thinking. But we’ll see. In the meantime, I hope you’re all having a wonderful day, and I’ll be back for another post (hopefully) next Monday.

Post Tomorrow!

I’m taking today off, recovering from a busy week, but I’m planning to post something tomorrow. I can’t promise that it will be a big, in-depth post, but there will be pictures. Probably. Assuming I like them, once I’ve gotten them off my camera.

Anyhow, I hope you’re all having a good Monday! Thank you for stopping by, and… zzzzz… sorry, recovering is a very sleepy task.

More Happy Things (Book-Themed)

I’m trekking through a rather long book now, and given that I also have a lot of other things to do, it’s easy for the bookish things to become another item on the checklist, a chore rather than a vacation. So here are some things that make me happy, as I’m reading:

  • Getting to the end of a chapter/section. Especially if a novel is broken up into separate “books”–getting to the end of one of these always feels good.
  • Tallying my progress through the book by fractions or percentages. I know this is kind of geeky, but I like telling myself, “You’re 25% of the way through! You’re 50% of the way through! You’re more than 50% of the way through!”
  • The comfort of familiar characters and a familiar world can be very nice, in those interim stretches of the book when I’m not particularly worried about anyone. I know it can’t last, because books need drama and everything, but it’s nice to have those moments when no one is in danger.

I find it kind of funny that so much of my focus is on “getting through” a book, since once I’m done, I’m often rather at a loss. “I was enjoying that book. What can I read now that is exactly like that book? Hm… I mean, this new book looks ok, but it sounds a little too like the other book.” This is the kind of unreasonable thought process I go through.

Anyway–busy busy, so I’m going to get back to work. And reading, as a break in between work things. I will not even put it on my to-do list, to further emphasize that it is not meant to be a chore. I hope you’re all having a wonderful Monday, as ever, and that you have many good books to read!

Little Things That Make Me Happy

RosesThis is one of those weeks when I feel rather stressed, so instead of a text-heavy post, I just wanted to focus on a few things that make me happy. Like:

  • Roses. And flowers in general, if you don’t have allergies. At least, I like seeing things blooming everywhere in the spring.
  • A cup of tea
  • Getting more done than is actually on my “mandatory, must do” list. Even when I don’t get to everything on my supposedly-mandatory list, it’s nice to keep track of the other things I did, to remind myself that I actually did get things done.
  • Finding a pair of matching socks to wear

This is a lot like something I used to do to fight off depression: I used to draw up a list of highlights. I’m not saying that works for everyone, or every stage of depression, but I think it was a good exercise for me. Today, though, I’m putting a different spin on it, because there’s a lot in my life that makes me happy, and it’s easy to forget that when I’m overwhelmed by the chore list.

With that, back to my Monday. I hope yours is lovely, with at least a few happy things in it (more if possible, of course)!