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Five Things for Friday

One of the rituals of spring is the return of the house sparrows next door. These little winged cuties have found a particular spot in a crevice in the neighbor’s roof and it’s there they make their annual nest.

The babies have hatched and this morning I watched Mama Sparrow shove them out of their third story home. It’s sort of horrifying at first. Out comes this little ball of fluff and they plummet toward the ground

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, but somehow they manage–always at the last moment–to begin flapping their little wings and begin their new journey.

I realized in many ways, we are all like those little birds. We’ve spent the last year holding ourselves so close and now, as we get vaccinated, find ourselves having to roust ourselves back into the world. At least I am. I’ve had both my shots and now am free to roam about, and yet . . . I’m that little bird who doesn’t want to be shoved out of the nest.

Just not yet.

In the meantime, I have some delightful treasures to keep you happily nesting. Or to take with you as you find your new wings.


Have you ever written a book review and posted it online? For some of you this is old hat. You love sharing your opinions, alerting friends and strangers alike to the stories you’ve loved. But if you haven’t written one, well, here is a wonderful cheat sheet to give you a start.

If you prefer, take a look at on @RomancedbytheBook‘s Instagram account. She got it from @jassilvera –author Jasmine Silvera–and so the sharing continues here.

I love what she says–that a review can be a few lines, and even just a helpful comparison to another book, or what you enjoyed specifically. So, if you are up to the task, take the last book you adored–or an old favorite– and share it somewhere online. And if you do, send me a snapshot and I’ll share some of your reviews next week.



How do you find new books to read? My all time favorite spot has been the Choice Reads shelf at my local library. It was always right there as you walked in and filled with new books from all the genres. I’ve found tons of new to me authors there. But with covid and my branch library closed to inside patrons, I’ve had to find new book haunts.

Some of my favorites: authors and librarians on Twitter. The book I am currently reading (down below) is from Mary Robinette Kowall’s recommendation on Twitter.

The wonderful book bloggers on Instagram are another source, (@Pinkcowlreads comes to mind) and the various Bookbub newsletters. Did you know, when you follow an author on Bookbub, you not only receive notices about their next book, but also emails when they recommend novels.

Where do you find great book recommendations?


My son showed his girlfriend the movie

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, That Thing You Do, the other night–and, of course she loved it. But how could she not, it is wonderful. But how was it, she’d never seen it? And my son said, “Mom, you’d be surprised how many people have never see it.

Time to fix that. If you are looking for a delightful, funny, heartwarming movie, with a smart and elegant Tom Hanks and just the right sort of catchy music from the 60s

, please do yourself a favor and watch, That Thing You Do on any number of streaming platforms.


Fascinating book report: I present, The Heiress, The Revelations of Miss Anne deBourgh by Molly Greeley. This book is an alternative history for poor, misunderstood, Anne de Bourgh. You remember her from Pride & Predjudice–the daughter of Lady Catherine and the heiress of Rosings Park. I know I like a book when I catch myself stealing time to keep reading it. And now I am rooting for Anne.


Sometimes I just want to make a quick stir fry and be done with the matter. But then comes the question: How to sauce it. I have a few quick concoctions but none of them are quite as good as this one that I recently found: Chinese Garlic Sauce.

The family sat up and took notice. The glorious part about it? Once you have it on hand


, whatever you throw together for a late week clean out the fridge stir fry will taste like you labored over a hot wok for hours.

Be ready for adulation and high praise.

Photo credit: SauceFanatic.com (Check out this site if you are looking for other sauces—it is a veritable saucy treasure trove!)

Hope you find your wings this weekend. Or at the very least, a great book to read and review.

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