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1. Dog-sitting was AMAZING! I want to do a super long post about it but also I am running out of steam, so here are my two highlights:
a) waking up every morning to find a warm spaniel curled up against my hip; oh my god, I have never been so happy about opening my eyes before 7am in my life

b) on the living room floor, him deciding that leaning against me wasn't close enough and proceeding to carefully drape himself over my thigh so the entire front half of his body was resting in my lap, and then falling asleep like this

Like I still don't understand how I didn't have to pay her for this privilege. This is basically the entire premise of AirBnB, and they don't even give you a dog.

2. I come home and find a pile of riches: all the books from my ThriftBooks order have come in.

First of all, what a fantastic site. Books are not dirt cheap, but since you get free shipping on orders over $10, essentially you tend to end up only paying the cost of shipping for each book (sites generally charge $3 or $4 in shipping for each book), plus it was pretty easy to find a discount coupon link by searching Tumblr, plus with every $50 you spend -- cumulatively, not at once -- you earn a $5 coupon. Also their selection is fantastic.

Now for the story of why I splurged on books when I should be planning for Christmas:

Last week's Criminal Minds and its insufficient Reid-endangerment in proportion to what the promo teased whipped me into another round of My Desperate Happy Place, a/k/a As Fast As She Can, a/k/a I Just Haven't Met You Yet, a/k/a "my mentral retreat into the steadfast belief that someday he is gonna find a soulmate who is similarly inexperienced in the relationship department, and maybe the only reason we haven't seen her is that she hasn't aged into the realm of possibility yet." Only the usual vague fantasy didn't cut it. I needed concrete, book-shaped belief. And then I remembered A Different Blue.

It's been on my to-read list since 2012, but it's limited-print, not owned by any libraries in state, and still completely impossible to find used for any cheaper than new, which is more than I tend to authorize for books I haven't read unless I'm SURE they're worth it. I've also back-burnered it since student/teacher romance has cycled down to the "off" position on my Ferris wheel of standard interests. The truth is, no part of this is really how I pictured the Reid/Future OFC, starting with the fact that teach is British.

Buuuuuut, I also see Caring Teacher stamped on it, and god, I am in a mood for Caring Teacher.

(edit: BONUS! There was a new edition just published in June this year that has "bonus content," including the epilogue which many readers complained the book should have had originally, so I guess sometimes waiting is good! That's the version I got.)

Other conquests: 2 Lynn Hall books high on my want-to-read list -- horsey novel Tin Can Tucker, and Where Have All the Tigers Gone?, a teen novel told from the perspective of an older woman reflecting at her high school reunion, because Lynn Hall is a boss who defies genre conventions and is the only author I've ever known who includes adult perspectives while aiming at a teen audience.

Last, I finally have my own copy of The Giver -- not the version you're familiar with by that name -- after requesting it from ILL for the second time last month, and loving it even more the second (third...fourth?...I read it more than once in 3 weeks), and finding myself unable to improve on my own review, but spinning my wheels a lot about how broken my heart is for poor Mr. Flicket. I am so glad I own this for keeps now.

In other words: Book Christmas 2!

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