Five good things right now


Reading Canadian short stories in The New Yorker

We have a subscription to the actual magazine, and sometimes issues pile up and I feel badly for not reading them cover to cover. But then I go on a binge of discovery and find … “Lu, Reshaping,” by Madeleine Thien and “Once Removed,” by Alexander MacLeod. (I also just listened to Lauren Groff, who is not Canadian, reading her story “Annunciation” from the most recent issue, on The New Yorker’s New Fiction podcast. Side note: I’m considering trying out audiobooks; any recommendations for an app?)


Getting outside in the snow

I let myself sleep in yesterday morning instead of getting up for a walk, but that was a mistake. Note to self: you never regret getting up and going for a walk. This morning I got up, and I’m feeling much calmer at my desk today. I actually love the darkness of the early mornings. It’s like walking in a cocoon. It’s so quiet. Whether I’m with a friend or on my own, I feel awakened to my senses, to the world around me, to my deeper, more contented self.

Talking to my grandma on Zoom

She lives across the border, which once again is feeling a bit impenetrable, but we can click a link and suddenly there we are, on screen, side by side, talking about our morning routines, and learning how to swim as an adult, and the meaning of life (well, maybe not quite that! But close!). Note our differences in attire. Grandma dresses for the day. I dress for the possibility that nap time might break out at any hour.



I know, I know. I keep talking about the puzzles. They’re keeping me going, I swear. Look how much progress I’ve made on the yellow one (Flora’s is the other one; she’s made progress too!). I won’t always be doing puzzles, but for now they scratch an itch to be doing something, working toward something, figuring something out. A puzzle is especially satisfying in the evening, when my brain is too weary to be put to good use. I’ve been pairing the puzzles with podcasts, but I won’t make any recommendations today; I’ve got a heavy rotation of news shows on right now, which is not a good thing.

photo credit Hilary Gauld

New lenses for my glasses

I was getting lots of headaches, and now I’m not. That’s gotta be a good thing. I was especially relieved that I didn’t have to get new frames. I just got new author photos taken (well, in December). These glasses are now part of my face. Hey, just realized that scarf was a gift from my grandma when we visited in November. She not only knows how to dress for the day — she knows how to dress me for the day! And this is basically as dressy as I get.

xo, Carrie

PS What’s keeping you going right now?

Puzzles and podcasts
Five things, unjudged but worthy


  1. Susan Fish

    Your author photo is wonderful as are your good things. I would recommend Audible as an audiobook listening platform. I don’t tend to like audiobooks but my peeps who do highly recommend it. Also apparently if you go to you can get a month for free and three months at 60% off so there you are.

    My things keeping me going are many: a box of grapefruits, lengthening days, skiing just before dusk most days, the glorious (even if they are corrupt and dangerous) Olympics

    • Carrie Snyder

      I need to know more about this box of grapefruits, Susan, which sounds divine. Where did you get it?? I love grapefruit. And somehow I think I would love it even more in the middle of February.

      Thank you for the suggestions!

      • Susan Fish

        The Orange Barn in Millbank is my main source ( but if you haven’t ordered from them you may be able to get some from The Country Pantry in Heidelberg ( as they buy them from the Orange Barn in bulk.

  2. Alison Gresik

    For free audiobooks, try Libby! You connect it to your library card and you can place audiobooks on hold and borrow them when they’re available. The Vancouver Public Library has a fantastic selection available through Libby – these days I listen to more books than I read! They make housework a lot more palatable 🙂

    • Carrie Snyder

      Thank you for this recommendation, Alison!

  3. Kate

    Seconding the Libby app. I have cards to both local libraries, and can access their collections together. I never loved audiobooks before Libby, but accelerating the speed helps a lot if you’re a fast reader normally – regular speed feels agonizingly slow.

    Also, if you haven’t read MacLeod’s story “Lagomorph” over at Granta, you’ve gotta:

    • Carrie Snyder

      Thank you for the recommendation re audiobooks, and the tip about listening at an accelerated speed. This has definitely been something I’ve been wondering about, as an impatient person — it takes much longer to read a book out loud than to read it in my mind.

      And thanks for the link to the MacLeod story too!


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