Sunday Lowdown #17

This Week’s Blog Posts:

This week was all about fantasy! I shared two young adult novels by Betsy Cornwell, both of which focused on Nicolette, a teen inventor who works with steel, glass, coal, and gears. The first book is a Cinderella retelling while the second novel invites conversations about war, colonialism, and different types of love.

I also shared my end-of-the-month conversation with Jackie @ Death By Tsundoku in a post on Friday. We’re almost half-way through #ReadingValdemar, so that means our giveaway is coming up. Have you shared your posts on the Linky to enter? Posts can be any format, new or old. The prize is open to all bloggers regardless of location.

Lastly, I shared my reading list for June. You can see I’ve got a short story collection, two memoirs, one book of investigative journalism, a horror novel, a fantasy novel, and a drug/pornography novel (is that a genre??).

This Week in Reading: Finished Books

This week I finished three plays — and that’s it! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I was hired to read all fifteen plays that the local civic theatre will produce in 2020 with the goal that I write for each show a hook, a brief synopsis, then a longer summary of the plot. My work will go in all promotional media starting summer 2019 and be used all through 2020, so go me!

In all fairness, I started a new job at a library. I work in the computer lab, solving tech problems but also looking up books, showing people how to find things in non-fiction, and updating book lists. I really like it and feel like I’ve found my #wolfpack.

Oh, and I hardcore DNF’d Shamp of the City-solo by Jaimy Gordon on page two. It was her first novel, the writing is incomprehensible, and if you hated Bogeywoman (I loved it), you’ll never survive Shamp.

This Week in Reading: Books in Progress

I’m almost done with Wilderness Tips by Margaret Atwood, having started it earlier than I expected (it’s a June book), and am flying through the pages. Each story is a spinning saw blade of womanhood and totally up my alley. I’ve one more story to read.

Porno by Irvine Welsh was put on hold as I finished my work reading the plays and keeping up on Atwood, so I’ll have to get back to it this week. It’s so gritty, and by gritty I mean Sick Boy is a garbage human and Nikki definitely dunked her tampon in a patron’s soup because he was rude. While I was reading the previous book, Trainspotting, I kept wishing there was a more female presence. I got Nikki. I shall wish more specifically in the future!

The husband book: every night I read one chapter of a novel to my husband, and right now we’re on The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton. As I’ve said in previous Sunday Lowdown posts, he was hating it. Then it was “okay.” Now, he’s on “starting to like it.” Hooray! I read Hamilton’s novel with a book club and then taught it at an all-women’s college, so you can guess my feelings. Ruth has turned a corner: she’s married but miserable living with her mother and husband, and something has to happen. I mean, I know what happens, but the spouse doesn’t!


  1. If there’s not a name for that kind of genre, it certainly seems like there should be. Wishing you all the best with your new job, happy to hear that it’s been off to a great start!


  2. “spinning saw of womanhood” OMG love that line!!!! Genius. That’s a perfect way to describe her writing.

    And, I will never ever get that image and thought of the tampon dunking in soup, for the rest of my days. UGH


    • Hahahahaha, sorry, Anne. It really does sum up Irvine Welsh’s storytelling, though!

      Also, thank you for the compliment. Perhaps Atwood will buzz through all the bullshit with her woman-centric super powers.

      Liked by 1 person

    • My MFA program focused on experimental literature. At the time, I thought that was what I wanted to write. But the more I read books in which authors subvert language, which can completely distort meaning, the less in love I was. I have books left over from that time in my life, and Gordon’s was one of them. So, I let it go with a quick goodbye.

      I have read Alias Grace, Cat’s Eye, Oryx & Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam. I think I like her short stories better, now that I’ve gotten into Wilderness Tips!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on the new job and no wonder it’s cutting into your reading time: change is hard work! Atwood’s stories are great. I love all the layers in them. And I’m glad your husband is getting into the Hamilton novel now: phew!


  4. Your job sounds perfect for you! How exciting. I’m looking forward to reading your recent reviews, particularly the Cindarella retelling. I haven’t been reading or blogging much lately, but hopefully I’ll have more free time soon.


  5. Porno/Drugs definitely a genre. Invented by William Burroughs (yes I’m sure he has precursors, maybe Henry Miller) and proudly carried forward by Kathy Acker.


  6. It’s good to hear your new job is going well! I bet you get to meet all sorts of interesting people and feel good that you can help them out!


    • They keep inventing new ones! Even “new adult” (focuses on college and college-age people) is a recent genre label. Academics make up stuff all the time, but we’re largely ignoring them. Sometimes, you have to run away from pretentious.


        • I’m hoping it’s a method that helps readers find what they’re looking for, but I do know that “women’s fiction” is contentious and will always make me suspicious of bookseller labels.


  7. How exciting about the new job at the library!!! I actually just applied for a youth services librarian position in my local library system, and I really really want it. Keep your fingers crossed for me ๐Ÿ™‚


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