Sunday Lowdown #19

This Week’s Blog Posts:

This week had a whole lot of fat female superhero Faith Herbert! I read four trade paperbacks and was so pleased to review them for you! Readers are introduced to Faith’s day job at an e-zine in Hollywood and Vine. Then, California Scheming notched up the humor when Faith takes her crush to a comic convention and has to fight a new foe. The next collection had a great main plot but got a bit messy when writer Jody Houser chose to include a special political Issue in Superstar. Things round out when a villain from each of the previous three books appear in The Faithless, a funny, fat-positive conclusion.

#ReadingValdemar is still going strong and on track! I reviewed Winds of Fury, the weakest book to date that thankfully concluded THE MAGE WINDS trilogy. Let’s hope the writing improves.

Next Week’s Blog Posts:

I finished We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy, which is delivered as an oral history, organized by Yael Kohen. Review to come Tuesday!

Although I don’t plan to review The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton with critiques — it took me a full month to read it aloud to my husband — I did want to note that we finished. Final verdict: the spouse said the novel made him feel bad, and not in a way that made him appreciate anything. This was my 3rd reading.

Dust Bath Revival by Marianne Kirby is sure to slay! Check out my review of this YA horror novel on Friday.

Slow Books in Progress:

Book by a Male Author: The more I read Irvine Welsh’s characters in Porno, the less I love his writing. As infatuated as I was with him in my early twenties, the badness and/or stupidity of each person starts to feel gratuitous. And yet I have two more books in the series to read, books I’ve never read. And I own them. And I hope for change and character development.

Book I’m Reading Aloud to My Spouse: We just started Have Pen, Will Autograph by Harnett T. Kane. I’ve never heard of this guy, but the synopsis made me laugh: here is “the world of the best-selling writer on tour. Here are the bizarre remarks, the eyebrow-raising questions, the blank accusations hurled at Mr. Kane by happy matrons, frowning misses, women who think is he somebody else. . .” Published in 1959.

Books Added to the TBR Pile:

While my goal is always to read my newest and oldest shelved books plus a book with a fat female protagonist and keep up with #ReadingValdemar, I have to change some things. At my new job, we’re doing summer reading BINGO, and by golly, I am nothing if not determined to fill all 25 boxes — not just get some BINGOs. There is, like, no chance of me succeeding. It’s more books and less time than Cathy’s 20 Books of Summer Challenge, which I’ve only mastered once. But, I’m eager to get as many BINGOs as possible to enter for a big prize!


  1. There’s a certain type of 1950s American writing that has a style of it’s own. I can’t really think of examples, but maybe The Egg and I, or The Go Getter. On film you would say early Jack Lemmon. Anyway, I hope the Autograph one goes well.

    I hope you’re going to review The Snow Queen – I looked it up and it sounds amazing.


  2. Ooh We Killed the Rise or Women in American Comedy is on my TBR! I worship quite a lot of American comediennes including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and any ex-SNL lady basically. 😅

    I can’t wait to see how you like it!


    • It sounds just wonderful! I follow a librarian (a real one, not a Goodreads librarian) on Goodreads — he brought the Lesbian Career Girl series to my attention — who recommended The Snow Queen. It’s an older fantasy book by a woman, so I’m hoping to bring it to my readers’ attention.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t wait for your review of We Killed, I’m really curious about that one and I LOVE oral histories. One from funny ladies sounds delightful.

    I’m also curious about The Poison Squad. I read the author’s other book, The Poisoner’s Handbook, several months ago and loved it but the reviews I’ve seen of the newer book seem a bit mixed. I wonder if because the older book set high expectations. She was a fantastic writer though, so I can’t imagine anything in her hands could be less than decent.


    • Be sure to come back this week for my review of We Killed!

      The Poison Squad was recommended by a co-worker to fulfill one of my bingo spots. She said that she loved it and that in general she really dislikes nonfiction, so that was a high praise to me. She also mentioned a book that she hasn’t read but that she is interested in that is about the history of poison, food, and royals. Sounds wicked deadly!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How funny – I’ve just acquired a copy of Convenience Store Woman! I’m really looking forward to reading it (after 20 Books of Summer) and a few friends want to, too.


    • I read a few reviews of it that really made me want to pick it up, but I forgot about it. Then, last week I read Callum’s review on his blog and decided to get it. It’s a wee book, so I opted for the audio book, which is nice because then I can hear the names and Japanese store phrases the main character uses.


  5. Good luck with your BINGO challenge! All of the books that you’ve listed here to include for it look really intriguing- I’m especially looking forward to your thoughts on Convenience Store Woman (which I’ve been meaning to get around to!) and Orange is the New Black (which I’m hoping to pick up in July as one of my summer nonfiction choices).
    It looks like you had a good week!


    • I got the audio book of Convenience Store Woman, and it’s only 3.5 hours long, so I’m hoping to get through it quickly. Most audio books I get are around 12 hours, which feels like forever.

      I have loads of prison books on my TBR because I like getting various perspectives. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly??) they’re all quite different.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh wow, that is short! I knew it was a short novel, but a 3.5 hour audio really puts it in perspective. I’ll keep an eye out for your thoughts!

        Perhaps I’ll pick up some recommendations from your reviews. 🙂 I’ve just started getting more into nonfiction lately, and though I like to switch topics frequently (even in my fiction reading I do this, which has really made it challenging to find my niche in the reviewing community), I am probably most interested in true crime and prisons at this point. I’m currently reading The Killer Across the Table, which is a series of FBI interviews with serial killers that have been imprisoned. It’s mainly a psychological overview, which is probably a good place for me to start, but I’ll definitely want to delve more deeply moving forward.


        • I don’t know why, but I’ve never been interested in serial killers. I think I just feel a deep sense of foreboding when I see them on TV shows. Netflix is having a heyday with serial killers and “inside prison” shows!

          Liked by 1 person

          • That makes sense. I think I’m interested in them in a psychological “what are people capable of” way, which is why this overview (The Killer Across the Table) about motives is working for me; I’m definitely not here for the gore, and I think it’s an interest that’ll run it’s course before long. I’m not into glorifying the killers in any way.
            And yes, I’ve noticed that Netflix is really capitalizing on the true crime trend!

            Liked by 1 person

    • The Book of Ruth is so emotional, and it’s one of those wild books that completely gives away the ending in the first chapter, but you don’t know it until you’ve read the whole thing. Convenience Store Woman is quite a short book, so you should be able to zip through it. I got the audio book, which is only 3.5 hours.


  6. That Have Book Will Autograph book looks fantastic! Can’t wait to see how that goes for you. Also, the Orange is the New Black book-OMG!!! Yes Yes Yes very excited for that review too


    • Have Pen, Will Autograph did NOT last very long. The book turned out to be quite musty and I couldn’t breathe. *sigh* Well, more like *snortle*

      I’m going to do the audio book of Orange is the New Black to try and squeeze in more reading. Piper Kerman narrates it herself, and I’ve heard her on NPR before. She as voice that wouldn’t drive me nuts.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Literary bingo sounds so fun! I thought of you this week when I went to pick up a library hold and it turned out I’d accidentally requested an audio version. I’m still not sure if I’ll give audio a try or return it and get the book but it seemed serendipitous after reading your post on audio books.


    • It’s a sign! Give the audio book a try — maybe even just five minutes — and see if you like it. Typically, I can tell if I hate an audio book within less than five minutes. You’ve got it anyway 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I should. I was worried about playing it while the girls are around because I don’t know much about the book or the author but 5 minutes could probably tell me what I need to know.

        Liked by 1 person

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