Sunday Lowdown #24

This Week’s Blog Posts:

Monday kicked off a new trilogy in #ReadingValdemar, and Storm Warning was the first book. Mercedes Lackey has upped her game! Are you reading along? Be sure to include your Valdemar posts on our Linky to enter the December giveaway.

Wednesday was a fun side step: I read another comic book volume! Comic books aren’t usually for me — I’m more a graphic novel reader, and I don’t say that to be pretentious. A “comic book” (to me) is serialized art and text, whereas a “graphic novel” is literally a novel-length story told with images that comes in one book. I don’t tend to keep up on comic books for the sheer fact that you have to keep up. Thanks to the library, I got a volume of Man-eaters by Chelsea Cain and enjoyed how it explored the female body and gender issues through satire.

Friday took readers down Brutal Alley, a place just off of Murder Lane, past the Break-Their-Arms-and-Legs Village. Daphne du Maurier’s horror novel Jamaica Inn was much more violent and terrifying than I bargained for!

Next Week’s Blog Posts:

Erotic vampires may not be your “thing,” but don’t you scoff at the original books in the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. Her 1976 novel, Interview with the Vampire, created a resurgence in vampire interest. My review will be posted Tuesday, and the plan is to have The Vampire Lestat up on Friday!

Slow Books in Progress:

Book by a Male Author: Zora Neale Hurston: A Literary Biography by Robert E. Hemenway

I’ve never seen another work cited as often as Hemenway’s in the field of Hurston studies. He appears to argue for Hurston to some degree, but exposes her issues, such as plagiarism and a stubbornness to only do what she wants, too. I’m using this book to fulfill my “biography” bingo square. To be clear, this category encourages me to read books by a male author from my owned TBR.

Book I’m Reading Aloud to My Spouse: David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Just when Davy Copperfield finds a guardian in Aunt Betsy, he is sent away to board with Mr. Wickfield so he can attend school. It’s lovely to see his aunt is sad to part from him, showing that she cares about him deeply. Thankfully, it was the simple Mr. Dick who convinced her to keep Davy because he answers “put him in the bath” when the aunt shrieked that she didn’t know what to do with the raggedy orphan who arrived unexpectedly on her doorstep.

Books Added to the TBR Pile:

Thanks to Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku and Kim @ Travelling Gladly for the rec!


    • I first read Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat in high school and LOVED them, even though they were too grown up for me. I didn’t follow along with the philosophical and religious stuff as well as an adult, for instance.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. At first, I was surprised by the heading “Book by a Male Author,” but then I saw it’s for bingo. I haven’t heard of Hemenway, but the book sounds interesting.


    • I’ve been trying to read one book that I own that is by a male author, and I tend to do so slowly so I can keep up with reviews for GTL. I noticed my TBR pile that I own is almost all male since I started reading more from my own collection.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Looking forward to your thoughts on the Anne Rice books! Vampires are my favorite supernatural creature- I just find the need to drink human blood for survival such an interesting moral question, and it’s fascinating to see what different authors do with it. But somehow I’ve never been motivated to start with Rice’s work. Perhaps your thoughts will convince me!
    Also curious to see how you’ll get on with the Strange Planet book- I’ve been following that comic on Instagram since near the beginning and have quite liked it, though I haven’t checked out the book yet. I hope you enjoy it!


    • Strange Planet isn’t out quite yet. I love Rice’s first two books, but I did not finish Queen of the Damned. I tried to read it in high school and got confused. I know Rice is still writing Vampire Chronicles books, but she’s gotten nutty with them (especially given a religious fanaticism she developed several years ago).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, that’s right! No wonder I haven’t seen it around yet…
        And that’s good to know! It’ll be easier to pick up the first book if I’m reading on a case-by-case basis and not pushing myself to commit to the full series. I hope you have just as good an experience with the first two books the second time around, and have better luck with the third if you go that far! I’ll definitely keep an eye out for your reviews. 🙂


        • I am going to read the third book, Queen of the Damned, next week. I never finished it! I’ve been reading the descriptions for the books following Queen and am wondering if I’m going to fall down another series rabbit hole. That’s been happening to me a lot lately — I’ve been reading more series in 2019 than I have since I was in middle school and hooked on Sweet Valley, Babysitter’s Club, and Goosebumps.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, that sounds so fun! I haven’t been reading many series lately, but I fondly remember the days of those long binges!
            I never read the Sweet Valley books (they weren’t at my library), but I did love Goosebumps and the Babysitter’s Club! Also Nancy Drew. I struggled as a kid to find standalones I liked, so finding one author with a ton of related books was my go-to reading method, lol. Life was rough before internet access was commonplace!


            • You’re right; I think I stuck to series because I didn’t know HOW to find other books. I do remember going through paper card catalogs and finding weird books in elementary school that I enjoyed, but after I left that school, it was all series, series, series.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Ha, those were the days! I think in elementary my library did have a computer with a functional catalog system, but it was very new and could only be used to search titles, authors, OR one keyword at a time. I mainly had to read the book flaps to find what I was looking for. Authors who wrote series were SAVIORS. 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

  3. ha! I laughed out loud when I read your description leading up to Jamaica Inn, you are such a witty and clever writer.

    “Friday took readers down Brutal Alley, a place just off of Murder Lane, past the Break-Their-Arms-and-Legs Village. ”

    Pure genius!


  4. My solution to comics is to wait until they are bundled in one volume and, thus, in my opinion, now a graphic novel! And then I don’t have to wait for a story arc to be completed!


    • One volume is typically only four issues, though. More volumes come out as more issues are created, thus you get a bunch of trade paperbacks. Plus, comic books typically aren’t written as one continuous arc. You may see characters affected by past events, but commonly they just keep telling new plots, making comic books more sequential than novelesque.


  5. I’ve read Bram Stoker and I’ve read (and enjoyed) the Sookie Stackhouse novels, though I haven’t seen one for a while, but am not usually tempted by vampires. I like LE’s comment above – about consuming blood posing moral questions, I seem to remember Sookie keeps artificial blood in her fridge for her vampire friends.


    • If I remember correctly, Anne Rice first wrote Interview with the Vampire after one of her children died from a blood disease, so that’s the mindset with which she approached the work. I guess her daughter who died inspire the character Claudia, made into a vampire as a child, a child who cannot die.


  6. As much as I don’t want to I skip and read about Davy first then read the rest of your post. 😂. You’ve been doing a great job with your book bingo. I remember asking someone the difference between comic books and graphic novels. I read a few graphic novels last year but haven’t picked up any sense. I wanted to read the graphic novel of To Kill a Mockingbird


    • One of my favorite graphic novels is The Rabbi’s Cat and, I also really enjoyed the follow-up graphic novel, The Rabbi’s Cat 2. If I had to pick a serialized comic book, it would be Preacher. That’s a lengthy one, though, like 12 volumes.

      Do you think you’re going to re-read David Copperfield now? Have you caught the bug? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course I want to read David Copperfield again. I watched an older movie adaptation some months back and that made me pul my book off the shelf and look at the quotes I flagged. Every week you make me want to but I have a few shorter Dickens books I hope to read before I go back to Davy and Aunt Betsey.


        • There was this whole chapter about Dr. Strong’s mother-in-law that made me tip my head. I couldn’t figure what the point was, but I reminded myself that Dickens was paid for his writing installments.


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