Sunday Lowdown #27

This Week’s Blog Posts:

While there were no book reviews this week, I did share two posts about what’s coming and what happened in my reading life. August: The List gave readers information about what I’ll read this month, including a collection of translated works by women in Latin America, which fits perfectly with Women in Translation Month. There was also lots of interest in the mysteries starring a fat women, known as the Corinna Chapman series, by Kerry Greenwood, an Australian author.

On Friday, I discussed the summer reading bingo challenge sponsored by the library where I work. While I crammed in more books than was wise and still did not win, I did win the summer reading challenge at the library I patronize. Hooray for my Hacienda gift card!

Next Week’s Blog Posts:

#ReadingValdemar is on the 12th book of our 2019 plans. Storm Rising is the second novel in the MAGE STORMS trilogy. Review coming Monday.

Although I’m nervous about it, I wrote a post sharing my thoughts on the Literary Fiction Book Tag, which I’ve seen making the rounds on book blogs. I have questions and concerns. I haven’t written a Time to Ponder Books post in ages, and this one may be divisive. Coming Wednesday.

Short Stories by Latin American Women: The Magic and the Real, edited by Celia Correas de Zapata and translated by a variety of writers, is the oldest book I possess on my TBR. However, I chose to DNF. The first short story was about a plain teen who wins a beauty contest because her father is rich. Then, an angry man rides into town, murders the rich father, and rapes the daughter. Apart, they both think about each other for 30 years, so the day he can no longer resist and goes to her house, they realize they are in love and get engaged. Before she can marry him, though, she kills herself without saying anything. Uhh, wut? I read on, but found the stories wonky, likely from poor translation. I switched to Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman. Review coming Friday.

Book I Own by a Male Author:

Currently, not reading any.

Book I’m Reading Aloud to My Spouse:

David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens. He’s a young man in search of a profession, with his schoolboy friend Steerforth to advise him. Anyone else have sneaking bad feelings about Steerforth when they read this novel? Especially when it comes to the newly-betrothed little Em’ly. . .

Books Added to the TBR Pile:


  1. I love “divisive”. I’m looking forward to that one. But your Latin short stories – why do women writers, and it seems to be mostly women writers, persist with that tired and offensive old trope of women falling in love with their rapists?


    • I figured you might like divisive! As to your question: I have no idea. She did kill herself, so maybe her revenge was to make him feel in love with her and then take herself away from him and break his heart? But the story was in 3rd person, and according to the narrator, she loved him too. The story wasn’t written with enough feeling to pull off what I *think* it wanted to do.


  2. I’m looking forward to seeing your thoughts on the lit fic tag. As much I enjoyed participating in it, on reflection I think that it might be a bit too celebratory of the “genre,” assuming that literary fiction is a coherent enough concept to discuss (which I’m still not sold on).


  3. What is the literary fiction book tag? Now I’m very excited to read this post!!! Don’t be nervous, I love hearing other opinions, even if I don’t agree with them!


  4. I’m intrigued for your Literary Fiction Book Tag post! I don’t usually read tag posts, so I haven’t heard what this particular tag is about so I’m curious what the discussion will be πŸ™‚


  5. Ooh, I’ll be keeping an eye out for your thoughts on the lit fic tag! It’s one I was planning to do either later this week or next, so am interested to see your questions and concerns beforehand!


    • I’m a little worried I’m going to raise some hackles, but I’ve always felt blogging fosters good discussion, so long as everyone is civil about it. I’ve only ever encountered two people who were downright hostile; one still blogs and I see them often, and the other was a total rando.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh no! I’ve yet to encounter anyone hostile, which has been a blessing. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had to deal with that! I do think the book community in general is pretty open-minded and willing to accept differing opinions; I hope you get a good discussion from your post and nothing worse!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t remember seeing the literary fiction tag, and had to look it up, so now I’m eagerly awaiting your thoughts! My thoughts were mainly, “Um, I don’t read a lot of literary fiction, so I’m not sure how I would approach this tag.” Super deep, I know.


  7. I mean, David Copperfield is written by a man… so, wouldn’t that fall into both categories? πŸ˜‰ I’m just sayin’.

    I don’t follow any blogs any longer that participate in tags. Or, at least I haven’t seen any in months. Most of the time, I find them annoying. They are similar to memes like Top Ten Tuesday, but seem to be less… thoughtful? I find them dull overall. I look forward to your thoughts.

    And ew. The Magic and The Real sounds… unfortunately. I would have DNF’d after that story, too.


    • I know I’ve done tags, but mostly to see how diversely I’m reading and to celebrate or own up to my results. That being said, I don’t think I’ve done a tag in quite a while.

      David Copperfield is Nick’s book and not in my personal stash. That sounds weird, but we each came to the relationship with separate books. Anyway, my TBR has been focused on female authors for so long that I’m running out and now have a bin full of books by dudes that I haven’t read. I’m trying to read one of those per month. Whatever I’m reading aloud to Nick is a separate project, but I can see the confusion. You’re not the first to comment on it (thanks, Bill!).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not weird at all! David and I also have seperate books. However, I imagine there is a bit more natural overlap in the books you and Nick read… David and I have almost zero overlap. He’s WAY into academic non-fiction and philosophy over fiction. My books are almost exclusively fiction. But it means we have a lot of options!

        Hahaha– you can tell I didn’t read the other comments. I typically do, but I’m so outside the habit of blog hopping that I wanted to focus. Limit my time, you know? Get back into the swing of things! Insert another idiom here.


        • That’s devotion! I don’t read other people’s comments. Sometimes there’s just too many of them. Bill is a bit of a stinker, so of COURSE he pointed out that Charles Dickens is a man πŸ˜€

          Nick and I don’t have a ton of overlap in our reading. If a book makes him feel bad, he’s not into it. Thus, I love The Book of Ruth and he made a stinky face and never would have finished it if I wasn’t reading it aloud to him. Victorian Lit isn’t a love of mine, but he practically has a minor in it. I see the reason people live Victorian Literature, but it wasn’t something I studied much, so I can get bogged down in the all the names, ways of speaking that mean one thing to me and something else during that time period, and the sheer length of some of these.


  8. “I wrote a post sharing my thoughts on the Literary Fiction Book Tag,”

    I am not familiar with this particular tag, but I cannot wait to see your thoughts!!! Is it problematic?! I need to go some research on this tag now…


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