Sunday Lowdown #35

Interesting Facts From School This Week:

Week three is about adult programming, and I’m surprised by how varied events can be. Here are a couple of things I learned that surprised me.

  • “Poetry events — well, literary events in general — are known to be among the most notoriously difficult for many reasons.” — from Life in Oleg
  • Public Performance Rights come with a film, typically an educational one, and are attached to the film, not the location. Otherwise, libraries need to purchase a license to show a film and promote in house only. If a public library does not have the rights or license to show a movie and gets caught, or or advertise the viewing outside of the library, it’s likely the local cinema that tattled.
  • One of my classmates discussed her favorite adult programming at the library where she works . . . and it’s baby goat yoga.

This Week’s Blog Posts:

On Tuesday I shared all the books I plan to read in October, including a few spooky seasonal reads. Many readers seemed quite interested in L.M. Montgomery’s Life Among the Shadows, a collection of dark short stories, and Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage, which apparently has been on many readers’ TBR piles for too long!

On Friday I shared a trio of audio book reviews, which didn’t make much of a splash! That’s okay; not everyone is into audio media. My hope was to tempt you with potentially murderous cheerleaders, family drama, and a tour of assassinated presidents.

As a last minute decision, Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku and I talked about our end-of-the-month post for #ReadingValdemar, which would focus on religion in Storm Breaking. It was an interesting discussion, and I shared the summary of it on Saturday.

Next Week’s Blog Posts:

Since I posted so much right in a row, next week I’m going to wait a few days before sharing my first review. On Wednesday, stop by to read my review of a short story collection + novella called Inside Madeleine by Paula Bomer. I’ve compared her descriptions to being skinned with a vegetable peeler, and I don’t mean that in a negative way. In the past I reviewed her gleefully polarizing novel, Nine Months, and her essay collection, Mystery and Morality, which I didn’t click with as much. Pre-Grab the Lapels I read and loved her first short story collection, Baby & Other Stories.

Then, on Friday I’ll do a 180 from Bomer and review The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman, totally humorous chick lit with a surprising amount to say about mental health.

Book I Own by a Male Author:

So, I’m not currently reading them, but I keep bringing home books from the library to look at. It makes me happy, so can it. Here are some books by men that are piled up neatly at my place:

Book I’m Reading Aloud to My Spouse:

We’re almost to the end of David Copperfield by Charles Dickens; just 200 pages to go. But isn’t 200 a lot? Nay! Not when you have a tiny book. I just discovered these tiny classics at the library where I work. They all have the same white and blue coloring with gold edges on the pages and tiny blue bookmark ribbons. They’re all the same size and would look marvelous on your shelf if you are a book collector! Published by MacMillan Collector’s Library, they even have drawings.

Books Added to the TBR Pile:


  1. I feel for you when you say a post got little response, particularly as I listen to so many audiobooks, randomly selected, well not really random as there are categories I reject, but lots of US general fiction I know nothing about. And the big problem is I retain so little I do listen to, and can unknowingly select them again a few weeks later. Unknowingly that is until certain phrases strike me as familiar and I realise I’ve ‘had’ this one not so long ago. I reckon I’ve listened to one book of LM Montgomery short stories – maybe one with a headless horseman? And I was totally captured by Crime & Punishment as a schoolboy but haven’t read it since.


    • When I was still teaching in the prison, one incarcerated student said that Crime and Punishment was his favorite book. He was a young black man, and it struck me that he related so well to a classic novel. A number of my students there said other people in prison would read what is called “urban fiction.” Most urban fiction I see on library shelves have titles about pimps, thugs, gangs, street life, etc. but according to Wikipedia, “urban fiction” has changed over the decades and is simply defined as fiction that focuses on the underbelly of living in the city, and frequently includes profanity, sex, and violence.


  2. I love those MacMillan Collector editions! Why is there something so appealing about small books? The illustrations are nice too.

    Have you read Crime & Punishment before? I think it was one of the first “literary classics” that I read on my own, not for school. I also like that you seem to be getting into L.M. Montgomery’s short stories! Makes my Canadian heart proud!


    • I hadn’t seen the lil MacMillan Collector books before, but I adore them! It makes me want to collect books. Ack!

      I have not read Crime and Punishment; however, one of the students in the program in which I used to teach (we offered associate’s degrees to men in a correctional facility) said that Crime and Punishment was his favorite book, and I never forgot that.

      I actually just “discovered” a new L.M. Montgomery book at the library on Saturday called The Road to Yesterday, and apparently it is a 9th Anne of Green Gables book??

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, that is interesting, coming from someone in a correctional facility! I’d be curious what made it his favourite.

        I’ve heard Road to Yesterday described that way too but I think it’s a bit misleading. It’s a collection of short stories set in Glen St. Mary (the town Anne and Gilbert live in when they are married with children). The Blythes features as characters but the stories aren’t really about them.


  3. “it makes me happy, so can it” BAHAAHAH I loved that line so much

    and baby goat yoga? yes please. Libraries are simply the best. And not only are poetry events the hardest, poets are literally the hardest of authors to work with. There! I said it. hahah


  4. Ooh your new books look good. And impressive you get to study programming, my library course back in the 90s was big on theory and not that useful. We did get to find out how to do folded leaflets, with the limited technology back then! Love your little fat classics, too! I’m surprised you didn’t get much on your audio book reviews – you mean interaction on the comments, right? I was a bit surprised that not many people were interested in the latest running book I reviewed, but I did get a lot of readers, just not comments. Who knows!

    I have been publishing ALL THE POSTS last week as I was on holiday and read loads. I still have one coming out today and one to write; meanwhile, I’m about to finish the last book I started then. Oops!


    • Isn’t that wild how read, to read, currently reading, and books that need reviewed can pile up so quickly (and all over the apartment)??

      I’m trying to get a feel for when people are reading reviews, and Fridays may not be the day. I try to spread them out, though: Sunday, Tuesday, Friday.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Literary events seem to struggle at my library, as well. They can get huge crowds for a concert and decent crowds for crafts. But a book discussion or literary-themed event? Maybe five people–if they’re lucky! It’s weird when the collection seems to go out so much. People ARE still reading!

    Also, I find it odd a local cinema would squeal on a library. Cinemas usually show the latest releases. Libraries…don’t.

    And I’m so excited L. M. Montgomery is on your TBR list!


    • I was going to head to a reading tonight at Notre Dame but chickened out because my hair is kinda messy and I would have to eat dinner late and the parking is a huge hassle and what if I see someone I knew when I was a grad student there and I said something not-nice about them on Facebook, etc. I think readers are introverts, so getting the hard-core readers who would love a reading to go out to one is some kind of oxymoronic feat.

      I agree; why would a library show a new release? Unless it’s something playing at the second-run cinema?

      I’m excited LMM is on my list, too! Do you read her a lot? Her body of work is so big that half my brain thinks I’ve run out of books because I read Anne’s series and other half has no idea what the first half is thinking.


      • Yeah, I can see that. Sometimes I am planning to go to events, but when the event rolls around, I’m tired. I want to go home. I want to read in a comfy chair, not go out. Or I don’t want to go alone because I’ll feel alone and awkward, so then I need to convince someone to go with me. It’s just really hard going out!

        I love all things LMM! I like her Pat books best, but Anne is wonderful, too, of course! And the great thing is she’s written quite a lot, so it’s not easy to run out of books! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I had a longer comment but the app crashed and I lost it. So here’s my attempt to recreate.

    Hi, it’s been a long time but I just shared a post as to why I’ve been MIA. We need to chat books, especially our buddy read plans/ideas, Crime and Punishment, The Yellow House (I have that and plan to read it in January).

    You’re almost finished with Copperfield….can’t wait to see what you think by the time you finish. Those Pan MacMillan editions are so nice. I have three of them, one arrived yesterday from a giveaway where I could pick a book of my choice, I picked a short story collection.


    • Shell, I’ve missed you and I HAVE been wondering where you were. Don’t think we forget our fellow bloggers! I think doing a Crime and Punishment buddy read would be great, as sharing those longer reads with a friend really motivates me to keep going. I’ll send you an email.


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