Sunday Lowdown #45

This Week’s Blog Posts:

Monday was a big day: the last review of #ReadingValdemar 2019 was published. Thanks for all of your congrats and warm wishes. If you missed it, check out my review of Owlknight by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon.

Wednesday was another conclusion: I reviewed the last novel in The Snow Queen Cycle by Joan D. Vinge, entitled Tangled Up in Blue. Kudos to Bill @ The Australian Legend for picking up a copy of the first book in the series!

Friday I shared a polarizing book, as the author presents various faces to the public. Comedian, actor, and writer Ali Wong just published her memoir, Dear Girls, and it definitely won’t be for everyone.

Next Week’s Blog Posts:

Trying to get ahead of the curve a bit as holidays creep upon us, Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku and I are sharing our conversation post about Owlknight by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon on Monday. We’ll have a big wrap-up conversation before the end of the year.

If you’ve reviewed Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, then I haven’t read your review yet. My thoughts on this smutty rom-com are tangled, so I didn’t want to be swayed before I got my own thoughts organized. Catch my review on Wednesday.

Lastly, check out my review of the graphic memoir Kid Gloves by Lucy Knisley, who recounts her journey from trying not to get pregnant, through two miscarriages, and a traumatic birth, on Friday.

Book I’m Reading Aloud to My Spouse:

We finished Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, and I was delighted by it. The Disney film version starring Jim Carrey is my favorite film rendition, and parts that I thought were surely Carrey’s humor (he occasionally improvises) were all Dickens’s clever humor.

To really kick this Christmas Carol horse to death, I read A Christmas Ghost while I was sick on Thursday. It’s a Sweet Valley Twins and Friends SUPER CHILLER edition. I loved the story when I was in elementary school and found it delightful as an adult (although we all know Jessica does not maintain the Christmas spirit like Scrooge does).

Our next book? I’m thinking we need Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson.

On Having a Cold:

I tried reading I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, but couldn’t get into it. When the family first sees the castle, there are so many pages of description, and yet I couldn’t picture any of it. A castle? With a house attached? And a moat? I’m not sure. I was also terribly unsettled by this family with zero money dollars, and not one person is capable of any kind of work — but totally happy to let the boy working for free for them already go make money elsewhere and give it to them to earn his keep. I sort of hated them immediately. Sorry friends who loved the book!

This is when I got a cold (perhaps punishment for DNFing Smith’s beloved classic?). All the days I had set aside to read I Capture the Castle were now open, so I began reading comic books and graphic works. Many were disappointing (why?!). I’ll be reviewing Lucy Knisley’s graphic memoir, as it really affected me, but the rest have a comment or two and a star rating on Goodreads.

Books Added to the TBR Pile:

Thanks to watching Good Burger (AGAIN) on Netflix, I remembered to add George Clinton’s memoir to Goodreads, though I’ve wanted to read it for years. Please tell me you’ve seen and adore Good Burger.

Also, thanks to Laila and Kristin for their recommendations.


  1. I remember disliking how no one worked in I Capture the Castle too. They’re in poverty and yet no one is actually willing to go out and do something about it? I wanted to be sympathetic to the society of the time etc but, really, people went through worse. I’m looking forward to your review of Kid Gloves. I had a very strong reaction to it too.


    • Oh! I just left you a comment about Kid Gloves on a different post. Did you review it? I’d love to compare reviews. Share the link if you did, please!

      And with Capture the Castle: why couldn’t the narrator go out and babysit or something? They’re all quick to point out how they’re no good at anything and surely it well end in disaster.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hope you are feeling better! I didn’t love I Capture the Castle, I remember feeling a little underwhelmed and surprised why everyone loved it. I think I remember it picked up some but by the time I got to the end I was like meh?!? The father was weird and I couldn’t understand him .


    • The father is oddly happy despite his family being in utter poverty. I mean, he’s got a teenage daughter writing in the kitchen sink because there’s no light to see anywhere else in the house. Why is he so delighted??


      • No, I haven’t read it yet, but I think I want to! I don’t read a lot of romance but I want to make sure the ones I do pick up are diverse and unique, and this one appeals. Your review might convince me to pick it up sooner rather than later! I see it’s available at my library, which would make it easy to pick up.


  3. I’ve always wanted to try I Capture the Castle (I even own a copy), but never found the motivation to do so. Have you ever seen the movie? I watch it years ago and am not sure I would enjoy it today. Hope you’ve fully recovered from your cold. I had one myself early last week. Hope you have a good week.


    • I basically tried to find books with a lot of pictures, lol. Some graphic works have loads of writing, but I wasn’t here for that. I mean, Manfried the Man is most about a cat that owns a man, and the man likes to wake the cat up 5 minutes before his alarm goes off. Not challenging stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve just started reading the first book in the Snow Queen cycle! It took me a while to get into it, but I’m about 25% in now and it’s picking up. I sometimes find it difficult to get into this type of science fiction because I don’t find the characters very compelling, but the plot of this one is proving good enough for me to enjoy it.


    • I’m so glad you’re reading it! That’s two people I’ve convinced! If you have any questions, let me know. There are moments in the Snow Queen when I was confused that are cleared up in the later books (possibly just explained better). I got really, really attached to Gundhalinu, who is in all four novels (and two are largely about him overall).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting thoughts on I Capture the Castle. That sounds quite horrid, actually, but I know I read the book and loved it! I’ll have to give it another shot and see if I pick up on what you noticed.
    I’m sorry that you’ve had a cold! Hopefully you are feeling better now!


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