Sunday Lowdown #46

This Week’s Blog Posts:

It was another full week at Grab the Lapels (something I plan to address in 2020). On Monday, I posted the last conversation of a #ReadingValdemar book for 2019. Yes, Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku and I still plan to have a conversation about what it was like reading one series for a whole year, but this was the end of our book chats.

Wednesday was interesting. I shared my thoughts on a book that looked rom-com but turned erotica. I had a lot of complaints about Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, despite its efforts to be fat-positive, inclusive of people with chronic disabilities, and explore toxic relationships.

Friday’s review made me both sad and scared thanks to the power of Lucy Knisley’s latest graphic memoir, Kid Gloves. Contraception, miscarriage, pregnancy, a fearful spouse, bad doctors, a traumatic delivery, almost dying — there’s so much going on with women’s reproductive health and how it affects their families.

Next Week’s Blog Posts:

I celebrate Coca Cola Christmas, so I decided to do all things festive and wintery next week. On Monday, check out my review of White Elephant by Trish Harnetiaux. A realtor and her husband host a Christmas party in an Aspen home that doubles as a house showing for a celebrity, but when their murder weapon from two decades ago is unwrapped during the white elephant gift-giving game, things get haywire. 🎁

On Wednesday I’m sharing a brief, festive book post about sweetness and peppermint and demons that get murderous at Christmas. Of course! 🎄

Lastly, on Friday I share my end-of-the-year stats and goals to see what happened at Grab the Lapels in 2019, and what to expect in 2020.

Book I’m Reading Aloud to My Spouse:

We’re having a great time reading one story and one recipe each night from Jeanette Winterson’s Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days. The stories are inventive and quite varied, while the recipes are full of realistic steps for beginning chefs with a sense of humor.

Also, I gave up on A Haunted Life, the biography of Shirley Jackson by Ruth Franklin. Unarguably a thorough book, Franklin gets bogged down in details about Shirley Jackson’s great-grandfather’s days building houses (pages and pages only to conclude that Jackson used an image of one of his houses to inspire her location in The Haunting of Hill House) and entire chapters about Jackson’s husband with no mention of her. I DNF’d at around 90 pages and added a different biography of the writer instead.

In the meantime, I picked up Moll Flanders by Daniel Dafoe on recommendation from Bill @ The Australian Legend. The spelling and punctuation are just “too” wild for a modern reader, yet I’m enjoying the story! The narrator isn’t vulgar, but it’s clear what’s going on — especially when she starts having sex — compared to the chaste writing of the 1800s. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I read a book published pre-1800s.

Books Added to the TBR Pile:

I just. . . am having problems and adding too many books. Oh, well.


  1. I’m nervous about “recommendation”, but yes I gave it a positive review and enjoyed listening to it myself, so I hope N does too. I’m glad to hear it’s started ok. Let me know if you write anything about it, on Goodreads for example. Towards the end, Moll and her ‘Lancashire husband’ are in Virginia, and sail down the Potomac out into Chesapeake Bay – I hope I got that right. You’ll have to tell me if the Potomac is such a big river as Defoe makes out.

    You impress me with your forward planning. After my post tonight (Mon morning Australian time) I have no idea what my last two posts for the year will be – I’d better start writing! Have a great Christmas. I hope it snows. The forecast for Perth is 37c (about 98F).


    • The Potomac is enormous — 11 miles wide, so it’s not even like being on a river. I’m enjoying the book and want to see what happens with this brother vs. brother situation.

      I try to plan ahead with my reading and posting, otherwise I’ll catch myself not reading for days. Yes, it’s important to me, but other things will creep in, and I like to make reading a priority. I know some people who always have a book in their hands because they just do. If enough is going on, I’ll forget about a book for a while. Plus, knowing what’s coming next makes me exciting, like waiting for the weekend.

      Merry Christmas! It’s about 50F here, which is WEIRD.


    • I keep adding more and more series! I don’t know if this is going to be a problem for blogging, or if readers are interested. I know I had issues with readership dropping off when I read all eight Anne of Green Gables books in one summer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, too bad about A Haunted Life. But it looks like you’ll have a fun week of posts coming up again, and I live for stats, goals, and lists in general at this time of year so I’m very much looking forward to your Friday post in particular!


    • My husband showed me how to make pie charts on Excel, so I’m doing that. It certainly makes a cleaner look than me listing all the stats.

      I was DEFINITELY bummed about A Rather Haunted Life. Fortunately, the other biography I listed was available at the University of Notre Dame, and I had my husband swing over and grab it. That is a library where I don’t think they ever get rid of anything.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ooh, I’ve been meaning to try out some pie charts as well, if I can find the time! Those are definitely fun to look at.

        That’s good! It is comforting to know that at least some libraries hold on to everything! I can understand how a library might get 20 copies of a popular book while its in high demand and not need them all later, but it does bother me a bit that they would weed out books that only have one or two copies in the system that just haven’t been checked out in a while- someone might be interested later!

        Liked by 1 person

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