Sunday Lowdown #48

This Week’s Blog Posts:

The year ended with the last post for #ReadingValdemar 2019. I was wondering what Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku and I could possibly discuss so late in the year, when we decided it was best to answer questions about the entire reading experience: our favorite human and non-human characters, favorite book, least favorite book, and if we thought about quitting at any point. Click the link to read our answers.

The year started with something sexy, something from my quest to read books about fat women in which they are treated with dignity. Misadventures of a Curvy Girl by Sierra Simone isn’t titled quite right, but the series (by multiple authors) is always Misadventures of [insert noun]. Main character Ireland wasn’t having misadventures, but starting a new relationship. I read a respectful portrayal of fat women, polyamory, and consent, yet the plot was basic. To be fair, I’m still thinking about Simone’s novel.

I didn’t start 2020 with a post of bookish goals like I usually do, because one of my blogging goals is to share no more than two posts + the Sunday Lowdown each week. Any extra information I have to share, I’ll do so here!

My second goal is read from my backlog of TBR books at the library. In past years, I focused on books I own. Not in 2020. My library weeds aggressively. In fact, I bought Misadventures of a Curvy Girl at the book sale to discover it was added to the library system in March 2019 and weeded in August 2019.

Next Week’s Blog Posts:

Last year, when I was posting audiobook reviews on Fridays, they weren’t really getting love, so I’m re-sharing a couple of them over the first months of 2020. On Tuesday, check out my mini-reviews of Shirley Jackson’s memoirs, Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons. This is a great time to reintroduce Jackson’s memoirs because I’m reading a biography of the author in January.

You didn’t think #ReadingValdemar was over, did you? On Thursday, Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku and I will introduce our 2020 reading plans for this fantasy world, including a schedule so you can read along, and share the stats on our 2019 adventure. I was surprised, and you may be, too!

Book I’m Reading Aloud to My Spouse:

It’s a quick turn-around time from when I originally read Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier, but that’s what I’m reading to the spouse. So far, everything is very dark and serious. Uncle Joss is, like, seven feet tall and tests to see if you bite by sticking his finger on your mouth.

Books Added to the TBR Pile:

I’ve just added one after Bill @ Australian Legend recommended author Claire Coleman to me. Although the book has zero reviews on Goodreads, it sounds like a hoot. I can’t find it anywhere except Google Books, and it’s only $3.99.

“What are you?”

—“We’re Kiwis.”

“Where are you from?”

—“New Zealand, but we live in Australia.”

“What are you doing here?”

—“We want to see every State, learn all the history, and experience what it is like to live as an American.”


—“Because America gets such a bad rap around the world, we want to find out for ourselves if it is justified . . . and if you really are as good as you think you are . . .”


  1. I might have given you a bum steer. The West Australian Indigenous author whose work I admire is Claire G Coleman. I’d say the Claire Coleman you’ve got on to is a writer of religious themed works, whom I’ve never seen before, I guess because Google here defaults to Australians. Glad you didn’t spend too much. Still, it might turn out ok.


  2. Oooh, so you’ll be posting two book reviews a week and then the Sunday Lowdown? I ask because I like your discussion posts. My favorite from this year was “Why I’m So Frustrated with YA Novels”. But, now that I look back… I see that this was in February. And you’ve reviewed so many amazing books I have read or want to read and I never read those posts! Ack. I didn’t realize just how negligent I was of my blogger friends this year until now. Yikes.

    Well, I like your “Time to Ponder” posts. Something worth pondering on, eh? 😉

    How do you and Nick select what books to read aloud?


  3. Wow, added in March and weeded in August!! Every time you talk about your library weeding books it sounds worse!
    Jamaica Inn must really be excellent to top the list as your favorite fiction of the year AND to merit a reread so soon! Perhaps I’ll make it my next du Maurier after My Cousin Rachel. I’m definitely intrigued!


    • It’s so atmospheric, and not just in the writing, but the fact that Jamaica Inn is based on a real place. You can check out a map of the area online and follow along with where the characters travel, which is really cool.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ooh, I love fictional places based on real places! I’ll definitely make a note to do that while I’m reading!


          • Nice! I’ll look that up as well!
            I’m aiming to finish my current read and start My Cousin Rachel tonight, so great timing!


              • I’ve just barely started so I don’t have a good idea yet of how long it will take me, but my posting schedule is definitely flexible. I’m already loving the atmosphere and the writing!


                  • I think I’m just one chapter behind you. 🙂 It’s felt like a lot of setup so far (though I’m completely hooked) so I’m excited to get more into the meat of the mystery. I think I’ll make a good dent in it tonight. (The best Friday plans, lol)


                    • HA! I made a big dent myself last night, so I now feel all smiley that we were literally reading together. There’s one element that has me worried, though it’s presented as good. I’m not sure if it would be a spoiler to mention in a review, so maybe I’ll email you about it when we’re done reading.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Nice! It is fun to read the same thing at the same time as someone else, and wonder what they’re thinking about the things that come up. I’m thinking I’ll finish on Sunday night, but I’m going to be out on Mon. so I think Tues. would be the earliest I could do a blog post. Anytime Tues or after is fine with me, so no rush if you want longer to read and work on a review!
                      I have also been wondering if we might want to connect somewhere we could talk spoilers and logistics. I think even Goodreads has a private message option, so I’ll link my profile here in case you want to friend me and try that?
                      I mainly use GR to keep track of my own reading and not as much as a social site so I’m probably kind of boring to follow there (which is the only reason I don’t share my GR link more), but you’re absolutely welcome if you think this might be a good place to chat easily!


                    • I’ll message you on Goodreads and include my phone number. I have a few bloggers I love texting with, especially when it comes to book reactions. If you’re cool with that, feel free to send me a text message once you get my number 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

  4. These all sound like great things! I have to say, I’m jealous of how widely you read across genres. It seems like you have a little of everything here, which is something I’m trying to do for 2020. Last year and the year before that it’s been at least 60% SFF, but I used to read a lot more romance, historical fiction, horror, etc. I’m even trying to throw in a few non-fiction type titles too.

    The Australian America Road trip book sounds like fun! I hope you’ll review it?


    • I wrote a post a few years ago about how when I was 18 I loved this vampire book called The Girls Guide to Vampires, and how I was so ashamed that I liked it that I got rid of it. In my post, I was asking other readers if they were ever ashamed of what they read when they were younger, and everyone encouraged me to get over that. Since then, I’ve been reading all sorts of genres without concern about how it will make my blog look (will I look like some kind of “not serious” reader — that was a concern of mine).

      Although Bill accidentally told me the wrong author, I do think I’ll read and review the road trip book. Everyone is having a giggle in the comments about it, so I think I must!


  5. Ha – love the author confusion. You HAVE to read that book now! I will be reading some Du Maurier in May as part of my friend Ali’s reading week – I won Rebecca in her last year’s one and received Jamaica Inn for Christmas so hoping I can get both in.


    • LOL! Everyone wants me to read the travelling Kiwi book now! 😂 I might even have to move it up in the schedule to capitalize on this funny moment.

      Rebecca is so delightful, and I hope you watch the Hitchcock movie first (I saw first because it is wonderful but also provides great visuals for Manderlay).


  6. Wow, the library weeded that book out so quickly! What is the criteria for weeding books? I have absolutely no clue what my library’s criteria is and how fast they weed out books. Seems like they didn’t even give that particular title a chance…


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