Sunday Lowdown #68


I’ve discovered that wearing a mask reduces my allergies a ton. I don’t write “seasonal allergies” because I have them year-round, all four seasons. That sure makes up for the way I occasionally drool when the steam becomes too great on my lips.

The spouse and I had another movie theater parking lot picnic, this time with Chipotle and a bit of dancing to “Blue Black Jack” by Mos Def. Maybe next time we’ll upgrade to a full-blown dance party. And then? PARKING LOT PROM FOR TWO.

I stuck with Friday Horror Movie Solo Date Night, this time watching Happy Death Day. I was prepared with popcorn this go around, but did not build a full pillow fort. Do you know how hot it is in there?? There’s no wind in a dang living room pillow fort.


I love the deep conversation going on over Reading Flannery O’Connor and appreciate the way fellow readers make me look at the stories differently. Those of you who aren’t reading along but commenting pose great questions and make me come from a different angle, too! Check out Week #2 conversation, and if you missed it, head back to Week #1 comments.

On a different side of the world of fiction I got to meet Vee, a recent high school graduate trying to make her mark in Hollywood despite literally malnourished and shallow people in the business trying to shame her away from her dreams in All About Vee: Fat Girls in L.A. by C. Leigh Purtill.


Week #3 of Reading Flannery O’Connor is shaping up to be the best yet. I see themes and patterns, but each story has hit me in a different emotional place. I look forward to all you beautiful readers commenting on Tuesday!

Something has changed at Grab the Lapels. It’s like the pandemic flipped a switch that makes think that if someone recommends a book, or a new book captures my attention for a squirrel second, I have to read it. I’ve bought most books you folks have recommended me, plus all the ones that catch my eye and say something like “Hitting the shelves this week!” Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner came out May 5, 2020. When I bought the novel, I hadn’t read Weiner before, but knew she was famously fat positive (I just hadn’t arrived at her oeuvre yet). Big Summer review on Thursday!


We’ve got a new book! Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1963. This novel was assigned to me in a science fiction and fantasy course I took in college, and I remember enjoying how it straddled both genres. Reading aloud this time around, I find the narrator witty, pushing against society in ways that feel bohemian despite his military experience. To be fair, Tom Robbins was in the military and that guy is boho-delux, so I may be off on my assessment of veterans being opposite of hippies. We’ve reached the moment in the book where the narrator receives three copies of a newspaper ad that sound like it was written exactly for him. What happens next? Dun dun DUN!


Thanks to Anne @ I’ve Read This for her recommendation!


  1. Good luck with Robert Heinlein. SF fans used to make fun of him because he was a little guy and all his heroes were supermen and his heroines sex goddesses. He tells a cracking yarn, but he really is in to all that stuff about people needing strong leaders. No democratic nonsense in a Heinlein novel.


    • That’s so sad that people would disparage an author for his physical appearance. If I remember correctly, there is no sex in this book until the very, very end. The woman is described as a tank, though very beautiful.


  2. I went through a terrible phase of buying books as if there weren’t going to be any more books ever. I thought I’d calmed down, but just this afternoon I had to buy book 4 in a series where i have books 3 and 5. That’s just being sensible, right?


  3. I just heard of Big Summer because the author was interviewed on What Should I Read Next? – I will be interested to hear your thoughts as it sounds like a lot of fun!


    • It was unexpected to the point where I’m not sure what is a spoiler, so I was very careful in my review. I have to imagine some interviews and reviewers are sharing more than the book synopsis does, though.


  4. I freaking love Heinlein. I think he is best heard read aloud, though — whether how you and Nick are doing it or via audiobook. I find when I hear his text read to me, I am more thoughtful about what is happening and I get a chance to make broader connections. His writing. Oh man.

    Hey, quarantine is a weird time. You can read whatever you want to read. Me? I’m reading vampire smut and graphic novels. If you want to read the next big book coming out or whatever, you’re entitled to it. Life is weird right now. Read what makes you happy!! (And then tell me how great it is or is not)

    I’m glad your mask helps with allergies! That never would have occurred to me… but makes logical sense. I am also super jealous of your Parking Lot Prom for Two. I wish I could attend. But that would defeat the purpose. Everyone needs more dance parties in their life!


  5. I love hearing about your parking lot picnics! And Chipotle! Yum! I haven’t had Chipotle since before quarantine. Mostly because there’s not one in my county and I’d have to drive like 20 minutes, LOL.


    • I think there are three pretty close to use, but we live in a sizable city that is connected to another medium-size city. I wish they didn’t make all of their meat options so spicy! We had to shower later on because the tree we sit under dumped all kinds of sticks and plant bits on us, and I kept finding it in my hair.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Girl you are most welcome and I hope you enjoy that poetry. Her graphic memoir is great too.

    Also, did you know that Canada doesn’t have Chipotle? And I freaking love Chipotle? There are so many delicious restaurants down there that we don’t have. One of my favs? PF CHANGS!!!!


    • Apparently, he wasn’t going to write a book, but all his fans cheering and praying for him as he battles cancer changed his mind. I read recently that there is talk of Brian Cranston taking over Jeopardy!, but nothing official.


  7. I only know Robert Heinlein from Starship Troopers (and even that is from the movie, not the book) so I’ll be curious to hear about it from your perspective.

    I’m a bit jealous that you can still go see a movie! We had our first Leaving the House date recently and it was glorious. We got take-out and sat at the beach and it was the first time we’ve both been out without the kids in over 2 months!


  8. I also have seasonal allergies—my first bout started when the lockdown hit, so people were really avoiding me then! I’m glad the mask prevents it. I hope it’ll do the same for me when I step outside. And I look forward to your review of Big Summer! It looks very chick-lit-y but I’ve glimpsed some reviews which say it’s actually part thriller—so I’m very intrigued!


Insert 2 Cents Here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s