Sunday Lowdown #90

PANDEMIC GRATITUDE

The big one this week is that I got new hearing aids. My previous set were about six years old. Imagine how the technology has changed. Just picture your cell phone from six years ago. I don’t know about you, my mine had one of those slide-out keyboards. Therefore, the difference is tremendous, and I’m told the new hearing aids have Bluetooth, which I’m not interested in. Pairing devices already drives me bonkers. Anyway, my brain has to get used to all the noises I can hear now, like the fact that toilet paper makes sound, I can hear rain through the roof, and my apartment has the eerie creaking of a haunted mansion.

Smaller, but still great, is that I won my first Goodreads giveaway. The book is The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories by Danielle Evans. I’ve heard of people who win these things all the time, but in the twelve years I’ve been on there, not once was I notified of a shiny new book. Then again, I’m not signing up for these giveaways willy-nilly. I get alerts about contests for books already on my TBR shelf.

Below are images of a curry I made and an image I found on Reddit about Google predictions that made me smile. Also, Bill shared with me (just in time!) a new photo of darling Bingo the Dingo on his latest trip to Nullarbor Station.

THIS WEEK’S BLOG POSTS

I started this week with a goofy vampire audiobook called Reckoning by Jeaneine Frost that wasn’t meant to be a romp, but that’s what it was. Poor voice narration combined with some bad writing made for an audiobook at which I laughed — but wasn’t supposed to. I ended the week with a follow-up to the much beloved Chocolat by Joanne Harris. The Girl With No Shadow is a decidedly darker look at magic when it’s used for control and treachery, rather than divining a stranger’s favorite chocolate.

NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POSTS

Werewolves in October? Yes, please! I finished the Seasons of the Moon series by S.M. Reine. I’m not sure the Seasons of the Moon books (for young adults) are any less intense that the first series (The Descent, for adults), but I know I was just as emotionally involved with these teen characters as I was Reine’s adult ones. Review on Tuesday.

Everyone wants to read something spooky/scary/horrifying in October, so I checked out An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten. This is another audio review. Tursten introduces readers to Maud, an 88-year-old little shit who is happy to kill anyone who disrupts her sense of normalcy. It was loads of fun; my review will be here on Thursday.

BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR PILE

Some of these are new releases I heard about on CBS This Morning, and others were added as I read Monster She Wrote by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson.

35 comments

  1. That cover for Elderly Lady! I love it when book covers contradict the tone of a book (I’m reminded of an excellent novel I read years ago, Hausfrau by Jill Essbaum, that had a very, very ‘pretty’ cover that served to highlight the dark themes.

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    • I hope the novelty wear off very soon! It sounds amazing, like seeing color for the first time, or something, but it’s actually quite overwhelming.

      An Elderly Lady is really fun. The first story, especially in audio, was my favorite.

      I hope you have a lovely weekend, too! It’s SO fall here.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bingo certainly pays me a lot of attention. I think it must be that in the past grey nomads have been feeding her but with Covid ending interstate tourism, the caravan park behind the roadhouse has been empty for months and Bingo has latched onto truckies as a new food source. Trouble is I only carry fruit and salad, probably not her normal diet.

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    • D’oh! It’s probably for the best you don’t feed her, but I still think about it. I know that when wild animals are fed, not only can they become a nuisance, but they stop hunting for their own food and suffer for it. Tell Bingo I said go find a ground squirrel (do you guys have squirrels??).

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        • That’s so wild to think of a place without squirrels. They’re EVERYWHERE in the Midwest. Not only that, but people on college campuses like to feed them. Then we get emails from the university about how squirrels are attacking people, so STOP FEEDING THE SQUIRRELS!

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  3. It’s strange enough changing glasses prescription every few years and being reminded that things actually have defined shapes – I can’t imagine upgrading hearing aids with the regular advances in technology! Congratulations on the new hearing aids 😊

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    • My eyes haven’t changed in years, but I’ve heard stories of people who didn’t realize leaves are individual things to make a collective, thinking instead trees are green masses. Thanks for the best wishes! I’m doing my best to adapt.

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  4. Oh hearing aids! I don’t like to talk about myself much but damn can I relate to hearing toilet paper. I just got my first pair (at 40) and I am not adjusting well. Who knew the world was so loud! Hearing my clothing crinkle is making me nuts. It has to get better right? Hope yer adjustment goes well.
    x The Captain

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    • Captain, you are 40??? I never would have guessed! You’re such a young captain at heart! 😀

      Yes, it gets better. Basically, your brain doesn’t know the noise you’re hearing and has to learn it. When I got my first pair about 6 years ago, I was so overwhelmed that I stood there and cried in the store. I know people love videos of babies hearing for the first time, and that’s cute and all, but I’ve had 35 years of not-hearing-but-living that those babies have not. One thing that helps? Read aloud every day for at least 15 minutes. You start to get used to the sound of your own voice and “exercise” your ear follicles, which helps. Let me know if you have any questions or need advice 🙂

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  5. Um, that Elderly Lady Up To No Good looks amazing! Can’t wait to see your review on that. Also, who hasn’t been sucked into a peanut worshipping cult from time to time? BAHHAHAH

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  6. Congrats on the new hearing aids, hope the adjustment is going well. Now I’m concerned about Bingo the Dingo, LOL. I’ve never actually seen what a dingo looks like, so thanks for that. And that Reddit image made me laugh out loud!

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    • Doesn’t Bingo look like a regular dog that you could take home and put a cute collar on?? I forget they’re wild!

      It’s truly wild how Google fills in searches. The suggestion are the most popular queries, which means I HAVE QUESTIONS.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on your goodreads win of The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories. That’s one I want to read myself. And hearing things like the toilet paper, those sound like some really keen hearing devices.

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    • Danielle Evans’s first collection was good; I have that one and was hoping to get my hands on her second collection! Another short story writing I’ve been following closely is Leesa Cross-Smith.

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  8. Hope those new aids come with a mechanism to tune out unwelcome noises like politicians droning on about how they’re the saviour of the world, or yet another pandemic pundit…

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  9. I need to know how you ended up with that Frost book. She’s the one who writes my vampire smut! It’s all hilarious. Oh, I cannot wait to read that review.

    Yay for new hearing aids! That’s so exciting! What inspired the upgrade? Anything in particular? And yes, toilet paper makes a sound. There are probably things I cannot hear any longer, but I don’t know if I want to hear them. Yet. Maybe when Baby Skullface Mercenary is out of the womb I’ll care more. Right now, my 17% hearing loss is a boon in many situations.

    I’m so glad to see West’s new book on your TBR. When I first heard about it my brain said, “Oh, I bet Melanie would LOVE that.” I look forward to your eventual review. Eventually. 😉

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    • The Frost book does not have Cat (?) in it, and apparently that is the character all the readers on Goodreads loves. It was so super silly. I chose it simply because it was a novella and it had a spooky cover. That’s it. Mainly, the novella part.

      I’m exciting about West’s book because I’ve read many of her film reviews on different online magazines, and they’re always die-laughing funny and insightful, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The new hearing aids sound great! You must’ve really been missing out, not being able to hear rain- that can be a very pleasant sound, I think. Something to enjoy going forward! 🙂 And congrats on the Goodreads win- I get those very infrequently (I think twice ever) and it’s been years now since the last one. *sigh* Anyway, The Office of Historical Corrections looks great, it’s one of very few anticipated reads for me this month, though I don’t have a copy yet and am booked through the end of the year anyway. I’ll be interested to see your thoughts whenever you get to it!

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      • That could definitely be a factor, Gay has sway. I’ve also seen Evans’s book floating around Instagram a bit; perhaps it had a big marketing push. To be honest it doesn’t seem like there are a whole lot of interesting new releases this month- the end of the year always seems a bit quieter in the publishing world. Perhaps that makes it easier for something generally less popular like short stories to edge into the spotlight. I mean, I’m hoping it’s just a phenomenal collection, but you’re right that it stands out when a short story collection gains traction.

        Liked by 1 person

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