Sunday Lowdown #99


Christmas has come and gone, and all is well. But thanks to COVID-19, small grievances can pile up like they’re much bigger, and they were a couple of times leading up to Christmas that I felt like this sheep:

But Christmas Eve and Day were nice. I made a turkey Christmas Eve afternoon for the sole purpose of turning it into other meals:

On Christmas morning we had a sausage, pancake, and apple dish, and Kitty wore herself out in the wrapping paper:

And since my buddy-read book club meets every Monday and Thursday, we had our first meeting for Beloved by Toni Morrison on Christmas Eve. So far, it’s a more challenging book than I thought it would be due to an unconventional writing style and storytelling method. Both of our pets got in on the action:

Saturday was my rotation to work at the library, so I got a bit of a break from being at home, which is nice because next week is New Year’s Eve and day, so we get next Thursday and Friday off, too. I’m not a fan of too many days at home. Is this a very American thing to think?


The newly-released collection of short stories The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories by Danielle Evans wasn’t as well-crafted as I thought it would be. If you were excited about Evans’s new collection and had it on your TBR — I know many of you did — consider pivoting to her older collection, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self.

I went from a short story collection to a family saga. Some Sing, Some Cry by Ntozake Shange and Ifa Bayeza was an exciting, entertaining, and compelling book that suffered from repetition in the last two generations, but it’s still worth reading.


On Tuesday I will wrap the entire reading year up with some stats and reflections, and I’ll include a look ahead into 2021. The pandemic made me more whimsical with my reading in 2020, but I’m going to try to hunker down in 2021 and get some of the physical TBR pile read and donated, if possible.

On Thursday you’ll get two-for-one: my reviews of the novella Rolling in the Deep and the much longer follow-up novel, Into the Drowning Deep, both by Mira Grant. Known for her enticing horror, this time around Grant gives readers a scare with murderous mermaids that mimic humans and may be much more dangerous than originally thought.


Thanks to Emily @ Literary Elephant for her recommendation!


  1. I managed to get (mildly) ill at Christmas and so there is lots of Christmas food, mostly involving whipped cream that I am unable to eat. The sheep in the top picture is actually in a bad way as its stomach has spread down beside its spine making it unable to roll on to its side. Granddad used to go round his poll dorset stud every morning just to make sure there were no sheep in this position.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The sheep picture is less funny to me now that another commenter said that a sheep like that is in a bad way. 😦

      I’m going to do my best to catch up on all my books this week! Sometimes having little to do during a vacation makes it harder to read, and I don’t know why.


  2. Merry Christmas Melanie, and I hope you’ll have a happy new year, too! Your food photos certainly look delicious and entirely celebration-worthy, and I’m glad Kitty got in on the festivities, too. πŸ™‚

    I hope you’ll like The Body Lies as much as I did, and I’m looking forward to your reading year wrap-up!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve had Some Sing, Some Cry in audiobook for years and just haven’t “read” it yet, so it’s good to hear that you enjoyed it. For awhile, I was collecting super-long audiobooks for a friend, and I now have that collection to listen to myself, but it takes me a long time to listen to a book, now that I have so many bookish podcasts (and NPR podcasts LOL) to listen to as well. We finished our holiday leftovers last night and are looking forward to another round for the new year. I’m glad you’re mostly enjoying your holiday and your current reads. Hope you have many good times and good stories ahead of you in 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

      • That’s GTK…maybe I’ll get to it in 2021…I should make a separate list for listening in the year, because otherwise I just get distracted by all the good (and fresh) audio content on other topics.

        Yes, thanks. It was mostly very quiet and almost entirely stressfree, which left a LOT more time for reading and I definitely pushed that to the limit. And, now, we’re nearly at the middle of January and I’m just getting caught up online. OOps. I hope your 2021 is off to a good start.


    • How are things going at your library? A couple of weeks ago we reduced our computer-use time to thirty minutes per day instead of the two hours folks got pre-COVID. It was handed down by our board, who has to make decisions based on the Indiana State Library due to public funding reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my those turkey dishes look delish! And I’m also thoroughly impressed that your buddy read met on Christmas Eve, those are some dedicated bookworms right there!

    Glad to see you had a relaxing holiday, I loved getting to know you even better this past year Melanie, and I hope to continue our online bookish friendship for many years to come πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was nice to make one turkey Christmas Eve morning and then turn it into different things. I’m glad I thought of it (this year was my first turkey; I’m usually at family’s).

      Did you guys have a nice Christmas? I feel like I haven’t heard as much about your kids in ages. I’ve actually forgotten how old they are!

      I think you are one of the oldest blogger connections I have. Isn’t that wild? I can’t even remember how I met people because I’ve been doing this for so long…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! I consider that a huge compliment (being one of your oldest blog connections) πŸ™‚ We had a lovely Xmas, took advantage of the lockdown up here to stay close to home and potty-train our youngest, Arthur. it’s a disgusting job but has to be done! One of those parenting hurdles ya know?


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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s