Sunday Lowdown #112

Weekly highlights

I’m digging a bit for some highlights this week, given my general feeling that a Xanax drip would be beneficial. Mask mandate is gone April 6th in Indiana, but I can’t even sign up for a vaccine until March 31st.

Some good stuff . . . Because it’s still March, Biscuit reminded Nick to get a Shamrock Shake. I realized, after eleven years, that Kitty likes string, so I got her a ball of yarn. The best part was last Sunday, when Biscuit Book Club read Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, a book Lou @ Lou Lou Reads loves, so we got our time zones aligned and video chatted. Biscuit says Lou and I look like sisters, and I agree.

I saw this quote on Reddit, and it made me happy because it’s so angry-sounding:

“Metaphors? I hate metaphors. That’s why my favorite book is Moby Dick. No frufu symbolism, just a good simple tale about a man who hates an animal.” – Ron Swanson

*I watched a few episodes of Parks and Rec season one and did not like it, though I hear S1 is not good and the rest are.
Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 242
Owned Books on TBR Today: 231


I was starting to worry about sharing too many Meet the Writer features, but it seems like my regular readers get something different from each interview. Also, I’m now seeing previous guests reading new features! This is community building online, and it makes my heart happy. In case you missed out, check out the newest interview with Linda Wisniewski.

For the first time, Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku and I are on the same page with a Valdemar book. In Changes, whomever the evildoers are, we’re not getting enough information about them to make them scary, threatening, or . . . have a point? Fingers crossed the 4th book in our current quintet is better. I’d like to finish out this three-year #ReadingValdemar project strong.


Although Christian fiction typically is not for me, I trust Zora Neale Hurston. In her hands, the story of Moses is a riveting, funny, yet meaningful novel. Biscuit and I even joined via Zoom with the Eatonville book club, Gathering and Gabbing, to discuss Moses, Man of the Mountain. Review on Tuesday.

I’m so thankful that we can do loads with authors and other readers on video. My local library hosted Terry McMillan to discuss her newest book, It Ain’t All Downhill from Here, which is about five female friends in their seventies navigating what life throws at them. Review Thursday.


I’m specifically listening to Wilson’s book on audio after reading that the narrator won the Audie Award 2020 Best Female Narrator.


    • The book is set in Tennessee, so the audio narrator’s accents really make a difference. Even Lillian’s slightly less polished Tennesseean accent is different from Madison’s rich-girl southern. The twins come to life with her reading, too.


  1. It sounds like fun to video chat about books. I was part of a book club last fall that met via Zoom, but I just couldn’t keep up with the schedule. As for Shamrock Shakes, I’ve never had one!


    • I had my first one (that I can remember) this year. I didn’t love it, mostly because the mint was subtle and whipped cream on top of a shake felt like overkill, but Nick and Biscuit love them. I’m in the minority.


  2. I’m about to head off for (Monday) breakfast, included in our glamping price, starting with a kale smoothie. It’s the same colour as Nick’s but maybe a bit different in content. I wondered at all the Meet the Writers, but they are fun especially when they join in so enthusiastically.


    • It wasn’t that long ago that I learned about Pearlsong Press (I bought one of their books not knowing the publisher, and when I got to the end there was a page describing the mission of the press). After that, I bought a ton of Pearlsong’s books and contacted the owner about meeting some of the authors, hence, so many Meet the Writer features.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We do look pretty alike – I hadn’t thought about it until you pointed it out!

    I also watched a few episodes of Parks and Rec and couldn’t get into it. I love all Mike Schur’s other stuff, but for whatever reason it just didn’t work for me. I even tried skipping ahead to the next series and I didn’t like that either. But I do like that Ron Swanson quote!


    • That quote so wonderfully describes, in my opinion, the way that looking at a book without analyzing it at all can be really funny.

      Do you have siblings who look like you? My brother and I look completely opposite.


      • My brother and I don’t look that similar – he’s much darker than me, with olive skin and very dark brown hair. I think our faces are quite similar shapes, though.


        • Yes!! My brother is the same way, though he has black hair. This is mighty suspicious in a fun way!

          Oh! Also, I started listening to The Thursday Murder Club today on your recommendation. Good gravy, it’s a hoot.


  4. I’ve had a shamrock shake once in my life. Years ago, Peter and I rode our bikes to the nearest McDonalds and then drank them in a nearby park. Where a stranger came up to us and berated us with how unhealthy they are while we just sat uncomfortably thinking, “We know that.” As if we thought just because it’s green it’s nutritious!


  5. I personally love every season of Parks and Rec but the first season I would say is my least favorite. It’s still fun though. I love Ron Swanson. So much, I added the biography of the actor who plays him to my TBR list. (I don’t do a lot of autobiographies but there’s a few coming out this year that I plan on buying upon release.)
    That sucks about the mask mandate being lifted! As someone who has worn them for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for a year now, I have no sympathy for people who bitch about them or the states who lift it so we can keep dealing with this shit even longer.


    • I just read that my county is going to extend it to April 27th, or something like that, because they didn’t even open vaccine appointments to everyone until today (March 31). That seems really dumb to me. This is also the state that said we would be back to normal and enjoying our state fair in July …. of 2020. How do people not know that a human-imposed deadline on a virus means NOTHING?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. OMG Shamrock Shakes? I don’t think they make them in Canada anymore, I could be wrong about that though.

    I loved Parks and Rec, and it definitely does get better, so hang in there. Also, I can’t believe your mask mandate is ending in April? That’s crazy. I expect we will be wearing our masks until next Christmas here in Canada 😦


    • I figure that if it runs out after folks are allowed to get the vaccine, then that’s got to be good enough for now. If people don’t want a vaccine after it’s offered to everyone, I can’t do anything about that.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. FWIW, the first season of Parks and Rec sucks compared to the rest. It is PURE GOLD in season 3. One of my top ten shows ever – but maybe it’s just not for you. 🙂

    I’ve read that if you have a hard time getting a vaccine appointment you should check the “reddest” county close to you and you’ll be able to find appointments. Good luck!


  8. I… have never tried a Shamrock Shake. How can I be alive and American and in 2021 and make that true statement? I have no idea. I do like mint and shakes, but I’d just rather go for chocolate. And actually, I don’t think I’ve ever had a McDonald’s shake at all, chocolate or otherwise. I gave up on McDonald’s early and never looked back. If I ever have to go there with someone in order to not be rude, I just get fries, so clearly my avoidance is not particularly health-related, haha. Anyway I’m glad your green shake brought you some joy!
    Something I do love though is Parks and Rec- it’s definitely a show you have to persevere with, it gets better. That said, I think sticking with the boring opening episodes is necessary because getting used to the style of the show is part of what eventually makes it better, though it’s hard to maintain that level of patience for something you’re turning to for enjoyment. It didn’t work for me at all with The Office, but it did with Parks and Rec.


    • I think the Shamrock Shake brought NICK joy, lol. I wasn’t as impressed.

      I think my thing with TV shows is that there are so many, and as a result I don’t want to stick with a show I’m not enjoying just because everyone else likes it. For instance, it was hard to quit watching Orange is the New Black when the nation was all in a rage over that show, but I just couldn’t keep up with the characters, and it was all drama drama drama.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh right, you did mention it was Nick with the shake in your post, my bad! I am glad someone enjoyed it, in any case! 🙂

        Yeah, that’s definitely fair. I think I only stuck with Parks and Rec because a close friend with very similar taste to mine told me how far to go before deciding to give up, and she was exactly right. But to be fair, I think I do tend to fall for the popular hype a bit more than I would like to admit! I also loved Orange is the New Black but it is definitely too dramatic to be realistic so I can understand your choice to ditch that one as well. Even if all of the individual pieces of it are based on real issues, it does get absurd seeing it all happen to the same group of people in a single place over the course of just a few years.

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