Jeez, I have to stop writing my Sunday Lowdown post on Saturday night. By the time I get here, I’m hyper aware that I haven’t had a nap, there’s no Jeopardy! on Saturdays, and it’s likely I’ve had a meltdown in traffic or a store.
There were some highlights this week, though. I bailed from Goodreads. That’s right; after thirteen years I’ve stopped using it and switched to The Story Graph. My main reasons were 1) I’m only getting notifications from spam bots with porn sites in their bios liking my posts, 2) None of my actual friends are responding to my comments because Goodreads doesn’t seem to think it’s important to notify us of when we get a real comment (I don’t notice these missed replies until I’m scrolling through the home page), 3) Their recommendations don’t match anything I want to read and instead reflect what Amazon, their parent company, wants to sell.
On The Story Graph, the recommendations are so close to the kind of thing I would read, and I’ve already added several books to my TBR. I love that there is a DNF button and you can add content warnings to a book to help readers avoid things they don’t want/need in their reading lives. The interface is much cleaner and professional looking that Goodreads, which has always had the appearance of an open-source platform that needs love. The Story Graph has an app that works! Biscuit and I are over there already. You can search for me by looking up my email address, email@example.com. Granted, The Story Graph does not have a comment section, but I have you guys. And pretty much any stranger I wrote to on Goodreads was a suspicious weirdo, choosing terse language instead of being a helpful book person.
Nick and I are scheduled for our first vaccines on April 7th. Indiana was supposed to go down to 16+ on March 31st, but a guy who works for Nick texted the team on March 29th that the appointment site for the state quietly dropped the age to thirty. I frog hopped out of the shower when Nick told me and jumped on the site to sign up, sitting there dripping all over the place and not even caring if I would be late for work as I queued up in the digital “waiting room.” My manager would have forgiven me. I’m glad we found out early because come March 31st, over 100,000 appointments were made on that site. I sent Nick’s minion (what’s the real word for someone you manage? Underling? Person who is employed?) flowers at work the next day. That may seem odd, but I read recently that most men receive flowers as a gift for the first time at their own funerals. I wrote on the card “you are a good dude.” Instead of call the vaccine “the jab” like most folks in these parts, I give a more gentle name: “the pweek.” Like, a cute little sound of a needle entering your skin. I keep singing, “Next week ’till the pweek!” Perhaps this is getting tiresome to Nick.
Now that spring is here and it’s snowing and 70 Fahrenheit in the same week, we decided to buy a “buddy pass” to a miniature golf place called Ninja Golf! (the exclamation was their choice, not mine). So far, we’ve only eaten ice cream there with names like “Play Doh” and “Michigan Pot Hole” and drank French press coffee on the outside picnic tables, but I appreciate local businesses that cut a deal to couples without children. Some other local businesses will have a big sale day on their site for literally everyone — college students, grandparents, people with kids — except a couple. How bizarre is it that our new coffee place is a mini golf course??? I’ve used the word “bizarre” about 1,000 times this past week. Am I in a vocabulary rut? Is life really getting more bizarre each week?? Either way, it’s official; Nick is my buddy and I have a mini golf pass to prove it. I’m going to get my birthday cake a Ninja Golf! and make use of my discount ASAP. I mean, if you’re going to have two pandemic birthdays, you might as well support both ninjas and golf while eating a cake both the flavor and color of your choosing.
THIS WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
I will never get enough Zora Neale Hurston. Even Zora at her worst is better that most writers at their best. Though Moses, Man of the Mountain is based on the Biblical tale, I wouldn’t call this Christian fiction. I’d lean toward fable, parable, maybe even humor. In Hurston’s hands, every tale is masterfully told. For those who have tried Their Eyes Were Watching God and struggled with the southern Florida dialect, there is none to be found here, so you should try it.
Despite being hilarious, salty, and charming in her Zoom author event for her newest book, It’s Not All Downhill from Here, Terry McMillan didn’t impress me so much with her writing. Too many characters and loads of concern trolling made it hard to listen to this audiobook. Try a novel like Who Asked You? by McMillan instead.
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
The classic novel The Street by Ann Petry had been in my box of owned books TBR for a few years. I can’t remember why I suggested the former book blogger Roshni read this one in particular with me, but I did and we both loved it. Roshni and I did a video chat while I sat in frigid Indiana and she B&B’d in Hawaii for a month, aligning our five hour time difference to something reasonable. Set in Harlem, The Street felt familiar to me until I got to the surprising end. Review Tuesday.
On Thursday, I’m trying out another Terry McMillan book. I Almost Forgot About You was much better than my last McMillan read, and I had fun talking about it with Biscuit, as we read it together. It’s a fun, feminine book about a woman in her 50s contacting all the men she believes she loved and telling them they mattered to her after she finds out one of them has been dead for five years and she didn’t know.
BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR PILE
Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 242 Owned Books on TBR Today: 231
231 is the same number as last week because I bought a book, one that The Story Graph recommended to me and sounded perfect, but is self-published and thus not available at libraries. I also added another recommended by The Story Graph that is easily procured at a library.