Sunday Lowdown #130


You ever see those videos of bears that get stuck in dumpsters, and some well-meaning nature types throw a ladder in to get the big galoot out? That was me this week. Not the do-gooder, but the bear, stuck in a dumpster. With the help of my spouse and Biscuit, who were, in this metaphor, the people with the ladder, I’m trying to come out of the stank and move forward with dignity. This is not a highlight, just to be clear.

What was a highlight was the spouse and I meeting up with a coworker of mine and her fiance to go bowling. I don’t know her very well, but she is also a comrade in arms with hearing aids, and I have to admit, it’s fun to vent about the things hearing people do with someone who understands.


I’m glad that so many of you connected with Leah Angstman’s interview and are interested in her book! When I get the interview form back from a writer, I never know what the answers will be like. Some folks a are pretty reserved, others spill a rather dark history, and still others are mainly sharing about their book, which is okay, too.

In my review of Closer to the Heart by Mercedes Lackey, I ended by asking the question, “Do you have a favorite book or series that you read in which the character grew up? How did you know the character was finally ‘grown’ — what did he or she do differently?” If you didn’t answer, go ahead and click the book title above and do so. I know many of you are series readers, and I’m curious to know your thoughts.


Lindy West is someone I connect to when I read her work, whether it’s her online pieces or the essay collection Shrill. I feel “safe” with this author poking at culture (is that weird to say?). My review of her newest book will go live Tuesday.

Fear of Flying by Erica Jong is a classic, and since I haven’t read lots of feminist classics, I bought this one. . . too long ago. And now I’ve read it! My review will go up Thursday.


Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 242
Owned Books on TBR Today: 219


  1. I read Fear of Flying 30 or 40 years ago and don’t remember it at all. Allende I’ve read 3 or 4 of, one just last week. I think she’s just a so-so writer but very knowledgeable and interesting about South America. I’m thinking about your series question because I missed the review, I’ll get there tomorrow probably.
    Haven’t been bowling for years – one of America’s better contributions to the world.


    • I remember the email you sent me in which you gave Milly a copy of Fear of Flying and how well that went over. Perhaps it is a dangerous book given with care!

      I was not great at bowling; for some reason, I start out strong and get progressively get worse as the game goes on.


  2. I have not read many of the feminist classics. Something I want to change so I’m hoping to take a literature class at some point. My student advisor for school is SO positive and helpful, the class I want wasn’t available this coming semester but another literature class was. I was a bit torn and he said, “If that’s the class you really want, let’s wait! It will come up.” I am not used to them caring about what you want out of your college education. My last advisor (years ago) kept trying to stick me in classes that I didn’t want or need. So my aunt fired them and she became my advisor lmao.


    • I know what you mean. As I work with Goshen College, which is a small, private school, they’re very hands on and care about what I think. When I went to CMU, it was like, “Did you pay your tuition? Cool. You graduated? Alright, ready to donate??” No one ever helped me with advising in a meaningful way. Of course, I had to do a pre-graduation audit, which I paid for, where they confirmed that I did, in fact, sign myself up for the right classes.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you were able to climb out of the dumpster with help! Hope this week is better for you.

    I do read series,but aside from Anne of Green Gables and Harry Potter, they mostly seem to feature fully grown adults. So that’s why I couldn’t think of a good answer to your discussion question. I don’t read YA a lot and I think that’s where one might find a character growing up over time.


    • I don’t read a lot of YA either. I wondered about folks who have read Harry Potter, especially people who grew with the series themselves. I was not one of those people (I only read the first book). Lou leaves a great comment about Anne of Green Gables on my post.

      Another one I just thought of is actually Sweet Valley. The books were not written in order of their development — I think they started with high school and then went back to elementary and middle school, and then later to the college years. In the last decade there have been a few novels about the twins as adults. From what I’ve read, these characters have not grown AT ALL. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was a big fan of Sweet Valley High when I was in 4th and 5th grade. From what I remember it was very short of character growth/development. 😉

        As for Harry Potter, which I read as an adult, and loved – those kids were forced into such serious and life-threatening situations at such a young age it was almost like they were mini adults in a way. As they age there’s definitely the expected emergence of crushes and that sort of thing, but other than that they’re remarkably self-sufficient and strong. Oh, and Harry’s having to deal with his grief over his parents. And the series ends with a brief glimpse of the main characters as adults, with kids of their own. So that’s how you know they’ve grown up, ha ha!


  4. Glad you had people to get you out of the skip!!

    That cover of Fear of Flying! I’m sure mine just has an actual zip on it. I do remember quite a lot about it but I read it when I was about 16 (I wrote her a letter; she didn’t write back. Her and Iris Murdoch (Iris did)).


    • OMG, Liz, I love that you read Fear of Flying when you were sixteen. That would messed me up! It’s sweet that you wrote her a letter, too. I feel like in the 1990s and before we were told you could write to people and they would get it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so glad your husband and Biscuit were there with a ladder. When you have a week like that, all you can do is hold your nose and put one foot in front of the other until you make it to the shower. Glad you met someone you could vent to who totally got what you were talking about though ❤️. Hope this week is better!


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