Sunday Lowdown #131


This was a big! week! I put in my two weeks’ notice at the library on Wednesday and am moving on to other things soon, which I will tell you about when they get closer. Part of that includes starting the ASL journey that will end with me getting my interpreter license. However, this week felt about 84 years long, so I was happy to collapse on home Friday night and watch Dolls (1986), a horror movie with a smart script and some crazy stop motion bits.

Other big news: the Valdemar books are being turned into a TV series, starting with the trilogy that I began with, The Last Herald Mage. The announcement was made on Deadline just this month. Those involved talked about what an impact it had on them in 1989 to read that protagonist Vanyel is gay.

As we bloggers connect and feed of each other’s curiosity, I’m always keeping my eyes open for where I can show off my newfound knowledge of Australia. So when “Australian History” popped up as a category on Jeopardy! I was pleased. Still, something in my goofy brain cannot remember that Canberra is the capital, not Adelaide, which has a nicer sound to it. Try, try again.


Lindy West needs more love, in my opinion, so if you’re in the mood for a funny audiobook that helps you relive, or experience for the first time, classic movies in the U.S. from the 1980s and 1990s, Shit, Actually is a great choice.

If you’re confused about the waves of feminism like I am, Fear of Flying by Erica Jong is a smart, funny novel that gets you into the head space of a female protagonist who has it all and doesn’t want it. Deemed a classic, Jong’s book gives you lots to think over, along with the space to see parts of yourself.


Together with Lou @ Lou Lou Reads I read Woman On The Edge of Time by Marge Piercy. She shared her review not too long ago, and mine will be posted on Tuesday. A mental health/science fiction novel, Piercy writes some interesting, discussion-provoking content, and I was so pleased for a video visit with my friend!

Another buddy read, this time with Biscuit, was The House of Brides by Jane Cockram, who seems to fancy her novel a cross between Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and something by Ruth Ware. We shall see. Review Thursday.


Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 242
Owned Books on TBR Today: 216 (wow!)

Thanks to Cupcakes & Machetes and Bill @ The Australian Legend for their recommendations!


  1. Having participated in a great discussion about waves of Feminism – how good was it that Sue, your genuine 1960s womens libber, came in to clear up all our confusion – I am going to reread Fear of Flying for the first time in 30 or 40 years. And Lou has persuaded me to buy Woman on the Edge of Time (not the same thing as reading it, but I’ll get there). Happy to see you reading Tomorrow when the War Began (book 1 of 7, I think). It has a girl narrator but is written by a guy, so let me know if you want to run a review, or even just make some comments, on my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, I’m glad you’re reading Woman on the Edge of Time! I had a blast talking with Lou, as always. Because she’s a nurse and I’m not, our conversations are interesting and come from totally different perspectives, which helps me re-think everything I read with her. Oftentimes, I try to choose a book for us that has something medical in it just so I can feed off of her knowledge.

      I wonder if Fear of Flying is in audio format. I can see that one being a fun listen, especially with a bold voice narrator.

      I might end up reading Tomorrow, When the War Began to Nick, which takes time because we do about a chapter (around 10 pages) per night. If we do that, I’ll be sure to have him include his thoughts as well for you to share on your blog.


      • I wasn’t clear, but I have Fear of Flying as an audiobook on my phone and am just waiting for my next job to start listening. I’d be happy to listen to Tomorrow again too, it’s been a few years and this time I could listen to the books in order instead of as other drivers returned them to the ‘library’ ( a cupboard on the back verandah of a country roadhouse).


  2. Hang on, Melanie, what’s this about Adelaide sounding nicer!! Haven’t I – a Canberran – taught you anything? Next time Australian appears on Jeopardy, remember that not only is Adelaide NOT Australia’s capital but it is an English name bestowed by the colonial invaders for a Queen, while Canberra (a much nicer sounding name if you ask unbiased me!) is based on the First Nations name for the area. Oh well, at least you didn’t say Sydney, which is the usual mistake, so I’m begrudgingly impressed.

    And good for you for following a career dream and making a change (at least I’m guessing that’s what’s happening). I look forward to hearing all about what you are doing next.

    I enjoyed the Erica Jong discussion though hope I wasn’t too heavy-handed – and thank Bill for encouraging me!

    I should read Marge Piercy’s classic, one day.

    I look forward to your reading Tomorrow, when the war began. I read that with my kids. Marsden is an excellent writer for kids and young adults. And has written some excellent female protagonists, Bill! So much to tell you, is absolutely gut-wrenching, and Letters from the Inside, is so good too. Both, I see, were listed by the American Library Association as best books for Young Adults.


    • I think Adelaide has a nice ring to it, like a lovely girl’s name, but now that I know it’s an invader’s name, I shall file it away in a different folder in my brain! I also didn’t put it together, Sue, that you are in Canberra. I can also add this to my mental notes.

      Thank you for the encouragement. Any change scares the crap out of me, but I take things one day at a time in an effort to not invent panic. I’ll keep you folks updated in my Sunday Lowdown posts!

      You were definitely NOT heavy-handed, and I agree with Bill that it was great to have you in the conversation.

      Marge Piercy was a great read, and I hope my review encourages other folks to pick it up. I see it has some negative reviews on Goodreads, but I’m not sure I follow what the complaints are.


      • it does have a Nivence ring to it. One of my reading group members named one of her daughters Adelaide! All Australian state capital city names are British in origin so it’s interesting and inspiring that back in 1913 something different was chosen for the nation’s capital, though some British and other doozies were put forward!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Looking forward to your review of Woman on the Edge of Time! And congratulations on the impressive drop in your TBR – I have no idea how many books are on mine (though it doesn’t especially bother me and most of my owned books come from charity shops, so I don’t worry about it too much).


    • I had such a hard time writing my review because I read yours and it was really good! LOL. You’re so thoughtful, and it shines through in your writing.

      I’ve been reading lots of books with Biscuit, and I organize my reading, so each month I have at least one book, if not more, that comes from the books I own.


  4. Definitely not sure about Vanyel being televised. Like you, The Last Herald Mage were the first Valdemar books I ever read and they remain my favourites. I hope they do it well. Some of it is very dark but that’s what makes it so good.


    • I hope they act the crap out of Vanyel and Stefan and the death scenes. I hope the magic doesn’t look cartoony. I’m excited about it, but I have this horrible fear that it will be a while before this project even gets off the ground. There’s no mention of actors, for instance.


  5. Congratulations on moving onto new things! I read Tomorrow When the War Began and some of its sequels as a teenager. I don’t remember much about it now but I love Marsden’s stand-alone, Letters from the Inside.


  6. Cannot wait to see where all your new adventures take you! It’s going to be so exciting. I just know it. I was eyeballing Dolls the other day when I ended up watching Chopping Mall so now I will have to give that one a go as well. 🙂


  7. I’m excited to read about your latest read-along with your Mum, I love the idea of a cross between Ruth Ware and Rebecca! Also, good for you for moving on from the library to something else, that takes courage and was no doubt a difficult decision, but you are going after what you want and that is something to be CELEBRATED!!!!


  8. Is Tomorrow When the War Began a kids book? I’m sure I’ve read it years ago. A group of kids go camping and return home to find that their town has been invaded?

    Congrats on putting in your notice and moving on to new things! Excited to hear what’s next!


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