Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Sunday Post #205

I hope you had a super-fun Christmas!

The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, and The Sunday Salon is hosted by Readerbuzz. They’re a chance to recap the past week, talk about next week, and share news. It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Date. I get to tell you what I’ve read recently.

Public Service Announcement

In 2020, I’m going to be participating in the Discussion Challenge, which is hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts At Midnight. As always, I have no idea what to discuss. If you have any topics you’d like to see me blather about, let me know.

On The Blog Last Week

On The Blog This Week

  • On Tuesday we talk about the best books I read in 2019.
  • On Wednesday I show you some upcoming book releases I’m excited about.
  • On Thursday I wrap up December.

In My Reading Life

I actually finished a book last week! *Victory dance.* I finished Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell. It’s about an older man who isolated himself on an island. His life changes when his ex-girlfriend turns up and demands to know why he abandoned her. Unpopular opinion: I didn’t love it. It’s atmospheric, but it’s also repetitive and far-fetched.

I made it through the British Isles in Best-Loved Folktales of the World by Joanna Cole. My favorites are “The Cow On The Roof” (Wales) and “The Pied Piper” (England). Also, what the heck is wrong with Ireland? Why do their stories all end with everyone getting decapitated? It’s a bit concerning. Right now, I’m reading the folktales from Scandinavia and northern Europe. I’m not even halfway through this book.

I’m also reading Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. Classic children’s books are unsettling because they’re stuffed full of casual racism. I keep stumbling across things in this novel that make me go, “Wait, what?” So far, not much has happened in the plot.

In The Rest Of My Life

Five things that made me happy last week (Christmas edition):

  1. Christmas! The baby got so many toys. And every single one of them makes noise. I have a headache, but she’s having fun.
  2. Cookies, and candy, and pie. Basically, everyone gave me food for Christmas.
  3. Walking the dog at night. It’s very cold and very dark, but the Christmas lights are pretty.
  4. My $100 book shopping spree giveaway is over. You don’t have to see my constant reminders of its existence anymore! I had fun with it. I want to do it again next year if that’s financially possible. I’ll post the winner’s shopping list in my December wrap-up.
  5. I got books and bookish stuff! Thanks Lauren @ Shooting Stars Mag for the big box of Christmas presents. Check out my Christmas haul:

Stalk Me Everywhere

Take care of yourselves and be kind to each other! See you around the blogosphere!


  1. I'll be having my usual quiet New Year and hoping the neighbours are not having a party! I hate the noise all night from yobs setting off fireworks so I have to watch TV with headphones plugged in to drown it out! Have a good New Year!

  2. Oh my GOSH! I am obsessed with the Stephen King ornament!!! I had one of those on my christmas wish list. But to be fair, I had a 4 of them... and my husband panicked trying to choose the "right one" lol

  3. I spy a Neal Shusterman book in your pile! Woo hoo!

    As always, I'm excited you're joining us for the Discussion Challenge!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  4. I need to look into the Discussion Challenge. It sounds like this might be a challenge I need to join in. One of my resolutions for the new year is always to talk less and listen more. Maybe I need to do that on my blog, too. To talk and then give others a chance to talk? To listen to other bloggers on their blogs a bit more?

    You might like to read Italian Folktales one day (if you haven't already). It's huge, and full of wildly violent old stories set in Italy. It's collected by Italo Calvino, so it's quite worth a read. I didn't get the Joanna Cole collection for Christmas, but maybe I'll get it this coming year.

    Of course the old stories are full of unsettling material, but at least it wasn't a time you had to live through (unlike some of us). I'd concede that it is still something we are fighting. I was always surprised how many of the Newbery books featured strong girls. I think librarians were trying to secretly shake things up, even then.

    Here's to a wonderful new year.

  5. Have fun with the Discussion Challenge. Cookies, and candy, and pie are some of my favorite things.
    What a great book haul! Love the King ornament! Happy New Year!

  6. I love that Stephen King ornament, it’s awesome!
    I well remember those days of battery operated noisemakers, thankfully mine all wear headphones these days, mostly.

    Wishing you a great reading week and a Happy New Year

  7. Lol! What is it about noisy gifts for babies/toddlers. I remember Nanny and Gramps bought our eldest a mini electric drum set one Christmas "Oh, what a good idea," I said with a big grin "that can stay at their house to start a musical collection for when you visit every Friday!" I definitely wasn't having it at our house!! ;-) I love the goodies box you got, especially the mini Stephen King. Brilliant!
    I hope you enjoy the rest of your week, AJ.
    Here's my Sunday Post
    Flora x

  8. I haven't actually heard of 'The Cow on the Roof' ...huh. I'll have to look through my Welsh folk-tale books!

    Also, several of our stories also end up with people and/or giants being decapitated, usually resulting in a holy spring emerging from their necks, so it's not only Ireland. Maybe it's a Celtic thing.

    I love your Stephen King tree decoration btw! XD

  9. I hated when family gave noisy toys to my kids! Because it never stopped LOL Anyway good for you on finally finishing a book AJ. Let's hope it's a winning streak and there will be more next week!

  10. Great haul! Dry looks really good. I hope you have a happy new year. :)
    Krystianna @ Volumes and Voyages

  11. Discussion challenge sounds fab.ill try and learn more,thanks so much!

  12. Oh the noise of baby/kid toys. I cringe just thinking about it. That’s quite the bookish haul you’ve got there! And that ornament is priceless. :)

  13. Wow, what a great haul from Lauren! Glad your niece had a wonderful first Christmas!

  14. So, I guess I didn't win. DRAT! It's wild that you hosted such a big giveaway, though. I think I was 8 or 9 when I read Caddie Woodlawn. That's a blast from the past. When my daughter was younger, I planted the battery free seed. I couldn't deal with the noises.

  15. Haha our dog got lots of toys and they all make noise! I hope you have a Happy New Year with some peace and joy! Enjoy your new reads!

    Anne - Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post   

  16. Why do so many toys make noise? I am not sure that it is entirely necessary. Maybe the battery companies are bribing toy makers. I am glad you had a nice holiday and I was all about the desserts like you. What a wonderful gift!

  17. You're reading a lot of hard books lady!

    I'm happy you had a good holiday, and I hope those toys mysteriously lose their batteries. Haha.

  18. I should join the Discussion challenge too. I haven't done a discussion post in like years, feels like.

    Sounds like you had a nice Christmas. I hope your New Year's is great too!

  19. I'm glad you had a wonderful Christmas, and I'm so happy you enjoyed your box of goodies. You were a lot of fun to shop for. Oh gosh, baby toys that make noise. I'd have a headache too. LOL


  20. What a great Stephen King ornament! Enjoy your book haul, and the upcoming week. Happy New Year!

  21. Eep..noisy toys. Glad it was a lovely holiday though. I love the King ornament. Hope you have a fab New Year!!

  22. YAY so glad you're joining us in Discussionland! Someone has to do some discussions since I clearly can't be bothered 😂 Also I spy DRY!!!! (See what I did there?) Also uhhh may the odds be ever in your favor with the baby toys. If it helps, I think I can tune out almost any noise at this point? So... your senses shall dull and you'll no longer care, and that's the only good news there haha. Glad you got such lovely gifts!

  23. Oh I remember reading Caddie Woodlawn as a kid and I loved it back then but definitely couldn't pick it up now. I think it's probably super sexist too, right? Gah. I'll be excited to read your discussions!!😍😍

  24. Hahaha that ornament is the best!!!

    And you are so right about children's classic books - I love Little House on the Prairie but Ma was pretty racist. And I am pretty sure I remember Pa doing something racist as well, in Little Town on the Prairie. Our history is not pretty, and even uglier when reflected in something that should be as pure as a children's book. I am reading the Little House series to Wyatt and for now I skip those parts. When he is older we will actually discuss them.

    I am so glad that you had a wonderful holiday! I am glad your niece is enjoying her gifts as well. :)

  25. Looks like you had a great bookish Christmas. Come see my week here. Happy reading and happy new year!

  26. Ha ha on the noisy toys. Looks like you had a great Christmas. The discussion challenge sounds . . . well, challenging!

  27. Yes... noisy toys and small children. Adults who have already been through often reveal a cruel streak. My sister and I recall - with some bitterness - how my mother used to deal with all our squeaking toys with a knitting needle...

    Have a lovely New Year.

  28. You made me laugh at the christmas presents making noise. What fun for the baby, not so much for you. But I think they can make their own noise anyway! All the best with the discussion topics, it will be the only challenge i do this year as its writing not reading!!

  29. Very nice Christmas Haul! You did well this year. Happy New Year and have a great week!

  30. It took me awhile to get into Caddie Woodlawn, but I actually liked it, and it seems as if her treatment of Native Americans was kinder than that of La;ura Ingalls Wilder :D Also read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and just LOVED IT! (Will be going into my best of 2019 reads list tomorrow..) happy upcoming New Years and I hope you and your family will have a happy January filled with books, books and more books :D

  31. That's a pretty fantastic Christmas haul! Happy New Year, AJ!

  32. I did the Discussion Challenge last year. I was hoping to do 12 posts but I think I only did 11. See what I've been reading at Girl Who Reads

  33. I'm also joining the 2020 Discussion Challenge. Without this challenge, I wouldn't write discussion posts. =P I really want to read Spectacle.

    Happy New Year!
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret