Sunday, January 9, 2022

The Sunday Post #289


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The Sunday Post is a chance to recap the past week, talk about next week, tell you what I’m reading, and share news. It’s hosted by The Caffeinated Book ReviewerReaderbuzz, and Book Date.

The Sunday Post #289

Public Service Announcement

I'm signing up for the 2022 Discussion Challenge hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts At Midnight. The challenge is to post more book or blogging discussions on my blog. I've been participating in this challenge for years and have no idea what to talk about anymore. I'm all out of discussion ideas! If you have a topic you want to see me blather about, please let me know. If you have bookish topics you want to discuss on your blog, please sign up for the challenge. (You can win cool prizes.)

On The Blog Last Week

On The Blog This Week

  • On Tuesday, I show off my most-anticipated young adult book releases for 2022

In My Reading Life

Last week, I read Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. This is one of those young adult books that remind me I'm no longer the target audience for young adult books. It's about a teen whose three friends die in a car accident. He feels responsible because they were texting him at the time of the crash. To find peace with his role in their deaths, he decides to have "goodbye days," where he hangs out with the families of his dead friends.

This book is awesome for teenagers because it examines the unique ways humans respond to death. Some of the family members are forgiving, some are angry, some are stressed out, some are confused. This book is an in-depth look at grief. It would be perfect for a young person who doesn't have experience with death. I think they'd learn a lot from it.

I'm an old person who has dealt with my fair share of corpses. I got a little bored with the book and kept wishing something else would happen. It's a long, slow, character-driven story. I appreciated the loving characters and the humor, but I was tempted to skim ahead. There's not much plot.

I guess I'm conflicted about this one. When I was the age of the target audience, I would have loved the realistic characters. As an adult, I kept glancing at my bookshelf to see if I owned any books with more action.

Speaking of books with no action, I finally finished Little Heaven by Nick Cutter. I should have given up on this one, but after 3 weeks of slogging through it, I couldn't bring myself to abandon it. I wanted the payoff for my hard work! This horror novel is reminiscent of Stephen King. There are short bursts of ultra-disturbing horror separated by long stretches of nothingness that an editor should have cut. The book stars three bounty hunters who are hired to rescue a family from a cult compound. Unfortunately, the compound is guarded by dangerous supernatural critters that are nearly impossible to kill.

The horror scenes kept me reading. They are disgusting in the best possible way. Those creatures are terrifying! Unfortunately, the plot bounces all over the place, and the characters are cartoonish. It felt like 3 half-baked novels crammed into one book. I couldn't get invested in it.

In The Rest Of My Life

Five things that made me happy last week:

  1. I got a new laptop and new reading spreadsheets! My old laptop died last fall and took 5 years of reading spreadsheets with it. Starting over is both fun and a pain in the ass. I'm going to test out Book Riot's Reading Log this year.
  2. I got a new planner too. I'm hoping it will help me not procrastinate blog posts until the night before I need to post them.
  3. Watching outdoor ice hockey. Outdoor hockey is the best hockey.
  4. I posted my first TikTok video. It might be my only TikTok video because it nearly killed my phone. If you want to see it, I'm @ajsterkel.
  5. The Amazing Race is back! It's my favorite reality show. I've watched every season since it started.

I Swear I'm Friendly

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


  1. Discussion posts are hard! Maybe you can make a post in response to other discussions you see.

  2. I loved Goodbye Days. I might cry right now. Zentner featured Nana in his last book too (which delighted me). Enjoy the new laptop! Sorry you couldn't recover your files. And yes, tacos are love, and I am going out for tacos today!

  3. Oo I love new planners! I have been loving mine for years now and I am like Gollum when my new one arrives every December.

  4. Ahh yay! All the best of luck with the discussion challenge :) I really enjoyed Zentner's The Serpent King, I'll have to try and see if I love this one :)

  5. Hi AJ! My laptop is also on its last legs and I really hope I will still get a few days out of it to quickly transfer the necessary things to the new one. Not that it's new, but it's at least better.

    Discussion challenge... I've been eyeing it since last year. But my brain is a sieve lately. I love blogging and the community, but please don't let me think too hard. It will get better again. I have a list somewhere that I started making for discussion posts. But I don't know where it is... Let me go and find it and reconsider. Perhaps.

    Have a good week and enjoy the new laptop!

    Elza Reads

  6. I signed up for the Discussion Challenge last year, and I managed to write and post a discussion almost every month. I forgot to link up, though. Maybe I will do better this year.

    My battery on my computer is shot. I tried to get it replaced when it first started acting up in 2020, but Apple wasn't doing repairs then. I need to try again.

    I am trying to post something to Instagram now and then and Twitter automatically posts, but I really don't want to start learning a new form of social media...Sigh.

  7. I will go follow you on TikTok AJ even if I am scarce there ;-)

  8. Outdoor ice hockey is the best! Glad you are enjoying it. I love getting my planner and book journal reading in January.

    Have a good week!

  9. I used to always watch The Amazing Race during the early years. I've missed quite a few seasons but might try getting into it again!

  10. Good luck with the Discussion Challenge. I hadn't seen that before, but it looks like a good one. Hooray for a new laptop!

  11. Everyone is getting on the TikTok wagon! I feel like the only one who hasn't lol

  12. Good luck with the discussion post challenge! I tried it one year and didn't make it for the year. If my blogging was more regular, I think I might manage it better. Yay for new computers! I hope you are enjoying and the new reading spreadsheets work out for you. I hope you have a great week!

  13. I should sign up for that discussion challenge. I haven't done a discussion post in AGES.

    Bummer about Little Heaven. I remember you posting about it last week and I was like- do I want to try this? Maybe not haha.

    Congrats on the laptop!

  14. So is the Discussion Challenge to talk about something semi-controversial just to get a bit of discussion going? I am often dismayed at how little discussion I seem to generate at my blog. I'll talk about something and ask for feedback and people will make comments but not really contribute to the discussion. If people sign up do they go and read and discuss on other participants' sites? My Sunday Salon Post

  15. I’ve read one by Jeff Zentner and had mixed feelings so I decided to skip Goodbye Days. I would probably cry if I lost my reading spreadsheets. That alone makes my Carbonite subscription worth it. The NHL winter classic was so great. I couldn’t get over how cold it was. I mean, you know it’s bad when they have to heat the ice. LOL

  16. Oh my gosh, I LOVE the Amazing Race and am so glad it's back in production. I loved watching the first two episodes and am looking forward to the third. Enjoy!

  17. I always think I should do the Discussion Challenge but not this year. You have some interesting choices on your 2022 list in some genres I don't read as often.

    Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

  18. Many years ago, we used to play hockey out on the frozen pond. Boy, that brings back memories. I hope you have a great week!

  19. I need to get back into my TikTok again. I haven't posted there for awhile. Hope you have a great week!

    Here’s my Sunday Post!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  20. You’ll probably find as I did that YA will hold more appeal again when Brooklyn is that age, make sure you hold onto books like that for her.

    Wishing you a great reading week

  21. Wow a new laptop - that is awesome. Mine is from 2014 and it's holding on. Hockey outdoors would be cool to watch ... once the weather warms up a bit below 0. I haven't been a YA reader in a long time ... but I try to keep my mind open to it. hmm.

  22. Enjoy your new laptop!

    I love your little comment about relationships.

    Enjoy your books and your week, and here are myy WEEKLY UPDATES

  23. I gave up YA almost completely when I retired after 41 years as a school librarian. I do still read some books by favorite authors. Like you, I feel that I can't connect because I am so far from the target audience. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  24. Congrats on getting a new laptop.

    I totally feel you about being too old for some character-driven YA books. I haven't personally read Goodbye Days but am not going to either. I personally love plot-driven books more anyway.

  25. Ughh I've been dragging my feet in getting a new laptop!

  26. I think I've read something by Zentner before but it wasn't this one.

    I do still like YA but I'm really struggling for what tone I'm in the mood for right now. Some books feel too light to me and frivolous compared to reality - while I don't want anything too deep either. Impossible to please right now! lol

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  27. I have been away from blogging for a while now and I am suddenly brimming with ideas for posts. Now if only I was motivated to write those posts down. Sigh, anyway I am back to blogging and I hope it sticks.

    Gayathri @ Elgee Writes

  28. Poetry is a topic I know little about, especially which type/author to begin reading. Thank you for sharing Book Riot's reading log - I'll be checking it out!

  29. Yay for a new laptop and a new planner! The quote at the beginning is so true! I've known so many friends who were convinced that the reason they weren't happy was because they weren't in a relationship. I hope you've had a wonderful week!