Sunday, December 24, 2023

The Sunday Post #350

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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 #350

On The Blog Recently

In My Reading Life

Last year, I read and loved Home by Toni Morrison. That book lives in my brain. It's about a brother who leaves a mental hospital to stop his sister from taking a job that might kill her. The writing and the depiction of mental illness are things I'll never forget.

After I posted my review of Home, strangers on Pinterest were like, "Home sucks. It's Toni Morrison's worst book. You need to read Beloved." So . . . I read Beloved.

Friends, I hated it. I was bored and confused.

Beloved is historical fiction about Sethe, who escapes from slavery with her young children. Shortly after she escapes, she's tracked down by her former enslaver, and her baby is killed during the encounter. Years later, a teenage girl named Beloved shows up at Sethe's house. Sethe is convinced that the teenager is the ghost of her dead baby.

The premise of the book is great. It quickly becomes apparent that Beloved is the ghost of slavery. Sethe is attempting to move on with her life as a free woman, but the traumatic memories of her past influence every decision she makes. This novel is Sethe learning to live while being haunted by her own mind.

The writing style is what made me struggle. It's told stream-of-consciousness style from multiple points of view. I'm not smart enough for that! I couldn't keep up with who was who and when things were happening in the timeline. I think I read this book twice because I kept backing up and rereading. Eventually, I got too frustrated to care about the story. I just wanted it to be over.

Sorry, Pinterest strangers! I tried! I don't think Beloved is Toni Morrison's best book. Read Home instead.

Next, I read The Warlow Experiment by Alix Nathan. It's a historical fiction book that's inspired by real events. In 1790s Wales, a wealthy man called Powyss decides he wants to be famous for doing science. He's curious about what happens if a person is kept in complete isolation. He designs an experiment where a man lives in a windowless underground apartment for seven years. If the test subject successfully completes the seven years without human contact, Powyss will pay him fifty pounds a year for life.

Only one man applies for the test subject job: Warlow. He's a violent, mentally ill, barely literate, farm laborer with a large family to support.

As you'd expect, the experiment goes wrong. Powyss' servants think the experiment is abusive and do everything they can to set Warlow free. But, Warlow doesn't want to be free. He wants his money!

I couldn't put this book down because I was fascinated by the disconnect between the characters. It was especially interesting to see the disconnect between what Warlow needs and what Powyss thinks he needs. Powyss fills the underground apartment with books, musical instruments, and nice clothes. These are things that Powyss loves. However, Warlow can barely read, has no interest in music, and doesn't bathe or change his clothes. Powyss designed the perfect environment for himself, not for the person who will actually be living there.

The disconnect continues when Powyss is writing observations about his experiment. He hears Warlow laughing and tries to guess which book Warlow is reading. Warlow is not reading. Warlow is slowly going insane while surrounded by books. (Honestly, that part is relatable.)

I enjoyed this book because of the characters' failure to see the world outside of their own interests, but I understand why the book has an abysmal average rating on Goodreads. (I think it has a 3.3 average right now?) The plot is slow. The characters are selfish, juvenile, and insufferable. There's a lot of violence against women.

I like the book because I'm a weirdo, but I'm not sure who to recommend it to. Other weirdos? People who like slow horror? I suspect quite a few readers will hate this one.

In The Rest Of My Life

Five things that made me happy last week:

  1. If you're celebrating, I hope you're having a great Christmas Eve!
  2. Secret Santa. My person got her gifts, and I got mine. I haven't opened mine yet. I hope she likes hers.
  3. I was searching my TV for happy Christmas movies, and I accidentally discovered that Christmas true crime is a thing. I didn't watch any of it, but I started laughing really hard because of course real-life Christmas murder TV shows exist. We live in odd times. Do you think there are more murders during Christmas because families are forced to spend time together? I can totally see my family becoming a Christmas true crime documentary.
  4. Speaking of scary stuff, I watched Leave The World Behind on Netflix. The movie is just as unsettling as the book! I loved it.
  5. Wandering around at night. I took this photo of a random cylinder-on-stilts that appeared in a cow field. I suspect it's for water? Or it's aliens? The bright lights in the distance are a football stadium. Or maybe more aliens.


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


  1. Have a wonderful Christmas.
    best, mae at

  2. True crime with a Christmas theme makes me laugh, too! I wonder what kind of mood that would put me in. Merry Christmas and no judgement if you decide to do a deep dive into Christmas true crime!

  3. My son recommended Leave the World Behind to us, too. I think I have the book somewhere on my shelves.

    I hope you love your Secret Santa gifts!

  4. I will subscribe to your aliens theory. It's more fun than that it's for cows. I hope you have a wonderful holiday, love your secret santa gifts, and find a heartwarming Christmas movie to watch.

  5. It's sad that so many horrors happen at Christmas. I'm not surprised, though. Cool picture. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Here's my SP:

  6. I watched Leave the World Behind and thought it was pretty good. However my sister was telling me how she ranted about the ending for like 20 or 30 minutes after she finished it, lol. I need to read the book. I have never read a Toni Morrison book, although I know that I need to. I'm guessing Beloved is considered the best because of maybe being read in English classrooms so maybe it is people's first introduction to that author? Had no idea what Home was about, but it sounds good! Merry Christmas!
    Lisa Loves Literature

  7. Huh, The Warlow Experiment sounds interesting, though Powyss is weird as a Welsh name, to me. "Powys" would be more normal... πŸ€” Now I'm curious and will have to see if "Powyss" exists too. The odd things you notice sometimes!

    Hope you have a good Christmas!

    My STS/Sunday Post.

    1. I thought the same thing about the name spelling. I've only seen Powys before. The book includes an article from 1797 about the real experiment. Whoever wrote the article spelled it "Powyfs" way back then.

  8. I haven't read Beloved or Home, but now I feel like I have to read both! And The Warlow Experiment sounds really good too. You write the best reviews, I just want to read all the books you write about!

  9. Wow. The Warlow Experiment sounds incredibly fascinating. I think I might add it to my TBR for when I'm in the right mood.
    My Sunday Post

  10. I hope you have a relaxing and wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas!

    Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

  11. I am not surprised that holiday murders are a thing. The holidays are tough on so many people and, if they are so inclined, I can see the season sending them over the edge. The year I left my ex-husband it was New Year and I was told the holidays/end of the year are common times for marriages to split up.

    So, onto happier topics... I hope you have a wonderful holiday with family and a safe and wonderful New Year!

  12. I've already got anime zombies on my Christmas watch list. I didn't know about Christmas True Crime!! Sweet! lol

    Merry Christmas to you!!!!!

  13. I've enjoyed several of Morrison's novels, but tried Beloved twice and dnf'd it both times. It's been more than a decade, so I may try it again... but may not. Merry Christmas!

  14. Have a wonderful Christmas! Cindy from

  15. I need to watch Leave The World Behind. Sounds perfect for Christmas lol. And yes whenever I see weird things I always think is that aliens? Aliens is the fun asnwer :)

    Merry christmas!!!

  16. Happy Christmas and good on you for sticking to your opinion about Home by TM. We all read to our own piper.

  17. Have a merry Christmas. πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ‘ΌπŸŒŸ

  18. Have a great Christmas! I can understand Christmas crime - all that forced togetherness. I've never read Toni Morrison but stream-of-consciousness is never a draw for me. Come see my week here. Happy reading and happy holidays!

  19. I really liked Leave the World Behind. Definitely unsettling. Merry Christmas!

  20. Just wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas! :D

  21. I've been wanting to watch Leave the World Behind but haven't gotten to it yet! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

  22. Congrats on your 10th blog anniversary! That's a huge milestone. I haven't read Beloved yet. I don't know if I will, honestly. I'm sorry you didn't like it. It's always sad when a book disappoints us. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  23. I read Beloved pretty long ago ... and got something out of it ... but maybe I had more patience back then. I still need to read Sulu and Song of Solomon sometime.

  24. WELL now I cannot decide if I should watch Leave the World Behind before reading the book, or after, and the after has a big caveat that I may very likely never get to it even though I own it so... decisions. Your picture is gorgeous, too! Hope you had a lovely Christmas!