Sunday, June 7, 2020

The Sunday Post #227

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

*This post contains affiliate links. I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

The Sunday Post #227

On The Blog Last Week

On The Blog This Week

  • On Tuesday I share some not-too-depressing books about characters in isolation.

In My Reading Life

You’re all about to hate me. Brace yourselves because I have the most unpopular book opinion ever. Here it goes: I didn’t like The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I know. Shocking. I’ve always struggled with the fantasy genre because I can’t live with unanswered “why?” questions. I know that The Raven Boys is a series, and some of my questions will be answered eventually, but I couldn’t cope with the frustration. There are too many underdeveloped characters. I didn’t find the world-building or the characters’ motivations believable. I didn’t hate everything though! The reveal of Noah’s identity is shocking in the best way. It convinced me to finish the book. If you’re not familiar with these books, they star an angsty gang of teens who are searching for the body of a magical king. I don’t think I’ll be continuing with the series.

Then baby Brooklyn and I read The Berenstain Bears’ Home Sweet Tree by Stan & Jan Berenstain. This was a blast from the past. I remember this book from my childhood. It’s kind of like those “Apartment Tour” videos on YouTube. The young bears show the reader around their treehouse. It’s cute. There’s no plot or conflict. There is a delicious illustration of chocolate chip cookies that made Brooklyn very happy. We spent a lot of time pretending to eat those cookies.

Right now, I’m reading It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis. It’s a classic dystopian novel that was published in 1935 but (supposedly) predicted the current US political climate. So far, the writing style is dense and hard to slog through, but I did laugh at this part:

The Senator was vulgar, almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected, and in his "ideas" almost idiotic, while his celebrated piety was that of a traveling salesman for church furniture, and his yet more celebrated humor the sly cynicism of a country store. Certainly there was nothing exhilarating in the actual words of his speeches, nor anything convincing in his philosophy. His political platforms were only wings of a windmill.It Can’t Happen Here

In The Rest Of My Life

Five things that made me happy last week:

  1. I finally got the contracts for a short story I sold in December. I have no idea when it’ll be published, but publishing moves so slowly that I’m happy when anything happens.
  2. Virtual BookCon! I don’t usually get to go to conventions. I hope virtual ones become more common. I added so many books to my TBR board. I still have a ton left to add.
  3. I deep-cleaned my TV/book/blogging room. Cleaning sucks, but so does having dog hair everywhere. I’m currently enjoying my (mostly) hair-free furniture.
  4. I’ve done yoga every single day for 4 months. I’m still terrible at it.
  5. I left my neighborhood! This is the first time I’ve been in an indoor public place since March 17. Me and Brooklyn were feeling squirrely, so we went to a greenhouse to look at plants. It was an odd experience. Adults had to wear masks, and there were lines on the ground showing where we could stand. I feel sorry for the employees at that greenhouse because it was so humid that my mask stuck to my face. But, it was awesome to be out of the house.

Stalk Me From A Safe Distance

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


  1. Congrats on your short story contract!

    It Can't Happen Here seems prescient, doesn't it? Loved that quote.

    Enjoy your week and your books. Stay safe!

  2. Congrats on the Contract!
    I really do hope they continue with a virtual bookcon. I really enjoyed watching the panels. I am sure they can find a way to do it. It would be great for those people that can't attend.

    I might have to give yoga another go, I stink at it too and felt so awkward doing it.

    I really need to clean...maybe next week! :)

    Stay Safe AJ, Have a wonderful week! Happy Reading! xx

  3. You're not alone on The Raven Boys. I didn't hate it... but I wasn't pulled in, either. And I never continued the series. Awesome about getting the contract for your story! That had to make it feel very real. :)

  4. I remember reading Sinclair Lewis for the first time in high school. I read Main Street. It was like reading about my own small town, with all its hypocrisies and inconsistencies. It was one of the first books I remember reading that I thought and wrote carefully about. I don't think I've ever read It Can't Happen Here.

    I'm glad you are enjoying books with your niece. There are so many fabulous picture books out there. If I could only read one sort of book it would be picture books.

    And I'm glad you were able to get out of your neighborhood. A garden center seems like a fairly safe place to go. We participated in an online class recently that told about all the benefits of the outdoors for people. The outdoors is almost a magical cure for lots of our troubles.

  5. hope you're neighborhood gets better.

  6. Congrats on the contract! That's amazing!

    I haven't been to a store in probably a month and a half. I'm not really looking forward to it, but I just can't get everything I want online anymore.

  7. I couldn't even bring myself to read Raven Boys. I hit a wall in terms of angsty teens at some point before I discovered that one and just never read it. Have a good week and stay well!

    My Sunday Post:

  8. Congratulations on the Contract - I'm guessing if it's all signed, then you will get your story published, though I think everything is a bit topsy turvy over all that's been going on. Glad you enjoyed the virtual Book-Con - I am sad to have to take the decision that me and my mate won't be going to Bristolcon this year. But we decided that there was so much uncertainty, it wasn't worth shelling out for a hotel room, only to have to cancel it, later...

    I hope the coming week is a good one:)). Take care and stay safe, AJ

  9. A contract! That's so exciting. Congratulations! I love those bears, and read all their books, when I was a kid. The greenhouse sounds as if they are doing everything the same way as the markets. At least people are used to it by now.

  10. Congrats on your short story contract! I love The Berenstain Bears, and you've made me want to read one soon. I'll have to check out your books about characters in isolation since they aren't too depressing.

    I hope you have a great week!

  11. Congratulation on the contract! I am glad that you could enjoy the world and fresh air again after the long time at home. Stay safe and well.

  12. Yay for a contract! Congrats! We had about 20 of those Bernstein Bear books at one point which I got at Half Priced books. I have no idea what happened to them. Hmm. I know we have a bunch of books, even some from my childhood. We had lots of the Magic Treehouse and Boxcar Children ones too but they are an older age group.

    We are still just staying home. I'd like to try more online book cons, too. Way to go with yoga! I tend to try something else if I can't improve. Stay safe and well!

    Anne - Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post   

  13. Congrats on the contract! That's great news. I hope you have a great week.

    My Sunday post is here.

  14. Congrats on selling your short story!!!! And I promise not to throw rocks at you AJ LOL

  15. Good job on your short story being published! Way to go. I like the thought on the Oompa Loompa's dancing. Too true. It's been a hard week but there is a lot of cause for hope for the future. Stay well. Stay safe. Please visit my Sunday Salon post. Thank you.

  16. Congrats on selling a short story. That's wonderful! And boy do I feel you on the Oompla Loompa song and dance. I think you nailed 2020 with that one, lol.

  17. BRAVO for you short story contract! I'm sure it did feel good to take a little excursion! We were staying home and this week we had some business things come up that we had to attend to - so out we went with masks and sanitizer of course.

  18. Congratulations on getting the contracts of your short story! That's amazing!
    I am also not used to wearing masks outside or at work. But it's always good to go outside, I should do it more often!
    Have a good week!

  19. Yay! Congratulations on selling a story! And lol at the oompa loompa meme. I liked The Raven Boys, but put the third book down a few years back and never finished the series. I don't do a lot of fantasy either. Happy reading!


  20. I don't like the Raven Boys!!!! I thought I was the only one!!! Congrats on the contract.

  21. Oompa Loompas!!

    Okay onward. Bummer about the Raven boys. I haven't read 'em but I always say not every series can be for everyone, so yeah. And I love the Berenstain Bears. :) And congrats on your story!!!!!!

    Be well this week!

  22. I really liked The Raven Cycle, but no worries on not liking it. I'm not usually someone who goes for fantasy either. So many popular books seem to be in that genre, and most just are not of interest to me. LOL

    Yay for getting out of the house/neighborhood - but yeah, humidity and face masks do not get along. LOL


  23. I'm not crazy about teen fantasy either. It's a hit and miss with me. Now the Berenstein Bears, did I ever read a ton of those books to my kids, loving them just as much as they did. Have a good reading week!

  24. Congrats on the short story contract, that's awesome!
    I'm sorry you didn't like the Raven Boys, but I get it - even though I ended up loving the series, I had my issues with the first book as well.

  25. We went to a greenhouse too. I got another window box for our back deck, and some hanging baskets for out front. Do you wear glasses? That's what kills me with the mask. But I still wear it. A wire across the nose helps keep the mask from venting into my glasses ;) Enjoy your week!

  26. Congrats for your short story! And too many more!
    I want to try It Can’t Happen Here!

  27. Go you on the short story contract! Also, I remember being impressed when you'd mentioned doing yoga every day for a month, so when you mentioned every day for 4 months, the words 'my gosh' left my mouth!

    A wonderful week to you.

  28. Oh, I am totally laughing at that quote from It Can't Happen! THe author was obviously psychic!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  29. congrats on the contracts and being able to get out, even if only for a short while. mr wonderful and i play golf once a week, but we do stay safe. history repeats itself, the good and the bad. i worry for what is ahead, but life does go on. i bury myself in books and am trying to do better with blogging and commenting
    sherry @ fundinmental

  30. I keep waiting for the Oompa Loompa's to pop out and dance and sing.

    How could you not like The Raven Boys?! That's . . . that's . . . I actually have no idea because I haven't yet read it. I am sorry it didn't work for you, but that really is okay. We can't like everything we read, and if fantasy isn't a genre you can really get into anyway, it's really no wonder.

    I love that excerpt from It Can't Happen Here that you shared. Does that ever sound familiar . . .

    Congratulations on your short story! That is so exciting!

    I am glad you were able to get out of the house for a little while. Such strange times we live in.

    I hope you have a good week!

  31. I'm not a fan of the author's work-I DNFed the book as I didn't like the characters!

  32. I haven't read the Raven Boys myself, but I think it makes sense not everyone will enjoy the same book and I can definitely understand from your description why you didn't enjoy it. That's awesome you got the contracts for a short story you sold. I didn't know virtual conventions were a thing, that sounds like a good alternative in these times. That's nice you had a visit to a greenhouse.