Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Sunday Post #251


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

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 #251





Public Service Announcement


Thanksgiving is over! That means it’s now Christmas and everybody is scrambling to buy cheap stuff. If you need holiday gifts for bookworms, check out Book Depository’s Gift Guides. The guides are organized by genre and have brand new discounted books for the whole family. They even have journals and stationary. I see bestsellers, funny books, nonfiction, cookbooks, and children’s books. Also, a few beautiful editions of classics that I’ll probably buy for myself, let’s be honest. Click here to see the guides.



On The Blog Last Week






On The Blog This Week


  • On Tuesday I list some books I can’t stop thinking about and desperately want to reread.





In My Reading Life


Last week, I finished the memoir In The Days Of Rain: A Daughter, A Father, A Cult by Rebecca Stott. It’s beautifully written. I love the author’s descriptions of the English countryside. They make me wish I could travel. The book is mostly about the author’s father. He was a Shakespearian actor, a gambling addict, a former prisoner, and a high-ranking member of a religious cult. This memoir is his daughter’s attempt to sort out his messy history in order to understand him better. I have mixed feelings about the book. When the author writes about her own experiences, it’s fascinating. She was a paranoid child whose life revolved around the strict rules of a cult. Then a sex scandal caused the cult to fall apart, and her whole life suddenly changed. She didn’t have her church friends or her community anymore. She had to adapt quickly to a new life.


I was constantly watching—or listening—for Satan, hearing the tapping of his hooves on the cobblestones in the streets of Brighton, looking at the children in the primary school playground and imagining the scale of the wickedness in their homes.In The Days Of Rain


I like the stories about the author’s own life, but she discusses a lot of other things too. She talks about her ancestors. And she talks about movies and poetry. That’s where I struggled. The book occasionally gets dry or pretentious or navel gazing. I found myself zoning out and wanting to skip ahead. It’s not a bad memoir, though. If you’re interested in cults, please read it.


Then I read Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, And Why by Laurence Gonzales. It’s a wilderness survival book. It doesn’t have as many how-to tips as I wanted, but I still found it interesting and flew through it. The author uses research on the human brain to analyze real-life survival situations. He weaves the stories with the science, which keeps the book from being dry. My biggest complaint is that he occasionally drops story threads. I was sometimes left thinking, Wait, how did that end? How did he get rescued? If you’re interested in wilderness survival, this book is worth reading. Knowing how your brain works may help you avoid mistakes.


Right now I’m reading Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. It’s a slow-paced classic, so it took me a while to get invested in the plot, but now I’m hooked. It’s about a lawyer who’s investigating his friend’s disappearance. I’m also reading American Radical: Inside The World Of An Undercover Muslim FBI Agent by Tamer Elnoury. It’s a memoir. The author is an Egyptian-American Muslim immigrant who speaks Arabic and was working as a detective. Then 9/11 happened, and the FBI recruited him. His job was to infiltrate a terrorist group. The book is okay so far. It’s intense, like a real-life thriller novel.


In The Rest Of My Life


Five things that made me happy last week:


  1. Thanksgiving! If you celebrated, I hope you had a good one. I ate a lot of pie. I also learned that it’s extraordinarily difficult to find pumpkin pie in a store the night before Thanksgiving. I succeeded, though! (I probably could have made a pie in the time it took to locate one, but shhh. Let me celebrate my victory.)
  2. I finished my Christmas shopping and mailed all my Christmas cards. I’m not usually this organized. (See the above story about last-minute pie shopping.)
  3. I got up early on Black Friday and ran 5.2 miles. The great outdoors was very cold, very slippery, very silent, and very empty of humans. I saw tons of deer and other creatures. And I didn’t die on the ice! *Pats self on back.*
  4. I spent the rest of Black Friday reading books and eating leftovers. It was excellent.
  5. I’m giving away a book shopping spree! Thank you to everybody who has already entered. Please enter, if you haven’t. Let me give you things!





I’m Stuffed With Holiday Cheer


Pinterest || Bloglovin’ || Goodreads || Instagram || Twitter || Donate







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


  1. You slayed Christmas! Good job! I have a ways to go, but I'm not worried. There's always cash and cards for gifts, right? I am impressed you found the pumpkin pie. I wonder if you would have been able to find pumpkin puree. There aways seems to be a shortage this time of year.

  2. Wow! All your Christmas shopping done. I'm envious. I haven't even made my list of who I'm buying for yet. Which is unusual for me - but I'm trying to figure out what Christmas will look like this year.

    Nice job finding a pie the night before Thanksgiving tooo. And PUMPKIN. I'd say between that and the Christmas shopping you killed the week - plus the run. Nice job!

    I hope you have an equally good week ahead.

  3. Yay for Christmas time! It'll fly of course and I'm so ready, given how yuck this year has been. I'll have to check out those Book Depository Guides, they sound awesome.

    Be well!

  4. Ugh, I wish I was finished with my Christmas shopping! I still have my husband and dad to shop for, the two hardest people!

  5. Oh no poor Big Bird! That's sick!!! I was sitting looking at the cartoon and thinking how cute that the Sesame Street gang are eating together when it hit me! Thankfully we don't bother with the whole Christmas gift buying and I've bought my last stuff until January so I can hibernate in my bed longer each cold morning!

  6. Go you! I hope you have a lovely relaxing week after your huge achievement:)) Nailing Christmas before December starts is awesome!

  7. Your books all sound a little grim this week
    I have bought exactly one Christmas present so far, but I have to pick up a few before the 12th to arrive at my in-laws on time. I’m planning on buying all the kids books

    Wishing you a great reading week

  8. I envy you! I have not even started with the Christmas shopping not to mention writing cards. Hihi I know that feeling when you are on the hunt for a Thanksgiving pie. Glad you found one. Happy reading and stay safe and well.

  9. JEALOUS! That is awesome! High Five on the organizing! I am working on that today but I don't think i'll be as productive lol.
    I am glad you didn't die on the ice but that sounds like such an amazing run! If I ran I would want it to be filled with Deer and other creatures.

    Have a great week, AJ! Happy Reading! xx

  10. In the Days of Rain sounds interesting but also like the author meandered at times and got off topic. Shopping *and* cards done? You are a Christmas boss!

  11. I'm super impressed that you're already done with Christmas shopping. I definitely cannot say the same.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  12. I will check out the list of gifts for bookworms at Book Depository. I think I qualify.

    I have only read a few memoirs this year, and it's still (barely) Nonfiction November, so Days of Rain sounds like a good one to seek out. I read the memoir Group yesterday, and now I am pretty sure everyone could benefit from group therapy.

    Deep Survival sounds like my sort of read, too.

    I did not make a pie this Thanksgiving, and that's weird. But my husband doesn't eat sweets and who would end up eating it? So, no.

  13. The deer have been pretty scarce around here lately as it is gun season. I also tend to stick to the roads in my walks. On Friday with my dog, a deer cut in front of us, saw the dog (who was on a leash) and took off across a field and down a ravine. Then there was a bang. I never saw if someone shot it (it was right near dusk and shooting after sunset is a no-no). If she was hit, I feel bad for spooking her.

  14. I'm almost finished with Christmas shopping, which is definitely nice. I don't really send out too many cards - they tend to just go with certain gifts.


  15. You have such fascinating books on your reading list. The Days of Rain sounds like something I'd like but I am so swamped with my own weird moods lately I have to read things that uplift me and I'm not sure that book would be it.

    I am just emerging from my political hangover and looking toward 2021 with hope. My Sunday Post

  16. Ooo, so curious about Lady Audley's Secret. Hope it turns out good in the end. Love thanksgiving leftovers :-)

  17. How you chose to spend Black Friday sounds lovely.

    Happy reading and a great new week to you!

  18. I enjoyed your happy things, and your books look good, too. Enjoy the upcoming weeks! Here are my WEEKLY UPDATES

  19. I think most of my Christmas shopping is finished but, then, I have a tiny gift list which goes with a tiny family. We made a pumpkin dessert instead of pie which was delicious. There are a couple of servings left since we are trying to limit sweets. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  20. I have not started thinking about Christmas. I just can't wrap my mind around these things yet. I gave up on even pretending that I would send out Christmas cards years ago so nobody expects them from me anymore :) Good for you for getting out there and running. I let the dogs drag me around the block every day but that is about it. I hope you have a great week!

  21. You always find the funniest memes - I laughed way too hard at that Sesame Street graphic...
    Your Thanksgiving and Black Fridays sound like they were awesome: eating pie, leftovers and reading books sounds perfect to me :)

  22. Wow you did great with your Christmas stuff. I love your Black Friday. Sounds like a good day to me:) Have a great week!