Sunday, March 13, 2022

The Sunday Post #298


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 #298

On The Blog Last Week

On The Blog This Week

  • On Tuesday, I talk about the books I'm (hopefully) going to read this spring.

In My Reading Life

Last week, I finished The Bright Ages: A New History Of Medieval Europe by Matthew Gabriele and David Perry. It's the history of medieval Europe (obviously), but it goes beyond medieval stereotypes. Yes, medieval Europe was a violent and superstitious place, but humans were still making advancements. This book talks about the "Bright" spots in the "Dark" ages.

I'm not sure how I feel about this one. It's an okay history book. The information interested me, but the writing style is pretty lifeless. It's a textbook. Lots of names, dates, and places. Sometimes it was hard to keep up with who's who and what's what. Most of the book is surface-level because it races through hundreds of years in 300 pages.

I did learn things! Did you know that bubonic plague was endemic on 3 continents for 500 to 600 years? Every few years, it would pop up, kill thousands, and die down again. That's why we should be grateful for vaccines.

I also like the parts about democracy in medieval cities and the parts about trade routes. The plague spread to multiple continents because people and stuff were constantly moving between Europe, Asia, and Africa. The white supremist fantasy of an isolated, Christian medieval Europe is not true. There was a lot of racial and religious mingling, especially in cities.

So . . . I'm not sure what to think about this book. If you want to learn about medieval Europe, then it's worth reading, but it'll bring back memories of boring high school history lectures.

Then I read The King Of Crows by Libba Bray. This is the fourth and final Diviners novel! What will I do with my life now that I'm not spending it reading these massive books? Overall, I enjoyed this series. It's a funny, spooky, escapist romp.

The Diviners is a young adult historical fantasy series set in the 1920s. It stars a (too large) posse of psychic characters who use their abilities to defeat ghosts that are attacking the US. In the fourth novel, the characters go on a spontaneous road trip from New York to California. Of course, chaos happens along the way.

The first book in the series is my favorite. The fourth is my least favorite. I think there are too many characters and plot lines. This book is bloated. The plot meanders and bounces around for hundreds of pages, and then the final battle with the bad guy is . . . meh. I didn't hate the ending! It's entertaining enough. I just think it's hard for an author to write a satisfying battle after that much buildup. My expectations were unrealistically massive. I wanted a big payoff after reading a very long road trip journey. I didn't get everything I wanted. That's probably my own fault.

Like many young adult books, this series is heavy handed with its morals, but the author does bring up some thought-provoking points. The series is about how all of us are making history right now. Are you making good history?

I know I just criticized this novel a whole bunch, but I still highly recommend the series. It's exactly what I needed. It's a fun paranormal adventure with memorable characters who don't take themselves too seriously.

Currently, I'm reading another nonfiction book. It's Let's Talk About Hard Things by Anna Sale. It's exactly what it says on the cover. It's a self-help book for how to talk about crappy topics. So far, I've only read the "Death" chapter. I don't feel like I learned much, but that's probably because I've had too much experience with death. Talking about it doesn't destroy me. I'm interested to see what the other chapters bring.

In The Rest Of My Life

Five things that made me happy last week:

  1. Who watched The Courtship? It's a dating show like The Bachelor, but it's set during Jane Austen times. I thought it was silly and awkward. I'll definitely be watching the next episode because I'm trash. And the dresses are pretty.
  2. While I was walking home from the grocery store, a partially deflated Happy Birthday balloon floated across my path. My first thought was, Pennywise? Is that you? Then I grabbed the balloon because it's my birthday on Friday. This is my birthday gift from the sky. (As soon as I got home, my balloon was claimed by Baby Brooklyn, but whatever. I felt special while walking home with it.)
  3. After 107 years, the Endurance shipwreck has been found in Antarctica. I'm surprised by how nicely it's preserved. I thought it would be a few twigs and bits of metal, but you can actually tell it's a ship!
  4. The Little Free Library was good to us. Usually, the books in my neighborhood's LFL are Christian books, Fox News Cinematic Universe nonsense books, or get rich quick schemes. Last week, someone filled the LFL with classics! I found 3 books for me and 1 for Baby Brooklyn. Good times.
  5. This tweet reminded me that the song "Stacy's Mom" exists. My friends and I would rewrite the lyrics to that song when we were in high school. I'm glad to see that the rewriting tradition continues.

I Want Friends For My Birthday!

Pinterest || Bloglovin’ || Goodreads || Instagram || Twitter || Donate || Wish List || TikTok

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


  1. Ha, I remember Stacy's Mom playing on my kids' radio stations back then. Funny!
    Happy Birthday to you. Hope you have a great birthday with downtime and a book. The Pennywise mention creeped me out- my kids and I do not like clowns in any fashion :)

  2. Happy birthday!!!

    And lol I remember the song Stacy's Mom!

  3. Here are some early birthday wishes for you. I hope there will be cake. That song is hilarious. When I was teaching, my kid's sang it as "Kiersten's mom". Little creepy, but teenagers can be that way. I thought I was one of the only people who felt YA authors tend to be heavy handed. Glad I am not alone there.

  4. I saw that bit about the Endurance! That's really cool; I read a book about it and was just fascinated by the story.

  5. Happy birthday! I can't remember celebrating mine in any good way...until last year, after we were finally allowed to go out and about. My kids gathered around me in a restaurant and treated me to delicious treats.

    Enjoy yours.

  6. Okay, The rest of my life section today had me in stitches! You're not trash and I will probably also like The Courtship. For the dresses...!!!

    Happy Birthday AJ. Glad Pennywise sent you a special gift. I do hope you didn't go looking for him!

    Have a good week ahead and thanks for visiting us.

  7. That's good to know about the Bright Ages. I have that book on my list to get. Maybe I should... not, it sounds kind of dry. But... at the same time I love the medieval history, so...

    I guess Dan Jones writes good history stuff. Sarah over at All the Book Blog Names swears by him, but I haven't read him yet...

    Anywho happy birthday on Friday!!

  8. Happy early birthday! I love the idea that a birthday balloon floated into your personal space. It's a sign for sure. I also saw the video rework of Stacy's mom and it brought a smile to my face. Have a great week!

  9. I'm so behind on the Diviners series. I've only read the first book and I didn't even know the fourth one was out already. I need to get going, lol.

  10. Lol - Stacey's Dad, that was a first for me.

  11. Haha, the Stacy's Dad clip is great! I'm curious about the located shipwreck, thanks for sharing.

  12. That's amazing that you got a birthday balloon! A sign fomr the sky indeed!

  13. A very happy birthday to you! Hope it was fun. Have a great week!

  14. Happy birthday later this week! I was so excited about the Endurance. My daughter did a huge project on it during school so it was thrilling to have new information.

    Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

  15. Happy birthday!!! I've never heard of The Courtship, but now you have me intrigued. Sounds like the kind of ridiculousness I can put on in the background and half-ignore while also being mildly amused. I need those kinds of shows in my life.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  16. The non fiction book sounds interesting. Hadn't heard of The Courtship but to be honest it would draw me in too!

  17. Happy birthday 🥳
    I hadn’t heard of The Courtship and I hate reality dating shows but I might just have to take a peek.

    Wishing you a great reading week, books and cake!

  18. So glad you had a birthday balloon surprise!

  19. All you had to say was "like a history textbook" to make me scratch The Bright Ages from my wish list. Nope. Not for me.

    How cool that the birthday balloon drifted by. Happy day to you!

    I'm delighted when I find a book I want to read in my LFL. Then I promptly shelve it in my house and forget about it. Not sure why...

  20. Happy birthday! Nice that the LFL was good to you. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  21. Happy birthday!! I love that you found a wayward birthday balloon in need of a home lol

    You reminded me that I have to drop off books at my free little library!

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  22. Yeah the Shackleton ship news was the coolest thing. I'm still amazed it was found! And the photos are amazing. I'd like to learn more about what's on it etc. Hope you had a great birthday!