Sunday, July 31, 2022

The Sunday Post #309

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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 #309

On The Blog Recently

In My Reading Life

I haven't written a Sundy Post since June. So . . . oops. I don't understand how people have demanding jobs, children, and blogs. How do you keep up with everything? I feel like a semi-conscious Dumpster fire. I'm tired all the time!

I've been reading, but I haven't been writing book reviews. So . . . oops again. Instead of ignoring the books I read, let's do itty-bitty book reviews. Click the titles to see a synopsis. Here's what I finished recently:

Sundial by Catriona Ward was one of my most-anticipated releases of 2022. Look at that cover! Maybe I hyped it up too much in my head? The creepy characters and weird plot hooked me right away, but by the end, I was confused about how everything was supposed to connect. Too many ideas in too little space.

White Ivy by Susie Yang made my "Best Books of 2022 (So Far)" list. I can't believe this novel is a debut. It's a beautifully written look at flawed characters who make giant mistakes. Ivy is a Chinese immigrant who's obsessed with her wealthy neighbors. When they accept her into their family, she spirals into deadly paranoia.

All Of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman surprised me. I liked it a lot! If you read The Hunger Games and thought, This needs magic, then Villains is for you. There are twists, and betrayals, and forbidden romance. It's all quite over-the-top. Actually, the book reminds me of those supernatural TV shows for teenagers where the worldbuilding is fuzzy and the actors are too old to be playing teens. In those shows, all the characters are sexy and brooding and wear too much eye makeup. That's this book! It's hard to take seriously, but it's addictively fun to read.

Aru Shah And The End Of Time by Roshani Chokshi is Percy Jackson déjà vu. I guess that makes sense because it's published by Rick Riordan's publishing imprint. The plot, pacing, humor, and characters' personalities are all very similar to the Percy Jackson series. It's a cute, funny book. I appreciated learning more about Indian mythology.

The Mermaid And Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar is a fat bastard. Why is it so long? It's got quirky characters and no plot. Also, shockingly few mermaids. Where are the mermaids? I found this novel entertaining while I was reading it, but it hasn't stuck with me. I feel like I spent a lot of time waiting for something big to happen.

Lady In Waiting: My Extraordinary Life In The Shadow Of The Crown by Anne Glenconner is a celebrity memoir that reads like a celebrity memoir. I couldn't put it down because the author's life is fascinating and very different from mine! She's part of the British royal family. She's been rich and famous for her entire life, which has allowed her to have amazing adventures, but it has also amplified her tragedies. It's hard to raise a family with the whole world watching. Like many celebrities, the author isn't a good writer. She moves quickly through the events of her life, so we don't always get to know the people involved in those events.

Stiff: The Curious Lives Of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach probably isn't the best book to read while you're sick with COVID, but that's exactly what I did. It's brilliant! It's a modern classic for a reason. I love Mary Roach's nonfiction because she asks the morbid questions that normal people are afraid to ask. This book is about what happens to bodies that are donated to science. It's fast-paced, funny, interesting, and never disrespectful to the corpses. I loved it.

In The Rest Of My Life

Here's what's been happening in my life:

I finally caught Miss 'Rona, and she sucks. No one in my family got COVID, so I most likely caught it from work on July 4. I try to be really careful, but when you talk to hundreds of people a day and deal with their medical emergencies, you're going to be exposed to every disease ever. Humans are gross. They contaminated me! Yes, I do have my shots.

For me, 'rona started as a bad headache. Like, one of the worst headaches of my life. Then it became dizziness, body aches, fever, and cough. I didn't have the cough when I tested positive, so I was shocked that my mystery disease was 'rona. I thought I had a migraine! I think I stared at the positive test for 10 minutes. I kept going, "Really? REALLY? R E A L L Y?" Like the test was going to change its mind or something.

I went to a doctor because I needed a note to get out of work and jury duty. The doctor sat 6 feet away from me, asked questions, told me I didn't qualify for any medication, printed my note, and charged me $115. I remembered why I don't go to doctors.

I'm fine now. The COVID symptoms lasted about 8 days. It sucked. Zero out of five stars. Do not recommend catching COVID.

Speaking of work, I haven't been fired yet. I'm still a park ranger. It's gotten easier. A little easier. I think. Or I'm lying to myself. It's still really hard!

I don't think I'll ever get used to people being scared of me. I completely understand why Americans are nervous around anyone who looks like law enforcement, but I'm an anxious creature! I don't carry a gun at work (or ever). I'm not going to hurt you! I just want to give you bottled water and tell you about the free fishing lessons!

A photo I took in the park. You don't need Scooby Doo to solve the mystery of why I keep so much bottled water in my truck. This place is hotter than fresh dog crap on a griddle.


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


  1. Sorry to hear you got the vid and had some strong symptoms. The headache was the worst part for me (I had it in late Oct/early Nov). If you tested positive, why would you job require a doctor's note? That's so dumb when we are talking about a highly contagious virus, and if you weren't having symptoms that could be treated, you wouldn't need a doctor. I am happy to hear that things are getting/feeling easier at work. We are all bound to get better if we just keep at it. I knew you would.

  2. I think it is so cool you are park ranger!! I think that would be such an awesome job. :) Minus the germs and the people.

    Ugh we had Covid too!! I think this go round was scooping everyone up who had managed to avoid it for years. We had mostly congestion and sore throats.

    1. Oh, and we are vaccinated as well, even little man. :)

  3. So sorry that you were smitten so hard by Covid - yes... my initial illness was no fun either. And sadly, it's left me very compromised:(. Thank you for the pic of your office - it must be an amazingly tough job and kudos to you for sticking with it:)). I hope the coming week is a far better one!

  4. I am sorry you got COVID AJ! We are vaccinated too but they say the new variant is "immune" to the vaccine. And I have never been afraid of park rangers when we were in the states if it's any consolation! Also I want to read All of Us Villains!

  5. So sorry you got Covid. This new strain is very contagious and doesn't seem to care if we have been immunized. Tomorrow night is going to be a test for me. I'm going to hear an author speak (masks required in the theater) but we are meeting to eat dinner together first. In a restaurant. Indoors.

    I found when I was involved with Boy Scouts that there were two kinds of BS leaders...the ex-military, play-by-the-rules sort and the quirky, love-nature sort. I found that to be true with librarians, too, and I suspect that's true for park rangers, too.

    And, no, an active job doesn't leave much time for reading or writing, I think.

  6. Though hubby and I've been lucky so far, I keep feeling like it's just a matter of time. Even people who are doing everything right and being careful are paying the price for those who don't. Glad it's over and you're feeling better. And yes, it's really hard to find time in the day to do everything - there's just no way. So we do the best we can - priorities!
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys
    here's me:

  7. AJ!! Yea!!! So glad you decided to grace us with a Sunday Post again. I love getting an update from you and to see what quirkiness you are going to come up with.

    I honestly also don't really know how some of these super bloggers manage everything. I have a full time job, a marriage and 7 pets. No kids. No idea where I would fit them in as well.... Glad to hear I'm not the only one who feels the pressure.

    I bought a copy of Miss Hancock and the Mermaid (or whatever) - will let you know when I get to read it. Will take a look at your other books as well. Your recommendations tend to grab my interest!

    Have a good week, pack your water and enjoy!

    Elza Reads

  8. Sorry to hear you got Covid. Too funny that you chose to read Stiff while you were sick... I thought it was fascinating, but may not have if I'd been ill! You've read some great books lately.

  9. That gif kills me. True though.

    I'm sorry to hear you got Covid! I was the same way when I got my test result. I didn't actually think I had Covid, and I was all like noooo this is WRONG. Wrong .Anyway- wow about the doctor. That seems... weird. Don't qualify for any medicine. Gee thanks doc.

    Glad the park rangering is getting better though. Or less worse? :)

    Have a nice week :)

  10. I am so sorry you got Covid (it sucks, I agree), but am glad you are done and feeling better. My parents both got it in early July and my dad is still feeling exhausted. It is amazing how it hits everyone so differently.

  11. I'm so sorry you had COVID, but glad you're over it now. Also, glad you're starting to enjoy your job a bit more. I loved that tweet at the beginning of your post.

  12. I think especially in a new job it takes more energy to learn all the new things and it's harder to do anything else. Glad you are back but so sorry to hear you had Covid. We are still holding out by staying home a lot and masking if we have to go out. With working outdoors more, that should help. The BA5 is contagious but also having it doesn't make one immune so in a coupe weeks or months you can easily have it again from what I read.

    Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

  13. I agree with you, working, kids and blogging is a lot! Glad you are feeling better after having COVID. Stiff does sound fascinating, but probably not great to read while sick. Have a great week!

  14. I'm glad that you enjoyed White Ivy. I have a copy of that sitting on my TBR bookshelf that I really, really need to get to!

    Yeah, the 'rona is no fun! My entire family had it over Memorial Day weekend and even though I had a "mild" case, I was miserable.

    Have a great week! - Melinda @ A Web of Stories

  15. Ugh, I am so sorry about getting COVID! I found that post-vaccination, it was NBD- but that makes me think you were very lucky you WERE vaccinated, because it likely would have been way worse. The most annoying part for me was having to miss out on a paycheck for a week! I digress. I am glad you liked All of Us Villains, I was pleasantly surprised by it too! Also, sadness about Sundial, I am looking forward to it as well- and maybe also bought it because of its cover? Also YAY for not being fired! I bet you are doing awesome- it just takes some time to feel comfortable in a role, you know? You'll get there!

    (OH- and to answer your question about bloggers with jobs and kids and crap, the answer is "I barely post though I FEEL like I am always doing something, and have 29273 tabs with other bloggers' stuff open in Chrome at literally any given time" So... I do not manage hah!)

  16. No! I hope you're feeling better! I want to the zoo in Omaha yesterday and there were SO many people I'm afraid of what was out there. Cause I agree, humans are gross. Lol. I feel fine but it's literally only been a day. Crossing my fingers though 🤞

  17. I don't see how people balance family and work and blogs either. I can barely keep up with my blog and a full time job. If I had a family, the blog would definitely have to go.

  18. So sorry you got Covid! I can't believe how many people who have had shots still catch it, while others don't. Not that I'm wishing the disease on those others, but it's not fair, is it?

    Glad you're better, though, and that doctor sounds useless!

    Stay safe and enjoy your week. Here are my WEEKLY UPDATES

  19. Life as a parent can sometimes feel like a total dumpster fire and it is exhausting. Sorry you had Covid on top of just trying to balance life.

    Loved your mini-reviews. Lady in Waiting and Stiff sound fabulous. Love the cover Aru Shah and The End of Time.

    Hope you get some reading time in. Keep up the great work as a park ranger.

  20. Glad you are feeling better now! I've escaped Covid so far by being very reclusive. I'm glad you are feeling more confident in your new job. New things do tend to fill time though. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  21. Ugh, I'm sorry you got COVID, but glad you're feeling better now! And yeah, many of us struggle with keeping up with everything! I'm also tired like 90% of the time and I feel guilty when I read or write reviews when the kiddo is awake, so I mostly try to fit it in after he's gone to bed!

  22. I enjoyed reading your short reviews! White Ivy sounds so good. So does All of Us are Villains!
    Sorry to hear you have COVID! Glad to hear you feel better now.
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

  23. Wow. Did nothing and charged you that much, that's crazy! Why are doctors like that? My doctor last week tried to get me to take off my mask. He said I should just catch Covid and get it over with.

  24. I've been wondering how work's been going. Glad to hear it's gotten a little easier. I had covid in April and I think I still have long covid. I'm glad you're feeling better!

  25. I'm sorry about Covid. I hope you are doing well now. Glad you are still on the job.

  26. Firstly, I’m sorry you got COVID - sounds absolutely nasty. I love your writing style and sense of humour! You have a real knack for summing up a book well with few words! Thanks for sharing!

  27. I'm sorry to hear that you caught Covid! I'm glad to hear that you are doing better now. Wishing you well <3

    White Ivy is one that I've wanted to read for awhile -- I've been hearing so many good things about it recently!
    claire @ clairefy

  28. I love that tweet - so funny! Hope you're feeling better now, or at least on the road to recovery. You're not the only one who is struggling with balancing blogging, reviewing, reading and work/family life. I tend to copy my meme posts and then just update the prompt and answer and do something similar with review posts. It's the stopping by other blogs that I'm really struggling with - I feel so rude not always replying to comments or leaving comments for others.

  29. I am sorry you had COVID. I have been fortunate, so far. But lately so many people I know who are vaccinated and boosted have had it. Thankfully, most have been mild. I had to laugh at reading "Stiff" while having COVID. I like Mary Roach's writings.

  30. AJ: sorry about your covid ... glad it's over. Your park looks pretty. Keep up the good work there. I just got my vaccine #4 and I'm trying Not to get it. Life is busy so I agree with being in a dumpster fire.

  31. It is hard keeping up with everything! Stiff looks like something I might enjoy. I'm kind of morbid. Sorry to hear you got covid. Yeah, I think the variants don't always strike with a cough. I hate migraines and it sounds like you got hit with other symptoms pretty bad. Hope you feel better! And yeah, can see why you'd need to be handing out water bottles! It looks hot. Stay cool, AJ!

  32. Ha! Love that meme up top. Wish I had some input on how to manage blogging, working full-time, etc but I'm clueless. I'm forever throwing up posts at the last second or skipping them entirely. I feel like I can read, post, or review. I can usually manage two of the three but never all three in any given week. Sorry to hear you got Covid! Sounds utterly miserable. But $115 for no meds and a note for work? Yikes.

  33. That's awful you had Covid, and had to pay so much for a crap doctor visit! Not cool!!! I had Covid once, and I really don't want to do that again. Ugh. As for keeping up with blogging and life - I don't know. I don't have kids, so there's that, but still! It's a lot. hah

    Lauren @

  34. Covid sucks! Glad you're feeling better <3 <3 <3 (Also, I thought it was a migraine at first too.)

  35. I'm the same about blogging-it always gets pushed to the bottom of my to-do list in favour of more urgent things.
    All of Us Villains sounds right up my street! Definitely adding that one to my wish list. Stiff also sounds fascinating.
    Sorry to hear you were ill with Covid. It sounds awful. I'm glad you're feeling better now.

  36. So sorry to hear you got sick with Covid. I went through the infection myself and had the worst body ache I´ve ever experienced in my whole life! Hope you recover completely from the Covid infection.

  37. Sorry to hear you got COVID. I got it in June and it was awful! I didn't have a cough until after my other symptoms abated. My friend just got it and hers was like a mild cold. I'm glad for her, but I'm jealous too. LOL.

    Your line of work looks so demanding. I don't know if I could be out in that heat all day. Although, you drive a truck so maybe you have AC more often than not. I love park rangers. You're always so helpful. I don't know why people hate you. :/ I'm sorry they do.

  38. Huh, I think my last comment disappeared! Let’s try this again.

    Sorry to hear you caught Covid. The headache and dizziness from it are horrid. I’m glad you’re feeling better now.

    Your job sounds super interesting. Yeah, lots of us Americans are nervous around law enforcement. I’m sorry that makes you sad. If only new visitors to your park knew how friendly you are. :)

    Do you have any fun plans for the autumn?


  39. I actually prefer mini book reviews for books I haven't read yet, so thanks for posting your thoughts. 📚

    I had Omicron in February for about three weeks and it was scary. I picked it up at my cardiologist office. 😛 After that I was afraid to go out and get my booster. I had the B-5 variant last week for about a day: headache, body aches, sore throat, cough and dizziness. The fatigue lasted about three days. My son and his friends picked it up at a Magic the Gathering tournament, even though they all still mask in public and are boosted. I'm guessing hand santizing isn't tbeir forte. 🙄

    I hope you are having a wonderful week. 🌞

  40. I'm so sorry you got Covid, but I'm glad you're feeling better now.

    Enjoyed the mini-reviews; they were fun and helpful.

    At which park are you a ranger? I don't know why people are afraid of park rangers, either, unless they think they're doing something wrong. For my part, I think rangers are awesome! They know lots of interesting things about the parks, and they're always happy to answer questions.

  41. I'm sorry to hear you got COVID, but glad to hear you're doing better by now. And also glad you're not fired and still a park ranger :) Also, let me know if you find the answer to juggling life and a blog because I'm just a fellow constantly tired, semi-conscious dumpster fire too, haha :)

  42. Ugh, so sorry to hear you got COVID and that the doctor's bill was so outrageous, but I'm glad you're feeling better now. I wish I knew how to juggle having a job, family, and a blog. I feel like I'm dropping balls all the time and just hoping no one notices, lol.

  43. So sorry you ended up getting COVID. We got it when we went to Disney (big surprise). Feels like it's impossible to avoid completely. Ugh!

  44. Ugh, got IT last month too. Took about 3 weeks to finally feel normal again. Love your last photo and comment LOL -vvb32 reads

  45. Ugh covid... It finally caught me back at the end of July and it was miserable. It felt like a really bad flu with an extra serving of sore throat and headache for me. (As opposed to the normal amount of sore throat and headache that usually comes with the flu.) We were right in the middle of a 38-40c heatwave (UK so we're not used to that heat!) and with the fever I genuinely thought I'd die.
    I also rate it 0 stars. :)

    Nicci @ The Lady Never (New blog name/url! Formerly Sunny Buzzy Books)