Sunday, May 14, 2023

The Sunday Post #334

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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 #334

On The Blog Recently

In My Reading Life

Normally, I'm a big fan of Victoria Schwab's books, but I read Our Dark Duet and was massively underwhelmed. Why is this book so long? Why are there so many words when nothing is happening?

Our Dark Duet is the sequel to This Savage Song. It's a young adult dystopian fantasy about a world where violence breeds literal monsters. It stars August (a monster who wants to be human) and Kate (a human who wants to be a monster). In this book, they team up to defeat a new threat to their city.

It's just too long! Kate and August spend a bunch of pages fighting monsters separately. Then they team up and fight monsters together. I was thrilled when they got back together, but the plot is too repetitive. The characters fight monsters. That's pretty much it. It's a bleak story because there's no way they can kill them all. There are too many monsters!

I considered giving up on the book, but I actually love the ending. I'm happy I didn't give up! There's a twist that caught me off guard. There's a lot of death in a world that's ruled by violence. How do you keep going when everyone around you is dying, and there's nothing you can do to stop it? I think it captures the hopelessness of people who live in war zones. (Or in countries where mass shootings happen every day.)

I'll continue reading Victoria Schwab's books, but I didn't like slogging through this one. It's too slow and repetitive for me.

Luckily, my next book went much better! The Devil In The White City: Murder, Magic, And Madness At The Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson is absolutely fascinating. I couldn't put it down. It's nonfiction about two American architects who led very different lives in the 1800s. One of them is Daniel H. Burnham, the architect who oversaw the construction of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. The technological innovations that were on display at the fair changed the world for the better.

The other architect is H.H. Holmes, who designed the World's Fair Hotel. His hotel came with a gas chamber and crematorium because he was a serial killer who preyed on the fair's tourists.

I love the juxtaposition of the two men. They're similar in a surprising number of ways. The author shows how a person's skills can be used for good or evil. Both men were ambitious, powerful, creative, and money hungry, but one of them murdered people, and the other didn't. The book reads like a historical thriller that you have to remind yourself is true.

It's hard to critique history nonfiction because the author can only work with the information that has survived. We know more about Daniel H. Burnham than we do about H.H. Holmes. That disappointed me because I found Holmes more interesting than Burnham. I wanted more Holmes! This is probably not the author's fault. It's history's fault.

If you're interested in American history, then I highly recommend this book. I learned a lot from it.

In The Rest Of My Life

Five things that made me happy recently:

  1. There are now 1500 posts on this blog. That's a lot of posts!
  2. I downloaded the Little Free Library app and am making a plan to visit all the ones in my area. Now it needs to stop raining!
  3. Attention Pinterest people! We're allowed to put links in Idea Pins now. Finally! Why did this take years? Pinterest is useless without links. I'm glad they're finally listening to Pinterest users and giving us links.
  4. I've eaten some yummy food lately. I had an excellent burrito and an excellent meatball pizza.
  5. This one didn't actually make me happy, but I'm slapping it down here anyway. One of my nightmare situations happened at work. A bicyclist got run over by a car. This happens occasionally because the park where I work has approximately one billion cars and two billion bicycles. I was the first person on the scene at this accident. I think I handled it okay? Everyone survived, and I didn't freak out until after work. So . . . victory? It did not help with my irrational fear of cars.

Someday I'll Come Back To You, Social Media!

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


  1. My opinion of 99% of the second books of a three-book-series? Skip it. Race ahead to book three. You will figure out the ten seconds of what you missed.

    Oh my! I'm glad you were able to be on the scene quickly for the bicycle/car accident.

  2. You have a dark theme this week. Enjoy the books!

  3. I really was fascinated by The Devil in the White City. What a story. Truth IS stranger than fiction.

  4. Oh no, I'm glad the bicyclist was okay. How terrifying.

    I had to laugh though- a week with an excellent burrito and pizza is a good week

  5. I also enjoy Victoria Schwab's books usually. I just read Vicious and Vengeful. They are odd with unlikeable characters but in the end I enjoyed them. I'm on board for the yummy food.

    Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

  6. I am glad no one died but it must have been so stressful AJ!

  7. Devil in the White City was such a fascinating read! I went on to read quite a few of Erik Larson's other books... haven't gotten to the one about the Lusitania yet.

  8. The bike-car accident sounds terrifying! I'm glad everyone survived, and I hope no one was badly injured. And good for you for responding well, and then making it through the rest of the day; that can't have been easy.

    On a lighter note... there's a LFL app? Sign me up! [goes off to search App Store for it]

  9. That's real about the serial killer!!! Whoa. Sorry someone got hurt during your shift, but I was happy to hear everyone made it out alive. Whew!

  10. First responder... good for you. I am sure you handled it all really well and I am glad to hear everyone is ok.

    Burritos. I haven't had good Mexican food lately, which is a major shame. Maybe I'll do that one night this week. Thank you for the push.

  11. How scary about that accident. I am glad the person was okay.

    The Devil in the White City sounds fascinating. I have never heard of either people. Need to add this book to my list.

  12. Sounds like you handled the accident well. Glad you were able to help.

    And congrats on 1500 posts!

  13. Congrats on 1500 posts!
    I’m making burritos for dinner tonight :)

    Wishing you a great reading week.

  14. 1500 posts! Yay! Glad you were able to help at the accident and that it wasn't worse. The Devil in the White City does sound fascinating. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  15. Love the Vlad meme. :) How scary about the bicyclist. And to be the first responder... kudos on keeping it together until later.

  16. Definitely sounds like a victory given what an impossible situation it was with the bicycle vs car. I liked Devil in the White City though it was a bit disjointed and I agree that I wanted more Holmes. I think my favorite book by Larson was Dead Wake (the one about the Lusitania). The two storylines seemed to fit together much better. Have a great week!

  17. Sorry to hear about the biking accident. Glad everyone is okay!