Sunday, August 27, 2023

The Sunday Post #340

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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 #340

On The Blog Recently

In My Reading Life

Here's what I've read recently:

I finished My Mother. Barack Obama. Donald Trump. And The Last Stand Of The Angry White Man by Kevin Powell. The author is a pop culture journalist who has interviewed some of the most influential (and controversial) public figures in modern time. Most of the essays in this book focus on famous musicians and athletes. The author tells the celebrities' life stories and offers his thoughts on how American culture shaped the celebrities and propelled them to stardom. There are essays on Prince, Tupac, Cam Newton, JAY-Z, Muhammad Ali, O.J. Simpson, Harvey Weinstein, and more.

This book confirmed that I'm not interested in famous people. The author does deep dives into their personal lives and work, and I had a hard time staying engaged. I think I would've gotten more out of the essays if I was already a fan of the people in them. The author does a lot of name dropping. I don't know the majority of the people he mentions, so I felt my brain shutting down. Too many names!

I was interested in the author's observations about how racism, sexism, and money influence people's lives. For example, he talks about how there are a lot of Black entertainers and athletes, but the people controlling those industries from behind the scenes are overwhelmingly white. Are the Black entertainers able to be their authentic selves, or is this a minstrel show? Are they "preforming" Blackness in ways that are scripted by white people to please white audiences?

I've never thought about that stuff because I pay zero attention to sports or music.

I think you'd like this book if you love sports or music and want to know how those industries influence (and are influenced by) American culture.

Then I read Down Among The Sticks And Bones by Seanan McGuire. This is the second book in the Wayward Children series, and I love it just as much as the first. The series is so creative!

Wayward Children is a portal fantasy that follows a group of teens at a boarding school. The kids have all traveled through portals to hidden worlds. Then they came back. They ended up at the school because they can't cope with life in our world. They're desperate to find their portals again.

Down Among The Sticks And Bones is the story of Jack and Jill, two twins who discover a secret staircase inside an old trunk. Jack becomes the apprentice to a mad scientist. Jill joins a vampire coven. It's quirky. It's quick to read. It shows the dangers of forcing your kids to be what you want instead of letting them be themselves.

I wish these books were longer so we could get more world building. I need the next one right now.

I read One by Sarah Crossan. The plot of this young adult novel-in-verse is extremely predictable, but I couldn't put it down. I went to work exhausted for several days in a row because I stayed up late reading this book. It's just too compelling! The characters are fascinating.

The story is narrated by Grace, who is a conjoined twin. She does literally everything with her sister, Tippi. The twins have separate minds and personalities, but since they share a body, they have to compromise on their goals. The book is mostly about the twins living normal teenage lives. They go to school, play sports, have family drama, get crushes, etc.

The side characters are where this story shines. None of them are perfect. They accidentally say insensitive things or project their own feelings onto the twins. They don't understand that there are worse things than being conjoined. Grace and Tippi love each other and don't want to be separated.

Like all novels-in-verse, I didn't always understand why the author put the line breaks where she did. The poems would have been just as impactful as paragraphs. I want poems to have a reason to be poems. That's probably a "me" problem, though. I've never understood poetry.

This is an awesome book about the bond between sisters. Read it if you love contemporary young adult fiction.

In The Rest Of My Life

Five things that made me happy recently:

1. It was this blog's 10th blogiversary. You can probably tell because the blog looks 10 years old. It badly needs a makeover. (It's not getting one.) In the past 10 years, I've written 1,512 blog posts. People have left 31,633 comments. Lately, the blog has been getting over 1,000 pageviews a day. Thank you, internet strangers! I appreciate you all.

2. I won "employee of the year" at work. I wish my reward was money or paid time off, but a plaque and sandwich are nice too. It was a pretty stellar sandwich.

3. Speaking of work, here's a bunny sleeping in the shade by a patrol car. I promise it's not dead! It's just so hot that it's given up on life and looks dead. I can relate. I look the same.

4. Listening to the nighttime animals with Baby Brooklyn. It's ungodly hot inside the house, so we've been sitting outside in the dark and listening for creatures. We've heard crickets, cicadas, toads, owls, dogs, and humans.

5. Have you ever seen something that slightly altered your perspective of yourself? Since I have no life, the only places I go regularly are work and the gym. Park rangers and gym girlies tend to be extremely fit. I am not. Next to other people, I feel like a baby whale that accidentally got sloshed onto land.

The only fitness person I follow on social media is Susie J Todd because her workout challenge videos are hilarious. I knew she was the same height as me, but in this video, I learned she wears a US size 10, which is the same size as me right now.

My mind was blown. Susie is a professional fitness influencer (whatever that is) with 900,000 YouTube subscribers. Maybe I'm a slightly fitter whale than I thought.

Hello? I Need Friends

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


  1. Oh, that bunny must be really hot. Happy Blogiversary, that is always exciting. I hope you have a wonderful week, Aj ☕📚🌞💛

  2. I remember really liking the book One so am glad to hear you enjoyed it, too.

    Congratulations on Employee of the Year; that's fantastic and I hope it encourages you to continue doing this work. Cash would have been nice, but I am of the belief that a good sandwich is something special.

    We are supposed to have a heat wave starting today, but I think it may only get into the low or mid 80s, so not too bad.

  3. Wow. Employee of the Year is huge! Congratulations! A good sandwich and a plaque is something.

    I have never enjoyed reading about celebrities, and I have no idea why. Most people seem to love stories about celebrities, but not me.

    The weather people keep saying the heat dome over us is going to move west. I like hot weather, but this is ridiculous.

  4. Wayward Children series sounds like one that is right up my alley. Looking for it....// Congrats on employee of the year! But isn't it a bad time of year to hand such a thing our with four months left to go? Ha! // Congrats also on ten year anniversary of blogging. Time does fly. // Yesterday I looked out to my yard, fenced, and saw a big ol' bunny hopping around. I pictured him squeezing under the fence like Peter Rabbit...but no Mr. McGregor's here. I didn't even let the dog out for an hour after the sighting. I didn't want to scare him away.

  5. Ha! I thought the bunny was dead. Thank you for confirming it was not. Congratulations on ten years and employee of the year. Wow! Remember when you first started. Look how far you have come. I know Kevin Powell from The Real World, but like you, I don't care to read about famous people (well, maybe some scientists).

  6. Happy blogversay and employee of the year! Congrats! The Seanan McGuire series sounds good. Enjoy your week ahead.

  7. Congrats on 10 years and employee of the year! Those are both amazing! I'm with the rabbit, I'm ready for summer to be over.

  8. Happy employee of the year and blogoversary! There are only a few celebrities where I want to read about them. Reading about the industries and how they are run and influenced would be interesting.

    Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

  9. I love the Wayward Children series. Happy blogoversary!!

  10. "My Mother. Barack Obama. Donald Trump. And The Last Stand Of The Angry White Man" by Kevin Powell -- as you describe it, I would never even read one page of it. Sounds terrible. I agree with you entirely on how utterly boring celebrity athletes and movie stars are.
    best, mae at

  11. I want to read the McGuire series. I love stories like those.

    I love night sounds. Toads are the best.

    That bunny! Oh my gosh. Dude is TIRED. But seriously congrats on yout blogoversary and employee recognition!

  12. Happy Blogiversary, and on getting Employee of the Year! I hope someone gave that poor rabbit some water and maybe a bit of food, poor thing!

  13. Happy blogoversary! 10 years is a long time! I had my blogoverssary earlier this month too. And congrats on the Employee of the Month too! The Sarah Crossan book is one I wanted to read, guess I still need to! Hope you have a good week!
    Lisa Loves Literature

  14. Congrats on employee of the year award. And kudos on finishing that first book even though it was hard to get through. Have a good week.

  15. Congratulations on 10 years of blogging! Congratulations on your employee of the year award. That's impressive! I thought the bunny was dead, so glad to hear I was wrong.

    Down Among the Sticks and Bones sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing it. Hope you have a great week.

  16. Oh the poor bunny! Happy Blogiversary and congratulations on being Employee of the Year! Well done.
    You sound pretty fit and at least you are making an effort.
    I think I should try Seanan McGuire again. Happy Reading!

  17. Congrats on the blogaversary! And Employee of the Year. What a great week!

    The Wayward Children series certainly sounds creative and addicting.

  18. Happy Blogoversary! I only updated my blog because I had no choice, and even then it was pretty much the bare minimum.
    And congrats on Employee of the Year - especially impressive given you’ve been a ranger for such a short time.

    Wishing you a great reading week

  19. Happy Blogoversary:)). And I hear you when you say your blog isn't getting a makeover. Neither is mine!! Congratulations on getting Employee of the Year - that's an achievement and I'm glad the sandwich was a good one. That poor rabbit... I often wonder how the animals and plants are coping with the crazy heat you're enduring in the US these days. Have a great week, AJ.

  20. Congrats on the Employee of the Year Award! And that poor bunny - glad he found some shade and equally as glad that he wasn't dead. I think I might enjoy the Kevin Powell book so I'm gonna keep an eye out for it at my library. Hope you have a great week!

  21. Wow! Great week! Employee of the year and a sandwich! Happy tenth blog anniversary. Mine's about that old too and it's not getting a makeover either. Seanan McGuire is on my list as an author I should read. Haven't started anything yet though. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  22. Congrats on 10 years of blogging! And on being made employee of the year, too. :D

  23. Congrats on Employee of the Year! It is well deserved, and I'm sure the sandwich was fantastic.

  24. Oh why doesn't that bunny lay in the cool grass??????

    Seeing pictures of myself i high school NOW, I realize I wasn't fat at all, and I was convinced that I was at the time.

    Congrats on winning Employee of the Year!!! That's pretty amazing!

  25. I'm glad you gained a little perspective on your body type. I think we're always most critical of ourselves. I've found myself looking at others that are basically my same size and thinking they look great, and then I look at myself and can only see all the bulges. I have to catch myself with that!

    I definitely thought that bunny was dead, by the way. Poor thing!

  26. Congrats on "employee of the year" -- that's terrific. You're a Ranger extraordinaire, right? I hope that hot bunny will be okay. We saw an Owl last weekend at our house ... it was a thrill that doesn't happen often. I took a photo for the blog.

  27. Happy Blogaversary and congrats on being employee of the year. A book about conjoined twins sounds fascinating. I hope you’re having a great week!

  28. Congrats on employee of the year and Happy 10th!

  29. Happy blogoversary! Wow you have a lot of traffic on the blog. That's awesome. I changed my header recently but I probably won't do any more than that, but my blog needed serious updating too, lol. There's only so much time. That bunny is so cute! He/she needs some water. Poor thing.

  30. I'm curious about the relationship between conjoined twins, but maybe not quite enough to read a book in verse. I've never been one for poetry, either. Congrats on both the blogoversary and the "employee of the year" award!