Sunday, March 31, 2024

The Sunday Post #364

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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 #364

On The Blog Recently

In My Reading Life

I'm rereading the Shades Of Magic series by V.E. Schwab, and I'm pleased to announce that I still really love it. Last week, I reread A Gathering Of Shadows. That's book #2 in the series.

Usually, I struggle with the middle books in a series. They’re often slow, saggy beasts that exist solely to set up the end of the series. But, that’s not the case with this one. I actually like the second book more than the first.

A Gathering of Shadows picks up four months after A Darker Shade of Magic. Lila is working on a ship while Kell deals with the fallout of accidentally killing a zillion people. Meanwhile, Kell’s brother, Prince Rhy, is planning the Element Games. If the games aren’t a success, the peace of the kingdom could be in jeopardy.

This book is longer and slower paced than the first. The first is nonstop action, and this one has all the character development. The slowness didn’t bother me very much because I love every character in this series. They’re all smart and snarky. I especially like watching Kell and Rhy navigate their changed relationship. In the first novel, they’re both thrill-seekers in their own ways. Since they’re magically bound together in this book, what one brother does impacts the other brother. They’re forced to grow up and reconsider their recklessness, but they still manage to get themselves in plenty of trouble.

I love this series because of the escapism it provides, but I do have a few problems with A Gathering of Shadows. I like the slow pacing, but I think the plot starts a little too slowly. Lila is not my favorite character, and she isn’t doing much at the beginning of the book. I was bored with her perspective and eager to get to Kell and Rhy’s points-of-view.

I also had trouble picturing the setting at times. The floating arenas were especially problematic for me. I imagined a football stadium hovering over a river, which looks ridiculous in my head.

Finally, parts of the plot are predictable or convenient. For example, Lila needs to hear a conversation that’s happening inside a house. The windows are conveniently open so she can hear, even though it’s February and freezing.

This series is so much fun that I can overlook the problems. Bring on the next book!

In The Rest Of My Life

Five things that made me happy last week:

1. If you're celebrating Easter, I hope it's a good one! Brooklyn has already done several Easter egg hunts because all the churches around here have them.

2. Who watched the UK Traitors? My favorite contestant won. I was shocked because my favorites never win reality shows. I also watched the documentary Quiet On The Set. It's depressing, but if you grew up watching Nickelodeon shows in the 1990s and early 2000s, then it's fascinating.  

3. I start fulltime work again this week, so I wrote and scheduled a bunch of blog posts for the summer. I'm beyond frustrated with Blogger. If you have a blog, talk to me about the platform you use. I'm seriously tempted to abandon this blog and hire somebody to design me a new one. I just want to write! I don't want to deal with formatting or layout problems.

4. I saw wild turkeys under a bridge. Well, I'm 99% sure they're turkeys. I'm bad at birds! Somebody in the comments is going to say, "Clearly, those are bald eagles, you moron!" So, here's some bald eagles I saw under a bridge:

5. Here's the weekly Skunkumentary. It has bunnies. For Easter.

Hoppy Easter!

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


  1. I have always used Blogger as I couldn't navigate Wordpress very well. It's sometimes frustrating to use Blogger but I do my best. Hopefully the choices of format will get your attention.

    My house is over 80 years old, so there is a constant fight with the dust that seems to appear out of nowhere all the time. Good luck with it!

    Happy Spring!

  2. I know that Sam left Blogger to go to Wordpress and then went back! I am on Wordpress since the beginning of my blog so I can say that if you are not on but self hosting like I do you will have to update your plugins yourself.

  3. I nurture dust bunnies, so ought to consider decorating them for Easter, too. Thank you so much for the video of your bunnies - but I was taken aback at just how brisk the temperatures are!! Brrr... Have a great week, AJ.

  4. Definitely turkeys.

    I also watched Quiet on Set and immediately called my daughter so she could watch it. She was in the industry for a few years so it really resonated with me.

    I use Blogger and don't generally have any problems. That said, I had a woman named Amanda from Simply Stella Design Studios design my blog and if anything ever goes wrong (only 2 times in the last few years), she fixes it for a few bucks. So, having someone do some designing might be worth the money.

  5. I'm on Wordpress but I'm using a paid blog template that I bought years ago for other websites. Other than that, I keep it very simple because technology is too complicated for me!

    I read the first book in Shades of Magic but didn't continue with the other books, I just looked through my notes and apparently I listened on audiobook and hated the narrator which affected my enjoyment of the book. I should probably try again on print or with a different narrator if there's one.

    And those birds are clearly ostriches. I have no idea how you got turkey and bald eagle.

  6. I have a huge collection of dust bunnies which need to be ushered out this week. I love the Shades of Magic and the next followup series which has one book so far. I have always used Wordpress. I host at Nosegraze so she does all those updates and plugins loading. I just have to figure out how to use them which is enough for me. Although I'm sort of enjoying trying different options and configurations with FS Poster now that it's mostly working. Happy Easter!

    Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

  7. You need to report your sighting of a flock of Great Awks. Very amazing.

    So many people complain constantly about being abused by Blogger. It’s never done me a bad turn in many years of blogging. I suspect that the formatting works differently depending on various combinations of hardware and OS software and browsers, and I’ve just been lucky. I use Mac laptops or iPads and Chrome.

    best, mae at

  8. I was on WP for a bit, and I found the block editor easy to work with, but I also always tweak my HTML. I have to work a little harder in blogger, but I made HTML templates, so it's pretty easy at this point. Those do not look like bald eagles. I think you are right about them being wild turkeys (or turkey vultures, maybe? )

  9. I'm on Blogger. I did try WP, I found Blogger easier to navigate for some reason. It's not perfect though and I've had my problems with it. I watched some of Quiet on the Set and I have to continue. Interesting program to say the least. Have a great week!

  10. I’ve had a just free Wordpress blog for over 15 years now, it’s not perfect but in general I’m happy enough. Had I the funds to selfhost I absolutely would invest in NoseGraze’s book blogger software.
    I hope your return to work goes smoothly

    Wishing you a wonderful reading week

  11. The turkeys are staging an Easter coup; the turkeys have always envied all that holiday chocolate.

    I have had free Blogger for sixteen years now and I've had little trouble. I use Wordpress when I do things on the Classics Club blog, and it almost always takes me forever to figure things out.

  12. Henry did lots of Easter egg-related things last week at school, so he was very into the egg hunts this year! He especially liked opening them to find out what was in them!

  13. I don't have a lot of trouble with Blogger but I don't do a lot of different things with it either. We had an Easter egg hunt with the pups yesterday. It was the first time we did it and they had a blast. We put treats in the plastic eggs and they were so excited. I have always wanted to read that Schwab series so I'm glad you are enjoying it.

  14. Sorry, no help about the birds. I recognize robins and chickens. Beyond that they are all just "birds." I have used Blogger since I began my blog many, many years ago. I haven't had too many issues. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  15. Those look like turkeys to me. We have a bunch of them around. Happy Easter to you guys. Sounds like Brooklyn had fun. I've used WordPress and Blogger. Wish they would take the best features of each and combine them. I find Blogger more user friendly, but WordPress offers more options. I had some design my WP website and then they disappeared after a while, and it's been a pain to figure out on my own.

    Hope you have a great week.

  16. I've been using Blogger for over ten years. I started my Caboodle of Cozies blog in 2022, but I have another one that I started in 2012. Posting a lot of pictures is a tedious and frustrating process, but I don't do a lot of that anymore and I've learned to just keep it simple when I do. Otherwise, it takes way too long to figure out the layout. As long as I focus mostly on the text and posting no more than one picture per "line", it works well for me. Have a great weekend! :)