Sunday Post – 3rd November, 2019 #Brainfluffbookblog #SundayPost


This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

Last week I was travelling home from Bristolcon and as our train was delayed and in order to avoid a bus trip for the last leg, Himself drove to Southhampton to pick us up, we got home later than we had planned and I was frankly too exhausted to sit down and write a post.
I won’t be saying too much about Bristolcon here, because I do want to write a separate post about it.

Mhairi stayed over for the week, which was a real treat and left on Friday to go on a writing retreat with some friends. We had plenty of time to catch up with what each other is doing, and acknowledge the fact that we badly miss each other’s support and advice on a day-to-day basis. I was still able to continue with Fitstep and Pilates and as luck would have it, it was half term here, so I didn’t have any lessons to eat into my time with Mhairi. It was just a shame about the weather as we had planned to go for walks along the beach in between the writing. It didn’t happen on account of the rain.

Last week I read:

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
A notorious anti-patent scientist who has styled herself as a Robin Hood heroine fighting to bring cheap drugs to the poor, Jack’s latest drug is leaving a trail of lethal overdoses across what used to be North America—a drug that compels people to become addicted to their work. On Jack’s trail are an unlikely pair: an emotionally shut-down military agent and his partner, Paladin, a young military robot, who fall in love against all expectations. Autonomous alternates between the activities of Jack and her co-conspirators, and Elias and Paladin, as they all race to stop a bizarre drug epidemic that is tearing apart lives, causing trains to crash, and flooding New York City.
This thought-provoking read raises some interesting issues regarding the dynamic of power both in society at large and more interestingly, at an individual level in relationships.


How To Betray a Dragon’s Hero – AUDIOBOOK 11 of the How To Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell
High up in the Treacherous mists of the Murderous Mountains, Hiccup and the Company of the Dragonmark are in hiding. The witch’s Vampire Spydragons are guarding the shores of Tomorrow — but Hiccup is determined to become King of the Wilderwest. Can Hiccup dodge the dragons and steal back the King’s Things from Alvin before the Doomsday of Yule? And is there a traitor in Hiccup’s camp who, in the end, will betray them all?
Annoyingly, I managed to skip this one before reaching the end of the series. But I didn’t want to miss out on any Hiccup goodness, so I’ve backtracked to listen to this slice of the adventure, in order to put off the inevitable heartache of admitting that I’ve finally come to the end of this marvellous, marvellous series.


The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair
Isobell needs to escape. She has to. Her life depends on it. She has a plan and it’s a well thought-out, well observed plan, to flee her privileged life in London and the cruel man who would marry her, and ruin her, and make a fresh start in Scotland. She dreams of faery castles, surrounded by ancient woodlands and misty lochs… and maybe even romance, in the dark and haunted eyes of a mysterious Laird. Despite the superstitious nature of the time and place, her dreams seem to be coming true, as she finds friendship and warmth, love and safety. And the chance for a new beginning… Until the past catches up with her.
After enjoying her blog and learning that she has a book recently published, I decided to check it out. It is an enchanting historical romance with a lovely, large-hearted protagonist, who nonetheless has a hard time of it… Review to follow.


Journaled to Death by Heather Redmond
Divorced single mom Mandy Meadows scrapes by working as a barista and receiving payments from her cousin, Ryan, who rents her basement apartment. At night, she and her teenage daughter Vellum run a successful home business creating journaling content on their popular social media channels. But Mandy’s carefully organized world is about to come crashing down. While filming their latest journaling tutorial, Mandy and Vellum hear a loud noise on the basement stairs, and Mandy makes a horrifying discovery…
I’ve tweaked the rather spoilery blurb to this rather twisty whodunit. I’m not sure I’d classify this one as a cosy murder mystery. While it isn’t drenched in gore or horrific action scenes, Mandy’s life is frankly a slog while she struggles to balance two jobs and the needs of a teenager, living a hand-to-mouth existence. I really enjoyed the overall story, though, and will be reviewing it.

My posts last week:

Review of Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Friday Faceoff featuring Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

Review of The Mysterious Howling – Book 1 of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood

Teaser Tuesday featuring Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

Review of Fall of Dragons – Book 5 of The Traitor Son by Miles Cameron

Interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last few weeks, in no particular order:

SciFi Month 2019: Plot Your Course This is running throughout November and as a big fan of science fiction, I’ve been reading and writing reviews I hope to feature during the month. And read plenty of other folks’ too😊

Jerpoint Abbey Tour It’s always a treat when Inessa features another picture tour on her wonderful blog – and this one is just magical…

The Perils and Pitfalls of Research If you need to research some additional material before starting the novel – at what point do you decide you have enough? Some really good advice here…

The Best Poems for November As ever, another interesting article from this invaluable site – I would just add that the Thomas Hood poem ‘November’ has a longer form, vividly describing the seasonal smogs that regularly used to envelope the larger cities at this time of year.

The Evolution of Dragons in Western Literature: A History by Yvonne Shiau I stumbled across this article by accident and loved it. I hope you do, too…

Thank you for visiting, reading, liking and/or commenting on my blog – I hope you have a wonderful week.

32 responses »

  1. I’m glad you had such a good time with Mihari visiting – even if it rained and you didn’t go on your walks on the beach. I’m sure you were able to fill the time with meaningful conversations and fun instead 🙂
    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.

  2. Your week sounded wonderful, except for the train delays.

    Lots of tempting books for you, though, and that is always great. Thanks for visiting my blog and sending good thoughts to me.

    Enjoy your upcoming week.

    • Thank you, Suzanne:). Yes, I don’t see anything like enough of Mhairi – it’s been a terrible blow her moving so far away. I miss her dreadfully:((. Thank you for your kind good wishes and I hope you, too, have a great week.

  3. Ooh Autonomous- I’ve been kinda wanting to read that one, it does sound fascinating. I need to make sure I have that on my TBR. And looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Bristolcon!

    The Evolution of dragons sounds super interesting.

    • I found Autonomous a really interesting read with lots to say that was both pertinent and uncomfortable.

      Yes – I need to get the pics my friend took of the book launch I was part of, and hopefully I can post my experience of Bristolcon before the end of the week:).

      I hope you get a chance to read the article on dragons as it’s very well written.

    • Yes… my two older grandchildren loved them, too… I’m looking forward to the time when the baby becomes old enough to read them. I know I’ll turn around twice and she’ll be at that stage… I hope you, too, have a lovely week:)

  4. I can’t wait to hear about your time at Bristolcon!

    It is wonderful to have a friend nearby who offers support. I also think we are very fortunate to live in a world where you and I can be friends though we live thousands of miles from each other. It’s a fabulous part of the modern world.

    Oh, I like the sound of Journaled to Death. Perhaps it is such a slog of a life because it is based on real events? There are so many people who work multiple jobs to make a living today, at least here in the US.

    Have a great week!

    • We had a marvellous time at Bristolcon:)).

      And yes… I am very blessed to have such a wonderful friend, though she recently moved a distance away.

      And I LOVE the fact that we can also be friends through our love of books and gradually learning more about each other’s lives:)). Like you, I feel privileged to be alive right now when we can be linked in such a way, instead of reading being the solitary pleasure it was when I was younger:).

      Oh yes – I felt Journaled to Death nailed it regarding modern life. The situation is the same in the UK regarding folks having more than one job to make ends meet…

      I hope you, too, have a wonderful week, Deb.

  5. I hope you had a good time at Bristolcon, and it sounds like you had a nice time of it with Mhairi, even if the weather got in the way of some of your plans. You’ve read some great sounding books recently! The Mermaid and the Bear especially caught my eye. I’m not familiar with Journaled to Death, but I’ll have to give it a try. I hope you have a great week and month of November, Sarah!

    • Thank you, Wendy. Oh, The Mermaid and the Bear is a delight – and very good value, I think. And I also thoroughly enjoyed Journaled to Death. I’ll be reviewing these books in due course. I hope you have a good week and a wonderful reading month:)

    • If you get a chance – do read at least a couple of the books. They are SO much better than the vanilla version offered by the film. Toothless is a very naughty toddler-dragon, always pushing boundaries and Hiccup is a nondescript, weedy-looking boy who is constantly bullied by his older cousin… Funny, acutely observed with valuable life-lessons thrown in for good measure and some of the best pacing I’ve ever seen in fiction… Not that I’m a fan. At all…

  6. I’m secretly glad that we’re not the only country with mass transit problems, though I am sorry to hear you got delayed. But it’s nice that your friend was able to come and spend the whole week with you! How fabulous!

    • Our roads are clogged, our public transport system overcrowded and underfunded and the weather increasingly causes problems to an outdated infrastructure. *sigh* It makes any journey something of an adventure…

      But yes – it was wonderful to see her for such a long time, though brought home to both of us just how much we MISS each other…

  7. Sounds like you had a good week. Catching up with friends is always so good. Shame about the weather but you find other things to do I suppose.
    I look forward to reading your thoughts on Bristolcon.
    Lynn 😀

  8. I don´t travel by train. Mainly by bus, but that can be as exhausting as your train trip. Glad you had a good time with your friend. We are having the first snow here among some rain. The last season of the year has definitely started.

  9. There is a certain amount of disjointedness when you come to a blog (un)fashionably late by a year, and the first thing you read is about “Bristolcon”. Your mind tries to place it alongside “lockdown” and “pandemic”, and fails, and then you remember…
    Yes, this is exactly what happened to me. As always, catching up, and while my first thought was as above, my second one was hoping that you’ll be writing again about cons and meetings before I catch up in time. 🙂

    • I hope I got around to writing about Bristolcon, too! I cannot remember – although I recall the Con vividly as it was the last one that I got to go to… It seems like a different world! Especially as there is no real prospect of exactly when we’ll be coming out of lockdown, seeing as the Govt is now panicking about the new South African variant that is surfacing:((.

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