Sunday Post – 5th January, 2020 #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.

While it has been a lot less hectic, the fun hasn’t stopped. Last Sunday, I went for a spa evening with Sally – we didn’t talk about work, but relaxed in the sauna and the jacuzzi putting the world to rights. It was bliss. New Year’s Eve was lovely – just Himself and I spending it together, which is more special than it sounds, as he frequently has to work, or go to bed early because of his shift pattern. We had lunch together at Haskins on New Year’s Day and afterwards, I spotted a Kipling handbag on sale – irrestistible!  We had a lovely lazy afternoon, lolling on the sofa watching films together, making the most of Himself’s last day of his winter leave.

My sister-in-law drove up to see me the following day – her birthday. So we had a walk along beach and then I took her for lunch at Haskins, which serves a baked potato with roasted vegetables as a tasty veggie lunch, plus cake of course. I hadn’t seen her since our writing retreat in Bexhill, so it was a wonderful treat. Yesterday, I met up with my sister and caught up on her life since Christmas Day when we last saw each other. Inevitably we went shopping together – I came away with two long-sleeved tops and a new pair of trousers in the sales and she got a lovely blouse.

Today is the last day of my Christmas break and we’re taking down the Christmas decorations – a chore I hate, as the house always looks so dreary afterwards. But all good things come to an end and I’ve had the best Christmas in years.

Last week I read:

AUDIOBOOK The Last Olympian – Book 5 of the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series by Rick Riordan
All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows. While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

I’ve enjoyed listening to this entertaining children’s series and was pleased that this concluding adventure wrapped up the narrative really successfully, as well as providing a cracking battle full of action and tension. Review to follow.


Witch – Book 2 of the Doppleganger duology by Marie Brennan
When a witch is born, a doppelganger is created. For the witch to master her powers, the twin must be killed. Until now…

Created by the merging of witch and doppelganger, Mirei is a unique being. Her extraordinary magic makes her the most poweful witch alive—and a notorious social outcast. While Satomi, the leader of the witches’ ruling Primes, hails Mirei as a miracle, rival Primes proclaim that Mirei is an evil abomination… and that those who champion her must be destroyed.

This has proved to be a delightful duology – I loved the first book and wanted to find out what would happen next. This offering wasn’t a disappointment as my first ebook read of the decade. Review to follow.


AUDIOBOOK The Rules of Magic – prequel to Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

I was expecting to be blown away by this one and I wasn’t. Nonetheless, the worldbuilding and atmospheric writing kept me listening to the excellent narration, despite my other issues with the book. Review to follow.

My posts last week:

Review of AUDIOBOOK How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury – Book 12 of the How To Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell

Friday Faceoff featuring The Wee Free Man – Book 1 of the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett

My 2019 Reading Year – the Statistics

My First Reads of the Decade – Welcome 2020!

My Outstanding Reads of 2019

Review of AUDIOBOOK To Say Nothing of the Dog – Book 2 of the Oxford Time Travel series by Connie Willis

Sunday Post 29th December 2019

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

Gavin and Stacey: what that Christmas special cliffhanger ending means for future season
And this one has been niggling at the back of my head since I watched it… I’m a HUGE fan and would LOVE more Gavin and Stacey goodness – but only if it is as marvellous and heartwarming and wonderful as the previous series. Please, please don’t mess it up…

10 Ways to Stay Healthy This Flu Season All very good advice, when we still have the coldest, dreariest part of winter still ahead of us…

Reading Challenges to Try in 2020 It’s that time of year again, when we all start thinking about the challenges we are going to set ourselves – and this article has some helpful suggestions.

My Personal “Yellow Brick Road” Laurel’s article highlighting mementoes that had significance for her had me wondering about the things that matter to me, too…

River to Skate Away On Becky’s recollections of childhood winters, complete with photos, brought back a former time.

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

34 responses »

    • Thank you, Anne. Yes… it was such a good holiday, I’m rather wishing it would on longer, but once I’m back in the fray, I’m sure it will be fun. Have a great week:))

  1. Oh, your Christmas does sound wonderful…I love shopping and sitting around watching movies, too. Plus, that baked potato veggie lunch sounds so yummy!

    I’m glad you enjoyed my post on my personal Yellow Brick Road.

    I’m curious about the book Witch…not my usual read, but the blurb and that cover are calling to me.

    Enjoy your week!

    • Your article was so quirky and thought-provoking. As for Witch, if you do decide to read it – please ensure that you first read Warrior, which is the first book in the duology. I hope that you, too, have a great week.

  2. Sarah, thanks so much for providing the link to my post, River to Skate Away On! I’m very honored:) I’m sorry to read that you didn’t like The Rules of Magic as much as I did. My frame of reference is probably much different than yours, as I don’t read much fantasy fiction. I’ll be interested to read your review.

    • You’re very welcome, Becky – it was a lovely article:)). I’m aware that my reaction to The Rules of Magic is very much in the minority – most folks who’ve read it, including many SFF fans – absolutely loved it.

  3. A spa evening sounds so nice! I am glad you were able to fit that in, Sarah. Your New Year’s Eve sounds so nice. Ours was quiet too. I had meant to get started on taking down the Christmas decorations yesterday, but it didn’t happen I will have to do that today for sure. We may leave our tree up for a little while longer though. Maybe a lot longer. I am glad you have enjoyed Marie Brennan’s doppelganger duology. I would like to read that one. I hope you have a great week, Sarah!

    • Thank you, Wendy – I hope you have a great week, too. We try to get our decorations down before the 6th January, which is why they had to come down today.

      I highly recommend Marie Brennan’s Doppleganger duology – it has been such an unusual, pacey read:))

  4. You’re holidays sound fabulous, Sarah! I worked through most if it but did manage to have Christmas day and New Years off. Spent mine relaxing. And I’m also taking down the holiday decorations. It always looks so empty afterwards. LOL

    • I am sorry that you had to work throughout – my sister was saying because Christmas came mid-week, she found herself having to return to work after Boxing Day and again after New Year’s Day, so she didn’t get much rest, either. I hope after getting the decorations down you have been able to put your feet up today, Laura…

  5. I’ll never forget the first time I saw Rick Riordan (he lived in Texas then). He was at our Texas Library Association Conference, hawking his own books out of a booth. It was an advanced reader copy with a white cover and a lightning bolt on the cover, and it didn’t look very appealing. But, wow, when I opened it and started reading…

    A spa day sounds absolutely fabulous. And all the rest of your holidays sound lovely, too. I hate taking down the decorations, like you, but when you’ve had a great holiday, it always seems okay to go back to normal and remember the holiday.

    Have a wonderful week!

    • Thank you, Deb. Oh my word! My grandson will be so jealous when I tell him that I know someone who has met Rick Riordan:)).

      Yes – the spa day was so very special. And it was been the most fabulous Christmas break – everything fell into place and I’ve had the loveliest time… And you’re right – it’s time to knuckle down and get more routine back into my life! I hope that you, too, have a great week, Deb!

    • Oh yes – the Percy Jackson series is great fun and I recommend the audio version – the narrator does a great job throughout. I hope you, too, have a wonderful week, Katherine.

  6. Oh I’m so glad you had a wonderful Christmas! Our decoratons came down today too and it is bittersweet. Glad you had a nice New Year’s as well.

    the doppleganger book sounds fascinating, love the idea.

    • That certainly makes life easier! I tend to festoon tinsel and decorations over every flat surface on the downstairs, while draping lights everywhere, too. It makes it a major task…

  7. Today s Monday, and my (eye) key s sticking for some reason, so bear with me. What a challenge to get creative. Last week was love-er-ly and the one s off to a good start. Dd some serous shopping today and got some good sales. The coming week will Brng good things and the need to finish up my written plans for the coming semester. eye go back on the 21st. Eye can hardly wait. hope ths week s a good one for you. Oh mercy!!!! LOL

  8. As ever, you magnificently rise to said challenge Rae! I am glad you have another couple more weeks before starting back. And I hope your recalcitrant i repents! I have a keyboard where each key is replaceable – is yours the same? I know you can order the replacements online. So far, the week has been great – long may it continue.

  9. The Witch Duology sounds fascinating! The Rules of Magic was my first book read for 2020, and I absolutely loved it 🙂 Practical Magic (the book and the movie) are my favorites too, though. Happy New Year!

    • Thank you, Becki – I’m so glad you loved The Rules of Magic. I think I’ve seen snippets of Practical Magic on TV, so I need to track down the full film. A very Happy New Year to you, too:)

  10. I’m glad to hear you had such a nice Christmas. It is depressing taking down the decorations though, isn’t it? I took ours down after I got home from my trip Sunday and have felt a bit mopey ever since.

  11. You had me with the spa already but the Kipling bag is something no woman can resist, right? Good, I am not fond of the little monkey but a Kipling on sale is pure heaven *smile* Glad you had a wonderful New Year´s Eve and obviously great start into 2020. Enjoy your time and have a great week. Happy reading & writing!

    • Thank you, Vi! Yes… the spa day was marvellous and the Kipling bag was a must-have, plus the monkey:)). And so far, I’ve had a really good start to my 2020 reading year!

  12. Oh, I hate taking down the Xmas decorations too. It’s such a chore. Putting them up you have the whole expectation of the holidays before you but taking them down feels so flat – and your house feels so bare afterwards. You sound like you’ve had a lovely time.
    Lynn 😀

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