Sunday Post – 22nd March, 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.

Like everyone else, I’m reeling at how my world has changed. So far we are keeping well, as are the family, but we both have elderly parents. Mothering Sunday is something we have always celebrated and when we discovered that the Interflora service simply isn’t able to deliver flowers to my mother and mother-in-law – Himself insisted that we deliver them. Fortunately it’s doable, as both sets of parents live within a mile of each other. It’s a bit of a journey, though we made good time as the roads were a lot quieter than usual. We sat in the car and spoke on the phone, facing them through their windows as they opened their cards and admired the flowers. And we were able to blow kisses and tell our mothers how much we honour and love them, looking forward to the time when we can hug them again…

On Friday, my daughter and the family were moving, so Himself and I went to help. It was my job to keep little Eliza entertained in the front room, while furniture and bags of clothes and possessions were being loaded into the van. She is such a sunshine soul, and we had loads of fun together, but towards the end of the day, she was increasingly unhappy at the strangeness of it all – it’s so hard when you can’t explain what is going on. Himself was helping to carry furniture – fortunately they are only moving a short distance away – and reassemble bunk beds, etc. We staggered home around 8 pm, feeling a bit shattered – it’s times like these I realise I’m getting older… Fortunately, I heard from my daughter this morning and they are settling in. Eliza’s first night in the new home went reasonably well, too.

Last week I read:

AUDIOBOOK The Sword of Summer – Book 1 of the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series by Rick Riordan
Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he barely knows—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.
Rick Riordan does this so very well… Magnus is an engaging protagonist – brave, principled and often very funny. The retelling of the pantheon of Norse gods through the lens of a modern, streetwise teenager is entertaining and engrossing, seeing as Riordan’s superpower is also handling excellent action scenes. I’m so glad I’ve more of these books on my Kindle.

No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished – Book 3 of the Heartstriker series by Rachel Aaron
When Julius overthrew his mother and took control of his clan, he thought he was doing right by everyone. But sharing power isn’t part of any proper dragon’s vocabulary, and with one seat still open on the new ruling Council, all of Heartstriker is ready to do whatever it takes to get their claws on it, including killing the Nice Dragon who got them into this mess in the first place. To keep his clan together and his skin intact, Julius is going to have to find a way to make his bloodthirsty siblings play fair.
This is shaping up to be one of my very favourite urban fantasy series in a long time… It doesn’t hurt that it features dragons, of course. But I love the progression, whereby at the end of each book some important new questions are raised, while the current story is being wrapped up. Thank goodness there is more Heartstriker awesomeness to dive into.

Interdicted Space – Book 2 of the Interstellar Enforcement Agency by Gillian Andrews
The universe needs saving, but is this makeshift crew really the stuff of superheroes?
Nivala’s first interstellar patrol is interrupted by extremely unwelcome visitors. Mallivan may have to take them on board; he doesn’t have to like it. His vociferous crewmembers certainly don’t. He is right to be concerned. The youngest member of the team is in imminent, grave danger…
While I enjoyed the first book, I loved this one. The story really took off with loads of exciting, well written action featuring characters I cared about. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this series, is that Humanity isn’t behaving at all well – and Mallivan is regarded in some quarters as a traitor to his species…

War of the Maps by Paul McAuley
On a giant artificial world surrounding an artificial sun, one man – a lucidor, a keeper of the peace, a policeman – is on the hunt. His target was responsible for an atrocity, but is too valuable to the government to be truly punished. Instead he has been sent to the frontlines of the war, to use his unique talents on the enemy. So the lucidor has ignored orders, deserted from his job, left his home and thrown his life away, in order to finally claim justice.
I saw this one on Netgalley and immediately requested to read it – McAuley is one of my favourite authors. And this has been a solid joy. The world is under attack from a variety of horribly mutated creatures – and one of the few people who can make inroads on this terrible invasion is also a murdering monster. Do you overlook his crimes and discount his victims for the sake of enlisting his help in a desperate struggle for survival? Which is one of the fascinating issues addressed in this beautifully written, engrossing adventure which deserves a LOT more attention than it’s currently receiving. Review to follow.

My posts last week:

Review of NETGALLEY arc Interdicted Space – Book 2 of the Interstellar Enforcement Agency series by Gillian Andrews

Friday Face-off featuring The Naturalist series by Andrew Mayne

Review of Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

Review of HARDBACK Recursion by Blake Crouch

Sunday Post – 15th March 2020

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

#Lifeathome with #children during #Selfquarantine: more excellent #online and #handsonactivities for #reading, #geography, #science, and #art courtesy of @anneclairewriter Jean is letting us into her life via her fabulous blog as she has to adjust her daily routine – teaching online, as well as educating and occupying a set of lively twin boys and a clever daughter…

Deadly Companions: a reading list for the pandemic My personal response is to dive into escapist adventures and shut it all out – but this is for those of you who would like to confront the whole business headon and see what history and excellent fiction has to offer in the way of lessons…

The Ballad of the Dunny Roll If you want a drop of humour to leaven the misery – this Aussie skit on our inexplicable lust for more toilet paper than we’ll ever need is hilarious…

A shoutout to women over forty! This tribute to those of us no longer in the first bloom of youth makes for an enjoyable read, too…

All those deleted drafts. Let’s discuss. For the bloggers – does this chime with your experiences?

Thank you for visiting, reading, liking and/or commenting on my blog – I hope you and yours have a peaceful, healthy week. Take care.x

42 responses »

  1. Glad things are relatively well with you. It’s so odd, and maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity, to think the entire world is being affected by this virus. For once, as bloggers all over the world, we are all in the same boat. Here in the US the media seems to blow things out of proportion, and of course focuses on those countries where things are really dire at the moment. I don’t hear much about the UK, so hopefully you stay safe😁

    • Thank you, Tammy. We have been hearing a bit about the US, though I don’t recall seeing numbers… 53 people died yesterday bringing our death toll up to 233 and about half of those are in and around London. I keep praying for Italy and the poor people there, as they are truly going through it. You’re right, though – I can’t recall an event like this where so many of us are facing a single catastrophe that is altering all our lives. I’m just hoping to make the most of every day and celebrate the best there is. Luckily, I’ve read a wonderful run of books recently – which really, really helps:)). I hope that you, too, stay safe, my friend.x

  2. I’m so glad you are able to have family time even while being as safe as possible. My brother was planning to move and it’s a bit dicey right now in Florida where he lives.

    I have the whole Heartstrikers series on audio (I bought it) but haven’t gotten to it yet.

    Have a healthy week and enjoy some reading!

    Anne – Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post   

    • Thank you, Anne. Oh dear… my heart goes out to your brother caught up in this emergency while trying to move. Thank goodness we were still able to help my daughter and her family. As for the Heartstrikers – I hope you love it as much as I do. I can imagine that it would make lovely listening. And I will be tucking into plenty of books – I am finding reading a huge comfort:)). I hope you have a peaceful week and take care.x

  3. SJ, I am pleased you were still able to ‘see and talk’ to your mother and mother-in-law, as you delivered them some lovely flowers. Hopefully it won’t be too long till you can hug them again. Looks like you have had some great books on the go, so stay safe and happy reading! 🙂

    • Yes… we felt it was really important to drive the distance to just see our parents – especially as my in-laws are both physically fragile and they are self-isolating to keep themselves safe. We squirted the cellophane surrounding the flowers with Dettox and didn’t lick the envelopes – we stuck them down with sellotape. We left them on the doorstep, retreated to the car and then had a chat via our mobiles. I am very thankful we can still Skype, and use our phones to continue to keep in touch. I hope you, too, have as good a week as possible – thank goodness for books!

  4. It’s definitely a crazy time for all of us. I’m glad to hear you and your family are doing well, though. Stay safe, enjoy your reading and have a good week!

    • Yes… living through this event does feel surreal… Thank you for your kind good wishes, Yvonne and I just hope that we all can stay safe and keep reading. I’m finding it such a comfort, right now.

  5. Oh, thank you so much! Always happy to make the list–and how wonderful you could help your parents and daughter both! I remember when we moved to our home; I was SUPER balcony with the boys, so I couldn’t help, which drove me NUTS. Blondie handled the move itself well, but when we went back the apartment to finish cleaning, she broke down in tears because “our house is empty!” Moving sure is tough for little ones!

    • Yes, you’re right. Moving house is always tough on the family, I think. I’m so impressed at how well the older children are handling the situation, they have been marvellous. But poor little Eliza simply isn’t able to understand the situation. And of course you made the list – that is such a great article:)). I hope your coming week is as good as it can be…

    • Thank you, Shelleyrae. I hope things have eased up somewhat by May – but I think we will simply have to take it one day at a time. And that was one of the reasons why we felt we had to go – it might be a long time before we get to spend time with our parents, again.

  6. Your post shows me that I am happy at the moment that none of my family is moving from one place to another during the next time. Because that would not be possible to do with the new order the German government has told us today. You can´t keep a 2m physical distance if you have to move furniture around or take some boxes from a van into a new home. And the kids, no matter what age, have to stay away from the elderly. So my stepmom wouldn´t be able to take care of a little child even if she wanted to. Stay safe and healthy and despite Corona I hope you could enjoy Mother´s Day at least a bit.

    • Thank you, Vi:). Yes – it was very unfortunate timing, but at least she is now settling in and the children are enjoying the new house. And I’m fortunate in that I am young enough to still be able to look after the grandchildren in an emergency – though I think it will be the last time for a while…

      I hope that you and yours are able to stay safe and you have a peaceful week, Vi:)

    • Yes – I know what you mean. Himself and I both admitted this morning that we were waiting to wake up from the rather nightmarish dream… I hope that you and yours stay safe, Sophie.

  7. Enjoy your books. Right now, it feels like we are in a dystopian novel, doesn’t it? Hopefully, we all stay safe and well, and I wish the same for our families.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing your thoughts.

    • Thank you, Laurel. Yes… it really does feel as if we are living through a dystopian premise – though I don’t recall all the fuss about toilet paper as the apocalypse approached… Yes, I’m hoping you and yours also stay safe – this is the time when thinking about family becomes very important.

  8. I am very glad you were able to see your parents in person, even if it was afar. There is something about seeing people that soothes my soul. Friday a friend told me she was going to drive past my house with her husband, so I told her we would go sit on the front porch. We did and she pulled over to the curb and we had a brief chat from a good ten feet away. Silly, but that was nice.

    The Rick Riordan books are perfect for this time, I think.

    Sending good thoughts and prayers to you.

    • I know exactly what you mean about seeing people… I’m quailing at the thought of not seeing friends for a while. I think you and your friend have the right idea!

      Yes – I thoroughly enjoyed the escapism of Rick Riordan’s adventure:). And thank you so much for the prayers and thoughts, Deb. Stay safe and sending prayers and positive thoughts back at you, too!

  9. It is crazy now, and it has happened so fast! I don’t think we’ll ever forget after this how quickly our worlds can change. Glad you were able to see your mother and MIL though- that’s so important now. Glad your daughter is settling as well.

    I’ve heard very good things about the Rachel Aaron series.

    Be safe and well this week!

    • Thank you, Greg – yes… I think we are all reeling at the speed our lives are changing. And because of that, we felt it important to see them without putting them at risk.

      Oh yes – I’m loving the Heartstriker series – I enjoy Aaron’s writing anyway. And you take care, too!

  10. These are weird and sorrowful times, indeed, but the optimist in me knows we’ll see the end of it and also hopes that what’s happening now will teach us to better appreciate what we have and look at life from different angles. Keep staying safe!!!!😊

  11. What a crazy week (and onward!). Glad you were able to celebrate Mothering Day within sight of your mothers. Lots of cancellations and things just starting to shut down more seriously here. Glad to be safe and healthy so far with lots of books to read.

    • I hope you continue to be safe and healthy, Becki. Yes… we are now in complete lockdown here in the UK – and I’m just so very glad for the stack of books I’ve got on my Kindle… Take care!

  12. These are definitely strange times. How nice that you we’re still able to so something for your mom for Mothering Sunday. I love that.
    Have a great week and happy reading.

    • Thank you, Maureen – yes, we felt it was important to go and see our mothers. I hope your week is a peaceful, healthy one and you manage to get some reading done, too:)

  13. I’m glad to hear that you and your family are well. I’m also glad that you were able to come up with a way to celebrate Mothering Sunday with both of your mothers. I’m sure that meant the world to both of them.

    • Thank you, Suzanne. Yes, it seemed very important to see both sets of parent while we still could – we’re in lockdown now, so it wouldn’t be so easy… As we don’t know when we’ll get to see them again.

  14. So glad you all are safe and sound there. This is one heck of a way to bring in springtime! I’m also glad you got to somewhat see your moms and wish them well too. ❤

    • Thank you, SJ. I hope you and yours are all safe, too. I am hunkering down for the duration, but Himself is one of those key workers. Take care and stay safe.x

  15. That’s awesome you still found a way to visit both of your parents and send them flowers while you talked on the phone. It sure is weird how much life has changed these past few weeks. I hope your daughter is doing well in her new house. That seems difficult to Eliza when you can’t explain what’s going on. Sounds like you got through some great reads as well this week :).

    • Thank you, Lola:). It’s been a hard week for my daughter – she started coughing and running a temperature on Sunday night, so from Monday onwards, she was self-isolating, staying at the mostly empty new house on her own, while the children were staying over with her former partner. She’s had a hard week… But she’s now feeling a lot better, to our intense relief!

      And yes – the books were great – thank goodness for reading!

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