Monday Post – 14th December, 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.

It’s been a very hectic week, though Christmas is only just beginning to loom on my horizon. We have a lot of rather heavy family stuff going on right now – the sort of things you’d rather not be happening to those you love. And it is complicated by the situation regarding COVID and the fact that Himself is a key worker.

I was glad to be able to teach Tim last Monday and on Wednesday I had both Pilates and Fitstep, though I felt a bit sore and headachy that evening, I am glad that I am making a start on getting a bit fitter. On Thursday evening, we nipped across to my daughter’s to give my grandson a very belated birthday present – fortunately he was thrilled with the art tablet as he is planning to do an animation course next year. On Friday afternoon I was back there to spend some time with the family, as on Saturday we had all three grandchildren – including little Eliza – come to stay overnight for the first time. She is not yet two and a half, so it was quite a big deal and I was delighted that she had a peaceful night and woke up happy in the morning. Typically, the weather was absolutely atrocious on Sunday morning, so we didn’t have a chance to get out at all. But she loved playing with the battery-powered Christmas toys and helped Himself decorate the Christmas tree. By the time the children left at midday on Sunday, I was really pleased that it had gone so well. Though a tad shattered and couldn’t summon the energy to write my weekly Sunday Post.

No photos this week, what with one thing and another…

Last week I read:
Lamentation – Book 6 of the Matthew Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom
Summer, 1546. King Henry VIII is slowly, painfully dying. His Protestant and Catholic councilors are engaged in a final and decisive power struggle; whoever wins will control the government. As heretics are hunted across London, and radical Protestants are burned at the stake, the Catholic party focuses its attack on Henry’s sixth wife – and Matthew Shardlake’s old mentor – Queen Catherine Parr.

Shardlake, still haunted by his narrow escape from death the year before, steps into action when the beleaguered and desperate Queen summons him to Whitehall Palace to help her recover a dangerous manuscript…
Catching up with this one is part of my drive to complete series I started – and then neglected. I have loved Matthew Shardlake as a character and Sansom’s clever and knowledgeable evocation of Henry VIII’s reign. And this one was no exception. Review to follow.

Mistaken Identity Crisis – Book 4 of the Braxton Campus Mysteries by James. J. Cudney
A clever thief with a sinister calling card has invaded Braxton campus. A string of jewelry thefts continues to puzzle the sheriff, given they’re remarkably similar to an unsolved eight-year-old case, back when Gabriel vanished one stormy night.

When a missing ruby, and a body, are discovered at the campus, Kellan must investigate the killer’s motive to protect his brother. As if the latest murder isn’t enough to keep him busy, Kellan partners with April to end the Castigliano and Vargas crime family feud. What really happened to Francesca while all those postcards showed up in Braxton?
I have thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining cosy murder mystery series, featuring a young single father, who is trying to bring up his young daughter and keep his career going. Trouble is, he keeps tripping over all these dead bodies… This latest slice of Kellan’s adventures is both entertaining and gripping. Review to follow.

AUDIOBOOK Mark of Athena – Book 3 of the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan
Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare…
This enjoyable spinoff series is every bit as action-packed as the original Percy Jackson series. I was thoroughly caught up in the adventure – nobody raises the stakes as effectively as Riordan – and was rather shaken by the ending. Fortunately, I have the next book waiting for me to read! Review to follow.

My posts last week:
Castellan the Black and His Wise Draconic Sayings

Review of AUDIOBOOK The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents – Book 28 of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

Review of Lifelode by Jo Walton

Friday Face-off featuring The Ghost Fields – Book 7 of the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths

Déjà vu Review of Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

Covet the Covers 14 – Jo Walton

Can’t-Wait Wednesday featuring Inherit the Shoes by E.J. Copperman

Tuesday Treasures – 21

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Forged – Book 11 of the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka

Sunday Post – 6th December 2020

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

BOOKISH THOUGHTS This article really chimed with me – we have a spare room and loft FULL of print books, but like Laurel, we generally prefer to read using our Kindles these days…

Buffy’s Corner 12/6/20 – Looking at the week ahead While Tammy’s blog is always worth visiting – particularly if you are interested in SFF reading matter, this time around it is alll about the amazing wildlife pics her very talented photographer husband, Moses Sparkes, has produced during lockdown. Click on the link – I promise you won’t be disappointed…

Do You Make Bookish Goals? I thought this was a really timely article, given we are all starting to look more closely at what we’ve read throughout the year – and consider what we plan to read in 2021…

WFT Audible? Linda and Brandee have written a detailed article about Audible’s exploitative practices regarding their returns policy. If you use Audible and are in the habit of regularly returning audiobooks you have read to eke out your credits or budget, please, please click on the link!

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

20 responses »

  1. How wonderful that you had all your grandchildren for a sleepover and all went well. That is great. Thanks for the link to the audible post, I had no idea that was going on, it is terrible. Have a good week Sarah.

    • Thank you, Carla! I’d been looking after the older children since they were babies, but my daughter managed to successfully breastfeed Eliza until she was nearly 18 months, so we needed to wait until we felt she would be happy and confident enough to stay over at Granny’s:)).

      As for the Audible situation – it’s an absolute disgrace! Fancy making a big issue of the ability to return books – and then make the hapless author and narrators pay for it! Like Linda and Brandee, I’m keen that readers know the situation so they realise if they take advantage of this apparently generous move – they are hurting the authors, who haven’t agreed to this move…

  2. I’m sorry to hear about the family stuff and hope it resolves as painlessly as possible or at leas the way you want it to resolve. This nasty Covid just makes hard stuff harder. Sounds like a wonderful sleepover! I lost my grandparents in the last year (my grandfather passed away and dementia stole my grandmother) and I miss them dearly but it always makes me smile to think of the fun I had with them. Hope you’re having a wonderful week.

    • Thank you, Katherine – yes, the sleepover went really well. And thank you for your kind regards over the rest of the misery raining down on our heads… It’s extremely kind of you to even think outside your own challenging situation just now and I’m very touched:))x

  3. I am glad you had fun with your grandkids. And I am sure having them might have brightened your otherwise week. I hope your Covid issues get resolved soon.

  4. I’m glad you were able to have so much family time and that Eliza did well. I have Audible but have only returned something twice which was immediately after I accidentally bought it. And I have over 500 audiobooks so I’m a good supporter of audio books. Have a lovely week!

    Anne – Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

    • Thank you, Anne – yes, it was such a relief that Eliza did so well.

      Oh yes – I’m aware you are huge Audible fan and read a terrific number of books, which you keep:)). It was the folks who do treat it like a lending library I wanted to warn that it isn’t Audible funding that marketing move of theirs – it’s the authors and narrators…

  5. I read the first Matthew Sheldrake, I really need to keep up and read the rest ! I’m glad you had a good time with your grandchildren and I hope your family situation will end up as painless as it is possible in those difficult situations. Big hugs and take care :-*

    • I do hope you manage to catch up with the Matthew Shardlake series – it is so well done.

      Thank you for your kind good wishes – I’m very much hoping all will be well, too… I hope you have a great week, Isabel.x

  6. I’m so sorry that 2020 has added some heavy family issues to all of the other struggles it has brought- hoping and praying for all the best for you and yours! I’m glad you had a chance for time with the little ones, though- we’re missing the grandparents this year with travel not an option. Take care, and I hope you have a restful weekend.

  7. Huzzah to a happy, peaceful night with the grands! I still remember loving sleepovers with my grandparents, even when I’d over-eat the junkfood and consequently throw up three times in the night, and my grandmother, bless her heart, always cleaned me up and the bed without a complaint.

    Didn’t repeat that over-eating of donuts and potato chips after that, let me tell you!

    • Oh nooo…! Poor you – and your poor Grandma, who sounds an absolute saint! I’m delighted to report that no one threw up in their bed. Though Tiddlypush bounced into my room, bright-eyed and beaming at 3 am and announced she wasn’t sleepy anymore and wanted to play… She was right – she wasn’t sleepy. I was up with her until 7 am, when Himself took over and I staggered back to bed for another couple of hours. She finally went back to bed for a nap at 10.30 am…

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