Last week wasn’t so fun, I had a stomach bug of some sort. I feel like now I don’t go on gross trains or have to share office toilets, my immune system has got lazy. Except that it still has enough time to give me autoimmune thyroid disease. I keep seeing that everyone’s getting their winter illnesses in summer, so maybe I’m done being ill for a while?

I do have a bunch of nearly there blog posts, so expect a burst of activity this week. I did review Cackle by Rachel Harrison and do a fantasy book tag since my last update.

We randomly went to Kingston Lacy at the weekend, a National Trust property not far from us. Was nice to just walk somewhere different and their sunflowers were amazing. Ours have done pretty well this year too, but we just don’t have as many.

Scully in the kitchen garden (which is free to get into, although they suggest a donation):

Labrador dog sat in front of sunflowers and other plants

I haven’t seen so much green in a long time!

On the woodland walk:

Labrador dog stood on rustic log bench in woodland


A bumblebee on an orange flower

We didn’t go into the house itself. One dogs aren’t allowed, and two I’ve been in enough old posh houses to last a lifetime. I wasn’t really a fan of the architecture either.

A stately home at the bottom of a long lawn bordered by trees

I’ve read quite a few books over the last few weeks. I’ll have my review of Harlem Renaissance fantasy, The Monsters We Defy by Leslye Penelope, up this week.

I finally got to the end of the audiobook of The Secret of Life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick, and the Discovery of DNA’s Double Helix by Howard Markel. This was so dry, I kept losing attention. Like I don’t really care what the parents of everyone did for a living? At least it attempted to give credit to Franklin but I don’t feel I got a whole lot more out of this than I would have done just reading a few articles online.

I’ve ticked off my Japanese Cat Book for the year with The Cat Who Saved Books by Sōsuke Natsukawa. Not my favourite, whiffs of book snobbery, like abridged books are wrong and the main character is trying to convince a girl that she should struggle through One Hundred Years of Solitude even though she’s not liking it. Way to kill a love of reading! I think we save books by letting people love them however it is works for them.

For Popsugar this year there was a prompt to read a book you know nothing about, and I read My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey which I would not have read if I had known what it was about. Possessive alpha male with commitment issues and more sex than plot, means this didn’t work for me at all.

My reading week redeemed itself with Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel, which had some quite lovely observations about pandemics and life. It also weaves in elements from her previous novel, The Glass Hotel.


New books acquired:

The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean
The Honeys by Ryan La Sala
All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
Anatomy by Dana Schwartz (ebook)
Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow (ebook)