Weekly Update for April 18, 2021

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Weekly Update at Introverted Reader

Welcome to my weekly update for April 18, 2021!

My best friend from high school and her husband (both fully vaccinated) are stopping by to see us this weekend on their way to their vacation. We can’t wait to see them! I haven’t seen them in over a year and my husband hasn’t seen them for almost a year and a half.

Someone built this beautiful sand castle on Siesta Key and I took a picture on my morning walk.

Sand castle on Siesta Key


Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells by Helen Scales–4 Stars

Fatima’s Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq, illustrated by Stevie Lewis–5 Stars

The Classics Club Signup–50 classics I plan to read in the next 5 years.

Ten Book Titles That Work As Crayola Color Names


Fatima’s Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq, illustrated by Stevie Lewis–I loved this book so much that I’ve already reviewed it. Link in the title.

The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3) by Rick Riordan, read by Michael Crouch–4 Stars. I haven’t reviewed any of the books in this series so I won’t write too much here. The action is fun and non-stop, as Riordan’s loyal readers would expect. I do like that Magnus is more of a healer and peacemaker than a fighter. Don’t get me wrong–I love all of Riordan’s main characters. But Magnus is different in a way that I appreciate. Also, Riordan tends to write very diverse characters but he really goes all out in this particular series. He understands that representation matters.

Cosmic Queries: StarTalk’s Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going by Neil deGrasse Tyson and James Trefil–I only had two weeks to read this before it was due back at the library so I rushed. Accordingly, parts went over my head because I wasn’t giving it the focus it required. It was interesting stuff so I might loop around and re-read what I can before I have to return it.

The Seeing Stone (Arthur Trilogy #1) by Kevin Crossley-Holland, read by Michael Maloney–4 Stars. Arthur di Caldicott is 13 years old in the year 1199 and training to be a knight’s squire. Merlin gives him a piece of obsidian one day and in it, Arthur sees scenes from another Arthur’s life. This book feels like setup for bigger things to come and I’m excited to see where the story goes.

Currently Reading:

Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier, translated by Barbara Harshav

Boston Jacky by L. A. Meyer, read by Katherine Kellgren

Up Next:

I need to choose books for a couple of my challenges which are, unfortunately, at odds with each other this month. The Diversity Challenge is asking for a book featuring a Middle Eastern/South Asian author or character and the Book Voyage Challenge is looking for a book set in northern Asia. Any recommendations?

What did your week look like?

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz hosts The Sunday Salon and Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer hosts Sunday Post. Kathryn at Book Date hosts It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site. 

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  1. The sand sculpture looks awesome, as does Boston Jacky. And I hope you and your friends have a great catching-up. 🙂

    For Middle-Eastern / South Asian books, I would highly recommend Shadow Spinners by Susan Fletcher (Middle Grade fiction, but very, very well-written). Also: Life of Pi or The Inheritance of Loss (both of which won the Booker. Life of Pi is more uplifting, Inheritance is kind of sad-ending but very poetic).

  2. Love that sandcastle, what fun to come across. Sounds like now that you are all getting vaccinated things are freeing up which must be great. Hope you find a book for your two challenges.

  3. I have the day off because Patriots’ Day is a holiday in Massachusetts (and Maine) so I’m lazing about this morning and finally got my blog post up. Nice to have a visit with friends! I’m meeting a friend for a walk this afternoon. I’ll be so happy when we can start leaving our masks off more and more, especially outside, as the weather’s getting warmer and people are able to get vaccinated. I think I read or listened to the first Bloody Jack book way back when, and The Seeing Stone was on my TBR for a long time, but I don’t think I ever read it.

    1. I’m ashamed to say that I had to look up Patriot’s Day. When I read your comment, I did think of the Boston Marathon but didn’t realize that it’s always held on the holiday. How odd that it’s not more widely celebrated across the country.

      I hope you have a nice walk with your friend!

  4. That’s so awesome you get to see your best friend again! I hope you guys have fun. Also, that sand castle is insane! So cool! Happy reading!

  5. Great sand castle! I like the variety of books you are reading. I haven’t read any Riordan since I retired but the Magnus Chase series sounds good. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  6. I love books set in India and two of my favorites are: The Secret Daughter and The Golden Son, both by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. For the Middle East, I recently liked The Doctor of Aleppo by Dan Mayland

  7. I hope you and your friends have a great time!

    That sandcastle is amazing! I love going to the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival in Clearwater, Fl. Sadly because of Covid it’s not happening this year.

    I’d like to find a copy of Spirals in Time by Helen Scales. I have Florida’s Seashells: A Beachcomber’s Guide & Florida’s Living Beaches: A Guide for the Curious Beachcomber waiting for me at the library.

    1. I tried to go to the Sugar Sand Festival a couple of years ago but didn’t want to wait in line to get inside the tent. I did go to a sand sculpture competition in Hampton Beach, NH later that year though and those sculptures were beyond amazing!

  8. Love your photo! It’s so gorgeous! Yea for The Classics Club! I actually haven’t read much on my list, but with the spin now, I will pay more attention. Hope you are going to have fun reading the classics.

    Have a wonderful week and enjoy the visit from your friends!!

  9. I do appreciate that Rick Riordan has diversity in his books. And thanks for the notes on Cosmic Queries—I bought that one, but I’ll make sure that I give myself plenty of time to read it so I can focus on the science and not rush it.

      1. That could make it difficult. Having to juggle library books is both a wonderful and a frustrating thing. It seems all my holds come in at the same time, no matter how many people are ahead of me in queue.

  10. I hope you have a nice time with your friends. Thanks for sharing that sand castle it’s amazing. Have a wonderful week!

  11. How lovely that you are seeing your friends for the first time after such a looong period apart – we are all going to be having those kinds of reunions over the next few months, depending on our health and the risk we post to others, I think.

    And that sand castle is absolutely fabulous! Thank you for the pic – I hope you have a lovely time with your friends and the coming week is a good one.

  12. How wonderful that you will be able to get together with your friends! I am happy for you.

    It’s almost as if that sand castle was placed there just for you. And me.

    It looks like Fatima’s Great Outdoors is coming soon to my library. Thanks for sharing it. I’m glad you liked Spirals in Time, too.

    Here are a few recommendations for Northern Asia:
    North Korea: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
    China: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
    Japan: Japanland by Karin Muller

    And now I’m headed over to see your post about the Classics Club!

  13. Oh, that is so cool! The sand sculpture I mean haha. But also that you are getting to see your friends. We got our first doses of the shot this week and that was a good feeling. It feels a little bit like light at the end of the tunnel in terms of getting back to some normalcy, hopefully soon…

    I don’t have any good recommendations for a northern Asia book off the top of my head, but if you need something for southern Asia (Philippines/ Aus/ New Zealand) The Blue by Lucy Clarke comes to mind…

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