Weekly Update for April 9, 2023

I have an affiliate relationship with Bookshop.org and Malaprop's Bookstore 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. Read more on my affiliate page.
Weekly Update at Introverted Reader

Welcome to my weekly update for April 9, 2023!

Happy Easter, Happy Passover, or Ramadan Mubarak to those who celebrate!

I’ve been an affiliate of Malaprop’s Bookstore in my hometown of Asheville, NC for years now. I link to their website for books I haven’t reviewed yet. I’m keeping that relationship because I love my bookstore but I don’t think anyone has ever bought anything through one of my links. I’m not trying to make money here–I just want people to know about Malaprop’s and support independent bookstores. So I hope that readers are shopping locally!

But now I’m also adding in affiliate links for Bookshop.org. They support independent bookstores in a couple of different ways but they’re a bigger company. I decided that if I can realistically influence even one person to buy books from Bookshop instead of Amazon, that would be a win for the little guys. So I’m starting to incorporate those links now.

Last week we drove over to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. It’s California’s largest state park. I saw on social media that the wildflowers were in bloom there. It was beautiful and smelled heavenly. I’ve also been dying to visit that area for a couple of years because they have some metal sculptures that I thought looked really cool. We did that too and they were amazing!


  • Giant metal sea dragon sculpture crosses the road at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
  • Purple sand verbena and yellow desert sunflowers against a mountain backdrop at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
  • Beavertail cactus with bright pink blooms and purple sand verbena against a mountain backdrop at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
  • Small Anna's hummingbird with magenta head and white breast resting on a branch

All images © Jennifer G. at Introverted Reader 2023

  1. Sea dragon sculpture. This thing was huge! It actually crossed the road.
  2. Purple sand verbena and yellow desert sunflower. There were lots of other smaller flowers blooming too but these were the most conspicuous.
  3. Beavertail cactus blooming beside sand verbena
  4. I believe this is an Anna’s hummingbird. He sat there for quite a while and let my husband get relatively close before he flew away.


The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss: Book Review 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Ten Series I Haven’t Finished Yet

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells: Book Review 🌟🌟🌟🌟


Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum #14) by Janet Evanovich 🌟🌟🌟🌟

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club #2) by Theodora Goss, read by Kate Reading 🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Endless Beach (Mure #2) by Jenny Colgan 🌟🌟🌟🌟

A Sorrow Fierce and Falling (Kingdom on Fire #3) by Jessica Cluess, read by Fiona Hardingham 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Currently Reading:

Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #3) by Jessica Townsend

The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo #4) by Rick Riordan, read by Robbie Daymond

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

Up Next:

These easy series books are really working for me. I just don’t have the attention span for anything that requires more concentration right now for some reason. I don’t know what will be next but it will be something along that vein.

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?

Other Posts You May Enjoy:


  1. Just yesterday I went to the Santa Ynez valley to see the wildflowers (I’ll post about it on Sunday) and it was beautiful even if there weren’t as many flowers as I hoped.

  2. Yes, Borrego-Springs is a wonderful place to visit. We were there maybe 5 or 6 years ago. The wildflowers are gorgeous – we had our bikes and went for long rides there. I must visit the indy bookstore in Asheville someday. Sounds good. Enjoy your stay in SoCal.

  3. I love local bookshops. All of the ones near me are used (I think), and I love used bookstores, but you can’t always find what you want. I had not heard of Bookshop before, I tried to buy from Book Outlet but they didn’t have what I wanted either…so I am willing to give it a try 🙂 Have a great week, I enjoyed your pictures, as always!

  4. I love that sea dragon sculpture – and the desert flowers are simply wonderful. Just goes to show just how adaptable Nature can be when we give it half a chance! There’s nothing wrong with reading enjoyable and accessible adventure series – reading those sorts of books got me through the worst of Long Covid! Have a great week, Jen – and thank you for sharing your lovely photos:)).

  5. Great pictures! I’m one of those folks addicted to Amazon which I use for all kinds of things beyond books. Since I also read mostly on my Kindle, it works best for me. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    1. I order way too much off of Amazon but I try to get my books from the library (even the digital ones) and buy the few physical copies I get now from independent bookstores. I love wandering through the shelves and can’t imagine communities losing them.

  6. You are right…I should buy books from independent bookstores. We have three big ones here in Houston and I try to buy from them when I can. Thanks for reminding us, Jen.

    I love the photos of the desert. There’s something fascinating about seeing beautiful flowers growing in…sand. I’m used to heavy, rich soils like we have here. It’s good to know that flowers can grow even in soil as thin as sand.

    I’m glad you are enjoying the easy series books. I haven’t been reading on Count of Monte Cristo for a while, but I want to get back to it.

    1. The flowers growing in sand looks weird to me too. At my house, we have more clay-ish soil, which isn’t great for growing much either, but at least it’s relatively easy to mix mulch or other additives in and get something that seems reasonable for plants. That sand just defies explanation in my mind.

  7. That sea dragon sculpture is really cool!

    I hear you on the easy series books. Sometimes they are just what you need. I do love the Mure books!

    1. I read the first Mure book years ago and wasn’t sure I would remember enough to pick up with the second book. I was so excited to see that Jenny Colgan included a brief recap of the first book! I wish more authors did that. It seems like TV shows do it at the beginning of every episode now. Why can’t authors?

  8. Your husband really got a great photo of that hummingbird! And, wow! The wildflowers are gorgeous. My grandmother (who used to live in Leucadia, Escondido, and San Marcos) used to love to go out to the desert to see the flowers in the spring. I never did, but maybe someday we’ll be there in time to see them.

    1. I’ve been following Anza-Borrego on social media since we arrived in Escondido in mid-February and they’ve been posting about wildflowers that entire time. Apparently they have a long season. But they were also posting warnings about 95+ degree heat this past weekend so I’m curious how much longer they’ll last. I hope you get to see them someday.

      My husband was very proud of that hummingbird picture! They’re so fast, it’s hard to catch them!

  9. That’s a great dragon. I love when they make the segments so that you imagine the underground parts (but they aren’t really there).

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  10. I’ve never ordered from Bookshop. org but I remember hearing about it a while back. I thought about being an affiliate. That sea dragon sculpture is amazing. And I love the wildflowers.

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