Weekly Update for August 1, 2021

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Weekly Update at Introverted Reader

Welcome to my weekly update for August 1, 2021!

One of my friends visited us here in Alaska from July 18 – 26 and we were so busy that I missed posting last week. She hasn’t been on a real vacation since 2014 so she wanted to make this one count. She sure did! We both love to hike so that’s what we did most days. We hiked something like 45 miles with 7000 feet of elevation gain in five days. My feet were unhappy with me! But we saw so many beautiful views of glaciers, bodies of water, and wildlife.

The one non-hiking activity that she wanted to do for sure was a train ride. We rode the train from Anchorage to Seward, took a cruise around Kenai Fjords National Park, and caught the train back to Anchorage. What a day! The train afforded us beautiful views of glaciers and their lakes and rivers. We saw an unbelievable amount of wildlife on our cruise as well as watching Aialik Glacier calving into the bay! The captain pointed out horned and tufted puffins, Steller sea lions, a mountain goat, Dall’s porpoises, harbor seals, sea otters, bald eagles, and a black bear swimming up onto an island. We caught a glimpse of a whale tail and some other whales blowing in the distance but never got a good look at one. It was a day to remember, that’s for sure!

We haven’t downloaded animal pictures from my husband’s nice camera yet but here are a few highlights we took with our cell phones.


  • Aialik Glacier
  • Resurrection Bay
  • Crystal Lake
  • Crow's Pass

Images © Jennifer G. at Introverted Reader

  1. Aialik Glacier
  2. Resurrection Bay
  3. Crystal Lake
  4. Somewhere on the drive away from the Crow’s Pass trailhead. Those pink flowers are fireweed.


I haven’t posted anything since my last update.


Changes (The Dresden Files #12) by Jim Butcher–2 Stars. This entry has phenomenal ratings on GoodReads and I did like all the bombshells. My jaw seriously dropped after reading only the first sentence! However, Harry was just too angry in this book for me (admittedly, he had excellent reasons). And, holy smokes, how many times can one book contain the word will? The answer is 279. I checked on my Kindle. We know that will drives Harry’s magic at this point in the series. There’s no need to thrust it in our faces every time he casts a spell. It all just felt too… testosterone-fueled for my taste. I’m continuing with the series but I hope the copyeditor gets all that will under control.

A Winter’s Promise (The Mirror Visitor #1) by Christelle Dabos, translated by Hildegarde Serle–3 Stars. Ashley Poston (author of the Once Upon a Con books) recommended this series on Instagram so I had high hopes for it. The world-building and intrigue were interesting but the characters didn’t seem very well developed to me. The romantic element seemed to spring out of nowhere. The translation was decent overall but there were a few awkward turns of phrase that reminded me I was reading a translated work. I have added the second book to my list in hopes that the series improves though.

Currently Reading:

Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison, read by Sophie Amoss

Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic by Jennifer Niven

Reading Challenge Update:

I’m including this in an effort to hold myself accountable. I’ll try to remember to update at the end of each month. Challenge title links go to my personal progress page and host links go to the relevant sign-up page.

Up Next:

I just got back from the library, where I checked out Stormsong (The Kingston Cycle #2) by C. L. Polk, A Cold Day for Murder (Kate Shugak #1) by Dana Stabenow, and Arabian Nights (and Days) (Fables #7) by Bill Willingham. I’m going to read Stormsong first as a late entry for July’s Diversity Reading Challenge prompt.

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. I think I DNF’ed A Winter’s Promise. I had heard good things about it, from a fellow Harry Potter fan. But the story seemed way too familiar somehow, like I’d read this before in other formats. Perhaps it reminded me of Kate Elliott’s Cold Magic? Anyway, your travel pics are lovely, esp. the third one. And thanks to you, I learnt about “fireweed”. 🙂

  2. Oooh, thanks for the reminder that I really want to read Polk’s Witchmark this month.

    The photos look great! I’m glad your friend was able to properly enjoy her vacation. It’s so important to take breaks from work and our everyday routines.

    1. I agree about vacations! I’ve known her since 2015 and I was pretty sure she hadn’t taken a week off to actually go on vacation in all that time. I was stunned to learn that she really hadn’t had a proper vacation since 2014!

      I know that I really enjoyed Witchmark but as I read Stormsong, I realize that I remember very little of it. There’s not a lot of context to help me remember either. If you decide to continue with the series, I recommend reading them fairly close together. I’m a bit lost right now.

  3. Hi Jen. Wow, I bet your friend LOVED staying with you. It sounds amazing and the photos you’ve shared just took my breath away.
    I’m listening to the Dresden Files audiobooks but I haven’t got to Changes yet. Funny, I can binge watch a TV series but I don’t like doing it with books.
    I hope you have a good week and enjoy your reads.

    1. I don’t binge read or binge watch! My husband would be a binge watcher if I didn’t hold him back. I don’t like to read series books too closely together because I get tired of the characters. But then I wait too long between series books and then I forget what’s going on. Oops.

  4. I love those hiking photos! Hopefully I will be able to join my dad in the Alps soon and then I can get out into nature myself as well. ‘A Winter’s Promise’ sounds really intriguing but it’s a shame the characters didn’t really come to life for you. I hope you have a lovely week 🙂
    Juli @ A Universe in Words

    1. Hiking that much in such a relatively short amount of time wouldn’t have been my first choice but my friend wanted to make every minute count. Now I can proudly say I made it! We joked that I survived her Alaskan Boot Camp workout!

  5. The Alaska photos are stunning and your day trip on the train/cruise sounds fantastic. I am so in the need for a trip!

    Great job on your reading challenges!

  6. Great photos! It’s the only state we haven’t visited and I hope to get there sometime. I love the Dana Stabenow books. I have loved all the Harry Dresden and I have collected them all on audio (Spike narrates!) You are doing so well on your challenges!

    Anne – Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

    1. What amazing pictures! The train/cruise sounds wonderful. My brother is a Dresden fan and I’ve read a few but am behind on that series. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  7. Beautiful photos!! I can’t wait to be there next summer!

    How are you liking Whiskey When We’re Dry? I read it a few years ago with my book group and thought it was outstanding.

  8. Glad you got to spend time with your friend! 45 miles with 7000 feet of elevation gain? Wow, I would love all the sights and animals. And the train ride sounds amazing! I loved the slideshow!

    All those books are new to me, I want to check out the last two, especially Ada Blackjack.

    You’re doing great with your challenges.

    I hope you have a great week!

    1. Yes, I propped my feet up for days after she left. It’s been a long time since I’ve hiked this much at once (if I ever have before).

      I think I’m getting close to wrapping up Ada Blackjack, and it’s really good.

  9. I can’t imagine any place that would be more perfect to hike in summer than Alaska. Your photos are gorgeous. I look forward to seeing your other photos soon.

    We’ve been talking about taking a train ride to Chicago to see our son and daughter-in-law. Nervous about being around so many people for such a long time.

    I need to update my challenges. Thank you for the reminder.

    I’m watching your blog carefully to see if you have a book you want to read, but can’t find there. I really would like to send you something!

    1. My friend was really nervous about the flight. Her dad has been fighting cancer this year and she lives next door to her parents and helps care for him. She put on her N-95 mask, stocked up on hand sanitizer, and toughed out the flights and then the train ride though. Masks are still required except when you’re eating on mass transportation, if that makes you feel more comfortable. Most people on our train were compliant. We really enjoyed the train. It was so nice to move at a slower place and know that we could both look at the scenery as we passed by.

      I get a library card in every place my husband works so I have access to almost any book I could want at this point. Thank you for the very kind offer though!

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