Weekly Update for December 18, 2022

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Weekly Update at Introverted Reader

Welcome to my weekly update for December 18, 2022!

Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate!

First, a social media update. I haven’t been very active on Twitter in years but I do share links to my blog posts there. I tried to ride the current chaos out but I decided I was done this week. My account is still technically active because I don’t want someone else to take over my username, but I won’t be posting there at all any longer. I made the move to Mastodon so you can find me there @IntrovertedReader@bookstodon.com. I probably won’t be very active there either, honestly, but if you’re looking for more friends, I will follow back.

Since my last update on December 4, we visited Big Sur on the California coast. Our first day was a washout. We could barely see the boulders in the ocean below us. We made the most of it with our rain gear though and we did see the elephant seals on the beach around San Simeon. Oh, and we saw a herd of elk there too.

The next day was supposed to be rainy again but it turned out to be cool and mostly sunny. The road south of us to San Simeon, which we drove the day before, was closed due to the threat of mud slides on old burn scars. We drove north and saw the Bixby Bridge (you’ll probably recognize it from car commercials). We also drove the 17-Mile Drive around the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course. That drive was beautiful and we saw sea lions, sea otters, lots of birds, and even some harbor seals! And our patience with the rain was rewarded with a beautiful rainbow!

The next day the road south of our hotel was still closed. We went north again and stopped at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. It was gorgeous. Our Gypsy Guide app mentioned that the little town of Pacific Grove has a monarch butterfly grove. We stopped by a different monarch grove a few years ago very late in the season and only saw one butterfly there. That was disappointing. But we saw them in Pacific Grove! I was so excited! It was late on a cool day so they weren’t fluttering around but they were hanging off the branches in big clumps, called roosts or bivouacs. It was magical to see them. We stopped by BookWorks, an awesome little bookstore, on our way out of town. Pacific Grove is a suburb of Monterey, where John Steinbeck set his book, Cannery Row, so I bought a copy of that.


  • McWay Falls
  • Elephant Seals
  • Elk in San Simeon
  • Big Sur Coastline
  • Bixby Bridge
  • Rainbow over Pebble Beach
  • Monarch Butterfly Roost

All images © Jennifer G. at Introverted Reader 2022

  1. McWay Falls. If the skies had been clear and the water blue, you would probably recognize this waterfall splashing onto the beach. It’s pretty iconic. But this is the view we had.
  2. Elephant seals at the Piedras Blancas Rookery near San Simeon. This is their breeding season. I think these are juvenile males practicing their fighting since they don’t have that elephantine snout yet. They were surprisingly graceful as they battled.
  3. Elk near San Simeon. I read that this herd is descended from some that William Randolph Hearst kept in his private zoo at Hearst Castle (We’ve visited the castle before but not on this trip)
  4. Finally, a clear view of the Big Sur coastline.
  5. The Bixby Bridge
  6. Rainbow along the 17-Mile Drive around Pebble Beach
  7. Monarch butterflies roosting


I didn’t post anything new but I will remind everyone that I’m hosting the Books in Translation and Southern Literature Reading Challenges again this year. All I ask is that you read one book or more and the challenge is complete!


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. 

Woohoo! I finally finished some chunksters!

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, translated by Richard Pevear 🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews 🌟🌟🌟½

Shadow Princess (Taj Mahal #3) by Indu Sundaresan, read by Sneha Mathan 🌟🌟🌟

The Yosemite by John Muir 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Currently Reading:

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher

A Lot Like Christmas by Connie Willis, read by multiple narrators

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie–I’ve taken a very long break from this book but I’m going to pick it up again after the new year.

Up Next:

As always seems to happen, two of my Christmas library requests came in at practically the same time. If I finish one of my current books before Christmas, I have Christmas Days by Jeanette Winterson downloaded and ready to go.

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 always love to read your posts since you travel to so many familiar spots! My grandfather lived in Pacific Grove and in the mid-80s I went to visit him (he was in a retirement community) and I stayed in a quaint inn called Jabberwock Inn. Thanks for stirring up those memories! It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Monterrey.

    Great shot of those elephant seals! Wow. And those monarchs are amazing. Makes me want to reread Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Flight Behavior.

    1. I’m glad my posts stir up pleasant memories! We’d like to go back to Monterey and explore more. We didn’t really do much hiking in Big Sur and we only passed through Monterey. I’d love to visit the aquarium.

      I haven’t read Flight Behavior but I’ll look for it. I usually like Barbara Kingsolver’s books.

  2. What a wonderful trip in a beautiful part of California. I love that area with the rocky shoreline, wildlife, and (usually) good weather. We have a monarch reserve in Santa Barbara, too, and I hear the butterflies are back this year after a couple years of very low numbers. I’ll have to go when I get back home.

    1. I think I mentioned in my post that we visited a grove a few years ago and only found one butterfly late in the season. That was in Pismo Beach, which isn’t terribly far from you, if memory serves. I’ve read that their numbers have bounced back in a lot of places this year. Yay!

  3. I’ve added you on Mastodon. I worked out how to cross post with Twitter so my blog posts are shared automatically there.

    Thanks for sharing your travels!

    Wishing you a great reading week, and happy holidays!

  4. Ooh, I liked Christmas Days! Those reading challenges sound do-able, and I may sign up. I don’t spend much time on Twitter either, but I have two accounts still!

    1. I downloaded Christmas Days after you recommended it a couple of weeks ago. 🙂 I finished reading Winter Solstice this afternoon so I’ll get started on that one next.

      Isn’t amazing how we get sucked into social media sites we don’t even really use?

  5. Those pictures! California looks like a paradise. The beaches, the bridge, the animals…and even a rainbow? Wow. Thank you for brightening my gloomy winter day with these lovely shots.

    Congratulations on finishing your big books. I could easily see why so many people have loved Three Musketeers.

    A Lot Like Christmas sounds like fun!

    1. California is so varied! It seems to have something for practically everyone. I’m glad you liked my pictures.

      I was surprised by how much I liked The Three Musketeers. The translation by Richard Pevear was a surprisingly easy read!

      I’m a bit over halfway through A Lot Like Christmas and it is a good choice for me. Some whimsy, some fantasy, a lot of variety, and nothing too sentimental. In fact, the author’s introduction, complaining about too much sentimentality in Christmas books and movies, resonated deeply with me!

  6. Glad you had a good visit to Big Sur overall.

    I’m planning to sign up for the Southern Reading Challenge next year. But it is killing me that I can’t include my current read, which is set in Florida. Funny how the mind works with some of those things, isn’t it?

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