Weekly Update for September 27, 2020

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Weekly Update at Introverted Reader

Welcome to my weekly update for September 27, 2020!

The rain has continued this week here in Portland, Oregon so that means the smoke has stayed away. Yay! According to the fire map I check, the Riverside fire, which is the one closest to where we are, is at 138,000 acres burned and 34% contained. Considering that it was 0% contained about 10 days ago, I think that’s great progress. I’m so thankful to the firefighters and their families!

We haven’t been hiking just because we aren’t sure about closures and which areas might be smoky. We did venture out to the North American Bigfoot Center on Wednesday and that was fun. I wrote a bit about it at the end of a review I scheduled for next week.

Banned Books Week:

Banned Books Week 2020 Poster

One part of my brain did know that this is Banned Books Week and I even read one banned book and scheduled a review for Wednesday. That part of my brain did not otherwise communicate well with the part of my brain that chooses my next books so that’s as far as I got. In past years, I’ve scheduled banned book reviews for the entire week! Oh well. My mental state is not conducive to reading banned books and their often-difficult topics this year anyway. I’ll try to do better next year.


Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary–5 Stars–I personally felt that this book has held up well over the years. The children’s freedom to wander unattended felt unrealistic for these times, but otherwise Beezus’s relationship with Ramona is one that will resonate with a lot of siblings. It was especially fun to re-read this after I went on my Beverly Cleary Walking Tour of Portland a month or so ago.

Fable by Adrienne Young–4 Stars–I ripped through this fast-paced fantasy about Fable, a teen whose father abandoned her on an island of thieves four years earlier. Her attempt to reconcile with him, rejoin the wider world, and claim what her father says is hers kept me turning the pages.

Top Ten Books I Read in Elementary School–I enjoyed compiling this post with some classics, some fantasy, and some ’80s retro covers!


Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson, translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles, read by Peter Kenny

Currently Reading:

The Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters, and Our Obsession with the Unexplained by Colin Dickey

Hole in the Sky by William Kittredge

The Deep by Alma Katsu, read by Jane Collingwood


The Good Place

Holy forking shirtballs, man! Netflix just released The Good Place season 4! We’re so excited. This quirky comedy about the afterlife cracks us up! The first season was our favorite but they’ve all been solid so far. I hope it wraps up strong!

Up Next:

Oh, I don’t know. I might dig around and try to find something really short and not too depressing to read and review for Banned Books Week.

What did your week look like?

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

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. It was so nice to get the rain, but now it’s hot, even here on the coast! I hope the heat doesn’t create more problems for the firefighters. Sigh. Stay safe!

  2. I’ve been so bad at planning and scheduling, but it’s been like that the past couple of years, so I can’t really blame COVID-19 for my forgetfulness. I read Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix and liked it, so I should put My Best Friend’s Exorcism or his latest one on my October reading list.

  3. Glad you guys are OK in Portland. We’ve got family out there. Scary.

    Alma Katsu’s books are on my TBR list! I need to get to one of them in October. I love Grady Hendrix. I’m reading The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires right now. It’s a hoot.

    The Unidentified looks good. I need to add that one. I read his Ghostland last year at this time and thought it was really interesting. Looks like some great reads recently.

    I always forget about Banned Books week. By the end of September I’m on to all things horror. Maybe I should look for horror books that have been banned or challenged…

    Have a great week!

    1. I tend to hold onto reviews of Banned Books until this week, no matter when I read them. I read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in June and I’m just publishing the review on Friday. I like to read a lot of horror in October too. I read The Southern Vampire earlier this year. It got way darker than I expected! The Unidentified is really good so far! I’ve never read any of his earlier books.

    1. Ooh, a Janet Funko? Awesome! I would have to try something at least once a day. “Janet, make a popcorn river.” 😀

  4. I would like to read something for Banned Books Week too, but I haven’t planned anything for it, and lately I am kind-of reading whatever I pick up first that sounds fun. So I don’t know that banned book reading will happen this year… We’ll have to see.

    1. I’m cheating and going with kid’s books for the rest of Banned Books Week! I read a middle-grade book I absolutely loved after I posted on Sunday. I’ve been in the same kind of mood for lightweight, fun reads this year, so focusing on the kid’s books is working for me.

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever read any of Cleary’s books about Beezus and Ramona. I was a science fiction reader as a child and even then didn’t care for anything that could be considered contemporary fiction. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    1. Oh, wow! Someday if you’re in the mood for something other than science fiction, you might consider Ramona. She’s refreshing in that she’s not the quiet, obedient little girl she was expected to be in the ’50s.

  6. Stay safe and good news about the rain. I have THE DEEP on my list — I kind of forgot about it, so thanks for the reminder.

    1. I’m curious to see where The Deep is going. I have lots of questions but no answers so far but it’s starting to get spooky.

  7. My husband weirdly loves BigFoot ‘documentaries’, so I’m sure he’d love the BigFoot Center.
    I’m glad the weather is helping to control the fires, and I hope they are able to contain it fully soon.

    Wishing you a great reading week

    1. I’ve been to two Bigfoot museums now. I can’t say that I know much about the legends at all, but the museums were a quirky way to pass the afternoon. It’s always fun to think about “What if?”

  8. Good to hear still getting rain and helping to contain those awful fires. Oh for the times when we just wandered about as children. Hope you pick up something really good to read.

  9. It’s not surprising your mind isn’t doing as it normally has in the past. Life is strange right now. I can totally relate to your experience. I have fond memories of the Beezus and Ramona series. Such innocent times…sigh…..

  10. So glad to hear so much of the fire has been contained but hopefully that number doubles or triples sometime soon. I just watched a youtube video on the Bigfoot Center! Seems like a fun outing. It’s good to know Ramona holds up well but it is funny to read about the freedom kids used to have. It blows my son’s mind on some of our books! Hope you have a great week.

    1. The Bigfoot Center was a lot of fun! I’d seen some of it before but I liked hearing the recordings of the “Bigfoot calls” and even seeing a Bigfoot buttprint cast in plaster! It made me giggle.

  11. I’m happy to hear the firefighters have continued to contain the fires. Stay safe! I read The Southern Book Club’s by Hendrix earlier this year and loved it. I need to check out some of his earlier work. Happy reading!

    1. I read The Southern Book Club earlier this year too and enjoyed it. I’ve also requested a hard copy of Horrorstor from the library. I didn’t really intend to read Hendrix’s entire back catalog and yet here I am.

    1. September and October are so nice in North Carolina! I just always dreaded the arrival of November in the mountains. Ugh.

  12. I’ve never participated in the Banned Book Week, just because I am never sure of my reading moods. And 2020 is such a weird year. I just hope it will all be over soon. I’m happy to hear that there is no smoke in your area! Hopefully they’ll be able to contain the fire completely very soon. Have a great week and happy reading!

    1. I usually just read what I want when I want but if I happen to pick up a banned book, I hold onto that review until Banned Books Week. I’ve just not been in the place mentally for banned books this year. I decided after posting this to cheat and read some children’s books to round out the week and stumbled on some great ones!

    1. I think we’re all just doing good to get up and moving most days at this point. Hopefully thinks will get better soon!

  13. Interesting that it was the freedom to wander aspect of Beezus and Ramona that seemed unrealistic for our times. I read a picture book this week, Dusk Explorers, where kids played games together at dark, and I was astonished to see these kids wandering everywhere, unsupervised. Of course that’s how it was for me growing up, but today’s kids don’t have that freedom.

    I’m so glad the fires are becoming contained. I’ve been worried about all of you who live near the fires and the smoke. Outdoors is my happy place right now, and it must be difficult to confine yourself inside.

    I completely forgot about Banned Books Week. Oh dear.

    I will be curious to see what you think of the ending of The Good Place. I enjoyed that show a lot. My husband is already talking about watching the show again in a few months. I think it will hold up.

    1. I think we can all be forgiven for forgetting about Banned Books Week this year. It’s a topic near and dear to my heart but there’s just so much to keep track of and stress about right now. I’m glad to know you enjoyed The Good Place!

  14. I did not know there was a Bigfoot Center but that looks like a cool place! How fun. and glad to hear the rain is keeping the smoke at bay.

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