Monday Chatter: A Birthday of a Sort (And Books)

I missed posting last Monday because I got super sick during the weekend and didn’t really have the energy to blog for the rest of the week. Luckily I had multiple (*gasp*) posts scheduled that week, which was a first for me. So that was pretty heady. I don’t know how you people have posts scheduled weeks ahead of time and not collapse from the rush it gives you.

In other news, Saturday was my birthday.

And birthdays after age 18 or so have been traditionally…strange for me (which is a polite substitute for more grim words). The best description I can come up with is that it’s a day where I tried so hard to be happy (because my loved ones were and the last thing I wanted was to add another tally for why I didn’t deserve their love) that I ended up falling deeper into sadness. And attending parties and dinners felt like being trapped in the body of someone I didn’t recognize. Someone who smiled and said all the right things and was very good at seeming happy. My dreams of being an actress only lasted from age 7 to age 7, but I did become quite good at pretending to be that someone.

Feeling guilty about feeling sad is a really hard thing to get over, especially when people are telling you you should be happy.

Oof. Sorry for the downer intro, guys! It’s just been a weird week. And I’m not trying to make you feel guilty about wishing me a happy birthday or anything. Go right ahead! This is just me writing to process complicated feelings.

So, yeah. Happy Birthday. I’m sad and trying to learn to be okay with that.




βš”οΈ= Fantasy; πŸš€= Scifi; πŸ‘»= Paranormal; πŸ”= Mystery; 🌺= Contemporary; πŸ—οΈ= Historical; 🌈= LGBTQIAP+


A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher:
Review to come tomorrow. Spoiler: I really, really liked it.

The Guildmaster (The Vanguards of Viridor 3) by T.S. Cleveland βš”οΈπŸŒˆ:
A fun fantasy romance feat. a kind pirate captain and an MC with father issues.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness πŸ—οΈβš”οΈπŸŒˆ:
This was a reread for a post I’m currently drafting. When it first came out I thought it was a weird departure from his previous books (tonally, at least), but I actually found myself appreciating it a lot more this time around.


This Week – BOOKS


The Binding by Bridget Collins πŸ—οΈβš”οΈπŸŒˆ:
Finally started on this one! Half the people I know seem to think it’s amazing and the other half is very “meh” about it, so this should be interesting…

Jade War by Fonda Lee βš”οΈ:
I nearly fell out of my chair when I got this. I probably should read some other ARCs that are closer to publication date (or overdue), but screw it.

Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg πŸ—οΈπŸŒˆ:
This is a reimagining of two historical figures. Two historical criminal figures, to be exact–one Jack Sheppard and Edgeworth Bess, who were apparently the Bonnie and Clyde of 18th century England. In this version, Bess is a Asian woman and Jack is a trans man. It promises capers and sexy times. And what more can I ask for??



I’m still whacking away at Sekiro (and really, really enjoying it). I’m also playing through Inkle‘s latest title, Heaven’s Vault, which is a sci-fi archaeological narrative game that has you exploring the nebula and piecing together clues about lost empires and their hidden mysteries. Inkle has yet to disappoint me with their games and this is no exception. I love it. A LOT. It triggers wanderlust and curiosity like nothing else I’ve played so far this year.




How was your long weekend? Holler at me all your reading and gaming plans for this week!

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Alex Logan April 22, 2019 - 5:49 am

I really enjoyed Confessions of the Fox! It uses a very interesting framing device and ends up having dual stories that work together very well.

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 24, 2019 - 6:08 am

Oh yay, that’s awesome to hear! I’ve seen exactly zero bloggers talk about the book, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

Tammy April 22, 2019 - 6:06 am

I’m always happy the day AFTER my birthday, lol. I never could figure out why people love celebrating getting older! But happy birthday anyway😁

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 24, 2019 - 5:28 pm

Haha thank you! I have friends who LOVE planning their birthday parties and events, and it’s sooo much easier to be excited for those than my own. πŸ˜€

Paul's Picks April 22, 2019 - 7:20 am

Happy Belated!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 24, 2019 - 5:50 pm

Thanks so much, Paul! <3

24hr.YaBookBlog April 22, 2019 - 7:26 am

Happy birthday!! Can’t wait to read your review of Patrick Ness’s book–I read it years back and thought it was okay, but looking forward to seeing your thoughts on the reread! & Heaven’s Vault sounds really cool- I’ve been super interested in buying games from Steam recently! Let me know how it is! ^_^

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 24, 2019 - 5:46 pm

Thank you so much! <3 And Rest of Us used to be my least favourite Ness book (until Release came along :P) but now I really like what the book says about heroes coming in all shapes and sizes, and how you don't have to be out there fighting bad guys and monsters to be qualified as a hero.

And Heaven's Vault is SOO good, you should definitely try it! You can explore ancient sites and make deductions and chat with your robot companion. πŸ˜€ Are there specific genre of Steam games you're interested in?

24hr.YaBookBlog April 29, 2019 - 4:31 pm

Definitely gonna check it out on Steam! Honestly, I haven’t looked at games on there too much, but I am a fan of the unique/niche fantasy/adventure games (if that category makes any sense XD), if you have any recs, I’d love to know! ^_^

Bibi @ Bibi's Book Blog April 22, 2019 - 8:35 am

Happy birthday πŸ˜€ Until I turned 30 I loved my birthday every year. Now that I’ve turned the corner of the dreaded three zero, I enjoy it again lol. But on that fateful day I was a mess, and I had people around me who wanted to celebrate, so I can relate.

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 27, 2019 - 1:41 am

Thank you!! <3 And haha I can imagine my own 30th going the same way. But it's great to hear birthdays have been good for you after (and before) that! Fingers crossed that one day my brain catches up to the fact that they're nothing to stress about. πŸ™‚

Bibi @ Bibi's Book Blog April 27, 2019 - 3:39 am

I believe Ben & Jerry’s was invented to help us cope with birthdays πŸ˜‚

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 28, 2019 - 11:41 pm

Haha YES!! Ice cream cakes from Dairy Queen have honestly been the highlight of most of my birthdays. XD

Bibi @ Bibi's Book Blog April 29, 2019 - 4:43 am

I’ve never tried those πŸ€” I am intrigued!! Lol

jennifertarheelreader April 22, 2019 - 10:21 am

Happy Birthday, Kathy! Cheers to you and here’s why! Whenever I see your name pop up in my notifications I smile. Every.single.time. Birthdays aren’t always happy for me either. I’m sure many can relate to that. β™₯️ great job on the reads and I look forward to your reviews on all of these! Xoxoxo

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 27, 2019 - 1:44 am

Oh gosh, same right back you, Jennifer! I’m actually grinning from ear-to-ear right now. πŸ˜€ Your comments always make my day and I’m so blessed to have you as a friend! <3 <3

bookbeachbunny April 22, 2019 - 10:55 am

Birthday’s are different for everyone! I remember when I was a kid the last birthday party I had I got horribly sick and spent months in the hospital. So parties for me are a no but birthdays? The alternative is so much worse πŸ™‚ Attempt to throw me a party to celebrate one and that’s not going to go over! Hope you have a good month!

madscibrarian April 22, 2019 - 2:42 pm

Happy Birthday! Heaven’s Vault sounds really cool; I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 27, 2019 - 1:37 am

Thank you! <3 And I finished Heaven's Vault the other day (it was longer than I'd expected) and I thought it was a really good experience from beginning to end. Do talk to me about it if you end up playing it!

sjhigbee April 22, 2019 - 3:48 pm

Happy Birthday! Or… this is a song my grandson and I made up at the weekend as an alternative to the usual birthday celebratory song – Well done, well done – this year you didn’t fall under a bus, you didn’t drop off a climbing wall, you didn’t roll down the stairs, you didn’t slip in the shower. Well done, well done – you’re made it for another year… (You really need to hear the daft tune we also made up to go with the words…)

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 24, 2019 - 1:49 am

Thank you, Sarah!! And I…oh my gosh, I love that SO MUCH. I mean, it’s morbid but also weirdly comforting at the same time. You two should patent it and release it as an official song. πŸ˜‰ And now you’ve got me very, very curious about the tune!

waytoofantasy April 22, 2019 - 4:46 pm

Happy birthday! I am usually sad around my birthday, especially as I get older. Aging is not fun! Glad you’re feeling better.

Kaleena @ Reader Voracious April 22, 2019 - 4:55 pm

Happy belated birthday Kathy, and I definitely feel like birthdays get less fun the older I get (and more isolated I get, too). I am glad you are feeling better though and huzzah for scheduled posts! IT IS WONDERFUL and I can’t wait to be back to that life. Sometime.

I am looking forward to your review for A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World. I have that one and am looking forward to reading it, but I am starting to feel a little postapoc burnout so I might wait awhile. Happy reading!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 24, 2019 - 1:38 am

Thank you, Kaleena! <3 And oh man, now that I've tasted the *wonders* of scheduling, I definitely need more of it!

And oh oh OH, if you're in a postapoc burnout, I think A Boy and His Dog might be perfect for you!! Like, most of the book felt like a really quiet, really introspective adventure/exploration story for me. And it's just so…warm and cozy and gives you all the fuzzy feelings. I can't believe I'm saying that about a post-apocalyptic book, but it's true. πŸ˜€

Kaleena @ Reader Voracious April 24, 2019 - 10:39 am

OH that is so good to know about A Boy and His Dog!!! Thanks for letting me knowwww

Nicole Evans April 22, 2019 - 5:56 pm

Happy late Birthday! Though I’m sorry that it was a rough one for you. I *definitely* understand where you are coming from, though. My boyfriend told me once, when we were trying to figure out something to do for his birthday, that “birthdays are for everyone except the person being celebrated,” because we had to do family stuff and friend stuff and all these things that he didn’t want to do, because he just wanted to stay at home and relax. And that was sorta eye-opening for me, I think. So I hope things look up soon, you start to feel better and that you give yourself permission to feel sad without guilt, too. <3

Always here, if you need it!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 26, 2019 - 12:05 am

That means so much, Nicole–thank you!! <3 <3 And please please thank your boyfriend because that's exactly what I need to hear, I think. I have a number of friends who get really, really excited about planning their parties and socializing with everyone during them, so I guess it's hard not to look at myself and go, "What the heck is wrong with me?" Which is depression & anxiety in general, I guess! Believing that people around you are super well put-together and strong while you're somehow defective.

But honestly, your support means the world to me and encourages me to be more open and sharing. I should take a page from your book and use the blog as a diary more often. πŸ˜€

Nicole Evans April 28, 2019 - 5:26 pm

But of COURSE. <3 <3 <3

And trust me, I get depression and anxiety making even the decision not to make a big deal about your birthday seem like this world ending event and make you feel shitty. But I hope you're doing better sense that.

Ha, I would certainly read those more personal posts and definitely continue to support you, of course! Sometimes, I'm sure some people wish I *wasn't* so personal on my blog, but then again, it's my main outlet and it's really helpful, for me personally, to share in that way. It helps to make you feel less alone, you know?

Meeghan reads April 23, 2019 - 5:22 am

Hey Kathy, totally understand the birthday thing. Sending virtual hugs and cookies your way instead. Here’s to reading stellar books from now on. πŸ€—πŸͺ

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 27, 2019 - 1:32 am

I’m NOMing on the virtual cookies as I speak–er, type. Thank you!! <3 <3

Avery @ RedRocketPanda April 23, 2019 - 3:40 pm

Happy belated birthday friend. My birthday was last Monday so we have nearby birthdays!

Sorry you have been sad, birthdays can be hard for a lot of us. I didn’t properly celebrate my birthday for the past few years for a number of reasons so this was the first year I actually did anything for it!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 26, 2019 - 1:00 am

Aww yay, a fellow April baby!! Happy belated birthday to you too! <3 And I'm glad to hear you did something special for it this year. I hope it was a good one for you!

@lynnsbooks April 25, 2019 - 3:14 am

I love other people’s birthdays but find my own totally underwhelming – I’m a December child and that particular month of the year my head is full of other things and doesn’t have time to think about getting yet another year older.
If you’re sad you’re sad – and no amount of people telling you all the things you should be happy about, or ‘cheer up it might never happen’ will change that. It comes from good intentions of course but it doesn’t really help your mood. I hope you got over your sickness okay.
I like the look of Guildmaster – look forward to your review of that one.
Lynn :d

Marie April 25, 2019 - 10:54 am

Happy belated birthday! <3 I'm so sorry to hear it has been a tough week and that you've been sad, I really hope you'll feel better soon, sending you tons of positive vibes and love <3 <3
I'm so glad you found The rest of us better the second time around, I remember reading and enjoying this book, but still… well, finding it a little weird ahah πŸ™‚
Sending you all the love <3

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky April 26, 2019 - 5:44 pm

Thank you so much, Marie!! <3 It always amazes me how supportive and loving the book blogging community can be. You guys are so wonderful. <3 <3

And Rest of Us is definitely a weird one! (Though I guess you can say that for most of Patrick Ness books :P) But I think I found it more heartwarming this time around!

Susy's Cozy World April 30, 2019 - 2:31 am

I’m sorry for the illness and for all the guilty/sad feeling!! I hope you are feeling way way better and happier now!

Diana April 30, 2019 - 4:37 pm

I cannot wait to read The Binding too, and that game looks fantastic! Happy belated Birthday!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky May 2, 2019 - 7:24 pm

Thank you, Diana! <3 The Binding is an interesting one. People either seem to really really love, or are bitterly disappointed by it. I hope you fall into the former!

Norrie May 6, 2019 - 9:41 am

Happy belated birthday! <3
I haven't celebrated mine for the past 7 years or so… i mean, i do have a slice of cheesecake and go on a trip, but only with the BF.

Heaven's Vault looks super cute!

Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky May 13, 2019 - 8:59 pm

Thanks, Norrie!! <3 And cake is the best part of it, honestly. I usually go with ice cream cakes but cheesecake sound good too. πŸ˜€


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