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The Week in Review: 07.21.2017

July 21, 2017
tags:

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

When Ruth goes home for Christmas, she sees her father’s Alzheimer’s disease has progressed.  Her mother talks her into staying for a year to help with his care and, while she’s there, Ruth keeps a journal of sorts.  Interspersed with her reflections on how her dad’s doing are notes he wrote about her when she was young.  Ruth is also trying to get her life together since she recently broke up with her fiancé and is trying to deal with tidbits she’s learning about her parents’ marriage.  I thoroughly enjoyed GOODBYE, VITAMIN by Rachel Khong and read it quickly.  Even though it tackles some serious and rather sad issues, it’s written with humor so it doesn’t drag the reader down.  I fell in love with Ruth and her family and admired the way they handled things.  The conclusion was open ended but I thought it fit the book very well.  (I won this book from Henry Holt.)

YOU’RE BACON ME CRAZY by Suzanne Nelson is the story of Tessa, a 13 year old girl who loves cooking and working at her aunt’s food truck.  She’s not too happy, though, when her aunt hires Asher – one of the “Beautiful People” from her school.  To make things worse, her best friend, Mei has her first boyfriend so she doesn’t have much time for Tessa. When Flavor Fest – an event that can make or break a food truck – is canceled, Tessa wants to do something but what can a kid like her do?  I thought this sweet book about friendship, young love, and food (bacon in particular!) was delightful!  I loved Tessa and her passionate, quirky personality and the food truck element was so much fun.  There are four recipes using bacon at the very back of the book and they all sound great.  I’m sure middle school girls will love this book too.  (Review copy provided by Scholastic.)

Currently reading:

 

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • I painted Kindness Rocks with a few friends this week.

  • I finished my puzzle and think I’m going to buy one with more pieces.
  • I played King of Tokyo with friends a couple nights and didn’t win a single game.  I need to re-think my strategy.
  • I walked at least three miles a day and averaged just over 18,250 Fitbit steps a day.
  • It’s been hot and humid here and the next few days are supposed to be even worse.  I don’t mind the heat but the humidity is another story.

What’s going on in your corner of the world?

Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 19, 2017

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

I found a couple new words in GOODBYE, VITAMIN by Rachel Khong.

1. intractable – “The fat man is saying to John Travolta that his wife has been intractable, ever since their dog lingered by her breast.”

This is one of those words that I feel like I should have known but couldn’t define when I read this sentence.  Intractable means hard to control or deal with.

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2. cruciferous vegetables – “We stop at the grocery store for cruciferous vegetables.”

This is something else I probably should have known.  Cruciferous vegetables belong to the mustard family of plants.  They get their name from the shape of their flowers – the four petals of their flowers resemble a cross.  Some common cruciferous vegetables are radishes, kale, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

July 17, 2017

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.  I found these goodies in my mailbox last week:

Monday

Wednesday

Friday

What did you find in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 07.14.2017

July 14, 2017
tags: ,

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Babymouse is back and in middle school in a new series for middle grade readers.  The first book in Jennifer L. Holm‘s BABYMOUSE: Tales from the Locker series is LIGHTS, CAMERA, MIDDLE SCHOOL and I thought it was great fun!  Babymouse is trying to navigate her way through the beginning of middle school and she discovers, “The hardest subject in middle school wasn’t science or social studies or literature.  It was friendship.”  In an effort to fit in, she decides to join the film club but making a movie isn’t as easy as she thinks it will be.  When she’s put in charge she has to make some tough decisions and learns a lot about herself and her friends.  Matthew Holm‘s adorable illustrations add a lot to this wonderful story that is perfect for kids just starting middle school.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

I picked up NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE US by Stephanie Powell Watts after Sarah Jessica Parker selected it for the ALA’s Book Club Central and Julie reminded me we received a copy at the SIBA trade show last year.  This book is being compared to THE GREAT GATSBY.  It’s been years since I’ve read that book and I don’t remember all the details and nuances so I didn’t get the comparison.  This is the story of a family and their struggles in a small North Carolina town that’s seen better days.  It’s slow and meandering – more of a character study, really – and I found it somewhat melancholy.  It was hard to keep track of which character was speaking so I had to read some dialogue more than once.  In the end, this book was just okay for me but I do think book clubs would find a lot to talk about if they discussed it.  (Review copy provided by Ecco Books.)

 

Currently reading:

 

On the Screen

I heard some music from Saturday Night Fever the other day so Carl and I decided to watch the movie.  It’s been almost forty years since I stood in line to watch it in the theater and I remember loving it then.  I thought it was smart and edgy and, of course, I loved the music and dancing.  I’m sad to say I don’t think the movie has aged well.  It’s the story of Tony Manero, a young man in Brooklyn who’s in a dead end job with little prospect for the future who finds success with his dance moves at the local disco.  I still enjoyed the music and the dancing but was rather shocked at the racism, homophobia and misogyny and thought Tony and his friends were drama kings.  Still, it was fun to watch a blast from the past.

Off the blog

  • I played trivia with a few friends and we came in first.
  • I started a new puzzle this week:

  • I walked at least three miles every morning and averaged just over 19,250 Fitbit steps a day.
  • I’ve been prepping for the store’s 5th anniversary celebration which will be held this evening.

How was your week?

Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 12, 2017

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

I haven’t come across any new words in my current reading so I turned to my Word-a-Day calendar this week.

1. eleemonsynary – “A publishing house is not an eleemosynary organization: who today would publish Proust?” — Cynthia Ozick, Harper’s Magazine, April 2007

Eleemosynary is an adjective that means of, relating to, or supported by charity.

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2. desuetude – “The old bridge, which fell into desuetude after the railroad was shut down, has recently been opened as a pedestrian walkway.”

Desuetude is a noun that means discontinuance from use of exercise: disuse.

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3. vox populi – “It’s too early to determine with certainty just how much influence the vox populi will have on the new administration’s policy decisions.”

Vox populi is a noun that means popular sentiment.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

July 10, 2017

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.  I found these goodies in my mailbox last week:

Monday

Wednesday

Saturday

What did you find in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 07.07.2017

July 7, 2017
tags:

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Thrity Umrigar explores class, race, and privilege in her latest book, EVERYBODY’S SON.  Judge David Coleman and his wife Delores are devastated by the death of their only child and decide to take in a foster child.  They’re assigned Anton, a young bi-racial boy whose mother has neglected him.  David pulls some strings and they eventually adopt Anton, careful to keep parts of his past under wraps.  Anton thrives under their care but, of course, eventually finds out about his past.  Will this information destroy him or make him stronger?  I’m a huge fan of Umrigar’s and, as always, loved her writing in this book.  I was sucked in at the beginning and read the book quickly.  There was something about the ending that bothered me, though, and I’m not exactly sure what – I’d still recommend the book.  I’d like to talk to someone about it so I think EVERYBODY’S SON would make an outstanding book club selection.  (Review copy provided by Harper Collins.)

The first thing I noticed when I picked up A PARIS YEAR: MY DAY-TO-DAY ADVENTURES IN THE MOST ROMANTIC CITY IN THE WORLD by Janice MacLeod was the weight of the book –  it’s beautifully bound and printed on such high quality paper, it’s quite hefty.  The next thing I noticed was the beauty inside.  This part memoir, part travel guide is like a love letter to Paris and I absolutely loved it.  It’s filled with gorgeous photographs and illustrations as well as little stories from the author and quotes from famous people.  It’s been years since I’ve been to Paris but this charming book brought it all rushing back to me – the sights, the sounds, and the smells – and I longed to be there again as I read it.  This lovely book is perfect for those with wanderlust and for armchair travelers.  Be sure to pick it up!  (Review copy provided by St. Martin’s Press.)

DRAW-IT-YOURSELF: SPY MISSION by Andrew Judge and Chris Judge is the latest book in this fun, creative series.  Written in the vein of the choose-your-own-adventure books, this mystery encourages young readers to draw in the book and fold and rip out pages.  When someone steals a secret muffin recipe, the reader is asked to solve the mystery.  There’s humor (even a little bathroom humor) and lots of drawing to keep youngsters entertained.  I’m not sure if this is an issue in the finished copy, but the advanced reading copy is bound so that it doesn’t lie flat, making it difficult to draw in.  Readers are encouraged to “Create a new story every time!,” but you can only draw on the pages once.  Still this is a fun book that will engage reluctant readers.  (Review copy provided by LB Kids.)

Currently reading:

 

On the Screen

Carl and I watched Hello, My Name is Doris.  I’d seen it at the theater and loved it and wanted him to see it.  He enjoyed it but not as much as I did, even the second time around.  Sally Field does a magnificent job playing the socially awkward Doris in this funny and touching movie.

 

Off the blog

  • They finished painting our house and I love the new color!  I took these photos with my phone so the colors aren’t completely accurate, but you get the idea.  (Before is on the left and after is on the right.)

  • Our nephew is here for the holiday so Vance is staying with us too.  It’s always fun to have the two of them here!  With “the boys” here, we went to our street’s 4th of July block party, played trivia (and came in third), and played a couple board games – King of Tokyo and Dominion.
  • Carl and Vance opened the store 5 years ago today.  The time has flown by!
  • I walked at least 3 miles every day and averaged just over 17,4oo Fitbit steps a day.

What’s going on in your corner of the world?