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Mailbox Monday

July 22, 2019

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.  My mailbox exploded this week.

Monday

Wednesday

Friday

What was in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 07.19.2019

July 19, 2019
tags:

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I picked up LUNA: THE SCIENCE AND STORIES OF OUR MOON by David A. Aguilar to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moonwalk and I’m so glad I did.  This terrific book opens with Neil Armstrong’s word when he stepped out on the moon (an event I vividly remember watching) and goes on to explain the origin and evolution of the moon and lots more, like moon myths and lunar features.  I learned so much as I read this book aimed for late middle grade readers, like

Without our moon, life on Earth might be very different.  Days would be much shorter and seasons would never change or be wild and erratic.

I also learned about the lunar landscape, the dark side of the moon, and about other moons in our solar system.

As with every other book I’ve seen from National Geographic Kids, LUNA has a quality binding and is printed on heavy-duty paper.  The photographs and illustrations are full-color and draw the reader in.  I think this book is terrific for anyone interested in learning about Earth’s moon.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

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Evvie Drake is having trouble moving forward after the death of her husband.  Money is tight and some bills are going unpaid so her best friend, Andy, suggests she rent out the apartment in the back of her house to his old friend and washed up baseball pitcher, Doug.  EVVIE DRAKE STARTS OVER by Linda Holmes is a quirky, fun book about love, friendship and finding yourself and I thought it was great.  It’s light, predictable, and perfect for warm summer days.  Evvie’s not sure how she’s supposed to act as a widow so she shuts herself off from the world and it was fun to see her come into her own.  Holmes’ writing is solid and so are her characters.  I listened to the audio version of this book and thought Julia Whelan did a terrific job with the narration.  Pick this book up when you’re in the mood for lighter fare.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

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National Geographic Kids ALMANAC 2020 is chock full of fascinating facts presented in a fun way.  As a matter of fact, this book is so much fun, kids won’t even realize they’re learning as they read it.  I love books like this and read this one from cover to cover but it’s the type of book that easily renders itself to being flipped through over and over again.  With chapters like Your World 2020, Amazing Animals, Space and Earth, and History Happens (just to name a few) there’s something in here to interest everyone.

Material is presented in clear, precise language and includes full-color photos and illustrations.  There are also fun quizzes, activities, and crafts to get kids excited about learning.  There’s suggested reading and an index in the back.  I learned a lot as I read this book like:

Brain cells live longer than all of the other cells in your body.

A light, fluffy cumulus cloud typically weighs about 216,000 pounds (98,000kg).

You drink the same water as the dinosaurs!

ALMANAC 2020 is great for reluctant readers and avid readers alike.  I just loved it and know kids from late elementary school on up will too.  This is the perfect book for home, school, and classroom libraries.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • Carl and I went to visit my aunt since my cousin, his daughter, and her boyfriend were in town.  It was our first time meeting my cousin’s daughter and her boyfriend and they were a delight.  It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.
  • Carl and I went back to the lawyer to finalize what we want in our wills.  We’re so glad to have that over with and only have to go back one more time to sign the final documents when they’re ready.
  • Wednesday was “Mini Kathy Day,” so we went on a short day trip, did a little shopping and stopped at a brewery for lunch.
  • I walked at least three miles every morning, excpet Wednesday (see above) and averaged almost 16,950 Fitbit steps a day.

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 17, 2019

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 few more words in WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens.

1. hardpan – “When finished, they moved on to new spots, leaving tracks of thirst and hardpan behind.”

Hardpan is a noun that means a hardened impervious layer, typically of clay, occurring in or below the soil and impairing drainage and plant growth. 

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2. duff – “The moist duff felt cool on her feet as she neared a cluster of intensely yellow toadstools.”

In this sentence, duff means the partly decayed organic matter on the forest floor. 

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

July 15, 2019

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.

Monday

Wednesday

Friday

What was in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 07.12.2019

July 12, 2019
tags: ,

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Forget horror, if you want to be scared, read BOTTLE OF LIES: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE GENERIC DRUG BOOM by Katherine Eban.  Award winning journalist Eban exposes the generic drug industry and the FDA’s “regulation” of drugs manufactured for and sold in the American market.  Did you know

Brand-name companies must test new drugs on thousands of patients to prove that they are safe and effective.  Generic companies have to prove only that their drug performs similarly in the body to brand-name drug.  To do this, they must test it on a few dozen healthy volunteers and map the concentration in their blood.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg on what’s disturbing in this well-researched, well-written book.  Many generic drugs and their ingredients are made in substandard facilities in substandard conditions that are often overlooked because of manufactured drug shortages or in the name of public health.  The FDA is short-handed and often fails to do enough, even when whistle blowers bring the poor conditions to light.  It’s unfathomable to think our government isn’t doing more about this.  I know I’ll be talking to my pharmacist and doctor about the medications I take.  If you, or someone you know, takes medication, BOTTLE OF LIES is a must read.

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When I saw THE SCARECROW by Beth Ferry was illustrated by the Fan Brothers, I knew I had to have a copy.  A Scarecrow is put up to guard the fields.  He does a good job, standing guard day and night, no matter the weather.  But, the poor Scarecrow doesn’t have any friends and is rather lonely.  One day, a baby crow falls nearby and the scarecrow rescues him  As all babies do, the crow leaves the nest one day, leaving Scarecrow even lonelier than he was before.  Is there anything that can help poor Scarecrow now?

This is one of the sweetest picture books I’ve read in a long time.  Children and adults will relate to this story of friendship and love for different reasons but everyone will love it.  The rhyming version is charming and the illustrations are fantastic!  I absolutely adored this fabulous picture book!  (Review copy provided by Harper Collins.)

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MISTRESS OF THE RITZ by Melanie Benjamin is inspired by the true story of Blanche Auzello.  Jewish and American by birth, Blanche had small parts in a few movies and accompanied her friend Pearl White (of Perils of Pauline fame) to Paris.  She met Claude Auzello and the two married.  He became the assistant manager of the famed Ritz Hotel and Blanche helped him take care of the guests.  Their marriage may have been rocky, but they did such a great job at the hotel, Claude eventually became the manager.  With World War II looming, Claude urged Blanche to return home but she refused.  The war changed their lives in countless ways.  The story is told from the point of view of Lily, an old friend of Blanche’s, who is remembering her fondly.

I’m a fan of Benjamin’s work so I was excited to pick this book up.  I liked it a great deal but don’t think I loved it the way I have her others and I’m wondering if it’s because I listened to the audio version.  I understand why Barbara Rosenblat was chosen to narrate the book – her accents are terrific – but something about her narration didn’t click with me.  I’m still glad I read it and admit that I longed to go to the Ritz as I did.   (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

I went to see Yesterday with a friend.  Struggling musician Jack Malik is hit by a bus after a freak, world-wide power blip and, when he wakes up, he’s the only person who remembers the Beatles and their songs.  When he plays the songs, people assume he’s written them and his career takes off.  Both my friend and I enjoyed this sweet love story.  We both loved the music and thought the storyline was fun.  I’ve been listening to Beatles music ever since.

Off the blog

  • Sunday was “Carl Day,” so we went for a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway and ended the day at a brewery for lunch and a beer.

  • I started a new jigsaw puzzle.  I think this one will take me a while to complete.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged just over 16,300 Fitbit steps a day.

 

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 10, 2019

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 this word in WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens.

1. predacious – “Or, eyeing her catch, she will stride forward one slow step at a time, like a predacious bridesmaid.”

Once I looked this up, it seemed pretty obvious.  Predacious means predatory. 

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

July 8, 2019

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.  There wasn’t a lot of reading going on around here last week so I was glad to have a quiet mailbox.

Friday

What was in your mailbox?