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The Week in Review: 1.20.2017

January 20, 2017


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

lonerLONER by Teddy Wayne is the story of David Federman, a highly intelligent, socially awkward freshman at Harvard who becomes obsessed with a classmate named Veronica.  It’s a book that I found fascinating but it also made me feel very uncomfortable at times.  The perspective is unique in that David is telling his story to Veronica, giving it a creepy tone at times.  I’m not sure I liked the ending of the book – it jarred me and left me feeling unsettled – but I’m still thinking about it.  I can’t say that I loved LONER but I did like it quite a bit.  (Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.)

mischlingIn MISCHLING by Affinty Konar, twins Pearl and Stasha are sent to Auschwitz and selected to be part of Mengele’s “Zoo,” a barracks for prisoners chosen for some of the doctors horrible experiments.  When Pearl disappears, Stasha grieves but never gives up hope that her sister is still alive and hunts for her once the war is over.  I expected to love this book but didn’t feel the depth of emotion I hoped to.  I’m not sure if it’s because I experienced it on audio, but I found my mind wandering and thought the book was good but not great.  There is a very nice, emotional interview with author at the end of the audio. (I won this from Bookin’ with Bingo.)

flying-lessonsFLYING LESSONS & OTHER STORIES, edited by Ellen Oh is a fabulous collection of short stories for young people.  These stories are written by diverse authors about diverse characters ranging from a young wheelchair bound basketball playing boy to a young Asian slave girl who runs away rather than marry her owner’s son.  I loved every single story in this collection but still had a few favorites.  I adored  Main Street by Jacqueline Woodson –  it’s the story of Celeste and her mom who are the only two people of color in their small Maine town.  Seventy-Six Dollars and Forty-Nine Cents by Kwame Alexander is the memoir (written in verse) of Monk, a young boy who hits his head and gains the ability to read other people’s thoughts.  There’s a paragraph about each of the wonderful authors in the back of the book.  I highly recommend this collection to everyone aged 8 and up! (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


Currently reading:

On the Screen

I went to see Manchester by the Sea this week.  It’s the story of Lee Chandler, a troubled man who is given custody of his teenage nephew when his brother dies.  Viewers are filled in on Lee’s background through a series of flashbacks and learn of his sad past.   The acting in this movie was top notch so I was engrossed the whole time but the ending left me wanting more and I left the theater with a heavy heart.  Be warned, this movie is very sad.

Off the blog

  • I’m obsessed with my MICHELE watches and watch bands and often choose my outfit of the day based on the watch band I want to wear.
  • We went from really cold weather to unseasonably warm weather and enjoyed highs in the 60s and 70s this week.  Tuesday night’s low tied a record high-low (did you get that?) and Wednesday’s high of 77 set a new record.
  • When I was taking clothes out of the washing machine on Wednesday, a big chunk of paint chipped off the interior and it was rusted underneath so we had to go out and buy a new washer.  Buying appliances is confusing and stressful!
  • Even though I didn’t have much time to work on my puzzle, I did make a little progress:


  • I walked three miles every day and averaged about 15,000 Fitbit steps a day.
30 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2017 6:33 am

    Good job with the steps! I haven’t heard of that movie before. I was just telling my daughter the other day that I wanted to do a new puzzle I have.

  2. January 20, 2017 7:05 am

    Love these posts! Congrats on the all those steps – that’s awesome! Loner sounds interesting – I have to read it now. Hidden Figures is sooo good!! I want to see Manchester by the Sea, but at the same time I don’t. Buying new appliances is the worst! Have a great weekend!!

  3. January 20, 2017 7:36 am

    Great job on the exercise. My younger daughter saw MBTS and had a similar reaction. I agree buying a new appliance is not fun. And washing machines have changed quite a bit in recent years. I’m looking forward to listening to The Marriage Lie.

  4. sarahsbookshelvesblog permalink
    January 20, 2017 7:56 am

    I’ve heard similar things about Mischling. And I hated the ending of Loner….I wasn’t buying it. Seemed a stretch for David’s character to evolve quite that quickly in that amount of time. Seemed like it was just thrown in for shock value. Just my two cents 🙂

  5. January 20, 2017 8:25 am

    FLYING LESSONS sounds great. Our dishwasher went on the blink last year and we had to go out and buy a new one. That was also confusing and stressful. So many options and price ranges!

  6. January 20, 2017 8:32 am

    I hear you about the weather. Ours has been up and down and all around. They still can’t figure out how to get rid of the cedar pollen though. That would be helpful to me. LOL

    Sorry about your washing machine. Yes, appliances have certainly changed. Much more electronic. We had to have our refrigerator repaired over the holidays (it’s 5 years old) because of some design flaw, which meant it leaked all over my hardwood floors. Sigh. It didn’t cause too much damage, but I was freaked out all the time until the part was received and it was repaired. I kept going back to that ‘it’s only 5 years old’ mantra. My husband told me to get over it – things aren’t meant to last these days.

    I liked THE MARRIAGE LIE, by the way.

  7. January 20, 2017 8:50 am

    I’d like to try Mischling, but think I’ll stick with print. Manchester by the Sea is playing at our island cinema now, but might skip it as I’m not in the mood for a sad movie right now. Sorry to hear about your washer…it’s always such a hassle to buy new appliances. In recent years, I’ve found that high-end brands aren’t really worth it. Have great weekend, Kathy!

  8. January 20, 2017 9:12 am

    I got Mischling in a Kindle deal because it sounds like something that I would like. Glad I didn’t do the audio! Be curious to see what I think when I get around to reading it.

  9. January 20, 2017 10:33 am

    I didn’t even know there was a book about the Hidden Figures women until the movie came out. I absolutely loved the movie. So I don’t know if I will read the book.
    I also thought the acting in Manchester was excellent. But I actually liked the ending. It felt realistic to me.
    We are getting so much rain in the Bay Area that there is flooding in certain areas. We’re like coming out of the drought and going straight to too much!

  10. January 20, 2017 11:07 am

    Oh, I hate buying appliances! I cringe whenever I think of how long I’ve had mine, which I bought new when I moved here…almost ten years ago!

    I loved the movie Hidden Figures, so I’m eager to read the book…and The Marriage Lie is on my list, too.

    I had almost forgotten how much I wanted to see Manchester by the Sea…adding it to my weekend plans.

    Thanks for sharing…

  11. Patty permalink
    January 20, 2017 3:28 pm

    I yearn for normal weeks like yours except for the broken washer…

  12. January 20, 2017 5:44 pm

    Once of the worst things to do is buy appliances! Our dryer is on its way out and I just want someone else to make the choice for me! I heard Manchester by the Sea was heartbreaking. Want to read The Marriage LIe too. Have a great weekend.

  13. January 20, 2017 10:01 pm

    Kathy, I enjoyed reading about your week. The puzzle looks like a challenging one. We are having a lot of rain here. Enjoy your weekend!

  14. January 21, 2017 4:03 am

    I waited sooo long to buy a new washer but enough was enough this fall. I was so tired of all the programs messing up. the 1 h taking 3 hours and yada yada. But it’s stressful for sure

  15. January 21, 2017 6:30 am

    That puzzle looks super-complicated (but fun). How many pieces is it?

  16. Lauren Becker permalink
    January 21, 2017 8:36 pm

    I want to read Flying Lessons. I love that it’s all about diversity. I do want to see Manchester by the Sea, but it might be after it leaves theaters as I haven’t been able to make it and nobody else I know wants to see it.

    Yay for walking so much! That’s awesome. I really need to start walking more. We’ve gotten a lot of rain recently though and more to come!


  17. January 22, 2017 12:11 pm

    Flying Lessons sounds like one I should try in my neverending quest to like short stories. Loner sounds a bit too creepy, but I think I’ll give Mischling a chance. I grabbed a cheap copy for my Kindle at the end of the year.

    I’ve watched some excellent movies so far this year – La La Land a few weeks ago, Hidden Figures yesterday, and I think I need to add Manchester by the Sea to my 2017 viewing, too! Thanks for sharing the preview.

    Hope you have a great week!

  18. January 22, 2017 1:52 pm

    FLYING LESSONS sounds wonderful with some really great authors. I’ve been loving short stories or nonfictions where I can read a chapter and or two and come back to it later and not have to remember what I was reading. I’m really intrigued by HIDDEN FIGURES. I hope I can find time to read it soon!

  19. January 22, 2017 10:29 pm

    Dang, you do a lot of reading! I love it! Great post dear, thanks for sharing… –

  20. January 23, 2017 3:54 am

    I’ve been wanting to see Manchester by the Sea, but it’s definitely something I’ll have to be in the right mood to see.
    I’ve also been doing puzzles lately, I find it especially relaxing with a great audiobook!

  21. bookingmama permalink
    January 23, 2017 6:53 am

    I’d say you had a great week… except for having to get a new washing machine. I am looking forward to FLYING LESSONS. Maybe I’ll start that one next.

  22. Beth F permalink
    January 23, 2017 9:18 am

    I am very late here but I LOVE this post. Great format and so much good stuff to read.

  23. January 23, 2017 10:11 am

    Good for you on the walking everyday! I need to get moving, myself. Thanks for stopping by Colletta’s Kitchen Sink!


  24. January 23, 2017 12:48 pm

    Bummer about the washer but otherwise, it looks like a pretty good week! So you’re reading Hidden Figures — have you seen the movie yet? I saw it a couple weeks ago and would eagerly go see it again. It was fabulous.

  25. January 23, 2017 1:33 pm

    I’ve been wanting to find a theater showing Manchester by the Sea, but may wait for the video release now; I don’t think I can take much more sadness.

  26. January 23, 2017 2:14 pm

    I really am enjoying these posts.

  27. January 24, 2017 2:31 pm

    Great recap on the week. I also enjoyed the movie Manchester by the Sea. A bit intense, I was thinking about it for a week after. Loner does sound sort of creepy.

  28. January 24, 2017 11:01 pm

    It looks like you had a great week, Kathy. I’m sympathetic to your need to appliance shop. The only good way to look at it is that you’ll add a lot of steps to your fitbit numbers. I love the look of your puzzle. We are a family of puzzle lovers too, including our little 3-year old guy. Enjoy that quiet time.

  29. January 26, 2017 5:40 pm

    Manchester By the Sea was such a heartbreaker. I need to get to work on the puzzle I started in the basement 3 months ago. Yours looks fun 🙂

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