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The Week in Review: 1.27.2017

January 27, 2017


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

s-u-g-c-animalsIf you know any kids who love animals, be sure to get a copy of ANIMAL PLANET: STRANGE, UNUSUAL, GROSS & COOL ANIMALS by Charles Ghigna into their hands.  I can’t say enough good things about this book that’s full of gorgeous illustrations and fun facts.  The title fits the book perfectly!  There are even pages about poop and throw up – what kid wouldn’t love that?  I adored this book and learned lots of fun and useful facts like a tarantula’s venom is less potent than a bee sting.  (Review copy provided by Blue Slip Media.)

hidden-figuresI wanted to love HIDDEN FIGURES by Margot Lee Shetterly but I can’t say that I did.  It’s the story of five black female mathematicians who were instrumental in the early days of NASA and the race to the moon.  This is such an important story and it sounded like just the kind of book I’d love but, for me, it was too dry and impersonal.  I wanted less technical details and more personal stories about the women.  In the end, I’m sad to say, I liked the book but didn’t love it. I’m still glad I read it, though.   (Review copy provided by Harper Collins.)

between-breathsI listened to BETWEEN BREATHS: A MEMOIR OF PANIC AND ADDICTION by Elizabeth Vargas in December.  It’s the story of her battle with alcoholism.  She was an anxious child and contributes her addiction to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder she suffered as a child.  What struck me the most about her story was the fact that, because she was a well known journalist, the media felt entitled to her story so they invaded her privacy, making it more difficult for her to heal.  Vargas narrates the audio version of her book and, as you’d expect, does an outstanding job.  I give Vargas a lot of credit for being brave enough to tell her story but I found the book good, but not great.

Currently reading:

On the Screen


  • We’re not big pro football fans but did turn the NFL conference championship games on and were happy to see the Atlanta Falcons win since our nephew lives in the ATL and we will be rooting for them in the Super Bowl.

Off the blog

  • My mom will be 90 years old tomorrow and I’m heading down to celebrate with her!
  • My friends and I came in first place at trivia this week.
  • I walked three miles every day, averaging just over 15,000 Fitbit steps a day.


  • I was lucky enough to attend a Karen White event at Fiction Addiction on Monday.  Karen spoke to a packed audience and told us all about her latest book, THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY, as well as her upcoming April release, THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT, and a yet to be named collaboration with Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig.  Karen is a great author and speaker so her event was loads of fun.  I’ve got an autographed copy of THE GUESTS ON BATTERY for one lucky reader. You can enter by filling out the form below and I’ll pick a winner on February 3.
19 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2017 6:33 am

    Happy Birthday to your mom! 90, that’s awesome!

    I’ve been wanting to see Hidden Figures, the movie looks really good. Sorry you didn’t love the book.

  2. January 27, 2017 6:45 am

    Happy Birthday to you mom 🙂 90 years old – that is amazing!! I really enjoyed Hidden Figures, but found all the tech stuff rather dull, too. That’s awesome about the walking 🙂 Congrats on first place in trivia!!

  3. Beth F permalink
    January 27, 2017 7:06 am

    Bummer on Hidden Figures. I was thinking of audio … maybe I’ll read it instead (so I can skim some of the more tech stuff). Happy birthday to your mother.

  4. January 27, 2017 7:28 am

    A very happy birthday to your Mom! I went to a 90th birthday party recently for an old friend. She had such a good time and I was so happy that she got to experience that. Bet that visit with Karen White was fun. I love author events and love listening to what authors would like to tell us about their writing and books. The kids book with the ‘gross’ stuff sounds like a winner for kids. LOL

    Have a great week, Kathy! Tell your Mom ‘Happy Birthday’ from all of us!

  5. sarahsbookshelvesblog permalink
    January 27, 2017 7:40 am

    I’m sorry to hear about Hidden Figures…it does sound fascinating. And – we’ll be rooting for the Falcons too…they’re my 6 yr old son’s favorite team solely b/c he’s obsessed with wild animals and he likes their mascot. Plus, my husband and I both lived there after college for awhile.

  6. January 27, 2017 7:41 am

    I appreciate your honest opinion on Hidden Figures. I’ve been curious about the book since it was first released and now that the movie is out, it’s getting a lot of attention. From your remarks, though, I don’t think it’s for me. I’ll wait and watch the movie when it hits Netflix.

    Enjoy your day with your mom and wish her a very happy birthday from me!

  7. January 27, 2017 7:56 am

    Hope your mom has a wonderful birthday celebration! Not sure Hidden Figures is for me… sounds a bit too dry and technical.

  8. January 27, 2017 7:57 am

    How wonderful to celebrate your mom’s 90th birthday. Have fun! Lucky you seeing Karen White. I can’t wait to read The Night the Lights Went Out. Didn’t know she was doing another book with Williams and Willig. Will watch for that down the road.

  9. January 27, 2017 11:09 am

    Happy Birthday to her!

  10. January 27, 2017 3:11 pm

    Happy birthday to your mom, and enjoy your time together.

    I loved the movie Hidden Figures, so I imagine I will skip the book.

    I am looking forward to the new Karen White books. Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your weekend.

  11. bookingmama permalink
    January 27, 2017 3:20 pm

    I read those first two books! I have always loved Elizabeth Vargas. I bet I would enjoy her story!

  12. Patty permalink
    January 28, 2017 3:14 pm

    Ok…those are very unique reading choices. Have fun with your mom!

  13. The Cue Card permalink
    January 29, 2017 4:38 pm

    Happy Birthday to your mom! Yeah we are going to root for the Falcons too. Hope it will be a good game. Enjoy your week.

  14. Elisabeth permalink
    January 29, 2017 9:48 pm

    Happy Birthday to your Mom🎂 Wish I was as diligent about walking as you are. I listened to Hidden Figures on audio, and agree with your assessment. I am glad to have “read” and saddened that it took so long for these women to be acknowledged for their accomplishments.

  15. January 30, 2017 9:57 am

    I think the movie Hidden Figures may be better than the book. You inspire me to keep walking during the day. Way to go, Kathy!

  16. February 1, 2017 2:46 pm

    It looks like your reading this week was just so-so. That happens occasionally. Hope your birthday celebration with your mom was a joyous one. 90 is a great milestone.

  17. February 1, 2017 3:40 pm

    Hidden Figures sounds right up my alley, but now I’m wondering if just watching the movie might be better. The Strange Animals book is still a favorite of the kids when I sub in the elementary classrooms. It’s the first one they grab from my book stash.

  18. February 2, 2017 10:22 am

    Wow, 90 is such a great milestone birthday. Happy birthday to your mom. That book about gross and cool animals is something my daughter would absolutely love.

  19. February 3, 2017 10:05 pm

    Yay for fun author events! Happy Birthday to your mom! I like this new review style 🙂

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