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The Week in Review: 03.24.2017

March 24, 2017


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

THE RULES DO NOT APPLY by Ariel Levy is the memoir of a young woman who thumbed her nose at tradition and built a happy, if somewhat unorthodox life for herself.  She takes a business trip to Mongolia while she’s pregnant and her life quickly falls apart.  She struggles with grief and other people’s reaction to it and tries to piece her life back together.  Her story is personal and raw and I was pulled in from the start.  Levy is a writer for New Yorker so I expected great writing and she delivered.  What I didn’t expect was to be so invested in and moved by her story.  The audio version is narrated by the author and I thought she did a great job of capturing the spirit of the story.  Be sure to have tissues handy when you pick this book up.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood is the story of Offred, a young woman living in Gilead, a society that was formed when the Sons of Jacob overturned the US government.  Since she’s young and fertile, she lives as a handmaid in the home of Commander Fred, so that she can bear a child for him and his infertile wife. The Sons of Jacob are fundamentalist Christians so the society is strict and women are treated as second class citizens.  Offred remembers her former life, though, and longs for her husband and child.  There’s a lot more to this book and I found it fascinating and disturbing.  Its reality didn’t seem all that far-fetched to me.  Claire Danes narrates the audio version – I found her delivery a little flat, but I do think that may have been intentional on her part.  THE HANDMAID’S TALE is smart and thought provoking and I do recommend it – I think it would make a great book club selection.

Animal lovers will want to pick up a copy of DOGS AND THEIR PEOPLE by BarkPost.  This book is full of entertaining and heartwarming stories from dog owners around the world.  You’ll smile, laugh, and nod in understanding as you read these fun stories.  Each story is a page long and includes an adorable color photograph that will melt your heart.  There are also a few tips including things like dog friendly vacation spots and dog treat recipes.  You’ll flip through this book time and time again just for the photos! (I won this from A Bookish Way of Life.)


Currently reading:


On the Screen

One of my guilty pleasures is watching Dancing with the Stars and it started back this week.  In my opinion, the early shows – before you really get to “know” the stars – aren’t as much fun but I still watch them.  My early favorites are Rashad Jennings with Emma Slater and Heather Morris with Maks Chmerkovskiy.

A United Kingdom is based on the true story of Seretse Khama.  Khama was next in line to be Chief of his people in Bechaunaland Protectorate (what is now Botswana) and was sent to London to study.  While he was there, he fell in love with Ruth Williams, a white clerk.  The two married causing turmoil in their families, his country, and England.  They persevered and with the help of his devoted wife, Khama led his country to independence.  I learned something new from this well made movie and came home and read more about the Khamas.  I really enjoyed the movie and wish they made more like it.

Off the blog

  • Carl spent a few days at the beach with his brother so I worked at the store a little extra this week.

  • My book club met to discuss MIDNIGHT IN BROAD DAYLIGHT by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto.  Most people weren’t feeling it, so out of 12 of us, only 4 finished the book.  Only one person loved the book (she’s a retired social studies teacher) – the rest of us who finished it appreciated the research and the story but felt the book was just okay.
  • My friends and I played trivia this week and came in second – the first place team beat us by one point.
  • We walked three miles every morning and I averaged over 15,600 Fitbit steps a day.

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

27 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2017 4:40 am

    I want to see that movie 😀

  2. March 24, 2017 7:05 am

    I haven’t read the Atwood book in a million years, but I guess a lot of people are saying it is timely again, and since I can’t remember much, it would be like reading it for the first time!

  3. Beth F permalink
    March 24, 2017 8:29 am

    Like Jill, it’s been a million years since I read that Atwood. Glad it holds up. I’m adding THE RULES DO NOT APPLY by Ariel Levy to my list — I usually avoid author-read audios. And A UNITED KINGDOM looks amazing.

  4. March 24, 2017 9:12 am

    The memoir sounds like a good one! And the film is on my To See list. Glad you liked it.

  5. March 24, 2017 9:37 am

    I’ve seen previews for A United Kingdom, and what interested me most is the actress, Rosamund Pike, who was in Gone Girl. She is definitely playing a different role in this one, which is a good thing. I like versatility in actors.

    I loved The Handmaid’s Tale, both times I read it…and I also saw a movie based on it, with Natasha Richardson starring.

    I am curious about The Rules Do Not Apply.

    Thanks for sharing…and enjoy the new week.

  6. March 24, 2017 9:55 am

    Both of the 1st 2 books look intriguing (I’m not much of an animal person). I loved A United Kingdom and thought the 2 leads were terrific. And we also watch Dancing with the Stars. I prefer this to professional dance competitions, like So You Think You Can Dance, because I enjoy watching celebrities who can’t dance learn how to do it. Some of the improvements are pretty mind-blowing.

  7. March 24, 2017 11:18 am

    Is “The Rules Do Not Apply” based on an article? So much of the premise sounds so familiar to me — and I feel like I read a piece of creative non-fiction that sounded like this. Anyway, I’m intrigued!

    A United Kingdom sounds wonderful!

  8. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    March 24, 2017 12:07 pm

    Loved Rules Do Not Apply as well! And read Handmaid’s Tale for the first time a few years back and loved that too.

  9. Lauren Becker permalink
    March 24, 2017 1:02 pm

    I do want to read Rules Do Not Apply – glad you enjoyed it. Dogs and Their People sounds SO cute.


  10. March 24, 2017 1:52 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed DOGS AND THEIR PEOPLE 🙂 I have the Levy book on my kindle and can’t wait to read it now. I was actually thinking of re-reading the Atwood, because the trailer for the show looks soooo good! I want to see that movie – I love David Oyelowo! Dancing with the Stars – I have not seen it in ages, but want to watch this season to see how the Real Housewife of BH does. Congrats on trivia!! Although 1 point is crazy 😦

  11. March 24, 2017 2:27 pm

    I’m glad to read your high praise for the Ariel Levy book. I’m also glad to read your evaluation of Midnight In Broad Daylight. I’l be cautious with that one. Your trivia group sounds like so much fun, but heart-breaking to lose by just one point. Have a great weekend Kathy.

  12. March 24, 2017 2:59 pm

    I’m looking forward to THE HANDMAID’S TALE on Hulu.

  13. March 24, 2017 3:00 pm

    I found The Handmaid’s Tale to be fascinating and disturbing, too! It was scary to realize how easy it was for them to take the independence from women. Take away their jobs and freeze their money — really scary! I, too, listened to the audio version and agree that it was flat and felt the story was very disconnected. The end of the story brought that all together for me though and I never suspected what is revealed at the end of the story, which brought it all together for me. And you’re right, it is a great book club selection!

  14. March 24, 2017 3:08 pm

    That first book about the lady and her Mongolia trip sounds fascinating.

    Was that your first time reading The Handmaid’s Tale? I read it so long ago but with the political climate being what it is, I know many are pulling it out again. I plan to do so as well. Plus, the TV series begins soon. Or maybe it has already started.

  15. March 24, 2017 4:42 pm

    I like this new feature on your blog.

    MIDNIGHT IN BROAD DAYLIGHT sounds really good.

    ENJOY your weekend, and thanks for this wonderful post.

  16. March 25, 2017 1:29 am

    A United Kingdom sounds like an epic movie. I saw the trailer at the theater recently. Catstronauts looks adorable. Enjoy your weekend, Kathy!

  17. March 25, 2017 7:44 am

    Dogs & Their People looks cute!

  18. March 25, 2017 8:36 am

    I read The Handmaid’s Tale when it was released (back in the 80s??) and recently purchased the ebook for a reread. Have a good weekend!

  19. Patty permalink
    March 25, 2017 1:11 pm

    A tv series of The Handmaid’s Tale? Awesome! Your week sounded very fulfilling. And trivia sounds like so much fun!

  20. Diane permalink
    March 25, 2017 3:17 pm

    I liked the Handmaid’s Tale as well – Atwood is different, in a good way. What a good wife, working for the hub while he’s off to the beach LOL Have fun this weekend.

  21. Literary Feline permalink
    March 26, 2017 1:49 am

    I really liked The Handmaid’s Tale. I haven’t gotten around to posting my review if it yet. I read the book as opposed to listening the audio. Sounds like you had a nice week. I hope Carl had a great visit with his brother.

    My mom will be in town in another week visiting. It’ll be nice to see her again. We will be making the final arrangements for our trip back East this summer.

    I hope you have a great week, Kathy!

  22. March 26, 2017 1:00 pm

    I love The Handmaid’s Tale. Are you planning on watching the Hulu series based on the book? From the trailer it looks like it’s going to be really good.

  23. March 26, 2017 8:39 pm

    Hi Kathy, nice post. Thx for the word on the United Kingdom movie; I want to see it if I can find it out here. I hear that The Handmaid’s Tale has been adapted to the screen and is being shown online on Hulu starting April 26. It looks chilling. I think it’s a 10 part series. Not sure if I will get to see it, but I’m thinking about it. Enjoy your week.

  24. March 27, 2017 11:23 am

    You’re doing awesome with the steps. I still have to get back to The Handmaid’s Tale!

  25. March 28, 2017 12:53 pm

    Did you listen to the “Historical Notes” at the end of the Handmaid’s Tale? They’re wonderful academic satire, and part of how the novel works on you. At some point you should reject some of what the “Notes” are telling you, and go with the feeling you have at the end of Offred’s story, which ends ambiguously so that you won’t be satisfied, but want to go out into the world and make sure what happened to her will never happen to anyone.

  26. April 1, 2017 10:11 pm

    Dogs and Their People looks so adorable! I discovered a new instagram account to follow this past week that is kind of like Humans of NY but instead is Dogs of NY – it’s called The Dogist and has some sweet stories and cute pictures.

  27. bookingmama permalink
    April 6, 2017 7:40 am

    I’ll have to check out A UNITED KINGDOM.

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