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The Week in Review: 04.21.2017

April 21, 2017


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

DRAW-IT-YOURSELF ADVENTURES: ALIEN ATTACK by Andrew Judge and Chris Judge is such a fun book for early middle grade readers!  It’s a choose your own adventure style book that encourages readers to draw, color, and even tear pages of the book.  (I wouldn’t be able to do the last one.)  It’s the story of Daisy Doodle, a young girl who helps an alien repair his spaceship.  She returns to his planet with him and ends up in the zoo there!  Will she be able to escape and return to her home planet?  My only complaint with the book is that it doesn’t lie flat but I had an advanced copy and the finished copy might be bound differently.  This engaging book is perfect for reluctant readers, young artists, and avid readers.  (Review copy provided by LB Kids.)

It’s been a while since I read DARKTOWN by Thomas Mullen but I didn’t really know what to say about it so I procrastinated writing anything.  DARKTOWN is the fictionalized account of the integration of the Atlanta Police Department in the 1940s.  Black officers were hired but were given no power.  When two of them see a white man hit a telephone pole and notice the black woman in has been beaten, they can’t let it go, especially when she turns up dead a few days later.  This sounded like just the kind of book I love – it tackled social issues in a historical context in a setting I’m familiar with – but something about it didn’t click with me.  There were a lot of characters and most of them weren’t developed that well and the mystery seemed a little weak so I ended up liking the book instead of loving it the way I thought I would.  This book is getting a lot of praise, though, so you should try it if it sounds like something you’d like.  (Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.)

LUCKY BROKEN GIRL by Ruth Behar is the somewhat autobiographical story of a year the author spent in a body cast after being injured in a car accident.  Ruthie and her family had recently immigrated from Cuba to Queens and were still adjusting to life in their new country when she was hurt so badly.  Her recovery was aided by a diverse, eclectic group of friends and neighbors who came to visit and share with her.  I was completely charmed by Ruthie and her family and found the story to be warm and engaging.  The audio version is narrated by the author.  She does a terrific job of enunciating each word clearly but did have an odd inflection as she read.  I did adjust to it after a while, though, and ended up thoroughly enjoying this book.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


Currently reading:


On the Screen

This week’s episode of Dancing with the Stars was Disney Week.  My mom loved it but it really felt like Disney self promotion to me.  I wasn’t crazy about Monday’s show.  I felt like a lot of the music was poorly suited to the dances the couples were assigned to perform.  Having said that, I thought Nancy and Artem did a great job with their dance.  I wasn’t unhappy to see Erika leave but thought she danced well too.


Off the blog

  • I played trivia with a few friends and we came in second.

  • Friends gave us a Christmas cactus when we moved in this house almost 10 years ago and it’s bloomed faithfully ever since.  Last year and again this year, we’ve had an errant bloom in the spring.
  • We walked 3 miles every morning and I averaged almost 17,000 Fitbit steps a day.
  • Vance is in Virginia so I’ve been working extra hours this week.

How was your week?

23 Comments leave one →
  1. Lauren Becker permalink
    April 21, 2017 7:08 am

    Lucky Broken Girl sounds interesting. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it.

    Congrats on placing second in trivia this week! 🙂


  2. April 21, 2017 7:37 am

    I loved Stranger in the Woods – such a fascinating story!

  3. April 21, 2017 8:01 am

    I think my older granddaughter would love Alien Attack. I thought the same about DWTS but I guess Disney owns ABC, right? Agree about Nancy and Artem’s dance. Great job on the steps!

  4. April 21, 2017 8:42 am

    Sorry Darktown wasn’t all you’d hoped… it sounded so promising.

  5. April 21, 2017 8:55 am

    Great week for you, with a lot of balance. Kudos!

    I like the look of Georgia…I’ve admired her work, and I saw a special on TV about her life, so I want to read the book.

    Thanks for sharing, and have a great weekend.

  6. April 21, 2017 10:03 am

    I can’t read any recommendations that are not rave reviews. The TBR pile simply won’t allow it.
    I liked DWTS. I agree with you about the Disney promotion. But I still enjoyed hearing Disney songs that I knew. But The Voice remains my favorite competition between the 2.

  7. April 21, 2017 10:36 am

    My son would have loved the Draw-It-Yourself Adventures. I had seen Lucky Girl somewhere and it sounded charming, just like you said in your review. I love when plants bloom. Have a great weekend!

  8. April 21, 2017 11:18 am

    Your cactus is beautiful! I have The Stranger In The Woods on hold at my library.

  9. April 21, 2017 4:00 pm

    I am bummed that Darktown isn’t a fantastic book as it sounds so good!

  10. April 21, 2017 5:07 pm

    I love your Christmas cactus, how pretty it is! Averaging 17,000 steps a day is amazing, congrats on that.

  11. Diane permalink
    April 22, 2017 7:36 am

    Sounds like a good week Kathy. Guess what, my Christmas cactus is loaded with buds as well. Funny how that happens some years.

  12. Beth F permalink
    April 22, 2017 8:04 am

    Bummer on Darktown. But, yes, Ruthie’s story was so good. One of my favorite recent books. Beautiful Christmas cactus!

  13. April 22, 2017 9:59 am

    I love the bloom on that Christmas cactus! I’m reading The Quiet Game now which is about race and police in Alabama now and 40 years ago. It’s interesting. Probably wouldn’t want to read Darktown though.

  14. Patty permalink
    April 22, 2017 11:32 am

    You had a really busy week. Plus everything you read was really unique!

  15. Literary Feline permalink
    April 23, 2017 9:26 pm

    I am sorry Darktown did not turn out to be as good as you hoped. It sounds like a very promising premise. Such a pretty Christmas cactus! We did some planting today. Hopefully we will have good luck with our new plants. I’m such a terrible gardener. Thank goodness my roses are hardy and don’t need much from me.

    I hope you have a great week, Kathy!

  16. April 24, 2017 1:36 pm

    Your Christmas cactus is lovely! It’s so neat to get a surprise bloom from those.

    I can relate with Darktown. I got about 1/3 of the way into it and had to put it down. I can’t put my finger on exactly what bothered me so much, probably the horrific racism in cops we’re supposed to respect, I don’t know. It just did not work for me at all.

    Wishing you a most wonderful last week of April!

  17. April 24, 2017 1:36 pm

    Your Christmas cactus is lovely! It’s so neat to get a surprise bloom from those.

    I can relate with Darktown. I got about 1/3 of the way into it and had to put it down. I can’t put my finger on exactly what bothered me so much, probably the horrific racism in cops we’re supposed to respect, I don’t know. It just did not work for me at all.

    Wishing you a most wonderful last week of April!

  18. April 25, 2017 10:37 pm

    Oh being in a body cast would be terrible! I’d freak. I’m interested to hear what you think of the Georgia novel and the Finkel book. Both look good. Have a great week!

  19. April 26, 2017 2:27 am

    I’ve had a copy of Darktown for a while now and keep passing it by for something else. Maybe I’ll go with the audio instead.

    I wasn’t crazy about Disney week either!

  20. bookingmama permalink
    April 26, 2017 7:54 am

    You had a busy week. I’m sorry you didn’t love DARKTOWN — I did! And good for you about being so diligent with walking… and running!

  21. April 26, 2017 1:43 pm

    Your (Spring) cactus is beautiful. My daughter has one that only blooms at Thanksgiving time. I’m disappointed that you didn’t love Darktown. I’ve had that on my list to read, but now I think I should re-think that. I’m glad you had such a good week.

  22. April 26, 2017 5:46 pm

    I can’t imagine being in a body cast for a year! That sounds like a book worth reading.

  23. April 28, 2017 12:21 pm

    Lucky Broken Girl sounds amazing.

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