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The Week in Review: 09.22.2017

September 22, 2017
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Between the Covers

Finished last week:

BRAVE RED, SMART FROG: A NEW BOOK OF OLD TALES by Emily Jenkins is a collection of seven familiar fairy tales – like Snow White and Red Riding Hood – written in modern language while holding true to their roots.  (In her Author’s Note, Jenkins says she’s telling the stories “largely faithfully.”)  Since I was mostly familiar with these stories through movies and animated cartoons, I enjoyed learning what they were originally like and was surprised at how dark most of them were.  At the beginning of each story, there’s a lovely illustration by Rohan Daniel Eason.  This book is targeted to the 8 to 12 year old audience but anyone who enjoys fairy tales will love it.  (Review copy provided by Candlewick Press.)

DROP DEAD HEALTHY: ONE MAN’S HUMBLE QUEST FOR BODILY PERFECTION chronicles author A. J. Jacobs‘ two year attempt at adapting a healthier lifestyle.  He does research and speaks with experts and tries everything from acupuncture to a juice cleanse.  In the end he says,

Most health advice can be summer up in five words; Eat less, move more, relax.

I found Jacobs’ writing style to be entertaining and engaging but, in the end, I thought the book was good but not great.  I didn’t think there was a lot of new information in the book and didn’t think Jacobs’ stuck with stuff long enough to see if it really worked.  For instance, he had a sleep study done and was told he had sleep apnea and needed a CPAP machine but never followed up with it.  He does include appendices in the back, detailing the tips he thought worked best.

Now that school is back in full swing, you’ll want to grab a copy of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS UNITED STATES ATLAS for the middle schoolers in your life.  This large, full-color atlas starts out with keys to using the book and many maps of the whole country, including natural environment and population maps.  Then the country is divided into regions.  At the beginning of each region is a political map and a few pages about the unique aspects of each area.  Each state is given a two page spread with basic facts, a map, photographs and a brief history of the state.  The back of the book has some fun facts, a glossary, and a detailed index.  The material is presented in an appealing way that will draw kids in instead of turning them off.  I bet they’ll flip through this book just for fun!  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

I’ve been a fan of Sue Grafton‘s Kinsey Millhone series for years so I was excited to pick up Y IS FOR YESTERDAY, the latest book in the series and I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed!  In 1979, four privileged boys sexually assault a young woman and capture it on video.  When one of the perpetrators is released from prison, a copy of the tape is delivered to his parents with a demand for money and they hire Kinsey to find out who the blackmailer is.  At the same time, Kinsey suspects someone from her past is after her.  This book was a little darker and more graphic than other books in the series but I was glued to it nonetheless.  The audio version is narrated by Judy Kaye who did an okay job.  I thought her voice sounded a little old for 39 year old Kinsey.  I didn’t think she was great with voices for other characters either, but I did adjust to her voice fairly quickly.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


Currently reading:


On the Screen

Dancing With the Stars started back this week.  It takes me a few weeks to “get to know” the stars and really get into the show but I thought Monday night’s show was pretty good for the first show of the season – most of the dancers were actually pretty good.  Obviously, Jordan Fisher and Lindsey Stirling were the best dancers but, to me,  it almost seemed unfair to have Fisher on the show.  I thought Derek Fisher’s dance was entertaining but I’m not sure he has what it takes to win the competition.


Off the blog

  • I’ve been a bad book club member lately but did manage to make it to the meeting this week.  We discussed THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE by Melanie Benjamin.  Everyone enjoyed the book and had a lot to say about it.  We all decided that we don’t envy the lifestyle they lived.
  • It feels like summer is back – we’ve had hot weather with high humidity.  I don’t mind the high temperatures but can do without the humidity.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged over just over 17,800 Fitbit steps a day.

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

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    September 22, 2017 7:06 am

    Hope you’re loving Little Fires Everywhere!

  2. September 22, 2017 10:31 am

    I hope to start Little Fires Everywhere soon, too. Bookclub for Middlemarch just passed and I didn’t finish it and I kiiiind of want to and kind of want to just move on…

  3. September 22, 2017 11:09 am

    Great week! I can’t wait to dive into my copies of Y is for Yesterday and Little Fires Everywhere. The Weekenders looks like one I have to get my hands on…so enjoy!

    Thanks for sharing, and have a great weekend….

  4. September 22, 2017 11:30 am

    Isn’t it interesting how dark some of those tales seem now. I didn’t see it that way as a child. Totally missed that DWTS was back. I’ll have to see in via On Demand. When I walked this morning the air felt so heavy – I wondered if there might be an air quality alert. Not yet, I guess. Have a good weekend!

  5. September 22, 2017 12:12 pm

    I love atlases! I get them out sometimes like they were picture albums!

  6. Beth F permalink
    September 22, 2017 12:24 pm

    I like atlases too! I haven’t gotten to Y Is for Yesterday yet, but I guess I’ll be reading it instead of listening.

  7. September 22, 2017 12:37 pm

    I’m so glad to read your take on Y. I still have a bunch of people ahead of me at the library, but now I know it’s worth the wait. I’m an atlas fan too. Have a great weekend.

  8. September 22, 2017 1:19 pm

    I’m going to have to read Celeste Ng one of these days. And I agree with you about DWTS. I’m glad it started a week before The Voice (my 1st choice) so that I could gain some familiarity with the dancers.

  9. September 22, 2017 1:52 pm

    Brave Red, Smart Frog sounds good. I have the audio versions of Drop Dead Healthy & Little Fires Everywhere. I love everything National Geographic, especially the kids books. And I love atlases.

  10. September 22, 2017 2:59 pm

    It seems summers is back everywhere

  11. Patty permalink
    September 22, 2017 3:54 pm

    We had lovely cool weather but we are back to heat and humidity, too. Walking sucked this week but I will hit it hard tomorrow! You had a really interesting variety of books this week.

  12. September 22, 2017 6:02 pm

    You’ve had a very good week, Kathy! Thank you for your short but direct book reviews.
    Happy first day of Fall! Fortunately, we are having cooler, cloudy weather here, although that is supposed to change next week. Great job with all the Fitbit steps! Enjoy your weekend.

  13. September 22, 2017 7:38 pm

    That AJ Jacobs guy seems pretty funny but I’m sure as you say: he needed to stick with things longer to see a result etc. Still it might make an entertaining audio. Enjoy your week, I hope things cool down there.

  14. September 22, 2017 8:41 pm

    We are experiencing July temps too, breaking records all week. I am so behind on the Kinsey series. Little Fires Everywhere is getting such good reviews. Have a great weekend.

  15. September 22, 2017 9:20 pm

    I would have thought the same thing about that Health book. You really do need to stick to good habits to see results. Feels like summer here too. Unusually very hot and humid. Not complaining.

  16. bookingmama permalink
    September 23, 2017 8:00 am

    You had a great book week! I’m barely getting anything read. I am still listening to Y IS FOR YESTERDAY. I agree about the narrator.

  17. September 23, 2017 8:43 am

    This has literally been the nicest week of the summer up here… and it’s supposed to continue for several more days! I can’t wait to read Little Fires Everywhere. Hope you’re enjoying it.

  18. September 23, 2017 11:15 pm

    Sue Grafton’s books are always a hit with me, but I haven’t read one in a while. In fact, I may be on U… I should get on that.

  19. Literary Feline permalink
    September 24, 2017 5:22 pm

    Jacobs’ advice for living healthy is spot on. I need to give his books a try. I am so glad you enjoyed Y is for Yesterday. I really need to get back into Grafton’s series. The warmer weather is going to hit us this week as well. Just when I thought maybe fall was settling in . . . I hope you have a great week, Kathy.

  20. Lauren Becker permalink
    September 24, 2017 9:24 pm

    I hear good things about Little Fires Everywhere. Hope you enjoy it!!

    I’m hoping to check out my library book club in October – it’s YA for adults; I’m excited!


  21. September 24, 2017 10:45 pm

    I do so like your list of current reads. Looking forward to the reviews.

  22. September 25, 2017 11:31 am

    I’m amazed by your FitBit count every week. Kudos. I think the atlas would be a good one for my daughter when she’s older

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