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The Week in Review: 10.27.2017

October 27, 2017
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Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Early readers who enjoy sports and/or mysteries will love CHRISTMAS IN COOPERSTOWN by David A. Kelly.  The second book in the Ballpark Mysteries series features cousins Kate and Mike.  They belong to Cooperstown Cares and the club has been invited to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  The young detectives discover the Honus Wagner card on display is a fake and set out to learn what happened to the real one.  The story is set around Christmas but isn’t focused on the holiday so the book can be enjoyed any time of the year.  This is just the type of chapter book I loved as a kid – it has a fun mystery with a sports element thrown in and great illustrations by Mark Meyers.  The back of the book has notes on the origins of baseball and the National Baseball Hall of Fame as well as the recipe for a muffin mentioned in the book.  This Stepping Stone Book™ is F & P Text Level O.  (Review copy provided by Blue Slip Media.)

Things go smoothly for Kacey when she moves to Broken Falls to live with her father, stepmother, stepbrother, and half sister.  She falls in with a group of kids and makes friends with Bailey and Jade quickly.  The trio do everything together until, suddenly, after the girls conduct a séance, Jade and Bailey start excluding Kacey.  Kacey’s feelings are hurt when she’s not invited to the biggest party of the year but all that’s quickly forgotten when Bailey disappears.  Everyone’s a suspect in this gripping tale of friendship and fury.  LITTLE MONSTERS by Kara Thomas is primarily told from Kacey’s point of view with excerpts from Bailey’s diary thrown in to fill in her background.  I thought this book was terrific – there was plenty of tension to keep me wanting more and the characters were developed enough for me to care about them.  The audio of this aptly named book is narrated by Phoebe Strole and Brittany Pressley and they both do a terrific job.  I think this YA book has plenty of crossover appeal.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

UNCOMMON TYPE by Tom Hanks (yes, that Tom Hanks) is a short story collection that, for me, was pretty uneven.  A typewriter seemed to be the common element that tied the stories together.  I enjoyed several of the stories but quite a few just left me scratching my head.  I listened to the audio version, which Hanks himself narrates very well, and wonder if I would have enjoyed this more in print.  I never knew if I was close to the end of a story and should keep listening or not.  Still, I could tell Hanks is a capable writer so I won’t dismiss his work in the future.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


Currently reading:


On the Screen

  • I enjoyed this week’s Dancing with the Stars episode and its movie theme and think Lindsey and Mark and Jordan and Lindsay are starting to separate themselves from the pack.  I was disappointed in Frankie’s dance this week and loved Lindsey’s futuristic Argentine tango.

  • Victoria and Abdul is the story of Queen Victoria and her relationship with Abdul Karim, an Indian man who came to England to present her with a ceremonial coin.  Not only were the two friends – Abdul became a confidant to the queen.  This didn’t sit well with her family or advisers because of the racial and class differences.  I’m not sure how historically accurate the movie is but I enjoyed it for the most part.  I thought Judi Dench was outstanding and some of the scenery was gorgeous but parts of the movie dragged for me.  It’s worth seeing but it’s one you can wait to watch at home.


Off the blog

  • I started a fun new puzzle this week.
  • We had a bad storm come through early in the week and it brought cooler temperatures with it so fall seems to be officially here.  I’ve lived in the south so long, I don’t know what to wear when the temperature is between 50 and 70 so I struggle with transitional seasons.
  • Nise‘ was the lucky winner of my giveaway of THE LAST BALLAD by Wiley Cash.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged almost 19,250 Fitbit steps a day.

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

24 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2017 7:13 am

    Ohh I would like that movie

  2. Beth F permalink
    October 27, 2017 7:18 am

    I’ll add Little Monsters to my listening list. I find short stories are better read than listened to. And I enjoy them more when I read them not all in a row, but one at a time over the course of a week or 10 days.

  3. October 27, 2017 8:47 am

    Thanks for your thoughts on Victoria and Abdul. It’s playing here now and I’d like to see it, but reviews are less than stellar… maybe I’ll wait and watch at home later.

  4. Patty permalink
    October 27, 2017 9:06 am

    I love the sound of Little Monsters. I would not have read any book with even a mild sports theme as a child. I love how different people are. We had a weird rainy week and chilly temps so all of my walking was done on the treadmill. I did not read excessively…I just wasn’t in the mood. But…your week sounded fun and normal!

  5. October 27, 2017 9:55 am

    Little Monsters sounds great!

  6. October 27, 2017 10:35 am

    Little Monsters sounds really great! I haven’t heard a lot about the book, but I’m loving the cover. Always important, right? haha. 🙂

  7. October 27, 2017 10:36 am

    I haven’t heard a lot about Little Monsters! It does sounds like a great read and I love the cover. Always important, right?

  8. October 27, 2017 11:34 am

    I love Judi Dench and am looking forward to Victoria and Abdul, but will heed your advice and wait for DVD. I will also give Tom Hanks’ book a try, but will go with the print edition rather than the audio. Maybe I can find a copy at the library. Have a great weekend! Hope you’re having nice weather now. We’re camping in Bandon and it was chilly when we woke up this morning. 44 outside and 52 in the trailer! Thankfully, we have a great furnace (but we don’t turn it on until we wake up).

  9. October 27, 2017 11:41 am

    Uncommon Type looks good…and I love movies with Judi Dench, so I’m in. Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your weekend.

  10. October 27, 2017 4:56 pm

    Thanks for this overview of your week, Kathy! Victoria & Abdul sounds good–I’m a Judi Dench fan. Little Monsters sounds like a winner. Keep up the high step count, and enjoy your weekend.

  11. Lauren Becker permalink
    October 27, 2017 11:12 pm

    I’m glad you liked Little Monsters – I really loved it too, and the author’s debut! I’m glad Uncommon Type wasn’t too bad – I’m curious. I love Tom Hanks.


  12. October 27, 2017 11:47 pm

    I would like Victoria and Abdul though until I read about the picture the story was unknown to me.
    I returned from Paris and Switzerland two days ago but am very gladly to be home. Now it seems Christmas is just here! Lots to get ready as daughter grand daughter here for ten days during Christmas.

  13. October 28, 2017 8:41 am

    I’ve been anxious for your review of Uncommon Type. It would be fun to listen to him read his own stories, but I think I would chose to read this in print. Fun puzzle! I started one and haven’t had time to get back to it.

  14. October 28, 2017 8:57 am

    Oh, I’ll be giving Christmas in Cooperstown as gifts this holiday season. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  15. October 28, 2017 3:32 pm

    I just saw Victoria yesterday. I loved all the beautiful scenery and Judy Dench. Good luck with the new puzzle.

  16. Literary Feline permalink
    October 28, 2017 7:54 pm

    Little Monsters sounds really good! I am glad you liked it, Kathy. I didn’t know Tom Hanks wrote a book! I admit I am curious about it. I have such admiration for the man. I keep hoping no dark secrets come out about him like they do so many other celebrities. I’d like to think there are a few we can look up to.

    We have had rather warm weather–summer weather, really–this past week. I am hoping the temperatures will cool down soon.

    I hope you have a great week, Kathy!

  17. October 29, 2017 2:50 pm

    I think we liked Victoria and Abdul a little bit more than you did. We just saw Marshall a couple of nights ago. It was a terrific movie AND very educational. Did you see The Battle of the Sexes? That was another top-notch movie.

  18. The Cue Card permalink
    October 29, 2017 8:25 pm

    Good to know Tom Hanks can write; I’m always a bit dubious when a celebrity puts out fiction but I like Tom Hanks. Thanks for the review on the Victoria & Abdul movie — I’ll definitely watch it on rental.

  19. October 29, 2017 9:54 pm

    The movie does sound good. I saw the Tom Hanks book and wondered if it was the actor. Thanks for hosting the giveaway that I won! Have a great week.

  20. bookingmama permalink
    October 30, 2017 7:46 am

    You had a very busy week… again! Hopefully this one will be a little calmer. Sounds like you got a lot of audio book reading done!

  21. October 30, 2017 12:24 pm

    Wow, what a busy week. I hope you find time to relax. I would probably love to check out the print version of Hanks’ book.

  22. October 30, 2017 12:33 pm

    Seems like a lot of short story collections are like that, where the stories are hit or miss.

    I’ll have to check out Victoria and Abdul when it comes out on DVD. I love reading books and watching movies about India.

  23. October 31, 2017 1:24 pm

    I have heard good things about the Victoria movie and want to see it, but I’ll probably wait for it to be on Netflix 🙂 Judi Dench is awesome

  24. November 9, 2017 11:55 pm

    I’m so behind that I didn’t realize Tom Hanks write a book! I love him but not sure you’ve convinced me it’s a must read. Little Monsters, on the other hand, looks really good.

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