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The Week in Review: 11.03.2017

November 3, 2017


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

MIS(H)ADRA by Iasmin Omar Ata is a graphic novel about Isaac, a college student dealing with epilepsy.  He’s having trouble controlling his seizures, which come quite often, and doesn’t know what to tell people.  He misses a lot of classes and becomes more and more isolated.  When Jo tries to befriend him, he pushes her away because it’s easier than trying to explain things, but she’s not taking no for an answer. This story is based on the author’s experience with epilepsy and I found the illustrations of what a seizure feels like to be very eye-opening.  The story reminded me of how people are often quick to judge when they don’t have all the facts.  I hope books like MIS(H)ADRA will help remind us to practice more compassion in our daily lives.  The four color illustrations in this graphic novel are great and the book is printed on nice glossy paper.   (Review copy provided by Gallery 13.)

UNRAVELING OLIVER by Liz Nugent opens with Oliver savagely beating his wife and certainly grabs readers with its opening line – “I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.”  The rest of the book shows readers how he got to that point through multiple points of view, revealing a deeply flawed character who spent his whole life carefully constructing an acceptable facade.  I loved the way the story was told and found the book very compelling.  I was always anxious to pick it back up to learn more about what made Oliver tick.  This book has everything I look for in a psychological thriller – a well constructed plot, great character development, and enough twists and turns to keep me coming back for more.  If enjoy thrillers, you won’t want to miss this one!  (Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.)

THE CONFUSION OF LANGUAGES by Siobhan Fallon is the story of two American women living in Jordan because their husbands are stationed there.  Cassie has been there for a while and takes newcomer Margaret under her wing but Margaret doesn’t want to conform to the standards of her host country – she dresses immodestly and is too friendly with the opposite sex.  Margaret is involved in a minor accident and Cassie agrees to watch her son while she goes to the police station to settle things.  When Margaret doesn’t return like she should, Cassie starts to panic and wonders if she’s somehow at fault.  The point of view alternates between Cassie and Margaret giving readers insight into both women and their marriages.  Even though it was somewhat sad, I just loved this book!  Fallon’s writing is superb, the characters are fantastic, and the setting is fascinating.  This book is sure to be on my list of favorites for the year.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


Currently reading:


On the Screen

I don’t know if I’m getting tired of the show or if I was really distracted Monday night, but I didn’t love the Halloween episode of Dancing with the Stars.  I still think Jordan and Lindsey are the best dancers but Frankie’s dance was my favorite of the evening.  I have to wonder if Lindsey’s injury is going to hamper her going forward.  Vanessa was never my favorite but I thought she was a good dancer, so I was surprised to see her go home.

Off the blog

  • How can it possibly be November?  The holidays will be upon us before we know it.
  • We had winter-like weather on Sunday (the high was in the 50s and the low was in the 30s) so we broke down and cut the heat on.  Of course, it’s already warmed back up.
  • Carl and I drove up to the mountains to see the leaves.  They were beautiful but not quite at their peak.

  • I helped a friend with her “haunted porch” on Halloween.  She goes all out and the kids around here look forward to it.  Working it and seeing the kids’ reactions was so much fun!
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged almost 17,500 Fitbit steps a day.

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

30 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2017 6:15 am

    That is a very cool haunted porch!

  2. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    November 3, 2017 7:22 am

    I have Unraveling Oliver on my library hold list and Confusion of Languages on my TBR as well! Hopefully I can get to them soon!

  3. November 3, 2017 7:43 am

    I also enjoyed the Fallon book and have Unraveling Oliver on my TBR list. That porch would have scared me when I was a kid.

  4. November 3, 2017 8:17 am

    Just added The Confusion of Languages to my list! Fallon’s earlier book, You Know When the Men Are Gone, was a favorite several years ago… thanks for reminding me about her new one.

  5. November 3, 2017 8:44 am

    Sounds like you read some great books 🙂 That porch is awesome!!

  6. November 3, 2017 9:47 am

    That haunted porch is awesome!

    I am almost finished with Unraveling Oliver and I have also enjoyed the characters, the writing style, and how the story unfolded after that dramatic opening.

    I am curious about The Confusion of Languages. I can imagine how frightening it would be to navigate ordinary things in such a completely different culture.

    Enjoy your new books…and I am always impressed by your walking!

    Thanks for sharing…have a great weekend!!

  7. Patty permalink
    November 3, 2017 11:20 am

    You did read some intense books this week. I was reading Unraveling Oliver and put it down but I think I will begin it again. It was wet and windy here this week and we are still waiting for furniture and appliances that never seem to come…so this week was really annoying!

  8. November 3, 2017 12:07 pm

    I want that last one

  9. November 3, 2017 3:32 pm

    The books you feature here all sound excellent, Kathy. Love the haunted porch pics! Once Halloween passes, the holidays arrive! Enjoy your weekend, and keep up the high step count!

  10. November 3, 2017 3:49 pm

    Love the porch! so much fun. 🙂

  11. Rhonda permalink
    November 3, 2017 3:51 pm

    Loved The Confusion of Languages her first book was also excellent.Unraveling Oliver is on my pile your review made me even more interested in it sounds chilling,

  12. November 3, 2017 5:04 pm

    Okay. I have Unraveling Oliver but for some reason forgot about it. It sounds really good from what you shared.

    That haunted porch looks awesome!!

  13. November 3, 2017 7:17 pm

    I’m a big Siobhan Fallon and I’m really looking forward to reading her new book. I’m glad you liked it.

  14. Literary Feline permalink
    November 4, 2017 1:17 am

    MIS(H)ADRA sounds like a graphic novel I would like. It sounds like a must read. THE CONFUSION OF LANGUAGES sounds really good as well. I will definitely be checking that one out. I am not sure I am ready to start thinking about Christmas yet, but I suppose I must. There is a lot of planning to do since we are hosting it at our house again this year.

    Your friend’s porch looks awesome, Kathy! Some of the houses in our neighborhood go all out decorating. It’s a lot of fun to see.

    I hope you have a great weekend, Kathy!

  15. November 4, 2017 1:43 am

    I love it when I see books I know nothing about. Unraveling Oliver sounds very good, and The Confusion of Languages does too. Not really needing to add books to my stacks..haha. I can’t believe it’s November either….just wild. Happy Weekend Kathy.

  16. November 4, 2017 2:11 am

    I’m going to find a copy of that graphic novel. I love a good graphic and I like the sound of the story. Your Halloween sounds like so much fun! Have a great weekend Kathy.

  17. November 4, 2017 2:11 am

    We got to trick or treat with 2 of our grandkids. Lots of fun.

  18. November 4, 2017 8:51 am

    Re epilepsy it also makes me think of hearing-impaired people. So often people think they are snobby when they just can’t hear.

  19. Diane permalink
    November 4, 2017 2:50 pm

    So happy you loved Unraving Iver as I just got a copy from the library. Have a nice weekend.

  20. Lauren Becker permalink
    November 4, 2017 4:59 pm

    I’m glad you liked Unraveling Oliver; it was enjoyable for me too! Ooh love the haunted porch.


  21. November 4, 2017 6:32 pm

    Unraveling Oliver sounds like a book I would like and the new Fallon book is on my tbr list, I enjoyed her first book a lot.

    I think DWTS is getting a little tedious, or maybe I’ve also been watching it for too long.

  22. November 4, 2017 11:11 pm

    The book set in Jordan sounds really good! I finally finished Criminal Minds so hope that I can get back to reading again 🙂

  23. November 5, 2017 10:16 am

    Unravelling Oliver might be hard for me but I do like the The Confusion of Languages. Our weather is humid but there are rains which are very welcome.

  24. November 5, 2017 12:11 pm

    Your Fitbit stats have really inspired me! I dug out my old Samsung Galaxy Gear watch and have been tracking my steps. I do fine on the days I go to the gym, but my off days need to be tweaked just a bit to hit the 10,000+ range. Thanks for getting me off my butt! 🙂

  25. The Cue Card permalink
    November 6, 2017 10:54 am

    Wow the Confusion of Languages seems really good. Somehow I missed hearing about this one; so thanks for your review. I’m going to get on the wait list for it at the Library. Enjoy your leaves and week!

  26. November 7, 2017 1:32 pm

    Unraveling Oliver sounds good.

  27. November 10, 2017 12:03 am

    Love the porch! We have a few blow up things for our yard but that’s about the extent of it. I’m adding Unraveling Oliver to my list. That first line is killer.

  28. November 11, 2017 9:52 am

    Unraveling Oliver is on my list and glad to hear it was worth the read!

  29. bookingmama permalink
    November 13, 2017 9:10 pm

    I really need to read THE CONFUSION OF LANGUAGES. I totally agree with you about UNRAVELING OLIVER.

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