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The Week in Review: 11.10.2017

November 10, 2017


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

MERRY AND BRIGHT by Debbie Macomber is a light, quick holiday read that can be enjoyed any time of the year.  Merry Knight works hard and is devoted to her parents and special needs brother and she rarely has time for fun.  She’s not happy when her mom and brother sign her up for an online dating website but goes along with it because her brother is so excited about it.  Before she knows it, she’s using the site to chat with a pleasant man.  They arrange to meet but Merry is taken aback when she realizes who she’s been chatting with.  I thought this book was sweet and VERY predictable but I still enjoyed it. The audio is narrated by Em Eldridge and she does a fine job.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

PEEP AND EGG: I’M NOT TAKING A BATH by Laura Gehl is an adorable picture about a little chick named Egg who does not want to take a bath.  He finds all kinds of excuses to stay out of the tub but when Peep heads to the tub with an armful of toys, he decides he wants in on the fun after all and, once he gets in, he doesn’t want to get out.  The storyline reminded me so much of Vance when he was young so I’m sure lots of kids will relate to Egg.  Joyce Wan‘s cute, colorful illustrations enhance this fun book that’s sure to make little ones giggle.  (Review copy provided by Blue Slip Media.)

WHAT MADE MADDY RUN: THE SECRET STRUGGLE AND TRAGIC DEATH OF AN ALL-AMERICAN TEEN by Kate Fagan is the heartbreaking story of Madison Holleran, a young woman who took her own life when she was a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania.  Maddy was high achieving and seemed to have it all –  a loving family, great friends, good looks, top grades, and many athletic achievements.  She accepted an offer to run track at UPenn and, once there, struggled with her mental health.  When she could no longer cope, she committed suicide leaving her family and friends heartbroken.  Fagan digs into Maddy’s past to try to discover what would make someone like her resort to suicide.

. . . Madison worried that she could never find validation for her struggle, because how could someone so beautiful, so seemingly put together, be unhappy?

Fagan explores the effect of social media on our youth and was sensitive in her analysis of the pressures today’s young people face.  The book was very eye opening for me even as my heart broke for Maddy and her family.   It left me feeling sad and unsettled but I think those with children in high school and college would be well served to read it.

Currently reading:

On the Screen

  • I watched the Virginia Tech – Miami football game last Saturday and, once again, Tech looked sloppy and ill-prepared.  I really wasn’t expecting Tech to win but I did expect them to look better than they did.

  • I enjoyed Dancing with the Stars more this week than the last few weeks.  I really enjoyed the trio dances and was amazed at how well former contestants could still dance.  I still think Jordan and Lindsey are the best dancers – I predict one of them will win – but I have a soft spot for Frankie.

Off the blog

  • It’s cooled off again and we had a couple of wet days that felt downright cold.
  • I did a little shopping to buy clothes for the cooler weather.  I sure hate putting my sandals away for the winter.
  • I feel like I’ve adjusted to the time change sleep wise but I’m still not used to it getting dark earlier.
  • I walked at least three miles every morning and averaged almost 18,425 Fitbit steps a day.


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

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    November 10, 2017 7:14 am

    I really liked What Made Maddy Run on audio…I think it’s a must read for parents of young athletes.

  2. November 10, 2017 7:22 am

    I’m interested in What Made Maddy Run, but need to find the right time to read that one. It’s in the teens, windy, and snowing here this morning… my sandals are packed for Florida. Wish we were leaving tomorrow!

  3. November 10, 2017 9:37 am

    The Macomber book sounds perfect for a Christmas read – I’ll add it to my list. Didn’t get to see DWTS this week due to traveling. I have the same issues with the clock change. Have a good week ahead!

  4. November 10, 2017 9:40 am

    Debbie Macomber is another very well-known author that I have never read. The list keeps growing! And I also enjoyed DWTS. It’s one of my favorite seasons. But I probably say that every season.

  5. November 10, 2017 10:42 am

    The book about Maddy sounds heart-wrenching. I worry about kids and all the social media.

  6. November 10, 2017 11:09 am

    I like the look of The Garden of Small Beginnings…and can’t wait to start reading my copy of Merry & Bright.

    I don’t want to say goodbye to my sandals, either, but I like the cooler weather. Enjoy your week!

  7. November 10, 2017 11:26 am

    It’s chilly and rainy on the coast, but I’m ready for flannel shirts and sweaters! We’ve enjoyed a fire in the fireplace for the past few nights, which makes it nice and cozy. Helps to get me in the mood for the holidays!

    What Made Maddy Run sounds too heartbreaking to read. We met a few parents at our grief support group who had lost a child to suicide and they seem to have to endure an extra layer of pain and suffering than so many others in our group. It’s terrible to lose a child, but suicide leaves so many unanswered questions and, I would imagine, pangs of guilt.

  8. November 10, 2017 11:41 am

    We’ve got 15 degrees today. I miss the southwest!

  9. November 10, 2017 12:07 pm

    One of the most difficult aspects of a loved one’s suicide is that we are left wondering “why?” and there aren’t really any concrete answers.

  10. November 10, 2017 3:14 pm

    The Gehl book sounds good, the Fagan book sounds so sad. You’re doing great with your steps!

  11. Lauren Becker permalink
    November 10, 2017 3:50 pm

    I’m doing okay with the time change for the most part but the whole dark earlier thing will be weird for awhile. LOL


  12. Patty permalink
    November 10, 2017 4:31 pm

    Your weather has been similar to ours…but…we are definitely
    going to be freezing tomorrow! This week was a week of underwalking…this has to be fixed!
    Your week was a good one! Lots of books and walks and luppers?

  13. November 10, 2017 5:02 pm

    I think the book about Maddy sounds very good, but emotional. I think the social pressure on youth today is unbelievable. So sad. I have read a lot of Debbie Macomber holiday books in the past, they are usually very good. I may have to pick this one up.
    It’s not as hot here, but not really cool either. I’m hopeful it’s going to come!

  14. November 10, 2017 7:02 pm

    What Made Maddy Run sounds very poignant.
    I’m glad you enjoyed Dancing with the Stars. I’m impressed by all of your Fitbit steps.
    Have a great weekend, Kathy!

  15. November 10, 2017 9:23 pm

    I think predictable books serve a purpose. The Hallmark Channel Christmas movies are what got me through last November and December 🙂 The book about Maddy sounds tragic and much needed. It can happen to anyone and it takes a village. As for football…I don’t even know if I can watch tomorrow after OSU’s drubbing by Iowa last week.

  16. November 11, 2017 9:50 am

    I really enjoyed The Garden of Small Beginnings. I can’t wait to check out the Peep and Egg books. They look adorable! I immediately put What Made Maddy Run on my list. As the mom of a young man about to leave for college, a XC runner, and struggles with being overwhelmed, I think I need to read it! Thanks for sharing!

  17. November 12, 2017 1:42 am

    Its still hot and humid. One thing that does not change in the tropics! we may have a bit of rain but thats the only change you will get. No definite change in seasons.

  18. hetlezendeeend permalink
    November 12, 2017 1:03 pm


  19. bookingmama permalink
    November 13, 2017 9:07 pm

    We read WHAT MADE MADDY RUN for our last book club. It was horribly sad and I thought some of the commentary on social media was so insightful!

  20. November 14, 2017 11:48 am

    The effect of social media on youth is not good. I am a high school ministry leader and although it doesn’t come out often, it’s a running theme with my girls and it invades every thought at every moment. Social media is huge. I have to read that book.

  21. The Cue Card permalink
    November 17, 2017 8:55 am

    So sad about the Maddy book. We just had a family here go through the same thing, their college daughter at 20 took her life. It’s knocked me back — don’t know what she was going through — but struggled apparently like Maddy did. So hard.

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