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The Week in Review: 11.17.2017

November 17, 2017


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

ME AND MARVIN GARDENS by Amy Sarig King is a fabulous coming of age story for middle grade readers.  Obe is a science loving middle school boy who is upset about the development of land that used to belong to his family.  His best friend has abandoned him for some of the cool kids who’ve moved into the new homes that have been built.  Obe spends his spare time going to the creek and picking up trash there.  He discovers a new creature that eats plastic and he wonders if Marvin Gardens (as he’s named him) could be the solution to our pollution problem.  He wants to share the news of Marvin and keep him safe as well and has to figure out how to do that.  I found this book to be very engaging – it has wonderful characters, a great storyline, and a fabulous message.  I adored Obe and Marvin and won’t be forgetting them any time soon.  (Review copy provided by Amazon Vine.)

Vance has been a fan of hockey every since he attended a minor league game when he was in elementary school.  I wish Sports Illustrated Kids HOCKEY: THEN TO WOW! had been out then because I’m sure he would have loved it.  Who am I fooling?  I showed him part of the book as I read it and he grabbed it from me so he could read it too.  This fabulous book shows the evolution of ice hockey in every way from rules, to uniforms, to pucks and more.  It even mentions women’s hockey and shares the stars of the sport.  It highlights great players from the past and present and even mentions hockey games and trading cards.  HOCKEY: THEN TO WOW! is aimed at 8 to 12 year olds but it’s sure please hockey fans of all ages.  It would make a great gift for the hockey lover on your list.  (Review copy provided by Blue Slip Media.)

SOUR HEART by Jenny Zhang is a series of interconnected short stories about young daughters of Chinese parents who’ve immigrated to the US.  I found the look into the girls’ lives and their relationships with their parents, friends, and families fascinating and I really liked the way Zhang had characters reappear in many of the stories but I felt like the language was unnecessarily crude much of the time.  I listened to the audio version which is very aptly narrated by Greta Jung, Jenny Zhang and others – using multiple narrators works very well for a short story collection, in my opinion – and can’t help but wonder if the language would have bothered me as much in print.  I think the book is still worth reading unless raw language offends you.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:


On the Screen

I watched Dancing with the Stars with my mother and sister.  We were all surprised to see Victoria and Val go home.  (We thought it should have been Drew and Emma.)  We were rooting for Frankie and were glad to see him make it to the finals but we all think Jordan or Lindsey will take home the mirror ball trophy.

Off the blog

  • Today’s my birthday!

  • I went to Atlanta last weekend to visit our nephew.  We went to the Virginia Tech – Georgia Tech football game.  We sat in a sea of Hokies and most of us in the section weren’t happy with Virginia Tech’s coach.  Adam was the rare exception.  After the game, we shopped a little and ate out.  All in all it was a great weekend.
  • From Atlanta, I went to see my mom.  She’s doing great and I’m happy to report that my sister is recovering nicely.

  • I finished my puzzle and need to get a new one to work on.
  • While I’m with my mom, I let her set the pace and don’t go on my daily walks.  I averaged just over 11,800 Fitbit steps a day.

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

25 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    November 17, 2017 5:36 am

    Fun travel to see family and a game! The hockey book sounds great . I believe I have a copy of Sour Heart. I may give it a try in print instead of audio.

  2. November 17, 2017 5:40 am

    Such a cool puzzle!

  3. Patty permalink
    November 17, 2017 7:41 am

    I love the sound of that middle grade book! It sounds as though you had a really great week. I love that you let your mom set the walking pace!

  4. November 17, 2017 8:12 am

    Happy Birthday, Kathy!! Hope you have a wonderful day 🙂

  5. November 17, 2017 8:43 am

    Happy Birthday! AS King is fantastic and I’ve loved everything I’ve read by her. I agree with the hockey book — it’s fantastic… and cute that Vance still wanted to check it out!

  6. November 17, 2017 8:47 am

    Happy Birthday Kathy! Sounds like being in Atlanta was fun. How’d Tech do? I missed hearing about that game. Great puzzle btw.

  7. November 17, 2017 9:19 am

    Happy Birthday! I love that you’re always spending time with your family, especially your mom. So many people don’t realize how important that is!

  8. November 17, 2017 9:43 am

    The MG books sounds so good. I miss reading MG since my kids are grown now, but I love digging into a good MG books every now and then. Glad to hear your mom is doing well.

  9. November 17, 2017 9:56 am

    I couldn’t take a chance of reading below the books because I still haven’t seen DWTS from this week.
    Didn’t know it was your birthday. Happy birthday!

  10. November 17, 2017 10:55 am

    Happy birthday! Your weekend sounded so good. Glad you enjoyed your time with family.

    I hope you love the books, too. I don’t often read short story collections, but Sour Heart does sound tempting.

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. November 17, 2017 11:11 am

    Happy Birthday, Kathy! Wonderful to spend it with your mom and sister.
    I think Drew’s fan base is keeping him in the competition (long after he should have exited IMHO). I felt for Victoria because she was so emotional. She’s an inspiration, for sure.

  12. November 17, 2017 11:26 am

    Happy, happy Birthday! I hope you have a great day and celebration with your loved ones. Very impressed with your steps each day!

  13. November 17, 2017 1:09 pm

    Happy Birthday Kathy. Hope it’s a good one. Love that puzzle and your middle-school book recommendation.

  14. Literary Feline permalink
    November 17, 2017 4:00 pm

    Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I am glad your sister is recovering well.

    Sour Heart sounds interesting. I’m not a huge fan of crude language, but I’m curious about it just the same.

  15. November 17, 2017 4:52 pm

    Happy Birthday!! I hope you are having a fantastic day!

  16. November 17, 2017 9:35 pm

    Happy Birthday!

    The hockey book sounds like one my entire family would enjoy, young and old!

  17. Lauren Becker permalink
    November 17, 2017 11:43 pm

    Happy Birthday! That’s awesome you got to see family recently.

    Great job on your puzzle. I haven’t done a puzzle in forever!


  18. November 18, 2017 3:40 am

    Sometimes in native languages, the repartee can be downright crude. It does not translate well either.

  19. November 18, 2017 2:38 pm

    Happy Birthday! I just got a bunch of puzzles from my cousin. We swap puzzles a couple times a year. Can’t wait to have some time to do them! I read a Baseball Then to Wow book and really enjoyed it. I could use a hockey one. When I go watch my cousin’s kids play, I never know the rules!

  20. Diane D permalink
    November 18, 2017 8:13 pm

    Glad to hear that your mom and sister are doing well and that you were able to get away to Atlanta. Have a nice Thanksgiving Kathy.

  21. Diane D permalink
    November 18, 2017 8:14 pm

    PS – forgot to say Happy Birthday – so sorry — senior moment LOL

  22. November 19, 2017 12:06 pm

    What a nice weekend of family time and a football game to boot–very autumnal. Do you like Jordan Fisher on Dancing with the Stars? My daughter knew him pretty well when she was dancing in LA; he is a very nice and genuine guy!

  23. November 19, 2017 9:35 pm

    Happy belated birthday, Kathy! It sounds like you’ve had a wonderful week with family. Thank you for your honest reviews. Me and Marvin Gardens sounds like a real winner. The puzzle looks like a fun (and difficult) one. Have a terrific Thanksgiving, Kathy!

  24. November 19, 2017 11:53 pm

    LOL. Once a boy who loves hockey, always a kid who loves hockey 🙂 Marvin Gardens is one I’m putting on my Christmas list for Gage. Every night, for at least the last year, he has prayed that “there to be no pollution on the earth, never.” I blame it on The Lorax – who I love! Hope you had a terrific birthday 🙂

  25. November 20, 2017 11:30 am

    Looks like you had a great week. I’m not sure hockey is of interest here, but you never know with my daughter. I hop you had a great birthday. Enjoy your time with relatives.

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