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The Week in Review: 12.22.2017

December 22, 2017


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

ENDURANCE: A YEAR IN SPACE, A LIFETIME OF DISCOVERY by Scott Kelly is so much more than the story of his 340 consecutive days on the International Space Station.  It’s the story of how an average kid with a sense of adventure came to be astronaut in the first place.  I don’t want to give too much away but a book changed Kelly’s life.  I really enjoyed this book – even the details of the space mission – and shared Kelly’s store with a lot of people as I read it.  His journey to becoming an astronaut is fascinating and he made me appreciate space exploration more and also made me realize the need for it.  Kelly narrates the audio version himself and he does an okay job – I thought his voice was monotone at times.  This book is well worth reading and I recommend it to memoir lovers, space lovers, and teens struggling to figure out what they want out of life.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN by John Green is the story of Aza Holmes, a teen girl struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety.  When a billionaire developer goes missing, a reward is offered to anyone who can find him.  Aza’s best friend, Daisy, decides it should be the two of them.  Aza just happens to know the billionaire’s son from summer camp a few years ago and the two rekindle their friendship.  The problem is, Aza can’t get out of her own head.  She worries about germs and infections constantly – so much that it interferes with her life.  There’s a lot in this book to appeal to teens – a little mystery, a little romance, and a character struggling with inner demons.  I liked it a lot but felt like I was too old for it at times.  I was aggravated with Aza at times – I know she couldn’t control her thoughts but I was annoyed with them anyway.  I guess that’s the point, though – I could turn it off by putting the book down but those who suffer like Aza does can’t.  John Green knows what he’s talking about and describes his own struggle in this video:

The audio version of TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN is narrated by Kate Rudd and she does a fabulous job.  Her voices are terrific and so is her singing voice!  This is a great book to discuss with the teens in your life.   (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything

Off the blog

  • Christmas is almost here and I’m as ready as I’m going to be.  Things have been busy so I haven’t done a lot of extra things, including reading.  Thank heavens for audio books!
  • I walked at least three miles every morning and averaged just over 20,500 Fitbit steps a day.

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

23 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2017 4:15 am

    I wish I could increase the walking.
    Am just on the way to Singapore for Christmas. Looking forward to this ever so much.

  2. December 22, 2017 5:26 am

    Awesome walks every morning!

  3. Beth F permalink
    December 22, 2017 7:22 am

    Both your books sound absolutely amazing. I have a copy of the audio of Turtles .. I should make sure to listen. Yay for being ready for Christmas!

  4. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    December 22, 2017 8:15 am

    I’ve been hearing such great things about Endurance and was thinking about listening to it on audio. Probably will sometime this year.
    And I’m on hold for Turtles…I heard it’s really good. I wonder if I’ll feel too old for it too…

  5. December 22, 2017 9:52 am

    I have read/heard so much about Green’s book. Certainly didn’t know that it was somewhat autobiographical.
    Merry Christmas.

  6. December 22, 2017 9:56 am

    I am so impressed with how diligent you are with the walking. I’m a total slug. I think a good walk is parking a distance from the store…and then walking around and around in the store. LOL.

    I’ve been on the fence about Turtles…I think most YA books have characters that I don’t really relate to…but every now and then, there is one. When that happens in a Green book, it is usually pretty good.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  7. December 22, 2017 12:43 pm

    The John Green book sounds pretty good. My book club’s selection meeting is scheduled for January 18 so I am officially scouting for books to pitch. Do you think the Green book would make a good discussion book?

  8. December 22, 2017 1:02 pm

    Both books sound good to me. I was walking a lot more when we were in Florida. Now that we’re back in the cold and snow, I’m not as active…glad we’re heading south again soon. Merry Christmas!

  9. December 22, 2017 1:17 pm

    I’m currently listening to Turtles All The Way Down and really enjoying it. I don’t feel I’m too young for it. I’m a bit OCD myself, have been since I was a kid. Thankfully I don’t have thoughts like Aza does about her body. Although I do was my hands a lot.

  10. December 22, 2017 1:46 pm

    I heard Scott Kelly on a radio interview several weeks ago and thought it would be a good read. Now I need to decide if I should read or listen.
    Merry Christmas, Kathy!

  11. Patty permalink
    December 22, 2017 3:36 pm

    No matter what…you always stick with your steps…that’s so awesome. I walk but I spend to much time trying to talk myself out of it….when I should just do it.

    Endurance is probably a book I should read but I can’t imagine reading a memoir.

  12. December 22, 2017 6:29 pm

    I want to read both books that you mentioned so I am glad to hear the Scott Kelly book is interesting.

  13. December 22, 2017 7:42 pm

    Endurance and Turtles sound interesting, Kathy! I continue to marvel at your step count. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  14. December 22, 2017 10:11 pm

    I’m eager to listen to Turtles and will probably start it after I finish Dear Fahrenheit 451.

    Have a very Merry Christmas, Kathy. I’m hopeful that my scratchy throat doesn’t turn into anything worse (I’m take a lot of Zicam and Airborne these days!) and that I can get back to my walking and working out at the gym after the holidays.

  15. Lauren Becker permalink
    December 22, 2017 10:11 pm

    I still need to read Turtles, but I do love John Green. I imagine being “stuck” in the head of someone with OCD would be difficult to read sometimes though.


  16. December 23, 2017 11:21 am

    Merry Christmas Kathy. I’d like to read or listen to the Scott Kelly book — I heard him talk on the NY Times book podcast and liked what he had to say. I will try for it at the library. thanks!

  17. December 24, 2017 10:52 am

    I hope to read Turtles All the Way Down. I haven’t read a John Green book I disliked, although I didn’t LOVE his most recent one like everyone else did.

  18. December 24, 2017 7:19 pm

    I purchased Turtle All the Way Down for our daughter. I think Endurance sounds awesome. Thankfully it is available through my library’s overdrive on audio so I have added myself to the list! Have a wonderful Christmas!

  19. December 27, 2017 9:07 am

    I am listening to TURTLES right now! I think I reviewed the children’s picture book that goes with ENDURANCE a few weeks ago. I loved the messages in the kid’s book!

  20. December 27, 2017 2:18 pm

    Walker, who has been a devoted fan of John Green since about the age of 13, didn’t think Turtles could top his last couple of books. The rest of us agree.
    I worried that the anxiety thoughts would set off Eleanor’s hypochondria, but it turns out hers is entirely different. Aza’s is more like… my own germ phobia, it turns out.

  21. December 28, 2017 11:58 am

    I got Gage the Scott Kelly kids book and he loved it. I haven’t read Turtles yet, but have found that issue with a few other John Green books. OCD is no joke.

  22. January 5, 2018 12:22 pm

    Looks like you got some good reads.

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