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The Week in Review: 12.29.2017

December 29, 2017


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

When Pulitzer Prize winning journalists T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong discovered they were investigating the same story, they decided to join forces and they created A FALSE REPORT: A TRUE STORY OF RAPE IN AMERICA.  As you would expect, this book is well researched and written – I found it hard to put down even though the content is very disturbing.  I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s the story of serial rapist Marc O’Leary and how one police department got things right and another got them wrong after he committed crimes in their jurisdictions.  The authors detail the crimes and investigations and, at times, it was hard to stomach.  They also share attitudes and techniques that common among investigators and are harmful to the victims.  This timely book sheds light on why victims don’t report sexual abuse.  It will inform you and make you angry and hopefully it will help implement some changes.  Look for it in February 2018.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Time for Kids BIG BOOK OF HOW: 1,001 FACTS KIDS WANT TO KNOW is perfect for curious young readers.  This great book is divided into 11 chapters on subjects ranging from sports to technology.  A question is posed and answered on each two-page spread with great full color photographs and lots of facts kids will have fun sharing.  There are also a few projects for kids to complete (with an adult’s help).  The back of the book includes an index and a glossary.  I took my time reading the book from cover to cover and learned quite a few things, like how my hybrid car works, along the way.  I imagine kids will dip in and out of it over and over again.  The suggested age range for THE BOOK BOOK OF HOW is 8 to 12 year olds but I think older kids will enjoy it as well.  (Review copy provided by Blue Slip Media.)

THE BEST WE COULD DO by Thi Bui is a graphic memoir of Bui’s family’s journey from Vietnam and relocation to the United States.  It gives details of Vietnam before the war and explains the war and subsequent fall of South Vietnam.  Bui shares her family’s harrowing journey out of their native country and explains what it feels like to settle in a strange, new land, hoping for a better future.  I learned quite a bit as I read this book and was amazed at the tenacity of Bui’s family – her mother in particular.  I’ve always loved immigrant stories and this is a good one.  It’s printed in black, white, and shades of sepia on high quality paper and I found the illustrations appealing.  It’s the story that captivated me, though.  This book is well worth reading.


Currently reading:


On the Screen

While Vance was here, we watched an episode of Chef’s Table.  It was my first time seeing the series and I found it rather fascinating.  We watched the story of Ivan Orkin, an American who’s run successful ramen restaurants in both Tokyo and New York City.  Orkin floundered around until his father suggested he go to culinary school.  He wasn’t crazy about school but he did love food, cooking, and Japan and he was able to figure out a way to make it all work for him.  I’m not much of a foodie but I found myself wanting to try his restaurant, Ivan Ramen, as we watched the show.

I watched Virginia Tech play Oklahoma State in the Camping World Bowl.  I did’t expect Tech to win but I was certainly hoping for a better showing.  The game was painful to watch so I’m glad Tech’s season is over.


Off the blog

  • It took a while, but I finally finished one of the puzzles Vance gave me for my birthday.
  • We had a nice, quiet Christmas – we were all happy to spend the day in our pajamas.  Vance and Carl got books – IT by Stephen King for Vance and PORSCHE · 70 YEARS: THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE by Randy Leffingwell for Carl – but I didn’t.
  • It’s really cold down here so I am already tired of winter.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning, except Christmas, and I averaged just over 18,000 Fitbit steps a day.

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

31 Comments leave one →
  1. December 29, 2017 7:06 am

    Despite the subject, A False Report sounds like a riveting read.
    The puzzle looks like a fun one and perfect for you! I don’t receive books for gifts – my family can’t figure out what I haven’t read, ha. It’s really cold in my neck of the woods – no outdoor walking for a while. We have no sidewalks and the roads are snow covered. Guess I’ll have to stay in and read 🙂 Have a great week and Happy New Year!

  2. December 29, 2017 7:07 am

    The day I touched 7000 on my fitbit I thought I had done wondrous things!!!
    My Christmas was in Singapore where I had a marvellous time.
    All good wishes for the season

  3. December 29, 2017 8:06 am

    I’m reading The Best We Could Do now, borrowed from hoopla via my library, and enjoying it very much. A False Report sounds fascinating… maybe the same reaction I had to Krakauer’s Missoula – disturbing, but can’t stop reading. Glad you had a peaceful Christmas. I didn’t get any books either.

  4. December 29, 2017 9:19 am

    A False Report sounds way too tough for me, but the Big book of how sounds fun. Have a happy New Year!

  5. Beth F permalink
    December 29, 2017 9:41 am

    I’ll definitely have to look for False Report. And The Best We Could Do also sounds good. Yay on the puzzle. We started one last weekend and have been working on it most nights. It’s such a great way to tune out the world!

  6. December 29, 2017 10:08 am

    You sure didn’t go in for light reading this week! Happy New Year.

  7. December 29, 2017 11:30 am

    A False Report is one I want to add to my collection soon; it is such a timely topic. Thanks for sharing.

    The Music Shop looks tempting, too, and I love your puzzles. I am too impatient, I think…but my eldest son was always one who dug into the puzzles, even as a small child.

    As always, I am impressed by your walking. Enjoy the weekend…and the New Year.

  8. December 29, 2017 11:31 am

    One of my goals for 2018 is to read more graphic novels so I am definitely going to get The Best We Could Do. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  9. December 29, 2017 11:34 am

    False report sounds too depressing for me!

  10. December 29, 2017 12:28 pm

    The Last Ballad is on my list for 2018.

  11. December 29, 2017 1:11 pm

    You’ve had a very good week! Chef’s Table sounds very appealing to me (I love Ramen). Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the books featured here. Have a safe and happy New Year’s, Kathy!

  12. December 29, 2017 2:00 pm

    What a pretty puzzle

  13. Patty permalink
    December 29, 2017 4:47 pm

    Oh no! I could not post my comment and I am not sure why so I am trying again!

  14. Patty permalink
    December 29, 2017 5:02 pm

    Ok…here we go! We spent Christmas at home and in our jammies, too. We were just thankful that I was better and actually had hair!

    Your reading is really intense…I think I needed more light this year…i couldn’t even read animal books!

    Unless I knew the animals were happy.

    Happy New Year! Perhaps we will meet in this coming year! Wouldn’t that be fun?

  15. December 30, 2017 6:42 am

    False Report is not the book for me, but it does sounds very interesting.
    I hope you have a happy new year!

  16. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    December 30, 2017 8:04 am

    I love Chef’s Table!! It’s so relaxing to watch. And adding False Report to my TBR 🙂

  17. December 30, 2017 8:35 am

    Christyat home snug and happy is a wonderful thing. .I’ve never seen Chef’s Table, if the library has it I will check it out.
    Nice puzzle!

  18. December 30, 2017 9:09 am

    I’ve enjoyed many episodes of Chef’s Table, but so far haven’t seen that one. I’ll have to go back to it! Thanks for reminding me.

    Have a great year in 2018.

    best… mae at

  19. Jackie permalink
    December 30, 2017 10:22 am

    I just added The Best… to my TBR list! Thanks!

  20. December 30, 2017 10:34 am

    My first job out of college 20+ years ago was as a rape counselor. It was a difficult job for a young social worker but I learned so much about victims, the legal system, the perpetrators, and the public’s view of victims. I definitely want to read The False Report.

  21. December 30, 2017 12:55 pm

    So much goodness in this post! The False Report sounds fascinating (I’m always drawn to the intricacies of the criminal mind) and the Big Book of How sounds like something my granddaughter might enjoy (her birthday is in April…) And of course, I adore the Paris puzzle 🙂

    My son also watches Chef’s Table and I enjoyed the first season. Perhaps I will reconnect with this series this weekend – since it is far too cold to do anything outdoors!

    I’m SO impressed with your daily walk count. I took a backstep in my walking goals this year, but have great plans to return to a more healthy lifestyle in 2018.

    I wish you and your family a glorious (and safe) New Year!

  22. December 30, 2017 4:50 pm

    18000 steps is seriously impressive. Happy New Year

  23. Literary Feline permalink
    December 31, 2017 2:31 am

    I was eyeing A False Report the other day. It sounds like a compelling and eye-opening read. Thi Bui’s novel really appeals to me as well. I will have to look for that one.The puzzle you finished is lovely, Kathy. Sounds like you had a very nice Christmas. I love the idea of spending the day in PJ’s. I wonder what my guests would have said if I told them it was a PJ only day.

    I hope you have a Happy New Year, Kathy. Thank you for being such a great friend. Happy Reading!

  24. December 31, 2017 2:44 pm

    Good to hear what’s going on in your part of the world, Kathy. It’s too cold here as well. We may not get above freezing tomorrow. Brrr! Hope you have a very happy new year! I’m going to be back to blogging beginning tomorrow. 🙂

  25. Lauren Becker permalink
    December 31, 2017 7:23 pm

    I really liked The Best We Could Do too. And I’m such a fan of fact books! I’m glad you had a nice Christmas. 🙂


  26. January 1, 2018 2:06 pm

    Happy New Year! I never seem to get books for gifts which is probably fine.

  27. January 4, 2018 9:18 am

    Nice puzzle: is that a Paris scene? Sorry about the Tech game; I was amazed by the Rose Bowl the other night: double OT! I hear it’s getting cold where you are: take the icy roads slowly!

  28. January 5, 2018 12:21 pm

    Quiet Christmas can be good. True Story of Rape in America sounds like a very hard read.

  29. January 5, 2018 11:53 pm

    The Best We Could Do looks like a great one for a graphic book! We were in our PJs all Christmas Day too, even when friends visited 🙂

  30. January 7, 2018 6:45 pm

    Kathy, that’s a great puzzle! My mom and I just finished another one, which took almost a week. It was a bit frustrating at the beginning, but once we got going, it got a little more manageable. I do think I need a magnifying lamp, though. My eyes were so tired every night after peering at the pieces and the picture on the puzzle box.

  31. bookingmama permalink
    January 8, 2018 8:04 am

    You got a lot of reading done! The book about rape sounds fascinating and one that needs to be discussed. And that puzzle is amazing!

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