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The Week in Review: 02.09.2017

February 9, 2018
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the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I used to read a lot of true crime so I thought TRUE CRIME FROM TEXAS MONTHLY by Various Authors would be worth reading.  This audio book features five articles previously published in Texas Monthly magazine so each story takes place in that state.  I was only familiar with one of the stories – The Cheerleader Murder Plot – so the bulk of the book was new to me. I found the stories to be too short to give the kind of detail I like in true crime  – motivation, mental health, childhood, etc – so overall, this book was just okay for me.  The audio is well done and features a different narrator for each story so if you’re interested in trying the true crime genre, it would be a good place to start. (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

I think curious youngsters will love National Geographic Kids HISTORY’S MYSTERIES by Kitson Jazynka because I sure did.  This book is printed on high quality, glossy paper and features lots of fun facts, drawings, and photographs.  It features many familiar mysteries, like Stonehenge and the disappearance of Amelia Earhart as well as some lesser known ones like Phaistos Disk and Georgia Guidestones.  Each mystery is featured over the course of two or three pages that explain the mystery, possible explanations, and what scientists are doing to try to solve it.  Some of the mysteries were a little repetitive but I think this book will spark a “need to know” in many young readers.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

WHITE HOUSES by Amy Bloom is about the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok.  Told from “Hick’s” point of view, it opens shortly after FDR’s death and goes back in forth in time – from Hick’s childhood, to the early days of their relationship, and back to the time after FDR’s death.  Hick’s childhood was rough and troubled, to be sure, but she managed to overcome it and carve out a career as a reporter, which brought her into contact with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.  The two developed a friendship that was complicated to say the least.  I liked WHITE HOUSES but can’t say that I loved it.  The transitions in time weren’t always smooth and left me a little confused at times.  Even though Bloom went through thousands of letters between the two women,  I didn’t buy the relationship between them for some reason.  Tonya Cornelisse does a great job bringing the audio version of the book to life.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Vance and I went to see Phantom Thread, the story of Reynolds Woodcock, a temperamental fashion designer whose life is consumed by his work.  He meets Alma, a young waitress and asks her to dinner.  The two become involved but she will always be secondary to his work and she wants more from him.  The acting in this well cast movie is top notch and some of the scenery is gorgeous but I wanted more from it.  I thought the movie dragged in parts and don’t think I “got” Reynolds relationship with Alma.  I’ve thought about the movie quite a bit since I’ve seen it though.  I think it’s worth seeing but most people can wait for streaming.

Off the blog

  • I was lucky enough to see Min Jin Lee at an event at Fiction Addiction this week and I thought she was amazing.  She spoke about PACHINKO and was smart, funny, and thought provoking and won the audience over completely.  After hearing her speak, I’m anxious to read her first book, FREE FOOD FOR MILLIONAIRES.  I got her to autograph a copy of PACHINKO for one lucky reader.  If you’re interested in reading it, fill out the form below and I’ll draw the winner next week.  (Open internationally.)
  • I’ve been a little under the weather and finally went to the doctor on Thursday for an ear infection.  I was a little leery about going with all the flu out there but I managed to stay far away from the other patients in the waiting room.
  • We’re finally having more seasonal weather and should see the 60’s and 70’s next week.
  • I walked at least three miles every morning and averaged almost 13, 250 Fitbit steps a day.

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

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    February 9, 2018 7:10 am

    If you like true crime, I just finished I’ll Be Gone in the Night by Michelle McNamara…SO good. Out in late Feb. Sorry to hear White Houses is just OK – I’m on the library hold list for that one.

  2. Beth F permalink
    February 9, 2018 8:05 am

    I’ve been on the fence about White Houses, so I think I’ll concentrate on other books after learning your thoughts. Sorry about that ear infection, but probably good to have seen a doctor. We had a ton of snow and ice and it got cold again.

  3. February 9, 2018 8:19 am

    I’m curious about White Houses, but may read the recent nonfiction book about the relationship first. Hope you’re feeling better today. I’d be nervous going to a doctor’s office with all the flu around, too.

  4. February 9, 2018 8:34 am

    Too bad about White Houses! And I know what you mean about other patients in waiting rooms. I get very scared of them when they are hacking away! :—)

  5. February 9, 2018 11:19 am

    Not sure about that movie, we will see

  6. February 9, 2018 11:23 am

    Ooh, ear infections are painful! Hope you’re better soon.

    I have been considering White Houses, but now I may wait. I tried to read another book by Amy Bloom a while ago (Lucky Us) and had to abandon it. It was bogged down with tedious things…and it was a bit confusing at times, too. So maybe her writing style is not for me.

    Enjoy your other books…so sorry about Phantom Thread being a bit disappointing, too.

    Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend.

  7. February 9, 2018 12:10 pm

    Glad you went to the doctor. Ear infections seem to rarely heal themselves. Most of the time, antibiotics are needed. I’ve had them all my life. That being said, I might have worn a mask at the doctor’s office. Saw a lady at the grocery store yesterday with one on. Bad flu year and we can’t be having flu at our house. It still hurts my husband’s chest to cough or sneeze.

    The Texas true crime sounds interesting to me. I’m familiar with the cheerleader story and I’m also familiar with one of the other authors. May watch for this one.

    Take care and hope you feel much better soon!

  8. February 9, 2018 5:44 pm

    I am interested in the Texas True Crime book. I used to read the Ellery Queen magazine which is all short stories of true crime so I think this might be what I like. I do hope your ear infection clears up quickly.

  9. February 9, 2018 7:53 pm

    Thank you for doing the give away, that’s so exciting! I hope you feel better soon as well.

  10. Literary Feline permalink
    February 9, 2018 8:05 pm

    I am sorry to hear you have been under the weather. I hope you are feeling much better now. White Houses interests me. Eleanor Roosevelt is one of my favorite historical women. I have a nonfiction book still to read about Hick and Eleanor. I need to make time for it. Have a great weekend and week, Kathy!

  11. Lauren Becker permalink
    February 9, 2018 8:53 pm

    Sorry you haven’t been feeling well, though an ear infection is FAR better than the flu! I’m so hoping to avoid that. haha

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

  12. Patty permalink
    February 10, 2018 11:28 am

    Waiting rooms any where during flu season are scary! I fear catching the flu. Your reading this week sounded very serious in comparison to my fantasies.

    Feel better soon…sometimes you need to just take to your bed when you don’t feel well…have everyone else bring you tea and soup…toast, too, but I know you are not a fan of toast!

  13. Claudia Riley permalink
    February 10, 2018 2:21 pm

    Min Jin Lee is a very interesting author. I read Free Food for Millionaires, with mixed feelings, but want to give Pachinko a try, especially with all the history involved. There’s quite a long reserve list at the library.

    Hope you’re better soon!

  14. February 10, 2018 2:51 pm

    I hope your ear infection is a lot better by now. I work in a Health & Rehab and so many of our residents had bad cases of the flu that they all had to stay in their rooms for a few weeks. It was terrible! Thankfully they are all better now.

    I love true crime but haven’t read any in a while.

  15. February 10, 2018 3:06 pm

    Bummer. I wanted you to like WHITE HOUSES more than that!!! Hope you’re feeling better now.

  16. February 10, 2018 6:55 pm

    Kathy, it sounds like you had a good week. Great step count!

    I will add a link to your book giveaway to my blog
    sidebar. Thank you for hosting this giveaway. 🙂

  17. Diane D permalink
    February 11, 2018 5:18 pm

    I do want to read the Amy Bloom book, especially after reading and enjoying Eleanor and Hick so much. I hoped to catch Phantom Thread but, maybe I’ll wait until tv as the next one I want to see is that true story about the terrorist on the train to Paris. I saw the actors are actual heroes/guys involved.

  18. February 11, 2018 9:43 pm

    Hope you are feeling better! Waiting rooms are risky and I don’t blame those who go in with masks and gloves on.

  19. Marc-Andre Taillefer permalink
    February 11, 2018 10:02 pm

    Thank you for doing the give away, that’s so exciting!

  20. Rhonda permalink
    February 12, 2018 9:31 am

    Tested the form it worked😁👏

  21. February 12, 2018 10:26 pm

    Thanks for the Pachinko giveaway. I’ve been interested in reading it after hearing so many rave reviews. Our son got the flu (I assume) but we avoided the doctor and I just treated him with stuff at home.

  22. February 14, 2018 11:27 am

    Sounds like the movie is one I need to wait for on streaming. I love Lewis, but I’m not sure I want to be in a theater if the movie drags a bit. I’m glad that you only had an ear infection. The weather here is crazy up and down. Today is sunny and warmer, but it is supposed to get colder and rain later tonight. Happy Valentine’s day.

  23. The Cue Card permalink
    February 14, 2018 6:06 pm

    I hope your feeling better this week. It’s terrific you got to hear Min Lee speak & got a signed copy, wow! I’m eager to read it. And thanks for letting me know about Phantom Thread — I’ve been debating whether to see it or not. It sounds like I can wait. It seems a bit long too. Hmm. Is it worth all those Oscar nominations?

  24. February 14, 2018 10:48 pm

    I’m sorry White Houses was a disappointment. I read Eleanor and Hick (on audio) last year and you might enjoy it better.

    The flu hasn’t hit our area, but I just read that 251 people have died from it in San Diego! Scary!

  25. February 15, 2018 2:17 pm

    How is your ear doing today? I hate ear infections. I usually don’t go in until they are super bad, like mastoiditis bad.

  26. February 22, 2018 9:38 am

    I recently did the same thing with the doctor’s waiting room and the ear infection. The price of travel in February is exposure to germs.

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