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The Week in Review: 04.06.2018

April 6, 2018
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Between the Covers

Finished last week:

If you know a little one who loves dogs, you’ll want to pick up a copy of IT’S A PUPPY’S LIFE by Seth Casteel.  I loved this book and know Vance would have when he was young.  It’s filled with adorable photos of puppies doing what they do throughout the day, from eating, to playing, to napping, to making messes, etc.  The words are simple but you’ll want to linger over all the pictures.  There’s even a guide in the back so you can identify the breed of all the puppies included.  This book is published by National Geographic Kids so it’s well bound and printed on high quality paper and will stand up to the repeated readings a little one will request.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)


THE LINE BECOMES A RIVER by Francisco Cantú is a very timely, beautifully written book.  Cantú worked for the Border Patrol but decided to attend graduate school after repeated nightmares about his work.  He worked at a coffee shop while he was in school and became friends with José, one of the shop’s regulars.  Married with three children, José had been in the US for over 30 years when he returns to Mexico to care for his dying mother and was arrested by the Border Patrol when he tried to return.  Readers learn of the perils and red tape involved as Cantú and others try to help José.  I really enjoyed this book – I found it informative and thought provoking.  It made me wish all Border Patrol agents were like Cantú.  No matter your views on immigration, this book will make you think and I do recommend it.  The audio version is narrated by the author and he did a great job.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


I AM FAMOUS by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie is one of the cutest picture books I’ve ever seen.  It’s the story of young Kiely who’s sure she must be a celebrity, after all she has her own chef, driver, and housekeeper plus someone is always taking her picture.  She’s talented, too –  she can sing, dance, and act.  When she performs at her grandfather’s birthday party, things don’t go exactly as she planned and she learns everyone loves her anyway “and that’s the best part about being a star.”  This is a great book to share with your little ones because both kids and parents will relate to young Kiely and her family.  Joanne Lew-Vriethoff‘s illustrations are wonderful and capture Kiely’s saucy attitude perfectly.  Be sure to pick I AM FAMOUS up for the early readers in your life – you won’t regret it!   (Review copy provided by Blue Slip Media.) Check out the adorable trailer:


I was excited to pick up I HAVE LOST MY WAY by Gayle Forman because I’ve heard so much about her writing.  It’s the story of three young people who connect through a chance encounter:

  • Freya is a young singer who has lost her voice
  • Harun is a young man struggling with a secret he feels he can’t share with his family
  • Nathaniel is desperate and grieving the loss of his father

The narrative shifts between the three so readers get to know all of them well.   I liked all of the characters and  thought they were well drawn but I think I’m a little too old for the “insta-friendship” story because I had trouble buying it.  I didn’t realize this was a YA story until I was partway through the book.  I do think the target audience will relate to the characters and love this book.  The audio version is very capably narrated by Nicole Lewis, Sunil Malhotra, and Michael Crouch – they brought the characters to life for me.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

It’s been over six years since I read READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline.  Since I loved the book, I was a little nervous to see the movie and wondered if they could pull it off.  I don’t remember a lot of the small details of the book but do remember enough of them to know they took quite a few liberties with the storyline of the movie.  That didn’t bother me too much but I felt the movie lacked the homage to 80s pop culture that made the book so much fun for me.  I guess it’s pretty obvious that I didn’t love the movie.  It was entertaining enough but, for me, it paled in comparison to the book.  I do think there is an audience for the movie, though, so it will probably do fine at the box office.

Off the blog

  • Our weather has been up and down.  I wish it would pick a season and stick with it.
  • We had a nice, quiet Easter.
  • This was one of those weeks when I stayed busy all week but didn’t do anything beyond the ordinary.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged almost 17,000 Fitbit steps a day.

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

29 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2018 6:50 am

    The Line Becomes a River sounds good!

  2. Beth F permalink
    April 6, 2018 7:38 am

    I agree — The Line Becomes a River does sound good. An ordinary week can be such a relief.

  3. April 6, 2018 7:55 am

    I bought The Line Becomes a River on a whim and now I’m so happy I did – it sounds terrific! Hope you have a great weekend 😉

  4. April 6, 2018 8:50 am

    Our weather hasn’t made up its mind yet either. We had snow yesterday.
    Love the look of the kids books!

  5. April 6, 2018 10:45 am

    I am definitely intrigued by the premise of The Line Becomes a River; books that spotlight stories of immigrants help readers to see them as real people…and empathize with their situations.

    Empathy seems to be lacking in some places these days.

    I was curious about I Have Lost My Way, but maybe it is not for me. I’m not a fan of “insta” anything. LOL.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  6. April 6, 2018 11:46 am

    Np picking a season here, but I wish spring would arrive

  7. April 6, 2018 12:47 pm

    The Line Becomes a River is a timely read. Every day there is something in the news about immigration. Our students here are worried about deportation.

    I liked Ready Player One but I didn’t care for the book all that much.

  8. April 6, 2018 1:17 pm

    As usual, the children’s book look good, as does The Line Becomes a River and I Have Lost My Way.

    Great job with your step count!

  9. Patty permalink
    April 6, 2018 5:16 pm

    You are immersed in books this week! And a wide variety of them, too. I wondered about Ready Player One but I really don’t want to read it again. Our weather has been awful..not springy at all but sunshine at the end of the day. My mood has been up and down…but I think weather has much to do with it!

  10. Diane D permalink
    April 6, 2018 6:32 pm

    I;d like to read The Line Becomes a River; thanks for blogging about this one as I wasn’t familiar with it. Hope your weekend is a good one Kathy.

  11. April 6, 2018 6:41 pm

    I always enjoy Gayle Foreman’s books and look forward to this one. Not sure I will be seeing Ready Player One, loved it on audio! Hope you have a great weekend.

  12. April 6, 2018 6:50 pm

    Thx for the review of Ready Player One. I’m on a long wait list for the book at the library. I think I will stick with the book. The Cantu immigration book sounds interesting.

  13. April 6, 2018 7:11 pm

    I see you are reading Just Mercy, which is an incredible book. I hope you find it interesting.

  14. April 6, 2018 9:29 pm

    My week was also ordinary with very little reading done. Though ordinary there was a lot of routine work done but none of the main jobs which are still pending. One of those irritating weeks.

  15. April 6, 2018 10:41 pm

    I like your tased on The Line Becomes a River. Immigration definitely has many locals here very upset. I feel the need to read it.

  16. April 6, 2018 11:57 pm

    I Am Famous and the puppy book look adorable! The Line Becomes a River sounds like a timely and touching story. Thank you for sharing some of your week, Kathy. I hope you have a relaxing weekend.

  17. April 7, 2018 1:26 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed The Line Becomes a River. I thought it was good, and definitely a book I think that is worth reading in our political climate.

  18. April 8, 2018 1:54 am

    I recently had an experience similar to the one you had with Ready Player One. I loved the book The Leisure Seeker. But I was very disappointed with the movie, even with Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland in the starring roles.

  19. April 8, 2018 11:39 am

    The line Becomes a River sounds great… just added it to my wish list!

  20. April 8, 2018 12:16 pm

    I have the Line Becomes a River too and looking forward to reading it. Glad to hear you liked it. Yes, the book version works better in regards to Ready Player One. Mostly because there are so many details that get left behind.

  21. April 8, 2018 3:43 pm

    The Line Becomes a River sounds awesome and as you said, very timely. I saw Ready Player One last weekend and really liked it. I understood why they changed so many things about it and I thought it translated really well to the screen.

  22. April 8, 2018 9:35 pm

    I can imagine that for the 80s pop culture references, the book was way more satisfying. As for the VR visuals, the movie brought that out well. I’m curious about Forman’s new book.

  23. Lauren Becker permalink
    April 8, 2018 10:00 pm

    I really want to read Class Mom, so I hope you are enjoying it. Yeah, the weather is crazy. I’m just ready for the snow to stop – though I’m lucky I haven’t gotten TOO much.


  24. April 8, 2018 11:32 pm

    I loved It’s A Puppy’s Life. So many cute puppies. I saw Class Mom at the library. It jumped out at me because on the cover it looks like the word without the C and L. 😉 Our whole family went to Ready Player One over Easter. Our boys had read the book and loved it. I tried to read it but it was too science fiction for me. We all enjoyed the movie, but as soon as it was over our middle son leaned over and said, “Mom, the book was way better!”. YAY! It snowed here all afternoon and still snowing now as I am getting ready for bed…UGH! It’s been tough to have track meets here in Iowa due to the record low temps.

  25. April 9, 2018 2:12 pm

    My husband wants to see Ready Player One. I’ve never read the book though, so I’ll probably just think it’s a fun movie.

  26. Literary Feline permalink
    April 9, 2018 2:16 pm

    The Line Becomes a River does sound timely and like a great read. I am glad for the recommendation, Kathy. I hope to see Ready Player One at some point, but doubt I will make it while it is in the theater. I’m sorry you were disappointed in it. I’m nervous about it too. Our Easter was relatively quiet too. It was nice to have my mom visiting. She’s headed home today. Have a great week, Kathy!

  27. April 10, 2018 6:47 am

    You got a ton of reading done — I honestly don’t know how you do it all. I loved I AM FAMOUS too!

  28. April 12, 2018 10:05 am

    The Line Becomes a River looks important. The immigration issues break my heart. I understand both sides, but the families being torn apart right now…:( IF Jason had won March Madness I am sure Ready Player One would have been his first choice, lol.

  29. April 12, 2018 1:27 pm

    I love that picture book; very cute. I am looking forward to Gayle Forman’s latest book.

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