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The Week in Review: 04.13.2018

April 13, 2018


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Fans of Kari Byron and or Mythbusters won’t want to miss her memoir CRASH TEST GIRL: AN UNLIKELY EXPERIMENT IN USING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD TO ANSWER LIFE’S TOUGHEST QUESTION.  In it, Byron shares her journey from starving artist to co-host of the groundbreaking television show Mythbusters using the scientific method.  She’s (rightly so) proud of her role as the lone female in the first popular science reality television show – a show that they kind of made up as they went along.  She encourages readers to believe in themselves and take chances.  Byron also shares some of her personal life and gives readers behind the scenes glimpses of the not-so-glamorous moments of the making of television shows.  Drawings by Byron are sprinkled throughout the book and I was pleased to see how talented she is.  I enjoyed CRASH TEST GIRL and thought it was entertaining and very readable but it did get a little redundant at times.   (Review copy provided by Harper Collins.)


I’m rather fascinated with cults and polygamy so I was anxious to pick up CULT INSANITY: A MEMOIR OF POLYGAMY, PROPHETS, AND BLOOD ATONEMENT by Irene Spencer.  Spencer grew up in a polygamist family and was one of Verlan LeBaron’s wives.  LeBaron’s father started The Church of the Firstborn in the Fullness of Times and leadership was eventually passed on to him.  In the meantime, LeBaron’s brother Joel started his own polygamist sect and, in his attempt to wrestle all power from his brother, ordered blood atonement on many people, including members of his own family.

I read Spencer’s earlier book, SHATTERED DREAMS, years ago and thought it was really interesting but struggled somewhat with this one.  I think the power struggle within the LeBaron family is captivating but found Spencer’s telling of it be somewhat disjointed.  It was hard to keep track of what was going on and there were tons of characters to keep track of.  This book did whet my appetite about the LeBarons but I suspect there are better accounts of  their story out there.  (Review copy provided by Hachette.)



Oh, how I loved THE BOO-BOOS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD: A TRUE STORY ABOUT AN ACCIDENTAL INVENTION (REALLY!) by Barry Wittenstein.   Written with humor, it tells the story of Earle and Josephine Dickson, a couple who married in 1917.  It seemed that Josephine was always cutting or scraping herself.  Earle worried that her cuts and scrapes could get infected so he made some temporary, sterile bandages and Band-Aids were born.  Wittenstein goes on to share how the new product was manufactured and marketed.  The back of the book includes an “Earle Dickson Time Line” and a list of other medical inventions from the early twentieth century.  I thought Chris Hsu‘s illustrations were perfect for the time period and they suited this adorable non-fiction picture book.  Early readers are sure to laugh as they learn with this wonderful book and may just be inspired to invent something themselves.  (Review copy provided by Blue Slip Media.)


I was reading THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton for my book club meeting.  It’s the story of Newland Archer, a member of New York society who is engaged to be married to an acceptable woman but then falls in love with another woman.  I found the book dense and plodding but was struggling through it since it was for my book club.  There wasn’t much action and I wasn’t attached to the characters.  When I realized I wouldn’t be able to attend the meeting, I decided to set the book aside even though I was a hundred pages in.  This book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1921 and I’m amazed at how much language has evolved in the last hundred years.

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • It took a while but I finally finished my puzzle.  It was a tough, but fun, one!

  • Since our local indie shoe store that carried narrow shoes closed about a year ago when the owner retired, I can’t find shoes locally so Carl and I made a road trip so I could pick up a few pairs.  We went to a store that specializes in hard-to-find widths and I still had trouble finding shoes that were narrow enough for me but I did manage to find two pairs that should work.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged just over 17,600 Fitbit steps a day.

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

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Diane permalink
    April 13, 2018 8:14 am

    You had a good week Kathy. My SIL has the same problem as you with very narrow feet and scoops a few pairs online, generally Clark’s website when she sees something cute.

    Enjoy the weekend!

  2. April 13, 2018 8:34 am

    Language certainly has evolved in the last hundred years and reading Edith Wharton always reminds me just how much! I did love The Age of Innocence, but would have struggled without help from the audio version. Have a great weekend, Kathy.

  3. April 13, 2018 9:50 am

    We spent all of last week in Washington D.C. It was my first time there, and I found it absolutely amazing. I think it should go on everybody’s bucket list.

  4. April 13, 2018 10:52 am

    That puzzle is awesome! I could just sit and stare at it. What a challenge to piece together, though.

    Cult Insanity looked so familiar that I had to look it up on Goodreads…but no, I haven’t yet read it, but I guess I’ve been eyeing it for a while.

    I downloaded The Age of Innocence a while ago…when it was a Classic Freebie, I think. But it still languishes on Pippa, unread. I guess I was worried that it would be, as you described, “dense and plodding.” I don’t have time for those books, but feel guilty when I haven’t read award-winning books like that one.

    Thanks for sharing…and enjoy your weekend!

  5. April 13, 2018 11:00 am

    I love stories behind inventions. That one on boo-boos sounds right up my alley!

  6. April 13, 2018 11:47 am

    I’m a pretty standard shoe size but my daughter, only 14 but pretty tall wears a women’s 10 and my son, also tall wears a 13 but very narrow. It’s hard for them to find shoes depending the style. I hope her foot stops growing because keeping her in sports shoes and dance shoes is quite expensive!

  7. April 13, 2018 2:06 pm

    I love the puzzle! Those are some cute shoes, glad you found some that fit you.

  8. Patty permalink
    April 13, 2018 3:13 pm

    Very cute shoes…and the books you read this week were really unusual…or at least they would be for me. That was sheer luck wth the Edith Wharton book!

  9. April 14, 2018 12:09 am

    The puzzle looks great, but tough to do. I also love those two shoes. I read Nickel and Dime a few years ago and really liked it. It had quite an impact on me and I recommended it to a lot of people. The subject is one that affects so many people in our country, but very few talk about it and leaders don’t want to fix it. It’s complicated.

    Have a great weekend Kathy.

  10. April 14, 2018 2:24 pm

    A place for special shoes! Love it. I have such a hard time finding shoes, I have big feet. Long toes, and my big toe is so much farther up than my pinkie toe

  11. April 14, 2018 5:05 pm

    I met Barbara Ehrenreich at a party once in NYC so read Nickle and Dimed when it first came out and was completely riveted. It is not my usual thing but I found it hard to put down.

  12. April 14, 2018 5:51 pm

    Kathy, you’ve had a good week. I also wear narrow shoes, and they can be hard to find in the styles I like. The puzzle is incredible! And the Boo-Boos book sounds great! Have a terrific weekend.

  13. Literary Feline permalink
    April 14, 2018 6:56 pm

    While Cult Insanity is not a book I will likely read, I admit I am drawn to fiction about cults and sometimes even polygamy. Such interesting topics! I am glad you were able to find some shoes that fit you well. I hate shoe shopping with a passion. And always put it off longer than I probably should.

  14. April 14, 2018 9:01 pm

    I have the same problem with narrow feet. Wow, that puzzle is amazing. Hope this week is filled with great books.

  15. vvb32 permalink
    April 15, 2018 11:08 am

    Glad you were successful with the shoe search. Great to have the right shoes to keep the feet happy. Have a good week.

  16. April 15, 2018 3:34 pm

    Cute shoes 🙂 I am also fascinated with cults and think I might pick up Shattered Dreams to read sometime this summer.

  17. The Cue Card permalink
    April 15, 2018 7:14 pm

    Neat puzzle. I think I want to try Age of Innocence sometime — as I enjoyed Wharton’s novel Ethan Frome not too long ago. I might struggle with the language but I think I want to try it.

  18. April 16, 2018 12:07 pm

    Sounds like a good week. Nice puzzle…and that Accidental invention books sounds very interesting.

  19. April 18, 2018 1:42 pm

    Guess we shared the same book this week! I loved it too! I am working on a really hard puzzle right now, so I’m looking forward to putting that last piece in! It seems that when I sub in science they tend to watch MythBusters. I didn’t realize the host was the author of the Crash Test Book. I enjoy that show and usually learn something.

  20. April 19, 2018 9:41 pm

    Good reads this week, those all sound excellent!

  21. bookingmama permalink
    April 24, 2018 6:30 am

    BEA shoes???? They are adorable!

  22. April 24, 2018 9:13 pm

    I’m going to have to look for the Boo Boo books. I love kids books with lessons like that. I’ve read Wharton, but not that one, and she’s not my cup of tea either. Pretty puzzle!

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