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The Week in Review: 06.29.2018

June 29, 2018


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

B. A. Paris’s latest book, BRING ME BACK, is the story of Finn.  He’d been involved with Layla – she disappeared ten years ago – and now he’s engaged to her sister, Ellen.  Now, all of a sudden, a few people think they’ve seen Layla and a few other clues are popping up that make Finn wonder if she’s still alive.  Is it really Layla or is someone playing games with Finn?

I was excited to pick this book up because I met Paris shortly after she finished it.  I’ve read all of her work and, I’m sad to say, this one was my least favorite.  For me, it didn’t have the tension of her earlier work and it began to feel repetitive after a while.  I did enjoy it but I didn’t love it the way I loved BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.   I still plan to read whatever she writes next.  (Review copy provided by St. Martin’s Press.)


AL CAPONE THROWS ME A CURVE is the latest book in the Tales from Alcatraz series by Gennifer Choldenko and I absolutely loved it.  Soon to be 9th grader Moose Flanagan lives with his family on Alcatraz because his father is the assistant warden at the prison.  Moose loves baseball and will do just about anything to be on the high school team next year but when the captain of the team demands something from Alcatraz, Moose isn’t sure he can deliver.

Moose also helps watch out for his older sister Natalie who has special needs while trying to dodge Piper, the warden’s daughter, who’s always stirring up trouble.  When Piper befriends Natalie things get out of control and it’s up to Moose to set things right.

I adored Moose – he’s kind, considerate, and thoughtful, yet all boy.  The Alcatraz setting was unique and I appreciated the map in the front and the author’s note in the back which explained that families did actually live there when it was a prison.   I thought the action packed plot was terrific too – I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough at times.  This is the first book I’ve read in the series and it stands alone just fine.  I loved it so much, though, I want to go back and read the others.  Oh, did I mention that I cried at the end?  I recommend this book to everyone from middle school on up!  (Review copy provided by Random House Children’s Books.)


ASTRONAUT – AQUANAUT: HOW SPACE SCIENCE AND SEA SCIENCE INTERACT by Jennifer Swanson highlights the similarities as well as the differences in space and sea exploration.  Readers learn about things like gravity and pressure and other challenges that astronauts and aquanauts face in their quest for knowledge.  Swanson evens delves into why we explore and what we’ve learned so far as she explains the importance of space and sea discovery.  I had no idea that not only is there a Space Station, there’s an underwater station named Aquarius – each has it’s own unique challenges.  Young readers learn about real life astronauts and aquanauts and see what it takes to become one.  True to National Geographic form, this terrific book is printed on high quality paper and features full color photos and illustrations as well as a few experiments to try at home.  Pick this book up for curious young readers – it belongs in libraries as well.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)


GHOSTBUSTER’S DAUGHTER : LIFE WITH MY DAD, HAROLD RAMIS by Violet Ramis Stiel is a memoir of what it was like to grow up the daughter of a comedy icon.  Before listening to this book, I had no idea just how many classic comedy movies Ramis was involved in, including Animal House, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, and, of course, Ghostbusters.  Not all of his movies were well received by critics but most of them have stood the test of time.  Ramis’s comedy has roots in Chicago’s Second City.  Stiel’s parents had an unconventional marriage and, even after their divorce, she seemed to be closer to her fun-loving dad.  She was able to visit him on set and knew many of his friends and co-workers.  I liked this book but can’t say that I loved it.  I wanted more about Ramis and less about Stiel even though she couldn’t tell his story without including her own.  The audio version is narrated by the author and she does an okay job – I felt her delivery was a little flat so it took me quite a while to adjust to it.  I would still recommend the book for fans of Ramis.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • I went to Cars & Coffee with Carl.  He looks forward to it every month.
  • Carl visited his dad so I worked extra this week.
  • I can’t believe the year is half over and I’ve read 82 books so far.  I doubt I’ll be able to keep up that pace for the rest of the year.
  • I walked at least three miles a day and averaged just over 17,800 Fitbit steps a day.

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

24 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    June 29, 2018 7:24 am

    Hope you enjoy Tangerine! I did!

  2. June 29, 2018 8:56 am

    Wow, 82 books! Sorry to hear Bring Me Back didn’t measure up to Behind Closed Doors. I’m curious about the Ann Hood book so I’m off to look it up. Have a nice weekend!

  3. June 29, 2018 9:24 am

    I’ve got Behind Closed Doors sitting in my TBR pile. Since I’ve never read Paris, I need to move this one up closer to the top.

  4. June 29, 2018 9:55 am

    My husband loved going to car shows. We even had a 4×4 custom van that we took to some. Sorry you didn’t like those books as much as you wanted to.

  5. June 29, 2018 11:05 am

    Wow, 82 books is amazing!! Too bad about Bring Me Back. The only one of her books I’ve read is Behind Closed Doors and it was just okay for me.

  6. June 29, 2018 11:28 am

    I have Tangerine, and I keep hearing good things…must move it forward! I did love Bring Me Back, although it was a different kind of story from Behind Closed Doors. I’m sorry it was disappointing for you.

    Kudos on your walking…and your books read for the year!

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Patty permalink
    June 29, 2018 11:57 am

    I have always loved Ann Hood books just because she has a Maine connection. It’s hard for me to read as much as I used to…I love reading but I do t like the one book after another pace I used to have. I keep telling myself that it’s ok. Sigh! My walking this week really sucked but I am enjoying my new Pilates thing. Hoping it helps with endurance. I need to stop watching so much TV!

  8. June 29, 2018 12:14 pm

    I loved Behind Closed Doors, but didn’t care as much for The Breakdown. I doubt I’ll give this one a read.

    I’m so excited about Ann Hood’s new book. I recently read The Knitting Circle and thought it was very good. I’ve also read Morningstar and The Book That Matters Most. Both were winners, so I’m looking forward to reading more by her.

    You are having a great year of reading. My numbers are waaaaay down this year!

    Have a great weekend, Kathy.

  9. June 29, 2018 3:35 pm

    My you ARE having a fecund and copious (working on my WW words) reading year. You are more than 20 books ahead of me and I feel like I’ve been over-doing it. I’d also like to cut back a bit, but then all these great books show up and I can’t resist.

    Have a great weekend Kathy.

  10. Diane D permalink
    June 29, 2018 5:14 pm

    82 books is very impressive (I think I’m around 50). I want to read the new BA Paris book as I loved Behind Closed Doors. Happy 4th Kathy

  11. June 29, 2018 6:44 pm

    So I loved Behind Closed Doors but did not like Paris’s second book, The Breakdown, at ALL. I think I’ll skip her third book, too. Such a shame!

  12. June 29, 2018 11:29 pm

    I have yet to read the Al Capone series, but it always sounds like fun when I read reviews.

  13. June 30, 2018 11:54 am

    Great wrap-up of books! The Astronaut, Aquanaut one looks interesting to me!

  14. June 30, 2018 2:37 pm

    noooo idea what cars and coffee is, but if he looks forward to it every month it has to be good

  15. July 1, 2018 8:13 am

    I have loved Harold Ramis’ work for years, I think I’ll pick up his daughter’s book.

  16. July 1, 2018 2:39 pm

    Oh… perhaps I should give Behind Closed Doors another try (?) I really liked the author’s writing, but my imagination ran wild with the torture possibilities the husband could inflict on his sister-in-law. I couldn’t bring myself to find out what really happened…
    I’m still so impressed with your daily steps. I hope to get back on track with a 10,000 step program once our weather is clear of triple-digit heat indexes.

  17. July 1, 2018 5:47 pm

    82 books so far! That’s wonderful! And great job with the steps too.
    Great mini review wrap-ups. That’s too bad this B. A. Paris book disappointed, but hopefully the next one is better.
    Enjoy your week!

  18. July 2, 2018 12:07 am

    82 books is AMAZING! I hope you will continue to enjoy your reading. Tangerine interests me. Have a terrific week ahead, Kathy! (I was out of town so am catching up with my blogging now.)

  19. July 2, 2018 2:12 pm

    GHOSTBUSTER’S DAUGHTER : LIFE WITH MY DAD, HAROLD RAMIS by Violet Ramis Stiel sounds fantastic. Happy reading week.

  20. July 2, 2018 8:49 pm

    I didn’t know Aquanauts were a thing either. Interesting! I’m curious…do you count the children’s books in your count of 82? I never know what to do about that. It isn’t like there is a rule….I just usually only count children’s chapter books in my annual count, but if you add the children’s books then I should too! LOL! There are no rules right?

  21. July 3, 2018 4:53 pm

    Sad to hear that the Paris book wasn’t all that great. It’s hard to follow-up with another hit but it seems like this one came out so fast after her last one.

  22. Literary Feline permalink
    July 6, 2018 7:07 pm

    I do want to read Bring Me Back, and I am glad you enjoyed it, even if it didn’t live up to her previous work. I really enjoyed Behind Closed Doors as well. You’ve read an amazing amount so far this year, Kathy. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and week!

  23. bookingmama permalink
    July 9, 2018 4:56 pm

    You had a great reading week. I agree with you on BRING ME BACK. It wasn’t as good as her other novels. And I so loved AL CAPONE THROWS ME A CURVE. That series of MG books is as good as it gets!

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