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The Week in Review: 07.13.2018

July 13, 2018


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

SHADOW OF A PUG by Casey Lyall is the second book in the Howard Wallace, P. I. series.  Howard and his partner Ivy have been hired by two different people to find Spartacus, the pug that’s their middle school’s mascot.  The school’s big rivalry game is coming up and the basketball team hasn’t been playing well and everyone thinks getting Spartacus back will help.  Howard immediately suspects his ex-best friend Miles. but knows a good detective has to have more than a hunch.  To solve the case, Howard has to put up with a pesky reporter and a partner who’s acting funny.

This middle grade mystery was just the kind of book I loved as a kid.  Who am I kidding?  I still enjoy a good mystery and I thought this one was just that.  Howard and Ivy are quirky, smart, and determined to find the truth.  I didn’t realize this was the second book in a series until after I picked it up but I had no trouble following the story and enjoying the characters.  I think middle grade mystery lovers will gobble up this series and wish the publisher had given it a more attractive covers.  (Review copy provided by Sterling Publishing.)


David Sedaris returns to his roots with the publication of CALYPSO, a collection of personal short stories about Sedaris and his family.  Many of the stories revolve around a home Sedaris purchased on Emerald Island, North Carolina.  Because of his eye for the absurd and his quirky sense of humor, this type of essay is where Sedaris’s talent shines.  I loved almost all of these stories but a few really stood out for me:

  • Stepping Out is about Sedaris buying a Fitbit and becoming obsessed with getting his steps in, something I can relate to.
  • In Sorry, Sedaris tells about the competitive games of Sorry his family plays at the beach.
  • The Comey Memo is about his father’s frugal ways.

There are a few sad elements in the book and lots of laugh out loud moments.  It didn’t take me long to read this fun book.  Fans of Sedaris won’t want to miss it.


CLOCK DANCE by Anne Tyler is the story of Willa.  Willa grew up with a loving father and a mother who struggles with life, often leaving home for days at a time.  As a young woman, Willa put herself in the role of caregiver, looking out for her younger sister.  She marries Derek and they have two sons.  When Willa receives a phone call asking her to help the former girlfriend of one of her son’s, she decides to fly from Arizona to Maryland to do just that, over the objection of her second husband Peter.

It’s rather hard to describe the plot of this quiet, character driven novel but I couldn’t put it down.  Willa is meek and passive yet strong in ways even she doesn’t know.  Even though she drove me crazy at times, I couldn’t help but like her.

I enjoyed the way this novel went back and forth in time, piecing Willa’s life together gradually.  I thought the book was terrific and think it would make a great book club selection.  The audio version is narrated by Kimberly Farr and I thought she did an outstanding job of bringing Willa’s story to life.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • I renewed my library card this week.
  • We had a really nice visit with our nephew who was here for the 4th.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged just under 17,100 Fitbit steps a day.

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

23 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2018 6:07 am

    I have Clock Dance on my list to read and adding Calypso to it.

  2. July 13, 2018 6:25 am

    I love David Sedaris and your review of Clock Dance makes me want to pick it up right away.

  3. Beth F permalink
    July 13, 2018 6:55 am

    I have Clock Dance on my audiobook list; I knew Farr would be great choice for the book.

  4. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    July 13, 2018 7:39 am

    I loved Calypso too! And I tried Clock Dance, but the sample didn’t really grab me. I’m waiting until a couple other people vet it for me before deciding if I’ll read it.

  5. July 13, 2018 7:52 am

    Can’t wait to read/listen to Clock Dance… and I’m glad Kimberly Farr is narrating. She did a great job with A Spool of Blue Thread. David Sedaris is hilarious!

  6. July 13, 2018 8:40 am

    It’s been a long time since I read a book by Anne Tyler. I read several many years ago. I’m seeing some reviews of this one though and I’m thinking it would be a good one for me on audio. And good for you for renewing your library card, Kathy! Not that you’d run out of books, but still…I’m hearing more and more about how libraries are unnecessary these days. Seriously? What nonsense!

  7. July 13, 2018 9:09 am

    I just reviewed Calypso (A Modest Proposal was my favorite, partly because the title is so tongue in cheek) and am looking forward to reading Clock Dance!

  8. July 13, 2018 9:31 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever read Ann Tyler. And I know I haven’t read David Sedaris. But I did see him live about a year ago.

  9. July 13, 2018 9:57 am

    Clock Dance is going on my listen list. The Sedaris is on my TBR list. Did you read his Fitbit essay from a couple of years ago? Made me laugh.

  10. Patty permalink
    July 13, 2018 10:10 am

    What is it about Fitbits and obsessive steps? It’s as though I just don’t want to let Fitbit down…sigh! I can’t wait to read Clock Dance…I love that her books seem to always end up in Maryland…which is minutes from me!

  11. July 13, 2018 11:45 am

    I just downloaded Clock Dance this week, too. I can’t wait to read it….and I always enjoy Anne Tyler’s books. Enjoy, and thanks for sharing.

  12. July 13, 2018 12:56 pm

    I have Sadaris’ Calypso sitting on my shelf and hope to read it before going back to work at the end of August. I could do with some laugh out loud!

  13. July 13, 2018 1:26 pm

    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed Clock Dance. It’s going to be my next Audible purchase!

  14. July 13, 2018 1:58 pm

    Clock Dance sounds like my kind of book as well. It sounds like you had a terrific week in many ways, Kathy. Have a wonderful weekend.

  15. July 13, 2018 2:46 pm

    That reminds me, I should get S a libary card, that would be adorable!

  16. Diane permalink
    July 14, 2018 7:23 am

    Both Clock Dance and the Sedaris book sound good. I used to love the Sedaris audios but for some reason his voice annoyed me in the last one I tried so I might try print.

    Enjoy your weekend

  17. July 14, 2018 11:39 pm

    I’ve read other Sedaris books and haven’t connected well with them. But, maybe I should try this one full of short stories. Clock Dance sounds like one I would enjoy as well.

  18. July 15, 2018 2:40 am

    I’m glad to hear that Sedaris’ new book is so good. I have it, but haven’t started it yet. It’s on audio and should be best that way. Haver a great week ahead.

  19. July 15, 2018 6:56 am

    I just published my review of Clock Dance on my blog!

  20. July 16, 2018 9:32 am

    These are all books that are new to me. 🙂

  21. July 17, 2018 11:54 am

    I wasn’t able to snag a copy of the Tyler novel but I am number one on the hold list for it so once it’s available, I should get it soon after that.

  22. bookingmama permalink
    July 23, 2018 7:57 pm

    I have CLOCK DANCE on my soon-to-read list.

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