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The Week in Review: 07.27.2018

July 27, 2018
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Between the Covers

Finished last week:

THE SCATTER HERE IS TOO GREAT by Bilal Tanweer is a collection of interconnected stories about people who are affected by a bomb blast at a train station in Karachi, Pakistan.  Most of the people have very different lives but all are affected deeply by the explosion.  A lot of people have loved this book and it sounded like something I would love but there wasn’t enough meat to the stories for me.  I wanted to know more about the people, their circumstances, and the country of Pakistan.  Maybe I’m not smart enough for a book like this – I’m glad I read it but I thought it was good, but not great.  (Review copy provided by Harper Collins.)


THE GIRL WITH MORE THAN ONE HEART by Laura Geringer Bass is a fabulous middle grade book about grief and coping with loss.  When Briana’s father dies she feels like she has another heart in her stomach – a heart that was part of her father.  This second heart spoke to her and helped her deal with the changes in her life caused by her father’s sudden death.

I loved Briana – she was dealing with so much.  Her mother can’t face her grief and remains in bed most of the day, leaving Briana to deal with her brother, who is on the spectrum.  It’s a lot for a thirteen year old to cope with especially since her friends don’t understand what she’s going through.  Briana is resilient, though, and manages to figure out a new normal, but it doesn’t come easy.

I thought the storyline and the writing were terrific in this book as well.  I think many young people will relate to Briana and hope others will learn empathy from her.  I recommend this book to middle schoolers on up.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)


Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician in Flint, Michigan.  When she learned there were issues with the local water supply she felt called to action.  She knew the only way to get people to listen was to have proof and she went searching for it.  She knew time was of the essence so she presented her findings at a press conference without having peer review.  As you would expect, she was maligned and discredited before being proven correct.

In her book WHAT THE EYES DON’T SEE: A STORY OF CRISIS, RESISTANCE, AND HOPE IN AN AMERICAN CITY, “Dr. Mona” shares her story- her family was originally from Iraq and she was born in England – along with background of Flint, it’s politics, and water supply.  I admit I picked this book up because of Marc Edwards and Virginia Tech’s involvement in helping Flint residents and, boy, am I glad I did.  This book is well written, emotional, and absorbing.  I was hooked from the very beginning and cried several times throughout because this book is heartbreaking, eye opening, and inspiring.  I talked about it A LOT as I read it and would like to thrust it into everyone’s hands.

Dr. Mona reads the audio version of the book herself and she does an outstanding job.  Her passion and compassion come through.  WHAT THE EYES DON’T SEE will definitely be on my list of favorites for the year – if you care about social issues at all, it’s a must read.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


DR E’S SUPER STELLAR SOLAR SYSTEM by Bethany Ehlmann with Jennifer Swanson is a fun, fact-filled non-fiction book for young adult readers interested in science.  This terrific book focuses on planetary geology and presents information in an easy to understand manner.  I learned quite a bit as I read it, such as:

Because Venus takes 243 Earth days to rotate once on its axis and only 225 Earth days to complete one orbit around the sun, a day on Venus is longer than a year there!

Dr. Ehlmann shares how scientist are researching the planets and what they’re learning and includes lots of full-color photographs, illustrations, and charts.  There’s also a few pages of a cute cartoon portraying Ehlmann (Dr. E.) as a superhero.   I love the book’s focus on female scientists and their work.  There’s a glossary, list of resources, and index in the back so it’s great for light research.  As always with a National Geographic Kids book, this one’s printed on high quality paper.  Teens and older who love space exploration won’t want to miss this one.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Mama Mia! Here We Go Again begins where the first movie in the franchise left off.  Sophie has worked hard to make her mother’s dream of transforming an old Greek farmhouse into a hotel and on the eve of the grand opening party a huge storm comes up that might jeopardize its success.  Sophie’s friends and family rally around her and not only help her, but tell her about her mother’s past.

I thought this feel good movie was fun.  It was certainly better than the original Mama Mia! movie (in part because Pierce Brosnan doesn’t really sing.)  I was worried that there wouldn’t be much plot so was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  The movie’s not deep or extraordinary but it was an entertaining and agreeable way to spend a few hours.

Off the blog

  • The winner of my Summer Books Giveaway was Caren from Illinois.  She chose THE LATE BLOOMERS’ CLUB by Louise Miller, which was the most popular selection.

  • I started a new puzzle.  The subject matter (Rainbow Brite™) might look simple but, so far, it’s not.  Don’t judge, I found the puzzle marked down.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning (even in the rain one morning) and I averaged just over 16,000 Fitbit steps a day.
  • Carl’s gone to see his father so I’ll be working extra this weekend.

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

19 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2018 6:27 am

    What The Eyes Don’t See sounds like a compelling read. I’ll add it to my audible list. Good job on the steps – esp. the rainy day!

  2. Beth F permalink
    July 27, 2018 8:29 am

    The Girl with More Than One Heart sounds like my kind of MG book. I really want to see Mamma Mia 2, but will likely wait until it comes on a streaming service.

  3. July 27, 2018 8:53 am

    I like the look of The Girl With More Than One Heart as well. And also What the Eyes Don’t See. Happily, it looks like my library has both of them. May wait to see if they get the second on audio though. And a Rainbow Brite puzzle! I don’t judge, though I don’t do puzzles. My daughter had a Rainbow Brite comforter when she was a little girl. It was so cheerful!

  4. July 27, 2018 9:40 am

    Nice group of books, I think I’d love Dr. E’s Super Stellar Solar System since I love learning things. I didn’t know that about Venus!

  5. July 27, 2018 9:43 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more about Mamma Mia. I smiled through the whole thing and enjoyed it immensely. I also think that Lily James lights up everything she’s in. Did you see the most recent adaptation of Cinderella that she starred in? If not, get a hold of it. She is terrific.

  6. July 27, 2018 10:02 am

    What a nice mix of reads.
    I think the title of the book set in Pakistan is very apt.

  7. July 27, 2018 11:45 am

    A very nice week.

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. July 27, 2018 11:46 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed the new Mamma Mia, my daughter and I went last night and walked out part way through. Yikes! And I loved the first one. Maybe we weren’t in the right space or mood for it.

  9. July 27, 2018 11:49 am

    I’m curious about What the Eyes Don’t See…and I had the same feelings about the new Mama Mia. It was definitely a feel-good movie, and I love the music. Some of us were swaying in our seats. LOL.

    Enjoy your week!

  10. July 27, 2018 1:36 pm

    I too am going to wait for Mamma Mia 2 to come to cable!

  11. Melissa S permalink
    July 27, 2018 1:59 pm

    I LOVED Rainbow Brite as a kid; I can’t wait to see the finished puzzle!

  12. July 27, 2018 3:02 pm

    It will be DVD Mamma mia for me one day then 🙂

  13. Patty permalink
    July 27, 2018 6:35 pm

    You saw Mama Mia and relaxed…I saw Mission Impossible and literally jumped in my seat about 10 times. You read quite an assortment of books this week. I saw a news show about the doctor from Flint. She was and is amazing.

  14. July 28, 2018 1:22 pm

    What the Eyes Don’t See sounds right up my alley!

  15. Diane D permalink
    July 29, 2018 8:35 am

    That looks like a real difficult puzzle, I’d be frustrated in 5 minutes LOL

    The book about the Flint water issue looks good but, I am still so mad about that issue and the passing the buck, I’m not sure I could read it. All those poor children and residents. I’m sure the water is still an issue there just that no one talks about it.

    Sorry for the vent! I feel better. Have a nice weekend.

  16. July 31, 2018 6:37 pm

    Glad you enjoyed the Mamma Mia movie. You convinced me about the Flint Michigan book, sounds like a powerful book. thanks.

  17. July 31, 2018 6:57 pm

    I should have gotten The Girl with More than One Heart. I am overwhelmed with books so had to start saying no, but that one sounds like it was worth the read!

  18. August 1, 2018 1:41 pm

    So the sequel is better than the Original Mama Mia? I enjoyed the first one. It was fun but not put together all that well. This one has Cher, so I guess a lot is riding on this one.

  19. bookingmama permalink
    August 13, 2018 8:08 am

    What a busy week! You got a ton of reading done. I’ma actually reading THE LATE BLOOMERS CLUB now and I am really enjoying it. Your puzzle is hilarious — no judging, I promise!

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