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The Week in Review: 08.17.2018

August 17, 2018


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

When I picked up MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION by Ottessa Moshfegh I thought it was a memoir for some odd reason.  Rather than a memoir it’s a fictional story of a woman in her twenties who decides the best way to deal with the problems in her life is to “hibernate” for a year.  She finds a therapist willing to prescribe a cocktail of drugs and uses them to escape from the world and her problems.  Reviews of this book are very mixed and I’m sad to say it wasn’t really for me.  I found the protagonist very annoying and self-absorbed and the book was just too crude for me at times.  I have a feeling I’m just too old for it because I couldn’t relate to the main character at all.  Julia Whelan does a fabulous job narrating the audio version of the book but it wasn’t enough to save it for me.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


I can’t imagine any kid (or adult for that matter) not loving National Geographic Kids THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF SHARKS by Brian Skerry with Elizabeth Carney and Sarah Wassner Flynn.  Skerry is a photographer and journalist who specializes in marine animals and has a particular love of sharks.  In this large (approximately 9½ inches by 12 inches), beautiful book he shares lots of information about sharks, their habitats, feeding styles, physical attributes, and environments from the huge whale shark all the way down to the pygmy shark.  The full color photos in this book are outstanding – it’s hard to say beautiful when they feature sharks – and the facts presented are fascinating.  They’re presented in a fun way, too, so young readers will learn without even knowing it.  Skerry also sets the facts straight about shark myths.  Readers learn shark attacks are rare so there’s really no reason to fear these fish that have been around for millions of years – sharks were here long before dinosaurs.  In fact, we should be helping to protect sharks and Skerry shares ways we can do just that.

I read this book from cover to cover but I suspect many young readers will flip though it, picking it up again and again and learning something new each time.  This fabulous book belongs in school, classroom, and home libraries.  Pick it up for the curious young readers in your life!  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)


FRENCH EXIT by Patrick deWitt is a clever story about a woman named Frances.  When her husband dies leaving nothing but a bad reputation, Frances realizes she has no way to support herself or her adult son, Malcolm.  She decides it’s time to get away so she, Malcolm, and their cat, who she believes holds her husband’s spirit, board a ship for Paris, where Frances has something planned.

I enjoyed this darkly comic book.  The writing is sharp, the characters are quirky (even if they are a little one-dimensional), and the plot is unique.  The book was a short, quick read but it’s stuck with me.  I think book clubs could have a lot of fun discussing FRENCH EXIT.   (Review copy provided by Ecco.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • The store celebrated its 6th Anniversary (a little late) last Saturday.
  • I went to see my mom on Sunday and got back late yesterday.

  • I finished my Rainbow Brite puzzle – it was tougher than it looks.
  • I didn’t walk while I was visiting my mom and averaged just under 8,500 Fitbit steps a day.

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

19 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2018 5:11 am

    Clever, darkly comic book with quirky characters? Definitely sounds like my thing!
    Also I’ve heard many good things about My Year of Rest and Relaxation, too bad you didn’t like it as much.

  2. August 17, 2018 7:07 am

    I would have been annoyed at My Year!!! I know irrational but that’s it.

  3. August 17, 2018 7:08 am

    Nice on finishing three books.

    I was visiting my sisters and we had a blast, but no reading was done.

    I like your “Off The Blog” fun

    Have a great weekend.

  4. Diane permalink
    August 17, 2018 7:48 am

    I loved Otessa M’s first book, Eileen, so plan to try this as well. I have the audio download as well so glad to hear narrator was good,
    Even if the book didn’t work that well for you.

    Have a great weekend Kathy.

  5. August 17, 2018 8:41 am

    Hmm, I thought My Year of Rest and Relaxation was a memoir, too. Since the reviews have been mixed, it hasn’t been high on my list. Guess I won’t be moving it up. Have a good weekend!

  6. August 17, 2018 8:43 am

    I don’t think My Year would be for me either. Sounds like you had a nice week.

    Jennifer | Mrs Q Beauty
    Instagram | Follow Me

  7. August 17, 2018 9:45 am

    I’ve been eyeing Women in Sunlight…and I’m curious about French Exit. Your description of the Rest and Relaxation “journey” made me think of Eat Pray Love, which I found to be annoying and “self-absorbed” as well.

    Enjoy your weekend! Congrats on the sixth anniversary of the store.

  8. August 17, 2018 10:22 am

    You are missing out on a whole bunch of very good documentaries showing in theaters now (some may be gone). Just a few are: RBG, Three Identical Strangers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, and Dark Money.

  9. August 17, 2018 10:28 am

    French Exit doesn’t seem like a book I would naturally pick up, but your review makes it sound like a fun read!

  10. August 17, 2018 11:43 am

    I am not understanding the point of that R&R book. It has gotten so much buzz. I thought it was a memoir too. If she’s zonked out the entire time what’s there to read about?

    BTW, I received Miriam’s book in the mail! Thank you for the giveaway!

  11. August 17, 2018 12:29 pm

    I’m going to look for French Exit! I also thought the first book was a memoir. Sorry it didn’t work for you. You’ve had a busy summer – so nice you could see your mom (and still get more steps/day than I have lately!). Congrats on the store anniversary!!

  12. August 17, 2018 12:40 pm

    I haven’t heard anything about My Year of Rest & Relaxation and it definitely isn’t for me. Sounds pretty awful. However, that puzzle looks like fun!! I’m ready to get back to working on puzzles.

  13. August 17, 2018 1:59 pm

    Awesome puzzle 😀 I so want to try one one day

  14. August 17, 2018 2:47 pm

    Six years? It sure doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since it opened, at least to me. I love that puzzle!

  15. August 17, 2018 4:20 pm

    `The puzzle looks good, but all that yellow must have been difficult. In my family we’d call you a Master Puzzler. The National Geographic book is one I’m getting from the library. Have a great weekend Kathy.

  16. August 17, 2018 11:32 pm

    The Rest & Relaxation novel probably won’t be for me either. The crude parts just seem too much. I’m glad you let us know about it. Congrats on the store’s 6th anniversary!

  17. August 18, 2018 5:42 am

    I think I can’t even tell anymore the difference between a memoir and a novel. Maybe it doesn’t matter!

  18. Literary Feline permalink
    August 18, 2018 3:00 pm

    That is too bad about MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION. FRENCH EXIT sounds much better. Happy anniversary to the store! Here’s to many more great years of business! Have a great week, Kathy.

  19. bookingmama permalink
    August 30, 2018 9:14 am

    I need to read FRENCH EXIT! I read another novel by Moshfegh. It was pretty gritty as well.

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