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The Week in Review: 09.21.2018

September 21, 2018


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

VOX by Christina Dalcher is not without its faults but I still enjoyed it.  It’s set in the not so different future when ultra-conservative evangelicals have taken over the US.  Females are equipped with word counters and forbidden from saying more than 100 words a day, keeping them docile and out of the work force.  The story is narrated by Jean, an expert in cognitive linguistics and the married mother of four.  When the president’s brother is injured, she’s asked to work on a cure for him and she reluctantly agrees.  Of course, she wants to do much more than that and she’s hoping her place in the work force will help her accomplish her goals.  This book was obviously written in response to the current administration and I was drawn into it from the very beginning.  I did have a few issues with the ending, though.  The audio is narrated by Julia Whelan and I thought she did a terrific job.   I do think VOX would make a great book club selection.   (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


I read THE SUMMER WIVES by Beatriz Williams for my book club.  Set on Winthrop Island, it highlights the class differences between the year round families and the summer families who vacation there.  In 1951, Miranda is a new member of a summer family – her mother has just married a wealthy man who owns a vacation home there – so she doesn’t know the unwritten rules of the island.  She finds herself attracted to Joseph, the lighthouse keeper’s son.  Tragedy will strike before the summer is over, though, and everyone’s life will be changed.  The mystery of the tragedy isn’t solved until Miranda returns to the island some 18 years later.   I liked this book but can’t say that I loved it.  I think the characters and the setting were well written but parts of the story dragged for me.  The story is told from several points of view and from several time frames and I found the narrative shifts confusing at times.  I read an e-version and do think it would have been less confusing in print where it’s easier to flip back in the book.  Having said that, the conclusion of the story was fast paced and exciting and kind of made up for the slow parts.  THE SUMMER WIVES won’t be on my list of favorites for the year but I do think it’s worth reading.  (Review copy provided by Harper Collins.)


I’m not much for creepy or scary things so generally don’t do any Halloween reading.  I decided to stretch myself this year and picked up WARM BODIES by Isaac Marion and I thought it was a lot of fun.  It’s told from the point of view of R, a zombie who lives in a colony at an abandoned  airport.  When he goes on a hunting raid he notices a young woman named Julie and it sparks something in him and he decides to protect her.  The two form an odd relationship and come up with a plan to save the world.  I think this book will appeal to the younger YA crowd as well as though who, like me, are a little squeamish.  It combines a low level of creepiness with humor and a touch of romance.   I saw the movie several years ago and it follows the book pretty well so it would be great to read the book and watch the movie with a young teen.     (Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • Our thoughts are with all those affected by Hurricane Florence.  Luckily, our area was mostly spared – we got a little bit of wind and 1½ inches of rain.
  • My book club met to discuss THE SUMMER WIVES by Beatriz Williams.  One member loved the book and the rest of us felt it was just okay.  We also celebrated a birthday and an upcoming grandchild.   Next month’s selection is THE HOURS by Michael Cunningham.
  • I had several medical appointments this week so I’m glad to have it behind me.
  • I walked at least three miles every morning and averaged just over 16, 250 Fitbit steps a day.

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

26 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    September 21, 2018 6:59 am

    I’ve been on the fence with VOX, though I love Whelan’s narrations, so maybe I’ll listen. Warm Bodies sounds like the perfect Halloween read for me!

  2. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    September 21, 2018 7:14 am

    I have Vox on hold at the library!

  3. September 21, 2018 7:41 am

    So glad you were spared from the worst of Florence. I’ve been waffling on reading Vox, but the idea of discussing it with a book club is appealing.

  4. Patty permalink
    September 21, 2018 8:18 am

    I have been holding off reading Vox, too. I am not sure that it really appeals to me. We did not get much of Florence either which was good. Everything around here is waterlogged!

  5. September 21, 2018 8:45 am

    I’m with Candace – I love Julia Whelan’s narrative voice so audio might be best for me. I do want to read it. Glad that the storm didn’t do more damage in your area. We’ve been dodging rainshowers as well. There was a tropical thing in the Gulf that didn’t come to all that much, but after last year’s big hurricane, the Texas Gulf Coast is wary. And the storms always track right through Central Texas as well, so we often get flooding in our area. Have a good week, Kathy!

  6. September 21, 2018 9:45 am

    I’m glad to hear bout Williams. I’ve seen her and this book mentioned so many times, I thought I might have to read her. Now, not so much. And I’ve also been curious about Vox. I think I can probably avoid that one too. Thanks.

  7. September 21, 2018 11:01 am

    I loved The Hours. Your book club should have fun with that one. I also enjoyed The Flight Attendant.

    Vox sounds like a timely story, but it might depress me a lot right now, since I just finished Fear.

    Heartland sounds tempting…and maybe depressing, too. Sigh.

    Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your weekend.

  8. Literary Feline permalink
    September 21, 2018 12:43 pm

    I hope your doctors’ visits went well, Kathy. All three of the books you mention today are ones I hope to read. I am eager to read Vox and have had Warm Bodies on my TBR shelf for what seems like forever. Summer Wives is also on my TBR shelf. I hope you enjoy The Hours. I haven’t worked up the interest in that one, admittedly. But maybe someday. Have a great weekend and next week, Kathy!

  9. September 21, 2018 1:36 pm

    I saw the film version of The Hours and thought it was good (if memory serves correct, ha). A good feeling to have medical appts behind, hope all is well.

  10. September 21, 2018 1:53 pm

    Warm Bodies sounds like an interesting premise.

  11. September 21, 2018 2:38 pm

    100 words a day is insane! I would go insane!

  12. September 21, 2018 9:16 pm

    I am impressed with your walking every week; it’s so great that you fit in so many steps each day.

  13. September 22, 2018 1:44 am

    I was very interested by VOX but the reviews I’ve seen were very mixed, so I’ve been hesitant. However, your positive review makes me think I might give it a try. I hadn’t thought of audio but I like Julia Whelan!

  14. September 22, 2018 8:45 am

    So glad you were spared from most of the rain. My best friend manages properties in Wilmington and is there now assessing the damage. I’m intrigued by Vox, but don’t think it is a book for me. I haven’t read The Handmaids Tale either.

  15. Diane D permalink
    September 22, 2018 8:54 am

    Glad Florence spared you Kathy. So sorry Summer Wives disappointed – (I’m behind on this author’s last few releases). Our book club will be discussing My Brilliant Friend this coming week, which I had already read and liked a few years back. Hope your medical appointments went well. Have a nice weekend.

  16. September 22, 2018 10:40 am

    I am very curious about VOX. And now i’m even more curious about the ending. I think I liked SUMMER WIVES better than you did!

  17. September 22, 2018 3:33 pm

    Glad you were mostly missed by Florence. Have a great week!

  18. September 22, 2018 5:16 pm

    I’m glad you have Florence behind you. I’ve seen other blogs that liked Vox too. I might have to check it out, thanks!

  19. September 23, 2018 3:31 pm

    Good job with the walking and I’m glad Hurricane Florence spared you. I enjoyed Warm Bodies when I read it on my daughter’s recommendation. The film was good as well.

  20. September 24, 2018 12:50 am

    Kathy, I was worried about you due to Florence and am relieved to know that you’re fine. You had a great week, step-wise. I hope you have another great week ahead.

  21. September 24, 2018 10:32 am

    I want to read Vox, but it sounds like so many other books in that genre. Maybe Audio is the way to go. How wonderful to have a grandchild on the way! Congrats. Warm Bodies was a fun movie. Since you liked the book, you’ll probably enjoy the movie.

  22. September 25, 2018 12:48 am

    Thanks for your good suggestions on book club selections. I’m sure glad you were spared the worst of Florence. Have a good week Kathy.

  23. September 26, 2018 7:38 pm

    Warm Bodies sounds fun – I love zombie books!

  24. October 1, 2018 11:59 am

    I want to read Vox, but am afraid of being even more overloaded with fear and loathing than I already am.

  25. October 2, 2018 9:29 am

    Oh, Vox, yes. But honestly, the stress of this administation and my fear for our collective future might make it too much for me.

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