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The Week in Review: 10.05.2018

October 5, 2018
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Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I’ve loved pop-up books ever since I saw my first one as a young child.  Thanks to great paper engineers like Bruce Foster, they’ve become more and more sophisticated so my love for them has never waned.  I was beyond excited to receive a copy of TO THE MOON AND BACK: MY APOLLO 11 ADVENTURE by Buzz Aldrin with Marianne J. Dyson and dug into it immediately.  I read through it once for the story and have gone back and lingered over the details of all the beautiful pop-ups created by Foster.  As the title suggests, the book is about Aldrin’s role in man’s first steps on the moon and, let me tell you, it’s a gem.  Aimed at late early readers or early middle readers, this book brings history alive through story telling and dramatic pop-ups.  Readers learn about the Space Race and the history of the Apollo program, including failures and successes.  There are even a few paragraphs from Aldrin’s children about what it was like to have their dad go in space.  Besides the pop-ups, there are flaps to lift and tabs to pull, and a lunar module to assemble yourself, keeping curious young readers engaged throughout this fun, educational book.  As usual with a National Geographic book, it’s filled with full color illustrations.  I think TO THE MOON AND BACK is perfect for kids who love science and space as well as reluctant readers.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)


AN ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE THING by Hank Green (John’s brother) is a little outside my comfort zone but I decided to give it a go and, for the most part, I thought it was fun.  When April May stumbles across a new sculpture on the streets of New York City in the middle of the night, she gets her friend Andy to meet her and help her make a video about it.  She dubs the sculpture Carl, puts the video on YouTube and finds herself an instant social media celebrity.  “Carls” have appeared all over the world and April feels they’re here for peaceful reasons but not everyone agrees with her.  With the help of a new personal assistant, she has to learn to juggle media appearances and her personal life while trying to solve the mystery of the Carls.  There’s a lot of action and food for thought in this lesson about instant fame.  Some things were a little too “out there” for me but, overall, I enjoyed the book.  The audio version is narrated by Kristen Sieh with Hank Green and I thought it was very well done.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

This was one of the displays at 2018’s Book Expo.


I didn’t realize IF THEY COME FOR US by Fatimah Asghar was a collection of poems until after I started the book on audio.  In these poems, Asghar shares what it’s like to be a Pakistani-American woman in today’s world.  She speaks of her religion and of the country her parents immigrated from.  At first, I had a lot of trouble following the poems and their cadence but did adjust somewhat before I was done.  Still, since I’m inexperienced with poetry, I think I would have been better served reading this collection in print.  I believe those who are more adept at poetry will do just fine with the audio version but I did find the author’s delivery grating before I was done.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


Any kid who likes soccer will love ABSOLUTE EXPERT: SOCCER by Eric Zweig.  This wonderful book is published by National Geographic Kids and is beautifully bound, printed on high quality paper, and contains lots of full color photos and graphics.  Readers learn about playing the game, the history of the game, soccer around the world, and soccer in North America.  Professional referee Mark Geiger shares his experience with soccer and his journey to becoming a full time ref.  There are a couple fun quizzes in the book as well as suggestions for other soccer books and an index.  Soccer wasn’t very popular when I was growing up so I learned a lot as I read this book.  I imagine kids who’ve grown up with the game won’t learn as much but they’ll still love reading this fact filled book.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • Carl and I went to see an aunt who lives about an hour away.  She’d moved and we’d lost contact with her but I recently got her address so we decided to surprise her.  She was married to my dad’s brother.  She and my mom are the last two of their generation on both sides of my family.  We had a wonderful visit and learned she belongs to 3 book clubs!
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged just over 16,300 Fitbit steps a day.

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

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    October 5, 2018 6:50 am

    The moon book sounds amazing! How fun to reconnect with your aunt — and yay her for being in so many book clubs. That’s a fabulous photo!

  2. October 5, 2018 7:07 am

    Can’t wait to listen to the Hank Green book. And yes, great photo!

  3. October 5, 2018 8:38 am

    I love that photo of you and your aunt, Kathy!! 3 book clubs? How wonderful!

    I’ve missed my favorite blogs and am trying to catch up on a few before we leave for New Mexico. It’s hard to believe we’re into our second month of travel, but we’re having a great time!

  4. October 5, 2018 8:46 am

    I’m a big fan of pop-up books but mine are all Christmas theme. I’ll look for the Buzz Aldrin book. What a fab photo of you and your aunt. No surprise she’s a booklover!

  5. October 5, 2018 10:29 am

    How wonderful that you got to visit your aunt, and I love that she’s in 3 book clubs! Great photo of the two of you.

    I am curious about Listen to the Marriage…and I’m eager to start reading A Spark of Light.

    Thanks for sharing, and have a great weekend!

  6. Diane permalink
    October 5, 2018 10:29 am

    Looks like you had a busy week. Sweet picture of you and your long lost aunt. Enjoy the weekend!

  7. October 5, 2018 11:51 am

    3 book clubs? Go auntie!

  8. October 5, 2018 1:41 pm

    Your recent books sound interesting. I like the idea of an audio version of a poetry collection such as featured here, since poetry is meant to be heard. The photo with your aunt is lovely, and I, too, am amazed that she’s in 3 book clubs. Thanks for sharing this terrific review of your week!

  9. Patty permalink
    October 5, 2018 3:11 pm

    I can totally see kids loving the tabbed and pop up book. You and your aunt look delightful together. I can’t wait until you both talk about the books you have read. I would love to hear her faves. Oh..and I love your arm candy! I am not a poetry fan either and DWTS is awful this time. I can’t even have it on in the background!

  10. October 5, 2018 3:43 pm

    I can’t even find one local book group to join so I think it’s awesome that your aunt belongs to three! It must have been wonderful to see her again!

    Great job with your steps!

  11. October 5, 2018 8:33 pm

    Yes, yay for your aunt n three book clubs! I just finished Spark of Light- it’s very thought-provoking.

  12. October 5, 2018 11:31 pm

    I loved John Green’s advertising campaign for his brother Hank’s book. I am tempted to read it.

  13. October 6, 2018 7:42 pm

    I love the picture of you and your aunt! Those books from Media Masters look fantastic!

  14. October 6, 2018 10:14 pm

    How good that you were able to reconnect with your aunt. I love that she is in 3 book clubs.

  15. October 7, 2018 8:29 am

    To The Moon And Back sounds like my kind of book. I love that kind of thing!

    I’m currently in the middle of a Discworld (by Terry Pratchett) book, but I’m just itching to get into two books I received this week (‘Erebus’ by Michael Palin and ‘A Better Me’ by Gary Barlow).

  16. October 8, 2018 1:34 pm

    Love that photo of you and your aunt. What a pip! Three book clubs!

  17. October 8, 2018 4:43 pm

    Neat reunion with your Aunt. 3 book clubs, wow. I’m considering the Hank Green book, thanks for the review.

  18. October 9, 2018 8:44 am

    I have the Absolute Soccer book too and am hoping I can learn from it as well since I am always confused about the rules while cheering on our school teams. I’m jealous you are already reading Picoult’s book. I have it, but it has to wait in line. How cool your aunt is in 3 book clubs! That keeps her brain active and young!

  19. October 9, 2018 1:44 pm

    Wow, three book clubs…crazy busy, but I bet that’s a good thing. Absolute Soccer shoulds like a good read for my daughter

  20. October 10, 2018 8:36 pm

    I’m glad to read a review of the Hank Green book by someone closer to my age; my children are uncritically enthusiastic about anything by either of the Green brothers.

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