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The Week in Review: 12.21.2018

December 21, 2018


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

SWING by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess is the story of two high school juniors – Walt and Noah – who’ve been good friends forever.  Walt is obsessed with baseball and has asked to be called Swing – he’s sure this will be the year he makes the baseball team.  Noah is obsessed with Sam but she already has a boyfriend.  The pair work hard to make their dreams come true and things seem to be going pretty well until they witness an event that rocks their world.  I’m a big fan of Alexander and love novels in verse so it will come as no surprise that I loved this book even though the ending broke my heart.  The characters are fantastic, the story line is great (and very realistic) and it explores a social issue.  It’s written for a YA audience that will relate to the characters but older readers will enjoy it too.  (Review copy provided by Amazon Vine.)


I have so many thoughts going through my mind after finishing DOPESICK: DEALERS, DOCTORS, AND THE DRUG COMPANY THAT ADDICTED AMERICA by Beth Macy.  Meticulously researched and well written, this book is riveting, eye-opening, heart breaking, and scary.  Macy tells the story of America’s opioid addiction in one of the places it first began, Appalachia.  What began as  prescription pain killer use, heavily promoted by Purdue Pharma, it’s manufacturer, quickly escalated into a drug abuse epidemic.  I’ll admit that I judged some users because I didn’t truly understand the problem until I read this book.  Macy gives a full picture of the problem by sharing the stories of doctors, advocates, users, and their loved ones and it is harrowing.  She recounts some success stories as well as many failures.  I talked about this book all the time as I read it and think it would be an excellent choice for book clubs who enjoy nonfiction and discussions about social issues.  I cannot recommend this book enough – It should be a wake up call for everyone in this country.


I generally shy away from fantasy because I struggle with imaginary worlds but decided to give INKLING by Kenneth Oppel a try and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.  After the death of his mother, Ethan’s family is struggling.  Things aren’t going right for Ethan at school, his sister Sarah longs for a dog, and their artist dad can’t seem to produce any material.  When the ink from several of his drawings run together and form a blob, Inkling jumps off the page.  Ethan is the first to find him when he starts “eating” the ink off the pages of some of his books.  The two bond and Inkling begins to help Ethan and then the rest of his family.

I think this story worked for me because Inkling was an imaginary creature in a real world.  I loved Ethan and rooted for him and his family and was pleased when Inkling helped him.  There are some exciting twists and turns with a lot of adventure that made this book a lot of fun.  The audio version is read by Robbie Daymond and he does a terrific job.  I think middle grade readers will love this book even more than I did.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • I finished my latest jigsaw puzzle.  This will probably be my last one until after the holidays.
  • My book club met Tuesday night.  We don’t read a book for our December meeting.  We just eat, drink, socialize, and have a Dirty Santa book swap.  I was excited to get THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ by Heather Morris.
  • I lost my Fitbit on Wednesday but got in a lot of steps because I walked three miles twice – the second time to look for it.  I couldn’t find it and have a ordered a new one.

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

22 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2018 4:07 am

    I just picked up The Tattooist too. I will be looking forward to your review. I don’t know when I will get to it.

  2. December 21, 2018 5:55 am

    I know there are wonderful books out in verse, but I can’t get into them. yet, anyway

  3. Beth F permalink
    December 21, 2018 7:00 am

    Bummer on the Fitbit. Grrrrr. But good for the second walk! I loved Swing too. I almost picked up Inkling last night, but ended up not reading last night. I’ll add Dopesick to my list.

  4. Diane permalink
    December 21, 2018 7:43 am

    Sorry about the loss of your Fitbit. I washed mine twice as it was clipped to my pants but it keeps working- over 5 years old now:)

    Dopesick was on my list but when it arrived I didn’t feel like reading about that awful topic. I may try the audio after reading your review.

    Have a nice weekend and Merry Christmas.

  5. December 21, 2018 8:38 am

    I will definitely look for Dopesick now. Thank you for your review.

  6. December 21, 2018 9:15 am

    Dopesick is near the top of my list for 2019. Too bad about your fitbit….

  7. December 21, 2018 9:27 am

    I think I want to read Inkling…sorry about your Fitbit…you can take a day off if you walked it twice.

  8. December 21, 2018 9:30 am

    Great puzzle! I loved Watching You, and Dopesick is on my list. Thanks for sharing, and enjoy the holidays.

  9. December 21, 2018 10:50 am

    Love the puzzle! Sorry about your Fitbit. Did you order a Zip? I’m thinking about getting one.

  10. December 21, 2018 12:39 pm

    We hosted book club at our house yesterday afternoon and had a great time enjoying all sorts of goodies and wine. We discussed The Other Einstein, which kept us chatting for more than most of the books we’ve recently read! I’m recommending The Tattoo Artist of Auchwitz to the group for 2019. I’ve read nothing by rave reviews for it. Might have to suggest Dopesick, too. Bummer about your Fitbit, but good for you to walk 6 miles! I have to push myself to do 3.

  11. December 21, 2018 2:04 pm

    I have added both Dopesick and Swing to my “to get ahold of” list, they both sound so good!

  12. December 21, 2018 2:19 pm

    Too bad about the fitbit!

  13. Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf permalink
    December 21, 2018 2:23 pm

    That jigsaw puzzle is too cute!

  14. December 22, 2018 1:52 am

    Your puzzle turned out great. All that white must have made it hard to do.I hope your Christmas weekend is a happy one.

  15. December 22, 2018 9:34 am

    Dopesick sounds like the kind of book I might not actually enjoy, but feel I ought to read to learn about an issue I’m rather ignorant of. I’ve got a few days of quiet here, thinking of doing a puzzle again myself!

  16. December 22, 2018 12:02 pm

    Hmmm, now I definitely feel like I need to read DOPESICK! I wonder how it would be on audio. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas!

  17. December 23, 2018 12:50 pm

    Sorry about the fitbit. We’re dog sitting this week and I forgot to wear my fitbit when we went for a walk this morning. Dopesick has been on my radar for a while so I appreciate your thoughts on it.
    Cute puzzle 🙂 Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  18. December 23, 2018 5:02 pm

    You’ve made me want to pick up Dopesick even more. I’m really interested in reading it. Oh no on losing your Fitbit. Hope you find it.

  19. December 24, 2018 9:23 pm

    You make me want to get out a jigsaw – I have quite a lot of them but now mostely do them online. Merry Christmas from carole’s chatter

  20. December 28, 2018 6:25 pm

    Cute puzzle! Oh no on the fitbit. If you have a general idea where you lost it (house, etc) there’s an app you can use on your cell phone (bluetooth finder I think it is) that will pick up any signal. I’ve had to find mine a couple times that way now. lol

  21. December 29, 2018 2:52 am

    I’m scared to read Dopesick. I just don’t know how much reality I can take at this point!

  22. bookingmama permalink
    January 9, 2019 7:10 am

    I must read DOPESICK!!! I debated buying it to read on the airplane but couldn’t really justify it when I have 100s of books on my kindle already. I’m kind of surprised that you even picked up INKLING.

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