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The Week in Review: 12.28.2018

December 28, 2018


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I followed up DOPESICK by Beth Macy with IF YOU LOVE ME: A MOTHER’S JOURNEY THROUGH HER DAUGHTER’S OPIOID ADDICTION by Maureen Cavanagh to see what this horrible epidemic felt like from the inside.  When Cavanagh’s daughter became addicted to opioids and heroin, she did everything she could to help her.  She started by educating herself and others and eventually started support groups to help other families.  She helped countless young people struggling with addiction even as her own daughter struggled with relapse after relapse.  Cavanagh became so obsessed with it, it started to affect her relationships with her family and boyfriend and she came to realize she couldn’t help her daughter until she wanted help.

It’s hard to say you loved a book like this but I thought IF YOU LOVE ME was raw and gritty.  It’s heartbreaking and heartfelt, scary and encouraging.  I admire Cavanagh’s openness and honesty – she put it all out there – and her strong desire to help others survive this crisis and I’m very glad I read this book.  It made me realize how lucky we’ve been that our family hasn’t had to face this issue and it gave me empathy for those who have. (Review copy provided by Henry Holt.)


I think most people are familiar with THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK and ANOTHER MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK by Jon Stone since they’re favorites of many children.  I’m happy to tell you, there’s a new addition out – ANOTHER MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK: AN INTERACTIVE ADVENTURE is perfect for little ones who have trouble sitting still through a book.  Grover doesn’t want to open the book because he knows there’s a monster at the end but Elmo loves monsters so he is anxious to get going.  In this interactive version, little ones help reach the end but lifting flaps, pulling tabs, peeking through holes to reach the pop-up ending that is so much fun.  It’s constructed of heavy duty pages and even includes some velcro and a textured page that is sure to keep youngsters engaged.  Pick this up for the smallest readers in your life.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)


After watching the movie Dumplin’, I decided to pick up the book and I’m so glad I did.  Willowdean (her mom calls her Dumplin’) feels like she’s never quite lived up to her former beauty queen mother’s standards.  She had been really close to her Aunt Lucy and is grieving her loss.  Willowdean discovers a pageant entry form in Lucy’s things and decides to enter in her memory/as a protest and gets a few others to join her.  At the same time, she’s dealing with a couple boys, she and her best friend are on the outs, and she changes jobs.  I was in Willowdean’s world from the beginning and almost hated to leave it at the end.  I adored DUMPLIN’ by Julie Murphy – it’s got fabulous characters, a great (and relevant) storyline, and is very engaging.    This will be one of my favorites of the year and I look forward to reading more of Murphy’s work.  (I won this book from The Reading Date.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

We started watching the mini-series 11.22.63.  It’s based on the Stephen King book of the same name and tells the story of Jake Epping, a teacher who goes back in time to try to stop the assassination of JFK.  It’s been a while since I read the book but I’ve noticed a few differences – they haven’t been enough to bother me, though.  We’ve all been enjoying it so far and I think James Franco nailed the part of Epping.

Off the blog

  • My new Fitbit came on Saturday so I’m back in the game.  I walked at least three miles every morning, except Christmas, and averaged just over 13,400 Fitbit steps a day.
  • Our nephew arrived Saturday so he could spend Christmas with us.  Vance always stays with us while he’s here and we love having “the boys” under our roof.  Our Christmas was quiet, which was just what we wanted.

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

28 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    December 28, 2018 6:25 am

    Oh I need to look for that 11.22.63 — I forgot about it. If You Love Me sounds powerful. And Yay for having the boys home and for the new FitBit!

  2. December 28, 2018 7:00 am

    I heard an interview of the author of If You Love Me on the Satellite Sisters podcast and thought it sounded like a good book. Glad to see you liked it. I bet you had a great Christmas with the boys in the house 🙂

  3. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    December 28, 2018 7:53 am

    I didn’t realize 11/22/63 was a mini-series! I’ll have to check that out…loved the book.

  4. December 28, 2018 8:10 am

    Dumplin’ sounds wonderful. Reminds me why I always wait until the last minute make my favorites list… love it when a book like that comes to you at the end of the year! Glad you had a nice Christmas with the boys 🙂

  5. December 28, 2018 8:44 am

    I think I read Dumplin and I want to watch the Netflix show but I am wondering if its the same one…

    We had a quiet Christmas, too and it was perfect. I got my huggies, too, and I love them!

  6. December 28, 2018 9:19 am

    I know several people who have had family members with serious drug addictions. It is very hard to watch. Thank you for sharing these two books.

  7. December 28, 2018 9:46 am

    I thought Still Me was a great finish to a very good trilogy. And 11/22/63 is in my top 12 all-time.
    Happy New Year, Kathy.

  8. December 28, 2018 9:47 am

    I think I must read Dopesick…and now If You Love Me. I loved the Netflix movie based on Dumplin’, and definitely want to read the book.

    I really enjoyed 11/22/63…and started watching the mini-series, but got distracted. I think I’ll get back to it

    Enjoy your weekend and the upcoming week!

  9. Diane D permalink
    December 28, 2018 11:41 am

    I should read one of those books about drug addiction to understand it better. The topic seems so uncomfortable. Thought I might like to see the new Julia Roberts movie called: Ben is Back about her son who plays an addict or the Steve Carrell movie about his son.

    Have a great New Year Kathy and Happy Reading in 2019.

  10. December 28, 2018 1:28 pm

    I saw the movie Dumplin’ and now want to read the book and book #2 Puddin’.

  11. December 28, 2018 1:45 pm

    I loved Dumplin’ (and Puddin’) so am glad to see you liked them as well. I haven’t seen the film yet.

  12. December 28, 2018 2:48 pm

    Wohoo new fibit!

  13. Melissa S permalink
    December 28, 2018 3:43 pm

    I read Dumplin first and then watched the movie and loved both! I love that you loved Dumplin too!

  14. December 28, 2018 4:07 pm

    I’ve added Dumplin to my Netflix list. Looks good! We really enjoyed watching the 11.22.63 miniseries. Not as good as the book, but we liked it and thought Franco was very good. Glad you had a good Christmas. Ours was quiet, too. I was thankful for the sunny skies so I could get outside and walk for a little bit.

  15. December 29, 2018 2:57 am

    I’m so tempted to read Dumplin now! Jason and I both loved the book 11/22/63 and just couldn’t get over the big changes to the story and we gave up on the series halfway through, I did think Franco was good though.

  16. December 29, 2018 12:12 pm

    I want to watch Dumplin and have heard such good things about it. I had meant to read the book, but maybe I’ll read it and then watch. We’ll see. Not sure I knew they had filmed 11/22/63. I’ll watch for that too though I haven’t read the book.

  17. December 29, 2018 9:11 pm

    I had an eventful Christmas in hospital with husband. Got some reading done though. Also put up some reviews though setting it out on an iPad is not that easy for me.

  18. December 30, 2018 1:51 am

    I’m glad you had a nice quiet Christmas. Have a lovely week ahead Kathy.

  19. December 30, 2018 9:34 am

    I had no idea about the miniseries! I must find it also!

  20. Jeane permalink
    December 31, 2018 5:25 pm

    I made a note of Dopesick when you wrote about it last week- but I will see how I do with that one, before I consider If You Love Me- there’s only so much I can take of stories about pain and struggle and awful situations in families… . .

  21. December 31, 2018 6:30 pm

    I really want to see 11.22.63. I didn’t know it was out already. I’ll have to look into it.

  22. January 1, 2019 2:10 pm

    I enjoyed Dumplin’ and now want to check out the book. Where can I find the 11-22-63 series? I loved it on audio. Happy New Year.

  23. Andi permalink
    January 2, 2019 1:09 pm

    I’m so glad you reminded me of Dumplin’! I have it waiting for me and somehow I never remember it! Gahhh!

  24. January 3, 2019 11:16 am

    I just had someone recommend the movie “Dumplin” to me over Christmas. I think both my daughter and I would like it. Now just need to find time to watch it. I’m anxious to check out the new Monster book. I loved it as a child and read it to our kids. I think it is fun that it is interactive.

  25. January 3, 2019 6:50 pm

    That memoir sounds like a great pairing, I definitely thing those personal stories are important when trying to understand that issue. Looks like a good week of reading!

  26. January 8, 2019 7:05 am

    I’m not a big fan of Franco, but I do like him in this movie. The memoir is probably a very tough read.

  27. bookingmama permalink
    January 9, 2019 7:08 am

    You read some fantastic books this week. My kids and I are HUGE fans of The Monster at the End of the Book series! Or at least they were when they were toddlers!

  28. January 15, 2019 8:21 pm

    I found Dumplin’ very readable. Haven’t seen the movie.

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