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The Week in Review: 01.04.2019

January 4, 2019


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

THE POETRY OF US: MORE THAN 200 POEMS THAT CELEBRATE THE PEOPLE, PLACES, AND PASSIONS OF THE UNITED STATES edited by J. Patrick Lewis (former U. S. Children’s Poet Laureate) is a fabulous way to introduce youngsters to poetry and the uniqueness and the diversity of the United States.  The book and its poems are divided into geographic regions.  There are poems by Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Jane Yolen, and so many more.  There are also gorgeous, full color photographs throughout the book.  I loved that Lewis included so many different styles of poems and didn’t shy away from difficult subjects.  There were quite a few poems that moved me, but this one from the Midwest has stayed in my heart:

The book lady at the Salvation
Army read us a book that says
a book is a house. She liked it.
I could tell. She’s got a house,
I bet, with lots of books in it.

Under the by-pass bridge where
we lived before we got here
and where we’ll likely live again
when Daddy comes back because
this shelter is “women and children

only” and Daddy says our motto
is “together, no matter what,”
I don’t think we could have
moved into a book. Still, when
the lady said we could take any
book we wanted, that’s what I took

-George Ella Lyon

Pick this fabulous book up for you or a young reader in your life – you won’t be disappointed.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)


I was drawn to STRONGER, FASTER, AND MORE BEAUTIFUL by Arwen Elys Dayton because of it’s cover and really should have read more about it before I started reading it.  It’s a series of inter-connected stories about a future where humans are improved upon – sometimes through genetic manipulation and sometimes by replacing body parts.  Some people oppose it and ethical questions are explored.  It’s an interesting concept and was thought provoking but I didn’t always get how the stories were connected.  This book was an okay read for me but I don’t think I can be a fair judge because it’s out of my comfort zone.  The audio version is read by a cast of narrators and is very well done.  This book is getting some great reviews, so those who like science fiction and/or dystopia should give it a try.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


WATCHING YOU by Lisa Jewell follows several people in a little neighborhood in Bristol, England.  It seems that everyone is watching someone else.  The story is centered around Tom Fitzwilliam, the new headmaster at the local school.  Mr. Fitzwilliam has a reputation for saving schools but the mother of one of his students thinks he should have a reputation for something else – after all, she’s convinced he’s stalking her.  Tom’s son, Freddie, watches several people, including Joey, who’s watching his father.  As I write that description, it all sounds rather complicated but the plot wasn’t difficult to follow.  As usual, with a Jewell book, I was drawn in right away.  Readers know someone died at the beginning and tension is ramped up slowly as the story is revealed.  I liked the way Jewell told the story, including police interviews along the way and it all kept me turning the pages as fast as I could.  I thought this book was terrific and recommend it to those who like thrillers.  (Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

We watched a few more episodes of 11.22.63.  I still like the acting but the series is deviating from the book more and more and that’s beginning to bother me.  I can’t decide if I want to finish watching it or not.

Off the blog

  • I had my post surgery check-up and all is well.
  • Our youngest niece and her fiancé came by for a quick visit.  It was so good to see her again and to meet him.  I predict years of happiness for them.

  • I finally started the puzzle Vance gave me for my birthday.
  • I walked at least three miles every morning and averaged almost 17,850 Fitbit steps a day.

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

28 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    January 4, 2019 6:20 am

    I somehow missed that you had surgery, so I’m glad all is well. I have both the Elys and the Jewell books on my radar.

  2. Diane permalink
    January 4, 2019 6:59 am

    Kathy, I’m sorry but I think I missed the post about you having surgery.😭I’m glad all is well now.

    I do want to try a Lisa Jewell was book; glad you liked this one. Have a nice weekend.

  3. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    January 4, 2019 7:11 am

    I got Vacuum in the Dark, but just realized it’s a sequel and I haven’t read the first one! Grr…

  4. January 4, 2019 8:28 am

    What a great mix of reading. Happy First Week of January!

  5. January 4, 2019 8:54 am

    I don’t think I knew you’d had surgery. I’m glad you are doing well.

    Three miles a day, every day, is a worthy accomplishment.

    Happy New Year!

  6. January 4, 2019 9:32 am

    11/22/63 is one of my top 12 books all-time. I don’t have access to the mini-series. But if I did, I would probably give it a try.

  7. January 4, 2019 10:10 am

    You always read the most interesting things and work on the most complex puzzles. I am so glad your surgery follow up went well. I am just resting and recovering.

  8. January 4, 2019 10:24 am

    I’m glad all is well post-surgery.

    Your books look interesting; I’m curious about Two Can Keep a Secret. I enjoyed Watching You.

    I loved the book 11-22-63, and watched a few episodes of the show on Hulu. I need to get back to it!

    Have a great weekend.

  9. January 4, 2019 2:35 pm

    I think I’ll read Watching You sometime soon.

  10. January 4, 2019 2:39 pm

    Good that all is well on the checkup!

  11. January 4, 2019 3:16 pm

    I want to read Watching You as well. Good to hear that it went well for you. And, like others, don’t think I realized that you had surgery, but I’m glad you got a good report. Your step total is so faithful. Good for you, Kathy! Hope you have a good week!

  12. cherylmash permalink
    January 4, 2019 5:19 pm

    Kathy: I hope you are on the road to recovery. Didn’t know you had surgery….hope it wasn’t major. I have the Jewell book on my list so was happy when I saw that you enjoyed it.

  13. January 4, 2019 5:44 pm

    I didn’t know about the surgery, either. I’m glad that you are well. The poem you feature is very touching. Your step count is always terrific. Have a wonderful weekend!

  14. The Cue Card permalink
    January 4, 2019 7:08 pm

    Thanks for letting me know about the series 11/22/63 — perhaps we’ll check out an episode or two. It’s with James Franco eh? Enjoy your week … the Gabriel Talent book might be too creepy for me!

  15. January 4, 2019 9:47 pm

    Glad your post surgery check up went well.
    I like the Poetry of US. I didn’t know you were a puzzle fan! Me too. I just have no time… except when we had no power after the hurricane when I did puzzles with my granddaughter.
    Have a good week.

  16. January 4, 2019 9:55 pm

    Glad your surgery went well! Your puzzle looks like fun and a bit easier than the Liberty (wood & whimsy shapes) puzzles I’ve been working on. They are so challenging and I have to remind myself that I’m doing them for enjoyment. 🙂 Have a good weekend!

  17. January 4, 2019 11:26 pm

    Wait, what?! Surgery? I’m glad that you’re recovering and it was nothing too serious. I love the poem you shared. That looks like a fun one for Gage and I to read together. Adding the newest Jewell book to my list. Love her and it sounds good.

  18. January 5, 2019 10:06 am

    I do so like your first book – the poetry is rather fabulous.

  19. January 5, 2019 2:07 pm

    I am glad the surgery went well and that you are able to get out and walk! Years ago I was reading tons of dystopian, but I haven’t for quite some time.

  20. January 5, 2019 5:58 pm

    Yes I’m with everyone else – I missed the surgery part! But am happy all is well now!

  21. January 5, 2019 6:23 pm

    The poem you quoted is very moving. I’ll have to check out that book. I see by the look of your puzzle that your son wants you to have a real challenge. All that brown! Have a great week, Kathy.

  22. January 6, 2019 10:54 am

    Hey, Kathy! Happy New Year! It’s good to hear that your post-op check-up went well.

  23. January 6, 2019 3:06 pm

    Oh goodness, wasn’t aware you were having surgery. Sounds like you are doing well and back into your normal routine. I so loved The Poetry of Us and that poem as well. Happy New Year!

  24. Lauren Becker permalink
    January 6, 2019 8:37 pm

    I’m glad your post-surgery checkup went well! And I really want to read Watching You – glad you enjoyed it.


  25. Literary Feline permalink
    January 7, 2019 4:17 pm

    Watching You is on my TBR pile and so I am glad to see you liked it, Kathy. I am glad your post surgery visit went well. That is great news! I hope you have a wonderful week!

  26. January 8, 2019 7:10 am

    I really like Poetry of US. Very well done. Have a great week

  27. January 8, 2019 1:08 pm

    I’ve read one Jewel book and loved it and this one sounds so good! I want fast, entertaining reads this year.

  28. bookingmama permalink
    January 9, 2019 7:05 am

    I’m dying to read WATCHING YOU! I love all of Lisa Jewell’s books. And wasn’t the poetry book fantastic?

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