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The Week in Review: 01.18.2019

January 18, 2019
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Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I’m a big fan of National Geographic Kids books and if you pick up FOOD FIGHT: A MOUTHWATERING HISTORY OF WHO ATE WHAT AND WHY THROUGH THE AGES by Tanya Steel you’ll see why.  This fabulous book is divided by time periods, starting with The Prehistoric Era and ending with Future World.  Readers learn a little bit about the period’s history before learning what people ate.  Menus, tools, table manners, etc. are included as well as 30 fun, kid-friendly recipes.  Each chapter ends with a “Popcorny” Quiz to reinforce learning.  There are safety tips at the beginning of the book and a food timeline and recipe index in the back.  It’s printed on high quality paper and is chock full of beautiful, full-color illustrations and drawings so it has a lot of eye appeal.  I loved this book and think young readers will pick it up over and over again.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)


VACUUM IN THE DARK by Jen Beagin is the story of Mona, a cleaning woman who lives in Taos, New Mexico.  She moved to Taos to get away from a bad boyfriend and is in a relationship with someone who may be just as bad, and he’s one of her clients.  She’s involved with other clients as well and does some questionable things when she’s in their homes.

As I read this book, I lost patience with Mona and wondered why she kept making such poor decisions.  I found the book to be a little gritty and odd and always felt like I was missing something.  The writing was fine but I think I’m not hip enough or young enough to really “get” this book.  Early reviews are good, so give it a try if it interests you.  (Review copy provided by Scribner.)


Hana grew up in a small town outside of Berlin, Germany.  World War II ended when she was a teenager and when Germany was divided her town ended up in the east, under Soviet control.  Hana decided she wanted to be free and escaped to the west, having minimal contact with her family until Germany was reunited forty years later.  Her daughter, Nina Willner shares the family’s history and the history of Germany in her book, FORTY AUTUMNS: A FAMILY’S STORY OF COURAGE AND SURVIVAL ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BERLIN WALL.

It’s obvious this well researched book was a labor of love and I liked it a great deal.  I knew the basic facts about the division of Germany and learned a lot more as I read this book.  As interesting as that was, for me, the most interesting part of this book was the story of this strong, determined family.  They remained close, always remembered their sister in the west, and never gave up hope.  If you enjoy memoirs or history, you won’t want to miss this terrific book.  (My friend Julie sent me this book.)


Currently reading:

On the Screen

We went with friends to see The Mule this week.  It’s based on a true story about an older man who is a mule for a drug cartel.  88 year old Clint Eastwood directed and stars in the movie and we all thought he did a great job.  The movie is entertaining, even funny at times, but ultimately sad.  Still, we all enjoyed it and thought it was worth seeing in the theater.

Off the blog

  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged almost 16,750 Fitbit steps a day.

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

26 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2019 4:54 am

    Great to hear your thoughts on Forty Autumns, I loved that book! I’m glad the strong family story stood out to you as well.

  2. Beth F permalink
    January 18, 2019 6:52 am

    Food Fights Sounds really good. Forty Autumns is new to me … I’ll have to see if my library has it. So glad the new Clint Eastwood is good.

  3. January 18, 2019 6:56 am

    I also like the sound of Food Fights. Today, in my corner of the world, we are awaiting 8 inches of snow. Ugh.

  4. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    January 18, 2019 7:15 am

    I loved Forty Autumns!

  5. Diane permalink
    January 18, 2019 7:16 am

    Glad u got to see The Mule and enjoyed it! Sweet, funny, intense and sad.

  6. January 18, 2019 8:36 am

    Good to know about The Mule.
    We’re expecting our first substantial snowfall this weekend so I’m sure some shoveling will be involved. And reading by the fireplace 😀

  7. January 18, 2019 8:43 am

    It’s been nearly a year and I’m still thinking about Forty Autumns!

  8. Rhonda permalink
    January 18, 2019 9:13 am

    Food Fights is new to me wil look at the library.I have Forty Autumns will putbitbon the top of my tbr.Have a great weekend,

  9. January 18, 2019 10:18 am

    Totally agree with you about The Mule. It greatly exceeded my expectations. We went with friends. And at the last minute, the 2 women decided to see the Jennifer Lopez movie instead. Big mistake!

  10. January 18, 2019 10:49 am

    Forty Autumns sounds good…

    I love Clint Eastwood’s movies, so The Mule is on my list..

    I am also curious about Two Can Keep a Secret. Enjoy!

  11. January 18, 2019 11:17 am

    My Absolute Darling is such a tough read. I feel like the ending fell apart a little but overall, it’s so raw and dark.

    Mule is not playing anywhere near me anymore. I wanted to see it last weekend but could not find it locally.

  12. January 18, 2019 12:44 pm

    I nominated Forty Autumns to my book group yesterday. If it isn’t chosen for one of our reads this year, I still plan to get a copy. A good friend said it is one of the best books her group read last year.

    I’ll have to look and see if Mule is playing near me. It’s been ages since we’ve gone to the movies, usually opting for dvds or streaming at home.

  13. January 18, 2019 3:51 pm

    Two out of three good books makes for a good week. I’ll have to tell my husband about The Mule. I think he’ll like it. Have a great weekend Kathy.

  14. The Cue Card permalink
    January 18, 2019 5:02 pm

    Yeah my husband read Forty Autumns and loved it. I want to read it too. So glad you liked it and thanks for the word on the Mule movie. Sounds decent.

  15. January 18, 2019 6:21 pm

    The Mule sounds really good! I’m a fan of Clint Eastwood’s work (loved Gran Torino). Forty Autumns is on my reading list. Have a great weekend Kathy!

  16. January 18, 2019 6:41 pm

    I want to read Forty Autumns and see Mule so I’m glad you confirmed that both are good.

  17. January 18, 2019 7:35 pm

    Forty Autumns appeals to me of all the books. We are expecting a major snowstorm this weekend, so I plan to binge watch some shows. Have a great weekend.

  18. January 19, 2019 3:33 am

    I can’t say the Mule is for me, but I think SO would watch it cos he likes Eastwood

  19. January 19, 2019 9:55 am

    I’m always a fan of good children’s nonfiction and Food Fights sounds like it would fit into that category. Thank you for sharing your books.

  20. Jackie permalink
    January 19, 2019 10:14 am

    Forty Autumns sound good.
    I will look out for Mule, that is something I think we would both enjoy.

  21. January 20, 2019 1:03 pm

    Food Fight looks so interesting! I’m going to see if my library has it. I hope your weekend is going well.

  22. January 20, 2019 4:35 pm

    All are new to me, I’ll check them out.

  23. January 20, 2019 6:58 pm

    Interesting. Cheers form Carole’s Chatter

  24. January 22, 2019 10:34 am

    The Mule would be too harrowing for me. I’m not really comfortable watching those kinds of movies. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Forty autumns sounds like a book I would read.

  25. bookingmama permalink
    January 26, 2019 9:54 am

    My book club read FORTY AUTUMNS. It was a hit although a bit scary in light of everything going on…

  26. February 6, 2019 1:52 pm

    I’m adding 40 Autumns and the kids book to my list!

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