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The Week in Review: 02.22.2019

February 22, 2019


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

MAX AND THE MIDKNIGHTS by Lincoln Peirce is the story of Max, a young girl who travels with her Uncle Budrick, who’s a traveling minstrel.  It’s customary in Byjovia for children to follow in the footsteps of their parents (or guardians) but Max doesn’t want to be an entertainer; she desperately wants to be a knight.  When her uncle is kidnapped, she has to act fast  in order to save him.

I thought this book was great fun!  I loved that Max was a girl busting stereotypes in a middle grade book.  The plot is a little silly at times but I think the target audience will love the humor.  It made me laugh a few times myself.  The book is a hybrid of narrative and graphic novel but I listened to it and it and thought the full cast of narrators did a terrific job of bringing it to life.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


When I picked up THE TRUTHS WE HOLD: AN AMERICAN JOURNEY by Kamala Harris, I thought it was the story of her life as the child of immigrants and it was, at least at the beginning.  Both of Harris’s parents immigrated to the US to attend college – her mother from India, her father from Jamaica – and met when they became involved in the Civil Rights Movement.  The marriage didn’t last, though, and Harris and her sister lived with their research scientist mother.  They were encouraged to be involved and fight for what they believed in.  Harris became a lawyer and became involved in politics and is currently a US Senator who’s running for President.

I thought this book was well written and engaging and enjoyed the parts about Harris’s personal life and career but thought it became a little tiresome when she wrote of current events and the current administration – in fact, it started to feel like one long campaign speech at that point.  I wonder how well it will hold up through the years because of that content.  Harris listed her achievements but never shared any of the objections that have been raised about her programs.  I still think the book is worth reading if you’re interested in learning more about her background.  Harris reads the audio version herself and does a terrific job.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


I picked up MARGARET AND THE MOON: HOW MARGARET HAMILTON SAVE THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING by Dean Robbins because it’s illustrated by Lucy Knisley.  I was expecting a graphic novel but got a great picture book about Margaret Hamilton instead.  Hamilton was curious and hard working and questioned why there weren’t more female doctors or scientists.  Margaret loved math and eventually discovered computers and taught herself how to write code.  She was so good at it, she began to work at NASA on the Apollo missions.

I’m embarrassed to say I knew nothing about Hamilton before I read this terrific book.  I love the way it presented Hamilton’s curiosity and tenacity.  The author’s note in the back gives more information on Hamilton and includes a bibliography and a suggested reading list.  Of course, I loved Knisley’s illustrations and the fact that there are photographs of Hamilton on the back endpapers.  Pick this picture book up for the future scientist in your life.

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • Carl joined his brother and sister-in-law at the beach for a few days so I worked a little extra this week.
  • It seemed like all it did was rain all week.  We’re ready for some sunshine.

  • I finished the mystery puzzle I got for Christmas.  It was tough at first but a lot of fun to do.
  • I walked at least three miles every morning, except Thursday when I got caught in a thunderstorm and had to head home early, and averaged almost 17,350 Fitbit steps a day.

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

25 Comments leave one →
  1. Diane permalink
    February 22, 2019 6:18 am

    Too bad about the Harris book, I was curious. Hope the sun shines for you all weekend.

  2. Rhonda permalink
    February 22, 2019 7:13 am

    Rain Rain thunder all this in usually sunny California.Srptarting The Guest Book by Sarah Blake and The Threat by Andrew McCabe .Have a good weekend,

  3. February 22, 2019 7:26 am

    I love Knisley as well!

  4. Beth F permalink
    February 22, 2019 7:44 am

    I need to pick up that book illustrated by Knisley — for both her illustrations and the story. Too bad the Harris book wasn’t better.

  5. February 22, 2019 7:44 am

    I think my granddaughters will like Margaret and the Moon.
    Hope the sun comes out!

  6. February 22, 2019 8:51 am

    Enjoy your books. I’m curious about the Kamala Harris book.

    I’m blog visiting from my iPhone since my laptop is in the shop.☹️

  7. February 22, 2019 9:41 am

    We’re listening to Becoming, which is spoken by Michelle. She is very candid, which makes the book more interesting.

  8. February 22, 2019 10:52 am

    I can’t read anything political right now so even though there is some interest in Harris, I won’t be reading about her anytime soon. Especially if her book is like a campaign speech. Ugh.

    It snowed here, Kathy! Yesterday it showed both where I live and briefly at my work. It was crazy! Today, it was 30 degrees. I love it! I am hoping this summer is not as hot as last summer because 120 was too much. I can deal with this new weather pattern… rain for 2-3 days out of the week and now snow? LOL.

  9. February 22, 2019 11:16 am

    Margaret and the Moon sounds wonderful, but I think I’ll hold off on Kamala Harris’ book. Have you read Joe Biden’s “Promise Me, Dad” or “Becoming” by Michelle Obama? I loved “Becoming,” but Biden’s was disappointing.

  10. February 22, 2019 11:55 am

    Love your choice of books this week. Oooh…I bet you flew back home when the storm hit! We have not done much this week…we had snow days and rain days and warm days and dull days…all in one week! I think I read a lot this week…my girlfriend book was unputdownable!

  11. February 22, 2019 12:08 pm

    I like the details of the Kamala Harris book.

  12. February 22, 2019 12:55 pm

    I’m feeling the need to read Camilla Harris’ book since she is one of my senators. Thanks for your review. I love your mystery puzzle. It does look like fun.

  13. February 22, 2019 2:26 pm

    All those books are new to me except Finding Dorothy which I think I’ve decided not to read. ‘m so behind on reveiws it’s ridiculous.

  14. February 22, 2019 4:15 pm

    Thanks for your concise book reviews. I’d like to read or listen to Harris’ book. Great job “solving” the mystery puzzle! We had a lot of rain, too, this week, some hail, and snow in the mountains. I’m happy that the sun’s out today. Enjoy your weekend!

  15. Literary Feline permalink
    February 22, 2019 5:27 pm

    I love all the rain we have been getting, but not so much the cold of the last few days. I hope you have a good weekend and week. We are about to head into March which will be a busy month for me–both on the home front and at work.

  16. The Cue Card permalink
    February 22, 2019 5:36 pm

    I’m impressed you listened to the Harris book. In general I think politicians’ books who are campaigning can be a bit painful to read … so I usually skip them but I am interested in her run for the presidency & background.

  17. February 22, 2019 10:35 pm

    Too bad Harris’ book started out well and then spiraled into a current reflections book. Perhaps I’ll just read the first part of the book.

  18. February 23, 2019 1:49 pm

    I like the look of that first one 🙂

  19. February 23, 2019 4:58 pm

    I’m glad you liked the Kamala Harris book. I don’t usually read books by current politicians, they always feel really surface level to me, but it is interesting to get the candidate’s view of themselves.

  20. February 24, 2019 9:06 am

    MARGARET AND THE MOON sounds amazing (and I didn’t know her either!) I’m interested in Harris’ book but I suspect I’ll agree that it sounds like a long campaign speech.

  21. February 24, 2019 5:34 pm

    I read anything illustrated by Lucy Knisley, so I feel certain I will read this one, too. Thanks for sharing it. I can’t seem to read anything that is current or political these days. Perhaps that trend will abate when the climate becomes less abrasive.

  22. February 24, 2019 9:51 pm

    So far I’ve been holding off on the books by the new crop of Democratic candidates…. I’m afraid they’ll all be like one big, long campaign speech.

  23. February 27, 2019 3:24 pm

    Margaret and the Moon sounds good.

  24. anitaglebeau permalink
    February 28, 2019 8:18 pm

    I’m looking forward to your thoughts on Finding Dorothy. I didn’t receive an early copy and yet it looks very good.

  25. March 5, 2019 7:07 pm

    Margaret and the Moon looks fantastic! Don’t think I could read a campaign book this early. I wish there was a rule that you couldn’t start running for election until the actual year of the election. Still haven’t recovered from the last presidential.

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