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The Week in Review: 04.19.2019

April 19, 2019


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

When Dave Cullen wrote of the shootings at Columbine High School, he focused on the killers and their possible motivations.  Researching and writing that book affected him deeply (even causing PTSD) and he swore he’d never write about an event like that again but things changed with the shooting at Marjorie Douglas Stoneman High School.  This time, instead of writing about the killers, Cullen wrote of the victims and their reaction to the shooting.

I’m sure most people remember Emma González’s “We Call BS” speech and recall seeing David Hogg on television immediately after the tragedy but not everyone knows they, along with numerous other students, founded March for Our Lives, an organization dedicated to preventing more shootings by pushing for stricter gun control laws.  They didn’t just focus on school shootings, though, because

In the first six months of 2018, over 1,700 kids were killed or injured by guns, heavily concentrated in the inner cities.

As I expected with Cullen, I found PARKLAND: BIRTH OF A MOVEMENT to be meticulously researched and well written.  I’ve followed Hogg and González on Twitter and in the media so a lot of the information wasn’t new to me, though.  If you haven’t followed them the way I have and you’re interested in learning more about these amazing kids and their tremendous efforts, you’ll want to pick this book up.  (Review copy provided by Harper Collins.)


I’m a big fan of National Geographic Kids books and was excited to read one of their Little Kids First Board BooksSPACE by Ruth A. Musgrave introduces preschoolers to the basics of space with simple vocabulary and beautiful, full color photographs and illustrations.  This book measures approximately seven inches square and has thick, sturdy pages that are perfect for little fingers.  Musgrave starts with Earth, and “zooms out” to include the sun, the moon, the other planets, and the Milky Way galaxy.  She even includes spacecraft and astronauts and concludes with a few activities to keep little ones engaged.  I loved this nonfiction book and feel sure children will pick it up over and over again.  It’s a great way to present space to the youngsters in your life.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)


FIELD NOTES ON LOVE by Jennifer E. Smith is a sweet YA book.  It’s the story of Hugo, a British sextuplet who’s booked a train trip across the US with his girlfriend during the summer before college.  They break up before they leave, though, and the trip is non-refundable and booked in her name. Hugo advertises on the internet for another Margaret Campbell to travel with him.  Enter Mae, an American girl who was raised by two dads and is also entering college in the fall.  Mae will be attending USC and wants to study film.  The movie she used with her application didn’t make the cut and she’s very disappointed.

Hugo and Mae agree to travel together as companions but sparks fly and you can guess what happens.  Besides the romance, though, the two learn a thing or two about themselves and make some decisions about the future.  Even though this book is predictable, I thought it was a lot of fun.  I had to suspend disbelief with the storyline but it wasn’t hard to do because the characters are so great.  I fell in love with them and rooted for them the whole way.  The audio book is narrated by Anthony Mark Barrow and Karissa Vacker and they both do a terrific job.  Teens on up will love this entertaining story.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • Bad storms came through on Sunday and a tornado touched down in our little city.  Thankfully, no one was hurt.
  • Carl’s dad spent a few days in the hospital and Carl made a quick trip up to see him.
  • I walked at least three miles every morning and averaged just over 19,550 Fitbit steps a day.

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

20 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2019 3:17 am

    Tornado! Scary stuff

  2. April 19, 2019 7:19 am

    Sending good wishes for Carl’s dad. Glad no one was hurt by the tornado.
    You’ve convinced me to add Field Notes on Love to my wish list!

  3. Beth F permalink
    April 19, 2019 7:40 am

    Also sending good thoughts to Carl’s dad. Good reading this week. I love the National Geo books too. Field Notes sounds cute. Parkland sounds emotional but important. I read a different Parkland book, which was a collection of MDS students’ writings and artwork.

  4. April 19, 2019 9:17 am

    Field Notes on Love sounds fun. Hope Carl’s dad is recovering well!

  5. April 19, 2019 9:55 am

    I’m glad nobody was injured in the tornado!

    Parkland looks like one I want to read.

  6. April 19, 2019 10:53 am

    I hope Carl’s dad is feeling better.

    You just reminded me that I own a copy of Parkland.

  7. April 19, 2019 11:03 am

    The teen romance sounds totally fun. I’ve been reading heavy books lately and I think it’s time for a happy fluffy book. I’ve also been thinking about reading Parkland (yet another heavy book) because I thought Columbine was so well done. Thank you for the encouragement.

  8. April 19, 2019 1:25 pm

    You always read diverse and interesting books. I need your walking motivation…I kind of had a rough week…just feeling a little sorry for me…I hate when I do that but I am ok now. Easter always throws me into a tizzy!

  9. April 19, 2019 1:34 pm

    Field Notes on Love sounds really good to me. I’ll bet that tornado was scary. Thanks for sharing your week in review. Have a lovely Easter, Kathy!

  10. The Cue Card permalink
    April 19, 2019 5:59 pm

    Those Parkland kids/survivors … thank god for them. They really stood up to the gun lobby. I respect them so much.

  11. April 19, 2019 6:20 pm

    I hope Carl’s dad is doing good! My daughter and I were caught in a bad storm today with tornado watch, thankfully we got home safely.

  12. April 19, 2019 8:26 pm

    I have often thought about reading Columbine. Now with the anniversary of that horrible day, I may give it and Parkland both a try. I’ve heard the author’s research is outstanding. Still. Very tough subject matter.

    I see you’re reading a book by Dani Shapiro. I’m certain I’ve read a book by her, but I can’t remember what it was. Guess I’ll go check my blog. 🙂

    I’m glad you didn’t suffer any damage from the tornado! I guess I don’t know where you live, but I didn’t think you were in a tornado zone.

    Hope Carl’s dad is going to be ok. Sending good thoughts.

  13. Mae Sander permalink
    April 20, 2019 8:14 am

    Interesting books! School shootings are so depressing, but we have to keep trying to stop the madness of so many guns.

    best… mae at

  14. April 20, 2019 8:41 am

    I read Columbine, and I found it to be deeply depressing. I can see that the author might avoid writing about this subject again, so I was surprised to see Parkland at the library conference last week. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the book.

    I’m in need of something light, and I think I will look for Field Notes on Love. I’m trying to wrap up my Classics Club list, and everything I am reading is quite heavy.

  15. April 20, 2019 6:09 pm

    You’ve made me want to read Parkland… I follow those kids on twitter and in the media, too, and want to learn more. Hope Carl’s dad is doing better.

  16. April 21, 2019 2:11 pm

    Prayers for Carl’s dad and thankful no one was injured in the tornado that struck your city. Good for you on walking at least three miles every morning. Here? I’m trying to get back on my feet after badly bruising a knee last month, but I’m on the road to recovery with physical therapy starting this week.

  17. Literary Feline permalink
    April 21, 2019 10:35 pm

    I have Columbine on my shelf to read, but still haven’t managed to get to it. Parkland sounds like a must read too. I haven’t followed the kids the way you have, but what I have heard has impressed and moved me. Field Notes on Love sounds like a wonderful read. I hope Carl’s dad is doing better after his stay in the hospital. I am so glad to hear you weren’t affected by the tornadoes and storms. My half sister and her family made it out safely as well. I hope you have a great week!

  18. April 23, 2019 1:56 pm

    I’m glad that you were able to read the Parkland book. This is an issue that needs to bee addressed. Kids should not be dying in record numbers because of gun violence.

    I am glad no one got hurt by the tornado. That’s a relief. I hope your husband’s father is on the mend.

  19. May 2, 2019 9:30 pm

    I need to read Parkland. I did attend a March For For Our Lives rally last year in Cleveland – organized by high school students- and was so inspired by them. They deserve better. I’m so horrified by the abuse that Hogg and Gonzalez have received. Again, they and the young people of today deserve better by us.

  20. May 15, 2019 6:32 pm

    FIELD NOTES ON LOVE looks adorable!

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