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The Week in Review: 05.03.2019

May 3, 2019
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the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I decided to read A PLACE FOR US by Fatima Farheen Mirza after a friend raved about it on Facebook.  It’s the story of a Muslim Indian family that has immigrated to California.  Layla and Rafiq have three children – Hadia, Humar, and Amar.  They try assimilate to American culture while maintaining some of their own traditions.  As the book opens, Amar has returned home for the wedding of Hadia and readers know there is something wrong with the family’s dynamics at that point.

I thought Mirza’s writing was wonderful in this character driven story but I didn’t really feel like I knew any of the characters or their motivations all that well until the end of the book when Rafiq takes over the narration.  The pace of the story is slow but I did enjoy the family dynamics and traditions.  I liked this book a great deal but didn’t love it as much as most people have.  (Review copy provided by Hogarth.)

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RUMPLE BUTTERCUP: A STORY OF BANANAS, BELONGING, AND BEING YOURSELF by Matthew Gray Gubler is a picture book about a odd-looking monster who is weird.  Poor Rumple lives with his imaginary friend named Candy Corn Carl.  He lives underground but longs to join in with the the kids who live above ground.  He disguises himself by putting a banana peel on his head and goes above ground for the annual Banana Jam Pancake Parade.  He can’t find a banana peel one year and decides he won’t go to the parade and learns that everyone misses him.

This sweet story is for children of all ages and emphasizes acceptance and inclusion.  It points out that no one is perfect and our differences are what make us so special.  I listened to the audio version of delightful book which is wonderfully narrated by the author.  This book should be shared with all early readers.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

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A friend of mine recommended I read DREAMLAND: THE TRUE TALE OF AMERICA’S OPIATE EPIDEMIC by Sam Quinones since I’m still talking about DOPESICK by Beth Macy, a book I read months ago.  As the subtitle suggests, DREAMLAND is about America’s addiction to opioids.  After becoming addicted to the pain killers, many people turn to heroin because it’s cheaper and easier to obtain and Quinones goes into great detail about the heroin distribution system in place.  Those details were fascinating and sickening at the same time.  Like DOPESICK, DREAMLAND puts a human face on this tragedy that affects people from all walks of life.  It’s obvious Quinones spent a lot of time researching the subject but there were times I felt like the story got bogged down with all the details he provided and got repetitive in several places.  If you can only read one book on the opioid crisis, I suggest you make it DOPESICK.  I’m still glad I read this book but it didn’t affect me the way DOPESICK did.

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • Summer is definitely here and, while I enjoy the warmer temperatures, I could do without the humidity.
  • I didn’t walk while we were out of town and averaged just over 12,325 Fitbit steps a day.

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

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    May 3, 2019 7:25 am

    Thanks for the recommendation of Dopesick over Dreamland — I need to educate myself about opioid addiction. I’m not quite sure why I was never drawn to read A Place for Us, but it sounds like I’m okay just letting it go.

  2. May 3, 2019 8:19 am

    I’d like to read the immigrants story mainly because of our own family spread far and wide. Trying to reconcile two cultures never easy on the older generation and worse on the younger who are influenced two ways.

  3. May 3, 2019 9:57 am

    Dreamland does sound good, and I will probably follow your recommendation and read Dopesick.

    Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your weekend.

  4. May 3, 2019 10:53 am

    Yesterday I heard a very interesting interview with a doctor who got hooked on opioids in the ’90s and what that was like for him, how it happened, how he got ahold of the pills once he was hooked, etc.

  5. May 3, 2019 11:48 am

    Oh my goodness, Rumple Buttercup sounds like a fun read with a great message at its heart.

    A Place For Us sounds like my kind of read as well as I do enjoy stories featuring family dynamics.

    Yes, opioids are a hot topic in the UK at the moment as well with Dr’s calling for tighter controls . Whilst I haven’t heard of this particular book I am aware of several others that seem to be proving very popular including Dopesick.

    After some unseasonably warm weather its rather miserable here in the north east of England. Cold and damp and set to get colder over the weekend but then it is Bank Holiday weekend.

  6. May 3, 2019 12:27 pm

    Wait, summer? What happened to spring? 🙂 I have Dopesick on my library list, but for some reason it’s not really calling to me. Maybe my book group will read it and that will give me the push.

    We’re winding down our three-week camping trip and I’ve been getting in some nice long walks (6 miles yesterday), as well as a few bike rides. Our weather should continue to be nice once we get home, so I’m hoping to continue with long walks. I’ve been listening to Where the Crawdads Sing and didn’t want to stop walking yesterday!

  7. Diane permalink
    May 3, 2019 12:50 pm

    I’m now curious about A Place for Us. I think I might like it. Weather here has been damp and rainy; hoping for warm sun soon.

  8. The Cue Card permalink
    May 3, 2019 3:20 pm

    Yeah I thought the novel A Place For Us had some problems so I didn’t love it either, but the author has some nice writing in parts. I will look for the book Dopesick, thanks.

  9. May 3, 2019 4:36 pm

    Sounds like you’ve had much warmer weather than us. We had some chilly days recently, but today and yesterday were warming up — minus the thunderstorm cool downs.

    Have a great weekend.

  10. May 3, 2019 4:56 pm

    I’m with you on the humidity, it was miserable here today. Your books look good. I love Matthew Gray Gubler as an actor so will look for his book.

  11. May 3, 2019 6:47 pm

    I started listening to A Place For Us and then ran out of time so it went back to the library. I’m on the hold list again and will pick up and finish as soon as allowed. Have to say I was enjoying the audio.

  12. May 3, 2019 7:16 pm

    Some of my friends have been raving about A Place for Us, too, it sounds really good. Glad to hear you also enjoyed most of it, even though you didn’t get to know the characters as much as you would have liked to.

  13. May 3, 2019 7:51 pm

    Even without walking you averaged tons of steps! I swear one of these days I am attaching a Fitbit to Roxie! I know it was a sad week for you…I thought about aging parents a lot this week.

  14. May 3, 2019 10:08 pm

    Rumple Buttercup looks like something I need!

  15. Mae Sander permalink
    May 4, 2019 10:46 am

    Surprising that you haven’t found anything new on the screen. There seem to be a lot of really good new streaming video series, like “street food” from Netflix.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  16. May 4, 2019 3:00 pm

    Enjoy summer feels!

  17. May 4, 2019 3:11 pm

    I’m listening to Dopesick now (a sad, sobering book) and will probably pass on Dreamland… even though it’s been on my wish list for ages. I’ve been tempted to try A Place for Us, but never seem to get around to it. There’s always something else that I’m more excited to read.

  18. May 4, 2019 6:20 pm

    Kathy,
    Rumple Buttercup sounds charming. I need to read a book about the opioid crisis; it sounds like I should read Dopesick. Our weather here is relatively cool now, and it still feels like spring, but that could change in a heartbeat.
    Have a relaxing weekend, Kathy!

  19. May 8, 2019 11:36 am

    Sarah Jessica Parker’s imprint seems to be doing well. I think A Place for Us was her first book they put out. All the books are getting plenty of attention but I’ve held off on this one.

  20. May 15, 2019 6:26 pm

    I still need to read DOPESICK!

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