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The Week in Review: 07.05.2019

July 5, 2019


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Camille seems to have a good life yet she feels something is lacking.  Even though she has a good marriage, a job she likes, and a terrific kid, she’s just not happy.  When she runs into Claude, he offers to help her and says she should just pay him what she thinks his services are worth.  It sounds like an offer she can’t refuse, so Camille jumps in with both feet, following Claude’s advice for happiness.

I picked up YOUR SECOND LIFE BEGINS WHEN YOU REALIZE YOU ONLY HAVE ONE by Raphaëlle Giordano because it has a fun, quirky name and was a bestseller in France.  Had I realized the author is a life coach, I probably would have skipped it because that’s exactly what it read like to me.  Claude advises Camille to do a spring cleaning of her home, asks her to list her strengths, tells her to identify her needs, etc – you get the picture.  Parts of the book are light and fun but, mostly, it felt like a thinly disguised self-help book to me.  I did think Nick Caistor’s translation was outstanding but the book was just okay for me.  I would recommend it to readers who enjoy self-help books.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


NIXIE NESS, COOKING STAR by Claudia Mills is the first book in the After School Superstars early chapter book series.  Best friends Nixie and Grace go to Nixie’s house after school every day and that’s just how Nixie likes it but things change when Nixie’s mother goes back to work.  Now, Grace goes to Elyse’s house after school and Nixie goes to after school camp.  Camp ends up being better than Nixie expected but she can’t help but be jealous of the friendship blossoming between Grace and Elyse.  What can she do to get her best friend back?

I thought this sweet story of friendship was delightful!  Nixie’s not happy about the change in her life but learns that change can be a good thing.  She also learns that she has room for more than one friend in her life.  I loved the cooking school setting and love that Mills included a recipe in the back of the book.  Grace Zong’s illustrations are wonderful as well.  Pick this book up for the early readers in your life!  (Review copy provided by the author.)


RIDING THE ELEPHANT: A MEMOIR OF ALTERCATIONS, HUMILIATIONS, HALLUCINATIONS AND OBSERVATIONS by Craig Ferguson is a memoir told through short stories that shows the author’s wit and humor but also his serious side.  He tells stories from his childhood in Scotland as well as his immigration to the US and his success here.  He freely shares his failures – like his divorces and alcoholism – as well as his successes – like being sober since 1992, and being a devoted father – in an open and honest way.  Sometimes humor in a book gets old for me after a while but that wasn’t the case with this book.  I thought there were enough serious moments to balance out Ferguson’s clever, self-deprecating humor.  Ferguson narrates the audio version himself and I thought he did a terrific job.  He kept me invested and entertained throughout.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

I watched most of the Women’s World Cup game against England and was thrilled to see the US advance to the Finals!

Off the blog

  • Our nephew’s visiting and Carl and I took him to see our minor league baseball team play. We had a great time even though they lost.
  • Since the store was open for the 4th, our holiday was pretty quiet.  I did go to a neighborhood get-together for a little while and watched neighbors put off fireworks.
  • The winner of a paperback copy of THE SHORTEST WAY HOME by Miriam Parker is Deb of Readerbuzz.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged just over 17,650 Fitbit steps a day.

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

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    July 5, 2019 7:27 am

    I’m so glad you wrote about YOUR SECOND LIFE, I think I’ll take that one off my to-read pile. I’m not big into that kind of self-help. But I *will* add the Ferguson book to my list … probably audio.

  2. July 5, 2019 7:53 am

    I just started gentle walking in our basement area. Finding it so hard with just 700 to 800 steps!!!

  3. July 5, 2019 8:38 am

    Nixie Ness looks cute. We will be watching the World Cup final for sure. Fun pic from the baseball game 🙂

  4. July 5, 2019 8:51 am

    Rats! I too thought from the title that the Raphaëlle Giordano book would be some sort of romcom. Too bad!

  5. July 5, 2019 9:29 am

    Riding the Elephant looks like fun.

    Love your photo!

    I’ll skip the self-help book. LOL

    Enjoy your weekend.

  6. Diane permalink
    July 5, 2019 10:44 am

    Nixie Ness sounds fun for my 7 y/old granddaughter. I like the sound of the memoir as well. Hope you had fun at the game- great pic!

  7. July 5, 2019 4:51 pm

    Thank you for your honest book reviews. The cooking book and the memoir sound like winners. I hope the rest of your weekend’s relaxing.

  8. July 5, 2019 4:57 pm

    Sounds like you had a great week!

  9. July 5, 2019 11:09 pm

    Great picture! Congrats to Deb. I’m eager to read The Shortest Way Home.

  10. July 6, 2019 9:59 am

    Nixie Ness sounds like a great new series for kids. I’ll let my teacher friends know. I may try the memoir. I like listening to them on audio so glad to hear it’s a good listen. Hope you are enjoying Crawdads. I thought it was amazing!

  11. July 6, 2019 10:12 am

    I like memoirs about comedians for some reason. I loved both Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. I’ll have to look for the one by Ferguson.

  12. The Cue Card permalink
    July 6, 2019 7:39 pm

    I’ve been really enjoying the World Cup games and I can’t wait to see the final tomorrow. I always liked the Craig Ferguson late night show and thought he’s done well since his sobriety. I can imagine he’d give a good reading of his memoir.

  13. July 6, 2019 8:03 pm

    I enjoy books that squeeze in a bit of self-help but I have to say a firm no thank you to those who attempt to tell all of us how to live. I think I was a bit more receptive when I was younger.

    I’ve read and enjoyed Claudia Mills, so I think I’ll look up this early chapter book. Thanks for sharing it!

  14. Literary Feline permalink
    July 6, 2019 11:38 pm

    Nixie Ness sounds like such fun. I bet my daughter would enjoy those books. It sounds like your nephew is having a nice visit. We went to a minor league game recently as well. 🙂 Today was the last of our non-dress rehearsal Saturday rehearsals. I almost feel like an old hand at this. Almost.

    I hope you have a wonderful week!

  15. July 7, 2019 8:32 am

    I love the title to that book, so many people have near death experiences and then really feel honored to be alive. I’m healthy today, and I for one am planning to enjoy my day:)

  16. July 7, 2019 5:45 pm

    Love the baseball game pic!

  17. July 7, 2019 5:49 pm

    Love the photo… looks like you guys are having a great time! I’ll be curious to hear what you think of Crawdads. I really didn’t want to read it, but ended up loving it.

  18. July 8, 2019 2:30 pm

    I hope you had a lovely visit! The memoir told in stories sounds very intriguing.

  19. bookingmama permalink
    July 12, 2019 6:49 am

    I downloaded Craig Ferguson’s book to read after Adriana raved about him!

  20. July 13, 2019 12:55 am

    I love Craig Ferguson and read his first book and didn’t love it. Maybe listening to him narrate his own story is the way to go.

  21. July 25, 2019 4:48 pm

    I am always amazed that you get in your walking every day! On our vacation that we just took, we walked a ton and I thought of you when I saw the high daily numbers.

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