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The Week in Review: 07.12.2019

July 12, 2019
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Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Forget horror, if you want to be scared, read BOTTLE OF LIES: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE GENERIC DRUG BOOM by Katherine Eban.  Award winning journalist Eban exposes the generic drug industry and the FDA’s “regulation” of drugs manufactured for and sold in the American market.  Did you know

Brand-name companies must test new drugs on thousands of patients to prove that they are safe and effective.  Generic companies have to prove only that their drug performs similarly in the body to brand-name drug.  To do this, they must test it on a few dozen healthy volunteers and map the concentration in their blood.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg on what’s disturbing in this well-researched, well-written book.  Many generic drugs and their ingredients are made in substandard facilities in substandard conditions that are often overlooked because of manufactured drug shortages or in the name of public health.  The FDA is short-handed and often fails to do enough, even when whistle blowers bring the poor conditions to light.  It’s unfathomable to think our government isn’t doing more about this.  I know I’ll be talking to my pharmacist and doctor about the medications I take.  If you, or someone you know, takes medication, BOTTLE OF LIES is a must read.


When I saw THE SCARECROW by Beth Ferry was illustrated by the Fan Brothers, I knew I had to have a copy.  A Scarecrow is put up to guard the fields.  He does a good job, standing guard day and night, no matter the weather.  But, the poor Scarecrow doesn’t have any friends and is rather lonely.  One day, a baby crow falls nearby and the scarecrow rescues him  As all babies do, the crow leaves the nest one day, leaving Scarecrow even lonelier than he was before.  Is there anything that can help poor Scarecrow now?

This is one of the sweetest picture books I’ve read in a long time.  Children and adults will relate to this story of friendship and love for different reasons but everyone will love it.  The rhyming version is charming and the illustrations are fantastic!  I absolutely adored this fabulous picture book!  (Review copy provided by Harper Collins.)


MISTRESS OF THE RITZ by Melanie Benjamin is inspired by the true story of Blanche Auzello.  Jewish and American by birth, Blanche had small parts in a few movies and accompanied her friend Pearl White (of Perils of Pauline fame) to Paris.  She met Claude Auzello and the two married.  He became the assistant manager of the famed Ritz Hotel and Blanche helped him take care of the guests.  Their marriage may have been rocky, but they did such a great job at the hotel, Claude eventually became the manager.  With World War II looming, Claude urged Blanche to return home but she refused.  The war changed their lives in countless ways.  The story is told from the point of view of Lily, an old friend of Blanche’s, who is remembering her fondly.

I’m a fan of Benjamin’s work so I was excited to pick this book up.  I liked it a great deal but don’t think I loved it the way I have her others and I’m wondering if it’s because I listened to the audio version.  I understand why Barbara Rosenblat was chosen to narrate the book – her accents are terrific – but something about her narration didn’t click with me.  I’m still glad I read it and admit that I longed to go to the Ritz as I did.   (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

I went to see Yesterday with a friend.  Struggling musician Jack Malik is hit by a bus after a freak, world-wide power blip and, when he wakes up, he’s the only person who remembers the Beatles and their songs.  When he plays the songs, people assume he’s written them and his career takes off.  Both my friend and I enjoyed this sweet love story.  We both loved the music and thought the storyline was fun.  I’ve been listening to Beatles music ever since.

Off the blog

  • Sunday was “Carl Day,” so we went for a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway and ended the day at a brewery for lunch and a beer.

  • I started a new jigsaw puzzle.  I think this one will take me a while to complete.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged just over 16,300 Fitbit steps a day.


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

28 Comments leave one →
  1. July 12, 2019 6:22 am

    Wow, Bottle of Lies sounds terrifying but important. I had no idea.
    I read Five Days at Memorial a few months ago…I liked it but it’s very unsettling. I was surprised at how well it read though, it’s hard to put down!

  2. July 12, 2019 6:46 am

    You had a great book week as far as reading goes. I’m interested in all 3 that you reviewed!

  3. Beth F permalink
    July 12, 2019 7:14 am

    Mistress of the Ritz: thanks for this review. I was torn about reading or listening because I generally like Barbara Rosenblatt. But perhaps I’ll skip this in audio. Your journey into the drug issues and pharm companies is fascinating. I’m learning a lot just from your reviews.

  4. July 12, 2019 7:42 am

    The ad for Yesterday caught my eye earlier this week. Glad to hear it was good. Beatles music dominates the soundtrack of my life!

  5. July 12, 2019 7:47 am

    I’m looking forward to Bottle of Lies… sounds right up my alley. Five Days at Memorial was a read/listen combo for me and it was fascinating! Glad to see Richard Russo has a new book, too. Nice photo of “Carl Day” 🙂

    • July 13, 2019 8:05 am

      I’ll be curious what you think about Bottle of Lies when you get to it. Thought of you immediately. I’m going to put it on hold at my library. Thanks for telling us about this one, Kathy.

  6. July 12, 2019 8:24 am

    I’ve heard good things about Yesterday….and I want to read the new Melanie Benjamin book.

    Bottle of Lies sounds like a stunning reveal. Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your weekend. Your “Carl Day” sounds great.

  7. July 12, 2019 8:57 am

    I’m glad you mentioned Carl Day. I forgot to insist on a Jill Day! LOL

  8. Lloyd Russell permalink
    July 12, 2019 9:23 am

    We really liked Yesterday too. Interesting comment about the audiobook. We are almost done listening to Educated, by Tara Westover. We think we might have liked it more if we read it. The narrator was fine. But it just didn’t click with us. And we know it’s been liked by most.

    Lloyd (408) 348-4849

    On Fri, Jul 12, 2019 at 1:01 AM Bermudaonion’s Weblog wrote:

    > BermudaOnion posted: ” Between the Covers Finished last week: Forget > horror, if you want to be scared, read BOTTLE OF LIES: THE INSIDE STORY OF > THE GENERIC DRUG BOOM by Katherine Eban. Award winning journalist Eban > exposes the generic drug industry and the FDA’s “regulat” >

  9. Diane permalink
    July 12, 2019 9:33 am

    I’d like to try Mistress of the Ritz as I liked Benjamins Swans of 5th Ave book. Great pic of you and Carl.

  10. July 12, 2019 10:36 am

    I want to watch Yesterday 😀

  11. Sharon permalink
    July 12, 2019 12:35 pm

    I was underwhelmed by Mistress of the Ritz as well. I am not sure why as it was a fascinating story. It just felt flat to me.
    But thank you for mentioning Read Bottom Up. I read that last week. It was fun and made me glad I am an “oldie-wed” and not dating in the digital age.
    I love your puzzle pictures.

  12. July 12, 2019 1:35 pm

    The Scarecrow sounds very charming! I also think I’d enjoy the movie Yesterday, which I hadn’t heard of until I read your post today.

    Have a great weekend, Kathy!

  13. July 12, 2019 1:39 pm

    My son really enjoyed Yesterday but said that a lot of the younger viewers, such as himself, didn’t get the other references and felt a bit lost. Without seeing it myself I have no idea what he is talking about.

  14. July 12, 2019 3:01 pm

    The Scarecrow sounds cute and I love the cover.

  15. July 12, 2019 3:38 pm

    Bottle of Lies sounds like an important read for everyone. While not a generic drug, I wish my husband had been informed about the probable damage to his kidneys when he was taking so much Ibuprofen for his back pain! Thanks to that lack of information, he has irreversible damage. 😦

    I can’t wait to see Yesterday! From what I hear, it’s a good story with a great soundtrack.

    Carl’s Day sounds like fun for both of you. You’ve inspired me to try this with my husband. We need more “dates” in our lives!

    I’ve just begun a read/listen of Pachinko, which has grabbed my attention from the opening pages. It’s for book club, so I need to read quickly! It’s a chunkster.

  16. July 12, 2019 8:32 pm

    Bottle of Lies sounds like a book everyone should read. Five Days at Memorial is one of the best nonfiction books I ever read. I consistently put it on my Staff Recommends shelf. I saw Yesterday too and loved it- and I have been listening to the Beatles since then too!

  17. July 13, 2019 1:00 am

    Cute picture! I love the Beatles and am looking forward to Yesterday. Bottle of Lies would only make me angry. The things the FDA AND EPA should be doing to protect us and aren’t is frightening.

  18. July 13, 2019 7:26 am

    Bottle of Lies sounds like a must read.
    And Carl Day sounds like fun!

  19. July 13, 2019 10:53 am

    The Ritz. Even saying it out loud sounds posh!

  20. July 13, 2019 1:11 pm

    Mistress of the Ritz is a really good book!

  21. July 14, 2019 7:59 am

    I’m terribly glad that there are people like Katherine Eban out there who are closely watching what goes on in the world. Bottle of Lies sounds like a book many should read.

    A new book that is illustrated by the Fan Brothers? I think I need to take a look.

    Yesterday sounds delightful.

    Have a great week!

  22. July 14, 2019 10:00 am

    Carl Day? You didn’t like the drive, lunch, and a beer? 😉

  23. July 15, 2019 6:40 am

    Mistress of the Ritz sounds interesting! Carl day? Is there a Kathy Day? 😉

  24. July 15, 2019 7:59 am

    I love that you have Carl and Kathy Day!

  25. July 17, 2019 5:29 pm

    I have recently got back into puzzles, they are lovely and that one does seem like it will take awhile. Hope you and Carl had a great day. It is so nice to see some familiar faces and blogs.

  26. July 17, 2019 6:20 pm

    Thanks for the word about the Yesterday movie. It looks fun and I want to see it too. How funny a premise …. and it makes me want to sing the Beatles too.

  27. July 25, 2019 6:16 pm

    I am so glad to hear that you liked Yesterday. I want to see it, but hadn’t spoken to anyone who has seen it yet.

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