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The Week in Review: 08.09.2019

August 9, 2019


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I’m sure most people know FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL by Sheri Fink is the story of New Orleans’ Memorial Hospital, the people who worked there during Hurricane Katrina, and the investigation into their actions afterward.  When I mentioned I was reading it a lot of people told me how much they loved it but I had mixed feelings about it.

The Good:

  • Fink’s research is top notch.
  • The writing is terrific and very approachable.
  • There is a map of the hospital and a list of “characters” at the beginning of the book.
  • The story is thought provoking and would spark great discussions.

The Not So Good:

  • I waited too long to read it, so most of the information in the book wasn’t new to me.
  • The story got bogged down with what felt like (to me anyway) unnecessary details.

I’m glad I read the book and think those who haven’t read much about Katrina will enjoy it more than I did.  This book is worth reading but it won’t make my list of favorites for the year.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


CHANCES ARE. . . by Richard Russo is the story of three college friends who reunite after over forty years.  The three are very different but they always had one thing in common – they were in love with the same girl, Jacy.  She disappeared one weekend in 1971 and no one ever knew what happened to her, but they all had their suspicions.

The store moves back and forth between the present and the past and I liked them equally.  I really enjoyed my time with this book and found excuses to spend more time with it.  Russo’s writing is top-notch, the characters felt real to me, and there was plenty of tension to keep the story moving along.  (As a side note, there was a character named Vance in the story, but the other characters could never remember if his name was Vance, Chance, or Lance.  I mentioned this to my Vance and he said, “That’s the story of my life.”)  I listened to the audio version of CHANCES ARE. . . and thought Fred Sanders did a good job with the narration.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


SUPERMAN OF SMALLVILLE by Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani is a graphic novel from the new DC Zoom Imprint for middle grade readers.  In this book, Clark Kent is just starting middle school and is figuring out how to use his powers for good.  His parents are trying to monitor his activities to protect him.  When things around town start to levitate and disappear, his parents accuse him and suggest he stay in for a few days.  Clark knows he’s innocent, though, and is determined to prove it.

I don’t think I’ve ever read or seen anything featuring Clark Kent as a teen and I thought this book was loads of fun.  Clark is just a normal kid with super powers that he wants to use for good and, of course, his parents want to make sure he’s not taken advantage of.  Middle grade readers will relate to Clark and his problems and will love the fabulous, full-color illustrations by Art Baltazar.  There’s even a little code that can be interpreted with the included key.  This book is perfect for reluctant readers and avid readers alike. (Review copy provided by DC Comics.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • I spent most of the week visiting my mother and we got a lot accomplished including, having her hearing tested and ordering new hearing aids; having her eyes checked and having YAG laser procedure done on one eye; and straightening out an issue with her utility bill.  I had a flare up with one of my eyes while I was visiting her and had to see her opthalmalogist too.
  • We moved into our current location/home 12 years ago today.  It’s the longest we’ve ever lived anywhere.
  • I averaged almost 9,900 Fitbit steps a day.

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

22 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2019 4:50 am

    I had similar mixed feelings about Five Days at Memorial. I did like it, and I didn’t know that much of the details beyond a broad outline of the news stories, so it was interesting to me for that. Maybe it was just the general upsetting feeling of learning about this stuff, I’m not sure. I still haven’t reviewed it as I’ve found it difficult to really discuss what bothered me about it. I agree that her writing was terrific, I remember being surprised by how smooth it was and that it was easy to get lost in, which surprised me considering the topic!

  2. August 9, 2019 5:47 am

    Sorry about the flare up!

    And have a great week

  3. Diane permalink
    August 9, 2019 6:12 am

    Glad to read your thoughts on Chances Are; I also thought the audio was great. I read Fuve Day at the Memorial way back when it first came out – listened actually , and liked it a lot. Have a nice week Kathy.

  4. August 9, 2019 6:16 am

    I love when books include character lists and maps, although I guess the only ones that need to are ones with lots of detail! :–) Hope your eye is better!

  5. Beth F permalink
    August 9, 2019 6:34 am

    I haven’t yet read 5 Days, but now I think I’ll just let it go. I agree, it’s probably because we’ve let too much time pass. I really like Chances Are too (as you know), and agree that the audiobook was nicely done.

    Glad you were able to spend time with your mom and help her out. Bummer on your eye.

  6. August 9, 2019 7:13 am

    Russo is one of my favorite authors but I haven’t had a chance to read Chances Are. Not sure if I’ll read print or go with the audiobook but its good to know the narrator did a good job.
    Sorry about your eye issue. Hope it’s doing better. You accomplished a lot with your mom!

  7. Rhonda permalink
    August 9, 2019 9:31 am

    Looking forward to Chances Are Russo always draws me in.I couldn’t get into Five days not sure why maybe waited to long to much of the stories in the news.
    Nice you spent time with your mom.

  8. Lloyd Russell permalink
    August 9, 2019 9:40 am

    Chances Are sounds really good.

    Lloyd (408) 348-4849

    On Fri, Aug 9, 2019 at 1:00 AM Bermudaonion’s Weblog wrote:

    > BermudaOnion posted: ” Between the Covers Finished last week: I’m sure > most people know FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL by Sheri Fink is the story of New > Orleans’ Memorial Hospital, the people who worked there during Hurricane > Katrina, and the investigation into their actions a” >

  9. August 9, 2019 10:52 am

    Chances are sounds good. Your time with your mom sounds like my time with my parents. Making sure medical stuff gets taken care of, etc.

  10. August 9, 2019 11:15 am

    I like Richard Russo’s writing, so Chances Are is on my list.

    Sorry about your eye…but glad you got a lot sorted for your mom.

    My longest residence was thirteen years in my home in the foothills, followed by 12 years in my condo after that stretch.

    Enjoy your week.

  11. August 9, 2019 2:25 pm

    Glad you can help your mom out with things! Sorry about your eye flare up. We lived in our previous home for 19 yrs. 3 months. I liked being out in the country but I love living close to stores and restaurants. Good job on your steps!

  12. August 10, 2019 11:44 am

    We have lived in our home 35 years next January; I’m not one for moving or changing anything, really. So nice to hear how you were able to help your mom.

    I read Five Days at Memorial when it first came out and I was mesmerized. We live along the same Gulf as New Orleans and we often contend with hurricanes, so the details were horrifying to me. During the last big storm here, Harvey, my great-nephew was at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston in the NICU. My great-nephew would not be alive had things transpired here as they did at Memorial in New Orleans.

    I am eager to hear your thoughts on Never Have I Ever.

    As a side note, my last name is Nance and I can’t tell you how many people inadvertently call me Nancy when I am introduced. Why, why, why?

  13. August 10, 2019 1:48 pm

    FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL is on my shelf waiting to be read. Maybe I will dig into it this winter. I feel like it’s hard to choose a depressing book sometimes even though it can be an important read. I’ve heard really great things about NEVER HAVE I EVER. Hope it’s a good read for you!

  14. August 10, 2019 3:34 pm

    We’ve lived here 15 years and we were only supposed to stay a few years! This house though causes me nothing but grief, even now. I wanted to read Five Days at the Memorial but when it came time I kind of thought too much time had passed. Sound like I might have been right. Probably a good book for future generations though. Lances, er, I mean Chances Are has been on my radar so I’m glad that you liked it 🙂

  15. Literary Feline permalink
    August 10, 2019 9:56 pm

    FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL has been on my wish list for quite a while. I am glad you finally read it, Kathy. Richard Russo is such a good author. He’s one of my father-in-law’s favorites. I hope you had a nice visit with your mom. We’re about ready for the new school year to start this next week. Dance and Girl Scouts will start the week after, so at least we have a week to settle into the school routine first. Sort of. We’re enjoying a little down time while we have the chance! Have a greet week, Kathy.

  16. August 11, 2019 10:23 am

    I think that why you didn’t like Five Days at Memorial is part of the reason why I didn’t read. It looked like it was very detail-oriented and I’ll be honest, I’m just not into books like that anymore. At one point in my life, I was, but not now. Sounds like you and your mother were busy this week and a lot accomplished. Sorry to hear about the flare up with one of your eyes. Hope that some day those problems can be resolved.

  17. August 11, 2019 10:27 am

    Returned to Colombo and I feel sad leaving the children and grand children behind. It always upsets me and takes a while to settle. Difficult choices.
    The flight seems longer as I’ve got older and I seem to end up with a cough and cold no sooner I land!

  18. August 13, 2019 11:47 am

    Five Days was a club read for me and we had a lot to say about it. One member of our group was a retired hospice nurse so she had strong feelings about much of it and sided with the doctor a lot. I just cannot believe how bad it got for them in just a few days but after the Northridge quake, which completely displaced us, I DO remember how quickly the sewers backed up and could not handle the lack of running water. In just a day it was a real germ nightmare.

  19. August 13, 2019 1:16 pm

    Sounds like things are going well with you and all those fitbit steps! I’m so envious. LOL i barely get 4K

  20. bookingmama permalink
    August 16, 2019 11:45 am

    I need to pick up a few of those graphic novels we received at BEA. I think the Russo book sounds good! He’s a great writer.

  21. August 17, 2019 12:07 pm

    I’ve thought about reading Five Days at Memorial, but maybe too much time has passed…

    My husband has the same issue with his name. He is forever being called Rob or Ron instead of Rod. My name isn’t a problem, although nobody (even one of my brothers!) can remember how to spell it. (Lesley)

  22. The Cue Card permalink
    August 20, 2019 7:46 am

    I’m so glad to hear that Chances Are… is a good read. He’s a great author. I will look for the audio. I hope you are still loving your current home. I’m surprised to know we’ve lived in our present house since 2005 …. my does time go quickly.

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