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The Week in Review: 08.30.2019

August 30, 2019


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I’m a huge fan of Joshilyn Jackson and was excited to pick up her latest novel, NEVER HAVE I EVER.  It’s the story of Amy, who’s made a nice life for herself with her professor husband, teenaged stepdaughter, and baby son.  Her best friend, Charlotte, lives across the street and the two spend a lot of time together.  When Roux appears in Amy’s life, she threatens to reveal a secret from Amy’s past if Amy doesn’t turn over the money in her trust to her.  Amy is torn – should she pay Roux or allow her to share her secret and see what happens?

This was quite a departure for Jackson and her usual southern fiction and, boy, was it good!  I loved everything about it – the story, the characters, and the suspense.  I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and stayed up way too late to finish this book.  I think it would make a fabulous movie and would love to see it on the big screen.  If you enjoy suspense, you don’t want to miss this book – I have a feeling it will be on my list of favorites for the year.  (Review copy provided by Harper Collins.)


I’m not a particularly big fan of Ben Folds but I do enjoy memoirs so I decided to listen to A DREAM ABOUT LIGHTNING BUGS: A LIFE OF MUSIC AND CHEAP LESSONS.  It’s the story of Folds from childhood to the present day – in fact the title comes from a dream he had as a child.  Folds doesn’t always come out looking great so I felt he was open and honest.  His quirky sense of humor shines throughout the book.  Folds narrates the audio book and does a great job – the production is a lot of fun with some sound effects and musical riffs throughout.  I enjoyed this book and recommend it to fans of Ben Folds and Ben Folds Five and those who enjoy memoirs.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


1,000 FACTS ABOUT ANCIENT EGYPT by Nancy Honovich might be published by National Geographic Kids for middle grade readers but I just loved it.  The thousand facts are presented in such a fun way.  They’re divided into chapters like Daily Life, Female Rulers, Food, and Crime and Punishment and each chapter takes up a two-page spread.  There are full color photos and illustrations spread throughout and a glossary, a map of a royal tomb, a timeline, and an index are included in the back of the book.  The book is printed on heavy duty, glossy paper and is nicely bound so it will endure lots of handling.

I’ve always been fascinated by Ancient Egypt and learned so much as I read this book, like

Scientists have found no cavities in Tutankhamun’s teeth.

There was no formal marriage ceremony.  The bride simply moved into her husband’s home with her possessions.

Headaches were treated by rubbing the head with a fried catfish.

I think young readers will enjoy this book as much as I did and will flip through it over and over again.  It’s a great resource that belongs in all school and classroom libraries.    (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

I watched the Clemson – Georgia Tech football game.  It was hard to know who to root for.  Clemson is our “local” college team but our nephew is a graduate of Georgia Tech.  The game ended up the way I thought it would and, frankly, I thought it was kind of boring.

Off the blog

  • We had a few days of cooler temperatures and even went to a bonfire Saturday night!
  • I registered for SIBA in September!

  • It took me a while but I finally finished my puzzle.  There was an extra piece that I suspect might be from an earlier puzzle.
  • I walked at least three miles every morning (and got caught in a downpour Tuesday) and averaged almost 17,500 Fitbit steps a day.

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

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    August 30, 2019 6:53 am

    I think I’m going to pass on the fried catfish trick! Love National Geo books. I still haven’t gotten to the Jackson book … but I do plan on reading it.

  2. Rhonda permalink
    August 30, 2019 7:43 am

    Moving the Jackson book to top of tar pile💕

  3. August 30, 2019 7:58 am

    Eeek extra puzzle piece!

  4. Rhonda permalink
    August 30, 2019 8:00 am

    Meant tbr😂

  5. August 30, 2019 8:34 am

    I want to read Never Have I Ever! Glad to see it lived up to the buzz. How unusual to have an extra puzzle piece – I’ve never had that happen 😀

  6. August 30, 2019 9:01 am

    I was surprised how different Never Have I Ever was from her previous books, and yet you can still hear her voice and themes in it!

  7. August 30, 2019 9:08 am

    The new Jackson book does look very good. Thanks for sharing.

    I love that puzzle!

  8. The Cue Card permalink
    August 30, 2019 9:09 am

    Gorgeous puzzle, neat looking. The Jackson book looks like it would make a good audio listen, I’ll look for it. I’ve read a lot of Janis bios over the years …. but this appears to be a new one. I’ll be interested to hear what you think.

  9. Lloyd Russell permalink
    August 30, 2019 9:27 am

    I guess I’m going to have to read her one of these days.

    Lloyd (408) 348-4849

    On Fri, Aug 30, 2019 at 1:02 AM Bermudaonion’s Weblog wrote:

    > BermudaOnion posted: ” Between the Covers Finished last week: I’m a huge > fan of Joshilyn Jackson and was excited to pick up her latest novel, NEVER > HAVE I EVER. It’s the story of Amy, who’s made a nice life for herself > with her professor husband, teenaged stepdaughter, a” >

  10. August 30, 2019 11:44 am

    I’ve been trying to get to that Jackson book for what seems like weeks. I am dying to read it, actually but I was behind on reviews and had to get club stuff read. Now, I just have to finish one book and I can finally pick it up. I am glad you liked it though. I’m a tad concerned about the departure from her usual fare. I’ve only read one book by her but it was so southern!

  11. August 30, 2019 2:57 pm

    The Jackson book is going on my list to read.

  12. cherylmash permalink
    August 30, 2019 4:49 pm

    I have NEVER HAVE I EVER in my pile and after reading your review, I want to move it closer to the top.

  13. August 30, 2019 11:51 pm

    Jason talks to Gage about Egypt all the time. I bet he’d love this!

  14. August 31, 2019 8:26 am

    What a great review for Never Have I Ever. So many people love scary books, so I imagine it will be big as a book and will be made into a good movie.

    The kids at school love big books of facts (and, honestly, so do I.) I bet that will be a book we will see at the book fair.

    Cooler temps sound great. We woke up to 57 degrees here in Utah. That’s a huge relief after the nineties we saw at home in Texas.

    Have a great week!

  15. Mae Sander permalink
    August 31, 2019 8:56 am

    Nice selection of books! I love the title “My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich” which reminds me of a French film titled “My Life as a Zucchini” — other than the title and being about kids, no connection, I think.

    best… mae at

  16. August 31, 2019 5:18 pm

    I have been hearing good things about Never Have I Ever so may have to get a copy for myself soon.

  17. August 31, 2019 7:59 pm

    Your puzzle is pretty but looks hard! I keep hearing rave reviews of Never Have I Ever, so I’m adding it to my list! All 3 Iowa University teams played today so it has been a lot of college football around here today! Love this time of year!

  18. Literary Feline permalink
    September 1, 2019 4:06 pm

    Never Have I Ever does sound like a departure from Jackson’s other work. I am glad to hear it is a success. I look forward to reading it. I hope you have a great week, Kathy!

  19. September 1, 2019 9:50 pm

    I’ve been seeing Jackson’s book everywhere! I think that the National Geographic books are a great way to learn history especially if we don’t want to sludge through an adult history book. 🙂

  20. Diane permalink
    September 2, 2019 5:37 pm

    So happy to read that you loved the new J. Jackson book, Never Have I Ever. Hope to get to it soon.

  21. September 3, 2019 10:09 am

    Love the puzzle. Sorry to say the vacation plans we had to make it to you were foiled, but I’m sure we’ll plan another trip south in the coming years.

    I love the sound of the new Jackson book.

  22. bookingmama permalink
    September 16, 2019 5:55 pm

    I read two of the books you featured this week and I loved them both — Joshilyn’s and the Egypt one.

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