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The Week in Review: 10.04.2019

October 4, 2019


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Oh my gosh, I AM A THIEF! by Abigail Rayner is so darn cute!  Eliza Jane is a good girl – she’s a leader who’s kind and friendly – but when she saw a sparkly green stone on her teacher’s desk, she wanted it so badly, she slipped into her bag.   She couldn’t enjoy the stone, though, because she was overwhlemed with guilt.  She decided to talk to her family and learned that other people had swiped things but that didn’t make her feel any better – there was only one thing that would do that.  She didn’t feel better until she returned the stone and she realized she wasn’t defined by her mistake.

I loved the message of this sweet picture book and think the tone is perfect for little ones – it teaches a lesson without being preachy.  Molly Ruttan‘s illustrations are adorable and help keep the tone light.  I can see this book being picked up over and over again.  (Review copy provided by North South Books.)


When family and old friends gather for a wedding at a beautiful resort they revitalize friendships and make new connections.  When a man turns up dead, four of the female attendees confess to killing him.  It’s up to the police to unravel their stories and solve the mystery.  PRETTY GUILTY WOMEN by Gina Lamanna is told in a unique way – it alternates the women’s back stories with parts of their police interviews.

I liked the way this story was told but wish the characters had been developed a little more.  There was no way to figure out the mystery before it was revealed – in fact, I never had a clue who did it.  I loved the premise of the book but only liked the execution.  Most people have liked it more than I did, though, so give it a try if it interests you.   (Review copy provided by Source Books.)


AMERICA’S RELUCTANT PRINCE: THE LIFE OF JOHN F. KENNEDY JR. by Steven M. Gillon is a biography of the son of America’s 35th President from his birth in November 1960 to his tragic death in July 1999.  John was born into a dynastic family but his life was anything but charmed, beginning with the assassination of his father in November 1963.  John captured the nation’s heart when he saluted his father’s casket at the funeral.   According to Gillon, John’s mother, Jacqueline perpetuated the myth of Camelot, keeping the American people forever fascinated with Kennedy’s family, so John grew up in the spotlight.  I never really thought about how difficult it would be to grow up the way he did – for instance, it would be impossible to hold down a normal job.

Gillon first met John when he was a teaching assistant at Brown and John was a student there.  The two became friends and stayed in touch until John’s death.  Gillon used his firsthand knowledge of John and did a lot of research to write this book and, for the most part, I enjoyed it, even though I’ve never been that fascinated with the Kennedy family.  There were times when I felt Gillon inserted himself in the story unnecessarily but I guess that’s what happens when the author knows his subject well.  I’d recommend this book to people who enjoy biographies and anyone interested in the Kennedys.  The audio version is narrated by Tim Andrés Pablon and he does a fine job.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • I got my first of two shingles shots on Sunday.  I’d been dreading it because I’d heard it described as “mean” but the only side effect I had was a sore arm.
  • I had my teeth cleaned on Tuesday and had a good checkup.

  • I finally finished my puzzle and even had a little help from my sister while she was here.
  • It still feels like summer around here but they’ve promised us it will be cooler starting tomorrow.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged almost 15,750 Fitbit steps a day.

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

19 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2019 6:54 am

    The puzzle is beautiful! I’m going to look for I am a Thief!

  2. October 4, 2019 8:09 am

    All of these books look good! I Am a Thief sounds delightful, and I’m always eager to read more about the Kennedys. I had read that Jackie was the one that perpetuated the myth of Camelot. The musical was a favorite for JFK and Jackie, so she excerpted the famous line that defined it: “Don’t ever let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was Camelot.”

    I get chills when I hear the lines. LOL.

    I’m also curious about Unfollow, although I might get emotional and/or angry while reading it.

    Enjoy your weekend.

  3. Beth F permalink
    October 4, 2019 10:36 am

    The shingles series is on my list, but there’s a waiting list here, and I think I’m still a few months away. Great puzzle. I’m vaguely interested in the older generations of Kennedys, so will likely pass on this.

  4. Helen Murdoch permalink
    October 4, 2019 11:34 am

    There is something about the Kennedy family that is so intriguing to Americans, though I feel they’ve been out of the spotlight for a decade or so. I think they are the closest thing we have to royalty.

  5. October 4, 2019 12:08 pm

    A lot of my friends got the first shingles shot but then when it came time for #2, it was out of stock which was upsetting. They had to wait which really put them off schedule for its effectiveness… by several months. I did get a flu shot and now Kaiser is telling me to get a measles shot too because all the ones we got as kids have worn off.

    This weekend we have a lot of stuff going on but mostly good stuff. I thought today was Saturday when I woke up so that was upsetting when I found out it was Friday and I had to go to work.

  6. October 4, 2019 4:31 pm

    Still feels like summer! I am a bit jealous now

  7. Diane permalink
    October 4, 2019 4:32 pm

    I’m a Thief sounds good/fun. I had the first single’s shot about 5-6 years ago, but, not the newer 2-part, more effective one. My husband had the newer one but, the ran out of 2nd dose and her had to be wait-listed for several months – he finally got it though.

  8. October 4, 2019 6:16 pm

    I had the first shingles shot a couple months ago too. It does make the arm very sore! I’m glad you reminded me — I need the 2nd one. I see you got the Bill Bryson — Body book. I guess it’ll be pretty humorous right?

  9. Literary Feline permalink
    October 4, 2019 10:19 pm

    I AM A THIEF sounds so cute. I will definitely be checking it out. I’m with you about Pretty Guilty Women. I wish there had been more character development. I did enjoy it though. I thought maybe fall weather was here to stay here, but we’re supposed to be warm again this weekend. Oh well. I hope you have a great weekend, Kathy.

  10. October 5, 2019 8:12 am

    That puzzle is beautiful! Makes me want to get back into puzzles again!

  11. October 5, 2019 8:15 am

    I haven’t gotten my shingles shot yet, but your post about it has reminded me that I need to go do this.

    I’m terribly interested in I Am a Thief. I hope this and other good picture books is nominated for the Cybils. Anyone can nominate. I hope everyone will.

    We are supposed to be getting our first cool front on Tuesday. I imagine it is coming from your area. I want you to enjoy it, but please save some for us, too. lol

    Have a great week, Kathy!

  12. October 5, 2019 6:07 pm

    Pretty Guilty Women sounds interesting and I’m wondering if it would make a good book club choice since you seemed so shocked by who the murderer was. I don’t think I need to get a shingles shot yet, but I do need to get a flu shot! Working at school has me exposed to all kinds of germs and I like to at least stay away from getting the flu if I can.

  13. October 6, 2019 10:47 am

    I am a Thief sounds very cute and the Kennedy biography sounds interesting. I like the puzzle! Enjoy your week.

  14. October 6, 2019 5:48 pm

    Kathy, I AM A THIEF does sound wonderful. I’ve been thinking about getting a shingles shot as well. Congrats on finishing the puzzle, and on your terrific step count! We’ve had warmer weather lately but it is supposed to get cooler soon. Have a great week ahead!

  15. October 6, 2019 9:11 pm

    Shingles is the worst! I’m glad you got the vaccine. I’m not eligible for one yet but will definitely get one when I am. I don’t ever want to get them again.

    I got my teeth cleaned this week too! Have a good week!

  16. October 7, 2019 12:10 pm

    After my best friend and SIL both had shingles before they turned 60, I was in a hurry to get the shots as soon as I became eligible. Thankfully I was able to get the second one on schedule, too. My arm was pretty sore though…

  17. October 7, 2019 8:31 pm

    I’m glad to hear about the shingles vaccine experience. I have also heard that it makes the arm painful, and some of my friends felt bad for a day or two afterwards, so I’ve been waiting until a “convenient time” when really there is no such thing and I should just do it.

  18. October 8, 2019 1:01 pm

    The Thief one sounds like a good one for kids. The Kennedy book appeals to me.

  19. bookingmama permalink
    October 28, 2019 8:04 pm

    After BEA, I had high hopes for PRETTY GUILTY WOMEN. The JFK Jr. book definitely appeals to me!

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