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The Week in Review: 11.22.2019

November 22, 2019


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Sharon Robinson is the daughter of Jackie Robinson so saw the Civil Rights Movement from a unique perspective.  She shares her experience in her middle grade book CHILD OF THE DREAM: A MEMOIR OF 1963.  Robinson’s father is best known for breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball but he was also involved in civil rights as well and encouraged his children to be involved too.  He said,

It pains me to say this, but the struggle for racial justice will probably go on all our lives.  We can change the laws, but it’s harder to change behavior and attitudes.  We may live in the North, but racism is here, too.  It shows up in different ways.  That’s why we push you and your brothers to do your best in school.  That’s your job now.

I thought this book was terrific!  It’s an important book for young people because it shows that they can make a difference.  I recommend this book to middle grade readers on up!  (Review copy provided by Scholastic.)


BAKER TOWERS by Jennifer Haigh is set in the fictional coal mining town of Bakerton, Pennsylvania.  It follows the Novak family – father Stanley, a coal miner of Polish descent and his wife, Rose, a seamstress who came from Italy as well as their five children.  Set in the 1940s, the book opens with Stanley’s death which affects everyone in a different way.

I’ve loved every Haigh book I’ve read so I don’t know why it took me so long to read this wonderful novel.  Set in a company town during World War II, it’s full of fabulous characters, a terrific plot, and a glimpse into history.  Bakerton plays a big role in the story and I fell in love with the town and its citizens.  This book kept me riveted from beginning to end and I stayed up late to finish it because I couldn’t put it down.  In case you can’t tell, I loved this book.  If you haven’t read it, be sure to pick it up!  (Review copy provided by Harper Collins.)


For the last year I’ve been reading everything about opioids that I run across so I was anxious to pick up FENTANYL, INC: HOW ROGUE CHEMISTS ARE CREATING THE DEADLIEST WAVE OF THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC by Ben Westhoff.  Westhoff did extensive research for four years and even visited a Chinese factory that produces fentanyl analogs or ingredients.

Most of the illegal fentanyl is manufactured in China.  Companies make fentanyl analogs until they’re made illegal and then they modify them just enough so they’re manufacturing a new ingredient that’s legal, creating a never ending cycle.  Westhoff explains how the drugs make their way into the US and other countries and shows how people are making a fortune off of them.  Fentanyl is very deadly and is mixed with heroin because it’s cheap and many of the people who use it aren’t even aware of it.

FENTANYL, INC is very well researched and very informative.  I learned a lot as I read it but have to admit that I thought the writing was a little dry.  Having said that, I’m glad I read the book and do recommend it to anyone interested in the opioid epidemic.  I listened to the audio version which is read by Alex Boyles and he does a terrific job.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

When a friend and I decided to see Last Christmas, we expected a light, romantic comedy set during the holidays but that’s not what we got.  After recovering from some health issues, Kate makes one bad decision after another and she’s okay with that.  One day, she notices Tom outside the shop she works in and the two strike up a relationship, on his terms.  She wants more and discovers he’s not who she thinks he is.  This movie has a nice message about love, loyalty, and family that will make you think about what’s important to you.  Be sure to take tissues with you if you decide to see it.

Off the blog

  • Carl and I celebrated my birthday with a nice dinner out on Sunday.
  • We walked at least three miles every day and I averaged just over 17,575 Fitbit steps a day.

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

23 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    November 22, 2019 6:52 am

    Great reading week! All three books look great (even if the Fentanyl book was a bit dry). I think I might have a copy of Baker Towers — it sounds like something I’d like.

  2. November 22, 2019 7:43 am

    Great pic of you and Carl!

  3. Lloyd Russell permalink
    November 22, 2019 9:32 am

    We didn’t love Last Christmas. I think our expectations were too high. However, we did love Ford vs. Ferrari. That was really good. And we also liked The Good Liar a lot.

    Lloyd (408) 348-4849

    On Fri, Nov 22, 2019 at 1:01 AM Bermudaonion’s Weblog wrote:

    > BermudaOnion posted: ” Between the Covers Finished last week: Sharon > Robinson is the daughter of Jackie Robinson so saw the Civil Rights > Movement from a unique perspective. She shares her experience in her > middle grade book CHILD OF THE DREAM: A MEMOIR OF 1963. Robinson” >

  4. November 22, 2019 9:42 am

    Happy Birthday! Great pic.
    I liked Baker Towers and loved the follow up collection News From Heaven.
    Have a nice weekend!

  5. November 22, 2019 11:14 am

    Happy birthday! Your books look great, too; so many issues that resonate with me.

    Enjoy your week!

  6. November 22, 2019 6:55 pm

    All of your books sound good, and the movie does, too! I’m glad you enjoyed a dinner out for your birthday. Have a relaxing weekend.

    (P.S. I made the orzo salad again!)

  7. November 22, 2019 7:34 pm

    I remember loving Baker Towers, too, and am adding Fentanyl, Inc to my list. Hope you had a very happy birthday!

  8. November 22, 2019 10:25 pm

    Nice reading. I am hoping to see Last Christmas next week so lets see.

  9. Mae Sander permalink
    November 23, 2019 7:36 am

    Very interesting book selection! You made them all sound really worth reading. The opiate epidemic is becoming more and more scandalous.

    best… mae at

  10. November 23, 2019 8:56 am

    Happy birthday, Kathy! It looks like you had a lovely birthday meal.

    I’m glad there are stories out there now for children like that of Sharon Robinson. For so long, there were not enough stories for children about the struggle against racism.

    I am very interested in the opioid crisis, but I haven’t read anything about it yet. I did add at least one book about it to my TBR list that I’m compiling during Nonfiction November, so hopefully I will soon be able to read a good book about it.

    Have a great week!

  11. November 23, 2019 4:31 pm

    Happy belated birthday, Kathy! I loved Jennifer Haigh’s Mrs.Kimble. Thanks for sharing this one. Last Christmas and the Mr. Roger’s movie are both on my list to see this holiday season!

  12. November 23, 2019 4:53 pm

    I will watch Last Xmas, but I wish they had not talked about it as a romance movie

  13. Helen Murdoch permalink
    November 23, 2019 5:51 pm

    Wow, all three books were good this past week, that must feel great. And they seem to interesting and diverse. Hope you have a great weekend!

  14. November 24, 2019 10:14 am

    🥳 Happy Birthday Kathy 🎉

    I like the sound of all the books you mention this week, I think I’ll add Baker Towers to my wishlist.

    Have a great reading week:)

  15. November 24, 2019 11:19 am

    Happy belated birthday, Kathy. So what did you have to eat? Why no photo of that? 😉 Just picking.

  16. November 24, 2019 9:42 pm

    Happy birthday! Congrats on taking so many steps. I have a pedometer on my phone, but I usually leave my phone on the desk, so it’s not very helpful. I hope you have a good week!

  17. November 24, 2019 10:35 pm

    Wonderful photo of you and Carl. I’m glad you had a nice birthday celebration.

    I’ll have to look for a copy of Baker Towers next time I’m at the library. I really enjoyed Haigh’s debut, Mrs. Kimble, and read Faith in 2011. I gave that one a 4.5/5 rating. So why haven’t I read Baker Towers, especially since that time period is a favorite of mine? Thanks for the reminder to get this on my list to read in 2020! 🙂

  18. November 25, 2019 12:02 am

    Hope you had the happiest of birthdays! Well, I’m not seeing Last Christmas now! I’ll wait until I can cry in the privacy of my own home. I just checked and I have never read Jennifer Haigh. How is this possible?

  19. November 25, 2019 8:15 am

    Happy Belated Birthday!

  20. November 25, 2019 10:01 am

    Happy Birthday!! Hope you had a wonderful one 🙂 As for Last Christmas, I’ll probably watch it at some point, but I already know the twist, so truthfully I’m not too eager to see it. Glad you enjoyed it though 🙂

  21. November 25, 2019 1:59 pm

    Hmm, now I’m more intrigued about Last Christmas!

  22. November 26, 2019 8:50 am

    The story about Fentanyl seems like it would be dry — but I write a lot about this for the day job. Last Christmas is not what I would have expected then. I’m glad you got out to celebrate your birthday. Have a great Thanksgiving week.

  23. November 27, 2019 5:19 pm

    That’s a nice picture of you two. Happy belated birthday! I think you turned me onto Jennifer Haigh’s writing …. I liked her book Faith and still have a copy of Heat & Light I want to read. She is a good author!

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