Skip to content

The Week in Review: 12.13.2019

December 13, 2019


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

At the time of his death, Prince was working on a memoir with Dan Piepenbring.  Unfortunately, they weren’t very far along before Prince’s death brought their collaboration to an end and I think the book suffered because of it.  Over half of THE BEAUTIFUL ONES was an introduction by Piepenbring and the rest felt scattered and unfocused.  I listened to the audio book which was narrated by Piepenbring, Esperanza Spalding, and Adepero Oduye.  Piepenbring did a fine job reading his introduction but I found the two female narrators to be odd choices to read Prince’s words.  The audio version of this book was a disappointment to me but it’s my understanding the print version contains photographs and lyrics so I think that’s probably the way to go with this book.  Check it out if you’re an avid Prince fan.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


National Geographic Kids BRAIN CANDY: SERIOUSLY SWEET FACTS TO SATISFY YOUR CURIOSITY by Julie Beer and Chelsea Lin is chock full of trivia.  It’s geared toward middle grade readers but is appropriate for the whole family.  I know I loved this book and shared tidbits from it with anyone who would listen to me.  Both pages on each page spread focus on one thing, like taste, comics, or rubber ducks.  Here are a few of the things I learned:

  • “At 7.5 gallons (28L) per person a year, New Zealand consumes the most ice cream of any country.”
  • “Flying snakes can glide the length of a soccer field.”
  • “Ants don’t like the smell of lemon.”

This book is printed on high quality, glossy paper and is filled with full color photographs and graphics.  There’s an index in the back of the book, making it easy to look up fun facts.  The whole family could have fun sharing facts from this terrific book over the holidays.  It would be an excellent choice for a gift exchange or a stocking stuffer.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)


When make-up artist Jessica is working on a pair of clients, she hears one of them talk about bailing on a psychological study.  She grabs her client’s phone while she’s not looking and jots down the phone number and offers to take her place.  She’s accepted and finds herself being manipulated and has to figure out how to get out of a risky situation.

AN ANONYMOUS GIRL by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is a bestselling book that’s won lots of praise.  The point of view in the story alternates between Jessica and Dr. Shields – the professor conducting the study – with Jessica’s told in the first person and Dr. Shields’ told in the third person.  I know a lot of people who’ve loved this book but I’m sad to say I’m not one of them.  I liked the book quite a bit but can’t say that I loved it.  For me, the tension would build up while Jessica was telling the story and ratchet down when Dr. Shields was.  Maybe that was the point, but it was too jarring for me.  I also had trouble suspending disbelief a few times.  Still, I liked the book enough to want to read more by this duo.  (Review copy provided by St. Martin’s Press.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • I’ve been out of town, visiting my mom, most of the week.  We put together one puzzle while I was there and it was a tough one.
  • I averaged just over 8,200 Fitbit steps a day.

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

17 Comments leave one →
  1. December 13, 2019 5:12 am

    Brain Candy sounds so fun! I would also be telling tidbits from it to anyone who would listen!

  2. December 13, 2019 5:35 am

    I can see why print would be the way to go with the Prince book. Nice job on the puzzle – looks like it would be challenging!

  3. December 13, 2019 8:34 am

    I enjoyed An Anonymous Girl, and just added the authors’ newest ARC to my shelves.

    I added Meg and Jo this week, too, and hope to read it soon. Enjoy your weekend.

  4. Beth F permalink
    December 13, 2019 8:43 am

    I’ve been on the fence for Anonymous Girl … I may just skip it. I agree with Jill, Brain Candy really does sound fun. That puzzle looks HARD!

  5. December 13, 2019 10:32 am

    I don’t understand why the narrator choices for Prince would be women.

    Nat Geo kids books are always a plus for me.

    I have Anonymous Girl on audio but have been stalling on listening to it and after reading your thoughts I’m more likely to not start it.

    I found a new to me show named Virgin River and finished all of season one in one sitting, it was that good! Now I’m not so patiently waiting for season two.

    That puzzle looks HARD! I would have probably got aggravated and given up.

    I love that you spend time with your mom often. Cherish those times. I miss my mom every day, since 1995!

    Good job with your steps!

  6. December 13, 2019 11:44 am

    Yikes! That puzzle looks incredibly difficult! Nice job.

    Have a great weekend!

  7. December 13, 2019 11:47 am

    The Anonymous Girl ending bugged me.

  8. Diane permalink
    December 13, 2019 12:57 pm

    I read Anonymous Girl a while back and thought it was okay but, I really loved the one before: The Wife Between Us.

  9. December 13, 2019 2:59 pm

    Kathy, that puzzle looks extremely challenging! Thanks for your honest reviews. I think the Prince memoir would be fascinating to read as a book with pictures. Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. December 13, 2019 3:56 pm

    I’m not much of a thriller reader nor was I a fan of Prince, so I’d probably pass on the scary book and the celebrity story. It sounds like they were a bit of a disappointment to you, too.

    I bet you had a lovely time visiting with your mom.

    Oh my! That pencil puzzle looks very difficult.

  11. Helen Murdoch permalink
    December 13, 2019 11:16 pm

    Sounds like not a great week in books, especially the Prince book. That puzzle looks tough!

  12. The Cue Card permalink
    December 14, 2019 5:53 pm

    Good going on the puzzle. Prince’s early death was so sad & tragic. Too bad his memoir wasn’t farther along. I wish he hadn’t gotten into opioids.

  13. December 15, 2019 9:20 am

    I love the final look of the puzzle!

    Wishing you a great reading week

  14. December 15, 2019 11:48 am

    Too bad about the Prince book. I’m surprised he was able to put the book together at all since they were so early in the collaboration, but it’s especially discouraging to her the audio version contributed to your disappointment. Such a tragic end.

  15. Sarah Sammis permalink
    December 16, 2019 12:55 am

    That puzzle looks like the right balance between frustration and fun. My weekly update

  16. December 18, 2019 11:14 am

    Sounds like you had a busy week. Dual author books can be tough I think; they have the right balance or they don’t. That puzzle probably would have frustrated me.

  17. December 19, 2019 11:52 pm

    Oooh! I love the puzzle!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: