Skip to content

The Week in Review: 12.27.2019

December 27, 2019


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

When I saw Sarah of Sarah’s Bookshelves rave about THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY: AN ORAL HISTORY OF 9/11 by Garrett M. Graff I made a mental note but thought I probably didn’t want to read a book about 9/11.  Then I saw Deb of Readerbuzz sing its praises and thought maybe I should read it so I put it on hold at the library.  And it came in right away.  I brought it home and let it sit on my desk for a while.  With the due date looming, I decided it was now or never and started to read it and couldn’t put it down.  This book gives a very detailed description of 9/11 told from the points of view of multiple people like Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condaleeza Wright, firefighters who were on the scene, people in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, and relatives of victims.  The perspective switches often but it’s all in chronological order.  It sounds a little odd but it works very well.  I found this book engrossing, disturbing, emotional, and powerful.  I cried several times as I read this book and have talked about it a lot since.  Do yourself a favor and read this book!


Pencil loved to draw all by himself.  He wasn’t pleased when he met Eraser because Eraser loved to erase.  Eraser showed Pencil how he could make art by erasing things which really made Pencil unhappy because he “didn’t think his ART needed erasing to be great.”  Pencil challenged Eraser to make art out of a few scribbles and was amazed at what he created.  He realized he makes mistakes and his new friend Eraser could help fix them.  The two discovered they’re a great pair and have been sticking together ever since.

WHEN PENCIL MET ERASER by Karen Kilpatrick and Luis O. Ramos, Jr. is perfect for kids starting school.  Germán Blanco’s illustrations are adorable and, except for Pencil and Eraser (and a few new friends they meet at the end of the story), are all in black and white.  I love that it shows how cooperation often leads to better things.  Young readers will also see the importance of not focusing on first impressions.  I have a feeling there’s a sequel in the works and I’m looking forward to it!  (Review copy provided by Imprint.)


ANTHEM by Deborah Wiles is the third book in The Sixties Trilogy and I just might have squealed a little bit when I got a copy at SIBA this year.  In this book, Molly and her cousin Norman have been sent across the country (from Charleston, SC to San Francisco) to get Molly’s brother, Barry, who left home after a fight with his father.  A draft notice has come for Barry and his mother wants him to deal with it.  Molly and Norman take off in the old school bus Norman has bought to use for his band (when he gets one, that is) and they really learn about America because they see all kinds of things and meet all kinds of people along the way.

This is another wonderful book in a fabulous series and a terrific way for it to end.  The series is a great way for middle grade readers to learn the history of the 60s.  The books are set in chronological order but each book stands on its own.  There are lots of photographs, news articles, and quotes from the time period that really help bring it to life.  Each chapter’s title is the name of a song that was popular in 1969 and I found myself listening to them more than once.  Pick this (and COUNTDOWN and REVOLUTION) up if you lived through the 60s or want to learn about them.  (Review copy provided by Scholastic.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

We watched a couple Christmas movies on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Off the blog

  • Things have been really busy so we were happy for a quiet, calm Christmas.  There was no exercise or work (except for meal prep) and we just enjoyed being with each other.  There were two books under our tree  – GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY, HOLLYWOOD, & THE PRISON OF BELIEF by Lawrence Wright for me and DIFFERENT SEASONS by Stephen King for Vance.
  • We didn’t get to walk on Monday because of rain and took Christmas Day off but walked at least three miles every other morning.  I averaged almost 14,900 Fitbit steps a day.

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

27 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    December 27, 2019 7:07 am

    The Only Plane in the Sky was on so many people’s best-of lists. I really need to listen to it. Sounds like you had a lovely holiday.

  2. December 27, 2019 8:12 am

    Sounds like a relaxing, low-key holiday! I want to read/listen to The Only Plane in the Sky, but avoided it during the holiday season. Plan to get to it this winter.

  3. December 27, 2019 8:20 am

    I want to read/listen to The Only Plane in the Sky as well. It is still such a striking, emotional event.

  4. December 27, 2019 8:57 am

    I’ll add my voice to the ‘want to read/listen’ to The Only Plane in the Sky. I have it already in my Audible library, but also didn’t think it would be a good one for me to try during the holidays. I’ll get to it next year. I’m intrigued with the format and certainly remember that day very well. Glad to hear that you and yours had a peaceful holiday. Look forward to sharing our reading in 2020!

  5. December 27, 2019 9:07 am

    Oh, yes, now I do want to read The Only Plane in the Sky.

    I am also curious about Year of the Monkey.

    Enjoy your weekend….and thanks for sharing.

  6. Diane permalink
    December 27, 2019 9:36 am

    That Scientology book sounds interesting! I read a few on that subject in the past.

    We went to see Richard Jewell movie which was so good! Also watchedHome Alone 1and2 and Elf!

    Have a great week, glad Christmas is over!

  7. Lloyd Russell permalink
    December 27, 2019 10:26 am

    Having lived the 60s in the Bay Area, I would probably enjoy the series. Happy New Year.

    Lloyd (408) 348-4849

    On Fri, Dec 27, 2019 at 1:01 AM Bermudaonion’s Weblog wrote:

    > BermudaOnion posted: ” Between the Covers Finished last week: When I saw > Sarah of Sarah’s Bookshelves rave about THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY: AN ORAL > HISTORY OF 9/11 by Garrett M. Graff I made a mental note but thought I > probably didn’t want to read a book about 9/11. Then” >

  8. December 27, 2019 1:11 pm

    You watched a few Christmas movies? WHICH ONES?! just kidding; I feel like I’ve been watching ALL OF THEM and am ready for some serious movies now. Not that Christmas isn’t serious but,… ok. I’ll stop. Am thinking I want to do more focus on books to movies this year.

  9. December 27, 2019 3:36 pm

    I am still cleaning my oven. LOL. About to head to the used bookstore which shall be fun. I thought as a family we would do something tonight but my daughter just made plans so not sure what we will do now.

    I opened up all the windows to air the house out and it’s like a walk-in freezer in here. Haha.

  10. December 27, 2019 4:23 pm

    Xmas books under the tree is never wrong 🙂

  11. December 27, 2019 4:36 pm

    Ok, I’m now convinced to read the 9/11 book! I also want to read Dear Sweet Pea.

  12. December 27, 2019 6:30 pm

    I’m so glad that you had a great Christmas! Ours was relatively quiet too, I guess with all of the raving I’m going to have to check out the 9/11 book 🙂

  13. December 27, 2019 7:17 pm

    Kathy, thanks for sharing your reviews. Year of the Monkey interests me. I only saw three Christmas movies this season, and am in the mood for more. Your step count is always impressive!

  14. December 27, 2019 11:20 pm

    A really mixed bag of reads. The 9/11 book must be very emotional.

  15. Helen Murdoch permalink
    December 28, 2019 12:21 pm

    Ok, I’ve now seen the 9/11 book on a number of blogs and everyone says it’s so good. I’ll add it to my TBR list.

  16. December 28, 2019 2:53 pm

    The Only Plane in the Sky is going on my 2020 TBR list. I just need to decide on print or audio.

    We’ve been watching a lot of movies this month. Most recently, The Two Popes and The Upside, both of which were quite good. I want to see the new Little Women movie and might go with some girlfriends since my husband has no interest.

    No new books under the Christmas tree for me, but my new wireless headphones (and a new Pixel 4 phone) are making me very happy, as are my new puzzles.

  17. December 29, 2019 7:23 am

    The next best thing to reading is to encourage others’ reading, I think. I’m happy I was a small part of helping you find Only Plane in the Sky. The intrusion of the horrific into the everyday—that’s what 9/11 was. All those small acts of heroism and love in the face of the horrific give me hope.

    I’m glad you had a lovely Christmas, Kathy. One new book is enough to thrill me. I hope you enjoy the one you received. I’ve read other nonfiction by Lawrence Wright including the love-hate God Save Texas that I, as a native Texan, enjoyed so much, and Looming Tower, another very well written book on 9/11.

    I’ve completely missed the whole 60s series by Deborah Wiles, and that’s odd since I’ve been working on a 60s story of my own for over forty years, and I’m always seeking those sorts of stories out. I must look for these, though I think I’ll wait a bit, as I’m planning to focus on some cheery reads for a while.

    Here’s to a happy new year!

  18. December 29, 2019 8:24 am

    You know I have to ask: which Christmas movies did you watch? Any that are a tradition? 🙂

  19. December 29, 2019 8:56 am

    Your Christmas sounded perfect. Every review I’ve read for ‘Only Plane’ has been similar to yours. It’s on my list.

  20. December 29, 2019 11:20 am

    I hope you enjoy your new books Kathy.

    Wishing you a great reading week and a Happy New Year 🥳

  21. Lauren Becker permalink
    December 29, 2019 1:48 pm

    I need to do better with walking in 2020- great job on all of your steps this year.
    I do want to read The Only Plane in the Sky.


  22. December 29, 2019 2:01 pm

    I bought The Only Plane for my husband’s birthday knowing that I would read it too. That may be the next one I pick up. Happy New Year to you, Kathy!

  23. December 29, 2019 7:09 pm

    The Only Plane in the Sky sounds like a must read and I’m sure I’d be tearing up while reading it also. Glad you had a nice Christmas, Happy New Year!

  24. December 30, 2019 8:24 pm

    A quiet Christmas is nice.
    When Pencil Met Eraser sounds cute. I don’t think I could read the 9/11 book.

  25. December 31, 2019 10:16 am

    When Pencil Met Eraser sounds similar to Eraser by Anna Kang, which I liked for similar reasons. Sounds like another good one for the daughter. I hope you had a great weekend.

  26. December 31, 2019 10:01 pm

    I’m saying that same thing about The Only Plane in the Sky that you were – I really don’t need to read another book about 9/11. The memory is still too tragic and feels fresh. From all the reviews I’ve been reading, I’m sure I will be raving about it as well.

  27. The Cue Card permalink
    January 2, 2020 6:10 pm

    Yeah i want to read The Only Plane in the Sky — I sort of want to get my own copy of it …. Glad you think it’s a must read. It’s a bit tough to go there …..

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: