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The Week in Review: 01.03.2020

January 3, 2020


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Chanel Miller is the young woman who was sexually assaulted by Stanford swimmer Brock Turner in 2015.  She has reclaimed her life and her identity by writing her memoir, KNOW MY NAME.  She gives her background and explains how she ended up at the party where she was sexually assaulted.  She shares that the assault she experienced in the court system was even worse than the assault she suffered at the hands of Turner.  At the trial, people were brought in be character witnesses for Brock while his lawyer did everything he could to destroy Miller’s reputation.  Her witness impact statement was shared in places like Buzzfeed and the floor of Congress.

I found this well-written book to be disturbing, thought provoking, and emotional.  I commend Miller for having the bravery to write it.  I listened to the audio version which is narrated by the author.  At first, I thought her delivery was somewhat monotone but I adjusted to it and came to appreciate it.  I think this relevant book is an important read for everyone who’s interested in social justice and/or equality for women.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


MEG & JO by Virginia Kantra was inspired by one of my favorite books, LITTLE WOMEN, with the focus on the two oldest March sisters.

Meg has remained in their small hometown of Bunyan, NC.  She’s married, has twins, and is the backbone of the family.  She wants more than motherhood, though, and finds it when her mother falls ill and needs help with the family business.

Jo has moved to New York to pursue her journalistic dream.  Things aren’t working out like they’re supposed to, though, and she finds herself working in a restaurant.  She blogs about food and falls for the restaurant’s owner.  She returns home for the holidays and starts to rethink her dream.

Beth and Amy are minor characters but are featured in this family story.  I enjoyed this modern day imagining of the March sisters’ lives because the characters felt real to me, with their hopes, dreams, and flaws.  The point of view alternates between Meg and Jo and I enjoyed them equally.  I listened to the audio version which is narrated by Shannon McManus and Karissa Vacker.  They both did a great job and it was easy to tell the characters apart.  You don’t need to be familiar with LITTLE WOMEN to enjoy this book.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


WITH ALL MY HEART by Stephanie Stansbie is a sweet picture book about a parent’s love for their child.  It features bears and the parent starts out by saying,

I saw your sweet smile

and I knew from the start,

I’d love you forever

with all of my heart.

and continues to let the child know that they’ll love them forever even when they’re apart.  Richard Smythe‘s illustrations are expressive and soothing.  There are shapes cut out of pages throughout the book which is always fun for the picture book crowd.  This book will reassure a child that they’re loved and they’re sure to ask for it over and over again.  It would make a terrific gift for new parents.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

I watched parts of several bowl games but didn’t manage to watch a complete game.

Off the blog

  • Carl and I had dinner with a cousin of mine who we haven’t seen in over 40 years.  It felt good to reconnect and we hope to do it again in a month or two.

  • I finished my puzzle.  This one took a while because of the holidays.
  • We rang in the new year with friends at a fun bonfire.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged almost 17,250 Fitbit steps a day.

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

25 Comments leave one →
  1. Trin Carl permalink
    January 3, 2020 5:58 am

    Love how this character is getting her identity back. That fun at the bonfire seems great. Share some pics if possible. Happy New Year’s.

  2. January 3, 2020 6:37 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed Meg & Jo. I look forward to Beth and Amy’s story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Know My Name. With All My Heart looks like a sweet book.
    Happy New Year!

  3. Beth F permalink
    January 3, 2020 6:53 am

    Your two adult books are on my list. Hoping to get some good reading in this year.

  4. January 3, 2020 9:23 am

    I get so angry at how assault victims are treated, and I commend one who can write her story.

    I hope you enjoy Meg and Jo as much as I did!

  5. Lloyd Russell permalink
    January 3, 2020 10:00 am

    Both books sound good. Happy New Year.

    Lloyd (408) 348-4849

    On Fri, Jan 3, 2020 at 1:02 AM Bermudaonion’s Weblog wrote:

    > BermudaOnion posted: ” Between the Covers Finished last week: Chanel > Miller is the young woman who was sexually assaulted by Stanford swimmer > Brock Turner in 2015. She has reclaimed her life and her identity by > writing her memoir, KNOW MY NAME. She gives her background ” >

  6. January 3, 2020 10:07 am

    I wonder if listening to Know My Name might be even tougher than reading it in print. Meg & Jo sounds good… maybe we’ll get to see the new Little Women movie this weekend!

  7. Helen Murdoch permalink
    January 3, 2020 11:10 am

    I really want to see the new Little Women movie, which is getting good reviews. Your week sounds like a good one to begin a new year with.

  8. Jeane permalink
    January 3, 2020 11:46 am

    I remember when that incident at Stanford happened. I’m glad she was able to write about it, but I think I would find it very upsetting to read.

  9. Diane permalink
    January 3, 2020 11:46 am

    With All My Heart looks very sweet. We are off too see Knives Out today, I’ve been hearing rave reviews. Enjoy the weekend!

  10. January 3, 2020 2:09 pm

    I want to read Know My Name but I’m afraid it will make me loose my cool. Still, I may read it for one of my 2020 challenges.

  11. January 3, 2020 3:39 pm

    Love that dog puzzle! I think I’d really enjoy reading (or listening to) Meg & Jo. Happy 2020, Kathy!

  12. January 3, 2020 4:15 pm

    That is one cool puzzle!

  13. January 3, 2020 9:36 pm

    40 years, no kidding! How amazing that is to meet after so long. I was recently thinking that it’s been almost 12 years since I had last met one of my closest cousins and hoping we get to meet this year.

    I’ve not been very sure if I wanted to read Know My Name. My logic doesn’t make sense – I want to read it because the incident made me so angry but I also don’t want to read because it’s going to make me angrier, if that makes sense. I’m going to keep thinking about it.

  14. January 4, 2020 9:37 am

    I’m glad to see your review of Meg & Jo. I have been hearing so much about it that I’ve been curious. Glad to see how much you enjoyed it.

    I heard Saeed Jones speak at a Texas Book Festival panel last year. He has a powerful story, I think.

    We decided to disconnect from cable a few months ago, so we didn’t have the temptation of bowl games. In the old days, we always looked forward to matchups between University of Texas and Texas A&M. But that was before the breakup of the Southwest Conference.

    How courageous of Chanel Miller to not only write her book, but to narrate the audio.

    I hope you have a lovely week, Kathy!

  15. January 4, 2020 1:07 pm

    I’m glad to know Meg & Jo is a good listen! With All My Heart looks sweet. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  16. Literary Feline permalink
    January 4, 2020 3:55 pm

    I am so glad you liked Chanel Miller’s memoir. I don’t read a lot of memoirs anymore, but that is one I am interested in reading. I still get angry every time I think of Turner getting off so lightly after what he did. I am glad you enjoyed Meg & Jo. I have never read Little Women, can you believe it? I love the idea of bringing in the new year at a bonfire! Ours was a quiet one at home.

    My mom got off for her home today, along with her dog. I always hate to see her go, but at the same time, it’s nice to have the house back.

    I hope you have a great weekend and week, Kathy. Happy New Year!

  17. January 4, 2020 6:58 pm

    Love the puzzle! I know I should read Chanel’s book, but I know I will find it disturbing. I saw her on the Daily Show and was impressed with her strength.

  18. January 5, 2020 8:44 am

    I read Know My Name recently and it was tough to read but so well-written. I felt I had to pick it up because I remember reading her response to those “boys will be boys, the woman shouldn’t have gotten drunk at a party” claimants. At the time it was anonymous and went viral.
    I love puzzles too but have a hard time doing them at my house, because I have cats who knock the pieces to the floor and the dog eats them. Have a good week!

  19. January 5, 2020 8:52 am

    The puzzle is cute and Meg and Jo sounds like a good retelling.
    Happy New Year!

  20. January 5, 2020 10:27 am

    Know My Name is on my TBR.
    Sounds like it’s been a great week for you, and it’s wonderful you’ve kept up the steps over the holiday period.

    Wishing you a great reading week

  21. January 5, 2020 8:27 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed Meg and Jo. I rewatched Little Women this past week . I remember loving the book when I read it years ago.

  22. Sarah Sammis permalink
    January 6, 2020 12:17 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed your books. Happy New Year. My weekly update

  23. January 7, 2020 10:10 am

    That is a super cute puzzle. What do you do with them once you complete them?

  24. January 8, 2020 5:23 pm

    The Chanel Miller memoir sounds pretty disturbing … and brave. I’m glad she persevered.

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