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The Week in Review: 02.07.2020

February 7, 2020


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I first heard about SUCH A FUN AGE by Kiley Reid at the Editor’s Buzz Panel at Book Expo last year so I was excited to get a copy at SIBA.  When Emira, a young African American woman, takes the white toddler she’s babysitting into the neighborhood grocery story, she’s confronted by a security guard and accused of kidnapping the child.  A bystander captures the whole thing on video but Emira doesn’t want the video published.  Alix, her employer, is furious when she hears what happened and wants to make things right.

I love the premise of this book but I can’t say that I loved the book.  I did like it quite a bit but I don’t think it lived up to its potential.  There’s one huge coincidence that the whole plot hinges on.  I was able to roll with it but it added what I think is an unnecessary element to the story.   I felt the story lost its focus after a while and I wasn’t really sure what point Reid was trying to make.  It still gave me a lot to think about and Ti and I exchanged several emails about it so I think it would make a good book club pick.   (Review copy provided by Putnam.)


STELLA THE SEARCH DOG by Lisa M. Gerry is another great addition to National Geographic Kids Doggy Defenders series.  This one features a bloodhound named Stella and her partner, police trooper Diaz.  Stella lives and plays with Diaz’s family but also has a job to do.  She goes to work with Diaz each day and trains so she stays in tip top shape.  When someone is lost or missing, Stella uses her keen sense of smell to track them down.

This book is bright and colorful and Lori Epstein’s full color photographs are terrific!  Young readers will love the pictures of Stella in motion and chuckle when they see her wearing the goggles she needs while she rides in a helicopter.  There’s a short interview with Diaz in the back as well as some great safety tips from Stella.  This book is sure to be a hit with the picture book set!  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)


A WOMAN FIRST: FIRST WOMAN by Selina Meyer is based on the TV show VEEP.  I’m glad I didn’t know that beforehand because I’ve never seen the show and might not have read the book.  It’s the story of Selina Meyer a woman who became President of the US quite by accident.  In this “memoir” Meyer’s ghost writer tells her story in a very irreverent manner.  It’s cheeky, wise-cracking, politically incorrect, and laugh out loud funny.

The audio version is so well done.  Even though she’s not given credit, it’s obviously Julia Louis-Dreyfus reading Meyer’s part and she is a natural – she does an outstanding job!  She’s joined by a male narrator and the pair do an excellent job bouncing off of each other.  Fans of VEEP won’t want to miss this book and I recommend experiencing it on audio.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

The Super Bowl was on at our house and I watched a few commercials and the halftime show.

Off the blog

  • We saw a few snowflakes last Friday and by Monday it was almost 80 degrees.

  • I hosted book club to discuss THE QUEENS OF ANIMATION by Nathalia Holt.  Turn out was pretty low because the weather was terrible.  Everyone enjoyed the book and we had a good discussion.  We all felt like we learned a lot about the contributions women made to the early days of Disney and are glad to see them getting some recognition.
  • I was under the weather over the weekend and didn’t walk for two days.  I did walk at least three miles the rest of the days and averaged almost 12,500 Fitbit steps a day.

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

26 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2020 5:06 am

    I loved Veep and so want to read her “memoir” but it does sound like one that needs to be on audio. If you liked it, you have to watch the show. I really did cry laughing while watching it sometimes, it’s that funny.

  2. February 7, 2020 6:40 am

    I don’t watch a lot of tv so I missed Veep but I’d definitely listen to A Woman First. Sounds fun! I hope you’re feeling better.

  3. February 7, 2020 7:35 am

    I felt the same way about Such a Fun Age. I agree the hype may have hurt the book. I loved Veep, so I will be on the lookout for the audiobook. I think Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a comedic genius.

  4. February 7, 2020 7:48 am

    I LOVE Julia Louis-Dreyfus but don’t watch Veep so his audio might give me my Julia fix!

  5. February 7, 2020 9:11 am

    I can’t believe you had snow and 80s within just a few days of each other – that’s crazy! Lots of readers seem to share your feelings about Such a Fun Age. My tbr pile is out of control right now, so it’s doubtful I’ll get to it anytime soon.

  6. Lloyd Russell permalink
    February 7, 2020 9:20 am

    It’s good to finally see a review of Such a Fun Age because it’s cropping up everywhere. I wondered if it was as good as its hype.

    Lloyd (408) 348-4849

    On Fri, Feb 7, 2020 at 1:02 AM Bermudaonion’s Weblog wrote:

    > BermudaOnion posted: ” Between the Covers Finished last week: I first > heard about SUCH A FUN AGE by Kiley Reid at the Editor’s Buzz Panel at Book > Expo last year so I was excited to get a copy at SIBA. When Emira, a young > African American woman, takes the white toddler sh” >

  7. February 7, 2020 9:57 am

    Hope you’re feeling better. I watched the half-time show, too 🙂 I started to read Such a Fun Age, but stopped right away. It just was not as good as I thought it would be considering everyone is loving on it. Hope you have a great weekend!

  8. February 7, 2020 10:42 am

    I don’t think Such a Fun Age is a book anyone can like. I don’t think it’s meant to be that kind of book. It’s meant to make you uncomfortable, I think. To bring certain things to light, and to have you ponder them. Not necessarily to provide answers either. It was like the author was bringing an awareness of race fetishization to the table but really didn’t inject her own feelings into. That is what I think was missing actually.

  9. February 7, 2020 11:42 am

    Interesting reactions to Such a Fun Age! (I haven’t read it)

  10. Helen Murdoch permalink
    February 7, 2020 12:27 pm

    Veep is one of those shows that I keep meaning to watch then get sucked into something else. The book sounds like fun

  11. February 7, 2020 2:33 pm

    I haven’t watched Veep but the book sounds good. I’ll check it out more. I love the Doggy Defenders series! I had Such A Fun Age on my list to read but took it off although I don’t remember the reason I did. Great job with your steps.

  12. February 7, 2020 3:03 pm

    I am curious about Separation Anxiety. Enjoy your books and your week.

  13. February 7, 2020 4:07 pm

    LOL, I did not know the “president” got her own book

  14. February 7, 2020 8:11 pm

    Kathy, I’m glad you’re feeling better. I haven’t seen VEEP either, and the book sounds wonderful. THE QUEENS OF ANIMATION sounds terrific as well. Enjoy your weekend!

  15. Diane permalink
    February 7, 2020 8:37 pm

    I’ve been of the fence about Such a Fun Age – it isn’t at the top of my TBR but, I want to try it. Crazy weather continues everywhere it seems. I saw the Greenville, SC flooding – awful. We have had gray skys for days now and wind, sleet etc. Can’t wait for spring.

  16. February 8, 2020 9:55 am

    I didn’t realize there was a Veep book — I think I’ve only tried the show once. I still plan to get to Such a Fun Age but I think I will lower my expectations. Hope you are feeling better.

  17. February 8, 2020 12:34 pm

    Snowflakes on Friday and 80 by Monday? Sounds like the weather I used to get when we lived in Nebraska! We helped host a big Super Bowl party in our neighborhood and it was a lot of fun, but I was too busy to watch much of the game (or commercials). I’m sorry Such a Fun Age didn’t live up to your expectations, but I think I’ll still give it a try.

  18. February 8, 2020 2:07 pm

    One of the things I love about your reviews is your complete honesty. You never try to hide it if a book doesn’t quite meet your expectations, and that is wonderfully helpful to me. Thank you for your review of Such a Fun Age.

    We heard that they got snow north of us back home in Texas (which is quite unusual) and then temperatures were back to normal a few days later. The weather is crazy everywhere, isn’t it?

    I’m sorry you were feeling under the weather. I hope this week is a lovely week for you.

  19. February 9, 2020 8:31 am

    I wasn’t keen on Such a Fun Age either, but for me it was more a cultural thing I think. Our weather is as equally insane, from fire to flood.

    Wishing you a great reading week

  20. February 9, 2020 9:22 am

    I just had my hold for Such a Fun Age come through but chose to pass it on unread because I won’t be able to get to it any time soon. Such a bummer! I didn’t watch Veep either but I would read that book just because it’s fun, quirky, and unique. Hope you have a good week ahead!

  21. Sarah Sammis permalink
    February 9, 2020 11:17 pm

    I have Such a Fun Age on my wishlist. I’ll keep your review in mind when I eventually read it. My weekly update

  22. February 10, 2020 1:15 pm

    I just downloaded Such a Fun Age from Audible. It’s one of my next listens.

  23. February 11, 2020 12:52 pm

    What you say got me interested and then what Ti says about Such a Fun Age got me more interested in reading it to find out if I agree. What Ti says is why I quit reading anything by Jodi Picoult. She’d pick out some current controversy and construct a fictional world around it, but then she’d never develop a point of view on it.

    • February 14, 2020 3:50 pm

      Now I’ve read Such a Fun Age (it’s a quick read) and think there’s a definite point of view. My review will post on Monday (the 17th).

  24. Literary Feline permalink
    February 11, 2020 9:36 pm

    Such a Fun Age sounds like a very topical book for today. It’s too bad it wasn’t better for you, Kathy. Both of your current reads sound good! I hope you are enjoying them. I’ll have to ask my husband if he’s heard of or read The Queens of Animation. It sounds right up his alley. I hope you are feeling better, Kathy. Have a great week.

  25. February 12, 2020 2:15 pm

    For those who watch Veep, the male narrator of the audiobook is Tony Hale (he plays Gary on the show AND in the audiobook). If you’ve watched the show, you know how awesome those two doing the audiobook is. Hahaha! So good.

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