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The Week in Review: 07.05.2019

July 5, 2019
tags:

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Camille seems to have a good life yet she feels something is lacking.  Even though she has a good marriage, a job she likes, and a terrific kid, she’s just not happy.  When she runs into Claude, he offers to help her and says she should just pay him what she thinks his services are worth.  It sounds like an offer she can’t refuse, so Camille jumps in with both feet, following Claude’s advice for happiness.

I picked up YOUR SECOND LIFE BEGINS WHEN YOU REALIZE YOU ONLY HAVE ONE by Raphaëlle Giordano because it has a fun, quirky name and was a bestseller in France.  Had I realized the author is a life coach, I probably would have skipped it because that’s exactly what it read like to me.  Claude advises Camille to do a spring cleaning of her home, asks her to list her strengths, tells her to identify her needs, etc – you get the picture.  Parts of the book are light and fun but, mostly, it felt like a thinly disguised self-help book to me.  I did think Nick Caistor’s translation was outstanding but the book was just okay for me.  I would recommend it to readers who enjoy self-help books.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

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NIXIE NESS, COOKING STAR by Claudia Mills is the first book in the After School Superstars early chapter book series.  Best friends Nixie and Grace go to Nixie’s house after school every day and that’s just how Nixie likes it but things change when Nixie’s mother goes back to work.  Now, Grace goes to Elyse’s house after school and Nixie goes to after school camp.  Camp ends up being better than Nixie expected but she can’t help but be jealous of the friendship blossoming between Grace and Elyse.  What can she do to get her best friend back?

I thought this sweet story of friendship was delightful!  Nixie’s not happy about the change in her life but learns that change can be a good thing.  She also learns that she has room for more than one friend in her life.  I loved the cooking school setting and love that Mills included a recipe in the back of the book.  Grace Zong’s illustrations are wonderful as well.  Pick this book up for the early readers in your life!  (Review copy provided by the author.)

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RIDING THE ELEPHANT: A MEMOIR OF ALTERCATIONS, HUMILIATIONS, HALLUCINATIONS AND OBSERVATIONS by Craig Ferguson is a memoir told through short stories that shows the author’s wit and humor but also his serious side.  He tells stories from his childhood in Scotland as well as his immigration to the US and his success here.  He freely shares his failures – like his divorces and alcoholism – as well as his successes – like being sober since 1992, and being a devoted father – in an open and honest way.  Sometimes humor in a book gets old for me after a while but that wasn’t the case with this book.  I thought there were enough serious moments to balance out Ferguson’s clever, self-deprecating humor.  Ferguson narrates the audio version himself and I thought he did a terrific job.  He kept me invested and entertained throughout.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

I watched most of the Women’s World Cup game against England and was thrilled to see the US advance to the Finals!

Off the blog

  • Our nephew’s visiting and Carl and I took him to see our minor league baseball team play. We had a great time even though they lost.
  • Since the store was open for the 4th, our holiday was pretty quiet.  I did go to a neighborhood get-together for a little while and watched neighbors put off fireworks.
  • The winner of a paperback copy of THE SHORTEST WAY HOME by Miriam Parker is Deb of Readerbuzz.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged just over 17,650 Fitbit steps a day.

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 3, 2019

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

No new words in my reading last week so I had to turn back to my Word-a-Day calendar.  These words are interesting but I doubt I’ll be using them any time soon.

1. indefeasible – “After his father’s untimely demise, Prince Nikolai took to the throne as was the indefeasible right of the king’s eldest son.”

Indefeasible is an adjective that means not capable of being annulled or voided or undone.    

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2. nidifugous – “Little is known about the mortality of nidifugous shorebird chicks.” — Hans Schekkerman, et al, Journal of Ornithology, January 2009

This adjective means leaving the nest soon after hatching.

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3. sequacious – “Eager to prove that he was not merely a sequacious follower, Mario wrote a sharply critical review of his former mentor’s recent book.”

Sequacious is also an adjective and means intellectually servile.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

July 1, 2019

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.  It was a kind of slow week for my mailbox, but I’m not complaining since I have plenty to read.

Monday

Tuesday

What was in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 06.28.2019

June 28, 2019
tags: ,

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

In ERA OF IGNITION: COMING OF AGE IN A TIME OF RAGE AND REVOLUTION, Amber Tamblyn explores timely topics like feminism, sexuality, race, and misogyny in a very personal manner.  She started acting on a soap opera at a young age and experienced discrimination first-hand and shares many of her stories with readers.  I’m not sure how well her book will stand the test of time, but I found it to be smart and thought-provoking although, I have to admit, I didn’t understand all of it.  I listened to the audio which Tamblyn did a great job narrating and would like to go back and read it in print so I can ruminate on it more.  This is a great book for anyone interested in current feminist issues.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

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DIARY OF AN AWESOME FRIENDLY KID: ROWLEY JEFFERSON’S JOURNAL by Jeff Kinney is the latest in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.  This time, though, Greg Heffley’s best friend, Rowley, is getting in on the action.  When Greg discovers Rowley’s diary, he convinces Rowley that he will be famous one day so the book should be a biography about him.  Rowley can only write what he knows, so it’s really about their relationship and, let me tell you, Greg isn’t so nice to his best friend, leaving me with mixed feelings about the book.  On the one hand, I did find some of the stories amusing, but on the other, I wanted Rowley to quit taking Greg’s abuse and stand up for himself.

The format of the book and the general style of the artwork will be familiar to fans of the Wimpy Kid series.  I think the book will work the best for those who’ve read the rest of the series and are familiar with Greg will enjoy it but it wasn’t my favorite.

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Since reading DOPESICK by Beth Macy last year, I’ve wanted to learn more about the opioid crisis in the US so I picked up IN PAIN: A BIOETHICIST’S PERSONAL STRUGGLE WITH OPIOIDS by Travis Rieder.  Rieder’s foot was severely damaged in a motorcycle accident and he needed opioids for pain, especially after some of the surgeries he endured.  When he tried to stop taking them, he found the withdrawal horrific and discovered none of the doctors who prescribed the medication could help him get off of it.  He was finally successful and has researched the drugs since then.  He says:

The year of my accident — 2015 — nearly a quarter-billion prescriptions were written.  That’s more than 620,000 each day.  So it’s not as if the need for withdrawal management should be surprising.  And yet, it’s apparently no one’s job.

This book is well researched, well written, and thought provoking.  Rieder points out that no one thought it was a crisis or epidemic when opioid use (mainly heroin) was chiefly in poor, African American neighborhoods, but it became one when it started affecting middle-class white communities.

Rieder’s experience with opioids brings a unique perspective to this book.  It’s a must read for anyone interested in the opioid epidemic.  (Review copy provided by Harper Collins.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Since Vance and I had seen the first three Toy Story movies in the theater, I talked him into seeing Toy Story 4 with me.  Woody and Buzz as well as the other toys belong to Bonnie now.  When Bonnie goes to kindergarten orientation, she makes a new toy, Forky, and she adores him.  When the family goes on vacation, Woody tags along to take care of Forky and ends up taking a life changing adventure.

Both Vance and I enjoyed the movie but felt it was the weakest in the series.  We may be in the minority, though, because most of the audience applauded when the movie ended.  If you decide to see it, be sure to stick around through the credits to see a few additional scenes.

Off the blog

  • Carl and I made a little day trip on Monday for what Carl dubbed “Kathy Day.”
  • I started and finished a small puzzle.  Our nephew’s coming tomorrow so I had to get the table cleared.
  • I walked at least three miles every day and averaged almost 17,000 Fitbit steps a day.

 

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

June 26, 2019

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

This week’s words are from ASK AGAIN, YES by Mary Beth Keane.

1. dote – “‘You’re a dote,’ Francis would say to the baby when she finished, and then flip her to his shoulder for a burp.”

Dote is Irish slang and is a term of endearment that means someone is cute.

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2. currach – Almost every afternoon, for a period of minutes, the shape of a currach hung on the wall across from his bed, but when he looked away and turned back to it slowly, it was never there.

A currach is a small round boat propelled with a paddle.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

The Shortest Way Home paperback release giveaway

June 25, 2019

Today’s the day many people are waiting for! My friend Miriam Parker’s debut novel, THE SHORTEST WAY HOME is being published in paperback and I’m so excited I’m giving a copy to one lucky reader!  Here’s what the publisher has to say about it:

Mailbox Monday

June 24, 2019

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.

Tuesday

Thursday

Friday

What was in your mailbox?