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The Week in Review: 09.06.2019

September 6, 2019
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Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Everyone in my family loves to grocery shop, except me – somehow I missed that gene – so I thought GROCERY; THE BUYING AND SELLING OF FOOD IN AMERICA by Michael Ruhlman might help me understand why.  Ruhlman is a well known food writer and he says right up front that he doesn’t hide his opinion.  The book started out strong for me – I enjoyed the interesting facts Ruhlman shared and shared them with others – but I thought it lost steam about half way through for a couple of reasons.  For one, he concentrated on Heinen’s, a small Ohio chain, and, as far as I know, there are no stores similar to them in our area.  (Reading about Heinen’s made me wish for a store like it nearby, though.)  He also wrote a lot about nutrition; so much so it started to feel like a lecture to me.  I did appreciate his passion for food and grocery stores and will pass GROCERY on to my mother because I think she will enjoy it immensely.  (Review copy provided by Abrams.)


THE NICKEL BOYS by Colson Whitehead is the story of two young men – Elwood and Turner – sentenced to time in Nickel Academy, a reform school that claims to rehabilitate their charges and make them into honorable men.  The young men are from very different backgrounds and have different outlooks on life.  Elwood was raised by a grandmother who believed in him and he had plans to go to college; Turner thinks the world is dishonest and out to get him and does his best to avoid trouble.  Together, they do whatever it takes to survive the horrors of the ghastly school they find themselves in.

Nickel Academy is based on a real place in the panhandle of Florida that was open for over a hundred years and ruined the lives of thousands of young men.  THE NICKEL BOYS is an important book that is difficult to stomach yet hard to put down.  I fell in love with Elwood and needed to know how he would fare the brutal place he found himself.  I listened to the audio version which is narrated by JD Jackson who has a marvelous voice but I found his delivery somewhat monotonous.  Older teens on up need to read this book!  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


MY LIFE AS AN ICE CREAM SANDWICH by Ibi Zoboi is the story of young Ebony-Grace Norfleet.  Ebony-Grace has been sent from her Huntsville, Alabama home to live with her father in Harlem while her mother deals with some issues Ebony-Grace’s grandfather is having.  He’s an engineer at NASA and has always encouraged Ebony-Grace’s love of science fiction and fantasy.  The two of them created their own imaginary world and Ebony-Grace escapes to it to cope with the changes in her life.

I loved Ebony-Grace and her big imagination.  Her world has been turned upside down and she’s not really sure what’s going on and uses her fantasy world to cope.  I think a lot of middle grade readers will relate to her and the situation she’s in and will understand her need to escape.  I enjoyed Ebony-Grace’s story in the real world but have to admit I got tired of her fantasy world after a while – that’s proably just me, though, since I’m not a fan of science fiction.  In the end, I liked the book but didn’t love it.  The author narrates the audio version and does a great job with it.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

College football!  My three favorite teams – Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and whoever plays Virginia – played this weekend and, sadly, they all lost.  I think it’s going to be a loooong season for Hokies.


I went to see The Art of Racing in the Rain with a friend and I think we started crying almost from the beginning of the movie – it was a good cry, though.  For those who don’t know, The Art of Racing in the Rain is the story of a family, told from the point of view of their dog, Enzo, as his life is coming to an end.  It’s been over ten years since I read the book but I felt the movie was faithful to its spirit.  There were some minor changes but they didn’t bother me.  I just loved this movie – I thought the casting, the acting, and the story were all wonderful.  You don’t want to miss it, but be sure to have tissues handy.

Off the blog

  • I started a new puzzle – it’s hard to tell from the picture but it’s of an angel holding a dove.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged almost 16,500 Fitbit steps a day.

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

24 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2019 6:53 am

    We have Heinen’s but I hardly ever go there because it’s so expensive. But prices in general seem much higher in grocery stores. I suppose it’s even worse at Heinen’s!

  2. Diane permalink
    September 6, 2019 7:09 am

    Busy week Kathy! I want to listen to Nickel Boys as well; heard it was rough but glad the audio was good. We almost went to see Art of Racing in the Rain (loved the book) but, wasn’t sure as reviews seemed mixed. Glad u loved it!

    • Diane permalink
      September 6, 2019 5:31 pm

      Guess what? We just got back from seeing The Art of Racing in the Rain, and, the hub and I both loved it. You were so right!

      Believe it or not, we had the entire theater to ourselves for the first showing – it’s getting ready to leave the big screen.

  3. September 6, 2019 7:43 am

    Sounds like you had quite a busy week. I have Nickel Boys, but I’m not sure I’m up for it at the moment. You make me want to read it sooner than I had planned though. That Heinen’s Grocery Store sounds great – I would love a nice, small store to shop in. I actually enjoy grocery shopping – its fun to decide what meals to make and what new items they have (especially during the holidays). Hope you have a great weekend!!

  4. September 6, 2019 8:19 am

    I don’t know if I can watch The Art of Racing in the Rain in a theater so will wait for it to be offered streaming. I bought The Nickel Boys this week and hope to fit it in before the end of the year. Glad to read your thoughts on it.

  5. Beth F permalink
    September 6, 2019 8:31 am

    I have a signed copy of Grocery that I got a BEA a few years ago. I’m not sure why I haven’t actually read it. Ooops. I have Art of Racing in the Rain on my movie list, so I’m glad to hear that it kept the spirit of the book. I still haven’t read Nickel Boys, and I’m pretty sure Mr. BFR will get to it before I do.

  6. Lloyd Russell permalink
    September 6, 2019 8:59 am

    I haven’t read either of Whitehead’s books (has he written more?). But I think I should Try and get to The Peanut Butter Falcon and Blinded by the Light, if you can. They are both terrific movies.

    Lloyd (408) 348-4849

    On Fri, Sep 6, 2019 at 1:02 AM Bermudaonion’s Weblog wrote:

    > BermudaOnion posted: ” Between the Covers Finished last week: Everyone in > my family loves to grocery shop, except me – somehow I missed that gene – > so I thought GROCERY; THE BUYING AND SELLING OF FOOD IN AMERICA by Michael > Ruhlman might help me understand why. Ruhlman is” >

  7. September 6, 2019 9:24 am

    Now I want to see The Art of Racing in the Rain. I love the actor, Milo Ventimiglia, and any time I’ve watched a movie with a dog as the main character, I do cry.

    I am curious about Grocery. Thanks for sharing…and enjoy your weekend.

  8. September 6, 2019 1:12 pm

    I recently listened to The Art of Racing in the Rain and now I want to see the movie.

    Can’t wait to see the finished puzzle!

  9. Literary Feline permalink
    September 6, 2019 4:02 pm

    I am not a fan of grocery shopping either. I hope you are enjoying your current reads. I’m curious about Beverly, Right Here. I am glad you enjoyed The Art of Racing Rain. My daughter wants to see it, but I told her she’d have to ask her dad. I can’t watch it. I couldn’t read the book either. I hope you have a great weekend!

  10. September 6, 2019 4:21 pm

    No no I can’t with crying *sobs*

  11. September 6, 2019 6:26 pm

    Kathy, I also read The Art of Racing in the Rain a while ago, so I’m glad that you enjoyed the movie, and would like to see it, too. I do like to shop for groceries–especially at Trader Joe’s–so the grocery book interest me. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts about it. I hope you have a terrific weekend!

    • September 6, 2019 6:27 pm

      Oops–should be: so the grocery book interests me…

  12. Helen Murdoch permalink
    September 7, 2019 12:56 am

    I’m glad to hear that Art is a good movie as I remember loving the book.

  13. September 7, 2019 3:57 am

    I like grocery shopping because there seems to be new stuff all the time.
    Nickel Boys sounds monstrous. How did institutions get away with it.

  14. September 7, 2019 8:12 am

    Thank you for the reviews. I am pulled towards The Nickel Boys as I tend to like stories drawn from a real happenings. Sounds interesting

  15. Jackie permalink
    September 7, 2019 9:03 am

    I don’t do a regular monotonous grocery weekly shop so I enjoy when I go to get what I want/need to cook. I am not married to any particular chain, although I know which I dislike.
    Costco is done by my husband, thank goodness, can’t stand going there.

    Nickel Boys is on my TBR list.

  16. September 7, 2019 10:42 am

    Interesting reads! My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich is a GREAT title 🙂 and the Nickel Boys sounds good. I can tell the movie is a sad one; thanks for the rec, will have to see it sometime.

  17. September 7, 2019 7:19 pm

    I occasionally do physical jigsaws but more often electronic ones. Cheers

  18. September 8, 2019 2:19 pm

    My nephew is an HS English teacher and I recommended to him The Nickel Boys for his adversity/racism/overcoming theme. I haven’t read it, but enough people have talked to me about it that I was sure it would be a good selection for him. He teaches in a reservation school where his students are also facing a lot of adversity. I have yet to see Art of Racing in the Rain but am waiting until it comes to our small-town theater to support them. I also read the book about 10 years ago and loved it.

  19. Lauren Becker permalink
    September 8, 2019 9:39 pm

    I would like to read The Nickel Boys!


  20. September 9, 2019 10:45 am

    I haven’t seen Art,yet. but I suspect I will likely cry as you did!

    I hope you have a great week

  21. September 10, 2019 10:48 am

    I’m very interested in Nickel Boys, and I know that I will read it around the time the author visits Houston. I am wondering if he is coming this month. Maybe I need to read it now.

    I am also very interested in My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich. I’ve just requested a copy. Hopefully I will be able to read it soon.

  22. bookingmama permalink
    September 16, 2019 5:53 pm

    I should pick up NICKEL BOYS. It sounds so good even if it is difficult to read.

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