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The Week in Review: 01.17.2020

January 17, 2020
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Between the Covers

Finished last week:

WINNERS TAKE ALL: THE ELITE CHARADE OF CHANGING THE WORLD by Anand Giridharadas explores why the divide between the wealthy and the poor is getting larger and larger.   In a thirty four year period (1980 to 2014), Giridharadas says, the income of the top ten percent doubled and that of the top one percent tripled.  During the same time period, the bottom half of earners went from earning $16,000 to $16,200 annually.

According to Giridharadas, the private sector has taken over many social programs the government used to implement.  The problem with that, though, is they don’t separate their interest from that of those they’re supposed to be helping and in the end, they benefit more than those in need.  He also dissects companies like Uber and Airbnb and says they take advantage of the lower socioeconomic class.

This book wasn’t an easy read – much of it is dense and almost text book like – but I think it was worth the effort.  Giridharadas has done a lot of research and provides notes on his sources in the back.  For the most part, I found his reasoning solid and, to be honest, quite disturbing.  Since reading the book, I’ve noticed how right he is in many ways.  This is a must read for those interested in equality.


THE SERIOUS GOOSE is a picture book written and illustrated by late night host Jimmy Kimmel.   He’s dedicated it to his children and all proceeds go to children’s hospitals.  The book is the story of a goose who won’t smile, no matter what.  Others have tried to get him to smile but have had no luck.  Children are encouraged to be silly to see if they can make the goose smile, making this a fun book to share with little ones.  I listened to the audio version which is narrated by Kimmel and he does a fine job.  I’ve seen him read the print version and think the illustrations would make it more fun for youngsters.  This is a terrific book to read when you want to encourage silliness.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


HOW WE FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES is the highly promoted memoir of poet and Buzzfeed editor, Saeed Jones.  A gay black man, Jones was raised in Texas, knowing both things made him a target.  With raw emotion and heartfelt writing, Jones shares what it’s like to be an outsider in a society when you long for acceptance and shows how that longing can lead to destructive behavior.  He didn’t always make good decisions and doesn’t shy away from his mistakes.

I found this book to be well written and informative.  It’s heartbreaking at times and uplifting at others.  It made me realize society really hasn’t made as much progress as it should have.  Jones is very graphic at times so this book may offend some readers.  I can’t say that I loved it but I did appreciate it and am glad I read it.  (Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Since LITTLE WOMEN is one of my all time favorite books, I was excited to see the latest movie interpretation of it and I was not disappointed.  There are some changes to the story but it mostly stays true to the spirit of the book.  I thought the casting and acting were terrific and enjoyed the scenery as well.  I cried several times throughout the movie and was sad when it ended.  I’d love to see it in the theater again.  It’s appropriate for the whole family and seeing it would make a wonderful mother-daughter outing.

Off the blog

  • After far too long, Carl and I went to take my aunt out to lunch.  Visiting her is always so much fun!
  • I walked at least three miles every morning (even in the rain one day) and averaged just over 16,125 Fitbit steps a day.

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

22 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2020 8:43 am

    That’s a great photo of you and your aunt! Winners Take All sounds like an important read, but the textbook-like style puts me off… maybe it would be easier for me to get through on audio.

  2. January 17, 2020 11:06 am

    I can imagine reading Winners Take All and trying to tell Jim every bit of it, LOL, so he would probably appreciate I don’t have it at the moment… Wonderful picture of you and your aunt; thanks for sharing it!

  3. January 17, 2020 11:07 am

    What a great photo of you and your aunt 🙂 I have HOW WE FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES on my TBR list – sounds like such a good read. I want to see Little Women – I love the book and have read it so many times. Every time I see the trailer for the movie I am tempted to reread the book. I’m so glad you enjoyed the film so much 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend!

  4. January 17, 2020 11:12 am

    I like the photo of you and your aunt…and I can’t wait to see the newest Little Women.

    Enjoy your weekend.

  5. January 17, 2020 2:59 pm

    An eclectic mix of books this week.

    I’m glad you were able to spend some time with you aunt. You guys really do look like you are having a blast.

    I’ve only read half of Little Women. I think I might have mentioned that once before. I don’t know why I never finished. I just forgot about it because I remember loving the half I did read. I need a really nice copy to get me reading it again. Or, hey, even a Kindle version.

  6. Helen Murdoch permalink
    January 17, 2020 5:08 pm

    Both adult books that you reviewed sound interesting and important. I’ve been thinking quite a bit about class and how much it determines our paths in life.

  7. January 18, 2020 12:58 am

    Looks as though you had a great week, with an excellent mix of books to read and some amazing family memories.

    I enjoy a good slide show of family pictures when they are streamed by my nephew, however I am still bowled over when the little ones give us their family photo calendar each Christmas and all their personalised celebration cards throughout the year. I still treasure my photo albums, even though they are now much slimmer.

    I haven’t read ‘Little Women’ since I was a child. It is yet another of those classics on my bucket list to re-read. As period dramas don’t feature on hubbies radar at all, I never get to watch either film or TV adaptations, and to be honest I don’t think any of my circle of friends would enjoy the genre either. It’s not much fun to watch alone!

    ‘Winner Takes All’ sounds like a book choice hubbie would make, as anything either written or on TV, which has even the slightest political leaning, is very firmly on his list, and by default mine, as he does like to share his opinions! The only problem is that he gets so riled up by what he watches and reads, that it can’t be good for his stress levels and is totally self inflicted!

    I haven’t actually read much at all this week, as I have a long booking list of Blog Tour spots and Cover Reveals to prepare, which have made demands on all my free time. I started reading ‘Epiphany’ by new to me author Susan Slater and so far, so good 🙂

    Have a great weekend,

  8. January 18, 2020 2:36 am

    I really want to see Little Women but I might have to wait until it comes out on TV

  9. bookchickdi permalink
    January 18, 2020 8:02 am

    I loved Little Women too! I picked up Sayeed Jones’ book at Be a and want to read it soon .

  10. January 18, 2020 8:42 am

    Winners Take All sounds like the sort of important writing that needs to get more press. I am happy to see that it is at my public library. I will definitely read it soon. My grandfather was a union organizer who raised his family during the Great Depression, and one of the bits of wisdom he shared with me is that it is when there is a huge divide between the very rich and the very poor, with little or no middle class, that revolution occurs.

    I heard Saeed Jones speak right after he won the Kirkus Prize. He grew up in difficult circumstances. After reading two teen books in a row, I’m starting to see that middle schools and high schools are hotbeds of abuse for young people. As a society, we are not nice to others.

    I’m eager to go see Little Women. I missed all the holiday movies this year. Little Women is at the top of the list of what I want to see.

    What a great photo of you and your aunt!

    Have a wonderful week.

  11. January 18, 2020 10:02 pm

    I’m looking forward to reading The Serious Goose with my daughter! It does sound like fun. I’m hoping to watch Little Women sometime soon. Glad to hear that you loved it!

  12. January 19, 2020 8:36 am

    “The problem with that, though, is they don’t separate their interest from that of those they’re supposed to be helping and in the end, they benefit more than those in need” So much this!!!
    I’m adding that book to my wishlist!

    Lovely pic 🙂

    Wishing you a great reading week

  13. January 19, 2020 8:50 pm

    I just heard about How We Fight For Our Lives on a podcast (probably What Should I Read Next) and added it to my TBR list. It sounds like a thought-provoking read. I’m anxious to see Little Women, but will have to wait for it to hit Netflix. We just don’t go to the movies anymore. Lovely photo of you and your aunt. I’m sure she loves her lunches out with you!

  14. Literary Feline permalink
    January 19, 2020 8:57 pm

    Winners Take it All sounds like an interesting read. I love the sound of The Serious Goose. What fun! I hope you are enjoying your current read. I just finished The Family Next Door, and enjoyed it. I hope you have a great week, Kathy. Ours will be a busy one. I’m trying to mentally prepare. LOL

  15. Sarah Sammis permalink
    January 19, 2020 9:17 pm

    Looks like you had a fun day out. My weekly update

  16. January 19, 2020 11:36 pm

    You’ve had a wonderful week. I’d love to see Little Women. The photo with your aunt makes me smile.

  17. January 20, 2020 7:47 am

    Good job on your walking! I’m sitting inside waiting for the cold weather to pass! Sounds like most of your reads were a little heavy this week – hopefully you have some fluff planned soon 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  18. January 22, 2020 12:16 am

    Winner Takes All sounds like an interesting book. Little Women is on my to-do list and hope to get to it soon.

  19. The Cue Card permalink
    January 22, 2020 4:43 pm

    I agree the new Little Women movie is terrific. I thoroughly enjoyed it over Christmas. So glad you liked it too.

  20. January 23, 2020 9:55 pm

    I liked Saeed Jones’s memoir quite a bit. I agree on the heartbreaking and uplifting assessment too — it’s great!

  21. January 25, 2020 6:51 am

    I don’t know if I could make it through Winner Take All, maybe I’d have better like with the Jones memoir. Love that photo of you and your aunt. I wish I lived closer to my aunts so I could spend time with them more often.

  22. February 16, 2020 12:33 am

    I had been wondering if The Serious Goose was any good – you never know with celebrity written picture books. I’m glad to hear that it is – I’ll have to get my hands on a copy to read to my younger kids.

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