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The Week in Review: 03.27.2020

March 27, 2020


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

For her high school Senior Capstone Project, Pippa is researching a missing person/murder investigation that took place in her small town several years ago to show how social media affects police investigations.  She interviews detectives, friends and family of the missing/presumed murdered young woman and the family of the young man who is presumed to have murdered her and committed suicide.  She learns some shocking things about her town and the people who live there.

I thought A GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER by Holly Jackson was a lot of fun!  It’s told in the third person and is interspersed with Pippa’s research notes, interview transcripts, maps, calendar pages, etc.  Pippa is quite precocious for a high school student and is able to uncover things the police never did.  She also makes some decisions that can and do endanger her and those around her.  I liked her a lot, though, and rooted for her even as I warned her to tread carefully.  The plot is complicated but worked for me.  I listened to this on audio which is narrated by a full cast including Bailey Carr, Marisa Calin, Michael Crouch, Gopal Divan, Robert Fass, Kevin R. Free, Sean Patrick Hopkins, Carol Monda, Patricia Santomasso, Shezi Sardar, and Amanda Thickpenny, all of whom did a terrific job and kept me fully engaged.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


WINTER SKY by Patricia Reilly Giff is the story of Siria, a young girl who, in the wake of her mother’s death, worries about her firefighter father.  They live near the fire station and Siria sneaks out to follow the firetrucks (and watch over her dad) when she hears their sirens sound.  There seem to be a lot of fires lately so Siria suspects there’s an arsonist in the neighborhood.  She decides to investigate and is shocked by what she finds.

I really enjoyed this middle grade book about a young girl trying to find her way after the loss of her beloved mother.  Her mother loved the stars and some of that is woven throughout the book.  I liked the characters and the fast paced story and think it will appeal to both male and female readers.  (Review copy provided by Random House Kids.)


I guess I’ve been living under a rock because I wasn’t familiar with Elizabeth Holmes and her company, Theranos, until my doctor recommended BAD BLOOD; SECRETS AND LIES IN A SILICON VALLEY STARTUP by John Carreyrou.  Because of a fear of needles, Holmes had a dream of running diagnostic tests with one drop of blood from a finger stick and founded Theranos to develop the equipment to do just that.  A Stanford dropout, she had little medical or engineering knowledge so she hired others to develop her idea while she secured funding and customers.  Apparently Holmes was smooth and charming because she got a lot of big names to invest in her startup.  She caught the attention of the media and was touted as the youngest self made female billionaire.

At work, though, Holmes presented a different persona.  There were so many problems with the product and she worked hard to cover them up.  If anyone questioned or crossed her, they were threatened and/or fired or sued.  Her house of cards came tumbling down when Carreyrou wrote an exposé for the Wall Street Journal and Walgreen’s realized her clinics were a fraud.

The story of Holmes and Theranos is a fascinating one.  It’s hard to believe she was able to fool so many people so completely for so long.  She was a woman obsessed and would stop at nothing to get what she wanted.  I found the beginning of BAD BLOOD a little dense – there are a lot of people to keep straight – but once I got into it, I flipped the pages as fast as I could.  This well researched and written true story falls into the category of “you can’t make this stuff up.”

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Netflix’s four-part documentary series, The Pharmacist is about real life pharmacist Dan Schneider.  Schneider’s grief was intense when his son was killed during a drug deal gone bad.  When the police seemed stalled on the investigation, Schneider took matters in his own hands, eventually leading him to take on a pill mill doctor and Purdue Pharma.  I found the series fascinating and applaud Schneider for his doggedness.

Off the blog

  • We had to cut our air conditioner on over the weekend.  Thankfully, it’s cooled off since then but we’re expecting record heat today and tomorrow.
  • We had groceries delivered for the first time and it was so easy.  I ordered online and, in less than two hours, the groceries were on our front porch.  Our shopper kept me informed every step of the way.

  • I started the puzzle Stacy sent me.
  • We’re hunkering down at home but still get out for our daily three mile walk and I averaged just over 15,500 Fitbit steps a day.

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

24 Comments leave one →
  1. March 27, 2020 7:09 am

    I love audiobooks that have full casts, because it can get distracting when one person tries to do all the voices. I will have to try that one!

  2. March 27, 2020 7:16 am

    A friend ordered groceries and had to wait a week for delivery because everyone else in the same area was ordering. Glad it worked well for you! The puzzle looks great. I did one this week for the first time in years. Stay well!

  3. Susan permalink
    March 27, 2020 9:53 am

    We’ve been ordering groceries online too — so far so good. The Bad Blood book — I’ve heard is good — very hard to believe investors wouldn’t want proof of her idea or equipment. I guess she was able to pull the wool over almost everyone’s eyes ….. Crazy.

  4. Lloyd Russell permalink
    March 27, 2020 10:54 am

    Living in Silicon Valley, we were inundated with news about Theranos. And The Pharmacist looks interesting.

    Lloyd (408) 348-4849

    On Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 1:01 AM Bermudaonion’s Weblog wrote:

    > BermudaOnion posted: ” Between the Covers Finished last week: For her high > school Senior Capstone Project, Pippa is researching a missing > person/murder investigation that took place in her small town several years > ago to show how social media affects police investigations” >

  5. kaysreadinglife permalink
    March 27, 2020 11:41 am

    Kathy, I’m trying to see if I can comment on WordPress blogs now. Testing things out. Anyway, I think you know that this is Kay.

    I’ve heard such good things about Bad Blood, but haven’t been in the mood for it as yet. Amazing that things went on for so long before the true story emerged. I like the look of A Good Girl’s Guide For Murder and also Winter Sky. Reading has been a bit tough, but I think I’m going to turn that corner.

    Hope you and your husband are able to get your business partially opened in upcoming days. I saw your comment on Diane’s blog. Good luck with that!

  6. March 27, 2020 12:35 pm

    I am curious about Bad Blood and The Pharmacist.

    I keep meaning to try ordering groceries. I’m glad yours worked out well.

    Enjoy your weekend, and stay well!

  7. March 27, 2020 12:54 pm

    I always order my groceries online but since this hit, I’ve not been able to keep items in the basket. By the time I checkout, the inventory is gone. I’ve tried so many times I’ve given up. Last week, before the shelter in place, I went to the store and it was okay. I was able to get a few things but people were geared up and in hazmat type suits which made me uneasy since I didn’t even have a mask. It was very surreal. I got out as quickly as I could. We are getting low now though so I have to make a trip soon and I am dreading it because more people have it now.

  8. Diane permalink
    March 28, 2020 9:06 am

    I love ordering groceries online now, even though they were OOStock of the (3) different meat items and TP I ordered. I also changed my preferences to “no substitutions” as they sent quite a bit of cat food that our cats don’t like – I can donate this though so not a problem. We are avoiding all stores and using CVS drive through when necessary. Stay Safe and good luck with your curbside service soon.

  9. Mae Sander permalink
    March 28, 2020 10:21 am

    The grocery situation looked dire here — long waits, empty shelves, etc. But a couple of local markets are now working out how to meet demand for delivery and curbside pickup, so we may be ok.

    Be Well… mae at

  10. March 28, 2020 12:30 pm

    I have yet to ordering online, but it seems really easy 🙂

  11. Helen Murdoch permalink
    March 28, 2020 4:39 pm

    What a good series of book you read. I have heard of the Bad Blood case and it sounds super interesting.

  12. Literary Feline permalink
    March 28, 2020 8:39 pm

    I love the sound of A GOOD GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER. I am glad you enjoyed it so much, Kathy. I’m trying to talk my husband into giving Instacart or another delivery service a try. We can only manage to get to the stores in the evening or on the weekends and by the time we get there, everything we need is gone. Maybe we’d have better luck using a service during the week . . .

    Take care, Kathy. Stay safe and well.

  13. March 29, 2020 9:13 am

    I’ve started back on my 3 mile walks since being home, at least on the days that it doesn’t rain all day which it still does 2 or 3 days a week. I’m going to try pick up in the store for the first time for a whole grocery order. I have to pick up my prescription but I figured that would limit my time in the store. My parents are trying delivery. See what I’ve been up to at Girl Who Reads

  14. March 29, 2020 9:34 am

    A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder sounds like an ideal read. To break up things, we’ve decided to try to listen together to some audiobooks. My husband loves mysteries, so A Girl’s Guide might be a good choice for us.

    We’ve had to run our air conditioner this week. It got down into the 50s last night, but it will be back into the 80s today. I hope the virus doesn’t do well in the heat. From my research, I’ve found that most viruses don’t do well in the heat and high humidity. That is our climate here.

    We had our first delivery of food yesterday. The two people who delivered the food did an excellent job.

  15. March 29, 2020 12:09 pm

    I bought A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder for my daughter, and will probably read it myself at some point.
    They had to shut down home delivery services here because of supply logistics. It’s a pain because there are still purchase limits on essential products like milk and because we have a family of six we have to visit the shops more often to have enough for the week.
    It’s great you are still walking so much, I really need to do that when I’m over this cold.

    Wishing you a great reading week, and good health.

  16. March 29, 2020 2:49 pm

    I tried Bad Blood several months ago, but only read a few chapters. Sounds like I needed to give it a little longer… so many loved it. I will try again. We’re having groceries delivered now, too. It’s very easy and convenient!

  17. March 29, 2020 5:29 pm

    My husband read Bad Blood a month or so ago and said it was really well-written and compelling. I had hoped to read it, but had to return it to the library unread. Too bad I didn’t have it just prior to the closing of the library so I could read it at my leisure. They aren’t accepting any returns until the pandemic situation improves. Being the good library patron, I had already returned all our books. I’m trying to get out and walk even more than before since I’m no longer playing pickleball. The sun just came out, so it’s time to go! Take care, Kathy.

  18. March 29, 2020 5:29 pm

    We watched The Pharmacist too, it was well done. My son really liked Bad Blood, I’ll have to read it. We did our first Wegmans order last in early February and it was at my door with an hour from Brooklyn. Now the delivery dates are five days out. Stay safe.

  19. March 29, 2020 7:44 pm

    I tried to do grocery delivery, but they were out of almost everything. I’ll have to survive on what’s in the house until they restock. Good luck with the puzzle!

  20. March 29, 2020 11:18 pm

    We are still on lockdown/full curfew. Online is the only way to go but here they are not accepting card payments! what we would do when the cash is over I don’t think about now.

  21. March 30, 2020 10:48 am

    Good luck with the puzzle. Venice is my favorite city and thinking of it now, all of Italy really, breaks my heart. I just decided yesterday to try and have someone delivery groceries to us this week. I will go out if needed, to Whole Foods, but I’d prefer not to. It’s getting a little scary here.

  22. March 31, 2020 3:15 pm

    I’m so glad A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder was good. I’ve been wanting to read it. That looks like a fun puzzle! I hope you enjoy. May you and yours stay safe and healthy.

  23. Lea Michele permalink
    April 2, 2020 3:31 am

    Um, hi, I’m new here. I was trying to find out why a cold is called a cold. And, here I am. I did not find out why a cold is called a cold, but I did find y’all.
    I’m in Arkansas, I believe we are one of the last places to lock down and get serious about this virus. To be perfectly honest, I’m completely terrified. No, I’m actually beyond terrified. Since seeing some videos leaked out of China, I’ve been trying desperately to quit smoking. But it’s not easy going from 2 packs of cigarettes a day to no cigarettes a day…. (Deep sigh) but I must keep trying. Well, I’m praying for everyone these days, and especially the elderly, (that’s me) and all the people who are already sick, (that’s me too). If your reading this, please could I ask you to pray for the weak, the elderly and the sick? And maybe throw in a prayer for the leaders of every country, the entire medical profession and all first responders.
    Ok, that’s it for this old lady… God bless America.

  24. April 2, 2020 7:38 am

    Good Girls Guide to Murder sounds like a riveting read. Looks like that puzzle is going to be gorgeous. Stay safe and happy reading

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