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The Week in Review: 04.03.2020

April 3, 2020


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Celestial and Roy haven’t been married long when, as they’re visiting his parents in Louisiana, Roy is arrested for a rape he didn’t commit.  He’s convicted and sentenced to twelve years in prison.  Back in Atlanta, Celestial has to move on and make a life without Roy.  She starts a business and turns to an old friend for comfort.  When Roy’s conviction is overturned, he returns to Celestial hoping to resume life as it was but she’s no longer sure that’s what she wants.

AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE by Tayari Jones received a lot of praise when it was published in 2018 and was chosen as one of the best books of the year by the likes of NPR and TIME magazine among others.  It was an Oprah Book Club pick as well.  I’ve been anxious to read it since it came out and finally got around to it.  I liked the book quite a bit but can’t say that I loved it.  I thought the writing was wonderful and the story was fine but, for me, the characters were lacking something.  I wanted to feel more of their pain and emotion.  This book won’t make my list of favorites of the year but I’m glad I read it.  (Deb of Readerbuzz sent this book to me.)


THE SPLENDID AND THE VILE: A SAGA OF CHURCHILL, FAMILY, AND DEFIANCE DURING THE BLITZ by Erik Larson is the story of Winston Churchill’s time as the prime minister of England after Neville Chamberlain’s failed attempts to keep the country out of war with Germany.  In this well researched book, Larson shares Churchill’s strengths as a leader and his eccentricities in his personal life.  He tells what it was like to live in London during the bombing as well as what it was like to spend weekends at Chequers, the prime minister’s country estate.  While I appreciated this book and the research that went into it, I can’t say that I loved it and I think part of the reason was I listened to it.  John Lee narrates the audio version and I found his narration somewhat monotonous so my mind drifted at times.  I tend to struggle with British narrators so that was probably me and not him.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


Katie and her friends feel like there are no eligible men in London.  She decides to get away and applies for a job in Scotland.  When she gets to Fairlish for her interview she decides the tiny village is too small for her so imagine her surprise when the PR firm she works for is hired to do a job there.  Katie heads to Fairlish and discovers it’s loaded with single men and there’s a shortage of women.  The tiny village might not be so bad after all.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE BOYS GONE? by Jenny Colgan is a cute story about modern day dating.  I liked the characters and thought the plot was fun but can’t say I loved the book.  I liked it quite a bit but I think I’m just too old to really “get” it.  I’d recommend it to younger readers and those who enjoy romance.  (I won this book from Library Thing Early Reviewers.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Brittany Runs a Marathon is a funny and inspiring movie about a young woman who is tired of feeling out of control.  When she goes to the doctor, he tells her to lose 55 pounds so she checks out a local gym but can’t afford their fees.  She decides to run outside and meets other runners who show her what true friendship is.

Off the blog

  • We re-opened our business for contactless curbside sales only for a few hours each day.  This is normally illegal but the governor is allowing it temporarily.

  • I finished my latest puzzle.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged just over 16,500 Fitbit steps a day.

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

27 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2020 9:43 am

    In the Company of Others looks good for these times. Enjoy!

  2. April 3, 2020 10:10 am

    Beautiful Venice puzzle! I’ve done one and then ordered another which I’m saving for a while (the online supply has either tripled in price or disappeared since the shelter at home order).
    I watched Brittany Runs a Marathon over the holidays. I wasn’t sure at the start it was for me but I ended up liking it.
    I bought yarn from my local yarn shop and they happily delivered to my car. I hope you can continue your curbside business! And stay well!

  3. Lloyd Russell permalink
    April 3, 2020 11:02 am

    We saw Brittany Runs A Marathon in the theaters and liked it a lot. Then we watched it at home in the last month…and really liked it again! We’ve definitely recommended it to friends.

    Lloyd (408) 348-4849

    On Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 1:01 AM Bermudaonion’s Weblog wrote:

    > BermudaOnion posted: ” Between the Covers Finished last week: Celestial > and Roy haven’t been married long when, as they’re visiting his parents in > Louisiana, Roy is arrested for a rape he didn’t commit. He’s convicted and > sentenced to twelve years in prison. Back in Atl” >

  4. Diane permalink
    April 3, 2020 11:07 am

    Pretty puzzle Kathy! I read An American Marriage when it first came out and while I didn’t love it, I thought it was okay. I’m finding it hard to concentrate but, audio listens is going a bit better if there are only a few characters. Stay safe Kathy – hang in there, it’s all we can do.

  5. Helen Murdoch permalink
    April 3, 2020 11:24 am

    I thought Brittany Runs a Marathon was fun and I liked that it’s based on a true story. Too bad your reads didn’t wow you this week. After reading American Dirt, what did you think of the controversy?

  6. April 3, 2020 11:49 am

    That puzzle, Italy, right? I hope they are doing better now.

    I want to read that Larson book! I am a fan of his but while watching The Crown, all the stuff about Churchill got me thinking about reading more about him.

    Sounds like you are doing alright. We are doing okay here. My son is home now. I feel much better with him here and not on campus. My daughter was just told that school is out for the year. Not a surprise but definitely tough for her senior friends.

    I am just plugging along here for work and trying to read in between. I have to hit the market soon, again. With my son home we are going through food pretty fast although he came with a ton of snack food!

  7. April 3, 2020 1:44 pm

    The Colgan book sounds good.

    I’m putting Brittany Runs A Marathon on my list to watch.

    I’m glad you are able to have your store open, even for a few hours a day.

    I LOVE that puzzle, it’s beautiful!

    Good job on your walking!

  8. April 3, 2020 2:56 pm

    I never got around to reading An American Marriage, but it sounds very much like James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk. I listened to that last year (excellent narration by Bahni Turpin) and loved it. How are the curbside sales working out? This is such a tough time for business owners. Many of the restaurants are trying to do take-out or contactless curbside pickup and it seems to be a struggle. Stay well!

  9. kaysreadinglife permalink
    April 3, 2020 3:39 pm

    Glad you guys have been able to open your business up a bit. I know it’s has been and will continue to be so hard for small companies. We’ve been picking up takeout from local restaurant a couple of times a week and are glad we’re doing it. Take care and good luck to you guys!

  10. Susan permalink
    April 3, 2020 4:20 pm

    Wow that puzzle is really fetching, draws the eye right in. Hope your curbside sales are going well. I think your thoughts on the novel American Marriage jibe with mine. And we also liked Brittany Runs a Marathon …. we could use amusing movies like this now.

  11. April 3, 2020 4:24 pm

    I want to watch Brittany Runs A Marathon, thanks for the suggestion. I hope you are hanging in there, it’s a tough time for small business owners.

  12. April 3, 2020 4:37 pm

    Your finished puzzle is lovely. I’m glad that the family business can continue, though in a different manner. We are working from home now, as CA is in lock down mode.
    I watched Brittany Runs a Marathon fairly recently, and am glad that I saw it. I really enjoyed The Wedding Story in the Mitford series.
    Have a terrific weekend!

  13. April 4, 2020 8:39 am

    You’re so lucky you can walk outside! My allergies are too bad right now, so I can’t leave the house for multiple reasons!

  14. April 4, 2020 10:03 am

    I was so eager to read The Splendid and the Vile that I started it the first day it arrived. But I was surprised to find that I wasn’t into it, even after reading a couple of chapters. I decided to set it aside and try again later. I hope I’ll eventually read it and love it as much as I have loved the other Larson books.

    I will look for Brittany Runs a Marathon. We need funny and inspiring right now.

    The Venice puzzle is beautiful. I think I am going to order a puzzle online. My mom used to do them all the time, and they seemed to be very calming for her.

    I read somewhere that in a crisis we simply need to do the next thing. That’s what I am focusing on right now.

  15. April 4, 2020 3:02 pm

    An American Marriage didn’t grab my attention, so I set it down. The puzzle looks gorgeous! We have been puzzling a lot more than normal. Glad you are able to open your business for curbside. I appreciate those businesses that have adapted to not only stay in business but service their customers safely!

  16. April 4, 2020 3:51 pm

    I need to check out that movie

  17. Literary Feline permalink
    April 4, 2020 4:08 pm

    An American Marriage is on my TBR shelf to read. I am glad you liked it, even if it isn’t a favorite. Not every book can be, right? I really liked the Jenny Colgan novel I read and will have to look for Where Have All the Boys Gone? It sounds like something I would enjoy. I enjoy romance novels, but I’m finding when I come across one with an “older” couple, I enjoy them even more. I am glad you are able to bring in some business still. It must be so hard on many fronts.

    Mouse is in her musical theater class right now. She seems much more animated and happy now than she did earlier when she was taking her ballet class. Normally she loves ballet, but having to do it via Zoom just isn’t the same as when it’s in person.

    Have a good weekend, Kathy. Stay safe and well.

  18. April 4, 2020 4:35 pm

    I’m looking forward to reading both An American Marriage (need to get a copy) and the new Larson book (I have an ARC and my husband thought it was very good). I hope you can continue to provide curbside service and stay open, if only part-time hours. That puzzle looks wonderful. We’re starting a new one today. We did SO many last month! Take care, Kathy.

  19. April 4, 2020 7:31 pm

    Looks like I need to watch Brittany Runs a Marathon! The puzzle looks as beautiful as I remember 🙂 I voted for An American Marriage for book club but we’re reading American Dirt instead,
    I do hope that having a part of your business will help you make some money during this time. Last week I ordered wine from the local wine shop and they delivered it to my door! I think they do it for a 5 miles radius. It was nice.
    Stay well 🙂

  20. April 5, 2020 10:27 am

    I’ll have to remember The Splendid and the Vile in case I enjoy The Devil in the White City 😉 I bet that author would really kick butt in some Jeopardy trivia categories. LOL Glad you’re able to operate your business a bit. Enjoy your week!

  21. April 5, 2020 1:20 pm

    The Jenny Colgan books sounds cute, and I think I have An American Marriage unread on my shelf.
    Our retail stores are mostly still open with some modifications, and food businesses have adapted to takeaway or contactless delivery. I think it’s good that business are allowed to be flexible in these complicated times.

    Wishing you a great reading week and good health

  22. Carol Evans permalink
    April 6, 2020 1:10 pm

    I imagine you’re glad the store can re-open at least a little. This times tough on all the small businesses. Our local beer and wine store is still allowing people to come inside to shop.
    I’ve liked several of Larson’s books. I may have to pick up The Splendid and the Vile.

  23. April 6, 2020 3:30 pm

    I love your puzzle. We’ve been doing puzzles here too and thankfully I have a lot on hand from when I didn’t have time to do them. It’s certainly strange having all our kids in the house but I’m not complaining about that. I’m glad you are able to conduct some business. I’m just trying to find the good in each day and not focus on all the bad that goes along with being confined to our homes.

  24. April 6, 2020 5:56 pm

    Beautiful puzzle! Love. I’ve heard Brittney Runs a Marathon is good. I’ll have to watch it soon. An American Marriage has been on my list for a while now. Glad you enjoyed it. I hope you and yours stay safe and healthy this week!

  25. April 7, 2020 10:02 am

    I like the Colgan book but will have to try to track it down. Stay safe

  26. April 7, 2020 12:41 pm

    What do you sell? Is there a reason that curbside sales are usually illegal?

  27. April 8, 2020 6:24 am

    That puzzle is gorgeous. I hope the curbside sales work out well for you and glad the the governor has agreed to allow them. Stay safe and healthy.

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