Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Week in Review - W/E 1/7/2017

In 2016 I struggled to review every book that I read and, as a result I felt like I didn't give my reviews my best effort. After seeing Kathy's new format for 2017, I decided to give this weekly update, with mini reviews, idea a try.  I'll still be posting my weekly, First Chapter link up every Tuesday as well.

The first week of the new year found us eating out plenty thanks to several wonderful and appreciated gift cards from family.  We also received movie gift cards and got to see (2) newly released movies (both wonderful).


"Some people build fences to keep people out, and other people build fences to keep people in."

This movie was powerful and emotional and sure to win awards.  The story tales place in the 50's and early 60's and deals with prejudice, the wounds inflicted by those who raised us and the sacrifices people make on behalf of others. It's obvious that this movie was meant to be a play as there are very few scene changes: One house, front porch, back yard and kitchen and dining room scenes for the most part and, there is a small cast of characters.  Denzel Washington's performance was outstanding. (BE SURE TO SEE IT)




A wonderful, feel good movie about three brilliant African American women who were instrumental in helping to launch our space program. 1961, Jim Crow era, it wasn't easy for them but, these feisty women persevered and showed the white men just what they were capable of.  One of the best movies I have seen, rated PG. Be sure to take your young daughters to see this movie. You don't often see a movie where the audience cheers several times throughout the movie.  It's a movie that demonstrates that girls/women, regardless or their skin color can do anything they set their mind to. (BE SURE TO SEE IT)


Books I've Been Reading

Pantheon Books - 2013


First Paragraph ---
"The fog was thick when I left my bedsit and ventured out alone into the barren and murky city.  I was heading for what used to be called a crematorium and these days is known as a funeral parlor.  I had received notice instructing me to arrive by 9:00 a.m., because my cremation was scheduled for 9:30."

(My Thoughts) I actually started this book the end of 2016 but just finished it this past week.  I had some trouble with this book which I'm assuming was due to the translation (Chinese to English). The story begins at the end and goes back over a seven day period. A middle aged man, Yang Fei dies and receives a notice instructing him to show up for his own cremation. He washes, dresses and shows up for the event but, he fears no one will show up for his funereal because he's divorced and has no children.   When it's his turn for the cremation, he leaves and decides to search for his adoptive father who he assumes has died as well.  ver the next seven days he meets the ghosts of others who have passed away, eventually circling back and meeting his father.  This story wasn't all that long and at times had a feel of the way H. Murakami writes. This took me longer than normal to read and, I'm glad I gave it a try but, it was challenging and is just not a book that will appeal to every reader. (3.5 stars) 

NYRB Classics - 2015


First Paragraph --
"It was the spring of the last year that Matthew reached twelve that I first became aware of Chocky.  Late April, I think, or possibly early May; anyway I am sure it was the spring because on that Saturday afternoon I was out in the garden shed unenthusiastically oiling the mower for labours to come when I heard Matthew's voice speaking close outside the window.  It surprised me; I had had no idea he was anywhere about until I heard him say, on a note of distinct irritation and apropos, apparently, of nothing:


         'I don't know why. It's just the way things are.'

(My thoughts) -- When I saw that the intro for this book was written by Margaret Atwood, I had to try this book. Fewer than 200 pages, Chocky,  is a story about an adopted, twelve year old boy named Matthew Gore who lives in London and has an imaginary friend. When his parents become concerned they seek help and we learn that Chocky is an alien who has come to explore earth to see whether it's habitable.  Matthew and Chocky have a unique relationship and, the questions posed by Chocky are deep, interesting and worth pondering.  The story made me think about the environment and why we do some of the things we do. Narrated from the POV of Matthew's concerned father, it's an original and optimistic story that was very different from what I tend to generally read. It made me curious enough to take a peek at other books by this author. (4.5 stars)

New Books
(sent to me by publishers)


Enjoy your weekend everyone!

37 comments:

  1. I really want to see Hidden Figures. My movie going friend and I decided to take our hubbies to see a different movie this week with that hopes it will still be on next week.

    Books in translation can be hit or miss, can't they?

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    1. I know you will be happy about this movie.

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    2. Oh and yes, I often have trouble with certain translations.

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  2. Diane, I love this format and Kathy's as well. Several bloggers seem to be moving toward this type of weekly post and I'm all for it. Glad to hear you will still be doing the Tuesday thing. I'm planning on keeping up with that. The movies sound very good. I have the Hidden Figures book to read at some point.

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    1. Thanks Kay, it's way less pressure. We've been going to the movies often it seems:)

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  3. My Mom gets so motion sick that actually going to the movie theatre is out, she misses going though.

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  4. I want to see both of those movies! The Seventh Day sounds really different than anything I've ever read.

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  5. Fences was great and intense. I want to see Hidden Figures. I want to read Chocky. I like your new format here.

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    1. Glad u enjoyed Fences Judy. I could picture it on stage.

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  6. I really want to see Hidden Figures! It sounds so fantastic and I love shining lights onto bits of history I didn't know. Chocky looks interesting and an intro by Margaret Atwood is always a good sign! Love the new format!

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    1. Thank you Katherine, and please see these movies if you have the chance.

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  7. I moved to shorter, more concise reviews a few years ago, but perhaps an end-of-week update for times I get too busy to write up individual reviews might help stop me from getting hopelessly behind. I have about 15 reviews to write and the details are getting fuzzy.

    Hidden Figures sounds wonderful. I just got the book this week and want to read it before I see the movie.

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    1. I usually make some notes as I read Les, but, them sometimes I get lazy and then have difficulties recalling all I wanted to say.

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  8. Saw Fences last Tuesday, Diane! Powerful movie! Loved it. Hidden Figures next on our list to see.

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  9. I do a week in review post every Sunday and it works really well for me! I talk about other things during the week, or don't blog at all, but at least I mention what I read and still sort of have a book blog. :)

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    1. Kailana, glad the weekly update works for you as well.

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  10. I am trying to not eat out. So far this week I had eat-out breakfast twice (Monday and Friday), and the annual teacher work day lunch on Monday (because we never get to have more than a 15 minute lunch for the other 180 days of the year). Pretty good start! I really want to see both of these movies!

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  11. I haven't been the movies in a while but really want to see both of those films. I actually would like read read Hidden Figures before seeing the movie. So interesting!

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    1. I wasn't aware of the the book, Hidden Fences but now want to get it from the library.

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  12. I really want to see Fences. Hope you enjoy your new books (I read and enjoyed Traveling Light and The Echo of Twilight).

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  13. I want to see both Fences and Hidden Figures so I am glad to see you liked both of them.

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  14. The new format is terrific, Diane! Chocky sounds (and looks) intriguing. There are so many books that I want to read in 2017!

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    1. Thanks Susan. Cocky was different -- in a good way.

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  15. I like the weekly update format - I participate in It's Monday, What Are You Reading and use that to give my quick thoughts on books I'm not planning to review and DNFs.

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  16. I like this format, too, and am glad Chocky turned out to be a winner!

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    1. Thanks JoAnn, and, Chocky was not my normal fare but, it worked well.

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  17. Yes! I love post Christmas eating out. We get a lot of gift cards too, and it is a great way to relax and enjoy each other.
    I look forward to seeing both Fences and Hidden Figures at some point. Glad it they were both great.

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  18. I have been doing it this way for years and it has really worked out for me to record thoughts about all the books I've read. Hope it works out for you too. I've been seeing Echo of Twilight all over and it sounds very intriguing.

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  19. I really want to read Hidden Figures. My mom is reading it right now and loves it.

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