J. Crew Factory



Monday, June 5, 2017

June Books, TV, and Movies

Hello, dear friends.  How was your weekend?  We had a great one because our #1, Adorable Jonathon, his twin, Adorable Michael, and their parents came for Sunday lunch.  Not to worry, I took lots of pics that I will share with you later in the week.

I just realized that I skipped May's edition of Books, TV, and Movies.  Oh, well.  I hope you managed to make it through the month without me.

Just finished

I just finished listening to this delicious novel about a Russian Duchess in 1914 and a British journalist who finds her diaries and her grandfather's books in 2016.  It is a beautiful love story that survives separation, torture, and war.  This historical fiction is one of the best that I have read in a long time.

A terminal Mother, a daughter with severe social anxiety, a nurse with fertility problems, and a social worker who is married to an abuser - sounds like a bummer of a book.  But it is not.  Sure, there are some sad parts as well as some heart-wrenching ones.   But in total, this page-turner tells the story of hope, maternal love, and courage.  

No doubt about it, this one is Hepworth's best.

What I'm Reading/Listening to Now

I'm about halfway through with this novel about a very wealthy family who loses their Patriarch to cancer.  He left all of his money, property, and a major surprise to his family.

So far, so good on this one.

I met J. Courtney Sullivan at an author's luncheon.  The post will be published soon.  The synopsis and background for her new book piqued my interest.  It centers around two sisters in a dysfunctional Irish Catholic family.  Hmmm... sounds familiar.  One sister marries and has a family.  The other one becomes a cloistered nun. Not so familiar, after all.

I just started listening to this one.  
So far, so good.  
I'll keep you posted.


New Releases

Princeton University's secret vault is hit by a gang of thieves.  Enter: a rare book dealer and a novelist with writer's block.
Sounds like a good one to me. 

I've never read a book by Gabaldon, but I know that she has a huge following.  This is a collection of Outlander fiction and comes out at the end of the month.

A set of twins - one living on Nantucket, the other on Martha's Vineyard switch lives and islands.  
Let the fun begin!


This is another light read about a broken-hearted wedding planner that meets a handsome guy who won't give up pursuing her.  Reviews say this novel is rich with romance and humor.

It sounds like the perfect novel to stick in your beach bag.

As far as I'm concerned, Jane Green always does a stellar job at writing about complicated family relationships.  She also delivers an entertaining speech at book signings.  I can't wait to read this one.

This novel centers around two families enjoying a fabulous cruise.  The fun stops on an excursion in Central America in which their children disappear.

I'm going to download this one on Audible because terrifying tales make me walk faster.

A woman, "Jacks," is in a predictable marriage until the police show up at the door to tell her that her Kansas-bound hubby was killed in a car accident in Hawaii.  I know I've read a few books with a similar premise but I usually always enjoy them.

I wonder if I can put a tracker on the Mister. 

I had the opportunity to meet Beatriz Williams at the same Literary Luncheon as Jane Green.  Beatriz is darling looking and gave a dynamo speech.  Her newest historical fiction novel takes place in World War I France. Her books always promise colorful settings and rich characters.

I don't even have to read the synopsis of Catherine Ryan Hyde's new book.  She is a sure bet for a heartwarming, feel-good story.

Great reviews on this tale of family, well-kept secrets, and sisters.

This novel is described as a delightfully funny novel about marriage and children.  Sounds good to me.

This novel is getting rave reviews.  It tells the story of a struggling writer and his elderly dachshund.  It has been compared to Running In The Rain which is one of my all-time favorites.




The Mister and I saw Norman this weekend.  It is a very artsy film, and Richard Gere's performance is outstanding.  
As my dear departed Mother would say, "it's a thinker."

This one looks good, and the Mister loves anything historical.


The big draw for me is Kevin Kline.


I am a huuuuge fan of Sam Elliott's, and this looks like a good one.


Is this a small world, or what?  I graduated from high school with the real Megan Leavey's Aunt and she is portrayed by Kate Mara, whose Aunt also went to high school with us.  

Can't wait for this one and not just because I rubbed elbows at one time and enjoyed gouter with the rich and famous!


I hope that this flick is as good as the trailer.


The Mister was traveling last week, so I watched this one On Demand.  I loved it - I laughed and cried and sometimes did both at the same time.  

The Mister and I are finishing up the final season of Bloodline.  I enjoyed the first season but found each season getting darker and darker.  I did enjoy watching Coach Taylor, though.  

Next up on our watch list is House of Cards.
Have you watched it yet?
I would love to hear your review.


I'm going to give this new show a try.
It's cheaper than therapy.

Until next time...

This dog is almost as big as Chow!
Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Feel free to contact me through comments and email. I love to hear from my readers!


  1. Love all your recommendation especially the books!!

  2. I had not watched House of Cards so I decided to give it a try. Oh my goodness, clear your calendar because you will not want to stop watching.

  3. I'm always so amazed that you know about all these new books. But I reserve all of them from the library. I started Into the Water last night. Thanks so much!!

    1. Susie... interested to hear your review on that one. Enjoy your week.

  4. Love all your reviews! I completely agree with you about Bloodline. I loved Season 1, liked Season 2, and gave up on Season 3 after three episodes. Just too dark. We're six episodes into this season of House of Cards. Still love it!

  5. I need to quite working, or at least blogging so I can catch up on reading. House of Cards makes me happy I am married to Mr. LBD!-

  6. Oh my goodness..House of Cards is sooooooo good. They are torture because I want to watch one episode after another but I want to limit myself to just two per day so that they will last. The latest season has only thirteen episodes! Not enough! I want at least 40! Have you not watched any, or just not season five? Let us know what you, and the Mr., think of it.

    1. I am just like you... I like to pace myself. The Mister, however, has no self control and wants to stay up all night watching. Have a great week!

  7. just a delicious post of books and movies...hope these turn out to be good for summer...we need that....cannot wait to see the famiy photos...have a lovely week Katie.

  8. Read that a commenter recommended The Time in Between on Netflix so I gave it a try. It's fabulous! I quickly adjusted to the subtitles.


    1. Carol... that one is on my list. So glad you liked it too!! Enjoy your week.

  9. Lots of information here! Wow!! I LOVE the Outlander series and can't wait for the next book to be out, and for the new season to start on Starz!!

  10. You are the MOST WELL READ WOMAN I KNOW!I'm back from ENGLAND..............LOVE THAT COUNTRY!

  11. So many great recommendations! I have added lots of the books to my list, and the movies all look intriguing. That Gypsy trailer looks very addictive!

  12. Where do you find the time??? You amaze me!

    The Mother's Promise. I saw it at Target and came thisclose to buying it. I think I'll do it after your review. The Identical's sounds great, I love Martha's Vineyard. Anything set in that area can't be boring!!!

    Thanks again, Katie...you give me so many great ideas for reading!

    Jane x

  13. Two movies that I've seen recently are Hunt for the Wilderpeople, takes place in New Zealand. Stars Sam Neill. The second movie is called Eye in the Sky, about hunting terrorists by drone and how political and military decisions conflict. Both movies are excellent, though very different.

    1. Sam Neill is another favorite of mine. I'm sure the Mister will love Eye in the Sky. Thanks for your recs and enjoy your day!

  14. Great list, Katie. Mr. B. was a Russian studies major so I've placed The Secret Wife on my Audible list. Thanks for the suggestions.

  15. A lot of these books are already on my to read list Katie, but I've spotted some others I must add, I love love your reviews and suggestions! I am a huge House of Cards fan, can't wait to start the new season!

  16. Hi Katie, I always enjoy your reviews, especially books. I would throw any of these in my beach tote. I am always so disappointed with movies but a few of these i want to give a chance, Norman, love Richard Gere and A Dog's Purpose, It came highly recommended last night from my son and grandson. When I asked Connor (8 year old grand) what he thought he said it was really good and he liked it but not when mommy is sad and cries! We don't watch much television here except for a few series every now and then, one of which is House of Cards. The earlier episodes were more thrilling than the few I've watched from the new season, just weird even for cable. Now i just want it finished, simply I'm a fan of Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. I'd be interested in what you think
    Great suggestions for summer entertainment........

  17. Am just now starting the most recent season of House!!! I will recommend that if you are binge watching, after every two episoded watch an episode of Friends or Frazier or something light and funny. House can be very very dark! Yet, I can't stop wathcing it!

  18. So many good book recommendations - I need to make time to read a couple this summer - if summer ever shows up in New England.

  19. I'm on episode 10 of final season of HOC, Sis. It's been kind of like fishing - long bouts of "Uh, when is something going to happen ... can we move on from this, please" to heart-stopping "Now this is why I watch." I'm curious to see what you think. Also B wants me to tell you that he thinks he's a double for Sam Elliott and Richard Gere. Do you have any ins with their agents?

  20. Since you mentioned Kevin Kline, do what you can to see him on Broadway in Present Laughter. It's a limited run so hurry. He's so funny and his physical movements are just brilliant. His performance, together with Kate Burton and (unknown to me) Cobie Smulders, do perfect justice to Noel Coward's work.

  21. I just finished Into the Water. I finished it even though I was tempted to put it down several times. It is a bit confusing with 11 narrators and a lot of people talking to the dead. Probably the best written page is the last one. I pass most of the books I read on to my daughter, but I'm going to skip this one.

  22. Hi, Katie,
    Can't remember if I've commented before, but I do read your lovely blog and particularly love the gorgeous photos and book recommendations. I've shared your blog with my book club (which is tiny compared to yours!), and they have all loved your movie and book posts.
    I'm late to this particular post, but I had to agree with Pauline M. Although I think it's closing this month, "Present Laughter" with Kevin Kline will be one of the greatest events of my summer. My two dearest friends from jr. high school and I met in NYC last month (this is the 50th anniversary of our first meeting - Yikes!). My sweetie treated us with terrific tickets for "Beautiful", which was just fabulous. We laughed and cried and lip-synced the entire score - it was the soundtrack of our lives!
    Afterwards, as we walked towards Sardi's for a nostalgic dinner, we passed the theater where Kevin Kline was working his magic. (I've had the hots for him since "The Big Chill".) One of my girlfriends wanted to inquire about tickets, and came back with fantastic seats for the next day's matinee. We were not disappointed, I mean who can resist Mr. Kline - and Kate Burton and Mr. Smulders (who I recognized, but didn't know why) were equally impressive. It was a wonderful ending to an unforgettable trip with the best friends I love so much. I just wish you could see it too!
    Have a great summer!


J McLaughlin

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