Friday, October 18, 2019

Reading & Watching

Hello, dear friends.  If you have been wondering where I've been lately, I have been smack dab in the middle of the Nor'easter.  We were without power for about 24 hours. You never appreciate little things like electricity until it's gone. Meanwhile, the Mister was away on business.

The Mister drinks a cup of this in the morning, so I robbed his stash and heated a cup. I made a promise to myself that I would always insist on a gas stove. Even if I only use it once a year. Anyway,  I prefer brewed coffee, but this stuff is pretty darn good. I already bought my own bottle, which is tucked away for the next crisis.

As I was sipping on my cup of Joe, I looked out my kitchen window and eyed a massive branch down sprawled across the entire back yard of our neighbor's home.  The culprit?  Our tree. I had a sneaking feeling that my neighbors hadn't seen it yet.  I texted them the bad news and notified our landscaper, Mike, right away.  We are so lucky to have such wonderful neighbors. 

Mike was here within the hour and solved another problem for me.  He manually opened our electric garage door. Freedom!  Around ten thirty, I grabbed my co-pilot, Chili, and we went in search of lunch.  I also plugged my iPad and iPhone into the car for charging.

I would have been a superstar in the Pioneer days. 

After driving for about 45 minutes, I finally found a Panera with a full parking lot.  Now I know what Dorothy felt like when she spotted the Emerald City.  

I stood in line behind a sweet woman who had her arm bandaged.  We started chatting, and she informed me that she just left the hospital and her sister was parking the car.  She told me that she manually pulled up her electric garage door to go to work and it ended up coming back down and broke her arm. This poor lady.  I made a solemn promise to myself that I wasn't going to complain anymore.

That lasted until I pulled out of my parking place to head home.

The road to heaven is paved with good intentions.


I just finished this inspirational memoir written by Jeannie Gaffigan, wife and writing partner of comedian Jim Gaffigan.  Five kids, one traveling husband, and one pear-sized brain tumor, set the table for this laugh out loud, sentimental, inspirational memoir.  


Demi narrates the audio version.  I really enjoyed this memoir and found her candid view of her nightmarish childhood and her two marriages riveting.  When I finished this book, I gained a lot of respect for Demi.  She is one tough cookie who openly admitted her flaws, took personal responsibility, and faced her demons and dealt with them head-on.    

I listened to The Dutch House, which was narrated by Tom Hanks.  He must be a friend of the author because I doubt he needs the money.  This book spans over fifty years and revolves around a brother and sister, Danny and Maeve. They share a sad childhood that lays the groundwork for their over-the-top love for one another and their unbreakable bond.  The story is touching, and Danny and Maeve are mesmerizing.

This was a book club choice.  The author attended our meeting.  Unfortunately, I had to miss it due to being knocked on my @#$# by a Shingles shot.  

Enjoyable historical fiction in the glamorous 1920's Hollywood. A light and fun read focusing on three lovable characters seeking stardom. 

I've read a few of Gilly MacMillan's books, and this one was just okay to me.  The story was a bit far-fetched, and the characters fell flat.


This was another book club choice.  I enjoyed every page of this novel, which centers around a loving husband and wife and their four daughters.  The characters are multi-dimensional, and the family dynamics authentic.  I was sorry to finish the last page and say goodbye to this beautiful family that seemed to be so real to me.


I was very excited about this one.  I adored The Story of Arthur Truluv and thought this novel would be along those lines.  The story is about Noah, a widower in his seventies who is contacted by social services regarding his eleven-year-old grand nephew, who needs a temporary guardian.  Noah has never met the nephew. He was planning a trip to Nice and ends up taking the child, Michael.  I made it halfway through the book and finally gave up because the kid was so obnoxious I couldn't take it anymore.  I think that I was suffering from a touch of PTSD, prompting flashbacks from when my girls were preteens.
I'm sure the kid turned around, and they developed a good relationship, but it was too late in the book for me.

The Mister downloaded this memoir of a young woman who worked for the CIA. He's listening to it now and is enjoying it.

A young lawyer is shot and killed at his desk one night.  
The killer leaves no clues.  The police zero in on a suspect who is framed.  Let the fun begin.

For fans of The Night Circus, Morgenstern's newest novel promises to be just as good.  A graduate student finds an old book.  He begins to read it and realizes it's the story of his own childhood.


The follow up to Winter In Paradise is hot off the press.


This sounds like a good title for my memoir.


I just started listening to this one.  I may be a little long in the tooth for this young, starry-eyed romance, but I'll keep you posted.

Great reviews!  
Olive Kitteridge fans, this one is a must!

Lots of praise for this historical novel.
It is written with two timelines, and you know I'm not a fan of this popular writing style.  I may give it a try since it drew so many rave reviews. 

I saw the author interviewed recently, and this sounds like one wild ride.  Count me in. 

If you haven't heard about this book, you need to get out more.

Elton lovers, this one is for you.

I listened to this book written by one of my favorite Instagrammers while driving around charging my iPhone and iPad in the car yesterday.  Even though I was frustrated with all the crazy coffee-depraved drivers, he kept me chuckling. 

I'm a big fan of Julie Andrews.
I can't wait until my ears are alive with the sound of Julie.

The minute I found out this one was coming out, I downloaded it.
It looks like these ladies will be accompanying me to Mexico.  

This sounds like the perfect book to give someone who is going through a loss or a crisis in their life.
Hoda is slowly taking Oprah's place in my heart.
Don't tell Oprah - she'll be crushed.

Big buzz on this gorgeous book.

Great hostess gift.


I would buy this book just for its cover. 


I hate to say it, but I have been slowly losing interest in The Affair.  It just doesn't have the same spark as the first season.

I am so sad that this is the last season of The Durrells
I love this quirky, crazy family.
But the one I am going to miss the most is handsome Spiros.
Don't tell the Mister I said that!

We were curious about Fleabag since it swept the Emmys.
This series is very graphic and off-color.
Needless to say, the Mister and I binge-watched it and laughed through it all.
The young people at the wedding are going to think that the Mister and I are so cool.

Succession just keeps getting better.
If you haven't watched the finale of the second season yet, I have two words for you... plot twist. 

I can't get enough of A Million Little Things.
My buddy, Annie has a darling niece who told her that everyone needs a Gary in their life.
Amen, Shannon!

How can I help?
DON'T get canceled!

Until next time...

Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

I'm Katie. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am an empty nester meandering through my middle-aged years while entangled in the never-ending process of renovating an antique home on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I love to write about books, movies, TV, celebrities, decorating, and weekend adventures. My favorite writing material is derived from my family: the Mister, my girls, #1 and #2, and my two untrainable, rambunctious pups, Chowdah and Chili.


  1. Yes, everyone does need a Gary in their life! LOVE, love, love that show!! I am behind this season so don't tell me anything... As always, you have so many wonderful recommendations. I already put some of those books on my list. Thanks for the great recaps and enjoy your weekend!

  2. I am very disappointed in Season 5 of Poldark. This season is not based on Winston Graham’s books. Big mistake. Insane storylines on social issues such as slavery and mental illness that resolve in one episode. I only watch now to see if Ross takes off his shirt again. Too bad it is winter in Cornwall.

    1. I agree with you on Poldark Season 5, and too many characters that have come out of nowhere while too little time spent with the favorites.

  3. That side eye though!!! LOVE your sweet pups!

  4. Julie Andrews and Elton John. Two favorites and at the top of my "gotta read" list. The Things we Cannot Say sounds like my historical period too. Oh, the Durrells. I laughed SO HARD at the picnic last week. I'll miss it sorely!

  5. Another cool front moved in Wednesday night, bringing rain and a power outage. Fortunately it was just a few hours, not 24. We not only have an electric garage door, but a gate too. I need to revisit how to open manually! Thanks for the reading list. I'm way behind on reading!

  6. We are at Tybee Island for my sis in law's birthday party tomorrow and of course there will be a tropical depression. Praying it does not ruin her party. That poor lady with the broken heart goes out to her. Yes Panera is the Emerald City when there is no power and you need a cuppa. Thanks again for all the suggestions for books etc. I loved David Guintoli in Grimm and I need to watch a Million Little Pieces.

  7. So many great reads!!! My list has now grown!
    But what I really need to know about is your shingles shot...I’m trying to decide if I wanna get one. What kind of reaction did u have? How long did it last? Now I’m scared!!!

  8. I always love reading your lists. So sorry about the woes of the storm. Judge Judy would be proud of you calling your landscaper for the tree that fell into the neighbor's yard so that she didn't have to see you both in court. Last summer we had a number of trees fall on our riverbank, at least one of which fell onto the neighbor's bank. They never even used that part of their property but tried to claim our tree bent a dilapidated walk out to a years old, no longer existing dock. smh. We removed all the trees, then moved.
    Those Shingrix shots pack a punch! They both put me in bed with flu-like symptoms for nearly 2 days, the 1st one worse than than 2nd with a bullseye red & swollen muscle at the injection site. Gives you something to look forward to on the next one, huh?
    Have a great weekend. Great stink eye from Chili!

  9. I hate being without power...and to lose a tree and have it fall on the neighbor's property...the ultimate insult. At least you had coffee so all was not lost!

    I have three or four of those books on my ever growing MUST READ list. lol I have never really done audio books- I don't know why. Maybe because I have music downloaded and that is the only time I get a chance to listen to it uninterrupted?!

    Have a lovely electrified weekend. xo Diana

  10. Thanks for all of the great recommendations! I agree with you about the two timeline books. They never fail to confuse me. I am currently still slogging my way through The Gown, which gets better toward the end but for me has been a heavy go for some reason. Also adore the Durrells! The one I will miss the most is Larry. They keep sending him off to live elsewhere to write, I understand he’s been chosen to play Prince Charles in The Crown (perfect, can’t wait) so that may be the reason for his in and out presence on the show. Don’t know if I will read Catch and Kill as I find the author to be enough of an enigma on his own. Anything by John Grisham I am IN. Keep the suggestions coming, glad you got through the nor’easter! We just finished experiencing a three day water outage from a major water main break in our area. Yes you do not know how good you have it until something as essential as power and water go out!

  11. We have been without power numerous times and I would be that lady that tried to open her own door and broke her arm. Our door weighs a ton and my husband thinks I should continue to do it in my old age just as I have for over 40 years! I am obsessed with a million little things as well. I must check out more of your recommendations. Oh, and I just watched you on the Meredith Viera show...way too funny. When do I get to do you on Ageless Style?

  12. Oh I'm so sorry you had to deal with all that - how no fun! Glad nothing's broken, and I think it was very resourceful of you to handle things the way you did! :) Thanks for the recommendations - Ms Andrews is first on my list - LOVE her! Take care over there!

  13. Hi Katie,

    Excited about the list of books. Sorry about the power outage. I was hosting a large dinner party once and only our side of the street lost power ( an hour before the guests arrived). So I took all of my food to a neighbors house to cook and when they arrived I had every candle in the house glowing. Believe it our not everyone loved it!

  14. A broken arm from lifting her garage door manually?? This is why I've never tried to open mine during a power outage.
    I watch PBS's Poldark, So far the final season is not as good as the previous ones. When the show ends, I may find a new series, and your recommendations look interesting.

  15. We were so thankful to only have lost power for a little under an hour; it is amazing how much we can not do without power. I can't reach to open my garage door manually either so we're often stuck in the house too. You have some really great books listed here; I just added a bunch to my "must read" list! I just finished What Happens in Paradise this morning and I'm already hoping she'll hurry up with book 3 as we're left on a cliff hanger.

  16. Thanks for sharing all the books! Good luck with your remodel.

  17. What a fun list of books and movies! I laughed so hard at Fleabag! Definitely not for everyone, lol. Glad you made it through the storm okay. :)

    Thanks for sharing on Farm Fresh Tuesdays!


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