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Friday, January 24, 2020

Reading, Watching, & Listening



Hello, dear friends.  TGIF!  I didn't think Friday would ever get here!  Do you have a big weekend planned?  We are going to a dinner party at our dear friends' beautiful home.  Nothing is better than spending a cold winter evening with great friends and fabulous food.

This is a long one, so grab a cup of joe or a glass of vino and make yourself comfy.  My dear friend, Suzanne, is kind enough to join us again and to share her latest favorite podcasts.  I know my buddy, Mary, the original Sudbury Sweetheart, will be happy about that.

Last but not least, I have heard from a few readers that they are having difficulty leaving comments.  I spoke with Linda, my blog designer, and she needs to know what browser and what device you are using.  Pop me an email at preppyemptynester @ gmail.com. 





Amazon


I got this novel through Amazon First Reads.  Do you ever get any?  Usually, I'm not crazy about the selection.  But this time, good old Amazon hit it out of the ballpark. 

Phillip and Charlotte meet on a flight.  Instantly, there are sparks even though Phillip is much older than Charlotte.  He is also very successful and wealthy.  Did I mention he is good looking too? 
Charlotte and Phillip move in together, and he buys them a gorgeous house in the Keys.  His best friend, Goose, owns a restaurant in town, and the three of them hang out together along with Goose's young son.  Phillip travels a lot, though, and little by little, he becomes very distant with Charlotte.

That's all I'm going to tell you except that this is an emotionally-charged novel.  It is the story of love and second chances.  I openly admit to shedding a few tears while reading it. 






Amazon


This is the story of Edward, a twelve-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a commercial airliner carrying 200 people.  He becomes an icon, and people want to touch him because they think that he has special powers.  He goes to live with his only living relatives, his mother's sister, who is in mourning after losing a baby, and her husband.

I could not stop thinking about this book.  It is beautifully written, and the characters are multi-dimensional.   I felt like I knew Edward, and every emotion that he experienced was passed on to me.

This book touched my heart like none other.




Amazon

American Dirt can only be described as riveting.  I could not stop listening to this compulsive, spine-tingling story.  Lydia is happily married to Sebastian, and they have an eight-year-old son named Luca.  Their family lives in Alcapolco, where Lydia owns a bookstore while her husband is a journalist.  One day, a gentleman comes into the shop and buys all of Lydia's favorite books.  She strikes up a conversation, and a friendship is born.  The man, Javier, is very well-read.  He tells Lydia about his wife, his mistress, and his daughter. It is after several visits that Lydia discovers that dear friend, Javier, is the jefe of the largest drug cartel.  He has a reputation for being extremely cruel and also is responsible for many murders.  Lydia tells her husband about him, and he confides in her that he is writing an expose of Javier.  After the article is published, Lydia's life changes forever.  She and her son begin a long, arduous trek to the US. 

I positively loved this book.  There is not a dull moment in it.  I highly recommend listening to this book when you have some time on your hands because you won't want to turn it off.  The narrator of this book is one of the best that I have listened to.  She has a pleasing voice, a lovely accent, and gives just enough drama to the words.  




Amazon


Fasten your seatbelt, you are in for one wild ride.  The author gives you a birds-eye view of growing up with her narcissistic, wackadoodle of a mother, Malobar.  She is raised in NYC and the Cape with her crazy mother and stepfather, who seems like a lovely guy.  

In the middle of the night,  when Adrienne was fourteen, she is awakened by her mother.  Mama Dearest spills the beans that her stepfather's best friend kissed her.   Malobar has the emotional intelligence of an oversexed twelve-year-old.  The daughter ends up being the Mother's alibi and covers up the affair for the next fifteen years.  

I never expected to enjoy this memoir as much as I did.  I became very curious about all the real characters and did some research.  All I can say is... very interesting.




Amazon

When I read the raving reviews of Nothing To See Here it piqued my curiosity.  The premise of the book centers around a set of twins that combust into flames the minute that they become upset or anxious.  They were living with their mother until she passes away. Their father is an up and coming politician and is remarried to Madison.  She is at a loss as to what she is going to do with these bothersome brats. She calls on her estranged friend, Lillian, who is stretched for money.  As the story progresses, Lillian and the twins become very attached.  


I never expected to enjoy this book as much as I did.  I broke my cardinal rule of only listening to books while I walk.  From the moment I turned this book on, I did not turn it off until I finished it.  I don't know whether I would have liked the book as much if I read it.  The narrator did an outstanding job reading.  I highly recommend this delightful book.





Amazon


If you are looking for a romantic book that is pure escapism, this book is for you. A happily married woman has had dreams about the same man her whole life.  She has never met the guy. One day, she is in the grocery line and guess who she spots? 

I really enjoyed this book.  I expected it to be all fluff, but it was much deeper than I anticipated.  It deals with the heartache of infertility, physical abuse, grief, and guilt.  





Amazon

This is a short courtroom thriller that is packed with suspense.  Two jurors are on a sensational murder trial.  One is a somewhat unhappily married woman, and the man is a younger professor.  
Did I mention that they are sequestered?
This is what I call Sexy Suspense! 





DNF

I had high hopes for this true crime book.
It got way too technical for me.



Amazon

This book opens to a woman murdered in the backyard of a beautiful home.  The author backtracks, and we begin to try to figure out who the woman is and who did the dirty deed.  
A well-known married food blogger attends a blog conference out of state and runs into her children's married orthodontist.  Sparks fly.  They continue their affair when they get back to town.  
I've been to three blog conferences.
How come nothing that exciting ever happens to me? 



Amazon

A woman meets a handsome, successful man and falls head-over-heels in love with him.  One complication:  he is married.  Another complication:  he is married.  Translation:  he has two wives and wants to take her as his third wife.
What can go wrong? 




Amazon


The Mister and I like to listen to a book together when we are tooling around town on weekends.  I got this audible on special.  If you appreciate Sedaris' wry humor and quirky take on life, you are going to love to listen to this one.  The Mister and I got our money's worth of chuckles on this one.   

Btw... I downloaded another one of his. 
In this audio, David attempts to learn French.
Hmmm... sounds familiar.




Amazon

This book has gotten great reviews.  
I thought it was just okay. 
I know that my favorite Bookstagrammer, bookbimbo does not agree. 



Amazon

I am listening to this one now.
The jury's still out.







Amazon

Marie Benedict is one of my favorite authors.  And not because I am buds with her Aunt Dell.  Lady Clementine tells the story of Winston Churchill's ambitious, colorful wife.  I can't wait to read it.




Three women in the midst of two World Wars take refuge in the Ritz in Paris. 

I could think of worse places.
I always enjoy books by these three authors.


Amazon

I've always judged a book by its cover.  How cute is this one?  For all the peeps like me who are going through The Crown withdrawal, this book is for you and me. This is a fictional account of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret as young girls. During WWII, their parents secretly send them under assumed names to live in a castle in Ireland. 
Save me a seat on that imaginary bus.





Amazon

A woman is serving time for a crime that she did not commit.  A mysterious visitor shows up at the prison and offers her a get out of jail card.  She only needs to do one thing.  

I downloaded this one on audible.  To be honest, I have been hot and cold on Chamberlain's books in the past.  





Thomas has everything he ever wanted until he does something that causes him to lose everything.  Thomas is the sole narrator of this psychological thriller, which promises to keep you guessing until the bitter end.
It sounds like my kind of read.






I am thrilled to welcome back my Dallas friend, Suzanne.  She was sweet enough to text me this list of her favorite podcasts from a flight bound from Europe. That's what I call being a good buddy.

Take it away, Suzanne...



Hidden Brain - NPR podcasts that always have excellent topics. Each episode is about 40 minutes

Freakonomics Radio - Different thought patterns just like the book.

Revisionist History-This is Malcolm Gladwell. There is one episode that is a must. It’s called The Hug Heard Round the World. It’s season 3, episode 6. It about Sammy Davis Jr.  Excellent!


How I Built This - Fascinating stories about how so many of our favorite companies started out. Great stories of perseverance.

Dolly Patton’s America - Even if you are not a fan of Dolly, this is an interesting and well-done podcast.

Dr. Death -This is the true story of a neurosurgeon who operated on people in the Dallas area about 10 years ago. You can’t stop listening once you start it.


I just listened to the first 3 episodes of a new podcast called Spin Doctor about the late Dr. Frederic Brandt. It’s so good!! It’s all about how he made Botox and fillers so acceptable all the while using himself to experiment.


Thanks so much, Suzanne.






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This was one of the best movies that I've seen in a long time.


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This movie is worth a second mention.



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I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see it with my own eyes.
The Mister started watching Season 2 and liked it so much that he talked me into rewatching the first season.


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I love me some Cap'n Lee!
Can't wait for the reunion.



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I love the entire cast in this show.
I hope it never gets canceled.



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Not only do I love this show, but I wish the characters were my friends.  
Especially Gary.

Do you have any recommendations for me?


Until next time...





Linking up with:
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Friendship Friday
Blogger's Pit Stop
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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.

32 comments:

  1. I always love your book recommendations Katie. I just finished Dear Edward....couldn't put it down. I mostly read at night trying to relax to sleep but several times if I woke up to "potty" I picked up my Kindle and continued reading Dear Edward! The only bad thing is I'm terrified of flying and this book did not help!

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    1. Judy... I read this book when we went away a few weeks ago. When I told the Mr. what the book was about he said "Are you crazy? You are the most neurotic flyer in the world!!" I didn't feel more nervous about the flight. I didn't feel any more calm either!!! Have a great weekend!

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  2. Have you read The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller? I think I might be in love with Sam........

    We have been watching The Brokenwood Mysteries on Acorn. I wish there were more.

    Love these posts. Have a great weekend!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sharon.. The Widow... looks like my kind of book. I put it in my favorites on Amazon. I love almost everything I watch on Acorn. I will definitely watch Brokenwood! Thanks so much for these suggestions. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  3. I will check out some of these books Katie. I checked out three books at the library last week and took them all back unread. Well I read the first chapters and realized they were not worth my time. I look forward to reading Lady Clementine....I find her fascinating. As for Television I have pretty much stopped watching anything but Jeopardy and Dateline. I have become a You Tube aholic.:) Have fun at your dinner party.

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  4. Loved loved loved Such a Good Age. So much to ponder. Put a mirror right up to my liberal white-privileged face. Hope you’re well!!

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    1. Hi Liz... I am listening to it now. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

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  5. I've been wanting to read Wild Game. It is being featured on Gretchen Rubin's podcast next month so they've been telling us how good it is. I loved watching The Two Popes as well!

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    Replies
    1. Fasten your seatbelt for Wild Game!!! Hope you have a great weekend.

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  6. I have Dear Edward and The Wives on my list for February! I love the Dr. Death podcast.
    Do you watch 911? They have 911 Lone Star now and I liked the first two episodes.
    New Amsterdam is one of my favs right now! Happy Friday!

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    Replies
    1. No I don't watch 911 but I will! Have a great weekend Morgan. Love your name - sounds like a soap opera name.

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  7. Loved this post! Do you get a small commission if I order through the blog? I tried to find the books on amazon from your story but no connection. I will order some, have read some. I woke up at 4, couldn't get back to sleep, so watched "Women in Black". I really enjoyed it! Thanks.

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    1. Hi Gayle! Yes, I get a small commission. Thanks for letting me know that I forgot to link some of the books. So glad you liked that movie. Enjoy your weekend.

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  8. Wow - I need to add a bunch of these to my list! I also need to get audible so I can listen while I am walking or in the car. Right now I am reading Where the Crawdads Sing which has gotten wonderful reviews. I just started it so I will let you know. Enjoy your weekend....oh and yes, I want to be friends with Gary too!
    Shelley

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  9. A few of these are in my book pile, glad to know what I should bump up to the top. Lady Clementine will be joining the pile in short order. I would love to be friends with Gary and his dog! I am also hooked on New Amsterdam and am rooting for Max and the gorgeous Helen.

    Annie G

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  10. We just finished Season 3 of The Crown so we're a little bit behind. I loved it though! I've heard that the Netflix docuseries on Aaron Hernandez is really good.

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    Replies
    1. Julie... I just got off the phone with my #1 and she and AJ watched they Hernandez docuseries last night. They said it was really good.

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  11. I need to watch that sinfully delightful second season of You! As soon as I saw the title of this post, I quickly grabbed a notebook to jot down all of your reading suggestions. :) And I've listened to four of those podcasts and highly recommend. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  12. Katie Clooney besides "super-model trophy wife" you can add "literary influencer" to your list of accomplishments...whenever someone asks me what I am reading and they have already read the book, I pull up your blog post about books...there is always a winner in your post. Keep up the the hard work!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, sweet Beemie. Hope you're keeping warm! xx

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  13. Sounds like you found some really great books! I often get a book through Amazon First Reads but I also often forget to read them. I keep saying I'm going to spend a month just reading the books on there. Pinned.

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    1. Me too! I have so many books downloaded! Some women buy shoes, I buy books! Have a great weekend.

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  14. Thanks Katie, I always enjoy your reviews~

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  15. I appreciate the podcast recommendations from Suzanne; half of them I listen to already on my Apple HomePod. A year ago I dropped my 9 am favorite morning show and replaced it with the (NYT) The Daily podcast. I enjoy the deep dive into a hot topic (most podcasts are based on recent NYT articles). Other podcasts I listen to regularly: The Happiness Lab, Second Life, The Goop, Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley, Stay Tuned with Preet(Bharara). The Daily Dish (Bravo) and Milk Street Radio.

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    1. Thank you, Paige. Those podcasts sound great. I love Jane Pauley and of course, Bravo. Hope that you are staying warm on this cold, raw day!

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  16. Hi PEM ~ writing a test comment to see if the function now works with new iPad and Google Chrome. Here goes ....

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    1. It worked ... yippe! Now I’d best finish the post and leave real comment. I’m back!

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  17. So many books to find and read... I had started New Amsterdam then got sidetracked. Will start it up again with your recommendation!

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  18. Sharing on the Weekend Edit. I have eight of your books on my list! Still reading Gentleman in Moscow! laura

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  19. I've read some of the books you've listed and several are on my to-read list. I wasn't sure if Dear Edward would be for me, sounded like it would leave me feeling blue, but everyone is raving about it so going to give it a try. I have American Dirt on hold at the library so looking forward to getting that one. Hope you're doing well!

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  20. Wow, a jam packed post full of book recommendations and podcasts. I really enjoy finding a page turner and almost have to have a good read going all the times. Thanks for the list, I'll check out all of them!
    Happy weekend, enjoy the dinner party.......

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