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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Reading, Watching, & Listening

Hello, dear friends.  I hope that everyone is healthy out there.  As I type this, I see two well-fed blue jays out my window.  Spring is almost here.  When I took my walk yesterday, it was 72 degrees!

This week I have two book functions.  I have a Supper With The Authors and Book Club.  I hope that they don't get canceled.  It just came over the News that the Mayor canceled the St. Paddy's Day Parade.  No St. Paddy's Day Parade in Boston is practically a sacrilege!  

Today, I am joining Jana Says for the Show Us Your Books link-up.  If you love to read, stop over and see what other bloggers are reading and their reviews.

Morgan is an inmate at the North Carolina Correctional Facility.  Two women visit her and offer her the deal of a lifetime.  They want her to restore a mural on the USPO wall in a small town.  In return, they will give her a get-out-of-jail card and 50 thousand buckaroos.

The story is written in two timelines.  The book was a good one, but it was about 50 pages too long.

A husband and wife take their two daughters on vacation to an island in the Caribbean, St. X.  The older one, Alison, is about 16 and the younger one is about 9 years old.  Allison has got a real wild streak and secretly sneaks out at night to carouse with some hotel staff.  She then disappears, and the outcome is devastating.

This book started out strong.  At about 40% in, I felt like I arrived in quicksand.  The story stood still.  It did pick up again.  And I did finish it, which says a lot. 

This book is a perfect example of why I love book clubs.  I would never have chosen this book for myself.  The Buttonwood Book Club chose it for me.  

As you can see from my rating, I really enjoyed it.  Just like everyone has a story, every day has one too.  A random day. December 28, 1996, was chosen out of a hat, and the author set out to find people in which that day was significant in their lives.  A couple of stories made the newspapers, but most did not.  

Gene Weingarten is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a master storyteller.   

This thriller has gotten off to a rip-roaring start.  A family moves to a small island off the coast of Main.  Along with an old rickety house, they inherit a rude, sarcastic teenage girl.  My worst nightmare.  A few days after they move in, a neighbor is murdered.  Did I mention that they moved because the husband had an affair?

I am reading this one now.

On New Year's Day, a father takes his sons to a lake to write resolutions on paper boats.  Meanwhile, a woman takes her dog for a walk around the same lake.  Father and sons return home, but the woman does not.  

I'm listening to this one, and it's pretty good.
I'll keep you posted.

A few months ago, this was offered on Audible Deal of the Day, and I bought it.  The Mister and I just started listening to it, and we think it's quite good.

Sista met Sally on a movie set when she was about 5 years old.  The actress left her perkiness at the convent and was miserable to Sista and my parents.

I was just as happy that she was snippy because I was left home with Grandma. 

Before I even start a Kristy Woodson Harvey novel, I know that I am in for a captivating story laced with delightful characters.  Gray has hit a string of bad luck.  Loss of a loved one, a cheating spouse, and a sister who has made the wrong decision in choosing a spouse.  Enter: Diana, who is facing challenges of her own. One of which is caused by Gray. 
I can't wait to start this wonderful book.  I have yet to finish a Kristy Woodson Harvey novel without a smile and a tear.  

This memoir chronicles the life of Princess Margaret's lifetime Lady-In-Waiting, Anne Glenconner.  After reading the synopsis, it sounds like Anne's life was as tumultuous as Princess Margaret's.  This is perfect for my walks.

The story centers around Vincent, a female bartender.  The plot involves a Ponzi scheme.  The setting is a five-star luxury glass hotel.
It sounds right up my alley.

The author is the daughter of the famous chef, Alice Waters.  This sounds like the perfect hostess gift for that friend who enjoys a good story as much as a new recipe.

A daughter delves into her Mother's past life as a theater legend.  
It examines a complex mother/daughter relationship.

The year is 1913.  A young boy, Sonny, wanders into the woods and disappears.  His wealthy family searches far and wide for him.  He is found two years later in the company of a wandering handyman.  While the handyman is on trial, another woman appears to claim the boy. 


An emergency room doctor traces the steps of her lover who disappears on a rural road in Vietnam.

Charlotte wins a cruise.  She decides to invite her somewhat estranged adult children to join her.  

Let the dysFUNction begin!

Recently widowed Willa sends out invitations to three other women to spend a week at her lodge.  All the women have come to a crossroads in their lives.

This book has been described by reviewers as a feel-good book. 
After a week like this, is there anyone out there who doesn't need a feel-good book?


If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I am a self-professed Kennedyphile.  This book is described as revealing and fascinating. 

I'm there. 

After Nina deals with the shock of her husband's drowning, she finds out that he was leading a double life.  By the way... his body was never found.  Nina goes on to find love with a widower.  But there are still so many questions that she needs the answers to.

I enjoyed Palmer's last book, Saving Meghan, which kept me guessing.  

I may just carry this book around for the next couple of weeks to keep the Mister on his toes.  I'll tell him it's a training manual for his replacement.

The time is 1997.  Casey is 31 years old and heartbroken over her mother's death and a love affair that went sour.   She moves to Massachusetts for a new start.  Casey needs to figure out what she really wants to do with her life.  In the meantime, she takes a waitressing job in Harvard Square and tries to finish a novel that she has been working on for six years.  I downloaded this one.

Gabe decides to reopen his family's bookstore on the shores of Lake Michigan.  A rekindled romance is also added to the mix.

Books and romance.
Is there a better combo?

The Mister and I went to see Emma this weekend.  I can't say enough wonderful things about this movie.  The set design and costumes were stunning.  The lead actress, Anya Taylor-Joy stole the show. 

I finished watching the remake of Howard's End on the plane last weekend.  I wish there were more shows like this one.

I chatted with my friend, KTG, yesterday, and her daughter highly recommended this documentary.  I'm hooked after watching the trailer.

The Mister and I binge-watched Hillary over the weekend.  
No stone went unturned in this stunner of a documentary. 


If you are a fan of This Is Us or Parenthood, I think that you will love the new show Council of Dads.  It premieres this month.

photo credit: the Mister

We met one of the stars, Michael O'Neill, one day in Boston.  My buddy, Annie, recognized him from his role in Gray's Anatomy as the guy who pulled the trigger on McDreamy.  He was so charming.

Until next time...

Linking up with:
The Happy Now
Show Us Your Books
Inspire Me Tuesday
Tuesdays With A Twist
Lou Lou Girls
Your Whyms Wednesday
Jersey Girl Texan Heart
Keep In Touch
Wonderful Wednesday
A Little Bit of Everything
Party In Your PJs
Wonderful Wednesday
Creative Mondays
Is This Mutton
Classy Flamingos
Creative Muster

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. Another great list of things with which to entertain ourselves. Let me add a couple books to your list. These were written by the daughter of some of our really good friends and have done remarkably well. May Adkins' first book was "When You Read This," and her second "Privilege" just hit the bookstores a couple weeks ago. Check her out and see what you think.

  2. I was waiting to see what you though about Emma! I have to admit she is not one of my favorite Austen characters but I love a period piece. I am reading The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner and so far I am thoroughly enjoying it. It is about the inhabitants of Chawton in 1945 . I read Sally Fields book and found it irritating with all the whining.lol Not surprised she was not so pleasant to be around!

  3. Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman was just released and it’s wonderful. Also did you recommend City if Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert? If not I read it and it is outstanding. If you did, thank you! I loved it.

  4. Emma is definitely on my list to see! Looks so charming. What a wonderful list of books - you have so many going at one time - you amaze me!

  5. Jetsetters, Willa's Grove, & One Day are all going on the TBR! Especially love the idea of One Day, always like seeing how different tiny things tie together.

  6. Wow..cancelling the SPD parade in Boston? That's huge....and rather sad....

  7. While his serious works like "One Day" show his Pulitzer-worthy story telling ability, Gene Weingarten is also a top notch humorist and acerbic wit. For many years he was the "Emperor" of the weekly Washington Post Style Invitational humor contest. These days he does a weekly humor piece in the Post's Magazine and, on many Tuesdays, host a free-for-all live chat on the Post's website (probably behind a paywall). It's often NSFW but hilarious.

    1. I will have to look out for his piece in the Washington Post. I love the way he writes. Thanks for the heads up. Stay healthy!

  8. Great list! I always love your recommendations and opinions. Last night, I finished Where the Crawdads Sing. Although, it took me awhile to get into it, I surprisingly grew to love it and finally understood all they hype. We had a beautiful spring day yesterday as well... I just wish the news was just as cheery. In fact, I decided I won't turn on the TV today. (Except to watch the Bachelor!). It's amazing how many things are being cancelled. Even Princeton University has decided to finish the semester remotely. I'm praying that this virus disappears quickly. Not the best environment for a hypochondriac...ugh.

  9. Thank you for sharing your recommendations.

    I tried to talk my daughter into traveling from Chicago to Columbus to see Emma with me but to no avail. I think there is a road trip in the opposite direction so we can see Emma together and Taming of the Shrew at the Lincolnshire Marriott :)

    I really loved The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley. I cared about what happened to Julian, Monica and Hazard. Plus there was a great twist at the end.

    My husband and I just finished watching Vienna Blood on PBS. We are hoping there will be a season 2. It was very good.

    1. I just looked up The Authenticity Project on Amazon. It looks great, I will download it. I also emailed the Mister and told him to put Vienna Blood on our watch list. Thanks for you note, Sharon. Stay healthy.

  10. I can't wait to read The Jetsetters. I really enjoyed One Day also, I agree that he is a beautiful writer.

    Annie G

  11. Saint X just arrived from the library. Glad to hear you made it through.

  12. You are a voracious reader!! Thanks for all of the great book reviews!! I can barely stand seeing Hillary's face in the advertisement for that documentary, let alone watch it for however long it is. (Sorry!) We have been marathoning Wentworth. Tough stuff but fascinating.

  13. I don't think I have even heard of 1/2 these books but they sound fabulous! We went out with our hiking group for an hour yesterday and then hung around talking for another hour since it was so nice out!!

  14. I just reactivated my Audible account so I may buy a couple of your suggestions to download. I have the Grangirls this week so not much time for reading this week. Have a great rest of the week!

  15. I see Anne Glenconner on documentaries all the time. I have GOT to read that book. Thanks for telling me about it -- I didn't know it existed!

  16. McMillions is FASCINATING. I plan to listen to the podcast, too.

    One Day sounds so interesting and different!

  17. How a Woman Becomes a Lake sounds interesting.

    I loved Writers & Lovers.

    I didn't expect McMillions to be as funny as it was. The FBI guy cracked me UP.

  18. I’ve got a lot of reading to do! And, watching too ... Emma and Hillary at top of list. xo

  19. At first glance I thought that you and Annie had a photo op with Oprah's beau Stedman.
    I want to see Hillary's documentary - glad to hear that you gave it a thumbs up.

  20. Oh wow, One Day sounds fantastic. I'll have to add that to my list. I hadn't heard of it before.


  21. Thanks Katie, and thanks for providing the Amazon links to make it easy to order or add to wish list!

  22. I'm currently reading The Other Mrs. and so far, so good. I really liked The New Husband!

    1. That's the next one I am going to listen to. I've heard a lot about it. Stay healthy, Michael.

  23. Oh I love these book lists. I scribbled a few down! Spring break came early for our youngest. All Ohio schools closed at least thru March we suspect thru the semester.
    I will need some books to hole up in my room to get away from the boys. Thanks Katie! Stay healthy! laura

  24. Ah! Thank you, thank you, thank you for including Feels Like Falling!! This totally made my day!! I'm always so excited to hear what you're reading and watching. Council of Dads looks great. Can't wait for that one! See you in August. (Hooray!) xoxo Kristy

  25. The Glass Hotel and Writers & Lovers are high on my reading wish list right now. I hadn't heard of One Day, but that is one I'll have to check out, thanks!

  26. I loved Big Lies in a Small Town. I have The New Husband up soon to read and I have the Other Mrs but not sure when I'll get to it!

  27. I swear, you are like a library to me, I always know I can come to these posts and find the best books! I have absolutely positively going to have to read One day, I know I will love it! I hope you are well and everyone is staying healthy!

  28. REMAKE of HOWARDS END?!!!!!
    I know you donot have to cook.............BUT YOU FLY THROUGH THESE IT SEEMS!

  29. Like many others have commented, I come here for the BEST book recommendations. One Day sounds like a winner. I tried Big Lies and couldn't get through it, so definitely agree with the 3 stars. I usually love Chamberlain's books, but this one was so slow. I really wanted to see Emma with Grace, but now it looks like we might have to wait til video due to "social distancing." :)

  30. One Day sounds like a very curious concept! Every day has got to be significant to someone.... Thanks for sharing! Have a great month :)


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