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Monday, January 4, 2021

Reading, Watching, & Listening

 

Hello, dear friends.  It's finally here... happy 2021!  I hope that you had a good holiday.  Ours was quiet - which was apropos considering last year.  We spent some quality time with our #2 as well as face timing with our New Yorkers.  Who knew that face-timing would be in my top five on my gratitude list for 2020? 

Unlike last year, I only took a few pics.  

 

We did plenty of resting.

After 2020, I feel that I am the most well-rested person in the whole world.




Lots of snacking.

By the way, the Mister has turned into a huuuge fan of Trader Joe's.

I think that he spends more time there than with Alexa or me.



Lots of reading.



And plenty of snuggling.

Here's a rundown of what I have been doing for the past couple of weeks.  



What I Read




When I arrive unannounced at my husband’s studio in need of a shoulder to cry on after hearing that my best student, Alex, has died, I see a pair of wine glasses drying by the sink, and my deepest fear is confirmed: my husband is having an affair.

How's that for an intro?
It moved along quickly with a few surprises along the way.



To survive the Holocaust, a young Jewish woman must pose as a Christian farmer’s wife in this unforgettable novel from USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Robson—a story of terror, hope, love, and sacrifice.

I really loved this one.  
I am a huge fan of Jennifer Robson.
The Gown is one of my all-time faves.




From the New York Times, bestselling author of The Light We Lost comes a tender and moving new novel about a woman at a crossroads after the death of her father, and caught between the love of two men.

I really enjoyed this one.
The plotline and the well-developed characters made for a sweet read.





A new historical novel based on the dazzling story of one of Hollywood’s most celebrated Hispanic actresses and her daughter’s search for closure.

I don't know why, but I am always drawn to historical fiction centering around Cuba.  
This one did not disappoint - well-written and a captivating storyline.





A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, Rachel Hawkins's The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense.


Pretty good, but a bit predictable.




An epic novel of love and heroism and hope, set against the backdrop of one of America’s most defining eras―the Great Depression.

No one does it better than Kristin Hannah when it comes to writing a heartbreaking love story.  I think this one is one of her best.





What did her son do in the woods last night? 
Does a mother really want to know?

This was my Amazon First Reads last month.
It's an interesting story centering around a murder and a self-serving, entitled, wealthy family.




Between life and death, there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever.

I am so curious about this one.
It won the Goodreads Choice Award.
Just started listening to it.
The jury is still out.



A modern take on loss, Widowish illuminates the twists of fate that break our world, the determination that keeps us moving forward, and the surprises in life we never see coming.

This is one of my Amazon First picks.
I'm about halfway through and enjoying it. 




On My Radar



Who will you cross to protect your own?



The late 1980s come alive in this moving and keenly observed story of one boy's unforgettable sophomore year, and his parents' surprising journey alongside him.




"Meet Me in Bombay" is a powerful, poignant, and deeply emotional tale of love, mystery, loss, and joy."





“A fully immersive, intricately crafted story inspired by the pages of history."



A poignant and unforgettable tale of five women living across three different times whose lives are all connected by one very special place.



What I Watched



We thought this season kept up with its usual royal standards.
This may be a less-than-popular opinion, but I'm going to share it anyway.  I was not impressed with the actress who played Diana, especially in the early years.  I felt that she was doing an imitation of the Princess, rather than feeling her character.



The second season is riveting!




The only thing I don't like about this show is that it airs 3 or 4 episodes and then doesn't come back for 4 months.
At my tender age, I can't even remember what I had for lunch, let alone what happened in my show months ago!



You know that I am a sucker for Southern Charm.
I love the new addition of Pringle.
I really miss Cam and Chelsea, though.



Dawn French is one of my favorite actresses.
This was a cute show, but not nearly as wonderful as Delicious.





Who knew Hugh Grant can act?
Great show.





I read the book and thought it was pretty good.
It is nothing like the show.
The Mister liked this show better than me.



This show is my favorite miniseries of 2020.
Bryan Cranston steals the show.
And it hasn't even ended yet!






Very entertaining.



We had heard so much about The Great British Baking Show.
Now we get it - what a fun show.
I think that the most appealing part of this show is that the bakers, as well as the judges, are so likable.  There is no back-stabbing like a lot of the American shows.
All Paul's baby blues aren't so bad either!



I had high hopes for this one.
It was okay, not great.




Although this one sported an all-star cast, I only found this one to be so-so.



Although this one was sad, it was very good.




Cute movie.
Especially the scenes that Rob Lowe is in.



No Emmy nominations for this one, but mildly entertaining.




Trailer

I don't know which one I look forward to the most on Christmas - opening my gifts or watching the Call The Midwife Christmas Special.

This year's show did not disappoint.


This one gets better with every glass of wine. 



By the way... Sista's upcoming book, The Gobble Book now has its own Instagram!

Follow her here!



Until next time...




Linking up with:



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.

15 comments:

  1. You've been busy reading and watching, Katie! I have The Wife Upstairs on my shelves to be read and I'm also hearing good things about The Midnight Library. I'll be interested to see what you think. We were hooked on The Undoing from the beginning but didn't feel like it finished as strongly as it started. It was worth watching just for Nicole's wardrobe though. Those coats!

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  2. Katie, first I have to say I got two of your recommendations for gifts at Christmas. ( I had put them on my Amazon wish list) The sweater poncho and the warm fuzzy jacket. Both were winners so thanks for sharing them. As for TV, I am getting ready for Alex Trebek's last week on Jeopardy. I have tissues at the ready. We have been watching Shtizel on netflix. Who knew I would like an orthodox Jewish soap opera?? Best book I read over Christmas was A Gentleman in Moscow. So glad you had a good Christmas. Happiest of New Years.

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  3. I like Jennifer Robson and Kristen Hannah, too. And NOTHING is better than "Delicious." I binged that one! The Crown, yes. Some others here I don't know. But like you, the Midwife Christmas special was one of the big highlights of the day! Happy New Year, Katie! (Glad the Mister loves TJs -- but then, who doesn't?)

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  4. I always love your recommendations!! Thanks for all the reviews. Going back to check out a few things. Happy new year!! xo

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  5. I’m glad you had a relaxing Christmas and new year. All of your food looks delicious! I love the pictures of your pup. I will be noting some ideas of shows to watch from your list. I heard Virgin River came out with a second season on Netflix. I really want to watch it.

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  6. I have now filled up my library holds list! Thanks for all the recommendations. Although I didn't watch the new season of the Crown (we got rid of Netflix!), I agree about Diana based on the videos I saw. I have heard lots of reviews talking about how they really put Charles in a negative light, but it is a drama after all. I can't wait to check out the tv recommendations too. We loved Undoing and Spanish Princess. I only got through 2 episodes of Flt Att...just hard to watch someone who is so out of control! Hope you have a good week!

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  7. So many of my favorites on this list - The Great British Baking Show (totally agree with your comment about the bakers being so likeable), The Crown (yes, disappointed with the actress who played Diana), Call the Midwife, Virgin River, and love, love, love Jennifer Robson. I've been using my Audible credits to download her books, I just wish the first book in the Great War series was available as an audiobook. Happy New Year!

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  8. Looks like you found some really great books! Pinned a few of them to read later!!

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  9. I came for the food......the snacks look terrific. Let the Mister roam TJ's all he wants! Add The Queen's Gambit (Netflix) to your list. You won't be disappointed!

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  10. Katie when I saw this post in my inbox I grabbed the coffee and settled in. Pinned the entire post because there are so many good books and shows.
    We love bryan Cranston. I am re-watching the first 3 seaons of Last Tango with my first husband ;0) (9 months together non-stop. Happy New Year, need to save a few of these book titles! I am reading theGreat Pandemic which is more like a text book for an Intro to Biology, but the history of medicine in the US is fascinating and the early pioneers are all the names of Institutions and Health Care systems. xo xo , laura

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  11. Hey Katie,

    I don’t know why but I am have been watching instead of reading lately. I will have to remember to tune in to Your Honor. I felt the same way about Virgin River...ho hum.
    I too love TJs ..it and Central Market are very close by in Ft. Worth. I tuned in to Escape to the Chateau on the T.V. and wanted more. It is from England. A couple buys a chateau that is breathtaking in the Loire Valley of France...but it is in shambles. The wife who is very artsy reminds me of Bet Midler. I found more episodes on utube. Have you seen it?
    Good luck on the house hunt...Janey

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  12. WE too are watching VIRGIN RIVER.............
    THE BEST NEWS IS SISTA's BOOK HAS AN INSTAGRAM!
    HAVE YOU FOUND ME AS I AM BACK!
    CONTESSA AND HER PIG
    HAD MY DOWN TIME AND NOW AM READY TO PLAY AGAIN!
    HAPPY YOU ARE RESTED............as soon you will need to start CREATING A HOME!!
    XXX

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  13. Pringle is my new favorite on Southern Charm, too. I do wish though, they would go back to showing a lot of the historic homes, as they did the first and second seasons. Only Patricia lives in one now and I thought the houses were part of the original charm of Southern Charm!

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  14. I always love your recommendations! I was also underwhelmed by this season of The Crown. When my niece asked for my opinion, I told her that the Charles & Diana story is so well known that it was boring. My 27 year old niece replied, "I don't know it. It's history." She's out of the will.
    When you're looking for something new, I recommend "The Durrells in Corfu." Prince Charles is one of the leads. It is a charming show & a great escape. I'm looking forward to "All Creatures Great & Small." I was a huge fan of the books in my teen years & loved the first version of the series.
    Finally, I would love to hear your thoughts on the Erika Jayne scandal! If she doesn't go to jail, she's going to be living in her car when this is over.

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  15. So many great recommendations! Started watching Your Honor and it is really good. Are you watching Bridgerton, so good!
    My BIL has been a custom builder in Dallas for over 20 years and his homes are beautiful. My sister, Leslie runs his business, she may have some insight for you on homes. They live in Fairview but he builds all over, Tim Jackson Custom Homes.

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