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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Reading, Watching, & Listening


Hello, dear friends.  I hope that you had a good weekend.  We went out for dinner on Friday night with some friends and spent the rest of the weekend hibernating.  

Yesterday, the Mister took the day off, and we had delicious lunch at one of my favorite spots, Brio.

After lunch, we took Millie to the park to play fetch.  This was a first-time thing for us.  The Mister had recently purchased a 100-foot leash and wanted to give it a whirl.  

It went something like this.

The Mister would throw the ball.

Millie would watch it drop.
I would fetch it.

After about a dozen rounds of that, she finally got the hang of it.
Or maybe she just felt sorry for us.

We left minutes later when she discovered that chewing through the ball was a lot more fun than fetching it.

 Here's a round-up of my favorite reads of 2021.

I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this pageturner.  It is so lovely to find a new author that writes a book with a clever premise.  Unfortunately, this book will not be released until June.  My prediction is that it will be the hit of the Summer.  Boston friends... you are going to love this one!  The first scene opens with a murder in the Boston Public Library.

This book is beautifully written with colorful storytelling.  It is the story of a family with a Mother who at times is the glue that keeps it together and, at other times, tears it apart. 

This is a debut novel about a young widow who moves into her elderly aunt's home to take care of her.  The dialogue kept me chuckling through the pages.  There were some bittersweet tears as well.

Nobody does it better than Fiona Davis when it comes to historical fiction.  

This is a story about a shining political family harboring its share of dark secrets.

I enjoyed this spy thriller that revolves around a cul de sac.
It is well thought out, with plenty of twists and turns along the way.

Good, but not as good as The New Neighbor.


I had high hopes for this one, but it was a bit cheesy for my tastes.

The Mister liked this one a lot better than I did.


I decided to give up on this one, too.
Marie Benedict wrote this book on the same subject that I downloaded.
She never lets me down.


This wins the prize for the worst book of the year.

...the powerful new novel shines a light on a woman who sacrificed her life to discover the nature of our very DNA.

I don't care what the subject is; if Marie Benedict writes it, I read it.

... the epic story of Violeta Del Valle, a woman whose life spans one hundred years. 

 ...insightful new novel about a marvelously complicated woman who can’t be anyone but herself

...when two women, a generation apart, find themselves bound by tragedy and an unsolved, decades-old mystery.

An enthralling literary puzzle...

...one lapse in judgment lands a young mother in a government reform program 

Cute and light.

A bit cheeky but entertaining.

I love this crazy family.

I enjoyed this movie.
If I were a betting woman, I would bet that Ben Affleck would be nominated for an Emmy.

I enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I would.

Spoiler alert:  I watched this series for one reason - I miss the old Grantchester priest.  It turns out that this series is really good.  Rumor has it that my favorite priest is being considered for the Bond, James Bond role.

Just finished the final season.  

Make sure that you have an arsenal of tissues handy.

Until next time...

Daddy snuggles.

Linking up with:

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. LOL about the dog park. On the other end of that spectrum is Scruffy. He will play fetch until you are so tired your arm can hardly heave the ball, toy, whatever. Then, when YOU want to quit, he decides that by pushing the ball against you and giving your legs a little nip that will encourage you to throw the ball again. There is no dissuading him once he is on a roll. The only way I can get him to quit is to offer him whipped cream. lol

    I always love your reviews and have found so many good books through you.

    I, too, like Eyes Of Tammy Faye better than I thought I would. I cam away feeling a tiny bit sad for her.

    Have a great Tuesday- xo Diana

  2. I'm loving Under the Vines and Madame LeBlanc. But I'm REALLY excited about the return of After Life. I think Rick and I will binge it this weekend if he passes his Covid test!

  3. I have that Diane Chamberlain book on hold through my library; it sounds really good and I usually enjoy her stories a lot.

  4. I pre-ordered two of your suggestions!!

  5. I'm in a reading slump so I appreciate all the suggestions. The Tammy Faye movie was such a surprise. I'm adding the Acorn shows, as well as McMafia, to my viewing list. Stay warm! :)

  6. I am so jealous you were able to read the new neighbor early- it says its not out to july?

  7. I really like Brio too. Haven't been since before Covid. Closest is in Tampa. I liked the Tammy Faye moving better than I thought I would. It is a sad story of greed. Thanks for the book reviews, Katie! I also made note of the Acorn recommendations! I'm winding down on Escape to the Chateau and will need something new. xo

  8. Looking forward to reading The Woman In The Library!

  9. Millie is keeping you on your toes I see. She is so sweet and I can only imagine the joy she brings to your house. Our pup is keeping us on our toes, if she is out of your sight she is up to something.

    I love your reading, watching posts! I always find some new to me books to order, I just pre-ordered two! Thank you for sharing Katie!

  10. Katie, I just love your blog. You have such a great variety of things to share and our tastes seem to be very similar. We are getting a puppy in February, his name is Alex and he is a French Spaniel. I am beyond excited, but know that the puppy training will probably be very challenging. Luckily I will be retiring in June so I will have more puppy time. OK, finally getting to the point. On one of your posts, I think it was a Christmas post, you show all sorts of cools stuff to get your new puppy. I can't find the post and I really need to get on Amazon and get stuff to spoil our puppy with. Would you let me know which post that was? Thanks, Lori

  11. I think your dog has your number. LOL I loved Under the Vines and Madame Blanc. Just starting on The Larkins. How tall can a bookstack be because mine is starting to get pretty darned tall. xo Laura

  12. Wait!!! Hubs took the day off? Thought he retired??? Oh MY...do not tell me he is cheffing somewhere in Dallas....for if he is, I will be over there in a Minnesota Minute!!!
    Where is this Acorn of which you speak??? I've never heard of that...

    1. I wondered same about the Mister, do tell!? Wonderful post Katie, I have to keep coming back to it after following links, adding books to my goodreads list, etc!!

  13. Thanks always for the heads up and for pointing out the not so great books. I have quite a few in my pile already, but I'll print this.

    Loved your funny but frustrating time with Millie. We had a little bit of success with Poppy although she was off leash. You can find these plastic balls about the size of a tennis ball wherever you buy pet supplies. They are sturdy rubber and have little openings in them. You stick their favorite treats inside, large enough to not come out easily, but something any dog can chew out--lol. Let her get a good whiff and then throw it. She'd be nuts not to chase it. She may not bring it back to you until she realizes she has to in order to fill it up again or perhaps have another one ready. Let me know if it works. It also keeps your dog busy in the house if you make it a challenge with larger treats she has to really work for.

    Jane x

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