A(nother) blog is born…

I am an entertainment junkie. I like to talk about entertainment and I like to make recommendations. “What are your qualifications,” you may ask?

A brief history:

I have always loved entertainment. Growing up, my uncle, who is THE (!) morning DJ in Orlando would send me my birthday week’s Casey Kasem’s Top 40 show. Best gift ever. I listened to Casey Kasem every Sunday morning waiting on pins and needles to hear which song made it to number 1. I’d sulk if I had to go somewhere before the show was over – which was often because, let’s be serious, devoting 4 hours every Sunday morning to listening to the radio was ridiculous.

Who doesn’t like to go to the movies? Growing up, I went with my parents, a lot. Science fiction was a particular favorite of ours. I vividly remember sobbing and barely being able to walk as we left E.T. We saw the worst movie ever made, Ator. Didn’t see it? It’s terrible.

I’ve always been an avid reader. I am an only child; between jigsaw puzzles and books, I was extremely busy. I went from Judy Blume to Lois Duncan to VC Andrews back to Judy Blume (Forever anyone?) to Anne Rice, etc. It’s like an addiction not being able to put a book I love down. It’s such a rush when that happens. My husband, Billy – who does not share that vice – gets annoyed with me when I beg off interruptions because I’m “almost done” with my current book. He’ll say, “You’re just going to pick up another one when that one’s over!” That is true.

Immediately after college, I went to graduate school in New York. I needed money so I got a job at HMV Records on the Upper West Side. Holy cow, I loved that job. My favorite was working in customer service. People would come in and ask me for suggestions. Soon I had a little following. One woman asked me to make 10 mix tapes for her. (I still make mix “tapes,” a lot.)

Upon receiving my master’s, I decided that the music business was where I wanted to be. I interned at Sony, temp’d at PolyGram and then landed a job at Atlantic Records. Funny enough, my boss (Hi Kathy!) hired me because she loved that I had a master’s degree in psychology. At least it got me something.

Nothing is more fun than being surrounded by people who love what you love. Between the record store and the record label, I was in the presence of so much music, I went to a gazillion concerts, I came into contact with rising and current artists, I spoke to their managers and lawyers and I worked with people whom I really enjoyed being around (for the most part).  I, of course, was being paid close to nothing.

After six years, it was time to leave the City. I had met Billy and we decided to move to Atlanta. I arrived with a job at a new record label. That didn’t last. Lucky enough, I was able to get a job at Turner. I worked in PR at TNT. Now people who love television surrounded me!  I have always been an avid tv watcher. I used to pray that I’d get selected to be a Nielson’s television rater – that gig was made for me!

A couple years later I got pregnant and “retired.” Now 3 kids later, I am a stay-at-home mom whose dream of being a staff writer for Entertainment Weekly has passed her by.

When I signed up for Facebook (more accurately, when Chown signed me up), I never really knew what to do with it in terms of posting. My day-to-day life isn’t that interesting anymore. After reading Wife 22 I was inspired to use it as a forum for making recommendations. A few posts later, I would hear shouts across the school parking lot, “I loved that book you recommended!” “Great movie rec!” The best is hearing from people I would never have expected to look at my posts, much less read them. One time, I was standing next to a friend of Billy’s at a party and I heard, “Sooo, you haven’t posted anything in a while.” What??! So fun!

I started to pay attention to what was resonating. Generally, I notice that I get the most feedback from the book posts, which I find interesting. Music gets the least. I post more about books. I’m no dummy.

Since then I’ve repeatedly gotten the suggestion to blog. I’ve been wrestling with this. I finally (obviously) decided, why not? So, if you are reading this – thanks! I hope you stick around. I have no idea how often I’ll write; I guess when I feel so moved.

On Facebook, I only write about things I feel very strongly about. I read almost 40 books last year but only loved 8. I LIKE plenty of things but I know everyone’s time is valuable. I also know everyone’s tastes are different and it’s all subjective. If you don’t like something I love, I’m sorry about that. I, of course, will be right.

Joke. That was a joke.

I am a list maker. I love making lists and I have a lot of them. One is “Books I Love.” I figure you can check it out and see if our tastes align. It’s not really in any particular order.

  • The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  • The Red Tent – Anita Diamant
  • The Other Boelyn Girl – Philippa Gregory
  • Memoirs of A Geisha – Arthur Golden
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
  • The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  • The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  • Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Middle Place – Kelly Corrigan
  • One Day – David Nicholls
  • Rules of Civility – Amor Towles
  • American Wife – Curtis Sittenfeld
  • The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  • The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
  • Outlander – Diana Gabaldon
  • Smooth Talking Stranger – Lisa Kleypas
  • Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
  • Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
  • Wife 22 – Melanie Gideon
  • The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey
  • Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell
  • This Is Where I Leave You – Jonathan Tropper
  • What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty
  • Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
  • The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern*

I’m also going to have a “Song of the Blog” similar to a “Song of the Day.” It might be new or old, just something I feel like people should be listening to. This blog’s song is Lavender Diamond – “I Don’t Recall.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL3Vv1hQW4Q

Enjoy and be well,

Julie

*Added after original blog entry was posted.

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36 thoughts on “A(nother) blog is born…

  1. Nikki Schaufele

    Cool! I learned some new things about you I hadn’t known before, and I got a list of some additional books to try! I enjoyed it your post, and the Super Woman comic is appropriate–I’m impressed you found time to start a fun blog. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. julieflevine Post author

      Thanks Natalie! I really appreciate you reading it. Don’t forget to click “follow” at the top and you’ll be notified automatically when I write. Have a great night!

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  2. melovitz2015

    love this Julie. i especially love the journey from judy bloom to vc andrews back to bloom and then to Anne rice–i traveled the same path..punctuated by ken folliet and some more serious leon uris. we share so many of the same favs..its fun to see and i am including my daughter who is even more of an avid read then me..she will love this. blog away…xoxo

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  3. Caroline

    I’m going to stay tuned! I love reading and have enjoyed several of the same books you have – Plan to read the ones I haven’t read that are on your list. Keep blogging:-)

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  4. Elisa

    Congrats on your blog. I have the most interesting former neighbors. You, Meredith, Mary Laura, Erin, maybe I need to become my own former neighbor. We miss you around here.

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  5. Vickie

    Love it!!! I’m so excited to follow your blog. I couldn’t continue with my book club so I can’t wait to follow along with you. I’m having flash backs of going to the movies with you and seeing Footloose. lol Love the books and movies too!!

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  6. Jill

    This was so fun to read. I had sort of forgotten all of that very cool stuff about you! Congrats on the new blog… I can’t wait to read more! – Jill

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