Happy Memorial Day Weekend!! Following are a few entertainment suggestions for the long weekend…

I’ve been waiting for that elusive fantastic show (movie/TV) – e.g., Shrinking and The Last of Us – to sweep me off my feet before writing this, alas, it never came. However, plenty of diversions are available in the theater, streaming, and on network TV. If you are looking for some fun, mindless entertainment, go ahead and try Air, Dungeons and Dragons, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Ghosted, The Mother, Citadel, Will Trent and Not Dead Yet. (Side note, do not be afraid to go to the movie theater. The past few times I’ve gone it has been virtually empty – you get the whole movie experience without a lot of distractions.)


Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld

I LOVED this book! Sally Milz is a sketch writer for a tv show (that is SNL but is called something different). When pop star Noah Brewster shows up as the host and musical guest, sparks fly. This book is so well written and laugh out loud funny; I am a sucker for a book that makes me laugh.

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

This is another quirky one (see Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, etc.) so you may have to give yourself a moment to get into its groove, but it’ll be worth it. A bit of a mystery tied up with lessons in love, friendship and the genius that is the octopus.


EVERYONE is touring! I know it’s easy to talk yourself out of going to shows because it seems like a hassle and the tickets and fees are stupid expensive, but if you can afford it and you have the opportunity – GO!!!!

I recently saw John Mayer even though I didn’t really know his music outside of radio play. He kinda blew me away; no sets, no back up singers – just him, a bunch of guitars and good old fashioned storytelling. I added a few of songs including this one: “Shouldn’t Matter But it Does.”

However you choose to spend your weekend, I hope you have fun and stay safe!


A Couple Standouts

This is a quick one, I just wanted to make sure you were aware of a few things before I head out of town.


I do not play video games and I do not enjoy horror/scary stuff but I am really impressed with “The Last of Us” on HBO. This series is based on a video game of the same name and takes place after a global pandemic has basically destroyed civilization. I do not watch it Sunday nights as it airs, I watch it during the day with all the lights on. In the spirit of full disclosure, this show can be intense, violent, creepy and gross, but it does a good job of not being those things every episode. Some episodes are truly beautiful, whether it be cinematically or in its sensitive storytelling (episode 3 WILL win awards, mark my words). (In fact, if I’m not selling you, go ahead and just watch episode 3, it is mostly a stand-alone episode.) The acting is also terrific, you may recognize both leads from their star turns in “Game of Thrones.” It is not an easy watch but it’s worth it.

If comedy is more your thing and you were/are a fan of “Scrubs,” “Cougar Town” and/or “Ted Lasso” – all Bill Lawrence shows – then you must watch “Shrinking” on Apple TV+. I LOVE IT!! Jason Segel stars as a widowed therapist, but he has a daughter and patients who need him, and life must go on. It may not sound funny, but it is (especially after the first episode). I love all of those Bill Lawrence shows, so I knew I was in, but the other co-creators are Segel and Brett Goldstein (Roy Kent on “Ted Lasso”), a no-brainer! It also stars Harrison Ford, in his first stab at comedy!

You’re a reality TV fan? Let me say again that you really should be watching “American Idol” on ABC. If you enjoy music, there is no better show. The talent is beyond impressive (watch this season’s first episode), and the stories of these people’s lives move me to tears just about every time. Plus, the judges really care and actually help these kids. I cannot believe good this show is and I do not understand why everyone isn’t watching it.


If you are looking for a beach read, may I recommend Ali Hazelwood’s books? She is a neuroscience professor who writes romance novels centering on women in STEM fields and academia. The books are smart, cute and fun to read. I recommend them all; The Love Hypothesis, Love on the Brain and Loathe to Love You.

I’m bringing some hefty books with me on spring break so I will get back to you with some more substantive reading.

In the meantime, I’ve noticed a disheartening occurrence thanks to some articles I’ve read recently regarding women’s bodies and our health. The New York Times published an article last year (that was one of its top 5 most read articles of that year) titled Half the World Has a Clitoris. Why Don’t Doctors Study It?” Then, on Sunday, February the 12th, the podcast The Daily featured Susan Dominus reading her article from The New York Times Magazine titled Women Have Been Mislead About Menopause.” (Both articles are linked within the titles but you need a NY Times subscription to access them. You can listen to The Daily podcast for free.) One statistic that shocked me was that 70-80% of women have hot flashes and no one knows why. Basically, there hasn’t been enough research on women’s body parts or our health issues, therefore these topics are just not taught in medical school. I’m guessing if men had night sweats/hot flashes, sudden weight gain, bouts of anger, continued bleeding, bone loss, memory lapses and, frankly, a clitoris, there would be some research happening. In my post from September 2021, I recommended an episode of “The Good Doctor” (season 4, episode 14) which also touches on how women and our symptoms are often ignored or discounted. Very upsetting all around.

On a lighter note, happy spring break to those traveling. Thanks for reading!

2022 Wrap Up+

Here are the books I read in 2022, in order of my reading them. All books with a * I recommend, those with ** I highly recommend.

  1. *The Viscount Who Loved Me (reread) – Julia Quinn
  2. **Love and Other Words – Christina Lauren
  3. **The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E. Schwab
  4. *To Sir with Love – Lauren Layne
  5. It Ends with Us – Colleen Hoover
  6. Falling for Your Best Friend’s Twin – Emma St. Clair
  7. Falling for Your Boss – Emma St. Clair
  8. *At Last – Jill Shavis
  9. The Stopover – T.L. Swan
  10. *The Deal – Elle Kennedy
  11. *Glitter and Glue – Kelly Corrigan
  12. *Burn for You – J.T. Geissinger
  13. *We Shouldn’t – Vi Keeland
  14. **American Dirt – Jeanine Cummins
  15. *Book Lovers – Emily Henry
  16. *The Idea of You: A Novel – Robin Lee
  17. **Lessons in Chemistry – Bonnie Garm
  18. Truth or Tequila – Donna Schwartze
  19. *Something Wilder – Christina Lauren
  20. *Shipped – Angie Hockman
  21. *An Offer from a Gentleman (reread) – Julia Quinn
  22. The Honey-Don’t List – Christina Lauren
  23. *Start Without Me – Gary Janetti
  24. **Nora Goes off Script – Annabel Monaghan
  25. *To Sir Phillip, with Love (reread) – Julia Quinn
  26. *Part of Your World – Abby Jimenez
  27. Romancing Mister Bridgerton (reread) – Julia Quinn
  28. Verity – Colleen Hoover
  29. *The Dead Romantics – Ashley Poston
  30. Only When It’s Us – Chloe Liese
  31. *The One – John Marrs
  32. Half-Blown Rose – Leesa Cross-Smith
  33. We Do What We Do in the Dark – Michelle Hart
  34. Meant to Be Mine – Hannah Orenstein
  35. The Midcoast – Adam White
  36. **Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow – Gabrielle Zevin
  37. *This is How it Always Is – Laurie Frankel
  38. Scattered Showers – Rainbow Rowell
  39. *The Hotel Nantucket – Elin Hilderbrand
  40. *I’m Glad My Mom Died – Jennette McCurdy
  41. **Killers of a Certain Age – Deanna Raybourn
  42. *The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood
  43. The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides
  44. **Bomb Shelter: Love, Time and Other Explosives – Mary Laura Philpott

I listed my favorite books of 2022 in my last post, but I’d like to add two:

  1. Killers of a Certain Age is a very fun read. Four women who work for the Museum, an elite network of assassins, are on a retirement trip when they foil a plan to assassinate them. Toggling between when they were first recruited, their missions and, ultimately, to them trying to survive is an exciting ride!
  2. Bomb Shelter I promoted before reading because I knew it would be great and it was. I laughed out loud, I teared up a lot, I commiserated and related to many things and I loved the book – it was terrific.

One more bonus book – our friends’ 11-year-old daughter self published The LGBTQ+ Handbook: How to Spot Rainbows (click title for link) to help simplify and explain the modern LGBTQ+ world. It’s well-done and very helpful to people of every generation.

Grammar help

I know you didn’t ask for it but here it is anyway. I saw this great article and thought I would share it. Are you using the past tense of some common verbs correctly? Bonus question, is it “I need to lay down” or “I need to lie down?” Check here.


Below are the movies I saw last year that I merited an A- or above:

  1. The French Dispatch A
  2. Coda A
  3. King Richard A-
  4. The Lost City A-
  5. Everything Everywhere All at Once A-
  6. Top Gun: Maverick A-
  7. The Eyes of Tammy Faye A-
  8. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On A-
  9. Bullet Train A-

My daughter and I went to see Avatar: The Way of Water (A-). If you have any interest in seeing it at all, go see it in the theater. Much like the new Top Gun, it is essentially a redux of the original but I loved the first movie when it came out and this one is great too. Also, if you like fish/aquariums this is your movie! It is visually stunning.


I feel like I’m always behind with the streaming shows, but I have finally caught up a little so now I have some breathing room. I haven’t LOVED anything so I’ll keep quiet until I do. Although I did really enjoy season 2 of “Only Murders in the Building” and am looking forward to season 3, especially after seeing the new cast members. And wahoo “Ted Lasso” is coming this spring!!

Let me say again how much I do enjoy “Ghosts” on CBS. So far so good with the new show “Will Trent” on ABC.

If you are a music fan, may I suggest you check out this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (on HBO Max). (Sidebar – the past shows are terrific too.) This year’s ceremony was in person and was incredibly entertaining, from the very professional filmed histories, the impressive live performances to the star-studded crowd – it is super fun. Inductees were Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Duran Duran, Eminem, Eurythmics, Carly Simon, Lionel Richie and Dolly Parton. Also worth watching is an amazing speech by John Mellencamp (F**k antisemitism!) inducting his attorney Allen Grubman. It’s awesome and it’s linked here so you can watch it.


My daughter played me a lot of Lizzy McAlpine while she was home. I liked everything I heard but I especially liked “Hate to Be Lame” – click title to listen.

Thanks for reading and here’s to a healthy and entertaining 2023!!

2022 Holiday Recs

Happy December! People have been asking me for recs and I realized that the timing of my end of year summary blog posts has not been ideal. In January, I post all the books I’ve read and then list my top 5 or so. Since I pride myself on making recommendations to be helpful and THIS is the time people would actually be purchasing books, either for themselves or as gifts, I am going to change things around a bit. Below are my favorite books of the year that I’ve read so far. I know there are only a couple weeks left in December, but I always go on a family trip the first week of winter break and I save up for/bring lots of books on this trip, many of which I’m sure I will love (including one written by a good friend so I’m going to recommend it anyway because 1. I loved her last book 2. I love her so I know I will love it and 3. You should buy it because she’s awesome).

So here we go, my favorite books (linked below) that I’ve read in 2022 thus far:

  1. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow – Gabrielle Zevin   Zevin also wrote The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, and if you haven’t read that – please do. I wrote about it in a post a few years ago – it was my favorite book I read in 2017 (even though it came out in 2014). It’s also now a movie for rent on Amazon Prime but I haven’t seen it yet. This current novel is not as mainstream a topic (video game creators, don’t be afraid) but I loved it.
  2. Lessons in ChemistryA Novel – Bonnie Garm   I wrote about this one in my last post so please scroll down for my thoughts.
  3. American Dirt – Jeanine Cummins   I also wrote about this one in my last post.
  4. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E. Schwab   This one was discussed two posts ago.
  5. The One – John Marrs   Take a simple DNA test and get matched with your soul mate thanks to the discovery of the gene that pairs you with the person meant for you. Test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships/marriages, but wouldn’t it be worth it? Depends on the secrets your true love has I suppose. Creepy and suspenseful and interesting to ponder. (The One is also a one-season series on Netflix from 2021 that I have not watched yet.)

Top Beach Reads (or lighter fare but still great):

  1. Love and Other Words – Christina Lauren   Also discussed two posts ago, but let me say again how much I loved this book. I know this style of books is not for everyone but do not discount a lighter read. Good writing is good writing; it should be appreciated and lauded.
  2. Nora Goes Off Script – Annabel Monaghan   Nora is a romance channel screenwriter whose latest script is picked up for the big screen and then filmed on location in her 100-year-old-home starring a former Sexiest Man Alive. I bet you can’t guess what happens next. Well, maybe you can, but it won’t be exactly what you think and who cares? It’s so so good.
  3. Book Lovers Emily Henry   Scroll down to previous post.
  4. To Sir, with Love Lauren Layne   A little You’ve Got Mailish but that’s ok. Still a fun read.
  5. Part of Your World Abby Jimenez   This is a sweet book about two very different people, a big city ER doc and a small town carpenter, who fall for each other.

Bonus rec that I haven’t read yet because I’m saving it for my trip so I can pass it around to my family members but think you should purchase as a holiday gift for everyone you know:

Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives – Mary Laura Philpott   I have linked it to her local bookstore so you can help support them when purchasing! Win win!!

Movies to watch on a plane if you are traveling or for when you’re just looking for some fun entertainment whilst hanging at home:

  1. Obviously Top Gun: Maverick
  2. Bullet Train  Five assassins aboard a super-fast train, including Brad Pitt, have interweaving missions. It’s clever, funny and super violent but in such an over-the-top way that it’s almost ok.
  3. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On – SO sweet!!
  4. Tenet  This movie got upended by Covid. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should, and you really need to pay attention.
  5. The Lost City  If you love Raiders of the Lost Ark and Sandra Bullock, this is your movie.


I have two interesting (free and linked below) apps for you.

  1. Yuka – This one my friend Nancy’s son who lives in LA told me about. It allows you to scan personal care products using their barcodes and rates them from 0 (poor) to 100 (excellent) so you can see how healthy they are for you, based on their ingredients. Be prepared to feel like you should be throwing away everything currently on your sink counter.
  2. Soon – I have lists everywhere; on post it notes, in my (paper) calendar, and especially on my Notes app. These lists are for the books I’ve read, the books I want to read, the tv shows I “should be” watching, the restaurants that have been recommended to me, etc. My college friend Jenny told me she had the app for me! Soon has all these categories and more (hotels, stores, museums, etc), you just add your items to the appropriate list – all in one nice app.


The one show I’m going to recommend here because your whole family can watch together is “Be My Guest With Ina Garten” on the Food Network. Who doesn’t love Ina? In each episode she invites a (famous) friend over. First she prepares something for them, then they chat a bit, then they make something together. She had me at the first episode of season 2 wherein she made Frozen Palomas for Faith Hill. YUM.

I wish you all a wonderful, safe, healthy and super fun holiday!!

Happy Summer!

We just got back from a two-week trip and didn’t turn on the television at all. Before that and since, I have only watched baseball so I can’t offer you anything on that front (except, GO BRAVES!). It is hot out though, so if you’d like to go to the movie theater or stay home and read some great books, I have some suggestions.


Top Gun: Maverick

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve already been so directed: GO see this movie! Is it a redux of the original? Yes. Does it matter? No. It is everything you want it to be. And if you leave there feeling all Tom Cruise-y, go ahead and (re)watch Edge of Tomorrow because it’s that good.


American Dirt – Jeanine Cummins

I know I am late on this novel, but it seemed like such a heavy topic that I never wanted to read it. One of the benefits of book club for me is that I read books I know I should read but can’t make myself pick up on my own. Here, Lydia, a journalist’s wife, is forced to flee her comfortable life in Acapulco with her eight-year-old son in order to survive. Thus begins their new lives as undocumented immigrants and their treacherous journey to the United States. It was not an easy read and I often had to put it down to take a break, but it put a face on the migrant experience; I thought it was very powerful.

Book Lovers – Emily Henry

Looks like I’m a big Emily Henry fan (see Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation)! You know in all those Hallmark movies/romance novels where the main character has a blonde, big city, bitchy, business-first girlfriend whom he eventually dumps after falling for the sweet, cute baker/dying-family business owner he meets while on a work trip to a small remote town? This book centers on that ditched girlfriend. It’s really cute and often laugh-out-loud funny.

Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel – Bonnie Garm

A funny, smart and entertaining story which is enveloped by the brutal reality of what it was like to be a brilliant, career-minded woman in the 50s and 60s. I also had to put this book down sometimes because I was so frustrated for Elizabeth Zott and how she was demeaned and denigrated by the males in power. Reminiscent of A Man Called Ove and Where’d You Go, Bernadette, this book is quirky but impactful. I’d like to think we’ve come a long way since then but, lately, I’m not so sure. My favorite character in the book is her dog, Six-Thirty.

Fun fact: Apple TV+ has optioned this novel for a series starring Brie Larson, airing next summer!


I saw Phoebe Bridgers with a friend in concert a few weeks ago. She is one cool chick and a very clever songwriter. I couldn’t decide between sharing ICU and Motion Sickness so click on both to listen.

Take care and stay hydrated!!

Spring Break Suggestions

Spring Break is approaching – hopefully you have fun plans in store! If you need some entertainment options, I am here for you…


I am hoping to watch all 10 of the movies nominated for Oscar’s Best Picture this year. So far I have only seen two and, since the show is March 27th, I better get a move on! One movie I definitely want to plug is Coda. I remember hearing about it a couple years ago when it was the hit of Sundance. Apple TV+ snagged it which thrilled me since theaters weren’t really an option.

CODA is an acronym for Child of Deaf Adult(s). The CODA of this movie is Ruby. Ruby’s family’s business is fishing and, as the only hearing member of her family, she is heavily relied upon. Her dream/passion, however, is singing which would likely take her away from them.

This movie hits every note (see how I did that?) – it’s an A.


In my last post I noted how everything on television seems to be dark and depressing these days. These next two plugs do not run counter to that observation.

Mare of Easttown (HBO) – Kate Winslet deserves every accolade she receives for this. (Look for her to win every Best Actress in a drama trophy for Mare and for Michael Keaton to win Best Actor for Dopesick – see my last post for more on that one.) You’ve probably already watched this but, if you haven’t yet, do. Just as my husband pondered, you too will probably wonder why anyone still lives in Easttown where seemingly only terrible things happen. You should still watch because this series is twisty and smart and features superb acting by everyone in it.

The Tinder Swindler (Netflix) – I am not saying this documentary should win any awards, but it is outrageously watchable. That is until you get to the detailed part where he totally snows this poor woman out of all her money. Then you will be watching through your fingers with your mouth open in horror and disgust.


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E. Schwab – Maybe you are traveling for spring break and will have a long plane flight. Or maybe you are staying home and just want to relax on your couch for long periods of time. This book is on the longer side but I did not want it to end. I don’t want to give anything away; I will just say that it reminded me of The Time Traveler’s Wife. So, if you enjoy a sweeping story and can suspend some disbelief, this one is for you too.

Love and Other Words – Christina Lauren – I know I promote their books often, but I did not want to put this book down ever. I brought it on a weekend trip with me and read it in two days. The only reason I stopped reading was because I had an event to attend. I gave it to my daughter to read and she read it in one day – and she had a test to study for! It is not easy to write anything, much less a book, that is un-put-down-able!

That’s it for now – happy spring to all!!

Happy 2022!

This week, one of the challenges in the Skimm newsletter was highlighting bibliotherapy – reading to reduce stress. They say, “studies have found that it can also treat moderate depression. And no lie: Even fiction does the trick. So today, crack open a book for 10 minutes and let those good vibes set in.”

To honor that, I’ll begin with my book recap of 2021 – all books with * before them I recommend, **I highly recommend.

  1. *Nobody Will Tell You This But Me: A True (As Told to Me) Story – Bess Kalb
  2. Big Summer – Jennifer Weiner
  3. The Roommate – Rosie Danan
  4. *The Girl With the Louding Voice – Abi Dare’
  5. Memorial – Bryan Washington
  6. **Anxious People – Fredrik Backman
  7. *The Happy Ever After Playlist – Abby Jimenez
  8. *Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell
  9. **Writers & Lovers – Lily King
  10. The Book of Longings – Sue Monk Kidd
  11. Crave – Tracy Wolff
  12. Much Ado About You – Samantha Young
  13. Luster A Novel – Raven Leilani
  14. *In a Holidaze – Christina Lauren
  15. *The Midnight Library – Matt Haig
  16. *Second First Impressions – Sally Thorne
  17. Leave the World Behind – Rumaan Alam
  18. Who is Maud Dixon – Alexandra Andrews
  19. **People We Meet on Vacation – Emily Henry
  20. Milk Fed – Melissa Broder
  21. **The Soulmate Equation – Christina Lauren
  22. *The Office of Historical Corrections – Danielle Evans
  23. *Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life – Christie Tate
  24. *The Devil Wears Black – L.J. Shen
  25. *Beautiful World, Where Are You – Sally Rooney
  26. The Song of Achiles – Madeline Miller
  27. *The Heart Principle – Helen Hoang
  28. *The Husbands – Chandler Baker
  29. *The Devil in Disguise – Lisa Kleypas
  30. The Matzah Ball – Jean Meltzer
  31. The Cows – Dawn O’Porter
  32. * Any Way the Wind Blows – Rainbow Rowell
  33. *You Can’t Be Serious – Kal Penn
  34. *The Last Thing He Told Me – Laura Dave
  35. Something She’s Not Telling Us – Darcey Bell

My favorites from this list are:

  1. Anxious People – As previously discussed, I LOVED this book. 5 stars for me.
  2. Writers & Lovers – Casey wants to life the creative life she’s dreamed of, but the real world and all of its pressures make that challenging. So well written.
  3. People We Meet on Vacation – I liked her previous book Beach Read also but I loved this one. It’s fun, it’s funny and there’s romantic tension. Great combo.
  4. The Soulmate Equation – I recommend Christina Lauren books every year, I just love the way they write and the stories they tell. This one is a great example of why they are so, so good. I also loved their In a Holidaze.
  5. Group – I probably wouldn’t have believed this were true if it didn’t say memoir on the cover. I have a master’s in psychology but I have never heard of group therapy like this.
  6. You Can’t Be Serious – You may be asking, “Do I really need to read the memoir of the guy from Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle?” I would answer with a yes. It’s witty, insightful, laugh out loud funny, and yet another lens providing us with a view of racism within the entertainment industry. He manages to break through and then takes a break to go into politics so he could serve his country. A great read.

As for the rest of 2021, I don’t really feel like doing a summary. I can tell you that I really enjoyed Tick Tick Boom and Spider-Man No Way Home. Let’s move onward!


I might be the only person still watching network television. There’s some good stuff there, people! I watch a lot of news and do stream some stuff but everything seems so dark and depressing. Sometimes I just want to laugh. Here are two sitcoms that I am enjoying:

“Ghosts” – CBS. A youngish couple inherits a run-down castle they’d like to turn into a bed and breakfast. After bumping her head while falling down the stairs, Samantha gains the ability to see and speak with the many spirits also living there. It’s funny and sweet.

“United States of Al” – CBS. Watching a Marine and his interpreter who served his unit in Afghanistan struggle to (re)adjust to civilian life in Ohio may not sound funny, but it is. It is also sad and powerful. The events of this past year are reflected here and, at times, it is hard to watch but important to do so.

Speaking of important, I will plug one streaming show:

“Dopesick” – Hulu. My cousin and I watched the first episode and then took a long pause. It is not easy to watch the Opioid crisis bloom and take over the country. She and I picked it up again and then finished the season in two sittings, with my son and husband joining in. It is disgusting and upsetting how Purdue Pharma was able to do what they did. It hurts to watch but you should. Michael Keaton just won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of a doctor in Appalachia; the whole cast should be awarded. The acting is terrific.


Don’t Look Up – It is NOT about a comet coming to destroy Earth. It is an allegory for climate change – we know it’s coming, we can see that it’s coming, we know the steps we can take to reduce the damage and yet, the indifference shown by every government and all of the media ensure nothing gets done. I’m not sure I loved it but I hope everyone sees it and is moved to do something. Anything.

The French Dispatch – I am a Wes Anderson fan. I have no idea how he thinks up these screenplays and then convinces studios to pay for their production but I’m so glad he does. This one centers on an American newspaper in a fictional French city, with each article coming to life. It’s quirky, confusing and utterly delightful.

Resolutions: I don’t do them. But after seeing how appalled my chiropractor was when he learned that I don’t stretch before or after tennis (or any activity) whilst I’m complaining of aches and pains that I need him to fix, I realized that I should probably rectify that. I found this great Super Pilates Stretch through the FitOn app. Hopefully this link works. The instructor is lovely and calm. I like when she tells me that every day is different. Have a little bit of grace for where you are and just work from there. I think that applies to life in general.

Happy 2022, be well.

Better Late Than Never

Sometimes I’m a little late to the party. Often, I just can’t find the time; I am continually making lists of TV shows I want to watch, books I hope to read, podcasts I intend to listen to, etc. Other times, it’s access failure – how many subscription television platforms do we need to purchase, for Pete’s sake?! This was my obstacle to “Ted Lasso.” It got a zillion nominations at the award shows and word of mouth was phenomenal. Finally, just short of having to make a Power Point presentation, we got Apple TV+. Thank goodness!! Have you seen “Ted Lasso?” If not and it’s because you can’t, I get it, I really do, but find a way. Take the plunge, go to a friend’s house, use their password, come to my house – whatever. I love it. I’ve only just finished the first season, but I can’t wait to keep going. It is sweet, optimistic, charming and very funny – it is NOT snarky or mean-spirited in any way. We need a little more of that kind of programming and behavior modeling these days.

I’ve talked about “The Good Doctor” before, I know it’s not for everyone. I recently finished season 4 and there were more than a few stand-out episodes. I specifically want to mention episode 14, “Gender Reveal.” A female Naval aviator has some symptoms that have been ignored for years; both by herself because she wanted to be tough and prove to her daughter that women can make it in a predominately male occupation and by her (male) internist who dismissed them thinking they were due to menopause. The delay in treatment for what turns out to be a not uncommon/cruel disease is detrimental. It was a very powerful episode for me because the symptoms were not that alarming, so that was educational. And the acknowledgement of what women go through in every career and in day-to-day life was really well done. I highly recommend watching.

“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” has won 20 Primetime Emmy Awards since its 2014 start. I assumed it was good because it always bests every other nighttime talk show but I didn’t start watching until last year. Let me preface by saying he curses too much. I know that makes me sound like an old fogey, but he does – I find it unnecessary and distracting. That being said, John Oliver and his writers are brilliant; each show centers around a specific topic and it gets broken down so that you understand every part of it – topics are often political but not always. One show in particular detailed the WHO (World Health Organization) of which I knew nothing. Now I do and I feel much better informed because of it.

Have you listened to the podcast Song Exploder? Musicians break down their songs; explain why they wrote it, why they used certain instruments, what went into the recording, what was going on in their lives at the time, etc. I often don’t know the bands listed which is upsetting (to me) but I do enough of the time to keep me going back. This season in particular the HAIM “Summer Girls” episode and Imagine Dragons “Follow You” episodes were outstanding, both brought me to tears.

I don’t want to make this post too long because I think shorter is better (we’re all busy!) so I’m only going to talk about one book. I have others to recommend so I’ll try to write another post soon, but the one for today is The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I saw this book everywhere and I finally read it. I don’t like giving too much away, so I’m just going to say that it’s a real thinker. We all have moments in our life, forks in our road, where choices we made, had we chosen differently, could have led our lives to a different place than where we are now – where we went to college or didn’t, who we dated or didn’t, what job we took or didn’t take, etc. The main character in this book gets to travel down many of the paths not originally taken. It’s interesting to think about and made for great conversations at book club and on a college friends/girls’ trip. 

Stay safe and be well!

It Was A Good Day

Saturday morning I woke up, watched “GMA” and had a little breakfast. After a bit, I decided to walk my dog; so I got my dog all ready, pushed shuffle on my phone’s music and we set off. The first song put me in the BEST mood and had me dancing down the street, I’m sure I looked like an idiot. Song after song brought me joy and I marveled again at how powerful music is. Each song was from a different decade and, put together, seemed incongruous, but each lit something up in me and always has. I have not listened to much music during these crazy months; I didn’t realize how much I missed it. Here was the soundtrack to my walk on Saturday, click on the song titles if you’d like to take a listen:

Dreams” – Beck

Potential Breakup Song” – Aly & A.J.

All The Time” – Barry Manilow

When Love & Hate Collide” – Def Leppard

Use Somebody” – Kings of Leon

We got home, I laid down on the couch and, sadly, finished the book I had been reading. I LOVED Anxious People by Frederik Backman. Sometimes reading his books, it take a few pages to get into his groove. (If you haven’t read his A Man Called Ove, you must.) For me, this one did not.  I was in from page 1. It’s quirky, it’s moving, it’s insightful, it’s funny, it’s sad and it’s powerful. I rarely give out 5 stars; Anxious People was 5 stars for me.

This is an entertainment blog so I won’t belabor you with minutiae – the rest of the day included having a great lunch with my son and my friend, doing some work, organizing my son’s camp clothes, etc.  

For dinner I made Shredded Chicken Enchilada Casserole (click for recipe if you are interested), which holds no allure for my family, but Jenny & I love it so she came over for dinner. We ate and then watched Nomadland on Hulu. Watching this on my TV, I realized how much I miss going to the movie theatre. I LOVE movies, as you know.  Oscar time is my favorite time. Going to the theatre really allows you to fully escape and immerse yourself into the experience of what you are watching. This movie was so breathtaking cinematically; I knew we were depriving ourselves of the intended experience by watching it on the TV. That being said, it is totally worth it to watch from home.  I really enjoyed it. Living a nomadic lifestyle holds no allure for me, but seeing what it entails and how many people choose to live this way (many in the movie are actual nomads) was fascinating. And, like I said, getting such a close up of the American West and its vast landscape is something to behold.

We ended the night by eating 48 hour brown butter/toffee/chocolate chip cookies (click for recipe) that my daughter and I had made after we watched a video on YouTube. Here is the link so you can watch it, too. I definitely messed up because I didn’t have a candy thermometer (just ordered, thank you Amazon) so the toffee wasn’t exactly right. Also, the cookies are enormous so the cooking times didn’t work with our oven. They were good. I think our next try would be better if we wanted to invest that much time again. But I dare you to watch the video and not want to make them also.

That was my Saturday. It was a good day. I hope yours was, too.

See Ya 2020

I know, it’s been a while.  With everyone home watching everything, I sort of felt like my “guidance” was not really needed.  For example, I really enjoyed “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix, but since it’s their most-watched scripted limited series ever, you probably did, too.  


So, with the understanding that you probably watched more than I did, I’m still going to make some recommendations.  I just re-read my last two posts from 2020 and I stand by those recommendations – particularly “Normal People” and “Schitt’s Creek.”  Both fantastic.  

Periodically, I have mentioned “Bridgerton,” beginning with my 2nd ever post when I listed Julia Quinn as one of my favorite authors in the historical romance genre.  I have read all of the books in the series (8 – each focusing on a different sibling) so I am hopeful that this show will continue past season 1.  Although the books are wittier (you will laugh out loud), I thought they did a wonderful job with the adaptation. It was especially lovely to see the era (the production design and costumes are A+) and it was educational (I now know how to properly say the word “viscount!”). If you do decide to read all the books (I hope you do!), you will thoroughly enjoy yourself.  My favorite of them is #6, but I don’t want you to skip ahead to it so I’ll let you figure them all out on your own.  If, after reading, you decide you like this type of book, please go back to my 2nd post where I list other wonderful romance authors.  Don’t discount them just because of the category they fall under. A well written book is a well written book.


I normally list the movies I gave As to the year before, but I mentioned those in the post that’s 2 back and they are all from last year’s Ocsar’s time so nothing really new to mention.  I had high hopes for a couple recent major releases but they didn’t really do it for me, unfortunately.  


Here are the books I read (in order) in 2020. If I recommend them, there will be an *.  I went through a weird period at the beginning of Covid where I just COULD NOT read so the list is not as long as usual.

  1. *Twice in a Blue Moon – Christina Lauren
  2. *Smooth Talking Stranger (reread) – Lisa Kleypas
  3. *The Secrets We Kept – Lara Prescott
  4. *The Overdue Life of Amy Byler – Kelly Harms
  5. *The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary
  6. *Chasing Cassandra – Lisa Kleypas
  7. The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris
  8. One Hundred Reasons – Kelly Collins
  9. *The 7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid
  10. *Beautiful – Christina Lauren
  11. *The Giver of Stars – Jojo Moyes
  12. *Inside Out – Demi Moore
  13. *The Unbreakables – Lisa Barr
  14. *The Dutch House – Ann Patchett
  15. *Well Met – Jen DeLuca
  16. The Regrets – Amy Bonnafons
  17. Midnight Sun – Stephenie Meyer
  18. The Friend Zone – Abby Jimenez
  19. *Rodham – Curtis Sittenfeld
  20. *Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston
  21. *Beach Read – Emily Henry
  22. *The Two Lives of Lydia Bird – Josie Silver
  23. *The Hating Game – Sally Thorne
  24. *In Five Years – Rebecca Serle
  25. Get A Life, Chloe Brown – Talia Hibbert
  26. *Dance Away With Me – Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  27. *Untamed – Glennon Doyle
  28. Well Played – Jen DeLuca
  29. *A Very Punchable Face – Colin Jost
  30. *Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid
  31. 99 Percent Mine – Sally Thorne
  32. Here’s Looking at You – Mhairi McFarlane
  33. The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell – Robert Dugoni
  34. *Dear Edward – Ann Napolitano

My favorites from this list are (if no commentary follows, please see previous posts):

  • Untamed – Glennon Doyle I can understand why some people may not like this book.  I am just not one of those people; I loved it.  I would like to underline so much of it and gift it to many people because I think it has a lot of important things to say that a lot of people would benefit from hearing.
  • The Hating Game – Sally Thorne I loved reading this book. It was so fun!  Two co-workers REALLY hate each other.  Or do they??
  • In Five Years – Rebecca Serle A very moving story about life not necessarily going the way the main character, Dannie, thinks it would or had planned for.
  • Dear Edward – Ann Napolitano I’m not going to lie; it’s not the easiest book to read as it’s about a plane crash with one survivor.  Stick with it though.  It moves from past to present which alleviates the terror of the crash, it is not overlong (a common complaint I have with many books) and the end will not disappoint.
  • The Dutch House – Ann Patchett This really is a book about a house (more specifically the siblings who live in it) but it is so beautifully written it is hard to not enjoy reading it. 
  • Beach Read – Emily Henry College nemeses-turned-authors live next door to each other at the beach, both saddled with writer’s block.  Not too hard to guess what happens, but also featured is a quirky local bookstore, which I always love (and dream about owning).
  • The Giver of Stars – Jojo Moyes Very unlike her other books, this one is a Depression-era tale about a group of women who battle just about everything and everyone to keep a traveling library going.
  • The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary
  • The Overdue Life of Amy Byler – Kelly Harms
  • Inside Out – Demi Moore I’m not sure what I thought her life was like, but it wasn’t this.  At one point she was the highest paid actress in Hollywood (I LOVED About Last Night) but she was always weighed down by doubt and insecurity thanks to her very rocky childhood.  I really feel like she laid it all out there and I like her all the more for it.

Side note: I’m sure I’m the last one aboard the train for this, but there are all these reading challenges out there!  I had no idea.  Here is a link to a ton of them, a fun way to pass the time!  You’re welcome :  )

I know we’re all happy 2020 is behind us. So here’s to 2021 – may this year be a healthy and happy one for all of you!