Thursday, June 23, 2022

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There was a time in my life, my younger life, when it might've been cool to know these people. To sit around a table, pretending to sip wine I don't really like, and having conversations about anything. Getting annoyed, being annoying, circling back. Flirting, wondering if you're being flirted with. They aren't all likeable, but they seem to have interesting lives.

Now I'd probably find these people annoying, but to everything there is a season. The one thing that hasn't changed, since I first discovered Sally Rooney, is that I really love her writing.

It's uncomplicated, yet layered at the same time. It feels like the thoughts, actions, fears and failures of real people. Uncertainty, longing, insecurity — it's all there, like real life. 

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Trevor Noah knocked it out of the park with this one.

Not only did he describe his difficult early years with humor, but he served up a clear history lesson about apartheid and it's aftermath in South Africa.

There are a few troubling tales involving animals. Somehow, the suffering of animals can hit harder than the suffering of humans; maybe it shouldn't, but I think it's true for many that they can't stand to hear of an animal being mistreated. There were a few rough passages along those lines in the book; just a warning that it's there, but it's also easily skipped past if you want to, and worth it to experience the rest of the book. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

House of Hilton: From Conrad to Paris: A Drama of Wealth, Power, and Privilege

House of Hilton: From Conrad to Paris: A Drama of Wealth, Power, and Privilege by Jerry Oppenheimer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This gossipy tale of the Hilton clan is fun trash.

Heavy on the gossip, not light on the trash, either.

Look, I enjoy the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Which didn't exist at the time this book came out in 2006 to capitalize on Paris Hilton's notoriety, but went on to eventually include all three of the Richards sisters and ample mentions of their late mom, Big Kathy, who floats through the reality series and into our homes like the ghost of Dysfunctional Hollywood Momager Past. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

What to Watch June 2022

A slew of new shows and movies are landing on streaming and TV in June! Netflix is going comedy crazy all month with specials filmed at the Netflix is a Joke Fest, in addition to airing the sixth and final season of Peaky Blinders. Hulu's got season two of Only Murders in the Building in addition to Oscar-nominated The Worst Person in the World. Highlights from HBO Max include Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, a new Father of the Bride remake, and season four of Westworld. Amazon Prime Video rolls in hot with the latest 007 flick, No Time to Die, as well as a new season of The Boys

As always, I've compiled my top picks and I'm sharing them here, along with links to everything new, so you can make your own picks for must-watch viewing. Most of what I've collected is on streaming, but a few shows can be found on good old-fashioned network TV. And away we go! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Hello, Molly! by Molly Shannon

Hello, Molly! by Molly Shannon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You probably know Molly Shannon from Saturday Night Live in the '90s. She's been in many movies and TV shows since then, but I always think of her first as Mary Katherine Gallagher (Superstar!) or the radio host from the Schweddy Balls sketch.

Hello, Molly! rounded out my picture of who she is and the amazing, hilarious, tragic, upbeat life she's led.

Sprinkled throughout are stories illustrating how a positive outlook repeatedly made things better for her (and, I'm sure, those around her). It's genuinely inspiring. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama by Bob Odenkirk

Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama by Bob Odenkirk
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5

If you're interested in the trajectory of how actors/comedians/writers slog away for years before finally making it, you'll probably enjoy this glimpse into Bob Odenkirk's professional life. If you're a huge fan of his, you'll LOVE this inside look.

I mainly know him as a dramatic actor with great comic chops as well from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. I'd heard of Mr. Show, but forgot he was part of it and never watched. The descriptions of sketches from it reminded me why; it doesn't sound like my thing. I'm going to watch a few he mentioned, anyway, in case it's something I might love after all.