Friday, June 5, 2020

Themes and Variations by David Sedaris

Themes and Variations by David Sedaris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"If women come home from work and take their bras off, their husbands return and look for things they can force up their asses."

There you have a sample of tales David Sedaris heard from fans during his book tours in this short, funny essay from the master of the form.

Looking back at his broke-ass days, Sedaris recalls getting short-shrift in the way of interaction from an author for whom he plunked down hard-earned cash for a book to be signed. He's told this story before, but he returns to it here to explain why he always takes time to engage fans, and is often rewarded with interesting (and bizarre) revelations.

Friday, May 29, 2020

What to Watch June 2020

What to Watch June 2020

We're sliding into summer, so I'll ignore the heat and focus on new shows and movies coming to streaming! As always, I've made a list of shows we'll be checking out in my house, and I'm sharing it here along with links to everything coming to streaming services in June.

And away we go!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Life with Picasso by Françoise Gilot

Life with Picasso by Francoise Gilot

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pablo Picasso was a gifted artist, one of the lucky ones who was successful during his lifetime, allowing him to reap the rewards of fame and fortune while still alive and kicking. He was also a dick.

In Life with Picasso, Françoise Gilot, his former lover and mother to two of his children, employs a sharp intelligence and memory to recount experiences from her decade with the artist. She describes in detail his work habits and techniques for those who love particulars of the creative process. You'll also get a glimpse of many other artists and writers in post-World War II France whose lives intersected with Picasso and Gilot.

However, the most fascinating and disturbing parts of the book focus on Picasso's actions and feelings towards the women, children and friends in his life. He didn't give a damn about anyone, though some people served his purposes or amused him for a time.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the kind of book that if you just go with it and ignore anything that seems to not quite make sense, you'll have a good ride. Not that there was a lot here that felt unexplained by the end, but as with most mystery/thrillers, you have to let a few things slide.

The make or break moment for a lot of books comes as they head into the home stretch. Some novels that were great for the first half turn into a disappointing mess by the ending. With Then She Was Gone, I felt satisfied with the story and how the threads wrapped up as the tale wound down.

That's not to say there weren't a few plot flaws or that the actions of some characters didn't ring false here and there. But this tale grew on me and I just went with it.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran by Andy Taylor

Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I saw my first Duran Duran video in the early '80s, and that was it, I was hooked. I was a superfan and a failed recruiter for my new-found obsession, but one getting no respect, no pay, and no takers. I would not shut up about them. It's low-key embarrassing now the way I went on, but I thought they were the best thing in the world, ever. It started when I was 12 or so; I didn't have a lot to compare it to.

They were the first band I found on my own (rather than one I caught wind of from older siblings), and an excitement and adoration blazed into my brain like lightning. I can't remember exactly when I first heard about them, which is shocking given how major they were to me for a few years, but it was sometime between 1982 and 1984. It was a newfangled music video that grabbed me, and I was captivated instantly. I never tired of watching those five young, gorgeous guys in beautiful locations, dressed to kill and belting out cool songs. I was entranced, enthralled, in love.

Friday, May 1, 2020

What to Watch May 2020

Quarantine continues in many areas, and so does the list of new shows dropping each month. With several productions shut down due to the pandemic, I suspect we'll see a little less in the way of new offerings about six months to a year from now – at which point we'll all catch up on some shows we couldn't get to before!

As always, I've made a list of shows we'll be checking out in my house, and I'm sharing it here along with links to everything coming to streaming services in May.

And away we go!