Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Milkman by Anna Burns

Milkman by Anna Burns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a knockout. We don't know the city where it takes place or the characters' names, but it appears to be set in Northern Ireland in the '70s during the Troubles.

Milkman by Anna Burns won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for fiction, and you can easily see why. Burns employs an original, striking writing style in her tale of one invisible girl in a world of invisible women, and what happens when that girl becomes visible to a dangerous man whose unwanted attentions nearly unravel her life.

It's also a tale of rumor, hearsay, inaction and powerlessness, and the destruction those things can cause.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

What to Watch July 2020


Hamilton airing on Disney Plus is the most exciting thing coming to streaming in July, if not the entire year! I've seen a documentary about the making of this blockbuster musical, read the book Hamilton: The Revolution (just $3.99 on kindle as of this writing), and own the soundtrack – but I've yet to see the stage show. That changes this July, and I can't wait for it! (Get it, wait for it? No? Watch the show and you will!)

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 July so you can go through and pick your own must-watch shows.

And away we go!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted by Jennnifer Keishin Armstrong

The cover design is a cute callback to
the show's opening credits, but that is
one forgettable title!
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(2.5 stars, actually, but Goodreads hates fractions)

This book was mildly interesting, the title utterly forgettable. It offers a fluffy take on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the sitcom's place in TV history and the show's stars, but doesn't scratch beneath the surface on people in its pages (especially Mary Tyler Moore herself).

The author glosses over a lot of topics; for instance, when mentioning Moore checked into the Betty Ford Center, she hesitates to straight up say Moore had a drinking problem; the word "alcoholic" isn't used, instead she quotes someone who called it a "social drinking habit."

Near the end of the book the Armstrong finally, and briefly, admits Moore "struggled[d] with alcoholism," but I have no idea why she tiptoed around it so carefully when the actor herself talked about it in her memoir.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a beautifully-crafted book with characters that feel alive and real. In Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, we follow the lives of two half-sisters in Ghana who never meet – one who is sold into slavery, the other who is married off to a British slave trader.

The author beautifully weaves a link from generation to generation, depicting the horror and trauma visited on their lives and on Ghana by slavery. It's deeply tragic and depicts injustice and evil affecting an unfathomable number of lives for generations.

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!