Thursday, November 19, 2020

This Telling by Cheryl Strayed

This Telling by Cheryl Strayed

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This beautiful, moving short story by Cheryl Strayed depicts a life built around a long-hidden secret. A teenager puts her baby up for adoption in the '60s and this tale explores the lingering impact for a woman who had few options in her youth. Well-written and thought-provoking. 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Keep Moving by Maggie Smith

Keep Moving by Maggie Smith

 My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had breakups that brought me to my knees, endings that left me destroyed, crying, hopeless. I think I learned a little from each of them, but I never worked the inspiring magic trick poet Maggie Smith did with Keep Moving

Somehow, she took the crushing, world-altering blow of a wrenching divorce and transformed it into hope for herself and others, not to mention writing a bestseller in the process.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Graceful Burdens by Roxane Gay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This intriguing short story leaves you both satisfied and wanting more. It would make a killer novel, but works beautifully as is, too.

In Graceful Burdens, Roxane Gay imagines a world where only licensed people are legally allowed to have children, with the "fit" being determined by genetic profiling.

In this world, unlicensed women can check out babies from the library like a book to be loved and shared by all, but truly belonging to nobody. In a short space, Gay manages to give us a glimpse of what life would be like for women in such a world, as well as creating and answering a compelling mystery as to just how some babies end up in the library at all. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

What to Watch November 2020

If you're looking for a little audio-visual distraction in November, I've got the list that can't be missed! As always, I've compiled a list of shows I'd like to see that drop on streaming soon, and I'm sharing it here along with links to everything coming to streaming services so you can go through and pick your own must-watch shows.

And away we go!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Era

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a must-read for the diehard comedy fan. I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Era by William Knoedelseder isn't unputdownable, but it does offer fascinating details if you're obsessed with stories of comedians, comedy clubs, and the particulars of how comics get stage time and hone their craft. 

It also feels like a history of The Comedy Store in particular rather than a history of comedy in the '70s in general. But as I knew little of the history of The Comedy Store and how much it shaped comedians, comedy and even comedy clubs for years to come, I was perfectly happy learning about this iconic club and how it both nurtured comics and abused them financially. 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Shine, Pamela! Shine! by Kate Atkinson

Shine, Pamela! Shine!

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This short story by the author of one of my favorite books, Life After Life, is part of the Out of Line collection on Amazon, which is free to read for Prime members and $1.99 for the rest of you lot who haven't caved to Jeff Bezos' domination of the world. (Full transparency: I subscribe to Prime.)

The series of shorts is described by Amazon as "an incisive collection of funny, enraging, and hopeful stories of women’s empowerment and escape. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting."