Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama by Bob Odenkirk

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


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. 

Monday, May 9, 2022

Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket by Hilma Wolitzer

Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket: Stories by Hilma Wolitzer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket is a fantastic title, and the book lived up to it.

Most of these stories were written in the '60s and '70s, with a new one from the Covid era, but they felt current. They were smart, funny, poignant, unexpected and kept me engaged in a way short stories usually don't. I'll pick up a book of 'em, enjoy the first few, then lose interest. Hilma Wolitizer's tales snagged me and held me tight throughout the book.

I'd never read her work before, but now I'm down for more. She's such a good writer! Here are a few lines I loved: 

Sunday, May 1, 2022

What to Watch May 2022

What to Watch May 2022

May is blooming with new shows! Highly anticipated fare coming this month includes Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, season 2 of Hacks, season 4 of Stranger Things, and the premiere of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. I'm also looking forward to Conversations with Friends (based on the book by Sally Rooney), The Time Traveler's Wife (based on the book by Audrey Niffenegger), and The Essex Serpent (based on the book by Sarah Perry). It's a very literary month for viewers!

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! 

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe

Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe

Reckless Daughter is a soulless look at an iconic musician who bared her soul with her songs.

I made it to a little more than 30 percent before I punched out. Normally, I would just add this to my DNF file and skip a review. But I couldn't shake the lost opportunity of what this book could have been.

The author skims the surface with various comments by Mitchell from interviews he conducted and others he used as sources. They paint her as fairly harsh and conceited. Maybe she is, or maybe she was a woman in a business where she had to believe in herself and stand up for herself to get anywhere. And maybe there was more to her than the side we see here. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I thought this book was going to be cool and quirky. I was half right.

Strange Weather in Tokyo falls into the category of something I saw highly recommended somewhere, grabbed the book when it was on sale cheap, and didn't really know or remember much about its description. I do that a lot.

In this case, it fell just a little flat with me. I'd describe it as a good book, written with a unique style and vibe all its own. I liked it well enough. But it never full-on clicked for me until the very end, at which point, well, it was over! 

Friday, April 8, 2022

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This beautiful, heartbreaking, hopeful hybrid of advice and memoir had me from the start.

Written by Cheryl Strayed, whose memoir Wild became a bestseller and a movie, it shouldn't be surprising that her advice is steeped in stories of her own life. It's as much memoir as advice, and maybe quite a bit more on the memoir side.

There were a couple of places where I wasn't as interested, that she lost me for a moment. I simply skipped to the next chapter and sailed on.