Monday, July 29, 2019

Streaming Picks for August 2019

It's that time again! New month, new shows and movies popping up on streaming and premium services. I'm making my list and checking it twice so I don't forget to watch anything from the 2.5 million different streaming options out there.

As always, I'm sharing my personal must-watch list as well as links to full listings of new offerings where available. Great viewing is coming up in August on HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Showtime. And away we go!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Sometimes a talented gymnast will wobble a bit on the balance bar and you realize she won't go home with gold, but she's definitely going to medal. Until the dismount. Suddenly she loses balance, flails her arms in the air, throws a leg behind her and steps back. She doesn't fall, but she doesn't seal the deal on a winning performance, either.

Which is to stay, it's hard to stick the landing.

Force of Nature by Jane Harper isn't about gymnasts. It's a thriller set in Australia about an investigator who chases financial crimes and, because it's related to one of his cases, becomes peripherally involved in examining the case of a missing hiker.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Best Books of 2019 So Far

Best Books of 2019 So Far

The year's more than half gone, and looking back I've read a lot of great books in 2019 (and a few duds, to be honest, but I'll focus on the awesome titles). Some of these are new releases, some a bit older, but all made the Top Ten list of books I read and loved recently. All of these would make great book club selections as well!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon
Blurb: Eighty-four-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, she thinks about her best friend, Elsie, and wonders if a terrible secret from their past is about to come to light. If the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly like a man who died sixty years ago?

What an extraordinarily insightful, compassionate book.

With Three Thing About Elsie, author Joanna Cannon presents her characters and their stories with caring and kindness, as well as an eye for noticing those who often seem invisible. In this case, that means the elderly, and the book takes a gentle look at the way lives change and worlds sometimes shrink when the years ahead are fewer than those behind.

Monday, July 15, 2019

10% Happier by Dan Harris stands out as a self-help book that's actually helpful

10% Happier by Dan Harris
"The brain, the organ of experience, through which our entire lives are led, can be trained. Happiness is a skill."

I read 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works by Dan Harris nearly a year ago for a book club. One that got cancelled at the last minute and never met again. Such is the way of book clubs.

I had excitedly looked forward to the meeting, eager to discuss this book that I recommended to the group and found to be both an interesting memoir and a self-help guide that actually helped. I made 23 notes and 186 highlights in my Kindle copy, planning not only to discuss the key points but to put some of them into practice.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Cool Stuff I'm Loving

Cool Stuff I'm Loving

Hello all, hope you're enjoying summer! If the heat's getting too oppressive, why not stay in and enjoy watching some shows or reading your way around the Internet? Here are a few things I'm enjoying right now.

Cool Stuff to Watch 

Chernobyl. This HBO miniseries tells the story of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, shedding light on what went wrong, the effort to right it, and the human cost. It's riveting and somehow had us hanging on the edge of our seats even though we already knew what happened. We finished this binge-worthy series in a few nights.

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
The Last Mrs. Parrish tells the story of Amber, a conniving woman from a poor background who schemes to break up the marriage between a gorgeous and mind-blowingly rich couple, Jackson and Daphne, in order to nab the wealthy husband and fabulous lifestyle for herself.

The first half of this book sped by, all fun trash and uncomplicated, shallow characters and plot. It seemed an enjoyable light summer read, if one with a couple of fairly obvious plot twists. At least it looked like it would be a fun ride to watch the story unfold.

But as we all know, looks can be deceiving.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Theft by Finding by David Sedaris

Theft by Finding by David Sedaris
"I’m always struck by how many times people get stabbed. It seems like it’s never just once or twice. It must be one of those activities that, once you get started, you just can’t stop."

Observations like the one above explain why David Sedaris moves so many copies. With Theft by Finding: Diaries, we get a look into his life and mind that swings from insightful and hilarious to horrible and horrifying. If you've read his essays, you won't be surprised. If not, buckle up, this gets weird!

The most useful bits, if you fancy putting pen to paper yourself, reside in the intro where he gives some journaling tips he's followed throughout his life. For instance, he says: "If nothing else, a diary teaches you what you're interested in." Which is a good point – whatever deep thoughts you start out jotting down may not really be what you long to focus on. However, the things you write about over and over is where your true interest lies.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Season 11 Trailer has Landed!

Season 11 of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee comes to Netflix on July 19, and the trailer has finally dropped! I've been looking forward to the new season, and this tease will help me pass the weeks.

The guest list this go-round includes:
  • Eddie Murphy
  • Seth Rogen
  • Ricky Gervais
  • Matthew Broderick
  • Jamie Foxx
  • Sebastian Maniscalco
  • Martin Short
  • Mario Joyner
  • Melissa VillaseƱor
  • Bridget Everett
  • Barry Marder
If you've never seen the show, you're in luck, because a treasure trove of past episodes are up on Netflix. I can't say if all the seasons are up, because Netflix seems to have compiled some past seasons into five options after the show made it's move from Crackle. Either way, there's plenty to watch!