Saturday, August 31, 2019

What to Watch September 2019

What to Watch September 2019

Hello all, time to look ahead to what to watch in September! I've made a list for my household so we don't forgot to watch anything across our array of streaming options, premium channels and even broadcast TV. We seriously lose track of the shows we meant to watch otherwise.

Here are my picks for shows and movies to catch, as well as links to everything new coming to various streaming outlets so you can add your own picks to the list.

And away we go!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Cool Podcasts & Shows I'm Loving

Time to check in again with links to things I've been loving lately! I've found some good episodes on my favorite podcasts and several amazing shows to watch on streaming to boot. By the by, I find and listen to my podcasts via the PlayerFM app, though you can also play them in a web browser or find them wherever you listen to podcasts.

So, if you're on the hunt for a good listen or watch, keep reading!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
The Great Believers richly deserves every award and recognition it's received, every bit of buzz and inclusion on most "must read" lists. On a scale of 1 to 5, I'd give it 10 stars if I could.

Set primarily in 1985 in Chicago and 2015 in Paris, it weaves a story of love, friendship, loss and hope against a backdrop of the AIDS crisis. We see this through Fiona, a caretaker and keeper of memories to many friends who died, including her brother, Nico. We also experience the period through the eyes of Yale, a friend of Nico's, who loses so many through the devastation of AIDS that eventually the closest person left in his life is Fiona herself.

This novel manages to recreate the loss, fear, paranoia and even denial that enveloped the gay community in Chicago in the early years of the disease when details about AIDS were foggy for many and better drugs to fight it didn't yet exist.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Drunkard's Chicken: How Maya Angelou taught me to cook (one thing, at least)

The late Maya Angelou was an amazing, caring, talented woman. Not only was she a deeply gifted writer and poet, she was also a brilliant dancer and singer. Most people probably know all of that. But, did you know that on top of all her other gifts, she was a fabulous chef as well?

Hallelujah! The Welcome Table by Maya Angelou
I can't cook much of anything, and I'm not particularly bothered by that fact. But I did give it a try for awhile, about a decade or so ago when my marriage was new enough that I still tried to feed my husband once in a blue moon. He didn't expect it, but it was a nice treat for him when it happened. I mostly went in for the simplest of recipes with the least prep and bother. Or I'd just buy frozen meals and make rice as a side. We lived in England at the time, and there were some marvelous frozen Indian meals as well as a very tasty chicken cordon bleu I could get at the grocery store.

Around this time I found an inexpensive used copy of Angelou's book "Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes." It's as much a memoir as it is a recipe book, so it's a good read even if you're not interested in tackling the cooking.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Reading this book was a delight. It seems like most of the books I picked up lately fell short of expectations at best, or were so bad they angered up my blood at worst.

Then I opened The Dutch House, and suddenly the clouds parted and golden rays shone down on my Kindle. The reading slump was over!

This compelling novel tells the story of family and mistakes made, the bond between a brother and sister, and a past they can't shake. Overshadowing and influencing it all is the grand house of the title.

Danny is our narrator, the youngest son of the man who bought the Dutch House as a surprise for his wife. The domino effect starts there, setting in motion events that will impact all of their lives for decades.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Vinyl Nostalgia: Flashback to Steve Martin & Sgt. Pepper’s (but not the one you think)

Filmstrip of A Wild and Crazy Guy and Sgt. Pepper'sWhen I was a kid I'd tag along with my mom on shopping trips to the PX (that's Post Exchange to non-Army brats). I'd wander the aisles, usually without a cent in my pocket, aimlessly picking up and turning over merchandise in my broke-ass little hands.

On one trip, however, I actually had a few bucks to my name. I made a beeline to the record section.

I can't remember how old I was, but was probably still in elementary school, maybe early '80s. My personal record collection at the time amounted to kid stuff I hadn't bought myself. Prime example: the Star Trek comic book that came with a 45 rpm record dramatizing the story. Which I just realized was my first audiobook (I still have it).

Music transported me, felt mystical and special, even if just about everything I'd listened to so far was the music my much older siblings or ancient parents played (my dad's favorite singer was Slim Whitman, if that gives you any idea of the hell I endured).

Monday, August 5, 2019

Parker: Selected Stories by Dorothy Parker

Listening to this audiobook made me crave a gin rickey and a good cry while hiding behind the mammoth ostrich feathers of my best hat, slumped in a corner table of a grubby speakeasy. It's a mood.

David Sedaris called Parker: Selected Stories by Dorothy Parker (as read by legendary Broadway star Elaine Stritch) "one of the greatest audiobooks ever." In this June 2018 interview for Audible Range he also noted: "Elaine Stritch is the perfect person to read Dorothy Parker, and she understands those stories perfectly."

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Cool Stuff to Read and Watch

Hello again! Around here the temperature finally dropped (a smidge) and I've been enjoying reading, watching TV, and nosing around the web. Here are some cool things I've found that you may like, too:

Cool Links for Book Lovers

Song lyrics as book covers. Someone's only gone and designed vintage book covers inspired by and featuring his favorite song lyrics! It's creative, cool, and available to buy as prints.

Books page at The Guardian. In addition to book reviews, author interviews, and bookish news, they offer a roundup of selected readers' book comments and Bookstagram posts in their recurring "Tips, links and suggestions" feature. You can join in by tagging book-related Instagram posts with #GuardianBooks.