1) Last year, our family all got Peleton bikes- between our family and friends, we have nine bikes! It's fun to ride together and it keeps everyone on their toes (if they are out of the saddle, as it's called.) This year, everyone got Nixplay digital photo frames. Years ago we had a digital photo frame that you had to put a memory card in. The new technology uses WiFi, and the great feature is that you can instantly send a photo to other people's Nixplay. It's fun to see a photo pop up from a family member, and we get so much enjoyment from watching ours and remembering all the good times. We got my mom one for Christmas and I had a blast loading up family photos- it's so easy too, just click on your desired photo on your Iphone and the option to send it to the Nixplay app pops right up. Our extended family now has ten of them. You can find more information at their website here.
|A Nixplay photo from our son's wedding|
2) A new year means setting new goals, and readers are big on doing that. TaviaReads (the host of the BookClubGirl podcast) on Instagram posted this graphic where people can share their #TBR2020 (To Be Read) goals, and mine is below. So far I have read 5 books, including the first Elena Ferrante Neapolitan series, My Brilliant Friend. I'm off to a good start, I'll keep you posted on my progress. You can go here to get your copy of it on Instagram, just follow the instructions.
3) The royal family of Great Britain is in the news this week, so I guess we may have been prescient when we created a royal family display at the Book Cellar two weeks ago. (Thanks to the people who donated the three beautiful royal family photo books.) Now I have to catch up on The Crown on Netflix, I'm only in the middle of season two.
4) My husband and I are big fans of CBS' Bob (Hearts) Abishola. It's a funny sitcom about a 50 year-old man who owns a family-run compression sock business. When he has a heart attack, his nurse is a younger Nigerian woman, Abishola. Bob (played by Billy Gardell from Mike & Molly) is smitten with Abishola (played by Folake Olowofoyeku, with a fabulous sense of timing and deadpan humor), and she likes him too. Their romance is sweet, and the supporting characters are wonderful, including the amazing Christine Ebersole as Bob's mother, a woman who speaks her mind. In trying times, it's good to have a little lightness. Give it a try, it's on Mondays.
5) I finished two books this week- Matt Norman's Last Couple Standing, about a group of eight friends from college, who all paired up and married. Now years later, three of the couples are divorced, and Jessica and Mitch are the last couple standing. They fear for their marriage and decide that the best way to avoid divorce is to have sex with other people- with strict rules. You can imagine it doesn't work out quite the way they hoped. I liked Norman's novel, Domestic Violets, and had high hopes for this one that he more than lived up to. It publishes in March, I'll post a full review then.
I also finished the first book in Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan series, My Brilliant Friend, the first of four books about a lifelong friendship between two women- Lila and Elena, in Naples, Italy. Everyone I know has read this series, so I thought I'd better catch up. It took me along time to get into this book, but about 100 pages in and I was hooked. The characters are indelible and the writing is superb. I hope to finish all four this year. (It's also an HBO series.)
One of the most highly promoted books at the Book Expo this past May was Jeanine Cummins' American Dirt, about a woman who has to leave her native Mexico for the United States with her young son after her family is killed by a drug cartel. Stephen King blurbed that "I defy anyone to read the first seven pages and not finish it" and he nailed it. The first chapter is so harrowing, and 100 pages in and it is heart-pounding and heartbreaking. This book lives up to the hype so far, I can't wait to finish it. It publishes January 21.
Have a good week, I hope your 2020 is off to a great start.