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Friday, June 19, 2020

Friday 5ive- June 20, 2020

Welcome to the Friday 5ive, a weekly blog post about five things that caught my attention this week. The weather was spectacular last week, sunny and warm, perfect for sitting outside and reading a good book (or two or three or four).

1) It's so wonderful to see all the flowers in bloom, like these beautiful hydrangeas. They just make me smile.

2) Speaking of flowers, I ordered these paint by numbers kits of flowers for the gals to do while the guys go golfing. One of my friends did something similiar with her family, and we ladies thought it looked like fun. I'll post the results on an upcoming edition of the Friday 5ive. (Warning- I can barely draw stick people, so we'll see if I am any better at this.) I ordered them from The BookMark Shoppe in Brooklyn on Tuesday and they arrived on Wednesday- what great customer service! Shout-out for indie booksellers!

3)  June is Immigrant Heritage Month and when I was looking through my bookshelves for books to post on the Book Cellar Facebook page, I came up with quite a variety of books. I've read seven of them (and all were great), so I think I will try to read one of these per week to catch up. #ReadingGoals
Immigrant Heritage Month books

4) We watched the last episode of Showtime's Billions this week (their season was shortened by the COVID outbreak), and I was so excited to see Rick Hoffman playing a small role as sleazy doctor. Hoffman played lawyer Louis Litt for seven seasons on USA Network's Suits, which my son, his wife, and I loved. I went on Twitter and discovered that many Suits fans were as thrilled as I was to see him back on TV. (It's the little things.....)
Rick Hoffman on the left on Billions

5) As I said, I read a lot this past week (four books) in the sunshine, and it was glorious. (Click on the book titles under the photos for links to purchase.)

First I read actress Hilarie Burton Morgan's The Rural Diaries, a memoir about her and her actor husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan and their young son moving from Hollywood to a farm in Rhinebeck, NY, a few hours north of NYC. It's terrific, and the perfect tonic for those of us stuck inside. Burton Morgan shares what life is like on a farm, her hands-on remodel of their farmhouse, and friends she made in a small town. I highly recommend it. I bought this from Oblong Books & Music independent bookstore in Rhinebeck, and Burton Morgan personally signed every copy they sold- they are up to 7355 so far- amazing!
The Rural Diaries

Another great book I read is Regina Porter's 2019 novel, The Travelers, which weaves the stories of several people from two families from 1954 to 2010. It's about love, marriage, family, race, friendship- in short, life. Porter is a brilliant writer, and if you are looking to read more black voices, pick this one up. I read it in one day, I couldn't put it down.
The Travelers

I also read Emma Jane Unsworth's novel Grown Ups, which for some reason I thought was a memoir when I started reading it. (My first clue it wasn't should have been that the narrator's name is Jenny, not Emma.) Jenny is a 35-year-old Londoner who writes a column for an online site called Foof, pitched for feminists. She lives with her somewhat-famous photographer boyfriend Art until they break up and she has to take in three roommates she doesn't like. She avoids her mother, until her mother shows up to move in with her. The book is a fast read, with texts, emails and social media posts interspersed. Jenny is kind of a mess, but she says things that will make you laugh out loud one minute and tear up the next. Although I am someone who is not the target age for this novel, I still enjoyed taking Jenny's journey with her. 
Grown Ups

And lastly, I read Richard Farrell's upcoming novel The Falling Woman, the story of Erin, a middle-aged woman facing a deadly pancreatic cancer diagnosis She gets on a plane that explodes over Kansas, and is the only survivor. She disappears from the hospital before Charlie, the young NTSB investigator tasked with finding out if it is truth or a hoax that there was a female survivor, can talk to her. This is Charlie's first time working a major disaster and if he can't get answers, his career will be finished before it begins. Why did Erin disappear? Why doesn't she want her family to know she is alive?  Fans of Dear Edward will want to read this one. My full review posts on Tuesday.
The Falling Woman

 Have a great week everyone- stay safe and healthy and wash your hands.

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