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Friday, February 26, 2021

Friday 5ive- February 26, 2021

Welcome to the Friday 5ive, a weekly blog post featuring five things that caught my attention this week. I can't believe it's the last Friday in February, time is flying by.

1)  After watching the first two episodes of Stanley Tucci -Searching for Italy on CNN, it made us long for our trips to Italy and all the fabulous food we had there. While placing an order from Vincent's Meat Market in the Bronx this week, I saw that they had Guanciale, a cured meat product (like pancetta) made from pork cheek and jowls. As that was a featured ingredient in one of the fantastic looking dishes on this week's episode, I ordered some. Now I just need to find that recipe....

2)  Today is National Take A Walk Day, highlighting the health advantages of walking outside. Al Roker from the Today Show walked from his home near Central Park to the Today Show studio on Fifth Ave. and 49th Street, a pretty decent walk, at least a few miles. I did my walk a few days earlier on Tuesday, walking 6 miles from our apartment on on the Upper East Side to run errands (post office, dry cleaner, drug store, grocery store) to the Barnes & Noble store on Fifth Ave. and 46th Street (very near the Today Show studio) and back home. On Sunday, we had six people from our family on their Peloton bikes doing Jenn Sherman's live 80's ride, which was a lot of fun. Exercise is a good antidote to being cooped up inside all day. The Today Show has a 31-day walking plan that looks great.

3)  This week was filled with online book discussions . The Peloton Moms Book Club hosted a Facebook Live with author Jane L. Rosen, discussing her wonderful novel, Eliza Starts A Rumor, about four women who live in a bucolic Hudson Valley town and form a bond over a rumor gone wild. It's about social media, marriage, friendship, and reaching out to others. I loved the book, my review is here. Thanks to Jennifer for hosting the discussion.

Next up was a large (250+) Zoom gathering with author Sarah MacLean in discussion with Lauren Willig about Lauren's first novel in her Pink Carnation spy series, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. Published in 2003, the book is set in 1803 as British spies are embedded in Paris to try and foil Napoleon's plans to invade England. I so enjoyed the discussion, and look forward to joining in for the next 11 books in the series. Each month for a year we will read the next book in the series and discuss. You can watch it here. Join in the fun!

The last one was Adriana Trigiani's Facebook Live talk with Matthew McConaughey about his critically acclaimed memoir Greenlights. It was such an entertaining and fascinating discussion! Adriana asked great questions and Matthew was a wonderful guest, regaling us all with stories from his childhood and acting career. I must read this one. 

4) We binge-watched all seven episodes of The Queen's Gambit on Netflix this week. Lots of my friends have recommended it, including my son, and once we started it, we were hooked. It tells the story of Beth Harmon, a young girl orphaned when her mother commits suicide. Beth is sent to live at a girls' school where the school janitor teaches her to play chess and discovers she is a prodigy. Set in the 1950s-1960s, we see how Beth becomes a world-class chess champion, fighting sexism and her own demons. I never thought anyone could make watching chess interesting, but they sure do here. This is must-see TV, and Anya Taylor-Joy is a phenomenal as Beth. She may win a Golden Globe this weekend for her performance. The music is great too.

5) In preparation for the Zoom this week, I read Lauren Willig's The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. What a fun read it was! It's got history, romance (a few steamy sexy scenes), spies, action, strong women, humor and more all rolled up into a rollocking good read. In the present day, graduate student Eloise Kelly sets out to discover who the mysterious Pink Carnation spy was during the time Napoleon was about to invade England. She is led to letters written by a young Amy Balcourt, which make up the bulk of the story. Amy, her cousin Jane, and chaperone the tough and prim Miss Gwen travel to Paris to stay with Amy's brother, and they get caught up in intrigue with the Purple Gentian, a masked man who is a thorn in the side of Napoleon's Chief of Police. If you smugly assume (as I did) that you guessed who the Pink Carnation was (wasn't it obvious?), you will enjoy the denouement of this delightful story. I loved the characters (especially Miss Gwen) and there are so many great scenes here that scream out for a Netflix series. If you liked Bridgerton, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation is your next read.

Stay safe, socially distant, wear a mask, wash your hands, and get the vaccine when it's your turn. Yay for those of you who have already gotten yours!

1 comment:

  1. Walking has definitely been a great thing to do while locked down, and we have made it a point to get out of the house almost every day.

    You are lucky to find real Italian guanciale — everyone says it’s the only choice for the true way to make spaghetti carbonara.

    be safe.... mae at maefood.blogspot.com