Monday, August 30, 2021
Friday, August 27, 2021
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Friday, August 13, 2021
3) I watched a little of the Field of Dreams baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox. My husband is a Yankees fan, our younger son a White Sox fan, so that makes it interesting. If you liked the Kevin Costner movie, you would have enjoyed it even more. (Costner was in the announcers' booth during the game.) Watching the players walk out from the cornfield at the beginning of the game was pretty cool, and the ending, with a walk-off homer from the White Sox to win the game, made it cinematic. The highlights are here.
|Photo from New York Times|
4) One of my favorite sitcoms returns for it's final season. Brooklyn Nine-Nine ends its eight season run with two episodes every Thursday for five weeks. It has been one of the consistently funny sitcoms in recent history, and I will miss it. The cast- Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, Amy Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Joel Miller, Dirk Blocker and Andre Braugher (how did this man not win an Emmy yet for his performance?)- is fantastic, and the writing brilliantly funny. At least I have reruns on Peacock.
Friday, August 6, 2021
A few years ago, I read Laurie Gelman's hilarious novel, Class Mom, about a woman with two grown adult daughters and a son in kindergarten. Jen Dixon was such a terrific class mom for her two daughters, she reprises the role for her son's kindergarten class. Her snarky letters to the parents in the class became legendary, and the book made me laugh out loud. In the third book in the series, Yoga Pant Nation, Jen is now class mom for her son's fifth grade class, and once again we are treated to Jen's parent letters. She's also now a certified spin instructor and trying to find a job as a instructor, while also dealing with her aging parents who seem to be having some troubles. As a former class mom and current Peloton riding enthusiast, this novel was speaking my language. (I also loved Jen's loving relationship with her husband.) Be careful where you read this one, you'll be giggling out loud and people will wonder what you are up to.
Wednesday, July 21st: Lit and Life
Friday, July 23rd: Kahakai Kitchen
Monday, July 26th: Buried Under Books – review and excerpt
Monday, July 26th: @pickagoodbook
Wednesday, July 28th: @jenniaahava
Thursday, July 29th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, July 30th: Girl Who Reads
Monday, August 2nd: Lori Bree Reads
Wednesday, August 4th: @fashionablyfifty
Thursday, August 5th: @boozy.bookster
Friday, August 6th: Bookchickdi
Monday, August 9th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Tuesday, August 10th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Tuesday, August 10th: Books and Benches – excerpt
Friday, August 13th: @rozierreadsandwines
Monday, August 16th: @welovebigbooksandwecannotlie
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Reprinted from the Citizen:
As we head into the dog days of summer (how can it be August already?), this month’s Book Report has two books that will each take the reader away to someplace new.
Beck Dorey-Stein’s first book, From the Corner of the Oval (My review here) is a memoir of her days in the Obama White House as a stenographer. We walked in her shoes as she recounted her hectic days taking down every word spoken and her excitement of “being in the room where it happened”.
Her latest book, Rock the Boat is a delightful novel set in the ocean-side town of Sea Point, New Jersey. Kate Campbell is living the good life in Manhattan, in the fancy family apartment of her wealthy boyfriend, and working at his family’s public relations firm.
When that life collapses around her, she is forced to head back to her parents’ home in the tourist town of Sea Point to try to rebuild her life. She gets two jobs- days she works at the town library and at night she tends bar at the local hangout.
Her neighbor and childhood pal Ziggy is trying to get over the sudden death of his father and business partner in their family plumbing company. His best friend Miles is also returning, hoping to prove to his mother that he is the logical choice for CEO of the family resort business. Each character has to face the difference between what they thought their future would be and what it actually may turn out to be.
You really feel like you are taking a vacation at the Jersey Shore reading Rock the Boat. You’ll want to grab a drink at the Jetty bar, visit the library, dress up for a fancy dinner at the Wharf, and hang out at the beach with Kate, Ziggy, and Miles. I loved the characters and the setting, and you’ll be humming the 1970’s song ‘Rock the Boat’ as you read and wait to see if Kate’s plan to get her Manhattan life back works or if she creates a new dream for herself.
Jamie Brenner’s Blush also starts out in Manhattan, on the Upper East Side where the successful fancy cheese shop Leah has run for twenty years is about to lose its lease.
Vivian, Leah’s mother, is devastated to learn that they will not only lose the winery, but also the beautiful home that she designed on the property. Vivian has always been the face of the winery, the impeccably dressed hostess for weddings and tastings, but she always wanted to have more of a say in how the business was run.
When Leah’s daughter Sadie shows up hoping to work on her thesis, she discovers a cache of notebooks that her grandmother had hidden recounting the book club meetings that she held years ago.
The books discussed were novels popular in the 1980s- Judith Krantz’s Scruples, Jackie Collins’ Chances and Shirley Cochran’s Lace among them. (Many of us will recognize those titles immediately from our own reading history.)
The three women, along with Asher’s much younger girlfriend Bridget, form their own book club to read these books and take inspiration from the characters in the story. The women in these books took it upon themselves to go after what they wanted in business and their personal lives. Can these women do the same and save the winery from disaster?
If you are someone who enjoys wine, as I do, you’ll will get a higher level of satisfaction from this book as you learn all about the process of growing grapes for wine, all the way through the winemaking process. I found it utterly fascinating.
Brenner excels in showing us the three stages of loving relationships- Vivian and her husband of forty years and the lifelong partnership they have, Leah and her husband’s middle-aged marriage issues, and Sadie finding love in the throes of youthful attraction.
I liked how the title of the book- Blush- echoes the one-word titles of the 1980’s novels. Blush is a wonderful female-centered story that updates the sentiments of those earlier novels for today’s woman.
Rock the Boat by Beck Dorey-Stein- A-
Published by The Dial Press
Hardcover, 38 pages, $27
Blush by Jamie Brenner- A-
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Hardcover, 384 pages, $26