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Friday, August 13, 2021

Friday 5ive- August 13, 2021

Welcome to the Friday 5ive, a weekly blog post about five things that caught my attention this week. 

1)  THE HEAT! It's been over 90 degrees for the last three days. I'm lucky we have air conditioning. I stayed in the apartment Wednesday and Friday, on Thursday I walked five blocks to work at the Book Cellar. It was so steamy hot I'm pretty sure I lost five pounds of water weight walking the five short blocks. It should be cooler over the weekend thank goodness.

2)  People have been kindly bringing us vegetables from their gardens since we live in the city. We received gifts of zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches, and sweet corn. I made an Eggplant Pamesan for dinner on Sunday, adapting an Ina Garten recipe. It was delicious (she adds goat cheese) and it will definitely go into the regular dinner rotation. 

Eggplant Parmesan

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. 

5) I read three books this week. I love a good Irish family story, and Tracey Lange's debut novel, We Are the Brennans, is wonderful. After daughter Sunday is seriously injured in car accident in Los Angeles, her brother Denny travels there to bring her home to Westchester County in New York. She left suddenly five years ago, leaving everyone bewildered, including her boyfriend Kale. Kale and Denny own Brennan's Pub and are preparing to open a second bar. There are so many secrets that come to the surface in this book, I read it on one day. I highly recommend it.

Sara Nisha Adams' novel, The Reading List, is set in a London suburb. Mukesh is a widower mouring the loss of his beloved wife a year ago. He is lonely, and looking for a way to connect with his granddaughter Priya. Priya loves to read, so Mukesh visits the local library his wife frequented to find a book for her. He meets Aleisha, a young librarian who lives with her severely depressed mother and older brother, who has taken on the role of breadwinner. Mukesh and Aleisha bond over books and become good friends. If you love reading and libraries, this one is for you. I really liked it, and fair warning, there are some very sad parts.

Saturday Night Live's Cecily Strong's memoir This Will All Be Over Soon shares her a year in her life. In January 2021, her 30 year-old cousin Owen died of brain cancer. He was someone who was always smiling, and his death devastated Cecily. A few months later, as the pandemic ravages the world, her new boyfriend contracts COVID and becomes quite ill. Cecily heads to the Hudson Valley to wait out the lockdown and her book takes an honest look at what living through all that was like. It's an homage to her cousin and  filled with heartbreak, fear, sadness, hope and love. Strong captures the feeling of that year in her words. 

It looks like COVID is not yet done with us. Please wear a mask indoors in public, wash your hands, stay socially distant, and get the vaccine if you are able. It will be the only way to get back to normal.

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