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Friday, July 15, 2022

Friday 5ive- July 15, 2022

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

1) While walking on my errand run this week, I passed Max Mara's store on Madison Ave. and this window display caught my eye. I'm always happy when I see anyone reading a book, even a bear. (Hey, we have the same eyeglasses!)

2) It seems like more a than few restaurants have decided to upgrade their outdoor dining areas with floral overhead decor. Loew's Regency Hotel on the Upper East Side has a long canopy of white flowers outside their hotel where a cafe resides (to cover the ugly scaffolding above), and Cacio e Pepe near the Webster Library on York Ave. has gone with a pink and white motif of flowers overhead. It adds a lovely touch to the neighborhood. 

3) We went to dinner at our usual Thursday place, Jean Claude 2, a French bistro near our apartment. We haven't been there in awhile, but the manager recognized us and was happy to see us back. The place was decked out in red, blue, and white balloons and it dawned on me that it was Bastille Day, July 14th. We sat near the door and laughed each time someone new entered the restaurant and said "Is it someone's birthday?" I guess we had good timing for the LaRues to show up on Bastille Day at the French bistro. It was delicious as always. Joyeux Quatorze Juillet!

4) The last episodes of Better Call Saul began this week on AMC. They left us with a crazy cliffhanger last time, and picked right up at the beginning of the epsiode. The tension just kept racheting up and up as the minutes ticked by, and you didn't know how people were going to get out of the dangerous situations they found themselves in. I swear I was holding my breath the entire show. The show garnered many Emmy nominations this week, including an overdue nomination for Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler. 

5) I read three wonderful books this week. I returned to the fictional island of Mure off the coast of Scotland in Jenny Colgan's Christmas at the Island Hotel. I so enjoyed catching up with all of the characters I feel are my friends. Flora is adjusting to being a new mom, and preparing for the grand opening of the Rock, the hotel owned by her brother Fintan. She is planning her own wedding to Joel when her archnemesis Jan's supermodel sister sweeps in and wants to have an over-the-top, insanely expensive wedding that would put much needed money into the Rock's coffers. My favorite storyline of the novel involves the love between Saif, the doctor who left his war-torn home country of Syria with his two young sons but without his wife, and Lorena, a schoolteacher and Flora's best friend. It's heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.  And, well it is Christmas in July, right?

I have not read any of Katherine Center's books, but after reading her newest one, The Bodyguard, I will be checking out her backlist ASAP. Hannah Brooks is a bodyguard who usually guards business people for a living. Her assignment this time is to protect Hollywood hunk Jack Stapleton who has a stalker on his tail. Jack has disappeared from Hollywood for a few years and is visiting his sick mom in Houston. He doesn't want his mom to worry, so Hannah has to pretend to be his girlfriend while he is at his family's ranch. Hannah is dealing with the recent death of her mother and being dumped by her boyfriend who works with her. I raced through this one, filled with terrific characters and a unique workplace situation, finishing it in just a few hours. The Bodyguard is a perfect beach or porch read, and would make a wonderful rom-com movie. 

The last book I read is Katy Tur's memoir Rough Draft. Katy Tur is an MSNBC reporter, anchoring the 2pm hour daily. Her memoir deals with growing up with her parents as newspeople in Los Angeles. Her Dad flew a news helicopter and her mom hung off the helicopter shooting footage they would sell to news stations. They shot the famous Reginald Denny beating during the Los Angeles riots in 1992, and OJ Simpson's slow highway vehicle chase in 1994. Bob Tur was a violent man, beating his wife, son and daughter. In 2013, Bob Tur came out as transgender and, although Katy publicly and privately supported her father, he was emotionally abusive to her, berating her in public for not being supportive enough. 

Katy Tur became famous for covering Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and frequently incurred his public wrath as he berated her at his rallies, encouraging his followers to do the same. There are similarities between Bob Tur and Donald Trump, and Katy learned how to respond to Trump through her experiences dealing with her father. She married fellow newsman Tony Dikoupil, an anchor on CBS Mornings, someone who also had a difficult father (he was one of the biggest drug smugglers on the East Coast and is in prison). I liked reading about their love story, and their two young children. Katy Tur is an excellent writer, she never wastes a word in this honest, sharp memoir. I highly recommend it. 

I hope you all have a safe, healthy week.

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