Welcome to the Friday 5ive, a weekly post featuring five things that caught my attention this week, this steamy, hot week.
1) For all of you who follow my book reviews, I have some news. I just joined Bookshop.org as an affiliate. Bookshop.org began during the pandemic as a way to help independent bookstores sell online to keep bookstores open. It's a great alternative to Amazon, and I ordered books from many different independent bookstores during the pendemic, and was so pleased with the service and the fact that I was supporting bookstores. I set up a shop on https://Bookshop.org/shop/bookchickdi. If you go directly to my linked page, you can see the books I have reviewed on my blog and in my Book Report column and buy them. You can also order any book that is available on Bookshop.org (not just the ones I have reviewed) by searching for the book at the top of the page. When you order from my page, 20% of the proceeds will support Yu and Me Books, the only Asian-American woman-owned bookstore in New York City, and my 10% commission will go to support the Book Cellar, the used bookstore where I volunteer. The Book Cellar is run by dedicated volunteers, and their proceeds benefit the branch libraries of the New York Public Library. We have donated over $1 million to support the programs of the NYPL in the 18 years we have been open. If you like to order books online and want to support independent bookstores, please consider ordering from my page on Bookshop.org. (If you see my bookchickdi photo on the top left corner, you'll know it's my page.) You can also find my shop on the right side of the page of my blog.
2) When we moved from our home Auburn, NY to a tiny one bedroom apartment NYC in 2009, we rented a storage unit in Kingston, NY near my in-laws. It was a place to store our sons' childhood memories, photos, etc. After 13 years of paying for storage and many trips to the storage unit with the best of intentions of cleaning it out, the task was finally accomplished. My husband, with assistance from his sister, brother, and father emptied out the unit. Each of us got to keep one small box of stuff, and the rest went out. All day long at work I received photos of the boys favorite things- sports uniforms, Batman pajamas, baby blankets- and it was a delightful trip down memory lane. Now I need to purge items from our apartment for my box of memories. Marie Kondo fans would be happy.
3) My younger son turned me on to this guy on Instagram who lives in NYC and every week films himself and other drivers on his street as they move their cars for the street sweeper, and then jockey for position to retrieve their parking spots before someone else steals it. (@francisccellis on Instagram) His commentary is hilarious, and he has become friends with the street sweeper. I saw with my own eyes this process this week along East 74th Street for the first time since I moved to NYC, and for some reason it brought me joy through all the honking horns.
4) I watched the first four parts of the fascinating six-part documentary series about Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward on HBOMax, The Last Movie Stars. Newman and Woodward's daughter approached her old schoolmate, actor Ethan Hawke, about doing the documentary. Newman was working on his memoirs with a writer and recorded hours of memories. He asked friends, coworkers, his family and even his ex-wife to record interviews on cassette tapes. Newman eventually burned the tapes, but the writer had them transcribed before burning. Hawke asked his friends, including George Clooney (who read Paul Newman's words) and Laura Linney (who read Joanne Woodward's) to read from the transcripts. Hearing the actual words of Newman, Woodward, and others close to them, and seeing their daughters interviewed, makes for incredible insights into these two talented and complex people. I highly recommend it.
5) It was a busy week and so I only finished one book. Erin La Rosa's rom-com, For Butter Or Worse is for fans of Top Chef. Nina is a respected chef, owns her own restaurant, and is a judge on The Next Cooking Champ. Her cohost Leo's family own a chain of Italian family-syle restaurants where he handles the business side while his twin brother is the cook. Leo likes to needle and get under Nina's skin on-air, until one day when Nina has had enough and quits the show. The big problem is that without the show, both of their restaurants may go under. The one way to fix that is to pretend to be dating. It's a terrific enemies-to-lovers story with some unique plotlines, like Leo's anxiety issues. Foodies will enjoy this one, and my full review is here.
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