BOOKS

BookAuthorGenreRating
Shakespeare for Every Day of the Yearedited by Allie Esiricompilation1
Hercule Poirot’s ChristmasAgatha Christiecozy mystery2
The MaidNita Prosecozy mystery3
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining WomenKate Moorenon-fiction 4
Perestroika in ParisJane Smileyfable5
When Ghosts Come HomeWiley Cashmystery6
The Narrowboat SummerAnne Youngsonwomen’s fiction/self reliance/starting over7
I’ll be Seeing YouElizabeth Bergmemoir8
Dava Shastri’s Last DayKirthana Ramisettiwomen’s fiction/family saga9
The PlotJean Hanff Korelitzpsychological drama10
A Little HopeEthan JoellaInterconnected short stories11
The Love HypothesisAli Hazelwoodrom com- there’s a misunderstanding and one sex scene12
The Last Thing He Told MeLaura Davepsychological thriller13
Fleishman is in TroubleTaffy Brodesser-Aknerliterary fiction14
If OnlyJudith Arnoldlight fiction- family/older woman15
  1. I like books that are to be read a page a day for a year. And it’s Shakespeare.
  2. Charming mystery for fans of Poirot. It’s light, but interesting and fun. Typical Christie
  3. Very quirky main character- I like quirky, but if you don’t, beware. Interesting take of judging people and expectations. On the light side, if you don’t want to think too much.
  4. I’m surprised by how much I liked this book. The story of the fight for justice for people poisoned by radium at their workplaces. Story is told simply, which in this case helps, because too much jargon would have made it a boor. A few too many details about how the women dressed and how much their husbands were in love with them- slowed down the story for me. Just because they were women doesn’t mean we need what can be referred to as feminine details. However, incredibly interesting tale.
  5. Sweet fable. The main characters are a horse and a dog and a bird. If this isn’t your thing, skip it. But if you just want a little lightweight charm, this is for you.
  6. Aging sheriff wondering what the future holds- surprised me in a good way
  7. Quaint story about three women coming to terms with changes in their lives, both wanted and unwanted. Light female empowerment- what you can do if you set your mind to it
  8. Memoir about needing to put parents in a care home. Written as a series of journal entries chronicling the way she felt about her parents feelings. Brings up many discussionable points- may write blog about it
  9. The premise of this book is really interesting- the actual book is not. Family saga that thinks it’s way more out of the box than it actually is. Could be interesting for a book club because there are things that would be good to discuss, but overall annoyingly average
  10. This is an easy read if you like psych dramas. The story moves at a reasonably brisk pace and there’s not to much to trip over. This is not necessarily a good thing. I expected more.
  11. This is not really a novel, not really short stories, so I don’t know what to really call it. It’s really about a few inhabitants of a small town and how they interact with one another, sort of. I applaud the author for trying to make sense of the random connections that we make with one another, yet I felt that pretty much every story was incomplete.
  12. If you were to see the cover of this book, you would get that it’s exactly like its cover- If you want a trite, predictable read, go no further. Sometimes I need that…
  13. There was a lot of hype about this book. I don’t get the hype.
  14. This is a reread for me (book club). I hated it when I first read it, because I hated all the characters. On the reread, I was able to concentrate on the bones of the book a bit more, and it is a well written novel. However, I still think the characters are precious and whiny and I really wanted them all to fail miserably.
  15. If only I hadn’t thought this book looked interesting when I saw it while browsing. This book annoyed me on many levels. The protagonist talks about how she eats salad with no dressing because she’s afraid of gaining weight. Why of why are we allowing women to do this to themselves. She hates every salad she eats- do I want to read this. The character is so bored with her life that she keeps imagining the paths that she should have taken. The problem is- who cares? She’s a trite, cliched boring character and no matter what road she took she would be a boring, trite, cliched character. it’s not shocking that she barely has any friends, a surface relationship with her children, and the most boring marriage. Let’s write about fun, intelligent women in their 60’s…not hollowed out shells.

MOVIES

MovieWhere SeenGenreRating
CODAApple TVfamily drama1
EncantoTheateranimated/childrens/musical2
Being The RicardosAmazon Videobiopic/drama3
Parallel MothersTheaterforeign language/drama4
BelleTheaterforeign language/animated5
The Tender BarAmazon Videocoming of age6
The French DispatchTheaterabsurdist7
A Herotheaterdrama/foreign language8
MacBeththeaterdrama/you know…Shakespeare9
PresidentTheaterdocumentary10
Don’t Look UpNetflixcomedy/satire11
The lost DaughterNetflixdrama12
In The Same BreathHBO Maxdocumentary13
  1. This movie is so good. Laugh. Cry. Experience all the feels. Great acting, great story, great screenplay- there is very little wrong with this film. If you can, subscribe to Apple TV for a month- watch this and Ted Lasso. Totally worth the money for the app to watch these shows.
  2. Beautiful songs, gorgeous animation. However, it tries to give too many messages. That being said, if you have a kid who loves Disney, this is a win
  3. Decent biopic- slightly choppy scene by scene. Editing could have been tighter. Excellent acting. In the battle of the Leading Actress biopic, I must give the edge to Nicole Kidman. IMO, the four leads should all be nominated for awards- the acting makes this movie come alive.
  4. This movie has moments of brilliance. It also has two excellent plot lines and neither felt complete or whole. Would be better if it focused on one story line and not two. I don’t think they meshed as well as the director hoped they would.
  5. Beautiful animation. Coming of age and resilience- but I felt there were plot holes
  6. Based on a memoir, this is a decent coming of age story with a better than average performance by Ben Affleck
  7. If you like the work of Wes Anderson, you will like this. Decent screenplay, but otherwise average
  8. Well done morality tale, but probably goes about three steps too far. Should have been shorter- movie drags into boringness
  9. Beautifully shot version of Shakespeare- but you really need to love MacBeth, because my Husband needed to leave the movie before he went mad…
  10. Very good documentary about the 2018 Presidential Election in Zimbabwe. Obviously seen from the viewpoint of the people opposed to the current President and officers. Makes you question the meaning of a Republic/Democracy. Has made the Oscar short list, but I don’t think it’s strong enough to garner a nomination.
  11. This is a decent satire featuring an all star cast. The story goes a little all over the place, and the script could/should have been better. While I don’t think it deserves an Oscar nod- the all star cast and topic will probably be hard for some to resist.
  12. I like Olivia Colman as an actress- however, I think she’s very average in this aspiring to be average drama about a women who keeps thinking about her past. Uneven and confusing pacing. I just didn’t care about the story or the characters.
  13. Documentary about COVID. Sorry- still too early for me to watch a doc about this topic. I question docs made while something is still happening. There was a point where Cuomo looked like a God- did we need a doc about that small portion of 2020? I don’t think this will be nominated for an Oscar.
This is the Barnes and Noble Bingo challenge. My goal is to complete the whole card this year! Feel free to do this with me!!!

53 thoughts on “My Month in Books and Movies: January 2022

  1. I don’t reread a books I don’t like. You do make a point about rereading them. I never heard of The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women. Sounds good and I’m going to check it out Haven’t checked out movies yet. I like the chart presentation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No. I finished them. Plus it was technically longer because my last book post was on Christmas Eve. But like the Shakespeare…I read that a page a day all year. And some books took me months to read. The psych thrillers and the rom coms I read quickly- anything else is a chapter at a time

      Liked by 1 person

      1. i see. i try to read at least 30 minutes a day. I am about to finish The Sound and The Fury by Faulkner. the way he wrote it ( stream of consciousness) is very hard to follow yet I find it very interesting to read. Jason’s point of view so far is the easiest to read.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am not a fan of Faulkner…I find his work very difficult but I appreciate him as a writer. He is clearly gifted. I read for a half hour at about 4, 45 minutes pre bed, and whenever I’m on mass transit

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Read Radium Girls quite a while back and then there was a movie released in 2020- Netflix has it I think. I like both. Stumbled on The Tender Bar and liked it. I could not buy Kidman as Lucy but that might be connected to the fact that I still equate her as Masha from Nine Perfect Strangers. Lucy’s voice is very distinctive and I kept anticipating that Kidman might break into some Russian at any moment. And the chain-smoking by everyone, thanks to Philip Morris. I could feel my lungs clenching every time some lit up another cigarette.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I thought Kidman did a respectable Lucy….but it was Simmons as William frawley that blew me away….and yes…the smoking…but to have not had it would not have been genuine. my biggest problem with tender bar was that it was not filmed on Long Island, and noticeably so. Also didn’t like how alcoholism was mainly sidestepped. Someone told me radium was a movie. Maybe I’ll look for it

      Like

  3. I’m going to look into Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year–for people who love quotes, I think!!! I thought I had read everything by Christie, except for two romances written under a pseudonym that I couldn’t get access to when I was in Mexico, but I absolutely can’t recall Hercule Poirot’s Christmas. I’ll have to look into that for my own sanity and for completeness. I thought I’ll be Seeing You would interest you as it touches on issues you are dealing with every day. All in all, quite a nice variety of books. As to movies, I don’t watch many, but I did try the Ricardo movie. I didn’t make it through the first half-hour–too much Hollywood for me. Probably something only a rural/suburbia girl would ask, but when you list something as theater, is it a live performance or a film of a live performance?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the clarification on theater. I looked at my list of Christie books that I had checked off as I read them right after my retirement. I had read the Poirot Christmas book, but it goes under two other names which could certainly cause confusion.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. My problem with the memoir is the author had the funds to put her parents someplace nice. I think when you have that safeguard and you’re not dealing with insurance or paying tuition it’s a different animal.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. So true. You are sandwiched between two generations which complicates things. Although money can’t buy happiness, it can buy convenience and smooth the way through difficult issues giving you less to worry about so you can focus on the people in your life.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I got Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year delivered to my doorstep today. I am so excited. It is everything I would want in a book like this. Sure, I could pick out passages to read each day, but without the context, notes and thought behind the selection, it would lose so much value and I’m sure I would abandon the effort fairly quickly. Wonderful recommendation!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m always impressed with your lists and the volume you read and watch. I’m obviously doing something wrong. A book that I bought for my dad, you might like to read is called
    “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” by Gawande, Atul. It discusses the end of life and nursing homes vs. staying home.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear Ms. Wickham (and LA of course)-
      Making that decision for someone else is always difficult even if money is not a major consideration. Having just gone through that I think any advice anyone can get from an objective source is time well spent.
      I concur that finding time to indulge in books and movies is a habit that may be slow to develop, but again is well worth it!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I read the Agatha Christie but my version was called Holiday for Murder. We saw “Don’t Look Up.” It was kind of funny to see Leonardo in a role like that I thought. I want to see Being the Ricardos. Good lists and recaps! Thanks

    Liked by 2 people

      1. So much fun! My favorite was like 25 years ago. They did Noseferatu, but it was in a big atrium of an office building/shops floor. The whole thing was just fun

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your short book reviews. This time there are quite a few I’d like to pick up, thanks. But this sentence has made my day! “I really wanted them all to fail miserably.”
    I know I’m going to keep chuckling/cackling all through the day. So good!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. For some reason The Maid keeps landing in front of me. I finally read the synopsis today and thought I might try it out. I do ‘t typically read mysteries but your comment about it being light means it’s probably perfect for me! BTW I loved Tye Love Hypothesis but then I’m all about not thinking too much when I read. Lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Interesting that you’re reading Agatha Christie, I’ve started to read Dorothy L Sayers. There’s something about cosy mysteries that the world needs right now.

    Like

  9. These are some very unique books that I’ve not heard of! Thanks for sharing! I’ve been on a women’s fiction kick (need more books that inspire and entertain!) and I recently finished reading “Matilda Empress” by Lise Arin. This is about a true warrior queen who I’ve been researching and reading about ever since I finished the book. I think the author did an amazing job at bringing her to life and making this book as historically accurate as possible (but obviously doesn’t read like a history book). Matilda, Empress of the Holy Roman Empire, faced nothing but hurdles (all due to the men in her life). Her father, King Henry I of England, promises rule to her over England and Normandy but upon his passing her cousin (a Count) takes it all away. Matilda and her cousin also have a relationship as lovers that is always teetering on the edge of hatred or obsession. They have a child together and he is now the rightful heir to the throne. I could NOT put this book down and it kind of reminded me of The Other Boleyn Girl. Hope you will add it to your list.
    If you’re interested, you can check it out here – https://www.lisearin.com/

    Liked by 1 person

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