Books

TitleAuthorGenreBeach Read/Book Club/Personal Introspection/how toRating
Lessons in ChemistryBonnie Garmuswomen’s fiction/strong female characters/gender equalitybook club1
In Love: A Memoir of Love and LossAmy Bloomnon-fiction/memoir/assisted suicide/living with loss/Alzheimer’s
book club2
Smile: The Story of a FaceSarah Ruhlnon fiction/memoir/essay/living with Bell’s PalseyPersonal Introspection3
The Woman Who Took a ChanceFiona Gibsonwomen’s fiction/women of a certain age/deciding to date at 50Beach Read4
The Best of MeDavid Sedarisnon fiction/memoir/essayPersonal Introspection5
The School for Good MothersJessamine Chandystopian fiction/motherhood/gender roles and expectationsbook club6
Leopard is a Neutral: A Really Useful Style GuideErica Daviesnon fiction- fashion and style guidehow to7
Home Sweet Maison: The French Art of Making a HomeDanielle Postel-Vinaynon fiction/home decorating/Francophilehow to
8
The Love of My LifeRosie Walshfiction/psych thriller/differing perspectivesBeach Read9
heard it in a love songTracey Garvis Gravesfiction/love story/divorce/finding yourselfBeach Read10
  1. Lessons in Chemistry– I loved this book. Strong, tough, unapologetic female protagonist. If you love Bernadette, Eleanor and The Maid you should give this book a look. If only the world would take women seriously…does a brilliant job about what it feels like to be a woman. I can’t imagine this won’t be in my top five books of the year.
  2. In Love– Be warned- this could be a difficult read as it deals with assisted suicide and Alzheimer’s. However, it is a beautifully written account of a woman dealing with the final stages of her Husband’s life. Sad and tragic, heartfelt and beautiful. A contender for my best books of the year.
  3. Smile: The Story of a Face– Well done memoir about a playwright who developed Bell’s Palsey after the birth of her twins. She doesn’t shy away about talking about her anger and frustration with both her condition, the treatments she sought and her feelings about not being able to show facial emotion. She’s very real- which is what I appreciated about this book-
  4. The Woman Who Took a Chance– Ok-this book will never win awards. However, if you want a light read about woman of a certain age, that isn’t too taxing, and makes you lightly chuckle, this book is for you. It verges on being cute, but sometimes I need that, and after a few books that made my head spin, this was just right.
  5. The Best of Me– There were three things I thought as I read this book: 1) this is brilliant 2) Well, I could have written this and 3) what a load of crap. I’m guessing it’s sort of what you feel when you read my blog… Some essays are better than others, but Sedaris is clearly a smart guy with a way with words
  6. The School for Good Mothers– This book made me cringe. Set in a not so distant future dystopian Philadelphia, it centers around a school set up to punish parents for their bad parenting behavior. Much to dissect regarding parental roles and responsibilities, gender and parenting, what is good parenting, and how society treats parenting and views of what makes a good parent. If anyone else has read this, would love to discuss the ending.
  7. Leopard is a Neutral-This time of year I tend to overload on organizing and style books- I guess it goes along with spring cleaning. This had some really good moments, and some average ones. OK book if you want to add a little spark to your wardrobe, but not a style bible by any means.
  8. Home Sweet Maison– I have a thing for lifestyle books, and things either French or British. I love reading about style (probably because I have none) and how people take care and organize and decorate their home. I found this mildly entertaining and interesting.
  9. The Love of My Life– Have you ever been to a pyrotechnic display, where you think it’s going to be an amazing display, and then the fireworks is a total dud? That’s how I felt about this book. I started out really engrossed in this book- I liked the protagonists. It was an interesting storyline. Then…pfffft…peters out. Disappointing.
  10. Heard it in a Love Song– If you want a book about two people meeting and getting to know one another without awkward moments, this is fine. The main characters have been divorced and are figuring out how to find love again. I think the characters are a bit too idealized, and it’s as if the author doesn’t want them to have any major faults, and I think that is not realistic. While I get that the author was trying to portray that sometimes relationships don’t work out because of nothing major, in a book it sort of falls flat.

Movies

TitleGenreWhere Seenrating
The DukeBased on true story/light comedyTheater- Angelika1
The Rose Makerforeign (French), dramedy, personal growthTheater (Angelika) 2
Everywhere Everywhere All at Oncesci fi/action/female empowerment/mother-daughter relationships/foreign (Chinese) in partsTheater – AMC3
The Lost Cityaction/adventure/rom comTheater- AMC4
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledoreaction/fantasy/continuation of Fantastic Beast seriesTheater- AMC5
The Northmanaction/adventure/ShakespearianTheater- AMC6
Turning Redanimated/kids 10-13/puberty and changes/what it’s like to be a girlDisney plus7
Raya and the Last Dragonanimated/childrens/strong female characters/nominated for 2022 OscarDisney plus8
All the Old Knivesdrama/thriller/spiesAmazon Prime9
Coming to America 2comedy/sequel/nominated for 2022 OscarAmazon Prime10
  1. The Duke– Hmmm- Charming and understated may just be the keys to movies that I enjoy. Broadbent and Mirren are wonderful as always. Based on the time the painting of The Duke of Wellington from the national gallery in London. I’d never heard of this incident, so it was a mini history lesson as well. Good if you just like a simple story with gentle undertones of humor.
  2. The Rose Maker – Charming, understated look at a woman trying to save her business and the unlikely trio that helps it happen. Friendship, mentoring, personal growth all tied up in a pretty scented bow. This is for someone who likes a quiet movie about people with no bells and whistles.
  3. Everywhere– This movie is not for everyone. It’s a bizarre combo of science fiction multiverse, action flick and relationship movie. Story very interesting, but not for people who like there timeline to go sequentially. Some violence, some touching moments, some things that are just plain off the wall. Good for real movie buffs who are looking for something different and possibly ground breaking.
  4. The Lost City– Although a not quite as good version of Romancing the Stone, I still enjoyed this romp about a writer and her cover model needing to get themselves out of the jungle. Charming Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum and Brad Pitt. Some laughs, some squirms, some romance. Good if you just want some light entertainment
  5. Fantastic Beasts-I admit that this is not a great movie. However, I like the whole Harry Potter/wizarding world thing, so it’s the sort of movie I gravitate to. Plus, Jude Law plays a young Dumbledore- seriously- Jude Law.
  6. The Northman– While there is much good in this movie, mainly filming and cinematography, with gallant nods to Shakespeare and mytho;ogy, on the whole it was a miss for me. I love words and there just weren’t enough dialogue to make me happy. However, I think there is an audience for this film- just not me.
  7. Turning Red– It’s cute, but not necessarily clever. Best for girls who are learning about the changes that their bodies will undergo via puberty. Everyone else can skip it.
  8. Raya and the Last Dragon– cute movie with fun Akwafina voicing the dragon. The story was kinda/sorta like some other superhero flick that happened somewhat recently, so D for originality, but overall an endearing film that is probably best for kids between 7 and 10. Younger might get scared, older might get bored. Strong female characters though, so big plus for that. Not worth subscribing to Disney plus for unless a female between 7 and 10.
  9. All the Old Knives- This is neither a good nor a bad movie- it’s exceedingly average. While the storyline has merit, the movie is misguided in its attempt to leave us on the edge of our seats. Waste of a solid cast.
  10. Coming to America 2– Has some funny moments but does not have the heart or spirit of the original. Fine if you just want to chill in front of the TV and you already have prime. Well deserved academy nod for make up.

Shorts- Animated- 2022 Oscar Nominees

TitleRating
Windshield Wiper1
Robin Robin2
Boxballet3
Affairs of the Art4
Beast5
I really did not enjoy any of these- I don’t even know what I watched for the most part. My favorite is because I thought the actual animation was gorgeous.

Windshield Wiper did end up winning the Oscar.

41 thoughts on “My Month in Books and Movies: April 2022

  1. Interesting about the Tracey Garvis Graves book. She’s actually a local author and friends with a couple of people in my book club. Years ago, after she wrote On the Island, she came to one of our book club meetings. I generally like her books but good to know more about her latest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Please don’t tell her I didn’t like it!! It was just flat…I got what she was going for…but it didn’t make for a fun story

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  2. I’m always amazed at how much you read each month! I see a few on your list I will check out. On another note, I got a message “schedule missed” this morning. This is the second time in two weeks I’ve received that message and my blog doesn’t get posted. Have you had that happen?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be fair, these are the books I finished in April. The only books I read cover to cover during April are the first two, because I was engrossed, and the beach reads cause they’re Easy. The others I read over months…

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  3. Thank you for including the titles down in the comments. So helpful for me! I love these posts about books and movies you’ve read/seen. I need a system where I record the books (and maybe the movies, too) I want to read. I’ll be referring back.

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  4. Love your lists! I read School for Good Mothers and cringed as well. I feel like the ending was expected and the result of her actions is inevitable. (trying not to give spoilers) I just put Lessons in Chemistry on hold at the library.

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    1. The ending felt like Thelma and Louis light, if you get my meaning. But there were times I wanted to shut my eyes because I couldn’t believe what I was reading!!

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    1. I was iffy about the way they handled the everyone is an individual thing…I get that by the end it realized that it’s ok to match to your own drummer, but I think it still undervalued the thought that we are allowed to have moods and bad days. And while the feminist police might hate me, some women are super cranky when pmsing. Plus, 13 is not “too young”….most girls are younger, so the age was skewed…however…I think it gets nominated

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      1. Either way we liked it. It was funny, it was entertaining and weirdly enough it felt relatable to me (even though I’m a guy). I don’t tend to read so heavily into films, just like last night we finally saw Guess who’s coming to dinner, I realize people today might feel that marriage isn’t everything, but this was the 60’s. It’s a different mindset. I thought it was thought provoking film about acceptance isn’t always concrete. I loved that the woman’s parents although liberal still had issues coming to terms with their white privilege bigotry.

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      2. Well, the whole limousine liberal thing was solid and the best thing about the movie. But I couldn’t get past the acceptance of it being ok for a woman to follow the man around

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      3. Wow, okay. Ya know the male character was leery, wasn’t jumping into things so quickly as she was. I personally don’t think they would have jumped into marriage as quickly as she anticipated.

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      4. Think about the situation. Young woman, 23, lives with her parents, then lives with her husband who is much older and established. Probably have kids quickly. Then she decides she never lived, she was always taken care of. Next up..divorce

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      5. My wife 28, lived with her parents met me 40 established, no kids..happy. Not to take personally, but trying to look at it from different angles. I honestly saw Dr. Prentiss as being in love most likely because of the loss of his family, but also being not 100% sure of anything. I mean the guy couldn’t even tell his parents that she was white. I think she moved faster than him.

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      6. He was definitely more mature. But it was sad that she had no loose ends to toe up in SF…none…and she was following him and his dreams.

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      7. Okay, I guess I will give you that. Her character wasn’t very fleshed out. 😄 Still this has been quite the conversation, not I get to analyze a film withe a fellow film buff.

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    1. Ha. I didn’t read all these cover to cover in April, just finished. There are books that take me months to finish. I read a hour a day and I read what I’m in the mood for that particular day…

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  5. Omg, my sister had no idea what red was about. I told her I heard it was about puberty. She said no way I saw the trailer. Then we started watching it with our 7-year-old nephew! 10 minutes into the movie and we turned it off and put Recess instead.

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