TitleAuthorGenreBeach Read/Book Club/Personal Introspection/How ToRating
The Comfort BookMatt HaigPositivity/acceptancepersonal introspection1
Zen: The Art of Simple LivingShunmyo MasunoMindfulnesspersonal introspection2
The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar CuisineAlina Bronsky/Tim Mohr translatorliterary fiction/satire/character drivenbook club3
Adult Assembly RequiredAbbi Waxmanwomen’s fiction/character driven/rom combeach read4
Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandLewis Carrollchildrens/fantasy/plot drivenbook club5
A Caribbean Mystery (Miss Marple #9)Agatha Christiecozy mystery/whodunit/series/plot and characterbeach read6
Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at LifeDelia Ephronmemoir/survival/lovepersonal introspection/maybe book club/maybe beach read7
Book LoversEmily Henrywomen’s fiction/rom com/character drivenbeach read8
Through the Looking GlassLewis Carrollchildrens/fantasy/plot and characterbook club9
Something WilderChristina Laurenrom com/light adventurebeach read10
How to Live and Awesome Life: How to Live Well, Do good, Be HappyPolly Campbellnon fiction/self help cheerleader styleHow To11
The Killings at Kingfisher HallSophie Hannahcozy mystery/who dun it/Hercule Poirot series/plot and characterBeach Read12
Today Tonight TomorrowRachel Lynn SolomonYA/Rom com/character drivenBeach Read13
In a New York MinuteKate Spencerwoman’s fiction/rom com/character drivenbeach read14
I did not read all these books cover to cover during the month of May- I just finished them in May. I am a mood reader and I will read a book that defines my mood that particular day, and I try to read at least a chapter a day for any book club book.
  1. Comfort Book– I loved this book- it’s just a book that you read a page a day, and basically it’s a big “It’s OK” hug. If you ever need a little pick me up, this is the perfect inexpensive, non caloric, non addictive option. And even if you’re not having a bad day- it’s just nice to get a few sentences of comfort. I recommend this to everyone who lives a full and varied life.
  2. Zen– I loved this book. Chapters are about a page each and they just explain how doing things simply is good for the mind, body and spirit. Honestly, I think this is a great book for any parent to read, because some of the things that the author writes about are the basis for raising a confident child. I don’t care what religion you are, or if you don’t believe in religion- this book is just practical and logical about how to think about your life and your purpose in it. I read a page a day for about five months and it just made me feel good.
  3. Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine– Brilliant satire told from the perspective of the abuser. Very well written, clever tale of the most narcissistic, controlling witch ever. While I don’t like what this character/book represents, the actual book is worth it for discussion purposes. Really eye opening. Also touches on the spirit on communism, if that rocks your boat. This book is not for anyone who gets triggered easily.
  4. Adult Assembly Required– If you are looking for a beach/plane read, and like the rom com genre, this is a good one to try out. Cleverly written, well drawn out, often quirky, characters, the obstacles the characters face aren’t too bad. I also really respect Waxman, but there will be a post about that in the future.
  5. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland– There’s actually quite a few layers to this book, especially as it’s technically children’s literature. I don’t know if I would have read this without it being for book club- I know the storyline from movies and such. However, it’s a mainly fun ride.
  6. A Caribbean Mystery-This is classic Miss Marple- only instead of St. Mary Mead we find find murder in the Caribbean. Red herrings, assorted characters, lots of knitting. If you like the genre you will enjoy this light yarn. This was published the year I was born, and goes to that spot on my BINGO card.
  7. Book Lovers If you want a light read about romance and love, this is a pretty good option. The characters are not quite three dimensional, but I liked them. They were written so that I felt good about rooting for them- they were basically good people who had challenges in life that they were trying to get past. Good book for summer.
  8. Left on Tenth– Decent memoir about Ephron’s losing her husband and sister, her new chance at love at 72, and her cancer. This book is fine, if a little lackluster- I felt like some parts were phoned in. I think there are better memoirs out there dealing with similar subjects.
  9. Through the Looking Glass– What can I say about this book? I admit I didn’t like the beginning very much, it sort of annoyed me. However, I love the ending- I thought it was quite tidy and made me smile.
  10. Something Wilder– This is a rom com with a side of action/adventure. If you go into this book with low expectations and are a fan of the genre this book is fine. But an award winner it’s not.
  11. How to Live an Awesome Life- This is my style of self help book- easy to read and digest. Formatting highlights steps to take for positive actions- very easy to put steps into action if you wish. This is a great book for someone who needs someone cheerleading and yelling YOU CAN DO THIS- Tells people to just jump into life and live.
  12. Killings at Kingfisher Hall– This is the continuation of Hercule Poirot. The book is Ok- not quite the cleverness of Christie, but not a bad read if you like the genre and Poirot. Hannah utilizes her sidekick, Catchpool, who is sort of like a young Hastings, and the book is seen through his eyes. I don’t like how she has Poirot disappear for awhile and then reenters the scene and tells us his observations. There’s that old show don’t tell thing again… I don’t want to hear Poirot’s conclusions- I want to hear the evidence and do the deductions along with him.
  13. Today Tonight Tomorrow– If you are a 16 year old and like rom coms, you will probably like this sweet and predictable book. It has some preachy moments that sort of fall flat given the type of book it is, but it’s not a bad book, just not a great one either. This fulfills my BNYA square on the Barnes and Noble Bingo book challenge.
  14. In a NY Minute– New York is a character in this book. Alas, I’m not sure if the author has been to NYC, much less lived here. Just like loving a person, you must see the good and bad…this book tries to make NYC into a happy go lucky place where plucky is the appropriate adjective…the heroine wouldn’t last a day in NYC…meet cute or not. Trite is the best word I can use to describe this book that thinks it’s more charming than it actually is. And there are two storylines don’t really mesh they just take up space. In conclusion- the author should fact check: Alter is in Greenpoint not Williamsburg. When you get the details wrong I just can’t believe anything about a book.
TitleGenreWhere SeenRating
Unbearable Weight of Massive Talentaction/bromance/spoofTheater/AMC1
Bad GuysAnimated/childrens/Theater/AMC2
Hello, BookstoreDocumentaryTheater/Film Forum3
Anais in Loveforeign (French)/rom com/loveTheater/Angelica4
Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madnessaction hero/marvelTheater/AMC5
Senior Yearteen comedy/awkward situationNetflix6
  1. Unbearable Weight– Nicolas Cage plays himself to outlandish glory. I love when an actor is humble enough to know that they were a meme before there were memes. No- this is not a “great” movie, but I found it highly entertaining and watchable. I guess it’s for people who don’t always want to take things too seriously.
  2. Bad Guys– Cute movie with a moral. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Good is better than bad. Probably not good for really little kids, but it’s a fun little ride. Not much to hold an adults attention, but I could see this being nominated for an Oscar.
  3. Hello Bookstore– This is a charming doc about an indie bookstore and its iconic owner Matt Tannenbaum. This is a love letter to reading and readers, and those who surrounded his store with cash love when he almost went out of business during the pandemic and set up a Go Fund Me. On a side note, I’m pretty sure that Tannenbaum was at the same viewing of the movie as I was- I didn’t say anything because it’s me and I am shy and there was no way I was going up to him
  4. Anais in Love– This is a wishy washy love story. I didn’t like the protagonist- I thought she was too flighty, and I had trouble wanting good things to happen to her. I also hate the trope of young person dating someone older as a parent substitute- it’s boring and too pop psychology and has been done SO many times. Can’t we come up with something better? Pass unless you like irresponsible characters who are in need a reality check.
  5. Dr. Strange– I really wanted to like this movie because I like Dr. Strange as a character and I like Benedict Cumberbatch. However, liking a character doesn’t get you past this confusing plot- just because it’s about the multiverse doesn’t mean it can just twist and spin around with a point. That being said, I’m still all in on Marvel.
  6. Senior Year-High School Senior has terrible accident and lands in a coma. Twenty years later she wakes up and wants to finish her Senior Year of High School. It is exactly how it sounds…Yes- there is a message in this, and there are some interesting moments, but unless you are watching with your 20 year old daughter you can probably pass
I know I have a diagonal BINGO, but I’m going for full card! Luckily my book club books this month satisfy two of the more difficult squares.

32 thoughts on “My Month in Books and Movies: May 2022

  1. Off to check off Zen. Yes so many layers to Through the Looking Glass – I am always surprised when these books are classified for children!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know I’m against the grain. I do love the way Emily Henry writes, and I love the genre…I even preordered it when BArnes had a sale that included ebooks…but the main character (female) wasn’t flushed out enough for me…there was a false note I couldn’t get past. That being said, if one is a fan of the genre and likes quirky main characters it’s a good choice


  2. Many books new to me. You’ve encouraged me to pick up Alice’s adventures…I have only read the children’s version. Thanks for sharing your views on books and movies – i look forward to these posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought it was interesting, but not surprising, that your top two books were gentle philosophy books. They sound like a smile on a rainy day. Miss Marple is always a winner for me. I think it is awesome that your book club read the Lewis Carroll books–such well written children’s books. They are definitely children’s LITERATURE.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We read it for my tea book club…we always try to find a tea related book. As to the gentle books…yes…those little snippets center me. It’s nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My overloaded to-do list is holding me back from joining a book club – but I miss being a member. The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine sounds intriguing. I shall take a look.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Some of these books are on my the ones u liked. I guess we have the same taste in books, except for the Caribbean murder one. I’ve heard of the 1st movie and I think Nicholas Cage is a good tie. The 1st movies I watched of him were con air and face off. I watched Dr strange multiverse but I didn’t like it. Even though I love the avengers, this was to cliche and too demonic and scary and why did they have to bring non marvel characters into this? It was absurd, in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

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