BookAuthorGenreBeach Read/Book Club/Personal Growth/How ToRating
What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex TraumaStephanie Foomemoir/psych/dealing with c-ptsdBook Club1
Remarkably Bright CreaturesShelby Van Peltfiction/women’s fiction/different viewpoints/parenthood/love/relationships/aging/losslight book club2
Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue AnimalsLaurie Zaleskimemoir/poverty/animal rescue/familypersonal growth, but only because I can’t quite figure out how to classify it3
Wuthering HeightsEmily Bronteclassic/gothic/revenge, vengeance/ghosts/love?book club4
The MeasureNikki Erlickfiction/meaning of lifegeneral idea reads book club, but overall book is beach read5
Conversations on LoveNatasha Lunnnon fiction/conversations with people about love and what it means to thempersonal growth6
Fault LinesEmily Itamifiction/women’s fiction/motherhood/marriage/relationshipslight book club7
Wrong Place Wrong TimeGillian McAllisterfiction/psychological thriller/Motherhood/time travelbeach read8
Easy BeautyChloe Cooper Jonesmemoir about woman born with sacral agenesisbook club9
The Nine Lives of Rose NapolitanoDonna Freitasfiction/women’s fiction/alternate versions of some ones life/motherhoodBeach Read +/Book Club –10
Lost and Found in ParisLian Dolanwomen’s fiction/finding oneselfBeach Read11
The Fountains of SilenceRuth Sepetysfiction/historical fiction- Spain during 1950’s and 1970’s/women’s fiction/multiple viewpointsBeach Read12
Did I Say That Out Loud?Kristin van Ogtropmemoir/essays/middle ageBeach Read13
The LifestyleTaylor Hahnwomen’s fiction/rom com/marriageBeach Read14
For All the Tea in ChinaSarah Rosenon-fiction/history of Robert Fortune and how he basically started tea in Indiageneral knowledge15
Part of Your WorldAbby Jimenezfiction/women’s fiction/rom com/romancebeach read16
  1. What My Bones Know– Solid memoir about dealing with childhood trauma, how it affects the day to day, how it could effect future generations, and how one woman tried to save herself. Foo writes in an engaging style, and peppers the more complex science with examples from her own life. Foo is a survivor. Kudos to her. A good read for anyone is interested in how the mind works.
  2. Remarkably– I really enjoyed this book, which is a tale of a woman. a young man and an octopus. It’s really a simple tale, as most octopus books tend to be, but I just felt good after reading it, even though the book does deal with some tough issues and feelings. I truly enjoyed the main characters- I felt like I knew them even if they were a tad cliched.
  3. Funny Farm– Woman with abusive Father, and how her strong Mother showed her how to survive, into the eventual owning of a farm in New Jersey with a whole bunch of rescue animals. Some parts make you cringe, some cry, but there’s a whole lot of hope amongst the animal poop
  4. Wuthering Heights– About a million years ago, I read WH. It’s weird rereading it as an adult. The thing I realized most after reading it again, was thinking about how the story is told, through whose eyes. Id forgotten that it’s told in a sort of telephone sort of way- A asks B for the story, B tells the story, but we really see the way B tells the story of how A views the story. How reliable are any of the narrators? That being said, this is a book you either go into knowing that it’s written at a certain time and in a certain place and you accept that, or if you know you can’t accept it, you don’t read it. One of the people in my book club didn’t read but watched the movie, and after hearing us discuss it, was surprised by how much the movie focuses on the love story.
  5. The Measure– One day people awaken to boxes that contain strings that will tell you when you will die. Intriguing concept, right? Alas, this well meaning book is too cute to handle a subject like this. While I like idealism, there’s just a little too much Gee Golly for a book that revolves around death. The author has an agenda- whether you agree with the agenda or not is another thing.
  6. Conversations on Love– It’s literally the author interviewing people about love, and all that accompanies it. There are parts of this book that I think are absolutely brilliant, where I was making e notes in the e margin, and proposing blog questions. There are other parts of the book where it took me a week to read five pages. Some of the POV’s will resonate with you, while others won’t. But, as love is one of the topics I’ve become obsessed with this year, it was right in my wheelhouse.
  7. Fault Lines– OK novel about a women grappling with self identity when living as mother/wife. It took me a bit to get into the story, but it’s well told, if not a little light in parts. My biggest problem was that it’s set in Japan and I didn’t understand some of the cultural aspects, so I wasn’t sure how to relate. If you’ve ever questioned your identity as a person because of traditional female roles/values, you will probably find of interest.
  8. Wrong Place– Decent psych drama, that’s really more centered around Mother love and it’s power. There is an obvious plot problem that I can’t quite overlook enough to recommend this book, but it’s not bad
  9. Easy Beauty– There are parts of this memoir that ask brilliant ethical questions, and deal with a woman who lives with constant pain. But part of of this book deals with the authors inflated sense of intellect. Can be moving in places, but also so dry in others.
  10. Nine Lives– This is a case of not really liking a book, but the message behind it is discussion able- the plot point is a couple says they don’t want children. After being married the husband decides he wants a child, so the book goes through nine different versions of what happens to Rose. I like the exploration of why/why not as to Motherhood. However, I often found myself lost as to what story I was reading about. Though Freitas titles the chapter the number of the life, it really didn’t make sense to me, so I lost the continuity thread. But it is thought provoking if you get past the confusion
  11. Lost and Found– Light and cute story about a woman coming to grips with the changes that life has tossed her. This is a pleasant diversion if you want to just get lost in Paris for a little bit, but I’m not telling you to rush out and read it.
  12. Fountains of Silence– 500 pages. No book should be 500 pages. Talks about how difficult it was in Spain during Franco, post WWII. Book is too simplistic and naive in spots. It’s for my book club and someone told me it’s a YA novel, which explains the simplicity, but I can’t imagine most kids enjoying this book. Lackluster.
  13. Did I Say That Out Loud?– I love Real Simple magazine, and I was a fan when van Ogtrop was the Editor- however, my love for her as an editor does not extend to her as a memoirist. She’s a little whiny, and I think she’s a little overbearing as a Mother, like she takes pride in telling her adult children what to do and not to do. Admittedly there are some well crafted essays that hit home, but for the most part…pass
  14. Lifestyle– Couple tried to save their marriage by swinging. If you want to just flip pages and see why a couple who try this extreme measure and are interested in dynamics of relationships, this is fine. Otherwise, pass. The oddest thing about this book is that the main character was supposed to have attended the same High School my daughter went to
  15. For All the Tea– I love tea, but the history…not so much. This is a well researched book about Robert Fortune, the man credited with bringing tea seedlings to India . Rose is a decent writer, and considering all the technical jargon, she writes a fairly readable book. However, I just wasn’t invested enough in the subject.
  16. Part of Your World- This book has over 50m ratings with an aggregate rating of 4.42, clearly I want to know who these people are so I can look at their reviews and read what they hated, because I hated what they loved. Trite is a goal for this inconsequential, predictable, boring and tired story. While it follows the basic structure of a book, words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters, it’s 300 pages of the same thing. This book could have been written in 100. I skipped pages and still knew exactly what was going on. If I don’t need to read it, you don’t need to write it.
MovieGenreWhere SeenRating
The Good Bossdrama with dark comic undertones/Foreign language (Spanish)/what people are willing to do to succeed/Theater- AMC1
Four Wintersdocumentary/Partisan effort during WWIITheater- Film Forum2
See How They Runmystery/who dun itTheater- AMC3
Barbariansthriller/horrorTheater- AMC4
The Women Kinghistorical/action/female empowermentTheater- AMC5
Moonage Daydreamdocumentary/David BowieTheater- AMC6
God’s Countrydrama/American ideologyTheater- AMC7
Honk For Jesus Save Your Souldrama/supposed to be filming a documentary Theater- AMC8
Loving HighsmithDocumentaryTheater- Film Forum9
3,000 Years of Longingdrama/fantasy/mythTheater- AMC10
  1. Good Boss– Well crafted film about the head of a company which is on the short list for a distinguished business award. Well acted by Javier Bardem, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. After viewing this film I realize that it’s not just American made films that are taking a long look at society and its ills. I’m just trying to figure out what to name the genre of films coming out
  2. Four Winters– Old school doc featuring pictures and interviews about the Jewish partisan effort in the forests of Poland during WWII. Thoughtfully curated to tell the story of the very brave young men and women who escaped the ghettos and fought back against the Nazi’s. Emotional and searing.
  3. See How They Run– First off, there are a lot of flaws with this movie. However, I love a who dun it, so I was all in for the ride. I enjoyed this flick, but I know there are some who will say it’s trite. I’m OK with that because I thought it was fun. Great cast.
  4. Barbarians– I am not a fan of the horror genre. However, this seems to be the direction that film making is taking- I guess this is the world post pandemic. This is a pretty good movie- decent script- interesting concept, but I don’t think you should run out and see it.
  5. Women King – Ok- I don’t get the critical raves for this film. It has a solid concept, and it generally played out well, but there are parts when this film just drags, and is the perfect case for 2 hours 15 minutes being a little too long. There’s also more violence in this than in some recent horror movies that I’ve seen. While the violence is an integral part of the story, and I completely understand the director using it (if I’d been the director I would have used it too), it was a little much for me to watch.
  6. Moonage– David Bowie was a genius. This movie doesn’t do him justice. Plus side- David Bowie music and interviews. Minus- Oddly formed collage of clips and scenes and such, that doesn’t quite make its point- sort of reminded me of a bad 80s music video
  7. God’s Country– This film has an agenda and continues to beat you up with it. This film needed a dash of subtlety to have it’s point land better. Even though the protagonist was ‘right” it was hard to root for her.
  8. Honk for Jesus– A doc crew is filming a documentary about a disgraced pastor trying to reopen his church. American ideology comes into play here, and how people act, and what we consider good and bad, and consumerism. I know audiences are very divided about this film. I thought it was good, not great, but falls into the new genre of films that have come out this year and I’ve yet to name, but am considering…”Showtime”…
  9. Loving Highsmith– Doc about author Patricia Highsmith. I felt this doc was directionless- it was supposed to be about her being a lesbian in a time when you weren’t supposed to be, but it wanders around aimlessly, talking to some of the women she knew, and throwing in some film clips, but it added up to a big ball of nothing. Too bad because a brilliant writer deserved better
  10. 3,000 Years– There’s an academic who specializes in stories…and this is her story. Alas, her story wasn’t told well as well as it could have been. Swinton is convincing as a buttoned up academic, but her character is too one dimensional, and her lack of passion doesn’t sit right.

28 thoughts on “My Month in Books and Movies: 9/22

  1. Wow! You had a busy month! All this and writing too!
    Unfortunately, I am not much of a reader, and going to movies is not a fave of mine either. Seems like I always sit right in front of the people who never shut up. But I do keep my tv tuned to Turner Classic Movie channel, cause I love the old black and whites. Some of my favorites…
    Anything with Cary Grant.
    Anything with Olivia DeHaviland
    White Heat…Cagney is pure evil
    Strawberry Blonde…Cagney, Olivia and Rita Hayworth. A great movie.
    The Little Foxes… my wife loves Bette Davis. So do I.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be fair…I finished this books this month…a lot of them I started awhile ago. I’m a mood reader and will pick up what suits my mood that day. The exception is book club books, which are I think three of these…those I finish in the month. Favorite Cary grant?

      Like

    2. No kidding you’ve had a busy month reading/watching! I was particularly interested in your description of Wuthering Heights. I, too, haven’t read it in years and years and years, and my impression of it was of the most romantic book ever. I wonder if now, as a potentially fully-formed adult, I might have a different impression of it, like you did?

      And JC, what are your thoughts about Catherine Zeta Jones (early in her career)? She often reminded me of Olivia de Havilland…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aside to Endless Weekend…
        Catherine Zeta Jones is really beautiful and multi talented. I saw her on Broadway years ago when she sang “send in the clowns” and she did a great job on it! Different from Olivia in that respect because I don’t think she could sing.
        As for a comparison, I don’t think I see it really. But I’ll look out for it and let you know. I did check out your site, by the way. Looks real good. Try mine if you’d like
        Lifesvoyager.com.
        And thank you too LA for letting me answer here and do a commercial for me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am impressed with how many books you finished. I’m also a mood reader. I finally finished a book I wasn’t interested in reading all summer long. I dragged it around with me and finished it this week. I had to ask myself why I bothered.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I admire your brain that you can have a number of books going at one time. I would not remember enough of plot and characters if I put a book aside for a week or so. I can do a fiction, a nonfiction, and a devotional at the same time, but that is my limit. I also like to mix it up so that I don’t read two of the same type (e.g. cozy mysteries, romances) back to back. Your selections this month are interesting, but nothing just grabs me. Perhaps a reflection of things going on in my life rather than the ones chosen.🙃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, too many fiction screw me up. Like, when I read Remarkably, I only read a chapter a day of Wuthering. They are different enough where I didn’t get confused

      Like

  4. I really have almost no interest in going to the movies these days, they all seem to be crap films as of late. I attempted to watch the heavy melodrama Bogart film Dead End with my wife but she hated it. It is a very realistic in your face slums of NY during the great depression flick from the early 30’s. It’s a favorite of mine it introduced the actors who star in more crime dramas as The Dead End Kids, Action Serials as The Little Tough Guys, Goofy Grade C Cheepies as The East Side Kids and full on made for kids comedies as The Bowery Boys.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Used to make me happy, but tired of rude people of any age who feel the need to be glued to their phone. Makes me wonder why they are even there. The light of someone’s phone is far more distracting than anything else.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been thinking about re-reading Wuthering Heights – for a couple years! I haven’t decided whether or not to go for it. I read it in college and loved it. I’ve also been thinking a lot about how long a book should be. I read some very long books this year and resented the length at times. I’m thinking 350 pages tops. Great post – love to see what you’ve been reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ‘Conversations about Love’ sounds interesting and right up my (personal and professional) alley. It reminds me of an article I read about a radio host in Australia who invited listeners to come up with a line to describe “what I mean by love”. I used a number of the quotes to start writing a book. I keep feeling I’d like to dig it out, maybe this book will give me a little impetus to do that and to continue writing it. Thanks LA ❤

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s