historical fiction, WWII England, love story, plucky heroine, sequel
Martha Stewart’s Very Good THings: Clever Tips Genius Ideas for an Easier, More Enjoyable Life
non fiction/how to
A Shoe Story
Jane L. Rosen
The Unsinkable Greta James
Jennifer E. Smith
The Bullet– I loved this book. It is exactly what I want from a cozy mystery: fun characters, clever writing, interesting story and just enough red herrings to make it interesting. This might be my favorite in the series. You either like cozies set in England, or you don’t- but if you like the genre, give this a try!
Our Missing Hearts– Ng is clearly a good writer. Her prose is well paced, and she knows how to set a mood and a feeling. However, we need to be careful when writing “dystopian” novels- you can’t just play off an agenda and call it dystopian. We also need to be careful about agendas, especially when there are multiple ways that they can be interpreted, and in the case of this book, a person is going to solidify their own beliefs, but not necessarily consider alternate points of view. Beware of the wave of books which will try too hard to make a point.
Hound– This is just a classic, old school mystery. You either like Holmes or you don’t. I found it fun and a tad campy, which I’m not sure was the intention of ACD, but that’s how it reads in 2022 for me.
No Show– The actual writing is formulaic and cliched- the author uses the same tired descriptions multiple times throughout the novel. However, the story itself is worth note: it’s a love story, but O’Leary has found a way to breathe life into what can be a tired genre. If you want a light love story, and don’t care about being dazzled by wordplay, try this out.
Golden– This is a pretty good psych thriller. Very female oriented, as the two protagonists we follow are women. I felt there was probably one or two too many red herrings, but it was an enjoyable, easy read. If you’re a fan of the genre you will probably enjoy.
Yours Cheerfully– This book has a plot, sort of, but tends to meander aimlessly. The heroine is a little too plucky, bordering on annoying. I felt the characters were one dimensional, and didn’t spark my interest to care about them. Alas, I fear that there will be a third book to this series, but I can’t imagine reading it. Hard pass unless you ADORED the first one in the series, Dear Mrs. Bird. And even if you liked that one, beware…
Martha– There’s nothing wrong with this book. There’s also nothing right with it. I didn’t learn anything new from this book, so therefore, it’s useless. You can pass.
Shoe Story– This is so lightweight even the hard cover copy wouldn’t damage you if you dropped it on your foot. The characters were the least interesting characters ever, as they were so one dimensional and lifeless, as if the author had a bunch of paper dolls and chose to make a book based on stereotypical traits. Even the clever use of designer shoes gets really old really quickly. Don’t read it…
Unsinkable– The title lies- this book totally sinks. OMG what a whiny bunch of characters. The protagonist is a spoiled brat. There is nothing to like about her, and this is an easy reader- of you don’t like the character you have nothing. Don’t read this titanic of books
Rating/RT critic/RT audience
drama, present day, cancel culture, harassment
Theater – AMC
Decision to Leave
drama/mystery/foreign language (Korean)
Triangle of Sadness
satire/some comic moments/morality tale/eat the rich/literary fiction
Ticket to Paradise
rom com/A list stars
The Good House
dramedy/family/relationships/substance abuse/woman trying to be everything
The Storied Life of AJ FIkry
romance/based on a novel
Tar– I thought this was a well executed piece of film. Screenplay, directing, acting all first rate. Be forewarned though- this is the film equivalent of literary fiction, so while there is a plot, that is not what holds this together, it is character driven and a masterclass in acting for Cate Blanchett. While I think the film skews too long, and there are a few scenes that I would rework, it is well done, and I can’t imagine it will not get a few Oscar nods. So thought provoking that I hours later I was still texting my friend who I saw the movie with about plot points and overall theme.
Bros– This is a tender and charming rom com about people who don’t know if they want to be in a relationship. Billy Eichner is a great writer and this movie has just the right amount of heart and sarcasm to be enjoyable
Decision to Leave- Hitchcockian is the first thing that came to mind as I watched this film- the camera angles, the lighting, the plot evolvement, and these things were all in the plus column for me. However, there were some things I didn’t quite understand, and I left with more questions than answers. Unsure about character motivation. But, it is a well made film.
Triangle– This movie makes a point, and then bangs you over the head with it. This is the movie equivalent of literary fiction- mostly character study, the plot is not as important as other things, lots of ambiguity. I have no doubt that I will be thinking about this film and its themes, it just drags in places and clearly could have been 30 minutes shorter. But interesting concept
Ticket– This is not an Oscar caliber film. However, if you like George Clooney and/or Julia Roberts, this is probably worth a watch (though you can wait for streaming) It’s light and sweet but the chemistry between the two stars is evident. Alas, the other love story in the movie is flat…
Good House– This is the movie equivalent of women’s fiction- matriarch trying to overcome her own childhood, and trying to keep her family afloat, and what she has to do to get there. While is gets a little too much in parts, if you like the genre about a woman who thinks she’s stronger than she is, jump on board and watch
Fikry– This book got horrible critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but as I loved the book it was based on, and I have a soft spot for Kunal Nayyar, I went to see it anyway. While not a great movie, too many ambiguous plot points and lack of explanation, the movie works somewhat as a romance/love story. I’m not saying rush out to the theater, but if you want a sweet story with some ups and downs, watch it when it’s on cable or streaming.