BookAuthorGenreType of ReadRanking
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and TomorrowGabrielle Zevinfiction/relationships/friendshipbook club/beach read1- 4.35
The Art of Stopping Time: Practical Mindfulness for Busy PeoplePedram Shojaipersonal growth/mindfulnesshow to/personal growth2- 3.75
The Novel Project: A Step by Step Guide to your Novel, Memoir or BiographyGraeme Simsionnovel writing guidehow to3- 4.40
Meredith, AloneClaire Alexanderfiction/women’s fiction/mental health/quirky beach read4- 4.15
Kurashi at Home: How to organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal LifeMarie Kondonon-fiction/organizinghow to5- 3.66
I, Mona Lisa Natasha Solomonshistorical fiction/Mona Lisabook club6- 3.94
The Family GameCatherine Steadmanpsych thrillerbeach read7- 3.95
The Key to my HeartLia Louisrom combeach read8- 4.20
The Fortunes of Jaded WomenCarolyn Huynhwomen’s fiction/family dynamics/mothers and daughters/immigrant experiencebook club9- 3.67
Inciting Joy: essaysRoss Gaynon fiction/essayspersonal growth/book club10- 4.28
The Roughest Draft Emily Wibberleyfiction/light/women’s fictionbeach read11- 3.66
  1. Tomorrow– I love this book. It’s about friends and relationships and collaboration and so much more. This book gives you all the feels about being human. Just get it from the library and try it…
  2. Art of Stopping Time– Practical solutions for being more mindful of your day to day. There is nothing too preachy about this- just little insights into how you can go about life with perhaps a little less stress and angst. I’m a sucker for books like this, and this fit the bill for me
  3. Novel Project- This is a how to guide as to how to go about writing a novel. This is a very practical book, and I appreciate its straight forward approach to novel writing. This is the best how to book that I have read.
  4. Meredith– I have a penchant for female characters who have to overcome a trauma or obstacle or dysfunctional family drama, so this is right in my wheelhouse. Told with charm, this is about what people need to do to survive. if you like Eleanor Olyphant or books like that, try this out…
  5. Kurashi– For the most part I was underwhelmed by this book. What saved it for me was the worksheets in the last chapter. They are a great way to think about organizing one’s day. But other than that, this book is a pass
  6. Mona Lisa– the story is told through the eyes of Mona Lisa. I’m not a huge fan of the inanimate object gimmick book, but this has some nice moments. Book spends a few too many chapters with Leonardo, which I guess it had to, but they started to drag. I liked the more modern chapters.
  7. Family Game– Average psych thriller about a woman marrying into a rich family. If you read enough of these, you get to know what’s going to happen…it’s time for a new genre to take us by storm.
  8. Key– I like the protagonist and I feel for her story- a little. Then she just gets annoying and I didn’t care about her story anymore. The love interest is one dimensional, as are the characters friends, who float in and out of the novel, making it hard to care about any of them.
  9. Fortunes- Lackluster story about mothers and daughters and sisters of the same family. Too soapy to be enjoyable
  10. Inciting Joy:– Gay is an excellent wordsmith, he has a unique voice and style. and there is a lyrical beauty to his essays. He makes very provocative statements, that do get you thinking. That being said, his style is not for me. I felt like he was writing at me, not to me. He also utilizes footnotes, in some cases the footnote section is longer than the actual essay: I don’t like this as a format. If your essay doesn’t explain things well, rewrite the essay.
  11. The Roughest Draft– This book started out with an interesting premise- writing partners who wrote a bestseller stop speaking and no longer write together. And the book starts out with some clever dialogue and situations. But the last 75 pages are a joke, as if the authors were trying to hit a word count, because really, the book should have ended about 8 chapters earlier than it did. Pass.
Movie GenreWhere SeenMy Ranking/RT Critic/RT Audience
The Fabelman’ssemi autobiography of Steven Spielberg/family dramaTheater- AMC1- 91/82
Pinocchio (Guillermo del Toro) animated, children’s classicStream- Netflix2- 97/85
Devotionbased on a true story/armed forces movie/story of Jesse BrownTheater- AMC3- 81/92
Spoiler Alertrom com/love story/tear jerkerTheater- AMC4- 82/96
The Inspectionbased on a true story/armed forces movieTheater- AMC5- 88/90
Empire of Lightdrama/historical (80s)Theater- AMC6- 44/72
  1. Fabelmans- Good story about a part of Spielberg’s life, but not earth shattering. Fine as far as family dramas go. You can wait for streaming- I don’t understand all the oscar buzz.
  2. Pinocchio– Gorgeous animation and solid retelling of the Pinocchio story. Be forewarned, there’s a dash of fascism thrown in this version that I don’t quite remember from the Disney version, so maybe not for younger kids. Deserves an academy nod.
  3. Devotion– story of naval aviators. Heartfelt and subtly made film about a friendship. Tells the story of Jesse Brown, the first black naval aviator. Well told. Wait to stream.
  4. Spoiler Alert– This is no where near a perfect movie- the pacing is off, which makes the flow flip flop. However, I enjoy love stories, so this was up my movie alley. Charming characters. Wait for streaming.
  5. The Inspection– story of a man who felt he needed to change his ways in order to survive, so he decides to become a Marine. Solid acting performances and heartfelt story. Wait to stream
  6. Empire of Light– This movie had lousy reviews, but people liked Olivia Colman’s performance, so I saw it. Well, no performance can save this lackluster, boring, plotless mess of a movie. No lie I started to fall asleep. I have no idea what the point of this movie is. What a pile of garbage. Avoid it if you can.

21 thoughts on “My Month in Books and Movies: December 2022

  1. First time (I think) that there’s nothing that matches my want to read/see list. I was curious about Pinocchio however. GdT has that dark side and I wondered how he would present this version.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was thinking of watching Pinocchio: would you recommend it? It’s one of the only one that didn’t get a “wait for streaming” … Would you say it’s more in the spirit of Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water, or Hellboy?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The main character was gay. So we’re the main characters in spoiler alert. But in the case on Inspection, it was really about a man who states that most of his friends are dead or in jail, who was homeless and was estranged from his mother and how he overcomes it with perseverance and strength.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah I saw a preview for that but it really built up the gay angle, I had wanted to see it but it hasn’t played main stream theaters…but come to the local art house. Jess and I are seeing the Witney Houston bio pic on Christmas day

        Liked by 1 person

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