BookAuthorGenreType of ReadRanking/Rating on Goodreads
West with GiraffesLynda Rutledgefiction/historical pre WWIIbook club1/4.41
Everyday Vitality: How to Thrive, Survive, and Feel AliveSamantha Boardmannon fiction/self helppersonal growth2/3.92
The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building YOur Dream WardrobeAnuschka Reesnon fiction/organizing/wardrobehow to3/3.77
Carrie Soto is BackTaylor Jenkins Reid
beach read4/4.24
Hello Beautiful
Ann Napolitano
fiction/family sagabeach read or book club5/4.38
Body WorkMelissa Febosnon fiction/memoir and essays/what it means to write our storybook club6/4.30
My What If Year: A MemoirAlisha Fernandez Mirandanon fiction/memoir/middle age/book club/personal growth7/3.94
LessonsIan McEwanfiction/literarybook club8/4.06
Someone Else’s ShoesJojo Moyesfiction/womens fiction/relationships/self esteembeach read9/4.07
A Flaw in the DesignNathan Oatesfcition/psych drama-thriller/family relationshipsbeach read10/3.85
The Teahouse FireEllis Averyfiction/tea related/historicalbook club11/3.48
Ms. DemeanorElinor Lipmanfiction/light read/rom combeach read12/3.53
Vintage ContemporariesDan Koisfiction/growing upuseless drivel3.75
  1. Giraffes- Charming story about a dust bowl orphan who finds himself amidst an adventure of a lifetime. I was all in for the ride. This is not an edgy book, nor does it forge new territory as far as writing goes, but its just a well told tale.
  2. Everyday Vitality- This book is right up my alley- There will be a few posts based on things that I read in this book. The beauty of this book is it’s straightforward manner and accessible ideas. The greatest concept for me was that of passive leisure. If you like upbeat personal growth books I think this is a solid choice.
  3. Curated- I always reorganize my apartment during the first third of a new year. After I toss the obvious stuff, I get around to rethinking the different spaces of my home. I love to browse through organizing books to get ideas and inspire me. If you like doing that, this book is a great reference. It’s very easy to follow and while not every thing might be for you, I’m sure you will find something that resonates. If your idea of a fun Saturday is not reorganizing your closet, then pass on this book. I found this very helpful though.
  4. Carrie Soto- I’m always amazed at the worlds that Reid creates. While no book will match what Daisy did for me, this is a fairly enjoyable romp through the comeback of fictional tennis star Carrie Soto. It is neither deep nor heavy, but tells a story and creates a few well drawn characters. If you want light fiction without being too trite, give this a try
  5. Hello- I loved Dear Edward, also written by this author, so perhaps I went into this book with very high expectations. While it is well written, I don’t think it’s as good as others say it is. There was a lot of telling as opposed to showing. I guess I don’t love family sagas as much as others. I found most of the characters annoying.
  6. Body Work- This is a thought provoking book. Febos writes essays that divulge a lot of personal info, so it is a memoir, but it also teaches/explains about what goes into a personal narrative. I happened to be reading about this when I wrote a post about what to include about others in your memoir, and whose story it really is. I may write a post about this book so I’ll leave it at that. As to the book itself, Febos is clearly intelligent and a good writer, however, sometimes I think she is still trying to prove her worth- the book is harder to digest than it should be- it’s also told with a level of detachment that I don’t find appealing in a memoir type book.
  7. My What If- Career successful, high achiever decides to take a year doing unpaid internships of career paths she considered but didn’t try. Sort of a mid life crisis of the career kind. In general I found this interesting to look at someone in their late thirties deciding to see the “What If”- how she would look at things through more experienced eyes. Unfortunately she decided to try this experiment in 2020…so much of her experiences were tainted by pandemic. As for the book, it was written well, the author has a light pleasing tone. But with a memoir, I often find it difficult to not judge the person writing the book, which I definitely did- I’m not apologizing- just stating how I read this book.
  8. Lessons- I love McEwan- I think he is a gorgeous lyrical writer who writes about issues with a gifted parade of prose. This novel just didn’t do it for me. It is arduous in places, opens up storylines that are never completed or resolved, and while I guess this is like life, I expected more of this author and this story. I was disappointed in this tawdry novel that dances around things without getting to the heart of anything.
  9. Shoes- This is a book that alternates viewpoints of two forty something women at cross roads in their lives. While the story line is decent and an interesting topics to explore, at 380+ pages it just takes too long to get there- chapters of this novel are just flat and uninteresting and clearly filler. (I am not a fan of filler, though I realize why it’s necessary) Plus- I just couldn’t get invested in the characters. In a book like this you have to be rooting for the protagonists and I just wasn’t. I’d say pass unless someone leaves a copy of it somewhere and you pick it up…
  10. Tea House- I don’t know if I really got the story of this book- I was a bit bored by it and I think I missed something. I’m going to book club tomorrow to discuss it and am hoping someone can shed some light onto it. I thought it was boring for the most part, though I did like some of the historical aspects of the tea house
  11. Ms. Demeanor- This is a pretty basic rom com. Some bad things happen to good people, blah blah blah. Too many things go no where in this book to really be an enjoyable beach read. I don’t think it’s worth your time.
  12. Vintage- Have you ever seen a kid who wants to be “cool” but every attempt they make looks forced? Well, that’s what I was reminded of with this book. The author clearly wants to be writing literary fiction, and can’t accept that they might not have it in them. What a trite piece of crap. I hated every single character in this novel, and this is the sort of book where you need to root for someone. The author breaks the book up into four parts, going back and forth to different years. While a better author can work with this format, in this authors hands the format gives him an excuse to jump in and out of storylines and not develop anything fully.
MovieGenreWhere SeenRanking/Rotten Tomatoes critic and audience
Argentina, 1984drama/based on a true story/foreign (Spanish) but dubbed on NetflixStreaming/Amazon1/96/92
The Quiet Girldrama/family and relationships/foreign language (Irish)Theater/Angelika2/96/92
Creed IIIdrama/sequel/sports movieTheater/AMC3/89/86
The Lost Kinglight drama/based on true events/ some historyTheater/AMC4/76/91
Moving Ondark comedy/women’s movieTheater/AMC6/74/70
A good Persondrama/family/addictiontheater/AMC7/53/95
Emilydrama/biopic/about Emily Bronte but how accurate the story is is debatableTheater/AMC8/88/84
Blondedrama/fictionalized and stylized biopic of Marilyn MonroeStreaming/Netflix9/42/32
  1. Argentina- Solid version of the trials in Argentina when the military was put on trial for atrocities done in the name of civil unrest. No bells and whistles- just straight up good storytelling. Oscar nom for best foreign film
  2. Quiet Girl- This is a quiet, understated yet powerful film. As my friend said, we will remember this film long after we’ve watched it. Simple story about a young girl who goes to live with relatives for a summer. Moving and heart breaking and worth a look if you like films that just tell a simple story without bells and whistles. Well deserved Oscar nom for best Foreign film
  3. Creed 3- Solid sequel of the story of Adonis Creed. I like a good sports training montage set to upbeat music so this worked for me on that level, as well as just a story about a man trying to be the best that he can be for himself, his family, and the people he cares about
  4. Lost King- Based on true events, this is the story of a woman who sets out to find the remains of Richard III, and succeeds. Though less than two hours, this film still moves a bit slowly. I loved the story- plucky underappreciated woman gets an idea in her head and follows through. Yay for manifesting something. However, my biggest problem is that it’s big moral question is that you shouldn’t judge someone by appearances, and it judges people by their appearance. If you are going to make a point- see it through. But if you like history give it a stream.
  5. Causeway- Story of soldier who has a traumatic injury, and how they have to piece their life back together. It’s a well acted film, with a decent script, but somehow misses something. Oscar nom (supporting) for Brian Tyree Henry.
  6. Moving On- First off- thrilled that they are making movies about strong, older women. Shout out to Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin for pushing this issue. More movies about strong older women. However…as a movie, this could have been so much better- it didn’t carry the story through as well as I think it could have- I felt it missed something. See it if you want to show the industry that women should be starring in more movies.
  7. Good- This movie had an interesting premise and deals with some societal issues. However, the direction was poor and the story didn’t get told in a straightforward and interesting way. Considering Morgan Freeman and Florence Pugh were the stars, I expected more
  8. Emily- I wanted to love a movie about Emily Bronte. And there are some solid moments in this film, and some Gothic goings on, but they took some liberties with what they think happened during EB’s life. It was good, not great.
  9. Blonde- There was a lot of glitz to this movie, and some bold directorial choices that I don’t think worked. At almost three hours its about two hours too long. However, solid performance by Ana de Armas in an Oscar Nominated roll as Marilyn

Nominated Best Documentary Shorts (IFC theater)- I’ve listed the films in the order that I liked them starting with 1 as my fave. For the record, they were all quite good, and some can be screened on Netflix and some on Youtube.

  1. Stranger at the Gate
  2. The Elephant Whisperers
  3. How do you Measure a Year
  4. Haulout
  5. The Martha Mitchell Effect

Nominated Animated Shorts- Out of the shorts programs, animated was my least favorite. Here’s my ranking:

  1. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse
  2. My Year of Dicks
  3. As ostrich Told me the World is Fake and I Think I Believe It
  4. The Flying Sailor
  5. Ice Merchants

25 thoughts on “My Month in Books and Movies- March 2023

  1. First time, I think?, that there is nothing on any list that I am even aware of let alone on any of my own lists. I hope this doesn’t mean we are drawing apart 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nooooo!! To be fair, other than maybe the top two or three, there’s nothing I would recommend so you were just smarter than me book wise. As to the movies, try to see the top two…they are really beautifully done

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well…let’s not go with smarter in this case! I’ve transitioned to a lot of nature/science/social reading lately and there’s just nothing in movies right now- but I will check the two you noted 🙂


  2. Go LA. You inspire me to read more. I read a ton for my work. I read news to stay current and I read lots of other blogs. However, I feel like I’ve really fallen down when it comes to reading for enjoyment and inspiration. I think part of it is that I’m a slow reader. The other part is TV has made me lazy. I plan to change this in April. Anyway, go LA!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, you had to throw The Mets in there. I’m one of those Neanderthal Phillies fans remember!!! Ha, ha, I’m teasing, I fear the Mets are going to be a very good team for a long time to come thanks to new ownership. Yes, bus rides help. I’ve just gotten lazy with my reading and need to break the habit. Heading to the library or getting something for my kindle this weekend! Thx!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am always interested in reading about the books and movies you consumed each month. I have to say that this month was probably not a top notch in either category for you. Is that your general feeling or am I reading myself into it?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You amaze me with not only how much you read, your active lifestyle, and if that’s not enough you play pickleball! I’ll have to look into listening to books on tape with three hour drives up and back to the lake I could enjoy lots of novels. Thanks for the list of shorts, I’ll check those out. Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

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