Anything Can Happen Friday: The Best Marriage Ever

I recently bought a book at Barnes & Noble and the receipt showed up as BN/Paper Source. I had completely forgotten that BN bought Paper Source last year.

My very two favorite stores in the world got married.

Huzzah

My two most favorite browsing experiences are in stationary stores and book stores- the mere thought that all this paper and ink goodness has become a union is almost too exciting for me to handle. I am awash with glee!

Insert smiley face, hearts and exclamation points…

I don’t normally push recently married couples to have children, but really, I am anxiously awaiting the day when there is a BN/PS superstore… Can you imagine the planner section? The journals? The range of happiness and you go girl books on personal growth? And what about tea and all its accoutrements? Coffee table books about art and the color Pink, and maybe even the singer Pink…The possibilities are endless.

This is the marriage I am most rooting for- this is the marriage I really want to make it for the long haul…

So congratulations to my two favorite stores. Remember, communication, respect and an occasional compromise are key to a successful marriage. May the honeymoon period last forever.

How We Label

I am a browser of book stores. There is a Barnes and Noble about a fifteen minute walk from my house and I try to stop in every week to check the stacks.

In my particular BN, the recent fiction is along the front right wall as you walk in: the heading at the top screams RECENT FICTION, and then there are subheadings on the shelves below- historical, Other worlds, etc. There used to be a sub heading “Women’s Fiction”. And one day there wasn’t a subheading that said women’s fiction…

I used to like the WF section. More than likely, the books that I chose were from that section. They tended to be fiction set in the present, and the protagonists tended to be women who were over forty, and they weren’t too sad or depressing or heavy. There was probably not a big twist or reveal. They tended to be written by female authors, so I felt a sense of simpatico. They were books I wanted to get lost in for a few hours.

Now that section is no more.

And I am a little saddened.

Of course I wonder why they would get rid of that sub,sub genre. Was it that they were termed women’s fiction? Is that not “in” to say that?

Is it because we shouldn’t think that there are books that only women would be interested in? Are we excluding books from male viewership? Personally, I know my Husband looks forward to nothing better than picking up a book about two women who have been best friends forever and then something bad happens and they have to persevere… (that’s sarcasm for those who don’t know my husband)

What’s wrong with labeling something women’s fiction?

Are we embarrassed to be women who like those books? Cause I’m not. Sign me up for a story about a recent empty nester, or a woman who has faced a health scare, or anything of that sort…I like these books and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

What do you think about sub labeling fiction?

Do you have a problem if a section is labeled “Women’s”?

How do you like to browse at book stores? Do you wander or do you have a favorite section?

Discuss:

My Month in Books and Movies: January 2022

BOOKS

BookAuthorGenreRating
Shakespeare for Every Day of the Yearedited by Allie Esiricompilation1
Hercule Poirot’s ChristmasAgatha Christiecozy mystery2
The MaidNita Prosecozy mystery3
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining WomenKate Moorenon-fiction 4
Perestroika in ParisJane Smileyfable5
When Ghosts Come HomeWiley Cashmystery6
The Narrowboat SummerAnne Youngsonwomen’s fiction/self reliance/starting over7
I’ll be Seeing YouElizabeth Bergmemoir8
Dava Shastri’s Last DayKirthana Ramisettiwomen’s fiction/family saga9
The PlotJean Hanff Korelitzpsychological drama10
A Little HopeEthan JoellaInterconnected short stories11
The Love HypothesisAli Hazelwoodrom com- there’s a misunderstanding and one sex scene12
The Last Thing He Told MeLaura Davepsychological thriller13
Fleishman is in TroubleTaffy Brodesser-Aknerliterary fiction14
If OnlyJudith Arnoldlight fiction- family/older woman15
  1. I like books that are to be read a page a day for a year. And it’s Shakespeare.
  2. Charming mystery for fans of Poirot. It’s light, but interesting and fun. Typical Christie
  3. Very quirky main character- I like quirky, but if you don’t, beware. Interesting take of judging people and expectations. On the light side, if you don’t want to think too much.
  4. I’m surprised by how much I liked this book. The story of the fight for justice for people poisoned by radium at their workplaces. Story is told simply, which in this case helps, because too much jargon would have made it a boor. A few too many details about how the women dressed and how much their husbands were in love with them- slowed down the story for me. Just because they were women doesn’t mean we need what can be referred to as feminine details. However, incredibly interesting tale.
  5. Sweet fable. The main characters are a horse and a dog and a bird. If this isn’t your thing, skip it. But if you just want a little lightweight charm, this is for you.
  6. Aging sheriff wondering what the future holds- surprised me in a good way
  7. Quaint story about three women coming to terms with changes in their lives, both wanted and unwanted. Light female empowerment- what you can do if you set your mind to it
  8. Memoir about needing to put parents in a care home. Written as a series of journal entries chronicling the way she felt about her parents feelings. Brings up many discussionable points- may write blog about it
  9. The premise of this book is really interesting- the actual book is not. Family saga that thinks it’s way more out of the box than it actually is. Could be interesting for a book club because there are things that would be good to discuss, but overall annoyingly average
  10. This is an easy read if you like psych dramas. The story moves at a reasonably brisk pace and there’s not to much to trip over. This is not necessarily a good thing. I expected more.
  11. This is not really a novel, not really short stories, so I don’t know what to really call it. It’s really about a few inhabitants of a small town and how they interact with one another, sort of. I applaud the author for trying to make sense of the random connections that we make with one another, yet I felt that pretty much every story was incomplete.
  12. If you were to see the cover of this book, you would get that it’s exactly like its cover- If you want a trite, predictable read, go no further. Sometimes I need that…
  13. There was a lot of hype about this book. I don’t get the hype.
  14. This is a reread for me (book club). I hated it when I first read it, because I hated all the characters. On the reread, I was able to concentrate on the bones of the book a bit more, and it is a well written novel. However, I still think the characters are precious and whiny and I really wanted them all to fail miserably.
  15. If only I hadn’t thought this book looked interesting when I saw it while browsing. This book annoyed me on many levels. The protagonist talks about how she eats salad with no dressing because she’s afraid of gaining weight. Why of why are we allowing women to do this to themselves. She hates every salad she eats- do I want to read this. The character is so bored with her life that she keeps imagining the paths that she should have taken. The problem is- who cares? She’s a trite, cliched boring character and no matter what road she took she would be a boring, trite, cliched character. it’s not shocking that she barely has any friends, a surface relationship with her children, and the most boring marriage. Let’s write about fun, intelligent women in their 60’s…not hollowed out shells.

MOVIES

MovieWhere SeenGenreRating
CODAApple TVfamily drama1
EncantoTheateranimated/childrens/musical2
Being The RicardosAmazon Videobiopic/drama3
Parallel MothersTheaterforeign language/drama4
BelleTheaterforeign language/animated5
The Tender BarAmazon Videocoming of age6
The French DispatchTheaterabsurdist7
A Herotheaterdrama/foreign language8
MacBeththeaterdrama/you know…Shakespeare9
PresidentTheaterdocumentary10
Don’t Look UpNetflixcomedy/satire11
The lost DaughterNetflixdrama12
In The Same BreathHBO Maxdocumentary13
  1. This movie is so good. Laugh. Cry. Experience all the feels. Great acting, great story, great screenplay- there is very little wrong with this film. If you can, subscribe to Apple TV for a month- watch this and Ted Lasso. Totally worth the money for the app to watch these shows.
  2. Beautiful songs, gorgeous animation. However, it tries to give too many messages. That being said, if you have a kid who loves Disney, this is a win
  3. Decent biopic- slightly choppy scene by scene. Editing could have been tighter. Excellent acting. In the battle of the Leading Actress biopic, I must give the edge to Nicole Kidman. IMO, the four leads should all be nominated for awards- the acting makes this movie come alive.
  4. This movie has moments of brilliance. It also has two excellent plot lines and neither felt complete or whole. Would be better if it focused on one story line and not two. I don’t think they meshed as well as the director hoped they would.
  5. Beautiful animation. Coming of age and resilience- but I felt there were plot holes
  6. Based on a memoir, this is a decent coming of age story with a better than average performance by Ben Affleck
  7. If you like the work of Wes Anderson, you will like this. Decent screenplay, but otherwise average
  8. Well done morality tale, but probably goes about three steps too far. Should have been shorter- movie drags into boringness
  9. Beautifully shot version of Shakespeare- but you really need to love MacBeth, because my Husband needed to leave the movie before he went mad…
  10. Very good documentary about the 2018 Presidential Election in Zimbabwe. Obviously seen from the viewpoint of the people opposed to the current President and officers. Makes you question the meaning of a Republic/Democracy. Has made the Oscar short list, but I don’t think it’s strong enough to garner a nomination.
  11. This is a decent satire featuring an all star cast. The story goes a little all over the place, and the script could/should have been better. While I don’t think it deserves an Oscar nod- the all star cast and topic will probably be hard for some to resist.
  12. I like Olivia Colman as an actress- however, I think she’s very average in this aspiring to be average drama about a women who keeps thinking about her past. Uneven and confusing pacing. I just didn’t care about the story or the characters.
  13. Documentary about COVID. Sorry- still too early for me to watch a doc about this topic. I question docs made while something is still happening. There was a point where Cuomo looked like a God- did we need a doc about that small portion of 2020? I don’t think this will be nominated for an Oscar.
This is the Barnes and Noble Bingo challenge. My goal is to complete the whole card this year! Feel free to do this with me!!!

My Month in Books: September

TitleAuthorWhere I Heard About itRating
The Night She DisappearedLisa JewellGoodreads List/Read Author Before1
The Night HawksElly GriffithsAuthor I’ve read before2
The People we KeepAllison LarkinGoodreads List3
Golden GirlElin HilderbrandReal Simple/Read Author Before4
The Very Nice BoxLaura Blackett, Eve GleichmanBarnes & Noble Recommendation5
Tea Time for the Traditionally BuiltAlexander McCall SmithTea Book Club6
The Bookshop of Second ChanceJackie FraserSimply Luxurious Life7
The Forest of Vanishing StarsKristin HarmelReal Simple8
The Lying Life of AdultsElena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein (translator)Building Book Club9
The Confessions of Frannie LangtonSara CollinsBarnes & Noble Recommendation10
The Books are listed as 1 being my favorite, and 10 being least favorite. Personal choice only- not a show of how good or bad a book is. Commentary below corresponds numerically
  1. Psychological thriller that is not too psychological and not too thrillery. Good if you just want to get involved in a story and turn pages. I enjoy the way Jewell writes.
  2. Big fan of the Ruth Galloway series. Not so cozy mystery about a woman who does not insinuate herself into a crime, nor happens upon dead bodies. This is 13 in a series- if you are going to read, start at the beginning
  3. If you need a lightish book about resilience- this is it. Probably OK for book clubs
  4. Beach read with a little more soul than usual. Not too heavy, but somewhat thought provoking
  5. Light read yet made me think. Good for fans of The Rosie Project
  6. I had never read any of the books in the series, so it took me a bit to understand the main character and what she does. Once I got the gist the book was enjoyable, but I think you need to read in order
  7. My main issue with this book was that the main character was sort of all over the place. While I get that people are multi faceted, none of the character’s actions make sense when you look at them from a distance. Couldn’t decide if I liked the main characters even though I think the intent was for the reader to root for them.
  8. Yet another book about WWII. True, the story is slightly different, but not so much that I would tell you that you need to read this book
  9. The language is beautiful, but not so beautiful to make up for lackluster story and unlikeable characters. The book is sort of like junk food- it feels pretty good when you are reading it, but then you realize that you got nothing out of it and it’s not satisfying
  10. Too wordy. Too much description. Took what could have been an interesting story and muddled it up.