5.13.2018

Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner

Who Do You LoveWho Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

I loved the first two thirds of this book, but the last third seemed rush and the characters did things that seemed so out of character and I found myself skimming just to see what happened. It'd been a while since I'd read Jennifer Weiner's fiction (I read her memoir last year) and I've found that I do still enjoy her writing.

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5.04.2018

Wait! What now?

Every time this iPhone Red commercial comes on, I wonder, what's that song?  I like it.  It's catchy!  I love the drums.

Here's the ad:




After so many times hearing it, I finally decided to take advantage of technology and Shazam'd it.  the song is called "Batshit" and it's by Sofi Tukker. 

I pulled up that crazy video and when the lady started singing, I was like, OH!  What now?!   It was a surprise!  But I still love the song, and now, this kooky video, too.  (What IS it about?!)


4.28.2018

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely FineEleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


What a great read! I loved how the story about Eleanor unfolded in bits and pieces. Her quirkiness sometimes made me wince, but often her observations about how people act in the world made me laugh. And, we'd all do well to have Raymond in our lives.

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4.20.2018

A Wrinkle in Time by Madelein L'Engle

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1)A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I never read this as a kid and became curious about it when I saw the previews for the movie. The book wasn't for me and now I don't really want to see the movie either. It took me several weeks to read because I could never get into it. I just plowed through trying to find a way to like it like so many others seem to, but that never happened for me.

SPOILER:

I didn't care for the way religion hits you over the head in this book.  Maybe if I'd read it as a child, before I became cynical about religion, I would have enjoyed it more.  I've seen comparisons with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe which I read as a kid and once as an adult.  I enjoyed that.  At least the religion was much more subtle and symbolic there. 

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4.14.2018

You Can't Touch My Hair by Phoebe Robinson

You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to ExplainYou Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I listened to the audio version of this book and wish that I had read it instead. Phoebe has great insights and there were many times I was nodding along with her or thinking, "Exactly!" I could quite often relate to her tales of being the only black person in the room and how you navigate those situations. What I didn't enjoy about the audio version though, was her extensive use of slang...particularly all the "hashtag this" and "hashtag that"and the "bee tee dubbbbs." It's one thing to read "hot af" and another to hear "hot aaa effff," constantly. I also recognize that this could be an age thing. Still, I think it's a great book and a worthwhile read. I'll probably read it again at some point to confirm that I'd enjoy the written form over the audio.

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4.06.2018

Above Us Only SkyAbove Us Only Sky by Michele Young-Stone

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have mixed emotions about this book. There is some beautiful writing and some moments that moved me to tears. At the same time, there are parts that are confusing (the book is written from so many points of view and over multiple time periods) and it felt quite messy. There were some plot points that seemed unnecessary and left me unfulfilled.

***SPOILERS!!!***
Some examples of what I didn't care for or left me wanting:

  • Did Daina ever tell Stasys what she saw from the closet that day? 
  • Daina and Stasys' daughter just seemed like an afterthought.  What did she think about her mother having wings?  
  • Other than what Olga did to Daina, I didn't see the point of learning so much of her life story.
  • What was the deal with Wheaton?!  Why could he see Prudence's wings?  I didn't feel his character was well enough developed.
  • I wish there was some folklore or something that described these women born with wings.  It didn't seem like the wings really served any purpose to the story.  The women weren't magical; the wings were just.....there. 



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4.03.2018

YouTube Rabbit Hole

I was watching the Top 10 moments of Jesus Christ Superstar and as I was watching Norm Lewis sing in #9, it reminded me of his performance as Javert in Les Miserables that I saw in this concert I saw on PBS years ago:


And that led me to this, Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel doing Confrontation.  They apparently used to do this backstage on How I Met Your Mother all the time. I love it!


Now I'm off to listen to Les Mis!

4.02.2018

Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE on NBC

I recorded last night's Jesus Christ Superstar intending to watch it this weekend.  I was looking forward to seeing it, but didn't have super high expectations because: 1) I'm not a huge John Legend fan and, 2) NBC has done pretty poorly with their previous ventures into live Broadway shows.  The Sound of Music was terrible, and The Wiz should have been good, but was rather dull.  I think part of the problem was that there was no live audience for either show.  It's weird for a song to end and not hear any applause.  The Sound of Music had bigger problems with terrible casting.  When FOX tackled Grease, they had a live audience and the show had so much more energy and was so well done.

WELL.  I ended up watching all of JCS last night after seeing a few comments on Twitter, and wow.  They knocked my socks off.  The show was fantastic.  John Legend, as Jesus, did a fine job.  Sara Bareilles has such an angelic voice and was wonderful as Mary Magdelene.  But man.  Brandon Victor Dixon, who played Judas, was OUTSTANDING.  The show was SO good.  The staging and the production and the music and the lighting and the performances--everything about it was so damn good. The Crucifixion scene was stunning.  Someone on Twitter said they'd never seen such exquisite staging.  It was really so beautiful.  I'm so glad I watched last night.  Much respect to NBC for this turn of events.  I'm going to keep this on my TiVo and will definitely be watching again.

UPDATE:  I came back to add a link to this Playbill review.  I agree with everything.


3.24.2018

The March for Our Lives

I'm watching coverage of today's March for Our Lives calling for better gun laws and an end to gun violence.  It was organized by a group of teenagers from Parkland High School after 17 students were killed there.  There are over 800 marches around the world and in DC, the streets are packed.

A young lady named Naomi just spoke on behalf of young black girls who are killed by guns everyday, but don't make the front page news.  She was so well spoken and eloquent and noted that in just 7 years, she and her peers will be able to vote too.

I'm so moved and impressed by the kids who are speaking today.

My mom and dad have a collection of letters that they wrote back and forth to each other in the mid-to late 1960s while they were dating and my dad was attending grad school out of state.  In one of the letters, my mom discussed Martin Luther King, Jr., and how she admired the young who were staging sit-ins and marching and demonstrating for Civil Rights.

Although there's thankfully no violence with this protest, as I watch this coverage now, I think I understand how my mom felt back then.  These kids are creating a movement and it gives me so much hope for our future.

3.20.2018

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss

A Day in the Life of Marlon BundoA Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I listened to the audiobook which was quite charming and has a great message for everyone about love and being who you are. My hardcopy will arrive in the mail in a few days and I'm so pleased that all of the proceeds are going to the Trevor Project (supports at-risk LGBTQ youth) and AIDS United. Bravo to John Oliver, et al.

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