6.01.2018

I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State KillerI'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. This book is chilling and haunting. I alternated between the Kindle version and the audio version and the I think the audio was more chilling....something about the narrator's voice. The book is very well-written and fascinating. So many adjectives. I didn't know anything about the Golden State Killer, but now he'll always be on my mind until he's caught. It's interesting to read about Michelle's process and obsession with this case. It's so sad that she passed away before the book was completed, but her editors, husband and researchers did a great job putting the final product together.

***Possible spoiler***
The final chapter of the book is a letter to the killer from the author.  The book suggests that he followed the news reports of his crimes and altered some of his tactics accordingly.  I can't help but think that if he's still alive, he'll definitely read this book.  And then he'll read Michelle's words directed at him.  That thought gives me chills.

***Update***
Oops!  I wrote everything above on March 30, 2018 and just realized I never published it.  As you've probably heard, an arrest has been made in this case.  As soon as I heard, I went back and listened to that final letter from Michelle to the killer.  It still gives me chills and it seemed to have happened just as she predicted.

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Let's Play a Game!



I saw that on Twitter, and here was my result:

1) Right To Be Wrong - Joss Stone
2) Walk Like an Egyptian - The Bangles
3) Autumn - Paolo Nutini
4) Night and Day - Al B. Sure
5) I Could Die for You - Red Hot Chili Peppers

Interesting list. I didn't even know I had Walk Like an Egyptian on my iPod!

I decided to keep on going to #10:

6) Let It Be - The Beatles
7) I'll Be There - The Jackson 5
8) Hello - Lionel Richie (feat. Jennifer Nettles)
9) Nabucco: Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves - David parry, London Philharmonic Chorus and London Philharmonic Orchestra
10) You Oughta Know - Alanis Morissette

As you can see, my list is all over the place. I'm kind of proud of my eclectic list!

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.