Summer is here! This is a list of seven beach reads for summer 2022. Each of these books was released earlier this year, so you are sure to find something new to enjoy while you keep your feet in the pool!
This novel is extraordinary. Throughout the two millenia in which this story lives, as all the characters live their lives and face their struggles, somehow the reader becomes enchanted. The survival of the book, of the earth, of the Argos - it becomes imperative. And while all the endings aren't happy, they're easier to take because they were made better by the story that they loved and preserved. Cloud Cuckoo Land by Antonio Diogenes will survive long after they're gone.
Cimarron was the 4th Best Picture Winner in 1931/32. Based on a popular Edna Ferber novel, the RKO movie was the 1st Western ever to win. With vintage news articles, movie reviews, and never before linked images of the cast visiting the White House, Cimarron and the story it tells is examined through a modern lens.
In Berlin, on the evening of December 5, 1930, at the Mozart Hall, a sold out showing of All Quiet on the Western Front is about to begin. This is the German premiere of the movie that has already won Best Picture in America. "Ten minutes into the performance, a small, dark haired, man arose from his front row balcony seat and stalked up the darkened aisle toward the exit. This man, Joseph Goebbels, was giving a signal to the Nazis that had packed the seats and were patiently awaiting their signal.. They rose and began chanting "Judenfilm, Judenfilm!" They threw stink bombs and released mice into the theater...
Stu Whitney has accomplished what most novelists dream of - a great novel, written and published at the right moment. The Covid Chronicles tackles tough issues that we have all struggled with over the past year. The fear and uncertainty that swept into our lives with the COVID-19 pandemic are illuminated through a father's hopes for his [...]
The Best Picture History Project started as an inexpensive date night idea. We decided to watch every Academy Award Best Picture winner in order. It quickly turned into an entirely new understanding of America, her history, and her people's priorities and culture shifts throughout the years. I've studied American history my entire life and have [...]
My youngest child recently started watching nail tutorials on YouTube. That’s how she ended up spending her money on this weird fake hand thing. Tip: you can use this hand to pat your husband on the back but he will not find it cute. And don’t even try to use it to get freaky. He [...]
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins is a thriller where every single character is a bad person. A retelling of Jane Eyre, it's extremely well done and I'd highly recommend that you read it. If you're not familiar with Jane Eyre, don't let that scare you away. This book is extraordinary on its own merit. [...]
In his critically acclaimed Kingsbridge Series, Ken Follett transports the reader back in time to Kingsbridge, a small cathedral city in England. From here, a story follows that knits together the history of the people of England. While lower caste noblemen and women are often part of the stories; the books focus on the everyday [...]
With most of the southern United States facing the coldest temperatures in a century, many of us are dusting off our bookshelves or our kindles and catching up on our never ending reading lists. Personally, I panicked as I'd just recently finished the two library books I had checked out from the Libby app and [...]
Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey is a "forbidden love" romance novel. It is the first of a series of three books. I wish this series could go on forever, because the books are unputdownable. Hometown Hero Returns Travis Ford is a World Series Champion baseball player. He's known in the tabloids as "Two Bats" [...]
I asked my soon to be 14 year old what they wanted for their birthday. The following gifts are apparently what all of the kids at school have these days. Parents, birthday shopping has never been this easy!1) Bandanas - "Because I look really cute in bandanas. My friend lent me one of her bandanas [...]
Are you looking for a guide for how to paint cabinets? You've come to the right place. My husband and I spent six months of trial and error and developed a system that yielded professional results that even contractors have asked us our secret. Read on for details, or you can skip to the infographic [...]
Our family took a day trip to Dinosaur Valley State Park in December - a COVID-safe activity Like so many other families, when the world around us began to shut down in March, we were left stunned. Since that time, we've quarantined, worn masks, avoided play dates, parties and public parks. After a year of [...]
A book review of Mexican Gothic, Goodreads Choice Award winner in Horror for 2020.
How to Start Geocaching: Planning After a week of serious eating and resting around the house, I was absolutely thirsting to get outside and move around a little. My new sister-in-law, Nicole, had never been Geocaching, but when I asked her if she would like to learn how to start geocaching, her face lit up [...]
In 2019, I read all of the Anne Rice Vampire Novels for the second time, in order. It was a great experience because I loved reading each and every book. Some of the reading was nostalgic, some of it was revelatory. There were so many fantastic passages I'd completely forgotten in the two decades since [...]
What Netflix has billed as George Clooney's greatest achievement underperforms expectations of those that loved Lily Brooks-Dalton's Good Morning, Midnight. Earlier this month, I reviewed the novel Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. I reviewed the novel enthusiastically, as it is an excellent read. The screenplay adapted from the novel was changed enough from the [...]
Diffenbachia (Dumb Cane) The first question I get when I show people my big, beautiful Dumb Cane is always, "Why is it called Dumb Cane?" The reason is that the stem of the plant contains toxins that, when chewed, render the person unable to speak as their tongue and throat swells and becomes numb. The [...]
Libraries are straight magic. They are the most utopian thing America has to offer. In a world where we are all trying so hard to hawk our content and everyone wants to nickel and dime you for everything, the library just sits there - a content superstore where everything is free. Once you take the [...]
A Covid-themed update to the classic poem, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.
Today's spotlight is the Pink Nanouk Tradescantia, once upon a time referred to as "Wandering Jew" - a stunningly beautiful plant with waxy, firm leaves. I treat my pink nanouk like a child. I even bought her a special matching pink ceramic planter and I am notorious for reusing or painting old planters. I hadn't [...]
I was sitting on the couch at a large family gathering. The children were sitting on the floor playing with the McDonald's Happy Meal toys my grandmother always collected for them and the adults were watching football. A teaser for the local news came on the television, promising all the details in a domestic violence [...]
Look no further - these are the must reads of the year. Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 2020 will go down as a year as rough as 1929. An economic crash, a pandemic, an erratic, gridlocked government - many of us are looking for healthy ways to de-stress and cope. [...]
I'm so glad you're here! For as long as I've been able to speak, I've always wanted to share the things that I enjoy with the people around me. If I have a great experience at a restaurant, I want all my friends to know so they can go have a good time. That excitement [...]
Next up for the Best Picture History Project is Cavalcade (1933) is a film adaptation of Noel Coward's play of the same name. Set in London, the movie follows the upper class Marryot family and their servants, the Bridges through the first 33 years of the 20th century. This was an eventful time for Londoners [...]
I started Diamond Painting around Christmas time. I enjoy the simple repetition of placing the beads into their spaces while listening to a good audiobook.