Category Archives: Book – Movie – TV Reviews

Two Good Movies

The Good


“Consummate con man Roy Courtnay has set his sights on his latest mark: the recently widowed Betty McLeish, worth millions. But this time, what should have been a simple swindle escalates into a cat-and-mouse game with the ultimate stakes.” ~ Warner Bros.

Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen are very entertaining in this movie as they match wits. It reminded me a bit of Hopscotch, the 1980 movie with Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson because of some intelligent dialog, a good plot, etc.


Motherless Brooklyn


“Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, “Motherless Brooklyn” follows Lionel Essrog (Norton), a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome, as he ventures to solve his friend’s murder. Armed only with a few clues and the powerful engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely-guarded secrets that hold the fate of the whole city in the balance.” ~ Warner Bros.

Edward Norton really impressed me.  He was the main actor, plus director for this movie. He made what could have been a character that was hard to identify with a sympathetic one – someone you rooted for in his quest to solve his friend’s murder. I thought he did a masterful job.

I enjoy action movies, but I truly enjoy finding movies that have a plot, real characters, good dialog, great acting, people you care about, etc. If you haven’t seen these two, I think they are worth your time.

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Thoughts on a Thursday 3-5-2020

Judge Lynn Toler via  via Desiree Angelique Hackett

I’m having trouble getting much done today.

My husband came into our office this morning and told me he was going to watch “Joker” – and asked if I wanted to see it. I changed my plans and we watched it.  When it was over, I felt exhausted. It is a really powerful movie. I can certainly see why Joaquin Phoenix won the Oscar for Best Actor. He created an unforgettable character.  I won’t say I ‘enjoyed’ the movie. The character was too strong and there was too much violence for me. I’m glad we saw it.

There are three actors in particular that my husband and I discussed once we finished the movie. We consider them absolutely superlative actors. I’m speaking of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Daniel Day-Lewis and Joaquin Phoenix. I would also include some others, but their names don’t come to mind right now. We are in awe of their talent, but many times won’t watch their performances because we don’t like their choices of films or characters.  I hope my explanation makes sense.

After the movie, it was time for lunch. Then we got caught up in the news with the important breaking news events.

I have just now finished listing my newest earrings on ArtFire and Etsy, and the day is almost gone for regular working purposes.  I want to thank those who reached out and gave me their feedback on the new layered earrings. I have more ideas swirling around in my brain now that won’t quit until I can make time to get up to my art room again.

When I took Molly out this morning, I thought we had a turtle in the front yard – one of those with a shell like a metal helmet. As we got closer, the ‘helmet’ moved. I saw it was a large field rat. UGH. I steered Molly away from the area to do her business while our ‘Hunter Cat Smoke’ decided a delightful game of ‘Cat & Mouse’ would be fun. I just hope she leaves him and his parts out in the woods, rather than bringing assorted parts to the welcome mat in our garage.

I hope that YOU have all YOUR ducks in a row today. If not, we’ll just punt…

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Thoughts on a Thursday 12-26-2019

Robert J. Bennett – LinkedIn

Hi, everyone.

I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday.

My husband was very complimentary about my kitchen efforts. In fact, he’s mentioned last night’s dinner twice today! We had a nice quiet evening. After we ate dinner, my husband showed me that he rented the movie “Downton Abbey” for me. He knows I loved the TV series and knew I wanted to see the movie, but this was a very nice surprise – particularly since he had no interest in it and escaped to the office with his Kindle. :0)

I LOVED the movie and highly recommend it. It seemed to me to be a stand-alone movie, not requiring that you had watched the series to enjoy it. For those who DID watch the series, it tied up loose ends and gave you a sense of what the future would hold for all the characters. I will purchase it for our personal collection when it is more affordable.

Today I have been gathering and marking things to take to the local shop. I have just finished that, so all I have to do is put the containers in the truck tomorrow after Lunch Bunch and go change things out.

I created a new shop on Etsy yesterday to display my painted wooden earrings. It’s called, “EyecatchingEarrings”  I am listing both pierced and clip-on earrings. They are hand-painted, light-weight, wooden one-of-a-kind designs in several different sizes and shapes that I’m hoping people will like. It’ll probably take me a day or two to finish getting all the earrings on the site, but it’s open now.

Have a wonderful evening!


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Worth Your Time


I just finished “Hillbilly Elegy – A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” by J. D. Vance

I found it fascinating. Vance’s writing style is simple, straight-forward, honest, and compelling. I never expected this to be a book that would be hard to put down.

He puts you inside Appalachia and particularly rural Ohio, allowing you to live in his family with the good things and the bad things right with him. I now have a totally different perspective on poverty, culture, and the ‘solutions’ government and well-intentioned people who wrongly simplify a complex situation throwing money at education.

I strongly recommend this book. I’m very impressed with J.D. Vance. I saw a short interview with him on TV. I was so impressed with him that I ordered his book. I’m glad I did. I’m even more impressed now.





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Reading Wealth


I’m finishing up re-reading a favorite book of mine by Nora Roberts called, Three Fates. Even though I’ve read it once, quite awhile ago, I still have trouble putting it down and getting anything else done.  :0)

Her latest book in the “In Death” series is coming out in paperback at the end of this month. I’ve pre-ordered it. It’s called, Connections in Death.  I really love this series. The main character, Eve Dallas, is a police detective. She’s gutsy and strong, even though she has her quirks. The characters that make up her world are fascinating. I love living in her world for awhile.

As soon as I finish my current book, I’ll re-read the whole 47-book series in preparation for adding the 48th. I’m not sure I can read 47 books before I receive the next one, but the situation makes me feel rich in wonderful books just waiting for me!

I feel the same way when I’m re-reading the books of Robert B. Parker, or Lee Child, or many other incredibly talented authors.  How lucky I am!


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Well-Earned Plug

I already told you that my husband and I are trying to lose the lard by eating with the Keto plan. I also told you I found the book above by Suzanne Ryan. I don’t think I’ve told you what a treasure trove I consider this book! She lost 120 pounds and has kept it off. She has a website, Keto Karma, this book, etc. and I hope if she isn’t a gazillionaire now, she soon will be.

I can’t say enough about her recipes. I’ve tried four so far. My husband’s reactions have been, “This is YUMMY!” to “What are we celebrating?” to “Are you SURE this is on our diet?”

I can sincerely say I have never gotten a recipe book where I found more than a few what we considered good recipes. I have bought many cookbooks, and resold many, and given away others over the years. This one I will keep and use as long as I am alive.  All of the recipes sound GOOD. She doesn’t ask you to find a bunch of ingredients that are hard to find. The recipes are straight-forward and not overly time-consuming or difficult.  And, so far, they are DELICIOUS.  I cook once and we get two meals from it, usually.

  • The first recipe I tried was ‘Sausage, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Bake.” This was so good it will become a staple for us.
  • The second was “Bacon-Wrapped Cheesy Chicken”
  • The third was last night, when I made two recipes: “Keto Honey Mustard” and “Keto Breaded Chicken Tenders.”  – these looked different than I was expecting and I was a bit worried, but they were juicy and delicious. This was the recipe where my husband said, “Are you SURE this is on our diet?”

I am reminded of  the book and movie combo, “Julie and Julia.” (one of my favorites) where Julie decides she will cook every recipe in Julia Child’s cookbook. I’m very lucky because I would NEVER even THINK of doing what she did, with all the weird (to me) ingredients, un-pronounceable names, and LONG, complicated directions. I’m truly enjoying trying each of these recipes – and I don’t particularly enjoy cooking!

We’re having our leftover chicken tenders for lunch, and I’ll try a new recipe this evening! :0)





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Green Book

Green Book –

We may be the last people on the planet to see Green Book, but we finally saw it last night. If you haven’t, consider putting it on your list of movies to see.

The synopsis of the plot is, “A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960’s American South.” But it’s much more than that. 

The movie stars Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen. Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars and the move won Best Movie. It also won Best Screenplay. For these reasons I felt I ‘should’ watch it, but I wasn’t expecting to love it.

The acting was first rate. The script was intelligent and the humor subtle. It was beautifully done, rich in portraying the deep south in the 60’s, along with stereotypes on all sides. I cared what happened to the characters and I found myself tearing up at the end. People learned from each other, seeing each other as people – seeing through preconceived notions and baggage.

I highly recommend this movie.


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Very Magical

I Love Reading Books via Cathy Ruggiero

I’m in the middle of re-reading Book 3 (Eclipse) in the 4-book series, The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn.)


I loved the series the first time I read it, even though I don’t really consider myself a connoisseur of vampire and werewolf books. It’s so well written and the characters are so compelling you find yourself accepting their world as real and caring what happens to everyone.

So, each day, no matter what else is happening around here, I make time to at least read a chapter or two before heading off to bed.

If you haven’t read this series, you might enjoy it.

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Twilight, et al

Books Rock My World via Cathy Ruggiero

I have just started re-reading the “Twilight” series by Stephenie Meyer again after several years. The 4-book series includes “Twilight,” “New Moon,” “Eclipse,” and “Breaking Dawn.”

I can’t say my usual reading preference is for Vampires and Werewolves, but I find this series – and the movies that were made of them – fascinating, truly transporting. I can dive in and live in a completely different world, leaving little problems and worries behind.

If you haven’t read the series, you’re missing a wonderful experience, engaging characters, and plot.

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The Book Thief

Alina CiuCiu – LinkedIn


I’ve just started re-reading a truly important book – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  It’s about a Jewish girl in Nazi Germany who steals a book and begins a life of book stealing and learning, helping others survive. That’s a really simplistic description of a book reminiscent of The Diary of Anne Frank, creating characters you’ll always remember. It’s one of my favorites. If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out on a wonderful experience.


The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

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“Tea with the Dames”

I have always admired Dame Maggie Smith and Dame Judi Dench. I didn’t know the work of Dame Joan Plowright and Dame Eileen Atkins, I’m sorry to say.

I didn’t realize that Dame Joan Plowright was also the wife of Sir Lawrence Olivier.

I was enchanted by the wonderful conversation over tea, and later, some champagne – of these wonderful ladies. They obviously admire each other and enjoy each others’ company. The fact that the cameras were rolling and they were sometimes asked questions by the director were lost in the joy of watching their expressions, listening to them laugh with each other, and getting misty over some reminiscing.

There were wonderful pictures and glimpses into their lives outside of the movies, as well as footage of when they became dames.

I could honestly forget this was a ‘movie’ much of the time, feeling as if I were a fly on the wall.

(My husband left the room at the beginning. He likes movies where feelings are glossed over, there is lots of action and things blow up.  His loss.)

I can’t say enough about “Tea with the Dames”. It was a lovely experience.


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The Invention of Hugo Cabret

“Life Stories” – AlinaCiuciu – LinkedIn

I’m re-reading another of my all-time favorite books – The Invention of Hugo Cabret

The novel is by Brian Selznick. The story is wonderful, about an orphan boy who is the unofficial clock keeper in a train station in Paris and his wonderful secret. The thing that brings this book into the magical and keep-forever range for me is all the magnificent drawings that Brian Selznick drew to include in it. There must be hundreds of pencil drawings that are absolutely fantastic.  I would love the book alone for its story, or just for the awe-inspiring-ly talented drawings, but together the book is a treasure.

It won the Caldecott medal for 2007, and many others.

I’ve enjoyed the book at least twice, if not more, over the years. Each time I touch the book (the hardback is quite heavy and is some 540 pages of prose and drawings) I wash my hands so I won’t get it any dirtier than I have to.

This is a sample of the drawings by Brian Selznick.

I’m delighted to share this wonderful book written for children, but appreciated by all.

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“A Private War”

I think I first learned about Journalist Marie Colvin on 60 Minutes.  My husband and I watched the movie yesterday. It is based on an article in Vanity Fair by Arash Amel  titled “Marie Colvin’s Private War.”

This was a really well-done movie, allowing you to get to know her as a driven, gutsy journalist whose personal mission was to tell you the stories of the real cost of war to individuals.

We ended up feeling an overwhelming respect for her and her team, being proud to live on the same planet. She died covering the war in Homs, Syria in 2012.

The movie stars Rosamond Pike as Marie Colvin, and Jamie Dornan as Paul Conroy.

I highly recommend this movie.

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Books and Letters

For Reading Addicts via Cathy Ruggiero

I’m in the middle of enjoying another of my favorite books, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

I love writing and receiving letters. I feel like a dinosaur since almost no one does this anymore, preferring the quickness and ease of email or texts on the phone.

I received a birthday card in the mail today from a good friend in Tulsa and my grin split my face from ear to ear. I love painting stationery and note cards, too, and again feel like a dinosaur.

This book is a collection of letters written in 1946 between Juliet Ashton, a writer, and a small community of people living in Guernsey in the Channel Islands during the German Occupation.  As you read the letters, you get a wonderful, rich sense of the people behind the letters. an appreciation for what they went through during the war, and what a wonderful thing books and letters have been, and still are.

The writer found herself running to her mailbox each day to see if she had a letter from one of the people there. There is no narration. Only letters. And how wonderful they are!


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Yesterday I told you that I was reading a book called, “The Dolphin – Story of a Dreamer”, by Sergio Bambaren, recommended to me by Dieter Onken on LinkedIn.

It’s a short book, quickly read, but with profound ideas are reverberating in my head.  The short description is that it’s about following your dreams, and that you’re never too old to do it.

I’m at a happy place in my own life. My husband and I are retired. We make metal decorations for our mailbox, some stained glass pieces, and metal yard ‘critters’ out of scrap metal. I enjoy making mosaics, as well as painting things for sale on ArtFire.  We can shape most of our days the way we want now, choosing what we would like to do. Our health is pretty good for old folks. I enjoy working in my greenhouse and my garden, plus growing flowers in the brick planters we have around the house. I love to read, write on this blog, communicate with friends, and learn new things. I enjoy experimenting and playing in my art room. The ‘Golden Years’ personified.

The book was almost like talking to our son when he was home for three weeks at Christmas time this year. We had some pretty serious discussions, he and I, while my husband was elsewhere, about what was important. Many of these talks resulted in some tears and a lot of super hugs.

The bottom line was that he told me he is living his dream. He doesn’t care about having ‘things.’ (Although he DOES love to try to make music and needs several things in order to do that.) :0)  He makes money, but gives a lot of it to charities he has carefully researched. He loves the freedom money brings to be able to do things he considers important.

The biggest part of his life now is meditation. He tried to explain to me the contentment and peace it brings him. How he has now grown to the point he is at a whole different level. He is now in Nepal at a meditation center where he is meditating 16 hours a day and learning from a teacher there.

He wants others to know the inner joy he feels. He is talking about making YouTube videos in English, where he can guide people to what he has found, using analogies young people will understand. He feels this is his purpose.

Reading The Dolphin brought me back to how full his heart is. It was as if he were speaking to me through the book.

I hope that you will find this book interesting, too.


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Two Good Books

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I’m reading two books right now: The Dolphin – Story of a Dreamer by Sergio Bambaren and Totally Incorrect Volume 2 – A Conversation with Doug Casey as told to Justin Spittler

The Dolphin book I just received in the mail today. It was recommended by a contact on Linkedin – Dieter Onken.

I ordered the Casey book because I wanted to read his opinions on the newest things happening in the world and to also find out what he’s recommending for good investments to shield ourselves from the tumult of our world today.

I plan to do a good bit of reading today, since our weather is so unfriendly.

I hope you are somewhere safe and warm, too, and can enjoy your day.

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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Bored Panda

I want to share another one of my favorite book/movie combinations: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

The book is by Deborah Moggach. I read the book many years ago and loved it. I then bought the movie on DVD made from the book, and then the second DVD because people wanted more. :0)

I just started the book again last night.  I love the reviews of the book –

“Underneath the ironies – is a book about remembering – too late, or not too late – how to be alive.” The Times Literary Supplement.

“Classic Moggach: funny, touching, and…full of colours and visual details.” The Daily Telegraph

I love being immersed into another world where I can can meet interesting people in wonderfully colorful situations. I can laugh and cry with them, enjoying their travels, insights, and love.

I re-read this every couple of years, then enjoy both DVDs. You might love them, too.

I found there are several books by Deborah Moggach on Amazon. I just ordered, “Something to Hide.”



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The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This is one of my favorite books. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

Kathyrn Stockett writes in a deceptively simple manner, painting wonderful pictures of the three strong women in the book and their relationship. She paints a first-hand account of life in Mississippi in the 60’s with all its wonders and shortcomings. You’re immersed in a world you may or may not find familiar, but you care about the women. You wince went hurtful or ugly things happen. Your heart goes out. It’s real. A strong story of the power of people to make a difference.

I read the book years ago, and then got the movie that was made from the book. Both are wonderful and should be treasured.

I don’t know if Kathryn Stockett has written more since this, her first novel, but I’m going to find out.

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“Recipe” for Relationships

For the Love of Black Cats via Cathy Ruggiero

A book called, “Soup – A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture” by Jon Gordon was recommended to me by a connection in LinkedIn. I read it yesterday. It was a very fast read, but really deep in good ideas to make you think.

It’s about a lady who is hired as CEO of a company to hopefully turn it around. The truths in the book, though, are really talking about ANY relationships you have. Since I’m retired, and the main one I deal with in business is myself these days, I value the ideas in the book for personal relationships. Much of it is common sense, but no leaders I ever worked under seemed to either know about these, much less even think about practicing them.

Ideas like ‘engaging’ the people in your life, not allowing things to stagnate, not taking things for granted, asking for feedback and then USING it, making people feel a part of the group, important, and more.

Looking at your life with a fresh eye is difficult. I tend to plod along, enjoying the status quo, assuming that all is well. Taking the time to LISTEN, SHOW people how important they are, saying THANK YOU for specific things – all common sense and common courtesy, but all too often glossed over in my rush to accomplish things.

This is a GOOD book, causing you to stop and think, maybe changing your behavior, and above all, encouraging you to value the good things and people you have around you. Well worth your time.

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Julie and Julia

For Reading Addicts via Cathy Ruggiero

I’m in the middle of re-reading Julie & Julia by Julie Powell.

I read this book several years ago and loved it. Then I watched and loved the movie, starring Amy Adams as Julie and Meryl Streep as Julia Child.  When I finish enjoying the book again, I’ll watch the movie in my collection again.

I enjoy the whole ‘world’ created by Julie Powell, with Julie cooking her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, determined to cook every one of the 524 recipes in one year. Her sense of humor, sense of the ridiculous, and love of a life lived to the fullest just fill me up.

If you haven’t read the book or enjoyed the movie, you’re missing good things.


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The Longevity Code


I’ve just finished reading and taking notes on The Longevity Code by Kris Verburgh, MD.

My husband and I found it very interesting because it discusses why we age, and what – if anything – we can do to slow the process.

He suggests supplements to add if you’re not taking them already, plus discusses what foods to avoid to be as healthy as you can for as long as you can. He is NOT selling HIS supplements or special foods from HIS source – a thing that would have turned us off.

Some of his suggestions we were doing already. He gives a few recipes to get you started on eating in a healthy fashion that you can add to things you are already doing.

He doesn’t claim you’ll stop or reverse aging, or any nonsense like that. He IS suggesting ways you can improve your health.

We found the book impressive and interesting. We got the supplements we weren’t already taking and went shopping for some basic supplies today. We plan to start implementing many of his suggestions right away.

We figure – What can we lose?



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“Hotel Artemis”

My husband rented this movie, Hotel Artemis, from NetFlix. The first few minutes were really awful, in my opinion, and I almost went into the other room to read. Then I suddenly recognized I was looking at Jodie Foster and I thought I would give it another few minutes.

In my strong, decidedly NOT humble opinion, Jodie Foster deserves an academy award for this performance. Acting just doesn’t get better than this. She owned this strong, flawed character and I know I’ll never forget her, as the character, or the movie. We will add it to our personal collection.

It IS very violent. It’s pretty much out of character for me to even stay in the room with a violent movie, but the story was so strong and the acting was so good by several characters that I simply was drawn in.

Kudos to Dave Bautista, who plays the ‘nurse’s aide,’ a title he obviously is proud of. ‘Gentle giant’ comes to mind when I think of him, and I hope we see him in other movies.

Sterling K. Brown’s performance really moved me. His loyalty to his brother made me cry.

Consider looking past a lot of violence to see acting you don’t often enjoy any more in a strong story you won’t forget.

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A Wonderful Gift

Garrison Keillor – Generate Status

Reading a good book is like breathing for me. I have a collection of books I have loved over the years, and re-read them from time to time.

Right now I’m re-reading the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.  There are 25 in the series, all built around a really nuts, lovable main female character from New Jersey who decides out of desperation to become a bounty hunter. She’s gutsy, but knows absolutely nothing about becoming one. She’s small and soft-hearted, a bad combination for bringing in people who were bonded out of jail, but failed to show up for their court date. Her inventiveness, sense of humor, and persistence carry the day. Over the course of the series, she develops a circle of wonderful, quirky friends and associates to add to her funny family members. I have fallen in love with all of them and sit, grinning/smirking/snorting as I re-read each of the books. I’m on #2 now, “Two for the Dough.”



I have 21 of the 25, I think, but I’ll find out which I’m missing and get them, too, when I’ve re-read all those in my collection.

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My husband and I both love the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Sadly, Stieg Larsson died. We love the books and we have the movies made from the books.

We thought the series would be over, but David Lagercrantz offers a book called, “The Girl in the Spider’s Web.” We avoided reading it for a while because our experience is that people who try to honor the legacy of a famed writer often produce a pale image in comparison.

Not so with David Lagercrantz! My husband read the book and passed it on to me. We agree that Lagercrantz does a fine job of continuing the series. We got the book because we saw that a movie has been made of it already, staring Claire Foy. We fear that we’ll be disappointed by the ‘new’ Lisbeth Salander (rather than Noomi Rapace in the other three), but we’ll find out. In the meantime, we are pleased that the series continues.



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Wonderful Book Series

My husband read this book and then loaned it to me via our Kindles.  I feel as if I’ve dived into a treasure trove.

Detective Ericka Foster is a strong character. My husband decided that he doesn’t want to read any more of the series because she is flawed, not acting as he thought was smart in a couple of situations. To my mind, I like her better for it. People don’t always react as they MIGHT, or how WE think they OUGHT to. They’re fallible – many times resulting in bad consequences.   It’s human nature.

I really enjoyed The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza.  Happily, I discovered that there are 6 books in the series –

  • The Girl in the Ice
  • The Night Stalker
  • Dark Water
  • Last Breath
  • Cold Blood
  • Deadly Secrets

I downloaded The Night Stalker  and will start it after I finish re-reading a 4-book series I’ve read before by Nora Roberts.

Reading is one of the most wonderful things humans can do. I LOVE being able to learn new things, escape from concerns for a while, be dazzled by how creative people are, and more – simply by getting on the Internet, turning on my Kindle, or opening a well-loved book from my collection.


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“American Wrestler: The Wizard”

We watched “American Wrestler: The Wizard” last night and it’s still reverberating in my head. I started watching it, trying to be supportive of a movie “I” would have never chosen to rent. We both had the same reaction – it was a movie well worth recommending.

George Kosturos played the wrestler. William Fichtner was the coach. Jon Voight was the high school principal. Ali Afshar was the wrestler’s uncle.

“In 1980, a teenage boy escapes the unrest in Iran only to face more hostility in America, due to the hostage crisis. Determined to fit in, he joins the school’s floundering wrestling team.”

If you haven’t seen this film, it’s well worth your time.

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The Shape of Water

“At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.” ~

This is a short synopsis of the movie, giving you absolutely no idea of the beauty and creativity waiting for you. My husband and I rarely agree with the Academy on which movies should be nominated, which one wins best picture, etc. In fact, we haven’t usually gotten a chance to see the movies that are vying for the award at the time the awards are given.

We saw The Shape of Water last night and I’m still touched, amazed, and pleased that it won Best Picture for 2018.


Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro was the writer, screenplay writer, director, and producer (he might have even worn more hats in this) and I will look for more movies directed by him. I can’t say enough about his talent.  He won Oscars for Best Movie and Best Director for this film.

The actors were well chosen, and were nominated – if not winning – Oscars for their performances.

Sally Hawkins played the janitor. She is mute and says NOTHING the whole movie. She was nominated for Best Actress, but didn’t win. Octavia Spenser played her friend and co-worker. She was nominated for Best Supporting Role by an Actress. Michael Shannon played the creature, and did a superb job.

The story was completely unique and quite creative. I will buy it for our collection.


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“The Intouchables”

We watched this movie from our collection last night. It had been awhile since we saw it the first time, then bought the DVD.

The main plot is that a black man (Omar Sy) needs to apply for one more job in order to start receiving money from the state. He applies as a caretaker for a paraplegic (Francois Cluzet). Cluzet is a man of some wealth. He has enjoyed the finer things of life, but a hang glider accident has taken away almost all of the joy of life. The black man is hired on probation.

This doesn’t sound like a feel good movie, does it. The friendship that develops between these two men is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. They each make the other’s life richer, more enjoyable. The movie had us laughing out loud.

We highly recommend it!!

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Jack Reacher Books

My husband discovered the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. He loved the books and suggested I try them. We’ve both read all of them and kept the books in our library. Recently, I started re-reading them. I just finished re-reading “Die Trying.”


Reader’s Digest

This is just how I’m feeling right now. I wanted to keep reading about the two main characters. I love meeting characters I admire. Both of the main characters here were highly trained and able to handle themselves in tough situations. They found themselves in a situation where they were unable to get the upper hand and I admired them even more for how they handled it. They lived by strong ideals, something you don’t find very often anymore.

I have book 3, “Tripwire” on the table beside my chair in the living room. I’m waiting to start it, though, still savoring the rich plot, great characters, and gifted writing from the last one a bit more before I dive into another adventure.


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We watched “Unlocked” starring Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, John Malkovich, Michael Douglas and others last night. We were both exhausted by the end of it, having been grabbed by the throat from the beginning.

“In 2009, Rapace came to the attention of international audiences for her portrayal of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009). Her performance was widely praised, and she won the Best Actress prize at Sweden’s prestigious Guldbagge Awards. She went on to reprise the role in the sequels, The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009) and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (2009).”

We loved her performances in “The Girl Who” movies. We had read the books before we watched the movies and thought the casting of Rapace was perfect. We’ve watched for more movies with her ever since.

This has a LOT of action, with violence. There is an actual plot – with a REASON for the violence. If you like a really fast-moving, well-written story with top-notch acting, this is one for you. Rapace’s character is strong and relentless. I was surprised how good Orlando Bloom’s performance was. I had thought of him only as a love story actor, but he proved me wrong.

Our ultimate compliment for a movie – we came into the office and purchased a copy for our collection.

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The Residence

I just finished reading “The Residence – Inside the Private World of the White House” by Kate Andersen Brower.

She interviewed MANY of the butlers, chefs, maids, electricians, etc. who have worked in the White House through many presidencies, getting their unique perspective on first families, the importance of their jobs, and their dedication to ‘the house.’ I found it fascinating. I’ve just ordered her book, “First Ladies” for my kindle, and can’t wait to dive into it.

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