Posted in Books and Shows, Let's look

Let’s Look

Some of my favorite posts to read on a few of my favorite bloggers’ pages are when they post their “Let’s Look,” “Friday Favorites,” and “What’s Up Wednesday?” I love getting a glimpse into their lives and what they are up to. Erika and Shay posted a “Let’s Look” last Wednesday, but I was knee deep in 150 new students, so I thought I’d give it a try this week! Happy reading.

Each month, they link up with other bloggers and share about a topic. The topic for August is your favorite shows to binge watch.

For this to be my first “Let’s Look ” post, I must say the topic isn’t one with which I necessarily am successful. I’m not much of a binge watcher when it comes to television. Do I watch tv? Uh, yes! I just guess I’m at the point in my life where thirty minutes of television time is a luxury, so I watch one episode of something and probably end up falling asleep. Also, my kids seem to be around…all. of. the. time. And, since they are around, I’ve now realized how inappropriate most shows are that I watch..at least for 9 year olds…haha. By the time they get to bed or give me some peace and quiet, I’m about ready fall asleep myself.

That being said, off the top of my head, a few shows I have binge watched lately would be: Dead to Me and Ozark on Netflix and House Hunters on Hulu.

I can honestly say I did binge watch season one of Dead to Me. I had heard about it, and on Mother’s Day Sunday did what any good mom would do and asked for some quiet time. I headed to the basement and ended up watching five episodes in a row. I finished the other five episodes by the beginning of summer. I love Christina Applegate and the plot instantly drew me in. It’s definitely a dark comedy with some cussing (a girl after my own heart!), and (warning!) some R rated sections.

Jen is recently widowed and becomes friends with Judy, played by Linda Cardellini (who was on Netflix’s Bloodline which is another great series). Jen is obsessed with finding out who killed her husband while also working as a realtor, being a single mom to her two sons, and dealing with her mother-in-law.

I was thrilled to find out that there will be a season 2!

Travis and I started watching Ozark on Netflix last summer. Growing up in Missouri, I spent plenty of time going to the Lake of the Ozarks with my grandparents. I love seeing the scenery, but of course, I never came across the types of people Byrdes deal with on a daily basis. Being a child of the 80’s, I certainly heart Jason Bateman. He was definitely an 80’s crush of mine, and, fun fact, we share the same birthday!

The Byrdes have had to relocate from Chicago in order to right the wrongs of a money laundering scheme Marty’s involved in and end up working and being involved with other criminals of the Ozark area as well.

We watched season one pretty quickly last summer, but this summer have just started viewing season two due to lack of time (what else is new?!) Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve watched six of the ten episodes. Again, I’m excited that they are currently filming season three, and hope to watch it in 2020.

Besides lack of time, my other “issue” with binge watching is once I finish a season, it will be months until the next season comes out and I often forget what has previously happened. Thank goodness for Wikipedia and Google.

Oddly enough, House Hunters has become quite popular in our house latey. I remember back when I would watch this in my dorm room at college. Then, as adult, it was always on around 10:00 pm as I’d head to bed, so it was a good way to wrap up the day. About a year ago, Travis followed through with his “I’m going to cut cable” threat, and we now have Hulu. That being said, I didn’t really watch House Hunters anymore. Last month, I searched for it and watched a few episodes. It piqued Hayden’s interest, and it’s something we now watch together…and I’ve even caught him watching it on his own. haha.

Speaking of Hulu, when Travis said he’d looked into it last fall, he said, “Don’t worry, you can still watch the Golden Girls!” He knows me so well. I loved when GG would air on Lifetime in the morning and also at bedtime. These ladies are my fave. My kids could sing “Thank you for being a friend…” by the time they were three years old. This show is a forever classic, and I can easily watch multiple episodes at a time…and not worry about what my kids overhear. (Except for an occasional Blanche moment 😉

And, speaking of classics, I’m thrilled that Designing Women is coming to Hulu at the end of the month. Along with the Golden Girls, these ladies have my heart. Julia Sugarbaker is my fave probably because I am nothing like her and would give anything to be like her. She’s has a strong sense of self with a no nonsense attitude. Also, Annie Potts…need I say more? I love her too! All the ladies bring something to the table and make this show a classic. I can’t wait to binge watch it.

I have a note on my phone of books I want to read…it’s pretty long as I’m constantly adding to it. I also have a note of shows to watch such as Bloodlines and The Crown on Netflix. I watched season one of both and loved each of them …it’s just a lack of time at this point making it difficult for me to carry through with multiple seasons. Also on my list are You and The Americans. Now, if only I could find some more time…

What are some of your favorite shows to binge watch?

Happy Wednesday,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Books and Shows

Vacation Reads

I read five books while on vacation…and loved them all.

I started reading The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand right before we left for vacation. I’ve read a few of her books, and it was what I expected in terms of the setting and the plot. Twin sisters that had been estranged for years were brought back together after a death in the family. One sister lived in Nantucket while the other lived on Martha’s Vineyard. Of course, since they are twins, that adds to the events of the plot along with other family drama. I paused this book halfway through to move on to The Silent Patient not because I wasn’t enjoying it, but it was a slower read for me. I wrapped up reading it after finishing The Silent Patient. It was definitely a great vacation read.

Perfect beach read.

The next book I read was The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. I read this book in two days as it gripped my interest from the first page. I’m a huge fan of thrillers as long as I have all the lights on or am reading in the daylight! I had heard a lot of hype about this one, and it definitely lived up to it. The main character, Alicia Berenson, killed her husband and it’s up to the psychotherapist to get her to hopefully open up and talk. The ending was definitely thriller-worthy and full of twists.

Page turner!

My love for suspenseful novels continued with my next read, The Breakdown, by B.A. Paris. I’ve also read Bring Me Back and Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris, and I’m a huge fan. This book had me feeling sympathetic for the main character, Cass, as it seemed she had no one to turn to while feeling guilt-ridden after being the last person to see Jane alive on her drive home. Also, with a family history of dementia, she was genuinely concerned that she was suffering the way her mother had. Also, she received numerous silent phone calls which also led to her feelings of madness. I can honestly say that I wasn’t expecting the other characters to have such an impact on the plot, and I was definitely pleased with the ending.

I’m a huge fan of B.A. Paris books.

The next book I read was Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Now, talk about hype. I’ve been hearing about this book for quite some time, and I almost felt like I was hearing so much about it that it made me not want to read it. Once summer arrived, and I had more time to read, I requested it from the public library. Well, apparently I’d have to wait as at least 200 other people were in the queue too! So many people told me I should buy it or borrow it, so I borrowed it (thanks to my friend Amy!) Let me just say I know most everyone has really enjoyed this read, but I didn’t want it to end…I pretty much fell in love with this book, and it has been awhile since I have fallen in love with a read.

First of all, there was a To Kill a Mockingbird feel to this book, and TKAM is one of all time favorite reads. (What kind of English teacher would I be if I didn’t love To Kill a Mockingbird?! Hello! I named my dog Scout! 🙂 I loved the setting of North Carolina, so the masterful way the small town mixed with the swamp and marsh was described kept me wanting to read more. The world can be so cruel, and it is up to us to make choices on how to navigate the ups and downs of life, and Kya did just that. Mix in a murder and trial, and I’m sold.

I had about 50 pages to go and was up late reading, and I thought about cranking it out because of course I wanted to know how it ended…but often times, if I’m reading a book I love, I actually don’t want it to end. So, I went to bed looking forward to waking up and reading the end. I wasn’t disappointed, but dang, did I feel my heartstrings being pulled. I love the William Feather quote, “Finishing a good book is like leaving a good friend.” Kya felt like my friend, one who I had some things in common with like enjoying solitude and doing whatever it takes to get through the tough times in life. This is a book I will remember forever, and certainly in my top five books I’ve read in my life. Run, don’t walk, to read this book. Even if you don’t love it like I do, I know you will connect with it on some level.

Simply put: a masterpiece

I wrapped up vacation reading Verity by Colleen Hoover. I’ve also read It Ends with Us and All Your Perfects by her as well. Verity was recommended by a book club I’ve joined (but haven’t yet met most of the people in it…haha). I started this book the last morning of vacation, read fifty percent of it on the plane ride home, and then finished within the next two days. It really was a book that could also be labeled a page turner. I actually thought the beginning was rather slow, but the plot definitely picked up the pace and kept my attention until the very end. Verity is the name of an author who can’t finish writing the rest of her series of books, so Lowen (Low) is hired to do so. This means she has to move in to Verity’s house for awhile, work in Verity’s office while also meeting her family. Their family has been struck with tragedy many times, so the reader is aware that Low should have her guard up. Low definitely ends up second guessing her own mental state while interacting with the family, meeting Verity, and living in the house. **Warning** this book would be deemed R rated in some parts. This book was full of twists and turns and most certainly a good way to wrap up my vacation reading.

Verity vs Low in this page turner

I have one more book that I’m hoping to get read before school starts back, and that’s The Art of Racing in the Rain. I know the movie is coming out soon, and I’ve been meaning to read this for awhile…plus, with my love for dogs, I know it’s a “must read” for me.

Hopefully one (or more!) of these books will be of interest to you! Happy reading.