First line: Josie can feel her husband’s discomfort as they enter the golden glow of the gastropub.
Summary: At a local pub, Alix Summers and Josie Fair, meet each other and discover that they are birthday twins, they were born on the same day in the same hospital. A few days later, they bump into each other again and Josie has a proposition for Alix. After listening to Alix’s podcast, Josie believes that her story is one that Alix will want to share. As the women start recording, Josie starts to work her way into Alix’s life and even her home. Even though Alix finds Josie to be a bit strange she cannot help needing to know her story. But as suddenly as she appeared, Josie disappears. It seems like the end until Alix finds that she has been living inside a true crime podcast. And the big question is, who is Josie?
My Thoughts: After finishing this I had to sit and think, ‘What did I just read?!’. This is probably the best Lisa Jewell I have read. It was absolutely crazy! This story was jam packed full of shocking events, eccentric people, horrifying back stories and an ending that leaves you guessing.
I never knew what to make of Josie. As a reader we saw what life was like in her home and inside her head. But how much of this is real or skewed based on her perceptions? This is the ultimate unreliable narrator. Josie is very willing to discuss her past with a total stranger. She reveals a life that was filled with misfortune and regrets. I felt sorry for her and shocked as more of her life is revealed. But with each new detail you start to wonder how this has affected Josie and what is she going to do to change it?
I highly recommend listening to this book because it is told using a full cast. Since the premise is that it is a podcast recording that is picked up as a true crime documentary, the full cast idea adds an extra layer to the story. Using this format style, it is easy to forget that this is a novel and not an actual podcast.
A few weeks ago, per one of my best friend’s advice, I started New Girl. I’ve almost started it many times, but I’d heard mixed reviews (from people I know. The show overall has a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, though, if that means something to you. The first season only has 87%, but that’s already a great place to start). I am an avid re-watcher of Parks and Recreation, and while the writers are different, the idea of having a quirky and passionate protagonist (Jess), who is definitely naive and socially awkward at times but still very loved by those around her, is still at the heart of the show. Because I trust that friend who said, “Grace, I know you’re Leslie Knope, but you’re also very much Jess,” and she was right.
The first season begins with our main heroine, Jess moving into a loft with three bachelors. Their lovely apartment boasts one bathroom, a sketchy garbage disposal, and terribly patched up plumbing problems (by Nick, one of her new roommates), due to their fear of the landlord, played by Jeff Kober. The guys and Jess learn about love, friendship, how to compromise on sharing their space, even when Jess spends all day crying on the couch, watching Dirty Dancing for the seventh time, and cry-singing along to I’ve Had the Time of My Life.
Available for checkout from the Derby Public Library (because I just returned it, don’t worry), streaming on Hulu, and maybe still streaming on Netflix?
This Black Panther comic book follows NYPD officer, Misty Knight (girlfriend to Sam Wilson aka Captain America), as she investigates the death of a civil rights activist named Ezra, who died while in police custody. Featuring familiar names and faces such as Storm, Black Panther, Luke Cage, and Manifold, Misty must uncover the truth about the dark forces at work in Harlem.
The story spans decades and shows how Ezra has been trying to make Harlem a better place since he was a young man, back in 1957. There is a moment in the story, where some of the “good guys” realize that they have grown to have the same calloused, and bitter hearts as those they are fighting, and they have begun participating in the same senseless acts of violence that had separated them from the “bad guys.” That’s one of my all-time favorite tropes in any action story, especially in comic books, and one of the many things that made this a fantastic read!
Available for checkout from the Derby Public Library and online, if you’ve set up your Hoopla account (and if you haven’t, I highly recommend you do! It’s a super convenient way to still get the titles you need, especially during those crazy snow days when you don’t want to leave the house).
I know Black History Month will technically have just ended by the time this post comes up on the blog, but that only means that you’ve (hopefully) seen a lot of great new authors promoted over the past month and your TBR list is now a mile long. An author I follow on Instagram shared this challenge, and I was really excited (and not just because my copy of Their Eyes Were Watching God has been sitting at home, unread).
Here are a few of the books that I’ve read / am reading for this challenge:
(If you haven’t read this book yet, know that the author did not shy away from raw dialogue and difficult scenes. Her book contains a lot of triggering content including but not limited to domestic abuse, racism, references to slavery, and violence – especially towards women.)
Written in the style of a news hour from a town that sounds like Lemony Snicket thought it up, welcome to Night Vale gives “community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, where every conspiracy theory is true.” I can’t think of any other way to describe this except to say that if you enjoy satire and sci-fi this podcast has a great mix of both. Here’s an excerpt from the first episode:
“Lights. Seen in the sky above the Arby’s. Not the glowing sign of Arby’s. Something higher, and beyond that. We know the difference. We’ve caught on to their game. We understand the ‘lights above Arby’s’ game.
Invaders from another world.
Ladies and gentlemen, the future is here, and it’s about 100 feet above the Arby’s.”
Available on Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts
Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter, Rory, live in the small town of Stars Hollow. Their life is full of drama, life changes, and small-town relationships. My mom and I first watched this when I started high school, and every year since then, we have watched it. Somehow, it has become our cozy series to watch during the holiday season. All of the actors and actresses in the show are talented and well-known today. Despite the series being released in 2000, it is a timeless coming of age story that is enjoyable for all audiences.
Available for checkout through the Derby Public Library
Podcast:Dark History hosted by Bailey Sarian
Bailey Sarian is the host of the Dark History podcast, which I listen to on Spotify. She started the podcast to talk about topics that are a little too dark or theory-based to cover in history class. I first found Bailey on YouTube with her Murder, Mystery, and Makeup series, where she does a full face of makeup while explaining a true murder story. She has a talent for researching and retelling stories with such dark topics. She is loose with her language and is a little sarcastic. Although in my opinion, that adds to the story. Most podcast episodes are pretty short and fun, and I enjoy listening to them in my free time.
Available on Spotify, Youtube, or whatever you listen to your podcasts.
Organizing and reorganizing are two of my favorite things to do. Last year, I aimed to adopt a capsule wardrobe. If you are unfamiliar with this idea, essentially, you own just enough clothes that you will regularly wear and nothing more. I first found the author, Anna Newton, on YouTube as The Anna Edit. On her channel, she has videos explaining her wardrobe. She explains what she looks for when purchasing new items, quality over quantity.
Her book, An Edited Life, describes living a semi-minimalist lifestyle. It gives the basics of how to start decluttering your mental and physical space. Anna Newton uses comedic writing and colorful language in this book. It makes it feel like she is just a friend chatting with you about living a simple life.
Available for checkout through the Derby Public Library
Audiobook:Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I listened to Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell on Libby. This is a young adult book about a college freshman, Cath. Her twin sister, Wren, has committed to the college girl lifestyle and leaves Cath on her own. Cath is a writer of Simon Snow fan fiction. She has spent years editing the fictional world of her favorite story in order to escape her reality. Throughout the story, Cath is falling in love with a real guy, not a fictional character, and it was fun to hear her inner dialogue as she tries to navigate her priorities and emotions. I enjoyed how easy this book was to listen to, and that it was a simple boy meets girl kind of story.
Audiobook available for checkout through the Sunflower eLibrary or the Libby app, book available for checkout through the Derby Library
I love all kinds of music, but lately, this album by Kaleo is the only thing I play. I am a fan of their album A/B which they released in 2016. So, when Surface Sounds came out in 2021, I was more than ready to hear it. Kaleo is an “Icelandic blues-rock” band, and their style checks all the boxes for what I think makes music enjoyable. My favorite songs on this album are Skinny and Backbone. Plus, this CD is available for checkout at the Derby Public Library!
I absolutely adore this show. It was created by the Irish actress, comedian, and writer Aisling Bea, who also stars alongside the hilarious and talented Irish actress and writer Sharon Horgan. Bea plays the younger sister to Horgan and is struggling to regain her confidence after spending some time in a mental health facility.
The show consists of the two women trying to figure out their lives and relationships, and also goofing around together. It is really funny, but it’s also sad and relatable and poignant. In addition to being hilarious, Bea and Horgan’s characters are complex and feel real. If you’re anything like me, you’ll wish you could hang out with them!
Available on Hulu and best watched with a large glass of wine
I recently came across this newsletter in the Sunday New York Times and had such a good time reading her book reviews I tore through a bunch more from an earlier iteration with Vulture as well. Young is witty and concise. At one point, she admits to being a slow reader and was practicing to get faster. I mention that just to say, I admire her honesty and slightly confessional tone.
She reviews books old and new—it’s all fair game. But perhaps my favorite feature of each review is the “read if you like” bit at the end. They’re creative, and helpful in figuring out whether or not to add the book to my reading list. Here’s an example from Young’s most recent newsletter about the book “The Possessed” by Elif Batuman:
“Read if you like: Sherlock Holmes, wearing a big shapeless coat, reflecting on your plight, the comedy of Tim Robinson”
Here, I’ll take a stab at my own:
Read Read Like the Wind if you like: Telling jokes under your breath no one can hear, black and white movies, freshly sharpened pencils, Dorothy Parker, endlessly adding to your reading list
I saw this book in our new book section at the Derby Library and immediately picked it up. For starters, the title. And then to go with it, that far away look in the woman’s eyes on the cover. It’s that kind of Betty Draper, privileged, overwhelmed, lonely woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown thing. Her life looks perfect from the outside but she probably goes into her giant walk-in closet and screams when no one’s home to hear, kind of thing. I’m into it.
The book contains a collection of short stories centered around domestic life, and Wolitzer captures it so well. It’s a quick read–light and fun but also thought-provoking.
Available for checkout at the Derby Public Library
Activity:Standing over a steaming kettle
It’s winter in Kansas and therefore super dry. Although I have two little humidifiers, I’ve recently taken to putting an analog kettle on the stove and standing over it so the steam rolls over my face. It makes my skin dewy and my hair curl up. The trick is forcing yourself not to run off and check your phone or get distracted by what you could be doing. It feels like this little bit of time I’m taking to do something nice for myself. I put on some music and might pour myself a beverage and just lean into that steam. It’s my version of a spa day.
Podcast: Cover Story: Power Trip by New York Magazine
I binge-listened to all available episodes of this podcast on my way back from visiting family in Lawrence about a week ago. Perhaps, like me, you’ve never stopped to ask yourself whether there might be a dark side to the re-emergent world of psychedelic therapy. Turns out, it isn’t all well-intentioned professionals harnessing the benefits of powerful substances to heal others.
It is a fascinating and at times horrifying glimpse at some of the things happening inside the psychedelic therapy community.
Available wherever you listen to your podcasts
FYI: The experiences told describe the use of psychedelic drugs and instances of sexual abuse.
Is there anything better than watching two grown men who have been best friends literally their entire lives be creative, silly, and ridiculous together? Nope. Good Mythical Morning is one of the longest running YouTube channels and for good reason. Rhett & Link have created a brand that I love. Their show is feel-good, laughter-inducing, usually-wholesome good stuff.
I usually listen to podcasts about running or Rhett & Link’s podcast Ear Biscuits, so this was a new adventure for me. Ronstadt stars Rhett and Link. It is scripted and uses immersive audio. The story line is great for this time of year…action-packed, a little scary, with a touch of mystery. It reminded me of old books on tape that I used to listen to as a child. The immersive audio can be a bit intense. I was listening to it while doing yard work outside and got spooked and truly believed someone was right behind me!
Game: Pokemon Go
Yep…people still play this game. And to be honest, it’s better than it was in the beginning. During the school and work shut down last year, my family started playing it anew. We had a route around our neighborhood mapped out where we could hit up at least a dozen pokestops and 4 gyms. It got us outside and kept us sane together.
I read these books shortly before the Netflix movie came out. In true librarian fashion, I believe the books to be superior. The story is a fun twist on the Sherlock Holmes universe with the addition of a much younger sister who shares the Holmes affinity for mystery and crime solving. There are seven books in total with more potentially on the horizon. The popularity of the movie invited Springer to write the seventh book after an 11-year hiatus from the series.
Fall running has to be just about my favorite thing in the entire world. The cool mornings are perfect for picking up the pace and enjoying the peace and quiet before the start of a busy day. There are several free apps you can use to track runs. I typically wear a Garmin, but MapMyRun and Strava are good free options.
My latest fun listen is a light-hearted romp. Comedians Craig and Rebecca take a look at movies and television from the villain’s perspective and dare to ask if they were really all that bad. The hosts go into detail about movie or series characters and their motivations, and theorize whether or not they deserve to be the hero or villain.
Was Ariel really innocent? Or was Ursula just trying to run a small business?
What I find especially fun is that Craig and Rebecca don’t just review the obvious movies. They look into Father of the Bride, Legally Blonde, Bridget Jones’ Diary, the Magic School Bus, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Friends, Mary Poppins and many, many more. I recommend you start with Ferris Buller’s Day Off, Jurassic Park or the Incredibles.
I whole-heartedly recommend this recent read. If you like science fiction with actual science, this is for you. If you like stories with interesting, well developed characters, this also has that. If you want excitement and a thrilling plot, here you go. If you want romance and sex, well, there you’re completely out of luck.
I challenge you to read the first five pages and NOT want to keep reading. What an opening! Ryland Grace wakes up alone with no clue where he is or how he got there. His body isn’t responding the way it should and he struggles with the fog that is keeping rational thoughts at bay. He slowly comes to the realization that he’s hurtling through space and his crew mates are dead. While that opening alone is enough to keep me turning pages, Weir infuses Ryland with unique wit and humor that elevates the story beyond the run of the mill science fiction thriller.
As Ryland’s memory returns, he flashes back to the past and slowly reveals how he ended up as the sole-survivor of this last-chance mission to save Earth. And as things seem hopeless, he finds glimmers of hope in unexpected places. He also just might be the perfect person for the job.
This well-written novel is a mix of things: science fiction, mystery, fantasy, thriller. There’s a diverse cast as the entire planet comes together to save humanity. And I can only hope Hollywood takes notice.
Okay, so this one hasn’t completely been released yet, but I am eagerly awaiting it. And fortunately, I have heard a couple early release tracks, so I think it’s fair to add to my line up list.
The album is set to drop October 29. It’s been 4 long years since we last heard songs featuring solo artist Ed Sheeran playing and singing all by himself (no collaborations). I have read interviews about this release and it appears the songs are all personal to him as a recently married man and father who has experienced loss. Sheeran says the album is a reflection of those experiences. For a man to state that this is a coming of age album, I feel it should be chocked full of nostalgia, eye awakening moments and experiences that make us who we are. Bad Habits, one of the early release titles is dance music story of late night bad choices while Visiting Hours is a heartfelt, personal sort of song you play in the bluest hours. It’s raw and emotional.
*I believe the library will be purchasing and adding this title to the catalog for checkout. I don’t see it there yet, but all the other Sheeran albums are, so it’s a good guess it’s coming soon.
Television:Below Deck Mediterranean
In another year, where I haven’t been able to travel abroad like I planned, I am “escaping” via my television and “reality” TV.
What I like? No dull waiting period–this is entertaining IMMEDIATELY.
This show has it all: attractive people, vastly different personalities, relatable protagonists, loathsome antagonists, money and a BIG yacht. It’s fun, interesting, and has changing locals (Greece, Croatia, Italy, South of France and Mallorca). The guests are interesting. There’s TIGHT quarters (GREAT for drama), a social element and very merit-based workplace element.
I think the two most important components of any reality show are the “characters” and the editing. The characters here are in spades, but the editing brings us the stories, and man do they make the stories POP! Hats off to the editing staff. I think we all like to see justice because we so rarely get it in real life, and the editors don’t let anyone get away with ANYTHING. When someone does something stupid, we get to see the consequences, which is a great little respite from real life. I also love the insight you get, to see all that goes on under the surface of a luxury yacht.
This one I am super excited to get out and see for myself. Recently, when I volunteered at the Zoo for Zoobilee and the new Asian Big Cat exhibit grand opening, I discovered that Sedgwick County Zoo has a new “Wild Lights” exhibit in the works. Think Asian lantern sculptures illuminating paths throughout the zoo.
The company who has provided and set up the exhibit brought in 13 semi-truck loads of giant animal lanterns. These creatures are spread out throughout the zoo. They are everywhere! Installation began in early September. The exhibit has filled the zoo with 47 glowing Asian lanterns, most of them larger than life.
They’re in the shapes of animals. Guests will find pandas, elephants, turtles, rhinos as well as other displays in the shapes of flowers, bugs, fish, butterflies, and plants. Many of them are animated: A peacock’s plume of feathers goes up and down every five minutes. A baby panda spins with a ball on his head. A massive crocodile opens and closes his giant jaw. About six people accompanying the tour, which travels to zoos all over the world, spent a month erecting the wire frames that form each sculpture’s “bones” then covering them with translucent fabric and filling them with colorful lights. It will take visitors about an hour to walk the path where the sculptures are set up, which stretches from the zoo entrance to the gorilla exhibit and back to the exit. Not only do they set up the lights, but they stay here in Wichita throughout the show to maintain the exhibit.
I plan to enjoy the zoo like never before with this larger-than-life Chinese lantern festival!
*Wild Lights will light up the zoo Wednesday through Sunday nights 6:00-9:00 p.m. through December 5, 2021. Tickets are on sale now at scz.org/event/wild-lights.
Food: Seasonal Soups and Stews
It’s that time of year – fall (or maybe the fringe of fall with our ever changing Kansas weather). Maybe you’ve noticed the chill in the air, or that the leaves are starting to turn shades of orange and red. The first pumpkin spice lattes of the season have already been sipped, and perhaps you’ve taken out the sweaters that make you feel like Cameron Diaz courting Jude Law in a cozy cottage in the English countryside. But is it really sweater season without a pot of soup bubbling away? Or a hearty stew on the table, served with a fistful of crusty bread? A few veggies, possibly some beans, aromatics and broth are just about all you need for a satisfying meal.
So let this be my reminder to you. If you have yet to avail yourself of all the ways your local library can help you be a better, more inquisitive cook (or simply save you some money) there’s no better time than now. With many of us cooking at home more than ever, we could all use a little jolt of inspiration and novelty. Or just some escapist reading. Take a look at our KanShare catalog for in print cook books, Sunflower eLibrary (Libby app) for eCookbooks and magazines, Pinterest and the good ole internet for general browsing! You are sure to find something new to try.
I’m sharing my easy-peasy Taco Soup recipe. It’s a go to my family always loves. Hope you will too!
Slow Cooking Taco Soup – 6 to 8 servings
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
16 oz can Mexican-style tomatoes
16 oz can whole-kernel corn, undrained
16 oz can red beans, undrained
16 oz can black beans, undrained
16 oz can ranch beans
16 oz jar picante sauce (your choice on mild, medium or hot)
Optional additions when serving:
Shredded cheddar cheese
Corn or tortilla chips
Brown meat and onions in skillet. Drain.
Combine with all other vegetables and picante sauce in slow cooker.
Cover. Cook on low 4-6 hours
Serve with corn or tortilla chips, sour cream and shredded cheese as toppings.
Music:Spotify playlist: ConfiDANCE(Song spotlight: Not 20 Anymore by Bebe Rexha; Okay Okay by Alessia Cara)
We all have our struggles. Two at the top of my list are mornings, and confidence. In an attempt to kill two birds with one stone, I created a Spotify playlist to start my mornings with a little pep. As soon as I turn off my alarm in the morning, I try to queue up this playlist, and keep it playing during my morning routine & trip to drop my oldest off at school. I sought out about half of the songs, knowing they already help me improve my mood on bad days. The other half Spotify suggested to me! A couple of my *new* favorites include Not 20 Anymore by Bebe Rexha, and Okay Okay by Alessia Cara.
Available on Spotify
Movies: He’s All That
I suppose I’m a shameless millennial. I was scrolling through the Netflix “coming soon” tab when I found this. She’s All That was one of my favorite movies for the years after it came out. I mean, Paul Walker you guys. Even as the jerk bad guy, he’s dreamy. Anyhow, it gave me all the teenage angst lovey-dovey vibes that I wanted. I had such high hopes for this movie. I watched it the day it launched onto Netflix. A little overzealous, I know. Anyway, they did a great job of giving the story line an update and making it current to today’s youth. The characters have the same personalities and attributes of attraction that the original actors did. Matthew Lillard and Rachel Leigh Cook even make an appearance! It didn’t live up to the original’s hype, for me, unfortunately. Perhaps that is just because those were my people, and I suppose that makes these ones my kids’ people. Whatever. Worth the watch—but maybe just once.
Available on Netflix
Television Show: Curious Creations of Christine McConnell
Some might say I’m a bit of an oddball. I would say I just really love Halloween, and spooky stuff, and all things weird. This Netflix series is all of those things and more. Christine is kind of a Martha Stewart of the…spooky variety. She shows the audience how to make beautifully creepy creations like cakes, tea services, and edible tree ornaments. She also has a host of strange Jim Henson-like creature friends who are always getting into mischief while she tries to teach us about her creations. It’s a strange show, but I suppose I’m a strange person.
Available on Netflix
Kid’s Television Show: Dug Days
My son is two, and I stay home with him during the daytime. It’s a fun age riding the line between constantly having to tell him, “no”, and staring at him with a big goofy grin on my face because he’s just SO wonderful. Watching him watch Dug Days does that second one to me. He just loves Dug. I’m not sure what it is—he’s not very verbal just yet—but the grin on his face when I turn it on just melts my heart. There’s only five or six shorts in the series, and they are short, but they are adorable and definitely worth the watch.
I read this series a couple of years ago and truly enjoyed it. I must have talked about it quite a bit, because when my husband decided to start an audiobook series (and the book he was hoping to read was checked out), he started listening to this series. I became very excited to enjoy the story with him—a tiny book club for two. The story was just as good the second time around! I’m not a huge fan of the narration of this series, but I am glad they got the same narrator for all of the books (so far); it made it a consistent read. I’m a sucker for a few specific things in stories, and this series seems to check all of those boxes.*sigh*
Are you a fan of free and inexpensive? I am a fan of free and inexpensive. Chirp is an audiobook application I learned about through their sister (e-book) company Bookbub (which you should also check out if you haven’t heard of them). After creating your account, you can select favorite genres, authors, and narrators. Based on these favorites, you will receive a daily e-mail with a list of books you can purchase at discounted prices! The only disadvantage is you have to listen to it through their app. It’s a free app and subscription, though, so I’d call that a win! All books suggested to me so far are $5 or less. You can also put audiobooks on a wish list, and the app will alert you if they ever go on sale! I, um, I’ve purchased more $5 audiobooks than I care to admit so far.
About two years ago we moved into a new place to make room for a new little addition to our family. It had everything we were searching for, if it was a little higher in the price range than we were hoping for. Anyhow, the basement was unfinished. This might be daunting for some (read me), but the benefit was worth it. I aspire to write– and when I’m not writing, I’m usually reading—so, one of the unfinished rooms in the basement has been reserved as an office/writing space for me sometime in the distant future. I guess I decided I wanted less distance, because I moved all my books back into storage and started working.
Man I underestimated the work that goes into a project like this. I was excited to paint, but forgot about the dry walling and mudding that had to occur first. I did a decent amount before deciding a garage sale to fund a professional to finish the work was probably the best idea. Now that is done, and I’m in the painting process. I love the gothic library look I’ve chosen, and I’m excited to decorate now. Again, I forgot how much work has to occur before that step can be taken, though. Baseboards, crown molding, door trim, window trim, carpeting, and installation of shelves ALL have to occur before I can decorate. Picking those items out is enjoyable, and the installation isn’t unenjoyable—but the bill that accompanies it? That’s is for the birds. So, my project is somewhere in the in-between now. Not exactly the distant future anymore, but further away from the now I was eager for. These things take time, I suppose.
ON MY RADAR: books on my “TBR” shelf, movies and television shows on my “Queue”, podcasts I’ve been eyeing but haven’t had the time to listen to yet. Things I haven’t bit the bullet and purchased, but really hope to sometime soon.
Podcast: Not Just the Tudors with Suzannah Lipscomb
I am a huge history nerd. I love to read, see, watch and listen to anything historical especially if it pertains to the Tudors. Recently one of my favorite historians started her own podcast called, Not Just the Tudors, which covers all sorts of history during the sixteenth century. I have learned a lot while listening, such as about the teenage werewolf, the story of beards, and the witches of Lorraine. Most episodes are 30-60 minutes which make for a quick little dip into the sixteenth century from the comfort of your home.
Find it here or where you normally download your podcasts.
2. Television show:Expedition Unknown with Josh Gates
As I said above, I love to learn about history. This adventure show looks into some of the world’s most fascinating and enduring legends and mysteries. The host, Josh Gates, travels the world meeting with experts and locals to uncover why these legends still fascinate people today. His corny “dad jokes” and willingness to do just about anything makes for a fun watch. I recently binge watched it while babysitting my nephew. And now my parents and I are addicted to the show and watch it together every week.
I have been to England 3 times (in 2006, 2007 and 2011). Each time has been wonderful! I love the country, the history and even the food. Even with all three trips there is still so much I have not seen in this gorgeous country. My cousin and I have been planning to travel to London and Edinburgh but it had to be pushed back due to COVID. But we are hopeful that this next spring we will finally be able to travel. This magazine has been helping feed my wanderlust. It features different sites to see, events to attend and some of the history around Britain. If you miss traveling as much as I do then I would recommend you check it out plus many other travel magazines available on Libby.
This summer I was able to have my dachshund puppy, Dudley, come live with me. As with many dachshunds they are stubborn little barkers. And Dudley is no different. But in the future I would like to be able to take him on road trips or visit friends without having to deal with too many behavioral problems. Thus, I signed him up for training classes at Derby Petco with Riley H. The first class was very scary for him but he has already made tons of progress. He has learned lot of new tricks like sit, lay down, stay and leave it. Riley has been very patient with him. I would highly recommend her and the classes. There are different levels. Dudley is nearly done with session one and will start session two this fall!
Recently I found a new tool to help organize and plan my trip to the UK. It is called OneNote. It is a Microsoft program that allows a person to divide up things into different sections and pages. I have broken my trip into different categories like location, flights, hotels, and budgets. But then under each category I can have more pages with more individualized information. I put links, photos, and charts that give me a more detailed view of my trip. I like to show people that this is my “beautiful mind”. I have several itineraries, places we should visit, and restaurants to try. Plus, it has been a life saver during COVID. I have felt like I am doing something to plan my trip even though I cannot plan my trip yet. If you have access to OneNote I would recommend checking it out. It seems like a very useful tool for many different things.
Find out more about OneNote by checking out our database, Learning Express, where you can watch tutorials on using the application.
Movie:Rocky written by Sylvester Stallone, directed by John G. Avildsen
My dad introduced Rocky to me as a kid. We would watch all 5 Rocky movies together, just the two of us because no one else in the family liked it. It’s my all-time favorite movie series. The scene that gets me every time is at the end, when Adrian is trying to get to Rocky right after the fight, and Rocky is yelling for her, cue the music and it’s guaranteed to get me sobbing each time.
Available for checkout through the Derby Public Library.
2. Video Game: Super Mario
I’ve always been a Mario fan, playing a variety of them on the various consoles throughout the years. My favorite will forever be Super Mario 64. Recently my daughter and I have been playing Super Mario Galaxy together on the Switch. I’ve never played this one, but my husband loves it, so I thought I’d give it a try. I enjoyed it, but not as much as other Nintendo games.
This is no. 46 in the “In Death” series. I would describe this series as futuristic crime. I have listened to them on audio since the first one. The narrator, Susan Ericksen really brings the characters to life. If you have read the books, I would recommend listening to them on audio as well, because it gives you a sense of who the characters really are. My husband is now also a fan, which is pretty amazing because we have such different taste in books.
Available for checkout through the Derby Public Library.
4. Podcast: NPR’s Up First
This is one I listen to every morning. It’s a nice 15-minute news update on current events that doesn’t overwhelm me. I can catch up on what’s going on in the world while making breakfast or driving in the car.
A friend of mine told me about this series. I don’t usually like American reality shows, but this one is different. Each season 10 participants get dropped off at a location with 10 approved survival items and camera equipment and are completely alone. They then have to record themselves using their survival skills to see who can make it the longest, all without knowing if the other participants have “tapped out”. I really enjoy it because at some point, they aren’t putting on a show for the camera anymore, and you get to see who they really are as they try to overcome solitude, starvation and living off the land.
I am really big into skincare and have enjoyed the brand Paula’s Choice, so I knew I had to read this advice book written by her. She’s informative and blunt, so she doesn’t just promote her brand but other brands and different procedures as well. Paula debunks rumors and makes sure everything she recommends is backed with science, so this often means her opinion can change as science evolves, which I appreciate. Her honesty and knowledge are refreshing. I really liked how she doesn’t over-complicate things, so everyday consumers can read and have an understanding of what they should look for. My favorite piece of advice was about wearing sunscreen, which she reiterated throughout the book.
Available for checkout through the Derby Public Library
2.Documentary: Osage Murders: The Reign of Terror
After finishing up Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann, I went to look for more information about what the Osage people went through back in the 1920s. I ended up finding a documentary about the Reign of Terror, the name given for the period scanning three decades from 1910 into the1930s, which resulted in over fifty unsolved murders of wealthy Osage people in Oklahoma. The documentary was provided by the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, a public broadcasting service network. The video is only about 28 minutes so it is not a long watch. It’s an interesting and important part of history that I’m happy I did more research on.
3. Podcast: Red Collar (episode: Superdad Psychopath)
The whole show takes a look at murders and crimes committed by seemingly well-off and great people. It is hosted by Catherine Townsend and the episodes are usually about thirty-five minutes long. The episode I took a listen to recently was about the Watts family murders in Colorado back in 2018. She really went into the financial troubles that the couple had always experienced. The podcast brought some details to light that I thought the media and the popular Netflix documentary skipped over. Townsend makes sure she’s thorough with her explanations and has facts to back up some theories and motives to consider. It was an interesting listen for sure and I plan to listen to more episodes.
This was hands down my favorite TV show growing up. Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends is a Cartoon Network original animated series about a foster home for imaginary friends no longer in need by their creators. It centers around a kid named Mac, his witty imaginary friend Bloo, and all the other residents and workers at Foster’s. It’s a really silly show that does center around comedy, but the serious moments are really heartwarming. The show is honestly just as great as I remembered it to be. The episodes are only about 25 minutes long, so it is an easy show to binge.
Available on the streaming platform HBOMax.
5.Article: The Day Treva Throneberry Disappeared
I am fascinated with true crime cases, especially the bizarre ones. This one really took me by surprise. Treva Throneberry decided to run away from her life in a small town in Texas, at the age of eighteen, all the way to the state of Washington to start anew as a sixteen-year-old. Through the article, you learn of her family life and her mental problems she was dealing with back in Texas as you get to know the life she was living in Washington. You also learn that she made impersonating a young girl her habit. I really liked that the article switches back and forth from her past and her life elsewhere all the way until her final arrest. It also talked about her unfair trial she had to go through given she was clearly mentally incompetent. Treva Throneberry’s case is a sad one, but I’m glad I took the time to read it.