Summary: In a collection of short stories, C. J. Tudor gives the readers thrills and chills plus making us think. Ten short stories ranging from apocalyptic to a mysterious graffiti tiger are enough to keep the reader reading but also awake at night.
My Thoughts: This collection was so much FUN!! Each story was different and kept my attention. And some even kept my attention into the night, filling my dreams with nightmares. It was creepy, mysterious and thought provoking. I loved how the author started each story with the inspiration behind the tale. It gave each one a little bit more and an insight into an author’s thought process.
It is hard to choose which one is my favorite because they all had something great to recommend them. But I think some of things that will stick with me the most are the flesh eating butterflies and the humans infested with bugs. Bugs creep me out but this gives my phobia another level to think about. Yuck!
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.
First line: I’m not the sort of person who goes around feeling good about himself.
Summary: A collection of previously published essays and stories from David Sedaris. He covers everything from short stories, family drama and the loss of a sibling. His stories range from serious to hilarious.
My Thoughts: Several years ago I fell in love with David Sedaris and his work. I have read all his books, listened to his holiday collection multiple times, and spent hours waiting to see him at Watermark. Ninety percent of these stories were ones I had previously read but I was pleasantly surprised to find a few that I had not experienced yet.
It was great to rediscover some of his early stories that I had forgotten about. I laughed just as hard this time around as I did the first time. Even though Sedaris is considered a humorist he also brings a lot of heart to his work. The way he talks about his family makes one appreciate my own family. Everyone has quirks and life can be crazy but we all love each other and will be there for one another.
I think that this was exactly what I needed at the end of 2020. Focusing has been difficult this year. A book of short stories and essays are perfect for my attention span lately. And the laughs help as well! Thank you Mr. Sedaris!
First line: Anna said there was only one place to find a meaningful gift for MDash—the Antique Warehouse, not so much a place for old treasures as a permanent swap meet in what used to be the Lux Theater.
Summary: A collection of short stories written by Tom Hanks. Each story has its own feel and flow to it but in each he incorporates a typewriter. The stories span from time travel to a struggling actress to a bowler with a perfect score.
Highlights: I liked each and every story. They are all unique. I was excited to read this book because I am a big fan of Tom Hanks. He is very talented and once again proved it with this collection. The depth of the stories and the variety captured me. It was nice to have something I could pick up and put down without losing track of the storyline. I think my favorite was the story of the time traveling billionaire. The ending was sad but I completely enjoyed it.
Lowlights: I wanted more! I have never been drawn to short stories but I think this will be a gateway into trying more. I was always disappointed when the story ended.