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Happy fall, friends. It’s time for the October 2018 entertainment review. Here’s a quick recap of the books, TV, movies and online content that captured my attention this past month. Be sure to share YOUR favorites in the comments.
Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say – Kelly Corrigan is one of us. And by one of us I mean that she’s a smart funny woman — coping with moody teenage girls, an ambition level that waxes and wanes depending on who’s there to witness it and how much alcohol she has consumed.
In her latest book she shares a dozen simple phrases that she’s learned in her 50 years on the planet and the stories that make them come to life. This is not a self-help book. It’s a cross between a collection of short stories, a memoir and Erma Bombeck with a hefty helping of clever writing. Corrigan doesn’t presume to guide or direct us in a 10-steps-to-Nirvana way. She merely presents funny, touching vignettes from her own life that eventually prompted her to think she should respond differently to various challenges, problems, requests and circumstances. This was a lovely read – highly recommend.
Magnolia Table cookbook – I’m a BIG Joanna Gaines fan and I was eager to check out her cookbook. The recipes are homey and accessible, but not particularly healthy and definitely not gluten-free. That said, I still found more than a few things I wanted to try. And if I could eat biscuits, I’d be all over JoJo’s recipe.
A Spark of Light – One of the most fearless writers of our time, Jodi Picoult tackles a complicated issue in this gripping and nuanced novel about abortion. How do we balance the rights of pregnant women with the rights of the unborn they carry? What does it mean to be a good parent? A Spark of Light will inspire debate, conversation . . . and, hopefully, understanding.
A Star is Born – Public Service Announcement: Go see “A Star is Born”! Bradley Cooper can sing (what?!) and Lady Gaga’s performance is authentic and gripping. Plus the music is GREAT. I knew I was gonna love this movie and it did not disappoint.
Also, don’t take your young kids to see this film. Do your homework. This is the fourth remake of this movie so when I see people posting on social media that they “didn’t know it was so dark” I’ve gotta just shake my head.
First Man – I’m a sucker for an astronaut movie and this was a good one (albeit a little slow). We saw it on Friday night and when we went back to the theater on Saturday night to see a different movie, I was so happy to see LOTS of teenagers buying tickets. I wouldn’t have expected that demographic. The kids are alright.
First Man is a look at the life of Astronaut Neil Armstrong and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon, July 20, 1969. A visceral, first-person account, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie explores the sacrifices and the cost—on Armstrong and on the nation—of one of the most dangerous missions in history. The movie engages in some guesswork and some dramatic condensation of events. But it stays basically faithful to the history. And its efforts to convey the visual and even tactile sensations of space exploration are very compelling.
Bad Times at the El Royale – This is one of those movies where the less you know before seeing it, the better. Here’s what I can tell you without spoiling the fun: Seven strangers, each with a secret, meet at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, their stories intersect in some very surprising ways. The plot moves fast and there are lots of twists and turns. Throughout the 140 minutes I went from liking it, to hating it, to liking it again. This one is not for the kiddos – lots of violence.
This is Us (NBC) – I’ve recently come across three friends who just discovered This is Us. Whaaaaaat? It’s in season three and it is hands down the best show on network TV. I’m sure that most of you are already watching but if you’re not (gasp) you need to stop what you’re doing and start watching from the beginning right now. Trust me you can’t just jump into the current season. And, don’t forget the Kleenex. Tuesday nights are known for crying around here.
Red Table Talk (Facebook) Did you know that Facebook now has original programming? Well they do, and Red Table Talk is a winner. The second season just started and each episode features Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith (Will and Jada’s daughter) and Jada’s mom Adrienne Banfield-Norris. The first two episodes of season two feature a guest appearance by Will Smith talking about his 20+ year marriage to Jada and how they had to completely deconstruct it and put it back together. Paul and I watched these episodes together and they gave us a lot to talk about.
You can see all of my previous entertainment reviews HERE.