Hey there, I'm Jill, the founder of GrownupDish.com and your go-to gal for everything midlife. As a recovering CEO, food lover, world traveler, and self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado, I've got a wealth of experience and wisdom to share with you.
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Here’s a quick recap of the books, TV, movies, podcasts and music that captured my attention this month. What were your April entertainment favorites?
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones — I’m hit or miss with Oprah’s book selections these days, but this one knocked my socks off. The story is timely and compelling and the way that it’s written from multiple points of view kept my attention until the very end. I’m hoping that it gets made into a movie.
Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott – This is an older book that I ordered through the library. (I love the library!) I was always intrigued by the premise (which Publisher’s Weekly described as a prayer manual for people who wouldn’t be caught dead reading a prayer manual.) While I enjoy reading Lamott’s posts on Facebook and Instagram, frankly, I was afraid it might be a little too “churchy” for me. I was pleasantly surprised that it was not. Lamott’s writing is funny, perceptive and very accessible for anyone who believes in the concept of a higher power, regardless of faith.
Rise (NBC) – As a self-proclaimed “drama geek” and lover of musical theater, I’m loving this series about a high-school production of “A Spring Awakening” and all of the back stories of the students, teachers and parents.
Here and Now (HBO) – I feel like I’m the only person in America that watched this show, but I love a dark dysfunctional family drama. I was a big fan of Six Feet Under and this show has the same creator (Alan Ball) and definitely the same quirky, dark vibe. It’s not being renewed by HBO so there will only be one season. This review perfectly summarizes how I felt about it.
Homeland (SHO) – I’ve been watching Homeland since the beginning but this was the strongest season since season one. So topical. So suspenseful. I am sad that it’s over already and that next season will be the last one.
I Feel Pretty – Smart, funny and such a great message. Amy Schumer hit it out of the park with this one.
Ready Player One – I liked it more than I expected, given that I’m not very interested in video games. Interesting premise, strong performances and parts of it definitely gave me a “Harry Potter” and a “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory” vibe.
Rampage – The most positive thing I can say is that both “The Rock” and the gorilla were very endearing. Decent special effects but a crazy, implausible story.
Love Simon – Super sweet albiet predictable film. This would be a good one to save to watch on a flight.
Light Work by Danielle LaPorte – Six girlfriend-style sermons on serving the world while staying sane, cosmic connectiveness over tech addiction, self compassion and more fulfilling friendships. Poetry. Hilarity. Peeks into the personal. I’ve only listened to the first two episodes because I want to savor them.
Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations – Oprah has taken her popular Super Soul Sunday TV show and turned it into a series of podcasts with thought-leaders, best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, as well as health and wellness experts. Even though I’ve seen most of the TV shows, I’m enjoying listening to them again. So much wisdom.
Did you know that GrownUp Dish has a Spotify playlist? It’s free and it’s public. Click to listen to all of the tunes I’ve been dancing to all month. I try to add a few new ones every week. If there are songs that you’d recommend, drop me a note.