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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It’s been a hot minute since I posted an entertainment review. But I’ve got so much good stuff to share with you. Check out these delicious summer reads, a bunch of bingeable TV shows, and a few can’t miss movies.
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert – You probably know Liz Gilbert from her runaway bestseller/memoir Eat Pray Love, but her newest novel is my favorite fiction book of the summer.
City of Girls is set in the New York City theater world during the 1940s. Told from the perspective of an older woman as she looks back on her youth with both pleasure and regret (but mostly pleasure), City of Girls explores themes of female sexuality and promiscuity, as well as the idiosyncrasies of true love. It also has a great message about shame; how it differs for men and women, and how it can be both debilitating and ultimately empowering.
Life Will Be The Death of Me by Chelsea Handler – Comedian Chelsea Handler has (reluctantly) grown up. In this memoir, she opens the door to her therapy sessions, details the impact of her brother’s unexpected death and addresses her personal shortcomings. The result is a book that is timely, real, raw and ultimately very satisfying. It’s definitely not a “self-help” book, but I promise you’ll glean some nuggets that you can apply to your life. There’s also an accompanying podcast, that I reviewed HERE.
Succession (HBO & Amazon Prime) – When my BFF Laura texted me that I had to watch Succession, I checked it out right away.
I love a dysfunctional family drama and Succession does not disappoint. The series focuses on the lives of the ultra-rich Roy family as they contemplate their future once their aging asshole of a father begins to step back from the media conglomerate he built. Most of the characters in this show are a mess so there’s no “good guy” to root for. But the family dynamic and the business turns often feel like watching a car accident in slow motion. And season two starts in August.
Songland is my other summer obsession. It’s a peek into the creative process of songwriting that gives one talented winner per episode the opportunity to have his/her song recorded and released worldwide by a chart-topping artist. This season’s artists include: Jonas Brothers, John Legend, Charlie Puth, Meghan Trainor, will.i.am, OneRepublic, Kelsea Ballerini, Macklemore, Aloe Blacc, Old Dominion and Leona Lewis.
Each week, one guest recording artist comes to “Songland” to hear unknown songwriters pitch their original material. The songwriters perform their original tracks in front of the guest artist and three of the most successful and sought-after producers in music. And these three music producers are jaw-dropping AMAZING. They are all so talented (and positive). I’m dumbfounded by their ability to give such immediate and specific feedback to improve the songs.
After the initial songwriter pitches, the artist chooses three songwriters to move forward to the studio and pairs each songwriter with one of the producers. In the studio, the songs will take shape in unexpected ways as the songwriter and producer duos work together to win over the recording artist.
In the end, the artist chooses one “winner” and their song is recorded (by the artist) and immediately available for download or purchase.