books

Love of Reading by BETAkanim

In the past 14 weeks I’ve read 15 books.

My husband, an avid reader himself, is pretty impressed. He reads the same collection of books that he’s owned for 20 years. I’m currently rediscovering my love of reading and finding out what genres I really enjoy. When I was a teenager and into my early 20s I read romance novels. That’s because I could borrow books from my sister-in-law who was also a voracious reader. During the Dark Ages aka my previous marriage, I read very little. Thankfully that marriage ended and a few years later I met J who introduced me to fantasy novels beyond Tolkien.

In 2018 I dusted off my Goodreads acct and my Kindle in an effort to spend less time online and more time reading. Kindle books are often really inexpensive which makes it easy to pick up a few titles to read. Since I’m a huge fan of Investigation Discovery so I decided to buy a few crime novels. I found the “Detective Erika Foster” series by Robert Bryndza and fell in love with all the characters in the first book, “The Girl in the Ice”. Bryndza decided to take a break from writing for this series to explore an idea for a new character. His new book “Nine Elms-Kate Marshall Book1” is available for pre-order. Of course I’ve pre-ordered and can’t wait to read it in November when it’s published.

Once you find an author Goodreads and Kindle are wonderful about making suggestions for more authors and books. That’s how I found the DI Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons.

Several weeks ago I veered off the crime novel path and took a leap of faith with a few new books I found through Kindle Unlimited.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky - Mark T. Sullivan

The Ragged Edge of Night

The Victory Garden - Rhys Bowen

In Farleigh Field - Rhys Bowen

The Tuscan Child - Rhys Bowen

And “Where the Forest Meets the Stars” by Glendy Vanderah. This is Ms. Venderah’s first novel and I SO hope she continues to write more. I’ve never written a book review but I should probably learn how to write one properly. In the meantime all I can say is that this is a beautifully and thoughtfully written story about the lives of three survivors who come together and teach each other about love, forgiveness, healing and family. I don’t normally read contemporary fiction but the ratings for the book were amazing and it was available to read for free through Kindle Unlimited. i’ll be purchasing it to add to my personal library because it’s just outstanding.

Last night I started yet another book and after only a couple chapters in, I’m in love with it. I feel so fortunate to have so many wonderful stories available to me. Reading brings comfort and joy into my life and transports me to different places, times and even worlds. With that said I’m off to continue reading my latest find…








Books, Movies, Streaming. by BETAkanim

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Last week was pretty for reading and watching. Movies, books and TV web series filled many hours and I’m good with that. This gal can be productive AND watch a lot of movies/TV. It also helps that there was no episode of Critical Role. That freed up 4+ hours of viewing time. For those not in the loop, Critical Role is a TV web series where voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons. It’s amazing and we’ve watched it since 2016. Okay back to the topic of this post.

The Book: Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

Wanting a change from my beloved police procedural genre, I browsed through the collection of best sellers available through Kindle Unlimited. This immediately caught my attention because it’s a WWII story. It’s based on Pino Lella’s life in Milan, Italy from 1943 until the end of the war in 1945. The story begins in June of ‘43 as the British began their intense bombing campaign.

This story moved me to my core. I sobbed when Pino was forced to witness the execution of not only his friends but the love of his life. I sobbed for a solid two hours after finishing the book and as I write this my eyes are welling with tears. It’s been Titanic level crying. I don’t write reviews for anything other than purchases on Amazon. So bottom line, LOVED THIS BOOK and I’m glad I found it.

The Movie: The Sisters Brothers (2018)

I’m a sucker for westerns old and new but I didn’t see this one in theaters because of the two top billed names. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy films with John C. Reilly or Joaquin Phoenix. Neither are actors that immediately draw me in. Last Tuesday I decided to watch the trailer because the movie was available to stream. As soon as J walked in the door from work I was like, “Dude, we’re watching The Sisters Brothers right now.

Based on the novel by Patrick DeWitt, the movie revolves around two assassins, Charlie and Eli Sisters and their pursuit of a gold prospector. Their journey takes them across Oregon to San Francisco where they finally catch up to the prospector. This movie wasn’t what I expected and that was a pleasant surprise especially when dealing with dealing with Eli Sisters’ personal crisis in regards to his life as a killer.

We enjoyed movie so much we immediately purchased it for our library when the end credits began to roll.

Streaming: Russian Doll - Netflix and Agatha Christie’s ABC Murders - Amazon Prime

Let’s start with Russian Doll shall we? Both J and I were excited to watch this. Initially I found the preview and knew it would be something he’d enjoy. He’s a fan of dark humor and this show definitely delivers that. I’ve seen reviews that say it’s absolutely not a comedy and I disagree completely. The first episode didn’t hit us with laughs but after that we found ourselves laughing hysterically at things. Perhaps we saw and heard more than others? We’re analyzers. As a couple we’ll stream a show or movie and stop multiple times in order to discuss our theories, comment on script and/or cinematography or complain if continuity falls flat. We’ve gone beyond being just “watchers.” We discuss everything.

We hoped that the time loop wouldn’t be a semi-copy of Groundhog Day and it wasn’t. Yay! This dramedy is also filled with suspense and mystery. Seriously when Nadia’s deaths become fast and furious upon seeing herself as a child I was on the edge of the couch. When the series goes dark, it goes DARK. The scenes with young Nadia and her mother Lenora were fantastic. Mostly becaues Chloe Sevigny is a freaking amazing actress! I haven’t seen her since her role in Bloodline. I was disappointed when that show ended with only 3 seasons.

We’re looking forward to a season 2 for Russian Doll. The creators, Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland can take the show and Nadia in many directions. We’re on board for whatever may come.


Okay that brings me to the Amazon Prime Original series Agatha Christie’s ABC Murders. Reasons why I spent an afternoon watching it:

  • I love murder mysteries

  • I love Agatha Christie

  • I love John Malkevich and Rupert Grint

Rupert Grint was fantastic in this show and I’m glad it was something I could see here in the states. I know he’s done a few series since the last Harry Potter movie but nothing I’ve been able to view. If you love Agatha Christie I think you’ll enjoy this TV mini series. The novel was first published in 1936. The mini series shows us a retired Hercule Poirot living an all too quiet life when he begins receiving letters from a soon-to-be serial killer.

I’m always skeptical when a book goes to film but they did justice with this novel. The production was well worth spending the afternoon curled up on the couch with a plate of nibbles and my phone turned off.