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Book Review: LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE by Jessica Knoll

May 26, 2015 – 9:09 pm | 4 Comments

Jessica Knoll, a former Cosmopolitan magazine editor, debuts in book publishing with Luckiest Girl Alive, a novel that adroitly handles timely news topics.
Ani FaNelli is an editor at a women’s magazine in New York City, and engaged …

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Big Bear Adventure

May 25, 2015 – 6:11 pm | 5 Comments

Since we had a long weekend, Mr. PCN and I decided to run away from civilization and the noisy neighbors with their chainsaws and leaf blowers and constantly barking dogs.

We rented a cabin in the mountains near Big Bear Lake, where it was blissfully quiet. It was too windy and choppy on the water for kayaking so we took a tandem bike around the lake. The air was crisp, the temp about 40 degrees, and this was our view.

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After we had lunch, we came back to the cabin and built a fire. That’s a jacuzzi tub to the left.

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The cabin also had a private deck, where I’d take my coffee in the morning…

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…but it was cozier to stay inside by the fire and dig into my stack of books. I brought 3, was able to finish the top 2 (reviews to come), and have started the third.

IMG_2020And that’s about all I did on my spring vacation. How was your weekend? What did you read or watch?

When Is a Spoiler a Spoiler?

May 14, 2015 – 10:47 pm | 12 Comments
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I had two extremely annoying reading experiences recently and it brought to mind a question I’ve had for a while so I thought I’d seek outside opinions.
Here’s what happened, with two books in a row. I was reading …

Nerdy Special List April 2015

April 8, 2015 – 8:20 pm | 4 Comments
spinster

April is always a big month for me. Not only is it my birth month, it’s also that of my mother, husband, goddaughter, and two close friends. I should buy stock in Hallmark considering how …

Book Giveaway: THE MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA COOKBOOK

March 19, 2015 – 10:35 am | 8 Comments
MWA cookbook

A couple weeks ago, I received a cookbook for review. Since me in the kitchen is the equivalent of a child running with scissors while chased by wild dogs across a freeway, I might seem …

Book Review: A TOUCH OF STARDUST by Kate Alcott

March 11, 2015 – 10:53 pm | One Comment

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.
Last year was the 75th anniversary of the movie Gone with the Wind, and now Kate Alcott’s novel A Touch of …

Nerdy Special List March 2015

March 5, 2015 – 11:53 pm | One Comment
life or death

Though we’ve been enjoying gorgeous weather in Southern California, my family and friends on the East Coast are soooo over all the snow and freezing temps. But they’ve had lots of snow days, which means …

Book Review: CANARY by Duane Swierczynski

March 4, 2015 – 9:06 pm | 3 Comments
canary cover

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.
Sarie Holland, the protagonist in Duane Swierczynski’s Canary, is a 17-year-old college student who’s busted after unwittingly helping another student on a …

Book Review: ONE STEP TOO FAR by Tina Seskis

February 10, 2015 – 5:08 pm | One Comment
one step too far

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.
At the start of British author Tina Seskis’s debut novel, One Step Too Far, a married lawyer named Emily Coleman is running …

Watch Oscar-Nominated Film for Free This Weekend

February 4, 2015 – 9:14 pm | 5 Comments

Last October, I raved about the Rory Kennedy-directed/produced documentary, Last Days in Vietnam (my review here). Last month, it was Oscar nominated for best documentary feature.
This weekend, from February 5-7, you can stream this film …

Nerdy Special List February 2015

February 2, 2015 – 11:34 pm | 7 Comments
touch of stardust

January always seems like it lasts a year, with post-holiday blues and crappy weather, and I didn’t have many good reads last month. But February is here, bringing with it more promising books.
Here’s what my …

Movie Review: CAKE

January 29, 2015 – 4:49 pm | 4 Comments
cake one sheet

Last fall, when raves came out of the Toronto International Film Festival about Jennifer Aniston’s “Oscar-worthy,” vanity-free performance in Cake (in limited release now), I was doubtful. Just because an actress goes without makeup doesn’t …

Quick Thoughts on SAG Awards 2015

January 25, 2015 – 9:18 pm | One Comment
lupita sag awards 2015

The SAG Awards may have a lower profile than the Golden Globes and the Oscars, but it’s the most personal awards show for me because I get to vote for the winners.
This year I did …

Thoughts on Oscar Nominations 2015

January 15, 2015 – 10:56 am | 6 Comments
Laura Dern as "Bobbi" in WILD.

Since the Oscar nominations were announced at dark o’clock this morning, many articles have appeared griping about the snubs. I’m surprised, too, that certain frontrunners weren’t nominated—Gillian Flynn being ignored for Gone Girl‘s screenplay is …