Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Reading Wrap Up: May 2022

(books from the tbr)
Bloomsbury Girls
by Natalie Jenner
Women's Fiction, England, WWII | Published: 2022 | Goodreads | my rating: 5
Instagram: #bloomsburygirls @authornataliejenner @stmartinspress
delightful treat with Jane Austen references, plight of women and coming into your own

Bloomsbury Books is an old-fashioned new and rare book store that has persisted and resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the general manager's unbreakable fifty-one rules. But in 1950, the world is changing, especially the world of books and publishing, and at Bloomsbury Books, the girls in the shop have plans:

Vivien Lowry: Single since her aristocratic fiance was killed in action during World War II, the brilliant and stylish Vivien has a long list of grievances - most of them well justified and the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the Head of Fiction.

Grace Perkins: Married with two sons, she's been working to support the family following her husband's breakdown in the aftermath of the war. Torn between duty to her family and dreams of her own.

Evie Stone: In the first class of female students from Cambridge permitted to earn a degree, Evie was denied an academic position in favor of her less accomplished male rival. Now she's working at Bloomsbury Books while she plans to remake her own future.

As they interact with various literary figures of the time - Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, Sonia Blair (widow of George Orwell), Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and others - these three women with their complex web of relationships, goals and dreams are all working to plot out a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow.

Listen to an audio excerpt (here)

Monday, May 30, 2022

Meet and greet: Atlas

Atlas Six
by Olivie Blake
Fantasy, Magic | Published: 2020 | Goodreads

The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few...

- Libby Rhodes and Nicolás Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.
- Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.
- Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.
- Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.
- Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them.

The Thousandth Floor
by Katharine McGee
Dystopia, YA | Published: 2016 | Goodreads

Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.

A thousand-storey tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible – if you want it enough.

A hundred years in the future, New York's elite of the super-tower lie, backstab and betray each other to find their place at the top of the world. Everyone wants something… and everyone has something to lose.

As the privileged inhabitants of the upper floors recklessly navigate the successes and pitfalls of the luxury life, forbidden desires are indulged and carefree lives teeter on the brink of catastrophe. Whilst lower-floor workers are tempted by a world – and unexpected romance – dangling just out of reach. And on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all – yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

So when a young woman falls from the top of the supertower, her death is the culmination of a scandal that has ensnared the top-floor elite and bottom-floor. But who plummeted from the roof? And what dark secrets led to her fall?

Friends will be betrayed and enemies forged as promises are broken. When you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down...

fyi: Atlas is Avery’s adopted brother.


It Starts With Us
by Colleen Hoover
Romance | Published: October 2022 | Goodreads

Before It Ends with Us, it started with Atlas. Colleen Hoover tells fan favorite Atlas’ side of the story and shares what comes next in this long-anticipated sequel to the "glorious and touching" (USA TODAY) #1 New York Times bestseller It Ends with Us.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Lovely Books and Things - 5.29.22

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Yerba Buena outdoor summer free concert series: Gamelan Sekar Jaya (here)
2. National Hamburger Day (yesterday) with a burger from Violet's (here)
3. Received the Forbidden Fiber Co. (here) Sunnyvale mystery cross stich box of goodies inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer fyi: the box is no longer available but the kit, chart patterns and threads will be in the shop for a limited time

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
by Ariel Delgado Dixon
Contemporary, Thriller, LGBTQ | Published: 2022 | Goodreads

Easy Beauty
by Chloe Cooper Jones
Memoir, Disability | Published: 2022 | Goodreads

Time Is A Mother
by Ocean Vuong
Poetry, LGBTQ, Vietnamese American | Published: 2022 | Goodreads


Virtual Author event: hosted by bookreporter
See archive of this (here)
Two Nights in Lisbon
by Chris Pavone
Mystery, Thriller, Portugal | Published: 2022 | Goodreads

The Paris Library
by Janet Skeslien Charles
Historical, WWII, France | Goodreads


AND watched: theatre
Men (2022)
Director/ Writer: Alex Garland
Stars: Jessie Buckley, Rory Kinnear
Drama, Horror, SciFi, England | imdb | my rating: 4
creepy, with beautiful cottage setting

A young woman goes on a solo vacation to the English countryside following the death of her ex-husband.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Saturday, May 28, 2022

National Hamburger Day 2022

National Hamburger Day
May 28

Celebrating the day with Bob's burgers...

The Bob's Burgers Burger Book:
Real Recipes for Joke Burgers
by Loren Bouchard
Humor, Cookbook | Published: 2022 | Goodreads

The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book gives hungry fans their best chance to eat one of Bob Belcher’s beloved specialty Burgers of the Day in seventy-five original, practical recipes. With its warm, edgy humor, outstanding vocal cast, and signature musical numbers, Bob’s Burgers has become one of the most acclaimed and popular animated series on television, winning the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program and inspiring a hit ongoing comic book and original sound track album. Now fans can get the ultimate Bob’s Burgers experience at home with seventy-five straight from the show but actually edible Burgers of the Day. Recipes include the "Bleu is the Warmest Cheese Burger," the "Bruschetta-Bout-It Burger," and the "Shoot-Out at the OK-ra Corral Burger (comes with Fried Okra)." Serve the "Sweaty Palms Burger (comes with Hearts of Palm)" to your ultimate crush, just like Tina Belcher, or ponder modern American literature with the "I Know Why the Cajun Burger Sings Burger."

Fully illustrated with all-new art in the series’s signature style, The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book showcases the entire Belcher family as well as beloved characters including Teddy, Jimmy Pesto Jr., and Aunt Gayle. All recipes come from the fan-created and heavily followed blog "The Bob’s Burger Experiment."

The Bob's Burgers Movie (2022)
Director/Writer: Loren Bouchard, Bernard Derriman
Writers: Nora Smith, Jim Dauterive
Stars: H. Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Dan Mintz, John Roberts, Eugene Mirman
Animation, Adventure, Comedy | imdb

The Belchers try to save the restaurant from closing as a sinkhole forms in front of it, while the kids try to solve a mystery that could save their family's restaurant.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Flight: Pilots

Great Circle
by Maggie Shipstead
Historical, Travel | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

After being rescued as infants from a sinking ocean liner in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are raised by their dissolute uncle in Missoula, Montana. There—after encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots passing through town in beat-up biplanes—Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At fourteen she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy bootlegger who provides a plane and subsidizes her lessons, an arrangement that will haunt her for the rest of her life, even as it allows her to fulfill her destiny: circumnavigating the globe by flying over the North and South Poles.

A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film that centers on Marian's disappearance in Antarctica. Vibrant, canny, disgusted with the claustrophobia of Hollywood, Hadley is eager to redefine herself after a romantic film franchise has imprisoned her in the grip of cult celebrity. Her immersion into the character of Marian unfolds, thrillingly, alongside Marian's own story, as the two women's fates—and their hunger for self-determination in vastly different geographies and times—collide.


Top Gun: Maverick (2022)
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Screenplay: Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, Christopher McQuarrie
Story by: Peter Craig, Justin Marks
Based on characters by: Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr.
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly
Action, Drama | imdb

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy's top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Flight: Crew

Come Fly the World
by Julia Cooke
History, Travel, Biography, Feminism | Published: 2021 | Goodreads

Glamour, danger, liberation: in a Mad Men–era of commercial flight, Pan Am World Airways attracted the kind of young woman who wanted out, and wanted up

Required to have a college degree, speak two languages, and possess the political savvy of a Foreign Service officer, a jet-age stewardess serving on iconic Pan Am between 1966 and 1975 also had to be between 5′3" and 5′9", between 105 and 140 pounds, and under 26 years of age at the time of hire. Julia Cooke’s intimate storytelling weaves together the real-life stories of a memorable cast of characters, from Lynne Totten, a science major who decided life in a lab was not for her, to Hazel Bowie, one of the relatively few black stewardesses of the era, as they embraced the liberation of their new jet-set life.

Cooke brings to life the story of Pan Am stewardesses’ role in the Vietnam War, as the airline added runs from Saigon to Hong Kong for planeloads of weary young soldiers straight from the battlefields, who were off for five days of R&R, and then flown back to war. Finally, with Operation Babylift—the dramatic evacuation of 2,000 children during the fall of Saigon—the book’s special cast of stewardesses unites to play an extraordinary role on the world stage.

Fly Girl
by Ann Hood
Memoir, Travel | Published: 2022 | Goodreads

In 1978, in the tailwind of the golden age of air travel, flight attendants were the epitome of glamor and sophistication. Fresh out of college and hungry to experience the world—and maybe, one day, write about it—Ann Hood joined their ranks. After a grueling job search, Hood survived TWA’s rigorous Breech Training Academy and learned to evacuate seven kinds of aircraft, deliver a baby, mix proper cocktails, administer oxygen, and stay calm no matter what the situation.

In the air, Hood found both the adventure she’d dreamt of and the unexpected realities of life on the job. She carved chateaubriand in the first-class cabin and dined in front of the pyramids in Cairo, fended off passengers’ advances and found romance on layovers in London and Lisbon, and walked more than a million miles in high heels. She flew through the start of deregulation, an oil crisis, massive furloughs, and a labor strike.

As the airline industry changed around her, Hood began to write—even drafting snatches of her first novel from the jump-seat. She reveals how the job empowered her, despite its roots in sexist standards. Packed with funny, moving, and shocking stories of life as a flight attendant, Fly Girl captures the nostalgia and magic of air travel at its height, and the thrill that remains with every takeoff.

Flight Attendant
by Chris Bohjalian
Mystery, Thriller | Published: 2018 | Goodreads

Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She's a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing. When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, already counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police—she's a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home—Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it's too late to come clean—or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did?


The Flight Attendant (2020)
tv series: season one
Creator: Steve Yockey
Based on book by: Chris Bohjalian
Stars: Kaley Cuoco, Zosia Mamet
Comedy, Drama, Mystery, HBO | imdb

A reckless flight attendant with an alcoholism problem wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man - and no idea what happened. Unable to piece the night together, she begins to wonder if she could be the killer.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Lovely Books and Things - 5.22.22

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Winner of Syrie James Sanditon/Masterpiece Theatre swag - totebag and socks
2. Pre-screening film tickets to Downton Abbey: A New Era
3. Blogging time at the Garden Cafe

Library: audiobook
Certain Dark Things
by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Fantasy, Horror, Vampires, Mexico | Published: 2021 (first 2016) | Goodreads

The Doloriad
by Missouri Williams
Horror, SciFi | Published: 2022 | Goodreads

by Kiare Ladner
Thriller, London | Published: 2021 | Goodreads


AND watched: theatre
Downton Abbey: A New Era (2022)
Director: Simon Curtis
Screenplay: Julian Fellowes
Stars: Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville
Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 5
lots of smiles

Follow-up to the 2019 feature film in which the Crawley family and Downton staff received a royal visit from the King and Queen of Great Britain.

AND watched: virtual theatre for CAAMfest40 (xxx">details)
Anita (2021)
Director/Screenplay: Lok Man Leung
Screenplay: Wai Lun Ng
Stars: Louise Wong, Louis Koo
Biography, Drama, History | imdb | my rating: 5
amazing superstar

Traces the life of Anita Mui, Hong Kong's legendary Cantopop star.

Silent River (2021)
Director/Writer: Chris Chan Lee
Stars: West Liang, Amy Tsang
Drama, SciFi | imdb | my rating: 5
Wha...what just happened... must re-watch

Desperate to reconcile with his estranged wife, Elliot stops at a desert motel where he encounters Greta, an uncanny woman on the run from a mysterious past.

Drifting (2021)
Director/Writer: Jun LI
Stars: Francis Ng, Cecilia Choi
Drama, Hong Kong | imdb | my rating: 5

Just out of jail, Fai finds a spot on a street corner where other homeless people welcome him. But he doesn't get much time to settle in. The police soon chase them away, and their possessions disappear into a garbage truck. Young social worker Ms Ho thinks it's time to fight this in court. In the meantime, Fai and his friends have other concerns.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Explore: Oaxaca

Explore The World 2022
through books, films, etc.
May: Oaxaca

READ: set in Mexico

Hurricane Season
by Fernanda Melchor
translated by Sophie Hughes
Literary, Mexico | Goodreads

AUDIOBOOK: set in Mexico

Certain Dark Things
by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Fantasy, Horror, Vampires, Mexico | Published: 2021 (first 2016) | Goodreads

WATCH: filmed in Oaxaca

Nacho Libre (2006)
Director/Writer: Jared Hess
Writers: Jerusha Hess, Mike White
Stars: Jack Black, Ana de la Reguera, Héctor Jiménez
Comedy, Family, Sport, Mexico | imdb

Berated all his life by those around him, a monk follows his dream and dons a mask to moonlight as a Luchador (Mexican wrestler).


The Spirit of Mexico
by Judith Cooper Haden
Travel, Mexico | Published: 2002 | Goodreads

"A riot of color and commotion, Oaxaca is Mexico at its most authentic and spontaneous."
—Travel & Leisure

Each year, a quarter million Americans visit the Mexican state of Oaxaca, an ancient land where indigenous, pre-Columbian, and colonial worlds exist side by side. Photographer Judith Haden offers a pictorial love letter to Oaxaca, illuminating its everyday life in supersaturated blues, dazzling yellows, and pinks so hot they vibrate on the page.

Compelling portraits of market vendors, folk art and artists, fiestas, and historic sites are matched by insightful prose. More than a dozen essays explore the street markets, religious festivals, artes populares, music, architecture, gastronomy, history, and language, tracing the palpable features of the faces of Oaxaca.

With more than two hundred breathtaking color photographs, this volume captures the spirit and traditions of a valley whose dynamic culture, hospitable people, and rugged beauty have bewitched travelers since the time of Cortez.


VISIT: someday...

La Proveedora Bookstore


* part of Explore the World (here)

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Lovely Books and Things - 5.15.22

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Forbidden Fiber Co. cross stitch kits (here) - just got a donut themed one
2. Cafe Breve Latte - new favorite drink
3. Lion Dance street competition in Chinatown

Book Lovers
by Emily Henry
Contemporary, Romance | Published: 2022 | Goodreads

The California Gold Rush Romance Collection
9 Stories of Finding Treasures
by Dianne Christner, Amanda Barratt, Angela Bell,
Anne Greene, Linda Farmer Harris, Cynthia Hickey
Pam Hillman, Jennifer Rogers Spinola, Jaime Jo Wright
Historical, Romance | Published: 2016 | Goodreads

Mr. Malcolm's List
by Suzanne Allain
Historical, Romance, Regency | Published: 2020 | Goodreads

Portrait of a Thief
by Grace D. Li
Mystery, Thriller, Art | Published: 2022 | Goodreads


Virtual Author event: hosted by Book Passage
See archive of this (here)
The Ravaged
by Norman Reedus, Frank Bill
Contemporary | Published: 2022 | Goodreads


AND watched: theatre
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)
Director/Writer: Tom Gormican
Writer: Kevin Etten
Stars: Nicholas Cage, Pedro Pascal
Action, Comedy, Crime | imdb | my rating: 4
fun and bromance-y

A cash-strapped Nicolas Cage agrees to make a paid appearance at a billionaire super fan's birthday party, but is really an informant for the CIA since the billionaire fan is a drug kingpin and gets cast in a Tarantino movie.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
Director: Sam Raimi
Writers: Michael Waldron
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen
Action, Adventure, Fantasy | imdb | my rating: 4
fun superhero doings
saw this on Mother's Day which was apropo

Dr. Stephen Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens the doorway to the multiverse, including alternate versions of himself, whose threat to humanity is too great for the combined forces of Strange, Wong, and Wanda Maximoff.

AND watched: screening with Q&A at 836M Gallery (here)
Picture a Scientist (2020)
Director: Ian Cheney, Sharon Shattuck
Stars: Raychelle Burks, Nancy Hopkins, Jane Willenbring
Documentary | imdb | my rating: 5

Despite the minimal news coverage, sexual harassment and gender inequality against women are no less prevalent in science than they are in pop culture and corporate America.

AND watched: theatre for CAAMfest40 (details)
Free Chol Soo Lee (2022)
Director: Julie Ha, Eugene Yi
Documentary | imdb | my rating: 5
asian american history that's a must-see, must-know

Asian Americans unite to free Chol Soo Lee, a Korean immigrant who was wrongly convicted of a gang murder, but once out, he self-destructs, threatening the movement's legacy and the man himself.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu