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I am always on the hunt for the next show, movie, book, or podcast. I always appreciate when people share their reviews so I can pick my next thing to watch, read, or listen to. Which is why I always look forward to sharing my own series: Reading, Watching, Listening where I discuss all my favorites along with the ones I just couldn't stand. I had quite a few love or hate relationships with my recent shows, movies, and books.

I'd like to think I'm a tough critic. 5/5 is best of all time, 4/5 is really really great, 3/5 is awesome, 2/5 is don't bother, 1/5 is that this book personally offended me.

 

Reading

All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker 3/5

I started this book on the beach in San Sebastian after my friend Meredith lent it to me. The plot is pretty dark and twisted but is compelling and carefully thought out. It follows the story of a therapist treating a rape victim, a young girl in town, who underwent treatment the night of her rape to forget the gruesome act. The story has so many twists and turns and kept me guessing the whole time. Yes, it’s a tough subject matter, but it’s well written and pays particular attention to psychological results from victims of rape. I highly recommend this one.

Germany: Memories of A Nation by Neil MacGregor 4/5

Michael gave me this book after he finished it and told me I had to read this since we live in Germany. This book does a phenomenal job of connecting the dots of Germany’s tumultuous and interesting history. Germany isn’t just Nazis. If you have any interest in Germany and how it came to be I suggest this book.

Little Altars Everywhere by Rebecca Wells 4/5

I'm a huge fan of Wells (Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood) and even included her on my list of “Life Changing Books” for The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder. However, I had yet to read Little Altars Everywhere. This book is a bit more dark than Ya Ya Sisterhood but the writing is spot on. I was missing some Southern comfort in my life, and this hit the spot. I love good writing.

Watching

Narcos 5/5

This is one of my all time favorite TV programs and I’m so thrilled it’s back. The first episodes of the third season were a bit hard to get into, but by episode three I was hooked again. The plot follows the drug godfathers in Colombia and the American Drug Enforcement Agents trying to hunt them down. If you want a reason to never do drugs I also suggest watching this. Basically, cocaine is responsible for terrorism, death, and the destruction of a country. Plus, I mean, your brain.

Last Chance U 4/5

I am not a big football fan (I know, I know, sorry America. And the South. And Texas, for that matter). But this show pulls at my heart strings and makes me a believer in the power of organized sports. The original Netflix documentary series follows a junior college’s football team struggling to make it to state. However, many of the players recruited to play at the school have been removed from Division I rosters due to academic or disciplinary issues. Last Chance U is giving them their last chance. “Me believing in you don't mean a hell of beans if you don't believe in yourself”, says one of the coaches on the show. It's incredible to watch these people that have been through so much rise up to the challenge of school and football.

Annie Hall 3/5

I love Woody Allen movies but had never seen Annie Hall. Michael and I wanted a movie that felt a bit like Midnight in Paris (one of my all time favorite movies) and thought we’d give this one a go. The story follows comedian Alvy Singer as he falls in love with Annie and their lives in New York. We have limited movie choices on German Netflix and Amazon. But this one was a fun watch.

House Hunters

It was so weird seeing myself on TV. Sometimes it was painful, funny, and interesting. I loved seeing the dogs on screen. I think House Hunters International did a great job of capturing Heidelberg and Michael and I’s love story. Thanks to everyone who reached out and let me know that you watched it!

Listening

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Reid Jenkins 3/5

I picked up this novel quickly because I loved Jenkins other novel, One True Loves (I wrote my review about that here.) But this one seemed to fall flat. The novel is a fictional tale of one of America’s most famous “old Hollywood” movie stars, Evelyn Hugo. She is very secretive and suddenly decides to reveal all her secrets to an up and coming reporter. But why? Initially, the story hooked me, and I felt compelled to keep reading and finding out the true story of Hugo. But then it just kept going on and on. Each husband is essentially the same or doesn’t give much interest to the story.

The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn 1/5

Sometimes Audible suggests books to me and because I go through them pretty quickly, I needed something to listen to next. I thought this would be a fun read because the plot was intriguing. The story follows a husband and wife who decide to have an open marriage for six months. Spoiler alert, it’s a dumb idea. I found myself looking for this book to end. I think the plot idea was interesting, it just wasn’t something I latched on to.

The Identicals By Elin Hilderbrand 2/5

I picked this one up in the same way with Seven Husbands, because I liked a previous book by the author called The Rumor. This book is slow moving and pretty boring. The story follows identical twin sisters who are estranged but come together when their father dies. They live separate lives on the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard but now their lives are forced to communicate again. I haven’t finished it, I’m about 2/3rds through, but I’m about to throw in the towel. I don’t particularly like either character and the story is just so-so.

 

Clearly, I need some better books to read. Any recommendations are welcome! If you'd like to see my past recommendations you can find them here. What are you reading, watching, or listening to that I need to add to my list?