I am now fully into escape mode: whether books or television. Between a busy work schedule and a crazy news cycle, I need mindless, fun, entertaining.
I've also resumed my daily walks and have picked up my knitting needles and lace supplies. I'm reviving my photography habit and cooking up a storm. That's not to say I've become complacent, but that I need moments of normalcy to get through all the changes.
Reading, watching, cooking, crafting . . . all good things to help soothe the soul.
What I read last week
I hope to write reviews soon, but here are my short takes. Castle in the Mist by Amy Ephron (Philomel, February 2017) was a charming magical story that's a mix of Brigadoon and The Secret Garden. Perfect for middle grade readers. As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka (Crown, January 2017) is the start of a Finnish young adult thriller trilogy. I liked the story enough to read the second book, but I'm not quite sure why this won so many starred reviews. (Audiobook read by Ann Marie Lee is not recommended; from Listening Library.) Phoenix by S. F. Said (Candlewick, October 2016) was an action-packed galactic adventure that I found hard to put down. (Audiobook read by Dave McKean is recommended; review to appear in AudioFile magazine.)
What I'm reading now
The Stone Heart is the second entry in the Nameless City series by Faith Erin Hicks (April 2017). It's a medieval Asian adventure that has great art and many layers. Although I read Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye (Putnam, April 2016) last year, I decided it was time for a reread via audiobook. It is just as good (if not better) as read by Susie Riddell (Penguin Audio). March Book One by John Lewis (Top Shelf Productions, August 2013) is the congressman's--and civil rights movement's--story.
Save me from Sunday nights
Why does every great show seem to air on Sunday nights? We are woefully behind on many of these, so please, please no spoilers in the comments.
- The Young Pope (HBO) is about Pius XIII, the first American pope. Stars Jude Law and Diane Keaton.
- Secrets of the Six Wives (PBS), hosted by historian Lucy Worsley, looks at the marriages of Henry VIII's wives from the women's viewpoints.
- Mercy Street (PBS) is about a Civil War hospital that sees victims of both armies and focuses on two nurses, one Union and one Confederate.
- Homeland (SHO) gives us a look at the CIA and its fight against terrorism. Claire Danes is absolutely amazing.
- The Affair (SHO) is about two couples linked by an affair. I hate all the characters but can't seem to stop watching the series.
- Victoria (PBS) stars Jenna Coleman as the young queen and covers the early years of her reign. Good acting and fabulous costumes and sets.
- Black Sails (Stars) imagines Captain Flint and John Silver in the years before Treasure Island.
Besides my Wednesday photo, I have two reviews and a giveaway (on Thursday) planned. And, of course, Weekend Cooking. Here's to a sane, calm week with lots of escapes from reality.