Books and TV I’m Loving: An Easter Monday Catch-Up
It’s Easter Monday – and a public holiday here in Belize. And if there is ANYTHING that the British left here in Belize that makes me especially happy, it’s the “Day After” Holidays.
The weather has been just about perfect. Here are some photos I took yesterday…the busiest I’ve ever seen the gas station with boats and carts trying to gas up for trips to Secret Beach. And just the beautiful water.
Easter Monday to recover after the Easter Weekend. Boxing Day to recover after Christmas. It is just SOOO American to expect people to return to school and work the day after a holiday. I mean…getting up early the next day almost ruins the fact that there was a holiday in the first place.
So I thought I’d take advantage of the holiday and just chat about some of my favorite things recently…
FULLY hoping that it prompts you to message me right back and tell me your favorite new book – or streaming show – or podcast or place to eat in San Pedro. Anything. Don’t hesitate. Please!
I don’t think there has been a year – at least during my lifetime – when there is SOOO much great stuff to watch on TV. All of the biggest stars are on TV right now. (I imagine that it is the height of the streaming wars – Hulu, Apple, Netflix, HBOMax, Amazon…it’s both overwhelming and expensive. There’s got to be some consolidation soon…right?)
I’ve watched some amazing stuff recently – here’s the BEST of it.
Handmaid’s Tale (HULU): an astonishingly great book that I didn’t think could be translated to screen so I didn’t watch it. The ads didn’t look like exciting TV. Right?
But WOW. It’s incredible. The music and the…just the story. It was written in the 80s and MAN it feels so modern and timely and…scary. We are just into the 2nd season and I’m at the edge of my seat waiting for Jeff to come home to continue.
Bridgerton Season 2 (Netflix): If you enjoy a good romance novel, you’ll love this show. It’s fluffy and a bit silly but the costumes and THE MUSIC and the characters are fantastic. I loved Season 2 more than Season 1. They switch to a new set of lead characters and I really like showcasing a strong woman…rather than drippy Daphne in the first season. I thought it was fabulous. And yes, I watched this sans Jeff.
The DropOut (Hulu): Of all the fraud/start-up stories out there, I’ve found Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes the most intriguing. Maybe because she is a woman, maybe because it is fascinating just how far she pushed it all roping in some of the most powerful men in the country…but I’d read the articles and listened to the podcasts so I thought I knew it all.
Wrong, this show is GREAT. Dug into Elizabeth Holmes’ family and background. (We are also watching WeCrashed on Apple – about WeWork and founder Adam Neumann and it is not half as gripping…in fact, it’s kinda boring…)
Impeachment: An American Crime Story (Hulu) Sure I remember Monica Lewinsky. And the beret…and the dress. But I was a teenager and…I don’t remember ANY of the details.
This retelling…man…what a story! This really happened???
Linda Tripp, Bill and Hillary, Kenneth Starr. Did this all really happen? Did we really vilify a 24-year-old girl for seducing the president? I spent the whole time asking Google if this really happened. I mean in real life. Ann Coulter? Paula Jones in Penthouse? All the plastic surgery? INTRIGUING! And an amazing casting.
Also good: Season 2 of Love-Life (HBOMax)…better than Season One. Mindy Project (so many episodes, great light viewing)
My true love. I read every night as I fall asleep.
I felt like the first couple of months of the year, I hit a dry spell. Books I liked a bunch but didn’t LOVE. And then things got good. Thanks to this first recommendation by my buddy Barrack Obama…
Long Bright River by Liz Moore
It’s a police thriller, sorta….but it’s more the story of two sisters in the Kensington area of Philadelphia who went in very different directions. One, a struggling single mother and policewoman, and one, an opioid addict on the streets. It’s intriguing and gripping but also a very sad look at what is going on across America. Fantastic book.
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
A mother passes away and leaves her children the clues to her “real life’s story” and some Caribbean Black Cake in the freezer to eat together once they learn it all. The story of race and history, secrets and betrayal, from Jamaica (though the island isn’t exactly named) to London to California. It’s a quick read – chapters switch between generations – but it’s really great.
A black, veteran tough-guy father and a trailer-living, ex-con alcoholic white father band together to avenge the murder of their gay sons. This is really a revenge story and involves guns and motorcycle gangs. Not my usual thing. But the fathers gain such insights into their son’s lives…it’s both violent and beautiful. I was surprised to love it.
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Dubois by Honoree Jeffers
This is the longest book I’ve read in a while – over 1000 pages. And it’s also my favorite on this list. Well…this and the next one (which was TOO short!)
I’m usually ready to read anything Oprah recommends – she has picked some AMAZING books over the years. But the title and the cover for this one put me off. It looked…too serious. Boring. It IS long. But it’s well worth it. Gripping. A multi-generational saga of slavery and modern life in the south. An amazing epic. I can’t even try to describe it. But the kind of book where…when it finishes…you still think about the characters.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel
This is the first book I’ve ever pre-ordered because I LOVE all her books. Love. The kind of books you are mad you’ve read because now you can’t read it again for the first time.
Dystopian…jumping around centuries…from the early 1910s in British Columbia to moon colonies in 2400, piecing together a puzzle…her writing is incredible…so incredibly smart and beautiful. If you haven’t read her books, I’m jealous. They are THAT goood.
Now speaking of books – here’s what’s going on with me.
I am in the process of updating my website. A totally new, simplified look but the process is anything but simple. And I’m not even at the point where I must go thru my 2500 blog posts to categorize and sort. I’m really hoping to get this done by the summer – if anything so that it isn’t LOOMING over me.
While we are talking about updates, I fully plan to have a new/revised/expanded version of my book 50 Big Experiences on Ambergris Caye.
I’m still selling 75-150 books per month on Amazon which is SOOOO amazing. And getting good reviews (thank you to everyone who has reviewed the book on Amazon – it helps SOOO much) Also, a huge thank you to the places that send this book to people that have booked 4 day trips…or 6 days trips. How cool is that?
But it’s time to update…and add…and tweak. Look for the 2022-2023 version this fall. Stay tuned. AND SEND ME WHAT YOU LOVE.
And less exciting…
My Thyroid (something I barely knew I had until recently…)
Last year, after being told by 2 doctors to have my thyroid looked at (they could see the swelling in my neck), I did. Ultrasounds, followed by a blood test for antibodies and…I have Hashimoto’s Disease. (A disorder that is not uncommon – especially with women my age – where my immune system attacks my thyroid gland and causes all sorts of symptoms.)
I’ve been told by numerous people that it can be controlled by exercise and a gluten-free diet or a sugar-free diet or a dairy-free diet but honestly? Most illnesses are made better by exercise and a better diet. And when you are feeling listless, hungry, depressed, and puffy-faced (all symptoms of this situation, trust me), the last thing you want to do is hit the gym or try to bake some gluten-free bread and eat vegetables. Plus, my doctor doesn’t seem convinced that specialty diets do much other than help you feel in control. We shall see…
Anyway…it’s all flaring up right now. And I’m going to set up a time – in the next month or two – to go see an endocrinologist in Merida, Mexico. (There are no endo doctors in Belize right now)
‘ve already talked to him on Zoom call…and I think we are a good match. And bonus? He was born in Belize – Orange Walk I believe…so his English is fantastic. I’ve had about 6 other woman come up to me to tell me about their thryoid issues since I wrote about it the first time…maybe even more. So I’ll keep you updated.
I hope you are all enjoying the tail end of the holiday. And the gorgeous weather. Stay tuned tomorrow for a give-away of some cool Belikin merch…
How’s that for a switch in topics?