Sunday Bookends on Monday: Fannie Flagg, Hallmark movie distractions, and playing in leaves

Sunday Bookends is my week in review, so to speak. It’s where I share what I’ve been up to, what I’ve been reading, what I’ve been watching, what I’ve been listening to, and what I’ve been writing. Feel free to share a link or comment about your week in the comments.

The plan to walk among books, touching them, looking at them, choosing some to take home was thwarted Saturday by the memorial service of a sweet 90-year old man who had attended the church I grew up in. He and his tough-talking Bronx-born wife were both piano players who often performed together for local senior groups and others. I last saw them play together about a year ago at my husband’s great-aunt’s 90th birthday party.

It was delightful and mesmorizing to watch them perform, no music in front of them, playing by memory and for Ernie, the husband, by ear. Saying ‘good-bye’ to Ernie here on earth was more important than going to the local library’s fundraising book sale and I’ll have to wait for another time when I can walk among books again. (As we all know, that could be a very long time.)

The memorial service, combined with a week where I didn’t feel particularly motivated to write blog posts, kept me from drafting a Sunday Bookends post for yesterday.

It seemed like every time my mom would call the last couple of weeks, she would tell me someone had died. As soon as she would deliver the bad news, my husband would deliver more bad news with some tragedy or one night the death of a man who was a cornerstone of the community we lived in for 18 years. It’s gotten to the point I’m almost afraid to answer the phone because I figure it’s Mom telling me about someone else’s death.

Despite the depressing news, I was able to drag myself out of depression most days by working on The Farmer’s Daughter, reading a couple of different books, and watching and making fun of some really stupid Hallmark movies.

What I’m Reading

I finished Courtney Walsh’s Just Like Home. So, yeah. I finished it. I should stop there, but I’ll share a couple thoughts instead. First, Courtney is a really good writer, but second, I’ve never seen one romance book use every single romance book trope imaginable not only throughout the entire book, but especially in the last five chapters. Despite not enjoying the use of all those tropes and what felt like a very predictable, rushed ending, the book was a nice distraction from, well, life.

I have not yet finished Silas Marner — again, I should keep my mouth shut, but I won’t because I seriously am baffled how George Elliott is considered an amazing writer. Her run-on sentences make me have vivid flashbacks to the year I had to reach John Steinbeck in high school.

This week I continued reading Down Where My Love Lives, which includes two books (The Dead Don’t Dance and Maggie) by Charles Martin. I’m curious who published this collection because on Kindle the book cover reads The Dead Don’t Dance, but the index reads “The Death Don’t Dance.” It was the second typo I’d seen in a book published by a big name publisher in a week. Despite that odd typo, the book is very good, although slightly depressing and heavy at this point.

Here is a description of the first for those who might be interested:

A sleepy rural town in South Carolina. The end of summer and a baby about to be born. But in the midst of hope and celebration comes unexpected tragedy, and Dylan Styles must come to terms with how much he’s lost. Will the music of his heart be stilled forever—or will he choose to dance with life once more, in spite of sorrow and heartbreak?

The Dead Don’t Dance is a bittersweet yet triumphant love story—a tale of one man’s journey through the darkness of despair and into the light of hope.

Maggie, is the sequel to The Dead Don’t Dance, but I won’t add the description because it’s a major spoiler for the first book. These are Charles Martin’s first two books and he is now a multiple-time New York Times Bestselling author (which my husband says really doesn’t matter anymore considering how far down the NYT has fallen in the journalism world.).

I’m also reading a hardcover of Fannie Flagg’s The All Girl’s Filling Station’s Last Reunion that I reserved at the library, and am enjoying it so far. My mom warned me the book might be “dirty” because she said one she’d read by her before had had something “dirty” in it, but so far the book has had no dirt and only one swear word and I’m half way through it. I did find a typo in it, which made me feel better about my typos, considering this was edited was by a large publishing firm.

For those who might be interested, here is a description:

The one and only Fannie Flagg, beloved author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, and I Still Dream About You, is at her hilarious and superb best in this new comic mystery novel about two women who are forced to reimagine who they are.

Mrs. Sookie Poole of Point Clear, Alabama, has just married off the last of her daughters and is looking forward to relaxing and perhaps traveling with her husband, Earle. The only thing left to contend with is her mother, the formidable Lenore Simmons Krackenberry. Lenore may be a lot of fun for other people, but is, for the most part, an overbearing presence for her daughter. Then one day, quite by accident, Sookie discovers a secret about her mother’s past that knocks her for a loop and suddenly calls into question everything she ever thought she knew about herself, her family, and her future.

Sookie begins a search for answers that takes her to California, the Midwest, and back in time, to the 1940s, when an irrepressible woman named Fritzi takes on the job of running her family’s filling station. Soon truck drivers are changing their routes to fill up at the All-Girl Filling Station. Then, Fritzi sees an opportunity for an even more groundbreaking adventure. As Sookie learns about the adventures of the girls at the All-Girl Filling Station, she finds herself with new inspiration for her own life.

What I’ve Been Watching

Last week I watched The Outsider with Tim Daly and Naomi Watts. It’s classified as a Western/Romance by Google. Filmed in 2002, it was fairly clean but also pretty unbelievable in some parts. It’s a movie, though, so we’ll let those parts slide. Daly was — quite honestly — hot in this movie. It completely erased my memories of him on Wings and made me wonder why he didn’t do more acting in movies. After I saw some clips about it YouTube, I discovered Hallmark had edited the sex scene out on the Amazon app. Yes, I signed up for the Hallmark channel on Amazon for a month and I’m somewhat regretting it at his point. I regret it when I watch movies made from about 2010 on because they are so cheesy, predictable and horribly acted. Luckily The Outsider featured some strong acting and I was able to stomach it enough to not fast forward the majority of it.

My husband and I are continuing to watch Murdoch Mysteries and we were also thrilled they are adding episodes of Shakespeare and Hathaway’s third season on Britbox (another Amazon offer). There are two up and they are apparently adding a new one every Tuesday. Both of these shows are fairly clean, simple, formulaic mystery/crime shows. We’ve been finding these types of shows are about all our brains can handle with all the weirdness of the world going on around us.

What I’ve Been Writing

I finished making changes in Quarantined so that I can publish it on Kindle on October 20 and continued writing The Farmer’s Daughter, sharing another chapter on the blog this week. Thursday I answered a question if Quarantined was a horror book or a romance.

So what have you been doing, reading, or watching? Let me know in the comments.

Photos of the Week:

I have less photos this week. I didn’t take as many. There is one in here of a chipmunk that was watching us from a hole in a tree in my parent’s yard while we played in the leaves Sunday. It cracked me up how he just sat there, acting like we couldn’t see him while he hid from our dog and watched us. He eventually escaped to hide under a storage shed.

8 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends on Monday: Fannie Flagg, Hallmark movie distractions, and playing in leaves

  1. Pingback: Sunday Bookends: When ‘best selling’ authors are a total let down; taking the dog to the groomers; and the perils of living in a rural area | Boondock Ramblings

  2. I also deleted some of my posts. You are right about everything being so political. I believe you are in a battle ground state too and they really are hitting those states hard this year. My daughter went out and bought a Kindle to read and study on for her college classes because everything online was ad after ad of hate and lies…really, some of these lies are so obvious, it is shocking to me. I have a friend who did a documentary about health care here in our country and she got to go to the white house and sat at a table speaking to president Trump on the subject, she brought back white house MM’s. She tells me all kinds of sad stories about how some people in her family (in-laws) always talk about hateful political hate directed towards her now…all because of her doc. So crazy how no one can have real conversations on different views now. So many people are afraid to speak up.


  3. My family and I just watched a Bates episode where the kids talked about making houses out of the leaves, think they just called them leaf houses. So cute. They got really creative in describing how they would design rooms with fireplaces and just how much fun it was visiting each other at their leaf houses. Your photos of your kids playing in the leaves reminded me of that show. Sorry to hear about the deaths in your world right now. I know what you mean about being afraid about answering phones. It has been a tough summer. I had to take a month off from writing on the blog because sometimes when hurting it comes out in these words we write. It is always best to try to be cheerful in times of distress, best to keep everyone’s spirits up. At least this is how I feel. Great photos, thank you for sharing. Hope your week is a good one from here on out.


    • I actually skipped writing some planned posts last week because everything was coming out miserable. I’ve had to delete some things from the Randomly Thinking posts the last two weeks because they were coming out cranky and too political, which we all need a break from. It can be hard to be cheerful all the time and I think that is unrealistic, but it’s nice to have a break from it in the bloggy world. I hope things settle down in your world.


Comments are closed.