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Favorite Songs Summer 2015 Edition

There are a few songs that make me smile, and song along,  this summer:
  • Honey I'm Good - Andy Grammer
  • My Type - Saint Motel
  • Sun Daze - Florida Georgia Line
  • This Summer's Gonna Hurt - Maroon 5
  • Love Runs Out - One Republic
  • In Style - Taylor Swift
  • Uma Thurman - Fallout Boy
  • My Sweet Summer - Dirty Heads
  • Budapest - George Ezra
  • I Don't Like it,  I Love it - Florida
  • Love Me Like You Do - Ellie Goulding 
  • Sugar - Maroon 5
  • Dreams - Beck
  • Riptide - Vance Joy


Watching: Netflix's Grace and Frankie

I had been waiting for the premiere of this show on Netflix full of anticipation, as I am a big fan of both Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. And you can't beat 9 to 5.

I knew the storyline would revolve around the two husbands divorcing the leading ladies and marrying because they were gay, but I didn't realize how lovely it would be to see strong women finding themselves after a major life change, and being true to their sense of self. It's very empowering to see them build up after being torn down. In no small way, does this reflect the realities of Hollywood where older actresses are relegated to the mothers or grandmothers anymore.

I was curious to see what the storyline would be like. Humorous, very a propos to our times and I'm sure a great conversation starter.

The first couple of episodes were a little painful because the actors' timing wasn't that great. I think they were testing each other out and trying to find their chemistry. It was all a lot smoother from there.

All around it's a fun, entertaining and lovingly curated serial. Easy to watch, humorous at times and each of the characters are relatable - though I find Sheen's and Waterston's chemistry not as good as I would like.

It's a real treat to see Ernie Hudson and Craig T. Nelson. And that hilarious ex-convict, who became a sort of running gag, well, kind of.

I can't wait to see what season 2 holds. Good job to the producers, writers and actors.

Reading: Stephen King's Joyland

I enjoyed reading Joyland because it covered a murder mystery, a coming of age story and a haunting in a believable way.

The cover has a strong noir and 60s tone, which made me wonder if this was going to be a breezy, lightweight piece to read through. Overall I think that estimate is accurate.

This is a series of crime books from what I can tell. I read on Wikipedia that King wrote a previous book for this series or publisher. I further read that that first story was the basis for SyFy's Haven. Guess what I'll be looking for on Netflix soon... ^_^

This book celebrates something of Americana with the location where the story is based and acts as a backdrop for the main plot: an old time amusement park in the Northeast.

I enjoyed seeing the beach through the eyes of the protagonist, I enjoyed the approach to friendships among kids in the same age group. I like stories where the bad guy gets his comeuppance in an unusual way, usually supernatural - it reminds me of an old favorite, Tales from the Crypt.

Though this is one of those stories where we don't really discover what's the background or back story of the antagonist/antihero. Which may have brought some additional dimension to his prior crimes as they build the supporting evidence on how horrible he is.

It's always fun to see a group of kids solve a mystery, and this story was the least gruesome King story I can recall. Definitely a lightweight read, and a great entry into the world of King.

PS - my own entry into the world of King was Cycle of the Werewolf and Dragon's Eye back in the very early 1990s.

Reading: Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes

I took a little too long to write this review, because I'm now two books ahead of my reviews.

Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes is a crime, suspense kind of book which I really enjoyed. It explores the themes of sadism, terrorism and insanity.

Steven King usually leaves areas open in his books where an editor or someone can fill in elements and jargon from the day to help bring the stories to a relatable space in time for the (constant) reader.

Many elements bring the story to a realistic version of today, including the crazed tweens and a boy band, which is a recurring element in at least one other book. I also enjoyed the role of the Internet in this particular story as a tool for evil.

The antihero here was developed in a way that you could find out what he was like when he was young, and you had equal parts pity and disgust towards his actions.

This story reminded me a little of The Red Dragon by Richard Harris. Very interesting in the sense it made you revisit that old question, is it nature or nurture which brings people to be the way they are or do the things they do. And another antihero who is looking to evolve beyond his current state.

Great writing, as always, with believable, relatable characters and good descriptions with enough room for the reader to fill in the blanks in his or her mind.