Book and Shows Catch-up and Recommendations

Book and Shows Catch-up and Recommendations

Photo by Teslariu Mihai on Unsplash

In this episode, Gayle and Nicole talk about the books they’ve been reading and the shows they have been watching these last weeks. Discover their newest book and series recommendations for this first quarter of 2022.

As always you can find below the whole booklist they run through during the episode:

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead | Amazon | Bookshop

The Push by Ashley Audrain | Amazon | Bookshop

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead | Amazon | Bookshop

Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead | Amazon | Bookshop

Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King | Amazon | Bookshop

Euphoria by Lily King | Amazon | Bookshop

A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson | Amazon | Bookshop

The Arc by Tory Henwood Hoen | Amazon | Bookshop

Vladimir by Julia May Jonas | Amazon | Bookshop

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez | Amazon | Bookshop

The Love Songs of WEB Dubois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers | Amazon | Bookshop

The Souvenir Museum by Elizabeth McCracken | Amazon | Bookshop

The Boys Club by Erica Katz | Amazon | Bookshop

Fake by Erica Katz | Amazon | Bookshop

Win Me Something by Kyle Lucia Wu | Amazon | Bookshop

The Woman in the House Across the Street From The Woman In The Window by Netflix | Amazon | Bookshop

Inventing Anna by Netflix | Amazon | Bookshop

True Crime Story by Joseph Knox | Amazon | Bookshop

*Books linked above are our affiliate links through Amazon. There’s no additional expense to you, but if you make a purchase through us a small portion of that contributes to the costs associated with making our podcast. Thanks so much for listening and for your support.


[00:00:00] Nicole: Welcome to the readerly report. Your hosts are Gail Weiss, Wasser, and a Cole Bonia. We hope you will enjoy our candidate, book conversations, recommendations, and observations on their reading life. And thanks so much for joining us.

Welcome to another edition of the Veeder leave report today. Gail and I are going to catch you up on what we’ve been reading, uh, what we’ve been listening to and just we’re doing a general update on our lives. Last time we talked a lot about what our reading goals are going to be. And I was going back and forth.

I had said that I was going to raise my end Gale to 70 books and we would see how he would do I’ve read one book. This.

[00:00:48] Gayle: It’s only February you, this is not unusual for you to have a slow start or a slow period in a year, and then you furiously catch up at some other point, right? Yeah. We’ll

[00:01:01] Nicole: see. How many of you read so far?

I’m just curious.

[00:01:07] Gayle: I’m actually keeping on pace so far. I have read. Uh, six. Oh yeah. I’m keeping up. And I’ve got one that I will probably finish today or tomorrow. Cause it’s really good. And I’m in. And then an audio and then, oh, I have to tell you about this Bookstagram thing I did, which is not working out.

I’m sort of I’m on pace. Okay. That’s good.

[00:01:30] Nicole: Yeah. I feel like I have a few things I need to finish and then I might be on pace, but

[00:01:35] Gayle: well, tell, tell us what you’ve read and what you’re in the middle of.

[00:01:38] Nicole: I read Harlem shuffle by Colson white. And I wasn’t sure at first, whether I was going to like it, like there was a lot going on.

The writing is very different than it is from nickel boys. And I feel like he does a good job of each time that he does something he really focuses and brings you that world. So it affects his writing style. So in the beginning, it’s like, there’s all these characters going on. You know, it’s set in the late 1950s, early 1960s in Harlem.

So there’s just like, It’s a New York that I’m not familiar with. It’s um, the characters are well, one of the conflicts in the novel is that, uh, Carney and his first name escapes me right now, but I think it may be Ray. He is from. Just a really poor background. I can’t even say that he’s working class. His mother worked really hard, but she died when he was 11 and his father was kind of a crook.

So he’s raised with his cousin. Freddie, who seems like he’s, he’s constantly getting into trouble. Like he’s the one who’s always pulling Freddy out of trouble, you know, they’re cousins. So, uh, their mothers are sisters and, um, Friday’s mom really steps up and helps out after his mother dies. And I guess he goes to live with them for a couple of years because his dad is kind of.

Running around and not available, but his father does eventually come back. I may have a really tense relationship. So at the heart of this novel, uh, Ray is just, he’s like a guy who has managed to marry someone like the woman of his dreams, but she was like raised in this really wonderful block in Harlem called strivers row.

You know? So she’s like really middle class, her father. You know, a professional, her mother stays at home and he wants to make a better life for his wife. Like there’s just things that he feels like she had in her childhood and she deserves to still have them. And he’s just trying to grapple with, you know, he’s a furniture salesman he’s made this effort to like be a legitimate furniture salesman, but he’s not quite honest with himself.

Um, How other elements of his life have slipped into this furniture business. Like he’s constantly taking pieces every now and then from people, you know, where it’s just like, oh, this fell off the truck. Or I don’t know where this came from or whatever. And you know, so he’s paying these people and then turning around and selling the furniture.

He also sometimes has a connection where he will. Um, he’s like a jewelry fence or whatever. So he’s got these, these unsavory elements, I’ll say, are these criminal elements that are in support of him trying to build this better life. And I think he’s a little in over his head about like how. Upstanding of a citizen.

He really is like, it’s almost like a coming of age story that grapples with him and his criminality and which way he’s going to take it, because obviously it’s not something he wants his wife to know about, but he can barely make ends meet in this like legitimate business of, uh, with the furniture and.

Of course, his cousin, Freddy is still kind of like always in trouble or getting him in on these deals. And as the novel starts, he gets. He, he puts forward Ray’s name as offense for this group of criminals who has come up, you know, like, or the leader of the criminal system is from Miami and they’re supposed to be pulling this job together.

So of course, chaos ensues, but once I really got into it and, and got to know the characters, sorry, that was a really long description. I really liked it. I really liked it. Um, it’s always interesting with books, you know, when, when you’re looking at. It goes into a lot about like what was going on in Harlem at the time, the politics of the time, you know, it was like there were riots going on.

There was like police violence and in some ways like that time, and that era was completely alien to me. So I was always learning a lot about how the community worked, but at the same time, it’s like, there are these problems that come up. That just seems so familiar. It’s like, you know, is this the 1960s or is this, you know, 20.

[00:06:04] Gayle: Which I’m sure was his point. Okay. He is a master at genre shifting setting shifting. I mean, I’ve only read two Colson Whitehead’s I read sag Harbor and I read nickel boys. I did not read underground railroad and I have not read Harlem shuffle, but even just between SAC Harbor. Nicole Boyce it’s sometimes it’s amazing to think that was the same off so many,

[00:06:29] Nicole: then there’s that zone one, I think, which was like vampires or zombies or something like that, then there’s like, didn’t he write a nonfiction one about poker?

I mean, he just writes,

[00:06:41] Gayle: oh, I didn’t know that. Yeah. That’s amazing. He’s sort of, kind of like an Patchett it a little bit in that her settings are so different, but I sort of feel like when you’re reading and patch it, you can tell you there’s a consistency in. The style, the tone and the, the writing style, but for him like, wow, that’s amazing.


[00:06:59] Nicole: chameleon like nickel boys was such a simple, straightforward story about these two friends trying to survive, um, their prisons. And I just felt like the writing was just very black and white and just kind of, you know, this is what’s going on here and the emotion of what’s going on here, whatever, but this one was completely different.

It was just like, like this. And I remember trying to read sag Harbor and not being able to finish it. I got bored.

[00:07:30] Gayle: I did sag Harbor on audio, which might’ve helped. I didn’t love it. And I didn’t love the narrator. I think it’s yeah, I agree. It wasn’t my favorite of his,

[00:07:38] Nicole: I might be able to read it again. I feel like there’s probably a lot of things that I would appreciated about it because it is about like the black community that.

In sag Harbor alongside the white community. And it just felt like that should be really interesting, but it was also like this really slow pace of boy hood summers spent

[00:07:56] Gayle: there. Right. Well, it felt like a long, hot summer.

[00:08:02] Nicole: I

[00:08:02] Gayle: felt that a little too much. Right. It felt almost like you were reading it in real time.

Like what what’s going on in this, this whole set this three months. Okay. So what are you going to finish? So I’m going

[00:08:12] Nicole: to finish the push soon. Bye. Audrey Ashley,

[00:08:15] Gayle: Adrianne, how have you been able to put it down?

[00:08:19] Nicole: Just sheer dizziness.

[00:08:22] Gayle: I tore through that book. I could not put it down. It’s really interesting.

[00:08:26] Nicole: I know I’m going to want to talk to you about the end. Okay. So maybe we will include it. When we discuss our book club book, we can also briefly at the end, discuss the push

[00:08:37] Gayle: a little, no spoilers section of that. Okay. That’s a

[00:08:40] Nicole: good book. I know you really liked

[00:08:42] Gayle: it. Right? I did. I, I, you know, it’s funny now. I can’t remember it that well, I remember that it was like addictive read, but I can’t remember the facts that well, so if we talk about it, I’m going to have to brush up a bit.

I mean, I remember, I actually remember mostly what it was about. I did like it. Yeah. I don’t

[00:08:57] Nicole: think it’s one that you have to remember. A lot of the details. This would probably require some research and it’s something I’d be up for. If we wanted to do a show that looked at motherhood and. And how different people are approaching it, because I feel like it used to be so straightforward of what it meant to be a mother and the motherhood that we portrayed in fiction.

But now I just feel like people are exploring different and darker elements. And of course there is, I mean, of course they’re always going to be those moments that are really extreme, right. And people who have lives like that, but it’s just interesting to see the show. You know, either in, what does it mean when you’re ambiguous about motherhood and, you know, living in the culture that we do?

How are the, how has that ambiguity, I guess, multiplied and turned into panic, you know, plus there are real illnesses I’ll say that can be associated with motherhood, whether it’s postpartum, depression, postpartum psychosis, Psychotic children or just not, you know, not having a clear and accurate picture of what you sign up for, because I feel like motherhood is one of those things where no one really wants to talk about anything that’s remotely dark.

Right. So you kind of just have to discover it on your own. Right. I mean, and when I say that I have to finish that I’m pretty much talking about, I don’t know, I’m reading it on my Kindle, so it’s like 86% or something. So I’ll probably hop off this call and yeah,

[00:10:32] Gayle: finish it up. So what about. I don’t know, I’ve had a good reading start to this year.

I’ve read six books so far. Let’s say the ones that I have not talked about yet on the show. I read Lily, King’s short stories, five Tuesdays in winter. I really liked them. I think we’ve talked about this before that I don’t always love short stories because they feel, you know, uh, I’d like to sort of delve into a long, consistent story.

She’s such a good writer and they were there a few that I. Sort of sticking out in my mind, even, you know, a month after I read them. What were those about sort of about loneliness and connection and just different scenarios where people kind of find. I guess find connection in unexpected places. See, I’m going to pull up my review and see what I wrote because it’s already been a while.

Yes. I said it’s a lot of loneliness, single parents dealing with the loss of a partner, kids with distant or absent parents on the credit relationships. But there’s, I think in every story you sort of find an unexpected way that people who have been either a strange or a. Find each other or find a connection to each other.

My favorite story is about a bookseller. He’s owns a used bookstore and he has an employee that works with him. He’s a single parent. He and his wife are divorced. He seems to have mostly custody of his daughter, teenage daughter. And he has this crush on this. Employee, and he’s very kind of set in his ways, sort of a loner kind of, you know, judgmental of other people, like sort of what you’d expect from like a curmudgeonly used bookstore owner in a small town in the Northeast somewhere.

I feel like

[00:12:20] Nicole: that’s definitely a trope,

[00:12:23] Gayle: but he really likes her. And it’s about like, how is he, does he live? Does she like him back? How is he going to let her know. Um, I don’t know, that’s a kind of a typical story, you know, and she’s kind of good at that, like short story twist ending. It was good. I’d like Lily king quite a bit.

Um, there’s a few books of hers that I haven’t read yet. And then a few that I have, and I’d like to read more. I did not read you for you. It’s sitting on my shelf. I

[00:12:51] Nicole: really liked that one. I feel like it’s one that I think about just because of the power dynamics in that relationship, you know, it’s about it’s, it’s loosely based on an anthropologist.

I don’t know. I want to say it to Margaret Mead. And, um, it’s just all about her relationship with her husband and they go on a dig with another archeologist that’s up and coming, and it’s kind of like the power dynamics and the jealousy, you know, because of course she’s like the most known of them and it was, it was really interesting.

I’d like to read that again.

[00:13:28] Gayle: Yeah. I’d like to read that one. And there’s one called father of the rain, which I didn’t read. It’s old. I think it’s about an alcoholic parent. And then I’ve read the English teacher and the pleasing hour. And then I read, um, also by Lily king and then the most recent writers and lovers.

That was just, that was actually the first book I read in the pandemic. And you like that one, right? I did. It’s kind of, it’s a little quiet. It’s not a good book. If you’re super distracted by. The impending Corona virus, which was what I read it. Like March 20th, 2020, you read then gets a pass and gets a pass.

Yeah, I think you thought. Yeah. Or worse than I thought. Like, I think I, maybe wasn’t in a. Time frame of mind for something kind of slow and contemplative, but I like her quite a bit. So, um, all right. So that was what I read that’s first, since we lost doc, then I read a book called a little hope by Ethan Joella.

It was, uh, a book of the month pick a couple of months ago. And it was about interconnected storylines about people living in. A smallish town, like in Connecticut or something, and each chapter kind of either revisits, uh, a storyline that you’ve already been exposed to, or it’s a new storyline, but they’re all ended up kind of connecting in the end.

Um, very sad. There’s lots of like grief and loss in that book too. Um, but I liked it, it, he has a very simple. Uh, style of writing and I just, I enjoyed it. I found it in grossing. I was like psyched to come back to it and it was good. I think it was, it may have been a debut novel. I thought that was pretty good.

Then I read, uh, for my real life book club, a town called solace by Mary Lawson, which I hadn’t even heard of, but I think I found it on Bookstagram last year. Some people were recommending a sod and a couple of best of 21 lists and. Um, also a small town in Canada and it’s about, um, three kind of intersecting people.

There’s a, a little girl who’s about seven whose sister has run away from home. Teenage sisters run away from home and she’s. You know, dealing with the upheaval in her house, the sadness of missing her sister, and then like basically the loss of her parents who are so distracted and upset that they’re not really paying any attention to her.

And she has this next door neighbor, an older woman, an elderly woman who goes to the hospital because she’s sick. And while the woman is in the hospital, this man shows up and moves into the house and starts living there. And the little girl had. Instructed to take care of the cat that lives in the house next door.

So she goes back and forth to this house when the guy leaves and the man leaves, she’ll go and feed the cat, but she doesn’t understand what’s he doing there and what’s the connection, but it turns out there is a connection between the man and the woman in the hospital. And you just kind of teases out the story of how those two are connected.

And then, you know, what happens to the girl and her sister. It’s kind of a simple. Simply told tale, but I really liked it. It was just, um, then a memorable, uh, quiet, very quiet story, but I liked it quite a bit. And then, oh, I read a book called the arc. If you heard of this. So, uh, the set got as an arc. So I read an arc of the arc and, uh, it’s kind of, I guess I would call it like a romance, but it’s a little more than a romance.

So it’s about this woman named Ursula who lives in Manhattan. There’s just actually, excuse me. She lives in Brooklyn. She’s in her thirties. She works for a branding agency in New York. She’s successful, but she’s single and looking for a man. So. Are looking for a relationship like she’s, she would like to have a fulfilling relationship and get married, but she’s dating and using the dating apps and nothing’s really working out for her.

And, you know, she has these kind of like she’ll date someone for like four or five days. It doesn’t work out. So she hears about the service called the arc, which is a highly scientific dating service costs, $40,000. But they sort of guarantee that you’re going to end up with someone who you are highly, highly compatible with in every way, physically, emotionally, intellectually.

This sounds like the one, it sounds like the one, but it’s not as dark. The one was like a thriller, like it was kind of. This one is really more of a romance on that. Um, and so it, it spits out, you know, a result for her. And it’s a man named Raphael who does live in Manhattan and a lawyer in Manhattan and they start dating.

And things are going great. And then they kind of hit a, hit a bump in the road. And so the story is like, how did they deal with the bumps in the road? And what’s happens to the relationship and where they truly compatible and what happened to the arc and how does the whole thing work out? You know, what does it mean that they are maybe having in compatibility and can they overcome it, but along the way, there’s also some satire.

Like she, um, Ends up going to this kind of retreat, the venture capital retreat. So there’s a lot of like kind of startup, like bro culture that is lampooned in it and just like dating in Manhattan and. You know, like what happens when you live in Brooklyn and your boyfriend lives in New York and how that gets worked out?

Listen, it’s just funny parts to it and it feels very current and fresh. And I was in need of a, light-hearted read to like something that wasn’t going to be too taxing for me at the time that I read it. And it. So it comes out on the 8th of February. So it’s actually believe it or not read a book before, like around the time it came out.

I never planned things to that. Well, but, um, it was good. I liked it and I listened to it on audio and, um, the audio was good too. And I recommend it.

[00:19:51] Nicole: That reminds me of a book. Reading, uh, or listening to on audio. And it’s really good. I was trying to listen to it to keep listening to it, but I had to, like once I got out of the car and was on my way into work, I had to stop just because it’s one of those books that I really would like to pay a lot of attention to.

Um, it is about these twin sisters. I think it takes place in Manchester, in England. And one of them goes missing when she’s 19. So it’s hold kind of like in the beginning, there’s this author’s note, that kind of sounds like it should be true, but it’s not. It’s like one of the authors has inserted himself in this book and supposedly he has this dispute going on with the publishing company around actions that he may have taken.

And as the story begins, you realize that he has met with an investigator. Who has met a mysterious end when she was investigating this story of, you know, the twin that’s missing. So it’s all about what happened, you know, just inter interviews with the friend group, you know, emails, it’s kind of like a. Um, modern day epistolary story out, I’ll say, because it’s told through journal excerpts and letters and emails and interviews, and I really like it so far.

[00:21:19] Gayle: That’s good.

[00:21:20] Nicole: Um, did I tell you what the name of it was? No. Uh, let me see. Looking for it. That’s kind of so funny that I know so much about it. I feel like the name is not something it’s not something that really, it’s not memorable. It is. Um,

True crime story. That’s why I couldn’t think of the name. Cause it’s like, it’s one of those names. That’s generic. What’s the name of this book and it’s by Joseph Knox and it’s it’s uh, the cast is, this is one of those books that’s fun to listen to because everyone is just voiced by someone else. When you look at the cast, it looks like there’s at least 10 people here.

So it’s a true. Ensemble storytelling. You know, I would not be able to tell you if I like this book, if I were to read it in print, just because it’s, it’s so much of it is just on hearing the voices, hearing the accents and hearing how they kind of respond to, uh, what each other, each other’s stories I’ll say.

[00:22:42] Gayle: Um, all right, well, I’ll tell you what I’m reading now, too. Um, so I picked up, have you heard anything about this book flatten me? But Julia May Jonas. So it just came out and it’s getting a fair amount of attention. I’ve read a review in the post Washington post and I’ve seen it around it’s you may have seen the cover.

It’s like a, a man, a shirtless man with. Like a velvet, like jacket on like it’s very provocative cover. Um, but it is about this woman. There’s a woman and her husband, they live in a small. Liberal town because they both teach at a private liberal arts school and they both are English, English professors.

And her husband has been suspended from teaching because it has come out that he’s had many affairs over the years with students consensual, but he has, you know, a bunch of women have come out and said, oh, I slept with my professor. And, uh, he’s now being suspended. And he and his wife are both, I guess she’s in her fifties.

He may be in Israeli sixties. So, but they’re still married and they actually had an open relationship, open marriage, like they were, she knew about the affairs. So it’s not like she feels totally betrayed by him. Cause she knew that these affairs were happening at the time, but she’s dealing with the fallout of this scandal and the same time a new professor comes to town named Bladimir.

He is a young, very handsome. English professor who’s come on a kind of trial basis. He’s going to try to get tenure and work at the university and she develops this crush on him. So it’s all about like her crush on this new professor and he’s married and then. Her husband and her anger at her husband for sort of putting her in this position where now they have this very public shaming going on, but it’s so well-written like, I just, I cannot put it down.

I’ll probably gonna finish it today. And I just started it like two days ago, who is the author? Julia May Jonas. And I think this may also be a debut, which is amazing to me because this is so good. There’s means I

[00:25:02] Nicole: can’t read it. Uh, we’ll get the cover.

[00:25:08] Gayle: Yeah. Go look at the cover and the chest. Yeah. Let me, um, let me confirm.

Oh, you, well, you haven’t read anything by her, so you can’t read it this year. That’s too bad, but you have some exceptions. Uh,

[00:25:20] Nicole: all of my exceptions. I mean, I doing so much other reading, like I read with my friend, so, you know, I’m not asking her to pick any books. She’s not bound by these rules. So the two book clubs I’m in those books are kind of freebies.

I guess I should make an exception for something. I just really want to read by myself.

[00:25:44] Gayle: I just, I, and I’ve never, we’re not reading this for my in real life book club and I’m so happy because I just, yeah, I think it is extremely well-written like,

[00:25:54] Nicole: it would be the readerly report, second full clock tick.


[00:25:58] Gayle: I’d be happy for that to be is it’s it’s really good. And I haven’t having trouble putting it down. Wow. So, yeah. So that’s what I’m reading. And then I’m listening to a book called Olga dies, dreaming, and I’m going to butcher this flood, this name. How do you think you pronounce the same X? O C H I T L.

[00:26:22] Nicole: So chill,

[00:26:23] Gayle: socio I don’t. Okay. That sounds right. So chill, Gonzalez. Um, this was also a book of the month pic and it is about, um, Puerto Rican brother and sister. That live in. I think she lives in Brooklyn. She lives in Brooklyn, Brooklyn, or Queens. I can’t remember. And she is a very high end wedding planner.

And her brother is a, is he trying to think of what his position is? He’s like an elected representative, but I can’t remember what he’s elected to. I don’t think it was us Congress. Maybe he’s local. Official. And they have this mother who kind of shoe sort of a, um, an activist, a revolutionary who I think returned to Puerto Rico to kind of protest inequity, uh, like in the eighties or nineties.

So her, I don’t think the mother was really around for them while they were growing up. They grew up in New York and it’s about their lives. It’s very. It’s very witty and a cervic. And it’s funny. Uh, and so I’m only maybe 20% and I’m doing this one on audio. The audio is great. There’s a couple of different narrators, but I’ve the main narrative or the one that, um, voices older.

Who’s the main character. She’s very good. So I really liked that. So that’s all good. Dies dreaming by so chill, we think. So I just, I don’t know. I’ve had a good, I really, really strong start to the year in terms of books. Oh, that’s good. Yeah.

[00:28:09] Nicole: Okay. So you were going to tell me about something that you started on Bookstagram.


[00:28:14] Gayle: okay. So do you follow Jordy’s book club on Instagram? Okay. So he’s a guy living in LA. I think he works somehow in the entertainment business. I don’t know how he reads so many books per year. Uh, he and his husband adopted a baby or father to baby. I don’t know how the, I don’t know. Baby was conceived or, you know, created, but they have a baby, but this man reads so much is a very, very popular and well-known Instagram account.

He seems to read everything when it comes out. He has beautiful photos. And anyway, yeah, I’m sure you have. Um, so he started this thing in the beginning of the year where. People who wanted to read the love songs of web Dubois could tackle it like, like a slow read, kind of like I do with like a blow dry book.

So, um, he broke it up into chunks and then he broke all the people up into chunks and, and signed us to like, basically break out rooms and Instagram. So I’m in this Instagram, you know, message thread. Uh, maybe 20 other people who are, that’s my little group for reading the love songs of web to boys. The problem is I am already like so far behind, like I started it and the first week he’s like, well, we’re going to start out easy.

The first week, you only have to read 80 pages and I didn’t even finish that. You had how many pages? 80? The first one was 80. The first one was 80, but I think every week it’s like another, actually I can tell you, because I took a picture of the, uh, I think I took a picture of like what, it’s the breakdown of the pages, but I got behind the first week and I’ve never caught up.

The problem is that I think that the book with love songs starts out kind of slow and it just didn’t hasn’t hooked me yet. And I’ve also heard people say like, once you get into it, it’s amazing. So I just need to get into. And here we go. Okay. So the first one was, oh, no, the first one was only 60 pages, but then the second week was 80 pages.

And the week after that is 90 pages. And the week after that is 130 pages. And I just, I can’t keep up. Wait, so what page are you on now? Like, I’m on like page 60, like I’ve made it past week one, but we’re, we’re now onto week three,

[00:30:41] Nicole: but maybe if you spend a little time today, if you can get to that exciting.

Or when it hooks you could 30 more, I mean, how deep into the book can this hook be? I would think that

[00:30:54] Gayle: after I’ve heard 1 50, 1

[00:30:57] Nicole: 50, how wait, how

[00:30:58] Gayle: long has the book? Oh, that’s the problem? The book is 800 pages. Ah, yeah, the book is very long. Like the end. We’re supposed to finish this, um, March 6th and it’s pages 6 30, 2 to 700.

Gail is back in college. Yeah, exactly. Like, and, and you know, me, when it comes to like assigned reading, I just kept getting irritated. And I’m also finding that the conversation on Instagram on this, this text thread that I’m on is not, it’s not that robust. Like it’s not like, not that many people are commenting, so it’s not like I’m, I’m watching this discussion.

They may be on page 60. They may be like me. Like they may be, I feel like not everyone is. Yeah. And I think like today club, you know, discussion day, but let me see. No, yeah. I’m not seeing anything. So what they do is they sort of like throw out a discussion topic for us each week and then we’re supposed to discuss it in the thing, but I’m not finding like, there’s that many comments.

So it’s a nice idea. I thought it would be really helpful to keep me on track, but it turns out I can’t read 80 pages a week on a blow dry book, like. It’s the book is too long for the blow-dry book. I’ve been, this would take me like, till, like, I

[00:32:12] Nicole: think something like that would probably be better on. And I thought about doing, I mean, I like the idea of reading to a certain place and only discussing to that place because you do get, you know, you get to discuss things a lot along the way, and it’s always interesting to see how things change.

I would probably do a live or some kind of zoom, or I think that’s just better when you actually have to talk to someone. Yeah, very good at, you know, okay. On this date, pop in and comment.

[00:32:42] Gayle: Yeah. It’s I mean, it’s a little reminiscent of like my old online book club when I used to post a review and the people would comment in the, in the comments.

It’s a little more interactive than that because it’s, it’s a chat thread. So people are, you can, you know, as lot more give and take as opposed to just posting a static comment. But I

[00:33:00] Nicole: mean, people would post, I remember answering people. I mean, there might not have been a lot of discussion, but you had the opportunity for it.

Are you going to just drop a comment and say I’m out? I can’t.

[00:33:14] Gayle: I mean, I don’t even know if I would need to comment. I think I could just exit the chat. I haven’t done it yet. Cause I sort of feel what I need to do. Right. Is make this my primary read. Like I shouldn’t be reading another book at the same time using this

[00:33:27] Nicole: as your blow dry book,

[00:33:28] Gayle: it’s sitting in the bathroom and I should, I am using it as the blow dry book, I think like over the last week or so I was more, I was much more invested.

It felt more involved in the other books I was reading. So I snuck them in and you’d read those instead. So I haven’t committed to this fully. And that’s the problem.

[00:33:44] Nicole: Okay. I think you should promote it at least. I mean your a hundred. You’re at 50. So if you can get to page 90, right. And all of a sudden it becomes magical and, and sucks you in, but it doesn’t sound like there’s much reward.

If you do that. If th if there’s no one commenting in the chat, it’s not like, like, oh, they’re talking about all this stuff and I need to catch up so I can jump in. And I

[00:34:11] Gayle: also kind of have to ignore the chat. Cause I don’t want to see any spoiler. Yeah. I mean, like, I’m just, let’s see if I can pull up the chat and I can tell you like, sort of the volume of comments that are going on.

Um, like I’m not even seeing, oh, here we go. Okay. I’m looking at like last week, I’m seeing 1, 2, 3, 4. I mean Sunday, five comments from no, no, no, no, no. There’s more, there’s more than that. I’m looking. Oh wait, let me see. Sunday. I’m seeing there’s maybe like 30, 40 comments, so there’s definitely people. Um,


[00:34:44] Nicole: this is week two or three.

That was week

[00:34:48] Gayle: two. That was week two. I mean, it’s not, it’s not like there’s definitely comments in it, but there’s not like hundreds. It’s not like there’s just. You know, well, that would be overwhelming and saying, that’s true, but it’s just, I don’t know. It’s like, I don’t, I’m not looking at the chat and being like, oh my God, I’m really missing out on this amazing discussion.

I’m not, and I’m not trying to knock the people in the chat. I’m just saying, and I can’t really read the comments because I don’t want to spoil anything. So I’m sort of like very, very vaguely scanning them. I mean, there’s lots of like comments and then many hearts underneath it. So there’s people reading them and affirming.


[00:35:24] Nicole: you need to discover if you really want to commit to this book. And if you do, if you want to give it another shot, because you do have until what? The end of March, middle of March. Yeah. So you need to

[00:35:37] Gayle: promote. Yeah, I need to promote it. You’re right.

[00:35:40] Nicole: The magical page one 50.

[00:35:43] Gayle: Right. And then let it take off.

I mean, I’ve had, I’ve seen so many people say this was their favorite book of

[00:35:47] Nicole: 2021, and then it doesn’t take off by

[00:35:50] Gayle: then, then I’m going to just put it on the shelf and feel guilty

[00:35:53] Nicole: every time I look at it, 200. You don’t, you still don’t TNF a lot of books

[00:35:58] Gayle: now. Oh, I did DNF a book though. Ooh. I forgot to tell you in this group.

Uh, DNF to book. Um, I got the short stories by Elizabeth McCracken. That’s her name, right? Yep. Um, the souvenir museum. I haven’t read anything by her in a long time. I read like the Giant’s house many years

[00:36:19] Nicole: ago. I read her memoir. Was she? I think she, if this is the author that I’m thinking about, she wrote a memoir of, of being pregnant and think her child was still born.

[00:36:32] Gayle: Let’s see here, I’ll tell you her books, that

[00:36:34] Nicole: books still haunt me. Like I had no idea what happened when you had a stillbirth. Was

[00:36:40] Gayle: it thunderstruck? No. No, it wasn’t. Uh, okay. She’s written, these are the books she’s written the souvenir museum bull away thunderstruck, which looks like it’s story. An effect, an exact replica of a figment of my imagination.

Was that it? I read that. Yes. Is that the one, the memoir?

[00:37:02] Nicole: Um, I read that book, but I’m not sure if it’s, I think

[00:37:06] Gayle: it is though. Let’s see, I’m gonna click on that. Let me see if that takes me to the boat. Oh yes. Yes. A memory, a memoir of two pregnancies and two children’s still. And healthy. Oh, I would love to read that.

Uh, well, I started her book, the souvenir museum, which is her latest collection of stories. It looks like she’s had other ones. This has maybe her third story collection. And I didn’t like it. It was too weird. Like I made it through the first one and then I made it through the second one and it was sort of plodding along.

And then the third one was getting even weirder. And I just said, you know what? Like, Forcing myself, like I invested most of a train ride. And by the end of the train, I just thought, I don’t, I’m not, this is not grabbing me at all. And it was a library book. So I said, you know, Gail, look, why are you. I

[00:37:53] Nicole: really liked her memoir, but I think that all the premises that I’ve read, they’re always slightly odd and I never

[00:37:59] Gayle: read a book.

They are odd and this, and the sh the short stories are definitely odd. The giants houses I read that years and years ago. Twenty-five years ago. I don’t know. It’s been a long time and it is a little odd, but I remember I really liked it and I do think she’s a good writer, but she’s got like a little bit of a warped that warped like a quirky, quirky.

Yeah. And I mean, I can’t even tell you now, any of the stories, like the stories that I read on the train, like what they were about, like.

[00:38:29] Nicole: All right. So in two weeks you have to report back on or you promoted the book from being a blow dry book at those additional 90 pages that supposedly are going to lead you to the promised land.

Get you hooked. Get you caught up with your. Yeah. So next time we will either hear that you have put this aside, or you are commenting furiously in the Instagram posts and your comments are being hearted and affirmed.

[00:38:56] Gayle: Exactly. As of now, I’m a complete lurker anyway, that I think catches us up on what I’ve been reading.

Oh, actually I

[00:39:04] Nicole: had a couple of questions for you. Did you like Elizabeth Katz’s book? Erica? Katz’s.

[00:39:10] Gayle: I did, uh, the one about the law firm. Um, I did like it. What was it? What was it called again? Club liars club. Yes, I did like that one a lot. And it, um, I actually know the law firm that it was based on, and I know people who work at the law firm, it was based on, so law firm was that based on, I don’t think I should say I’m sure that was minimal research.

You can find out where she doing. I don’t know, maybe it’s on her LinkedIn profile. Um, but I don’t want to be the one to, to single it out. Yeah. That was a fun read. That was like, uh, that’s a good, like, get you out of a reading slump book. It’s, you know, it’s, it’s what Sarah Sarah’s bookshelves called. Cause brain candy, you know, it was smartly written, but it’s, you know, it’s kind of a thriller.

Yeah. I liked that one a lot. And I’m kind of intrigued by her new book, which is about art forgery. That’s what I was going to ask you if. I would like to read that if you had

[00:40:06] Nicole: heard of it and if you want to read it, I love stuff about art, art, forgeries, art. Heiss.

[00:40:11] Gayle: Yeah. Fun. Uh, I I’ve heard it’s good too.

She turned that out pretty quickly after her first book came out. I read Liar’s club last year and a half ago, summer of 2020. So, um, yeah, I’m I would like to read.

[00:40:32] Nicole: Okay. All right. Well, just wanted to check that that was on your radar. And then I wanted to follow up. Because you had sent me a link to an article and I think I looked at it and did not respond, but I read, um,

[00:40:49] Gayle: watching a show.

Yes, I have this right in front of me. I wanted to talk to men

[00:40:53] Nicole: in the house, across the street from the girl in the

[00:40:56] Gayle: window. Yeah. So it is a parody of all of the psychological thrillers involving damaged women. That even I talk about all the time. Yeah. Dre, unreliable narrators. So you’ve got the girl on the train woman in the window, all of that stuff.

So this is Kristen bell and she plays. A woman who has spends her she’s heartbroken and spends her life looking out her window and possibly sees a murder and she’s always drinking and she’s got a fear of the rain. Like she’s got, you know, an irrational fear and the chemical dependency and a vulnerable heart.

And yet, you know, somebody who thinks she sees something that happens. So. I I’ve read some reviews of this cause I was intrigued and I sent this to you when I first saw the link about it. Um, watched it so you did watch it. Oh my God. Give us the, give

[00:41:57] Nicole: us the tape. Now I want to hear what your, what, what have the reviews said

[00:42:00] Gayle: before?

This was, I mean, what I, when I sent it to you, it was more of a like, Hey, this is coming. It wasn’t actually reviewed. But then I did read a review of it, I think yesterday. And they said that it was like hard to pin down the genre that. It didn’t, it wasn’t like a silly parody. It wasn’t like a laugh out loud thing.

Um, but that you could definitely pick up on what it was making fun of. And they said that that Kristen bell. Good job because she was so good. Complicated. All right. So tell us about it.

[00:42:31] Nicole: Okay. So in this article that you sent me, which I’m skimming now, there’s this line, I don’t know. You know, it talks about how absurd the show is.

And she says that she had trouble figuring out exactly how to play it. Should she, should it be a joke? Is it serious? And so she says that she was told to do everything as sincere as possible. But make sure you’re laughing on the inside. And so she said that this is the best, bad acting I’ve ever wanted to accomplish in my career.

I thought she was really good. I remember seeing like a brief thing where, you know, Some review or someone just briefly mentioned. So just like, okay, so this should have been a movie. Didn’t need to be a series. It is a series, but the episodes are super short.

[00:43:15] Gayle: Oh, I didn’t realize it was a series. I thought it was a movie.


[00:43:18] Nicole: It’s like 8 25 minute, you know, 25 to 30 minute episodes. Um, so I watched it over the course of two nights. I really liked it. It was. Okay. So first of all, it is really, really silly. Um, but I do think that she does hit that mark of playing it seriously. Um, but with. Seriously, but yeah, it seems like she should be joking or should know how ridiculous this is, but at the same time, it is serious and like yeah.

Serious things happen. Like she is living in this house. She’s all alone. Gail. When I tell you the glasses of wine, the wine glasses are so big and. I see her just she’ll take out two glasses and she’s just pouring from the bottle. So like each glass basically holds a bottle of wine and she runs it up to the top.

And so she’s like sitting there looking at her window and drinking. So of course there’s always like the neighbor that you meet, who you kind of like and trust, but then you see like this horrific thing happened and. At this time is like a strange from her husband. It’s not clear whether they’re actually divorced because you learn, you know, like within the first episode you learn that, um, she used to have a daughter, like her daughter is no longer living, so that’s her big tragedy.

So I’m watching this and sometimes it’s just like, this is so dumb. This is so stupid. Why am I watching? But I think as a whole, in the end, when I looked on it, they were just like things about it that I really liked. And I think which kind of hit that place where sometimes you’d go into looking for things and you expect it to be, I guess you expect a negative result, but maybe.

Maybe there’s a different kind of meaning. And I had a long conversation with my mother who also watched it about that. So I thought it was really good. I liked it. It seems like using a second series. I’m not sure I could take it again. That level of silliness. It is so silly, but I think it’s a nice reprieve and it, and it is funny when, cause we, you know, we’ve read all these books where it’s just like, okay, yes, something horrible has happened, but now.

Uh, you’ve been sitting in your window, looking at people and drinking wine for three years. Like you need to get

[00:45:43] Gayle: it together. Oh, that’s awesome. Okay, good. I’m glad that you read it. I mean that you’ve watched it. Uh, okay. So the other show that I wanted to alert you to is inventing. Yes,

[00:46:00] Nicole: I ha we had talked about this quite a bit that, uh, Shonda Rhimes is going to be making a series of this and that.

I think it’s a Netflix show. It’s it’s going to be out this Friday,

[00:46:12] Gayle: February 11th, while you were on top of things. I would like to watch it because it’s based on the book that I read, what was my friend, Anna? So it’s about the woman who pretends to be this very wealthy heiress. And she sucks her friend in to her lies.

And. Eventually, you know, stiffs are friend with a massive hotel bill, and it’s all about kind of the psychological, like damage that she wreaks as she misleads the people around her. Um, yeah, I would totally watch this.

[00:46:50] Nicole: Okay. So you’re going to watch it. Yeah, definitely. I might not watch the second season of Bridgeton though. I don’t know. I’ll have to see.

[00:46:58] Gayle: Oh, yeah. I’m not really interested in that. I don’t know. It was, I found it painful to get through the first one. I am going to have the worst TV hangover though, because I am watching succession.

Did you watch succession? I started,

[00:47:08] Nicole: I think I’ve watched the first three episodes.

[00:47:11] Gayle: Oh my God. So it’s there’s three seasons. We’re in the middle of season three. It’s so good that I think it’s ruined me for television because nothing is going to match up to succession. Did you love

[00:47:23] Nicole: the first season? I mean, now I feel like I’ve watched a good show.

It’s fine.

[00:47:27] Gayle: Yeah. I did love the first season. I just find, I don’t know. I just hate everyone. What red they’re all. Hateable, they’re awful people, but they’re very funny though. The writing is so funny and I think the acting is really good. And then the twists and turns, this finale is the finale of season one in the finale of season two are both really good.

They leave you hanging. I mean, I’m, I’m binging it now. So for me, like, thankfully when I finished an episode, there’s always another episode right there. I don’t have to wait a season or a year or whatever. I assume that. As soon I will. I know the acting is so great. I really like it.

[00:48:03] Nicole: I do mean to get back to it.

Um, but it’s, it’s so dark. I was like, this is a lot.

[00:48:11] Gayle: It is stark, but it’s also funny and it’s absurd. I mean, this is ridiculous. The wealthy family, oh my God. The apartments and the helicopters and the yachts and the thing, it’s just, it’s just eye candy to look at this incredibly. Expensive view of New York.

I dunno. I really like. I’m a big fan. I love Kieran Culkin. He makes me laugh every time.

[00:48:36] Nicole: So I think everyone’s caught up on what’s going on with us. What we’re, what we’ve been reading. Uh, there is that Eric, I did mention the Erica cats book that we’re looking forward to. I’ve got to find out which law firm she works at.

I said this was a pseudonym. Her, her name was a pseudonym. It says it’s even more Jewish than the one she chose.

[00:49:00] Gayle: I actually know her name. Um, I can’t, I can’t reveal more than that. We discussed

[00:49:07] Nicole: off podcasts

[00:49:08] Gayle: to be discussed. Yeah. So wait, did you read the first one or you did not read the first one?

[00:49:13] Nicole: I’m halfway through the first

[00:49:14] Gayle: one.

Oh, of it.

[00:49:17] Nicole: I mean, I like it so far. I mean, it seems like it’s accurate in terms of knowing lots of people who’ve gone to law school,

[00:49:25] Gayle: we had the name wrong. It’s not the wire’s club. It’s the boys club.

[00:49:29] Nicole: Oh, okay. Yeah. Yeah. Well, that, that makes sense.

[00:49:35] Gayle: Yeah. And the new book is called fake, right? Um, yeah. So, you know, people who went to law school and they’ve reported that life as a junior associate in a big white shoe law firm is like this.

[00:49:47] Nicole: Definitely. So that’s why I was curious which one it was,

[00:49:51] Gayle: it’s a good book about kind of, you know, being a woman in a traditionally male dominated industry. Although at this point, you know, legal industry, it’s to hard to say that it’s. There’s a lot of women in the law, the law field. Um, yeah,

[00:50:06] Nicole: it gets hung up with race.

[00:50:09] Gayle: Yeah. I don’t think that it’s that exaggerated, like one of the things she describes, I think a lot of it is based on, you know, experiences that she had.

[00:50:17] Nicole: Yeah. It just re always reads to me is just accurate. Yeah. You know, like juggling your boyfriend, juggling the long hours that you’re working your families, you know, pretty much always upset with you.

Always having more work to do.

[00:50:34] Gayle: Yeah. Right. But then getting embroiled. I mean, then it turns into a bit of a thriller because there’s some like unsavory stuff going on. And I don’t, I don’t know. Don’t think that stuff’s based in reality. Like I think that, you know, she needed, she needed a plot device to sort of propel the book forward and.

You know, ultimately force her to make a choice between like her values and this firm, right? Yeah.

[00:51:01] Nicole: Well, yeah, no one wants to read about people going to work and having soul sucking hours,

[00:51:07] Gayle: day after day, nothing changes. Um, yeah, I, I sort of put the boys club in the category with the push as if you’re in a.

Stuff that has been good, but it hasn’t grabbed you or where you’re distracted and need something to take your mind off stuff. Those are two books that are going to get you through, but they they’ll just engage your brain and shut out the rest of the world. Yeah.

[00:51:35] Nicole: I was excited to see the art one. Is she still working at her firm?

Is she

[00:51:39] Gayle: low? No, she left the firm, I think before she read the book. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. I think she was.

[00:51:47] Nicole: Gail. Why don’t you tell us when, when we need to remind you?

[00:51:52] Gayle: Yeah, we are going to discuss our book club, which is Rin me something by Kyle Lucia. Woo. And we are going to discuss that on the episode airing March 10th.

So that should give people a fair amount of time to read it about a month and, uh, we’ll have our discussion then.

[00:52:16] Nicole: So on that note.

[00:52:25] Gayle: We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of the reader. You can find all of our shows on iTunes Please join our Facebook group readerly report readers, where you can talk to other listeners about their reading life. You can also find and me Gail, and every day I write the book

Finally, we’d love it. If you left a stubborn. And told your book, loving prince about us.

[00:52:53] Nicole: Thanks.


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