March 2023

We are springing forward with these recent picks.


All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers
A winding whodunit with a hometown reporter asking all the questions. If you read this and like it, you can also tune in to a podcast called Crime Junkies by the author. (Deb)

All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me by Patrick Bringley
This memoir is about Patrick Bringley’s ten years as a guard at the Met. Full disclosure: I was a guard at the Met for five of those years and Patrick is a former colleague, so I’m biased. But as someone who has always enjoyed behind-the-scenes stories, especially from the perspective of support staff, I think I still would have enjoyed this even without the personal connection. This book is an ode to the transformative and healing power of art, and also to the diversity of both the Met’s visitors and staff. (Cathy)

Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Cute. Light. Fluffy. Chick-lit. (Deb)

Bye Bye, Binary by Eric Geron
This is one of my toddler’s current favorites. He loves pointing and yelling “baby!!” as they pop out of a gender-reveal cake. (Dana)

Invisible Woman by Erika Robuck
Great WWII fiction featuring a real-life, strong female American spy working for the Brits in occupied France. (Deb)

Leeva at Last by Sara Pennypacker
Funny, smart and resourceful, Leeva is a character to cheer for. Perfect for fans of Roald Dahl and the Clementine series. (Jen)

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Beautifully written, lyrical and devastating. This one is going to stay with me for a long time. (Dana)

Run Toward the Danger by Sarah Polley
I love when writers explore the concept of memory – how we remember formative or traumatic events in our lives, how those memories morph with time, and how they often stand in contrast to how others remember the same event. Sarah Polley examines all of this so movingly and wisely in this essay collection. Also, like Jeannette McCurdy’s I’m Glad My Mom Died, this book is a searing indictment of the exploitation and neglect of children in the entertainment industry. (Cathy)

She Is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran
Literary gothic horror (my favorite) explores themes of belonging and colonialism and a sinister horror novel. (Ash)


Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (in theaters)
My first trip to the movies in a year (yay mom-life!). It was okay; sufficiently entertaining. (Dana)

Extraordinary Attorney Woo (Netflix)
I’ve been watching this Korean drama about a lawyer with autism with my parents. It’s extremely wholesome and endearing, while highlighting real issues neurodivergent people face. I would be curious to hear from members of the autism community about this show, because I feel the portrayal sometimes leans on cliché a little bit. But overall, the writing is very sensitive and thoughtful, and I’m really enjoying it. (Cathy)

Luther: The Fallen Sun (Netflix)
I don’t like to share bad reviews, but I feel I would remiss for not forewarning fans of the Luther series to skip this one. There’s no comparing this movie (Idris Elba and Dermot Crowley are the only returning cast members) to the well-done and brilliantly terrifying BBC series. (Amber)
Check out our Netflix Roku to watch.

Pamela, a love story (Netflix)
Although the book (Love, Pamela) is better, I can think of worse ways to spend 90 or so minutes. (Amber)
Check out our Netflix Roku to watch.

Perry Mason, season two (HBO)
Everything about this series is divine. (Amber)
Check out our HBO Roku to watch.

School Spirits (Paramount+)
A teenager is murdered during school, and wakes up as a ghost who can’t leave school premises. But who murdered her? I’m enjoying the mystery so far. (Ash)

The Sopranos (HBO)
It’s spring time, which means its time for my annual bingeing of television’s best drama. Get the baked ziti ready! (Elle)
Check out our HBO Roku to watch.

The Unseen World by Liz Moore
Favorite novel of the year so far – it kept me up till 2AM several nights last week! It is the most immersive and captivating coming-of-age novel I’ve read in quite a while. I loved the characters, structure, and slow-burn mystery element. Also, I cried at the end which is rare for me with fiction. (Cathy)


The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi, narrated by Sneha Mathan
Great story. Strong women in a culture that might be less encouraging of strength in women. (Deb)

Pop by U2
I revisited a favorite album from my teen years. It didn’t hold up. (Dana)

Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci
Some parts laugh-out-loud funny. Some parts heartbreaking. Some parts made me very hungry. (Deb)

A Touch of Darkness, A Touch of Ruin, A Touch of Malice by Scarlett St. Clair
This trilogy is set in New Athens, where the Greek gods are alive and well ruling in a modern world. It follows the imagined love story of Hades and Persephone as she comes to terms with leaving her life in the mortal world behind and ruling with Hades in the Underworld. (Elle)

February 2023

We packed a lot of Watching, Reading, and Listening into the shortest month of the year.


Africa Is Not a Country: Notes From a Bright Continent by Dipo Faloyin
Insightful, inspirational, and at times devastating, this book is worth reading for the overview of the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 alone. It was during this meeting that European and American powers divvied up the African continent amongst themselves with no regard to language and ethnic boundaries, setting the stage for seemingly endless conflict and strife. (Janet)

Bailey’s Cafe by Gloria Naylor
So glad to have finally read a Gloria Naylor novel! Each chapter focuses on a different regular customer of Bailey’s Cafe, and opens with a monologue from Bailey about what he thinks about them. Most customers are down on their luck (to put it extremely lightly), and rooming at a place down the street that is impossible to find unless they’re meant to end up there. Recommend to those who like well-written literary fiction that is full of wisdom, humor (despite dark topics), and a dash of magical realism. (Cathy)

Black, Brave, First: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World by Cheryl Willis Hudson; illustrations by Erin K. Robinson
Perfect read for Black History Month AND Women’s History Month. (Kelly)

The Bodyguard by Katherine Center
Cute! Light & fluffy. (Deb)

Call and Response: The Story of Black Lives Matter by Jennifer Harlan and Veronica Chambers
A call to action. (Molly)

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
Riveting. (Molly)

Dinner: The Playbook, A 30-Day Plan for Mastering the Art of the Family Meal by Jenny Rosenstrach
Great ideas for dinners; short and simple! I love this book! (Kelly)

How To Spot a Best Friend by Bea Birdsong; illustrations by Lucy Fleming
Adorable and charming, short and sweet. (Kelly)

How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones
This memoir was captivating, with Jones’s lyrical writing style. (Ash)

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Good book. Interesting perspectives on both homelessness & domestic abuse (separately). (Deb)

Love, Pamela by Pamela Anderson
I took this with me on vacation and it was the perfect travel companion. I genuinely enjoyed this. (Amber)

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
A short but powerful book about a quiet hero in a small town in 1980s Ireland. (Janet)

Social Justice Parenting: How To Raise Compassioniate, Anti-Racist, Justice-Minded Kids in an Unjust World by Dr. Traci Baxley
This is one of the few parenting books I’ve actually enjoyed reading! Baxley’s writing style is very approachable, and I loved her idea of parenting through a lens of radical love. (Dana)

This Way Out by Tufayel Ahmed
Painful and heartwarming. (Deb)

3000 Degrees: The True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men Who Fought It by Sean Flynn
This book provides a detailed, fascinating, and heartbreaking look at the Worcester Cold Storage fire, where 6 firefighters lost their lives in 1999. Flynn’s writing makes the reader feel like they’re right in the middle of the action. I remember watching the event unfold on the news and watching the funeral at school, and reading this book has been a pretty emotional exercise. (Dana)

We Will Rock Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
We’re huge fans of Penelope the T-rex and her school adventures. Excellent books! (Kelly)


The Chronicles of Narnia series (start with The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe)
We’ve started reading the Chronicles of Narnia to my 6-year-old, and watching the accompanying movie after we finish each one. It’s hard to tell which format my son enjoys more…though the sword fights and battle scenes might give the movies the edge. (Dana)

Ginny & Georgia (Netflix)
My teen asked me to watch this with her, and although I was initially unsure about it I am now hooked. The show is set in the fictional New England town of Wellsbury, and clearly has a great fashion designer and music director. (TW: this show portrays self-harm and eating disorders.) (Amber)
Check out our Netflix Roku to watch.

How To Get Away With Murder, season one
A bit late to the party with this one. I wouldn’t call this show great, but it’s definitely fun. The young people in the cast do not interest me a whole lot, but I enjoy seeing how terrified they all are of the Viola Davis character, the unstoppable Annalise Keating! She’s great in this (obviously) and I’m so happy to have five more seasons to go. (Cathy)

The Last of Us (HBO)
Scary. Not sure I can formally recommend. (Kelly)

Limitless (Disney+)
Limitless is a docuseries featuring Chris Hemsworth, famous for starring in Marvel’s Thor Movies. The series puts Chris through various challenges to make him think about his own mortality and how he can maximize his health; thus living a longer and more fulfilling life. How examples of stress, temperature shock, fasting, strength, memory and acceptance can all shape the way we deal with aging and death. I found it eye opening, educational and entertaining all at once. My kids enjoyed it too!
Check out our Disney+ Roku to watch.

The 1619 Project (Hulu)
Phenomenal. (Molly)
Check out our Hulu Roku to watch.

The Woman King
Action-packed war epics are typically not my preferred genre for movies, but I found The Woman King to be compelling and enjoyable. The cast was great, especially Viola Davis! (I also have to give a shout out to Lashana Lynch, who played Miss Honey in Matilda the Musical which I watched a couple of weeks ago. So fun to see her knock it out of the park in two completely opposite roles.) (Cathy)


The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Almost as good as The Rose Code. Brilliant women, intrigue, romance, revenge! (Deb)

Blue Train by John Coltrane
A journey. (Molly)

Finding Me by Viola Davis
If I had known this audiobook’s very first chapter would make me tear up, I for sure wouldn’t have started it while waiting for the bus! I’ve read lots of celebrity memoirs, many of them great, and this is one of the best. I’m just in awe of Viola Davis, and this will definitely be one of my favorite books of the year. (Cathy)

The Girl in His Shadow (Nora Beady, #1) by Audrey Blake
Wonderful characters, wonderful history (albeit unfair). Looking forward to the next one! (Deb)

It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover
Charming, empowering. Atlas seems too good to be true…to everyone: Ryle, Sutton, Josh…. (Deb)

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
What a great story! At first, I thought this was chick-lit meets Big Bang Theory but set in the 60’s. And it is a bit. And then I wondered if some of the meandering plot bits were really all necessary, but they all came together in the end! (Deb)

The Surgeon’s Daughter by Audrey Blake
Really great story! Glad we mostly don’t die from tetanus anymore. (Deb)

Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
SUPER intriguing writing! This story reveals itself backwards, essentially. Only one of my guesses turned out to be true. I love a book that keeps me on my toes! (Deb)