April 2023

April showers gave us plenty of time inside to watch, read, and listen.


Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors
I had been waiting for this book for a long time, and when I finally got to it I was hooked within the first few pages. Cleo and Frank meet by chance, but she is in NY on a student visa that is set to expire in 6 months. Within that time they will marry and start a life together which will alter not only their worlds, but the worlds of their friends and family that surround them. (Elle)

Factory Girls by Michelle Gallen
Attracted by a “fans of [tv show] Derry Girls will love this book!” review, I grabbed this book expecting a humorous story of teenage girls living in the midst of The Troubles in 1990s Northern Ireland. I didn’t find much humor (unlike Derry Girls, and unlike the review blurbs on the book cover), but I did find an emotional tale of the Troubles. It was a little sobering to realize that I was a happily oblivious tween over here in Massachusetts while events like the ones in the book were taking place. (Dana)

Foster by Claire Keegan
This novella is beautifully written and quietly heartbreaking. I read it in one sitting on a rainy morning, and once done immediately requested another book by this author. (Amber)

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
One of the best works of fiction I’ve read in a while. A deeply moving story about the lifelong impacts of childhood trauma/neglect and the healing power of love, sisterhood, friendship – and forgiveness. (Molly)

I’ll Show Myself Out by Jessi Klein
I’m in the middle of this one, and quite enjoying it. Klein’s writing style is easy to read and makes me laugh. It’s always comforting/validating to read stories from other moms who’ve been in the same boat, especially if they can help you see the humor in it all! (Dana)

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Strong female protagonist, falling in love, and a DOG! What more could you need? I had so much fun reading this book. I even picked up a few cooking tips. (Tessa)

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi
Short & fun novel about saving Kaiju from humans. Funny and light! (Renee)

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan
Absolutely gut-wrenching novel about a woman who loses her child after a bad day. Super haunting, this still keeps me up at night. (Renee)


I was almost done reading Factory Girls (see review above) when I had the chance to watch this movie during a flight. That personal context made it extra fascinating to watch a film about the start of The Troubles. I thought the movie was excellent, a tear-jerker. (Dana)

Coriolanus is not one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays; it is a Roman tragedy with no love story, little humor, and the plot revolves around war. I love Shakespeare, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this story. To my surprise, I was thoroughly impressed with Ralph Fiennes’s adaptation of the play. The film uses Shakespeare’s language, but at no point was I confused thanks to Fiennes’s clever directing choices, although I could have done without the shakey camera effect during the fighting scenes. Overall, I ended up enjoying the film more than the play adaptation I saw a week later. (Tessa)

A Nazi spy thriller in true Hitchcock form. Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant star in probably one of the most beautiful pieces of cinema ever created. I didn’t want it to end! (Elle)

The Sopranos
Working my way through season 3. Body count: 20? (Elle)

Succession (HBO Max)
My favorite evil family is back, and I couldn’t be happier. Episode 3 of this new season was truly one of the most masterful episodes of television I’ve seen in recent years. (Cathy)
Check out our HBO Roku to watch.

Survivor (CBS)
I hadn’t watched an episode of this since season one, but I found my kids watching it one day and was surprisingly hooked. Jeff Probst hasn’t aged in 20 years, they recently changed the gameplay a bit, and I now find myself wanting to form alliances and vote people off the island in every day life. (Amber)
Check out our Hulu Roku to watch.

Truly, Madly, Deeply
Young Alan Rickman with a mustache! Need I say more? I’ve been meaning to watch this 1990 movie for many years and I’m so glad there was a DVD available in Minuteman for me to borrow. This is about a woman having a really hard time grieving the recent death of her boyfriend when he suddenly returns as a ghost! It’s one of those movies that has a somewhat silly premise but works because the actors are so great and fully committed. I enjoyed it a lot and it’s going on my list of favorite comfort watches. (Cathy)


Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano, read by Maura Tierney
I’m currently listening to this, and, to quote a friend, am waiting for this to become the amazing book the New York Times says it is. Maura Tierney, however, is an outstanding reader.

King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St. Clair, read by Curt Bonnem and Austenne Grey
Vampires, witches, secrets and twisted fate! Finished it in a day. (Elle)

Pelerinaj by Erol Josue
Erol Josuè is an amazing artist and storyteller. This album truly takes the listener on a pilgrimage. (Molly)

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
This was my first Ira Levin book and I really enjoyed listening to it on audio – Mia Farrow does a wonderful job with the narration! Fans of the movie should know that it’s very faithful to the book – very few things were changed. (Cathy)