Reading for Hope
Read With Us: The Women of Brewster Place

And Here We Are

. . . another Monday.

In these Very Weird Times.

Time to . . . 


On Mondays I share a few tidbits and miscellaneous things I discovered over the weekend. A little of this, some of that. Things to amuse, amaze, entertain, or inform. Maybe even something to rev you up!

So. Let's get to it.


"He loved October. Had always loved it. There was something sad and beautiful about it -- the ending and beginning of things."
            --- Jacqueline Woodson, If You Come Softly




Tom and I have watched Best In Show so many times we can't even begin to count how many times. (Just ask our kids. . . ) We quote the dialogue verbatim. We imitate Cookie's wonky-knee scene. We sing the terrier songs. We have family jokes based on the show. So. Many. Jokes. (Don't even get me started about "naming nuts.") (Or the hunt for "busy bee."



Imagine our surprise when we recently learned that the entire movie was . . .  IMPROV!
No script. Just . . . really talented people making it up as they went along!

The movie is celebrating its 20th anniversary (time flies). Read this for the inside-scoop. And maybe . . . watch it again. Just for fun!



So how are you feeling these days? A little tense? A bit tight? Too much hunching over your computer? Or maybe a book? Maybe these three stretches for your neck and shoulders could help a bit.



Last Friday, I shared some lists and book titles that provide "comfort reading" . . . a little hope in these times where many of us are struggling to find it. And you responded -- sharing even more titles of books that restore your faith in humanity. I thought it might be helpful to share the list here from time to time (my original list and all the additional books y'all have suggested). Please feel free to send more suggestions my way, and I'll contiue to share them.

Comfort Reading: Books that Bring Hope (as compiled by readers of Stepping Away From the Edge)

  • The House in the Cerulean Sea - T.J. Klune
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
  • A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman
  • The Heart's Invisible Furies - John Boyne
  • This is Happiness - Niall Williams
  • Tuesdays With Morrie - Mitch Album
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
  • Reasons to Stay Alive - Matt Haig
  • The Shipping News - Annie Proulx
  • The Shell Seekers - Rosamonde Pilcher
  • A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles
  • The Book of Joy - The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
  • Mink River - Brian Doyle
  • The Essays of E.B. White - E.B. White
  • My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry - Fredrik Backman
  • Thornyhold - Mary Stewart
  • The Blue Castle - L.M. Montgomery
  • Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant - Anne Tyler



In the dream-a-little-dream department . . . here's an article featuring a newly-designed guest house in Long Island: The Narnia House. Now doesn't that look like a fun place to visit? I've always wanted to climb through that wardrobe!


And . . . that's it for me on this Monday morning.

Here's to a good week for all of us!
Hang in there.





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Hangin' on... I'm so glad to have the distraction of grandkids sometimes (such as over the weekend).


I have never seen Best in Show, but it's on my list now! And those upper back stretches are just what I need to start my week. I'm hangin' in there, now with less soreness!


I too have never seen Best in Show! But, I have added it to my list this week! (and those stretches! YES, thank you!)


I've read several of the books you have on your list. :-) They were pretty good.


You have GOT to be kidding?! Oh my gosh--Best in Show has been a continuous laugh around here for YEARS (we spent some Very Brief but Strange Times in that circuit ourselves, which is a long story. but made for an even deeper appreciation of that movie). What artists, those actors. I can't wait to share this news with Troy! You might have me reeling all day with this one, Kym :)


I've never seen Best in Show either! Those neck and shoulder exercises look great. The first one is very similar to one we used to do in my yoga class. But that house on Long Island!! I want that reading nook. Fabulous!


I have seen Best in Show quite a few times, but it's been a while, and I think my daughter would really appreciate all the pups. But I had no idea the whole thing was ad libbed -- that makes it even more genius!


Oh, Mink River. One of my most favorite books ever. Best in Show is a movie we love, too, and we quote from it frequently, often saying "quit naming nuts"! That Naria guest house? Let's go!


I had NO IDEA Best in Show was improv. whoa. and 20 years. we need a re-watch!

thank you for that book list. I've read about half of them and need to keep the other half in mind for these next few months. we're gonna need all the hope and comfort we can get, I think. (and of course the ones I've already read just might be necessary re-reads, too!)

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