Most people know Andrew McCarthy from his movie roles in Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Weekend at Bernie’s, and Less than Zero, and as a charter member of Hollywood’s Brat Pack. That iconic group of ingenues and heartthrobs included Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, and Demi Moore, and has come to represent both a genre of film and an era of pop culture. In his memoir Brat: An ’80s Story, McCarthy focuses his gaze on that singular moment in time. The result is a revealing look at coming of age in a maelstrom, reckoning with conflicted ambition, innocence, addiction, and masculinity. New York City of the 1980s is brought to vivid life in these pages, from scoring loose joints in Washington Square Park to skipping school in favor of the dark revival houses of the Village where he fell in love with the movies that would change his life. Filled with personal revelations of innocence lost to heady days in Hollywood with John Hughes and an iconic cast of characters, Brat is a surprising and intimate story of an outsider caught up in a most unwitting success.
curl up and read thoughts


When I think of 1980s movies, I immediately recall Andrew McCarthy and the other iconic members of the group dubbed “the Brat Pack,” so reading Brat: An 80s Story took me back to those times.

My favorite film from that era was probably St. Elmo’s Fire, followed by Pretty in Pink. The author’s journey through his life toward a career in acting and how he overcame his issues of body image, insecurity, and all the things that plague young people, I felt a connection to him. Even now I will pick up a movie or show in which he starred and smile at the nostalgia I feel.

I also enjoyed following along in his story of overcoming addictions and turning to directing, another aspect of movie making.

I read the book in a day and couldn’t set it down. For me, it earned 5 stars..#2021ReadNonFic



Marissa Dahl, a shy but successful film editor, travels to a small island off the coast of Delaware to work with the legendary—and legendarily demanding—director Tony Rees on a feature film with a familiar logline.

Some girl dies.

It’s not much to go on, but the specifics don’t concern Marissa. Whatever the script is, her job is the same. She’ll spend her days in the editing room, doing what she does best: turning pictures into stories.

But she soon discovers that on this set, nothing is as it’s supposed to be—or as it seems. There are rumors of accidents and indiscretions, of burgeoning scandals and perilous schemes. Half the crew has been fired. The other half wants to quit. Even the actors have figured out something is wrong. And no one seems to know what happened to the editor she was hired to replace.

Then she meets the intrepid and incorrigible teenage girls who are determined to solve the real-life murder that is the movie’s central subject, and before long, Marissa is drawn into the investigation herself.

The only problem is, the killer may still be on the loose. And he might not be finished.

As I slowly immersed myself in Pretty as a Picture, I was fascinated to be inside our first person narrator’s head as she showed us the world of film making from her perspective. As the film editor, Marissa had a very unique view of that world.It didn’t take long for the reader to realize that the movie making world Marissa had stumbled into would be different than usual. Something was going on, and danger was all around.

The teenage girls who sneaked around the hotel were interesting in their junior detective mode, but soon Marissa would realize they had insights that would help solve the old murder…and the dangerous things happening in the current situation.

Several red herrings kept me off guard through most of the story…but then, at the end, the culprit turned out to be almost too obvious to be true. 4 stars.



In a New Year, we often make bookish plans.  Not resolutions, exactly, but goals.  Reading more of the books on my TBR…and buying fewer books.

Well, here’s what I’ve done so far in the book buying department:


1.Becoming Mrs. Lewis (e-book), by Patti Callahan

2.Wallis in Love, by Andrew Morton


And while I haven’t yet dipped into the back of my Kindle, my First Book of the Year was my first read.


1.You Don’t Own Me (e-book), by Mary Higgins Clark/Alafair Burke – (288 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 1/1/19- (First Book of the Year)


My current read is Sadie, by Courtney Summers, a book I purchased in November 2018…


Tomorrow I hope to take down the Christmas decorations.  Then I want to curl up with my books, and even watch a few movies.  In other words, my normal routines.

What does your 2019 look like so far?



In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

My Thoughts: I was probably one of the last people to come to the Gilmore Girls party, but once I discovered the show on Netflix, I couldn’t stop watching. The term “binge watching” completely describes my experience.

Before I found myself a real fan of this show, I had already discovered Lauren Graham in movies and on Parenthood.

Now, in Talking as Fast as I Can, I liked discovering her personal take on her movies, TV shows, and relationships. Her self-deprecating voice kept me smiling, even as I felt like someone who was having a conversation with her.

I liked learning how she came to start writing, and enjoyed her descriptions of her writing process, which included tidbits from someone whose process became part of her writing style.

But my favorite moments were the peeks behind the scenes on the sets, especially the ones related to the Gilmore Girls reboot. Special moments involved the connections with the cast who felt like family, and the emotions they experienced as they wrapped up the show. As a reader, I felt like I was part of it all. 4.5 stars.



Madeleine on June 15 - coffee

Looking back, checking to see what I was thinking and feeling during a particular time period, is one of my favorite blogging activities.  Today I looked back two years ago, to February 2015 and my review of The Girl on the Train.  Remember that one?

You will see, if you check it out, that I loved it.  And later, I loved the movie, which is now available on Amazon Prime Videos.  I will be watching it…again!

I saw it twice at the theater, once alone and another time with my granddaughter.  She and I often enjoy some of the same movies.  We’ve watched White Oleander and Erin Brockovich too many times to count.












I used to buy the DVDs of favorite movies, but now, with Amazon Prime, I can buy them on the site for less than the cost of the DVD.  So that’s what I do.  Sometimes they are free!

Speaking of Prime..and Netflix...and Hulu, I do enjoy visiting those sites, and haven’t been there in at least a week…but now that some of my favorite TV shows are back from hiatus, I tend to save those places for nights or weekends when nothing else is on.

Tonight it’s This Is Us, one of my favorites of the new season.  The actor, below, was a fan fave on The Young and the Restless…and those of us sad to see him go can now enjoy him on this show. (Hey, that sort of rhymed!  LOL).   Here is super-hot Justin Hartley…






What do you enjoy, in movies, TV, or even in books?  Do you find yourself gravitating to a certain kind of reading or viewing?



PicMonkey Collage-resized logo

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

What a week!  I read and reviewed THREE books, but none of them counted for my Read the Books You Buy Challenge.  One was a “freebie” from Amazon Prime, while the other two were books purchased in 2014.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the books.  But since I purchased those books and was drawn to them at some point, should that surprise me?

Perhaps I should be stunned that I waited so long for them.

I finished watching American Odyssey, Season 1, on Netflix.  Now I’ll have to wait for another season!  I did also watch a couple of episodes of Lie to Me, but I am so annoyed by a couple of the characters (newbie staff members at the company), that I’m about ready to stop watching.  Do you ever find that when you are annoyed at characters, whether in a book, a movie, or a show, that you want to throw something?  Or am I the only immature creature here?  LOL.

I also watched a movie on my DVR that had me tearing up from the memories…it was an oldie, from the 1970s, and it had that Johnny Mathis song playing throughout:  “The last time I felt like this, I was falling in love….”. 

The movie was Same Time, Next Year, with Ellen Burstyn and Alan Alda.

I hadn’t seen the movie in a few years, so it almost felt like the first time.  Do you ever have that reaction to old movies?  It reminded me of exactly what was going on in my own life when the movie first came out.  I must have listened to that song all through that momentous summer.  Enough said.  LOL.

Let’s toast, okay?  And chat about the past week in books and blogging….


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Rainy Day Reading: Sunshine Interruptus

Interior Thoughts: Musing About Books

Serendipitous Tuesdays: “Breakdown”

Hump Day Potpourri: Waiting for “Falling”

Bookish Thursdays #9: A Potpourri of Events

My Interior Thoughts: A Glimpse of the Past

Bookish Fridays: “Have No Shame”

Let’s Curl up with Some Bookish Dreams

Review:  Dream of the Blue Room (e-book), by Michelle Richmond

Review:  North of Here (e-book), by Laurel Saville

Review:  Lila (e-book), by Marilynne Robinson



INCOMING BOOKS: (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

One review book came in my mailbox from Amazon Vine…and I downloaded three e-books (purchased).

Three-Martini Lunch, by Suzanne Rindell (Vine)






Luckiest Girl Alive (e-book), by Jessica Knoll





What We Find (e-book), by Robyn Carr







The Obsession (e-book), by Nora Roberts





WHAT’S UP NEXT? (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

Currently Reading:  A Fatal Grace (Book 2) (e-book), by Louise Penny






Mother Knows Best, by Karen MacInerney





Terrible Virtue (e-book), by Ellen Feldman




I have a few more to consider….let’s see what really happens in next week’s post. 


That’s it for my week…what did yours look like?  Have a good one!


Coffee, Mimosa, & reading - 2




If you have something to muse or rant about, head on over to Should Be Reading and join in.

Possible topics:

Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!


Recently I downloaded two books that I hadn’t even considered buying or reading…because they had been made into movies.  And I LOVE movies.

Yes, I love books, but books made into movies are my go-to thing.

If I Stay (click for review)was a book that left me sighing and weeping a little.  But the movie, which I saw yesterday, even more so.  To find out more about WHY, check out my Sunday Potpourri post.



I had noticed this title On Demand, but hadn’t watched it…but then my daughter kept urging me to do so, saying she was sure I’d love it.  Does that girl know me, or what?

I watched it On Demand…but then recorded it later last night, after noticing it on Starz.  I want to be able to watch it again…and you never know about On Demand.  Some of those movies hang around, and others disappear quickly.

I used to buy DVDs for everything…and you can tell by my DVD shelves…I have more than 800 movies there, and that doesn’t count the few VCR tapes that I still have!

Here’s a brief glimpse of a portion of the shelves that extend the length of the hallway.




My obsessions (which I prefer to call collections) are numerous, but recently I’ve been purging my bookshelves.  They are overflowing again, even though my habit nowadays is to download new books to Sparky.

But there are those giveaways and those Vine review books!

Right now I’m reading a Vine book called Falling Into Place, by Amy Zhang, from Vine.  In some ways, it is reminiscent of If I Stay, as the girl in the story has also been in a horrendous accident and is lying in a hospital bed, while the world (and her world in the past) swirl around her.

But how she got there is very different.


Earlier today, I read a lovely post by Nose Graze, a blog I recently started following.  She talks about her routines and how much she loves them.

And I could definitely relate.  Even though mine is different, the similarities exist in the security of having something real and secure in our worlds…something that we look forward to in our days.

What has your day been like so far?  Your week?  Do you savor the routines, or do you like playing it by ear?