January, 2020

January 5th, 2020, 4:06 p.m. - Let's kick off the year by examining our opinion of a child molester!

1. The Fact of a Body (Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich)
Don't ask why I decided this should be my first book of the new year. I don't know, either. Yes, it's well-written, but it's not exactly cheerful. At all. Happy New Year, I guess.

Up next: Nice Try (Josh Gondelman)

January 11th, 2020, 12:12 p.m. - Sometimes, nice guys finish first

2. Nice Try (Josh Gondelman)
I'm not that familiar with Gondelman, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I really enjoyed this. Gondelman's humor is right up my alley. I'll keep an eye out for more from him.

Up next: Good Girl, Bad Girl (Michael Robotham)

January 12th, 2020, 3:56 p.m. - "For a family of generally lovely people, we sure have a lot of rivals"

Modern Family – "The Prescott": I just rewatched "Las Vegas" recently and admired for the dozenth time how amazing the final sequence is. This episode wasn't quite as good, but it worked pretty well. I will never be unhappy to see Stephen Merchant in anything. Rating: 4 sliders

The Good Place – "You've Changed, Man": Aww, Shawn. He just wants to be included! Bonus points for getting Timothy Olyphant to play himself. Rating: 4 Janet marbles

Perfect Harmony – "Know When to Walk Away": I loved that, instead of ending on a sappy note, with Cash learning how to be a good person and blah blah blah, they ended with him winning money because he bet on the other kid. Brilliant. Rating: 4 trampolines

January 15th, 2020, 8:05 p.m. - Good book, bad title

3. Good Girl, Bad Girl (Michael Robotham)
I feel like not enough questions got answered, but since this is the first in a series, I assume more will be revealed later. I'll definitely be reading the next book when it comes out this summer. Maybe by then I'll have stopped calling the author Mike Robot Ham.

Up next: A Field Guide to Awkward Silences (Alexandra Petri)

January 18th, 2020, 2:34 p.m. - "I am a strong, independent acid snake in the skinsuit of a strong, independent woman"

Modern Family – "Legacy": Aww, Frank. He was always fun. But I guess when your show's in its last season, you can kill off anyone you want. Rating: 4 canceled mariachi performances

The Magicians – "Do Something Crazy": Is it bad that I don't really miss Quentin? Maybe it just shows how much of an ensemble show this is. There are enough compelling people there to fill the void. Rating: 4 missing buildings

Supernatural – "The Trap": Could have used more looks into the future and less stuff in purgatory. Also, more Billie. Rating: 3 blossom things

The Good Place – "Mondays, Am I Right?": A lot of the jokes in this episode fell flat for me. Not a strong offering when there are so few episodes left. Rating: 3 chainsaw bears

Perfect Harmony – "Hymn-a-Thon": I love that they let the unnamed people in the choir sing – they all had terrific voices. If this show doesn't get renewed for a second season, I'll be really disappointed. Rating: 4 requests for Wayne to say people's names

January 20th, 2020, 9:22 p.m. - I, too, sometimes feel like I missed the orientation for adulthood

4. A Field Guide to Awkward Silences (Alexandra Petri)
This has been on my radar for a while, but for some reason I never read it. I was looking for something light at the library and decided to just go for it. Now Petri gets to join Robotham as an author whose next book I'm definitely going to read.

Up next: The Better Liar (Tanen Jones) and Wanderers (Chuck Wendig), which I might finish sometime before 2022

January 25th, 2020, 2:32 p.m. - "I'm a shifter." "A shifter? You chose that face?"

Modern Family – "Dead on a Rival": Jay's insults about Manny's outfit are worth this rating all by themselves. Also, I swear another show has done that former-resident-wants-to-die-here story, but I can't remember which one. Rating: 4 bourbon-spiked coffees

The Magicians – "The Wrath of the Time Bees": This felt like housekeeping/tying up loose ends so the show can move forward, but it made me remember how much I like Fen. Brittany Curran was awesome in this episode. Rating: 3 tacos

Supernatural – "The Heroes' Journey": This episode had a lot of good laughs. I laughed way too loudly when Garth revealed that his twins weren't Sam and Dean, but instead Sam and Castiel. Rating: 4 grilled cheeses

The Good Place – "Patty": My favorite episode of the season. Lisa Kudrow is a national treasure. From now on, when I see the number 5, I'm asking if it's an S or a math. Rating: 4 stardust milkshakes

Perfect Harmony – "Regionals": I'll be really sad if this show isn't renewed. The cast and writing have been consistently great. I want to see more of these characters' stories! Rating: 4 secret coughs

January 30th, 2020, 8:21 p.m. - A debut author to keep an eye on

5. The Better Liar (Tanen Jones)
It's hard to believe this is Jones' first book – her writing is as confident and sharp as any writer who's been around for years. The big twist is excellent, and the ending is a nice surprise. Yet another writer for my read-anything-by list.

Up next: Thirteen (Steve Cavanagh) and Wanderers (Chuck Wendig) – just 600 pages to go!

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