October 16, 2020

What I've Been Reading, Watching, and Listening To

Another version of "What I've Been Reading, Watching, and Listening To". I've never read so much or listened to audiobooks like this, so it's actually getting hard to keep track of! I have been obsessed with audiobooks while I walk--that's what motivates me to keep going each day--and I've been reading daily for at least 10 pages.

I prefer to read thriller/suspense novels, which is what I read most of. But I'm pretty open-minded!

Here is what I've been reading, watching, and listening to lately... (links are Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through the link, I may get a small commission.)

Here is my Goodreads account--I try to keep up with it!


'Every Last Drop' by Sarah Robinson

My sister recommended 'Every Last Drop' by Sarah Robinson, saying that it was one of the best books she'd ever read. I immediately bought the Kindle version and started reading it the next day. It's about a woman who has a glioblastoma, the same type of brain tumor/cancer that my friend Spencer died from last year.

I won't get into it too much because I don't want to spoil anything, but the book is inspired by the story of Brittany Maynard, a woman who chose to end her life via the Death With Dignity Act in 2014. (Death With Dignity is a physician-assisted death for people with terminal diagnoses--there are a LOT of hoops to jump through, so it is not something taken lightly). 

I don't get into political issues on my blog, but I would love to see Death With Dignity available in every state, and while I found this book to be a little over-the-top and "fluffy", I like that it helps explain why people may make this choice when facing a terminal illness. 

'Delay, Don't Deny' by Gin Stephens

I read this a second time, simply because I feel like I'm ready to work on weight loss and I wanted a refresher on Gin Stephens' way of intermittent fasting. It's a great book! I think I may re-read 'Fast. Feast. Repeat.' by Gin as well. 

'Lying Next to Me' by Gregg Olsen

Again, I don't want to spoil this book by saying too much. But it's a murder mystery that starts with a man witnessing his wife's abduction and being unable to help. Throughout this whole book, I kept thinking I knew the "whodunnit" and all of that, but I kept changing my mind. The end wasn't a total shocker by that point, but it definitely kept me wondering throughout the whole book!

I'm currently reading 'Girl Gone Mad' by Avery Bishop

I am enjoying this one, but I'm not very far into it. From the synopsis, it sounds like a Lifetime movie--definitely something I'd enjoy, haha!


'How to Die in Oregon'

I'd seen this documentary before, but after reading 'Every Last Drop' about the Death With Dignity Act, I wanted to watch it again. It's a documentary about "real life" people who have terminal illnesses and who choose to end their lives with a medication prescribed by their physicians. It follows them to the end, and it's very eye-opening to see a disease progress so rapidly and terribly that they choose to hasten their deaths.

'The Secret: Dare to Dream'

Again, my sister recommended this. She suggested it to both my mom and me, so I ended up going to her house (at 6:00 AM!) for a movie date. The movie was very good! It was your typical "feel good romantic drama" that is very predictable, but leaves you feeling warm and cozy inside.

Also, I am definitely familiar with "The Secret"--I remember when Oprah did a show about it. I created a vision board and the only thing I put on it was People magazine's "Half Their Size" cover. I wanted to lose the weight so badly! And it wasn't long after that when I started losing the weight.

'Brothers and Sisters'

Jerry and I watched this show a long time ago, and we loved it! We'd forgotten all the details of the drama, so we decided to watch it again. We only watch a few episodes a week, but it's a great drama. It makes me wish I had more kids! Hahah. And grateful that I grew up with three (awesome) siblings. 

'American Pie: Girls' Rules'

This movie was terrible! I have to say, American Pie holds a special place in my heart. It was THE movie of my generation. I graduated in 2000, and the characters in the movie graduated in 1999, so we were pretty much the same age. American Pie pushed boundaries of teen movies like no other movie had before, so it was a pretty big deal.

I'd hoped that this "girl" version would be just as good--but it was awful. The acting was bad, the storyline was bad, and it just felt like it was "trying too hard" to be like the original American Pie. Nothing can stand up to American Pie! 

I'm bummed, because this had SO MUCH POTENTIAL but didn't live up to it.

Listening to

'An Anonymous Girl' by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

I am totally obsessed with Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. I can't say that their books are out-of-this-world-amazing (I actually only give them a 3-4 star review on Goodreads), but listening to them on my walks has helped me walk what feels like a million miles. I think what draws me in is the guessing game--am I right about the whodunnit or what is happening?

For 'An Anonymous Girl', I was SO SURE that I had it figured out from the beginning. Then I kept changing my mind toward the second half of the book. By then, I really wasn't sure of anything anymore. When it finally came to the end, I wasn't blown away (which is why I don't give it five stars) but I enjoyed the book enough to give it a good review. 

'You Are Not Alone' by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Another Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen book. This one made for one hell of a drama/thriller based on a ton of misunderstanding between the characters. Again, I kept changing my mind about what I thought was going on. This one was very "out there" and unlikely to happen in real life, but I still enjoyed it. I liked it enough to make me look forward to my daily walks, that's for sure! It was so hard to stop listening.

'Buried Deep' by Margot Hunt

This was just a random download when I had an audible deal (like $7 a month for three months). It was a short listen, and I can't say it was earth-shattering, but it definitely kept me interested. If I don't like the narrator of an audiobook within the first 60 seconds or so, I can't listen to it. It doesn't matter how good the book might be! I enjoyed this one, though--a quick murder mystery.

'Man's Search for Meaning' by Viktor E. Frankl

I was having a VERY bad morning one day, even feeling slightly suicidal (questioning why I'm even here, what's the point of my existence, etc.), and I decided to download this book to listen to on my walk. My therapist lent me the book a while ago, and I skimmed it, but didn't fully read it. 

I wish I had! The first half of the book is about Frankl's time in various concentration camps during the Holocaust. I found this fascinating, and I felt guilty for even feeling upset about my own "problems". Because I have a hard time reading/listening to "self-help" type books, it was hard to concentrate on the second half of the book.

However, I did get a few bits and pieces out of it that really helped me while I was feeling depressed. I started to really question my personal "meaning" for being here and it made me want to make more of an imprint in my life. 

I don't typically read (or listen to, in this case) "classic" books, but this one made a difference for me.

'The Cuckoo's Cry' by Caroline Overington

This book was another impulsive (free) download while I had my audible trial. It was a short novel that actually takes place during the COVID pandemic. Without any spoilers... a young woman appears on an older man's doorstep claiming to be his granddaughter that he'd never met. She immediately moves in with him, due to the pandemic, and you are left wondering about whether she's telling the truth or not. I questioned myself constantly during this audiobook! Whether you predict the ending or not, it's a good listen.

I'm kind of impressed with myself for reading and listening to so many books lately! It's actually getting hard to keep track of, despite my Goodreads account. I love that I can borrow ebooks and audiobooks from the library! 

Have you been reading/watching/listening to anything good lately? Please share! :) 


  1. We must have started listening to audible around the same time as I had that deal this summer as well! I do the same as you--walk and listen and I've kept walking just to continue a book. I read the (free) Cuckoo's Cry and enjoyed it! You might also like the (free) A Hint of Strangeness (Isaacs) as we seem to have the same taste in books. I used my credits on "Night Sleep Death The Stars" and enjoyed it so much and it's quite long so you get more bang for your buck. My first listen was The Vanishing Half which is on topic for today and fantastic. I couldn't wait to get outside and listen to this book as well.

  2. I graduated in 1999. I went to a small college that had a military program and was very conservative. The first school event that year, put on by the Student Government was a showing of American Pie and they served apple pie 😂 The faculty who showed up were so obviously horrified.

  3. I just read Blake Pierce's "A Perfect Wife". It was very good and I look forward to reading the next books in the series.

  4. I just started Lying Next to Me and it’s okay. The writing isn’t the best but I’m intrigued by the storyline. I got it on kindle unlimited and just glad I didn’t pay for it. I also enjoy a book that takes place near where I live. If you haven’t read Lisa Jewell yet, you need to. Now. Just do it. Start with Then She Was Gone. It’s so good, fantastic mystery and not quite thriller I don’t think? I could not put it down. Same goes for all her books. I tend to buy and save them for plane rides since I get sucked in and cannot put down. Check her out, you will love them!

  5. Totally agree with Stacy's comment about Lisa Jewell. We read, Then She Was Gone, for a book club event at my library. Other great suspense authors are: Mary Kubika, and Heather Gudenkauf, I'm currently reading, "All the Missing Girls," by Megan Miranda.

  6. Reading The Huntress by Kate Quinn. Loving it so far. I thought The Alice Network was also a fascinating read!

  7. I love when you make these kinds of posts! I will say though, I don't think the feelings you described are suicidal feelings. When I think of suicidal feelings (which I have felt) I think of ending my life. Questioning why you even exist and what the point of it all is is pretty normal to me. I question this all the time. I'm not depressed or suicidal right now, I just genuinely question what it all means, if anything. :)


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