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What’s Your Favorite?

August '16

As summer slowly slips aside leaving space for fall’s arrival, I thought it might be fun to mark the season’s end by noting what media kept you engaged during these past months. In short, what book, movie, TV and/or radio show entered your life and improved it – made you laugh, made you cry, increased your knowledge, lightened your day, or inspired you?

I figured a good way to begin the process might be to introduce my own personal favorites for the summer of 2016 and then cross my fingers you would follow my lead.

Favorite Book

As you may already know, I love mysteries. Years ago one of my clients confessed the only enticement to head for the gym was the reward of reading a good book on the treadmill. I immediately borrowed her idea and have been reading mysteries at my local “Y” ever since. This summer I experienced the pleasure of walking my way through a Victorian-Edwardian mystery series written by Robin Paige (Bill and Susan Albert.) I managed to finish all 12 books in the series, which begins in the mid 1890s and continues through 1903. What I admired about all of them was the extensive research conducted by the authors on the food, furniture and houses during those times, as well as the introduction of an historic figure into each book. I enjoyed learning more about Winston Churchill, Lawrence of Arabia, Beatrix Potter, and Rudyard Kipling, for example.

 Favorite Movie

One day this summer, a neighbor asked if I might like to join her at the Jane Pickens Theater in Newport to see The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. I was glad I said yes. While not possessing the strong plot I usually crave, the cinematic settings along the Silk Road and the exquisite music of this movie filled me with sheer delight. And who could resist Yo Yo Ma’s gentle philosophy, or the profoundly gorgeous sound of his cello?

Favorite TV Show

I have to confess I did not select one show in response to this query either. Instead I chose C-SPAN2’s Book TV that runs for 48 hours on weekends. Featuring non-fiction books, this venue uses different formats to introduce new entries in the non-fiction world along with their authors. I particularly relished the In-depth interviews with authors about their lives and careers. I found it especially refreshing to hear conversations that are not accompanied by hyped-up background music. I always learned something when I tuned in.

Favorite Radio Show

My gratitude for public radio is unbounding. Who knew words emerging from a box as you drive along a highway could provide such fine companionship? I’m deeply grateful for this medium and get a kick out of it almost any time of day. This summer I particularly appreciated The New Yorker radio hour on early Sunday mornings and even years later remember the delicious eggnog a friend served one December day after hearing the recipe on Science Friday. Public radio appears to be a gift that keeps on giving.

Now, it’s your turn (says she hopefully.) What specific show(s) captured your attention this summer? Please share your choice; it would be wonderfully helpful to others. We all want to learn more about what entertainment might ease the journey through the midlife passage.

Thanks in advance,



  1. Vicki said on September 1, 2016:

    Without a doubt, “Grace and Frankie” on Netflix made my summer! I admire their relationship and the way that they tackle a lot of tougher topics. Just terrific!

  2. Lucy said on September 1, 2016:

    If you love mysteries, how about Ann Hillerman’s Spider Woman’s Daughter? The author picks up where her father Tony Hillerman left off; she too writes a fine mystery set in the colorful Southwest. Having just returned from New Mexico it was fun to read–inspired me to reread A Thief of Time.

  3. Bonnie said on September 1, 2016:

    Thanks, Vicki! That one’s on my list – loaded with acting talent.

  4. Bonnie said on September 1, 2016:

    Thanks, Lucy! Since I love mysteries and the southwest, this sounds perfect!

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