What I’m into lately: August

August is over, which means Leo season is over, which means summer is definitely over. I’m sending it off right with a relaxing family vacation in Hatteras and I couldn’t be happier to be doing nothing at all. I’ve barely even touched my phone (!) and I sorely need to take some beach pictures before our trip wraps up this weekend. In other good news: My August entertainment has been fantastic. Here’s what I’ve been reading, watching and listening to lately.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

This one came recommended by Grace of the Stripe and it definitely kept my interest the whole time. I can’t resist a missing woman thriller, and this is a great unreliable narrator story where the narrator happens to be a mental health professional struggling with addiction and mental health, so you know the plot will get twisty.

Pretty blooms on the tree near my building. What kind of flower is this?

Death in Ice Valley

I’ve never listened to a BBC or NRK podcast before and this one is a delight. It’s screenwritten like a fun radio program or narrated documentary, and the hosts are so completely charming that it feels like we’re catching up on a case over a cup of tea. I also found the rain sounds in the intro rather relaxing…

All of that aside, the case itself is pretty mind boggling. Who was the Isdal woman, whose burned body was found in Norway’s Isdalen Valley in 1970? Why was she traveling all over Europe with multiple identities, and why did she die in such a strange manner in such an isolated place?

Scenes from the neighborhood: Someone else likes my favorite beer and left it on the curb.

Castle Rock

I’m feeling more inclined toward Stephen King adaptations lately, and I enjoyed watching The Mist a little more than I’d like to admit. Although I failed to get into either 1929 or Gerald’s Game on Netflix, Castle Rock has all the familiar plot lines and tropes that check my boxes: tragic small towns, spooky AF forests, missing children, psychic powers, supernatural suspense, etc.

I got hooked on the three-episode premiere after I read this piece juxtaposing Castle Rock as a good companion piece to Sharp Objects, and I was glad to learn that I didn’t need to be a King aficionado to understand the plot lines. (To my credit, I totally got that Jackie Torrance reference.)

Once I realized my baby boy Bill Skarsgård is in it, and I was sold. He’s all glowering eyeballs and malevolent pale sex appeal here, just as he was in Hemlock Grove, which I am not ashamed to admit that I enjoyed. As a bonus, the show also stars my Cville homegirl Sissy Spacek, who is fantastic in her role as a grandmother suffering from dementia.

In conclusion, Castle Rock turned my Wednesday nights into a terrific TV trifecta, along with Yellowstone and the second season premiere of The Sinner. Go watch all three, you won’t regret it.

Birthday flowers from Stephen.

More podcasts

Then there was the recent premiere of Up and Vanished season 2, which focuses on the mysterious disappearance of Krystal Anne Reisinger. Unlike Tara Grinstead’s case, there really isn’t much information for Payne to work with, and it sounds like he’s hitting the pavement in Colorado to find clues to Krystal’s fate. Season 1 has been one of my favorite podcasts, so needless to say I’ll be tuning in each week.

Oh and did I mention that the Teacher’s Pet has consumed my mind and soul for the past three weeks as well?

That about wraps it up, since I’m feeling extra lazy at the beach. Stay tuned for a deluge of vacation pics to come!

What have you been watching, reading and listening to this month?

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