Weekend Reads #135

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lands end family pajamas review
Happy holidays from the Garys!

I usually take some time off from posting at the end of the year. I will still have some blog posts between now and the 1st of next year, but this will be the last Weekend Reads for 2020. I will be sharing some recaps between now and next Weekend Reads – top items I bought, top items purchased by all of you, personal recaps, and such. I enjoy using this time of year to be a little less polished and a little more personal!

I started this blog way back in 2005 to share my thoughts on fashion and what I wore each day, but it has always been a personal blog. And Weekend Reads is my opportunity to show more of my personal side. This is by far the highest traffic post I share all week and it's an honor that you enjoy this little peek into my brain, my interests, and my reading/listening/viewing habits.

It has also been such a great way to get to know many of you! Your comments have taught me so much and are so much fun! I look forward to a better year with you and to many more weekends we can share together!

Weekend Reads

BTW, thank you to all of you who offered advice about our TV. I had heard about the soap opera feature and we had nothing with the word “smoothing” in our settings, but we changed the clarity from “auto” to “normal” and color from something like real to “warm” and that made a MAJOR impact. I seriously owe you for getting me to dig deeper, find the culprit, like my TV again and not have a perma-headache from it!

I read this last week and cannot believe I forgot to add it to Weekend Reads! Sure, it's about a woman's orgasm whisperer, but what it really showcases is how the patriarchy has screwed up female pleasure. Of COURSE, everything is connected, but why would medicine focus on that when they can make us feel our problem is mental. (MEL)

And if you haven't yet read this piece about Texas wedding photographers, you must. (Texas Monthly)

Facebook has been spying on Instagram users. No, really. (Bloomberg)

Curious about getting a Peloton bike? I think it helps to hear about it from a variety of people. My friend Emily shares her experience being plus size and completing over 50 rides on her Peloton bike. (Authentically Emmie)

Dolly Parton talks about her spiritual practice, her wig collection, and bringing joy to others with RuPaul. (Marie Claire)

About half the world's population will experience menopause, yet it's something not often discussed. In this short documentary, women across England share their intimate, complicated and illuminating experiences with menopause. (New York Times)

Parents share the hard truths about their learning pods. (The Cut)

NPR has been investigating the story behind Nipsey Hussle's murder for more than a year now, to understand how the chance encounter of two men in South Central illustrates deep dysfunction and secrecy within the government entities tasked with keeping communities safe. Learn more in this episode of the podcast, Louder than a Riot. (NPR)

Patagonia’s new CEO plots a post-Trump future and how how his clothing company can continue the climate fight. (Bloomberg)

How to look as hot as Martha Stewart. (Into the Gloss)

What will homes look like in 2021? A lot like they did in the 1970s, according to more than 600 interior designers. (Fast Company)

Despite the marketing hype, you can't ‘boost' your immune system. (MEL)

If you also watched Jingle Jangle and loved the costumes, this article with the film's costume designer Michael Williamson (who also did gorgeous films like The Gentlemen and American Hustle) is for you. (WWD)

Hearing that Biden appointed Rep. Haaland as Secretary of the Interior made me tear up, and gave me hope for the future. This is the kind of government this country deserves. (NPR)


selena on

My daughter and I watched the entire first season of the series ‘Selena' on Netflix. If you were a Selena fan, you're likely not a fan of this series. And even if you weren't familiar with the artist, you may still find this series lacking. But what I did love about it, is that it turned my daughter into a Selena fan. This series is not the best, but it is exposing a new generation to Selena's music and for that I appreciate it.

cillian murphy peaky blinders

My husband and I, looking for a new series with a few seasons to dive into, began ‘Peaky Blinders' which is also on Netflix. OMG Cillian Murphy is mesmerizing. K agrees he can't take his eyes off him no matter what else is going on in the scene. Sure he's interesting to look at but he also is such a great actor and presence. We're currently in Season 2. If you haven't watched this show, be warned, it's easy to binge it.

virgin river review trigger warning

I am half-watching ‘Virgin River' on Netflix. I watch it when doing something else because the script is cliche, the acting mediocre, and there isn't a single character I am connected with enough to care to see what happens. But like a Hallmark holiday movie or a chick lit book picked up at Hudson News before a cross-country flight, it's not meant to be deep and thought-provoking. It's good editing photos and addressing holiday cards and creating and sending out invoices TV.

Do note, I think ‘Virgin River' needs a trigger warning for those who have experienced infertility or pregnancy loss. I had no idea this was a running theme when I dove into this series.

For Your Entertainment

2020 has been mighty wild and this parody of “Christmas Wrapping” by HAIM sums a lot of it up. Happy holidays everyone, here's to a MUCH better 2021!

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. We LOVED Peaky Blinders. And yes, I was enthralled by Cillian Murphy. 🙂

    Love the matching PJ’s. Happy Holidays!

  2. We just finished all of Peaky Blinders in 2 weeks, it addictive and I have a crush of Cillian Murphy.

    I am also half watching Virgin River and it’s perfect for doing other things.

  3. I was OK with the first season of “Virgin River” but the second season totally turned me off.
    I can’t stand the Hope character and it is just way too soapy for me. It’s too bad b/c I like the male lead.

    A new entry to Netflix “The Professor and the Madman” caught my eye. My book club read the book, which is a story about the compliation of a dictionary. The book was interesting although it was said in the end.

    The pod thing makes me grateful I am old! The people next door have one, it meets at their house every third week and they have a noisy recess in their yard right next to my office. I suspect the Mom is working from bedtime to dawn during that week b/c it takes more than just the tutor to manage 6 kids. I hope they vaccinate teachers right after health workers/nursing home residents, and open schools soon!

  4. This is a great weekend list! I swear Dolly Parton will save the world. And HAIM! They’re a trio of all kinds of fun (I’ve been a fan for several years after seeing them live at a music festival). Peaky Blinders is truly one of my all time favorite shows. It’s so well done. I can’t wait for the next season. I hope your family and you had a wonderful Hanukkah , a merry Christmas and Happy, Healthy New Year!

  5. Another great thing about Peaky Blinders is that it stars New Zealand’s own and absolutely wonderful Sam Neill, my favourite actor, as the vile detective. Virgin River also stars another NZer Martin Henderson who was a teenage heartthrob when he started out on screen here. Go NZers!

    1. This reminds me that we are long overdue for a re-watch of Hunt for the Wilderpeople! Love this movie so much and NZ talent at its best! Alison – you might enjoy this as a family movie.

  6. A great show to binge is Ted Lasso. It’s on Apple TV, which we didn’t have so we signed up for a free week-long trial. The show is so good we finished it in three days and can’t wait for season 2! Happy holidays!

    1. Third for Ted Lasso. I mentioned it last weekend too–it is like a balm for your soul.

      The Texas article makes me want to sob. I am at a loss for what we can do as a country, as a species, to get people to understand their impact in this pandemic and how what they feel is a big loss is almost microscopic. A wedding is not equal to anyone’s loss of life. Will they feel the same way if grandma and grandpa lose their lives because they attended?

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