Appreciating the dark side of life since 1975.

Brightside Booklist + The One Show You Should Be Watching

Home Is Burning by Dan Marshall

Home Is Burning by Dan MarshallYou wouldn’t expect it with a title like this, but this addition to the Brightside Booklist was FUNNY. What’s funny about a mom living with cancer and a father suddenly diagnosed with ALS, you say? Well, lots of things. First off, many of the reviews I read of this book went on and on about how insensitive the author was to his family’s plight. How crude it was. How entitled the author seemed. However, these are the things that actually drew me to the book in the first place. I appreciate honesty, humor and sarcasm and have greater empathy and understanding of people that appear REAL. You feel me?

Anyway, the author and the rest of his family’s lives are upended when their father/husband is diagnosed with ALS. You witness them all pitching in at various levels to help with the exhausting work of caregiving. Along the way, the author loses his girlfriend, his 18-year-old sister gets pregnant by her 36-year-old soccer coach (aptly nicknamed Creepy Todd) and there’s a lot of alcohol used for coping. His mother is treated again for cancer, uses a lot of pills and every description of her eventually includes her eating yogurt with a spoon.

As you can imagine, the story is heartbreaking. The author is able to portray tragedy in a way that is readable and enjoyable. It’s also a good reminder that  while the your life seems endless as the “normal” days go by, it’s important to remember that one day all you’ll have are the memories you’ve made.

Make them count.

Click here for more of the Brightside Booklist!

The One Show You Should Be Watching

Hotel Beau Sejour, NetflixThis week, you get a book to read AND a show to watch because, well, sometimes reading is too hard. However, in this case that doesn’t matter because there are subtitles which require…..reading. Don’t let subtitles scare you away. PLEASE, I BEG YOU. WATCH THIS SHOW, so we can discuss.

It’s called Hotel Beau Sejour and it’s an original Netflix series that is made in Belgium. Like I said, there are subtitles, but you’ll be so engrossed that you won’t even notice that they’re there. The story starts with a girl waking up in a hotel room and finds her dead body in a bathtub. She doesn’t realize it at first, but she soon figures out that she is dead. Her family falls apart and Kato (the dead girl with the SUPER cute hair) discovers that there are a handful of people that can see and communicate with her. She doesn’t remember how she died, but nonetheless, she attempts to help those involved to find her killer.

The show has a True Detective feel to it (only the first season, not the crapper second season) and they use a Dutch version of a Hank Williams song in the intro. The characters are nuanced and believeable and after every episode I get more confused as to what is going on with these people. Not in the “Credits roll and I look at Danny and say, huh? I don’t get it” kind of way (true story, several times over). I get confused in the typical murder mystery way, obsessing over it all like, “Who did it? The dad? No, it can’t be him. He’s too drunk to successfully wield a hammer. The sister? She’s all over Kato’s ex-boyfriend, that jerk. The cute guy fresh out of the mental institution? WHOOOOO?”

Go on, now. Go turn that TV on.

14 thoughts on “Brightside Booklist + The One Show You Should Be Watching”

  • I’m always looking for good shows on Netflix. Since I loved the first season of True Detective and have no problem at all with subtitled shows, I’ll definitely check out Hotel Beau Sejour.

    Have you seen The Killing on Netflix? All four seasons were good, but the first two were killer (pardon the nearly unforgivable pun).

    • Did you get a chance to check it out? I have not seen The Killing yet, but I totally know that I have to!!

      • I watched some of it, but I haven’t had a chance to finish it. On the Netflix version I have, they replaced the soundtrack with English voices. I would have preferred that they had left it alone and just used subtitles, because some of the actors sound stilted. Some are fine, but others sound like they recorded their parts in closets or on their cell phones. The show has a cool premise though. I think it’s very clever.

        If you loved this, you will love The Killing. It’s really well-written.

  • The memoir sounds like an interesting read. Don’t do subtitles though. I spend too much time working while watching tv to read along. But it is a great time of year for a scary series!

    • I definitely know what you mean. Subtitles are hard to do when you’re double tasking!
      I love your blog, by the way. Those recipes look so delicious and easy!

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