There's nothing like a break from the routine. I took time off from my blog and from social media for a wonderful time of reading good books, watching feel-good movies (with a couple of thrillers thrown in), and enjoying an hour nap almost every afternoon.
I admit I was having a bit of trouble Wednesday getting back in the groove, but yesterday was better. Best of all, I'm excited again about writing and my work in process, a standalone mystery with no title yet.
I also have a wonderful January lineup of author/bloggers. Tomorrow is Lorelei Bell and Monday is Camille Minichino. I hope you'll drop by and read their posts (and leave a comment so we know you were here).
For today, I want to tell you about the best reads and best little known movies I found while I was goofing off. First, the movies.
The best old movie I brought back for another viewing was The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. This 1982 musical stars Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds. The songs are great and the story a lot of fun. The idea of watching this film again was triggered by the death of Charles Durning, a sad loss to those of us who loved the charming/wacky characters he played in many films, including this one.
Here are a couple of movies I'd never heard of but found available for streaming video so watched them...and thoroughly enjoyed the acting and the stories.
The Magic of Belle Isle (Morgan Freeman 2012) This one is especially fun for writers
And the best thriller/suspense film I saw? Unstoppable (2010) with Denzel Washington. I was on the edge of my seat wringing my hands through the whole movie.
Now for four of the great reads I found.
Variant by Robison Wells. This is a Harper Teen novel which I believe is the first book in a trilogy. It is exciting, creepy, disturbing, and I couldn't put it down.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This novel of psychological suspense takes marital tension and dysfunction to a new level. Another one I had trouble putting down.
Flat Spin by David Freed. The first in a new mystery series. David's second Cordell Logan novel will be released in May 2013. I really liked the protagonist of this series and can't wait to read more.
Mariano's Crossing by David Jessup. This wonderful novel of historical fiction is set near Loveland, Colorado, where David is co-owner of Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. I'll be doing posts on the ranch as well as the novel this month at Chiseled in Rock blog.
So there you have it. Just a sampling of what I did on my winter vacation. Do you have any movie or book recommendations for me?