A Street Cat Named Bob – the movie

Last year I discovered the most amazing true story of a cat named Bob who saved the life of the man he adopted. The book by James Bowen, made the New York Times bestseller list, was on the bestseller list in England for 52 consecutive weeks and is currently being published in 30 different countries around the world. An incredible story of redemption it explores the bond between a man down on his luck and the cat who found him.  Truly heartwarming it’s a must-read for every cat lover and frankly, everyone else.  One of my all-time favorite books, I blogged about the story last year A Street Cat Named Bob.

At that time, I’d learned a movie was being made and the cat playing Bob was none other than Bob himself.

The Movie

I started following A Street Cat Named Bob on Facebook. Anxiously awaiting the film’s US release date, I planned to see it on opening day – November 18th, 2016.  I’d asked my Mom to go, then looked up showtimes.  I couldn’t find it at any theater yet Facebook posts were announcing it’s release.  “What’s happening?” I thought.

Digging deeper, I found out what countless other had discovered – the movie was opening in only a few select locations around the US – and none were near me.  I was crushed, my hopes dashed.  I logged into Amazon to see if I could pre-order the DVD and set my Watchlist for any news of a streaming release. Then, as we must do as adults, I let it go with the knowledge that I would see it….someday.

Finally, a few weeks ago whilst in the grip of the flu a moment of happiness came my way when I found I could finally stream the movie via Amazon Video. I felt better already.

I gathered Tipper and Biscotti, a pile of pillows and blankets and we settled in on the sofa to watch this long anticipated movie.  It was everything I/we hoped. A beautiful ginger, Bob is not only an incredible feline but is an excellent actor as were the supporting players (after all, clearly Bob was the “star”).

If you haven’t read the book, I recommend doing so then seeing the movie.

Don’t we all need stories that leave us feeling happy, warm and fuzzy these days? 😸

A few good books….

I’ve recently have finished several books that I enjoyed so much I must recommend them (as I’ve done in past posts). Some you may be aware of and others perhaps not.  If you love a novel that touches your heart, makes you feel transported to another place and leaves you wishing it wouldn’t end, these books should be on your reading list.


Our Souls at Night – Kent Haruf – a tender, simple story of love later in life (a Netflix original movie is in the works). I read this in less than 24 hours. The last book written by this author, I plan to read his earlier works. A very special book.


Me Before You – Jojo Moyes – this book charmed me, made me laugh and cry. Very poignant and the two main characters were well defined and written with love.  Read the book, then see the movie which followed the storyline to perfection – the acting was brilliant.


A Thousand Days in Venice – Marlena de Blasi – another mature love story – the author’s own, which weaves a tale of love at first sight and marries it with the magic of Venice and Italian cuisine.  It is a treat for all the senses.


A Thousand Days in Tuscany – Marlena de Blasi   this is the continuation of the author’s true story as she and her husband start the next chapter of their adventure relocating to Tuscany.  Her storytelling is captivating – the food, people she meets and the home that they settle in are interwoven along with romance.  Her writing is stunning and with both of her books, I slowed my reading to savor the passages. I plan to read more by this talented writer.

I’d love to hear what you’re reading or books you’d recommend…..

“Happy to Be Me” Book Launch Party

I recently posted about the book, “Happy to Be Me” written by my lifelong BFF and mentioned the upcoming party to launch it.

On Friday evening, the party took place with a great turnout and lots of enthusiasm.

And food…… an absolutely beautiful buffet of healthy selections including salads, deviled eggs, dips, pita bread, crackers, fruits, phyllo tarts, vegetables, cheeses and a dessert table as well. Delicious!

While Karen (author) and Lauryn (photographer) mixed, mingled and signed books, the children featured in the book had a reunion of sorts as they recognized each other.

A highlight for all was when Lauryn corralled her “models” for an impromptu photo op. With Karen joining them, the picture reflects the darling and happy kids that they are.

“Happy to Be Me” can be purchased on Amazon, author Karen Dickey.

59 Candles, 59 Things – part forty one

Forty-ninth thing – The next thing that makes me happy is seeing someone I love following their passion and finding success.

I’ve mentioned my lifelong BFF many times on this blog.  She is one of the most nuturing, compassionate beings to walk the earth.  A wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, friend, lover of animals, she is a gifted writer as well.

“Happy to Be Me” is a children’s book featuring charming photography by the talented, Lauryn Goodvich.  Imagine a book impacting children to embrace the positive with each new day, understanding that happiness is a choice. Her positive, glass half-full perspective is evident in each carefully chosen word.

Since it’s publication, Karen and Lauryn have been traveling to schools, reading the book to students and fielding questions including their interest in writing and how the book came to be. Tomorrow is her book release open house and I couldn’t be more proud.

For those who follow me, you know I’ve chosen to not feature ads nor do product endorsements in exchange for samples (no judgements, just a choice).  That said, I’m recommending this book to any parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or friend who wants a special gift for a child that is destined to become a favorite. Why? Because it makes me happy!

My personal copy!

This book can be purchased on Amazon by following this link:



There are plans for a second book in development……

A Street Cat Named Bob

I learned of this story (and book) today. I pinned it.

A few hours later I shared it on Facebook.

A bit later I downloaded the book on my Kindle.

After dinner, I did a google search and learned there are multiple books and a movie being filmed, to be released in 2016.

Now it’s being shared on my blog.

Suffice it to say, I was moved deeply by this true story.

I’ll start reading the book tomorrow; judging from the reviews I’m certain it will be a great read.

“Wish You Well”, a book recommendation – UPDATE


Since I received a Kindle as a retirement gift, it’s been unusual for me to read a hardcover book, a Kindle is just so……easy! However, Spence doesn’t use a Kindle and is an avid reader with shelves of books decorating our home.

Last week after Spence asked for about the zillionth time “are you ever going to read that Baldacci book, Wish You Well?”  I knew he’d really loved it and decided the time was now.

For those familiar with Baldacci, it’s a very different subject and style from his typical writing – and  likely, his most personal novel. I became hooked very quickly. I don’t believe in giving away the story so I will simply tempt you by saying that it is an endearing tale that is so beautifully crafted both in characters and passages, that it made me “slow down” when reading it. I quite literally savored each moment and didn’t want it to end.

I’m hoping that Hollywood will turn this into a movie…….it would be Oscar worthy.  If you’re looking for a good read, please consider putting this on your list.

UPDATE: Much to my surprise, I found this has been made into a movie, released this year – extremely well done. It stars Ellen Burstyn and Josh Lucas and follows the book beautifully! Read the book first…..

Looking for a few good books?

So many books, so little time........
So many books, so little time……..

As we now wave “buh-bye” to January, February looms ahead.  If you’re looking for some good reads to pass the long days of winter, I’m sharing another rather diverse list of books, favorites of Spence’s Girl.

  • Maximum Bob by Elmore Leonard
  • Wicked by Gregory Maguire
  • Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
  • The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones
  • Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • Wonder by R. J. Palacio
  • The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (includes The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
We all need an escape plan.

Reading, my favorite winter sport!


At this time of year when I will look for reasons NOT to go outside into the cold, I embrace my love of reading more than ever.  That said, if you are like-minded and looking for some good book recommendations, I’ve decided to share a few of my best reads from the last year and some old favorites.  “Read on” (pun intended)

Recent Reads:

  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Happy(ish) by Cara Trautman
  • Don’t Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Secondhand Heart by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • The All-Girls Filling Station Reunion by Fannie Flagg
  • Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

And if you search under CATEGORIES on my blog for an extended review and recommendation, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is such a worthwhile read.

My All Time Favorites:

  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
  • Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
  • Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
  • A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

For the love of a Kindle and my first book recommendation


I had resisted getting a Kindle even though my mom and sister had raved about them.  What’s the big deal I thought?  I love the feel of a book and have a library full of books on my shelves, many as yet unread.  So when I retired and they gave me Kindle with a book light and cover I was grateful but wasn’t sure how it would work for me.  Well, it goes to prove that there’s something to this new-fangled (okay not that new) technology.  Now I wonder how I lived without it.  I’ve always loved reading, though usually only found the time when on vacation. Within days of retiring, I packed up to escape Michigan and the Polar Vortex of 2014 and headed for my mom’s in sunny Ft Myers Florida.  I took the Kindle so she could hook me up with her knowledge.  The first book I downloaded, at her recommendation, was the Rosie Project.  She was well into the book at that time and I quickly caught up and passed her.  The story is unique, endearing characters and scenes so well crafted that you feel as are a part of it. There were parts that made me laugh aloud (don’t you love when a book can do that?) And parts that were poignant.  As I neared the end, I slowed down, not wanting to part company with these characters.  The book was originally slated as a screenplay. I can only hope that it will make it’s way to the big screen.  This is the type of book I aspire to write and if you haven’t discovered the Rosie Project, please buy the book…..or download it to your Kindle!