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188: Encore of Thrillers that You Can't Put Down - Better on Audio

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

In this Unabridged Podcast episode, we're discussing specific thrillers that we've read and LOVED (including books by Ruth Ware, Oyinkan Braithwaite, and T.M. Logan), and we're talking more generally about what does and does not work for us when it comes to the thriller genre. We've talked a lot recently about comfort reads and light reads, but we know from our Bookstagram community that thrillers are also a great escape for many readers. Let us know what you have read and loved when it comes to thrillers!

Bookish Check In

Sara - Brandy Ferner’s Adult Conversation (Amazon | - Check out episode 127, our interview with Brandy Ferner, here!

Jen - Casey Cep’s Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee (Amazon |

Ashley - Jim Kay’s illustrated edition of J.K. Rowlings’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Amazon)

Thrillers We Recommend

Sara - T.M. Logan's Lies (Amazon |

Jen - Ruth Ware’s The Turn of the Key (Amazon |

Ashley - Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer (Amazon |

Other Mentions

Schitt’s Creek

Abby Jimenez’s The Happy Ever After Playlist (Amazon |

Emily Henry’s Beach Read (Amazon |

Ruth Ware's The Woman in Cabin 10 (Amazon |

Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl (Amazon |

Paula Hawkins's The Girl on the Train (Amazon |

Give Me One - Things that Make Us Happy in Spring

Listen in to hear our responses to this Give Me One topic, and join us on Monday @unabridgedpod to share your thoughts!

Want more recommendations? Check out our Bookish Fave, "Thrillers to Keep You Up at Night"

(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)

Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.

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Want to see a sneak peek of what we discussed? Take a look below. Click here for a full transcript that you can read while listening provided by

Sara 00:34

Hello everyone. Welcome to Unabridged. This is Episode 125: Thrillers You Can't Put Down. Before we get started. We just want to again say thank you to all the first responders, essential workers and people who are working every day to help keep us safe and to provide us with services that we need during this time. We are so grateful to everyone, and we thank you for all that you're doing. Before we get into our thriller conversation, let's do our bookish check in. Jen, do you want to start us off?

Bookish Check In

book cover of Furious Hours

Jen 01:12

Sure. I am reading Casey Cep's Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee (Amazon |, which is non-fiction. It is really compelling. I have to say I picked it because of the Harper Lee angle, and I'm about two thirds of the way through and she has just sort of made, she was on the very first page and then it was like she was not a part of the book. So that was interesting. But Ceps research is great. There's tons of backstory. There's this really salacious murder trial of this man who people in the community think murdered a bunch of people and at his funeral, this person just shot him at close range. And that is the person who's on trial. So it's it's pretty fascinating. Yeah, so I'm really enjoying that.

Sara 02:02

I actually have a little story about the author. So my mom, my mom knows how much I love To Kill a Mockingbird. So for my birthday last year, she bought me the book, Furious Hours. And last year was my 40th birthday. And my mom accidentally, allegedly, bought me the large print version of this book. And so I posted on Instagram about like my mom and her alleged mistake, even though was my 40th birthday. And the author contacted me and sent me a signed copy of the book. So, I just wanted to shout her out because I thought that was so awesome.

Ashley 02:38

That's really sweet.

Sara 02:40

Ashley, what are you reading?

book cover of Harry Pottery and the Chamber of Secrets

Ashley 02:45

So I am working on finishing a lot of the books that I have been reading and I've started a ton. This is well documented that I've started a ton of different books and I'm struggling to get through them. I'm enjoying them, I really, there's really not much that I'm reading right now that I'm not enjoying. But anyway, I didn't want to keep adding to that pile I'm working on unpacking all of that, instead of piling on. One book that I have been really wanting to make time for is the illustrated version of Harry Potter. So I have all of the ones that have come out so far, that's something that my family members get from me for holidays. And so I have those and I've only read the first one. I finally made some time for that a couple of months ago. And now I'm going to do the second one. So this is Jim Kay's illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Amazon). And I've only read a couple of chapters, but I absolutely love that experience. It's just really remarkable. Of course, these are stories I know really well. I've read the books themselves multiple times, and I also have watched the movies a bunch and because that is 100%, my comfort realm. And so I think what's so interesting to me is the illustrations are stunning, but also that they're so unique to the story. And I think that would be really tough to reimagine a story that's been so, you've seen, you know, I mean, I don't know, Jim Kay's history here. So maybe he hasn't seen the movies. But I think, you know, we have all been affected by seeing the way that the characters look and the way that all of the places look and stuff like that. And he just has, it's clear that he has created this entire fantasy world in his mind that he's putting on the page. And so I mean, that's been really fun. So that's what I'm reading.

Sara 04:33

That's awesome. I would like to read those as well.

Ashley 04:36

You are welcome to borrow them when I see you again.

Sara 04:39

Well, my son has them, but we, but they're just so hard to lug around.

Ashley 04:45

I will say that that is that actually is probably why I haven't made more time for them as it's not. It's kind of like reading the newspaper. It's not just the like carrying it around. It's also the management of the book, like they are big and the pages are big. And I think that--I can I can hear how ridiculous this sounds.

Sara 05:07

No, I'm with you. I'm with you. Totally.

Ashley 05:10

It's like reading an encyclopedia or something like I have to like clear some space during the reading experience.

Jen 05:18

So my husband and I have finally started watching Schitt's Creek, which Ashley has recommended many times. And what I'm picturing is the family, every time, the main family in the show, every time they go to a restaurant, there's a cafe in town, it has these tiny little tables and the menus are longer than the table. So there are all four seated table like folding out their menus over each other. And that's what I'm picturing Ashley doing as she's reading these illustrated editions.

Ashley 05:44

It really is a struggle. It's ridiculous to admit it out loud. But I do think that is why I was so excited to get them. But first of all, I think that we've talked about this before with graphic novels that I don't read pictures very well. That's not something that I'm trained to do. I definitely read the words on the page. And then this like, I do want to enjoy the picture experience. That is the point--is the beautiful illustrations. And so it's not as fast as you would think for something that I have read that much. And then also they're, they're big books, and that's part of what makes them so beautiful. I mean, that's when you think about kids picture books. You know, they are very tall, and they have very wide pages and that is very effective for the illustrations, but for sure, it alters the reading experience when you're used to a certain kind of book. So, that went in a weird pathway, but anyway, that's the truth. Sara, what about you? What are you reading?

book cover of Adult Conversation

Sara 06:41

So, I am reading Brandy Ferner's Adult Conversation (Amazon | We are going to be interviewing Brandy later this month. And I am really excited to have started this. It really grabbed me from the first page, and it is hilarious. And it speaks to being a mother and a wife and how women often have to sacrifice things about themselves to be one or both of those things. And I, I'm just really enjoying it. I know Jen read it, also in anticipation of our interview and Ashley's getting ready to start it. So I'm really excited to read it. And then I'm also excited to talk to Brandy, just about parenting and how we interact with our partners and all of that. So I'm really excited, so. I'm a little, you know, giddy because I'm a little bit out of my reading slump that I've been commiserating about I read Beach Read by Emily Henry. Just a shameless plug, but I loved it. I mean, it is one of my I mean, I don't know, it is definitely my my favorite read of the year but I just adored it. So.

Ashley 07:54

I cannot wait to read that one. And Sara, I feel like I am digging out a little bit. And it's a good feeling it's really nice to feel like I'm making some progress. For sure, April has been better than March was for me. There was just so much of an adjustment period as we transitioned to being at home, and things have gotten better. So yeah, that's a good feeling. To really get digging yourself out. And I have Beach Read as next up on my Kindle and I cannot wait. I'm so excited.

Jen 08:22

I cosign that one. That is, yes, a 2AM book. I know, Sara, you said you stayed up late to finish it. That was one I could not put down. I just.

Sara 08:34

I went to bed. One night I went to bed, my husband was still up, and I went to bed at like, I don't know, maybe 10. And he came in at one and he's like, you're still awake. And I just can't stop reading. I just wanted to finish but I just I couldn't stay awake any longer. But I mean, it was great. So it's been a long time since I've had that experience in wanting to stay up and like finish the book. And not, not that it was super plot driven. But just so that I cared about these character so much, you know, because I've done that for thrillers but mostly because I just want to get to the end. But this one I was savoring, but also I just love the characters, so I didn't want to leave them. So, anyway, again, this must be the episode of digression. I just had to. I just had to say that I've been a little bit like Eeyore with our bookish check-ins like, Huhhh. And I feel like, I feel like I'm coming out of something. So I just needed to share with our listeners.

Jen 09:27

I wish you all could have seen Sara's Eeyore impression right there. Very good.

Ashley 09:33

I'm really excited. It is, like I think that there are some books that have been coming--I can't wait to listen--I have The Happy Ever After Playlist on to listen to on, and I can't wait to listen to that. And I'm excited about Adult Conversation. I'm excited about Beach Read. And you're right Sara, it's a great feeling to be excited about some books that are coming out or that are on our slate for reading and just to recognize that there is a difference between between where I was and where I am and that's a good feeling because these days I think it's hard to mark progress and you know, it feels good to be excited about that.

Main Discussion: Thrillers You Can't Put Down

Sara 10:13

Yes, and, and listeners, we are doing a newsletter every Sunday that we're sending out. If you want to subscribe you can on Instagram, or on our website at, but we are also sharing these triumphs and we are curating lists of things that we're loving. So if you are in a slump, maybe if you check out the newsletter or subscribe, you'll get something that might help you get out of that slump. Make sure you're checking your email if you're subscribed. And also make sure if you haven't subscribed, it's completely free. Just go to our website or Instagram in our bio and subscribe. Okay, I don't know how to segue out of like this romance talk and like it is pretty tough to switch to thrillers but I guess it does. It does go with finding things that you just can't put down and you just want to get through and it does speak to those reading slumps. So, we are going to discuss some thrillers that we really enjoyed that, that we couldn't put down and hopefully give some insight on to something that might help you get out of a reading slump if you're in one. So does anybody, Jen, do you want to talk about yours and just kind of speak to what thriller--I don't want to say what thrillers mean to you, but what thrillers help you in your reading life?

book cover of The Turn of the Key

Jen 11:38

Sure. So I, I would say generally, I like thrillers, but I would also say recently I have had a hard time with them. I have read several that just have not done it for me. And so I've been thinking about what makes them work or what doesn't. The one I'm going to recommend, I listened to on audio and the narrator was amazing. And so I kind of wonder if that's the place for me to experience thrillers. Now, I think that does a couple of things. I've talked before about how I don't listen to books, as well as I read books with my eyes. And I think that actually works in my favor with thrillers because I am less likely to predict what is going to happen. I am not typically great at predicting the ends of books, but with the last few thrillers I read, like I could map out everything that was going to happen, or maybe like there are five twists, and I predicted four of the five. And that is just really frustrating to me, especially since I don't feel like I'm great at it. That just means maybe, well, maybe I'm getting better. That would be the optimistic view. The pessimistic view is that they just weren't that great. And so yeah, I think maybe audio makes me a bad enough reader. This sounds really good. I'm not going to predict everything. Anyway. So, the particular thriller, I'm recommending is Ruth Ware's The Turn of the Key (Amazon | And I have told, I think I told the story on the podcast, I know I've told Ashley and Sara, but I was listening to this one. I could not stop listening. Like usually during the week, I've listened to my podcasts. And then when I'm caught up, I listen to audiobooks on the weekends or, you know, when I'm on my commute for our job, which is not happening now. But this one, I could not stop. And so I was in the shower one morning, and I was listening to this audio book, and there is this--there's potential that the house may be haunted that is in the story. And the narrator was describing the sound over the protagonists head and this creaking and I was shampooing my hair. So this is getting really specific. Anyway. I was shampooing my hair. So my eyes were closed. And she narrated this thing that happened and I mean, I jumped. It was so scary. And so I think just if you can find it--a thriller with a really good narrator, the, you know, the plot should move. So that's going to keep your attention. That for me has just been the trick recently. So yeah, just to give a little bit of plot summary. This one is about a woman named Rowan Caine, who is looking for a job. And she ends up being a nanny for this family who lives in this incredibly tech-advanced home that is built on a previous home in the Scottish Highlands. And, there are some things she does not want the family to know about herself. But she also discovers that there are some things that they have not told her about the job and about previous nannies. And so there's all of this like, you don't know who's telling the truth. You don't know who's telling the whole truth. There's a frame where she is in prison. This happens at the very beginning of the book. She is in prison writing a letter about her experience while she was being a nanny. I'm a sucker for a frame story. So, there's just a lot that's going on that's really good. Have either of you read that one?

Sara 15:01

I haven't. I've only read one Ruth Ware. I read The Woman in Cabin 10.

Jen 15:06


Ashley 15:07

Oh, I didn't realize that was hers. Yeah, I haven't read any of her stuff. And I haven't read that one. But it sounds great. So yeah, I mean I and I think a lot of what you said, Jen, it makes a lot of sense that it is moving really quickly and also that the story is really compelling and I'm a sucker for frame too. I mean, I always like that when you're getting back. You're always working back toward the situation that they're currently in. I think that's really interesting.

Jen 15:32

Yeah, well and I will also say, Ruth Ware has gotten better for me. I was not as big a fan of her earlier works as I am, I think this is her most recent or next to most recent, as I am of her later ones, so I think she has gotten stronger too. Of course I did. This is the first one I had done of hers in audio. So, if my theory is right, and that is the key, that may be the difference, but I really liked this one.

Ashley 15:56

I wanted to make a joke about the key you know, but anyway,

Jen 16:01

I think you just did.

Ashley 16:06

I didn't actually come up with one, so then I was trying to work it out in my mind, but...

Sara 16:13

No stand up comedy in our future. Ashley, what is a thriller that worked for you?

Ashley 16:22

I'm still trying to recover here. So, I, this also has been well documented, but I am not a fan of thrillers and I keep wanting, I want them to work, and they just don't for me. And I think that there are a lot of reasons for that for one thing, like you were saying, Sara about Beach Read and how you just couldn't put it down, like, that's what I want with thrillers. But, I think that often I don't have that experience. And so if that's what I'm, that is why I pick it up and then I'm not compelled to keep reading, then I think that a lot of times, that's why I feel disappointed and then exactly what Jen said. It's pretty tough for me to read something that I don't predict what's going to happen and, and part of that is because it's not that I'm like great at it, it's that I devote way too much energy to thinking about that. And then I wind up not enjoying the story as much because I'm constantly trying to figure out what the real situation is. And that sometimes takes some of the joy away from the reading experience. So of course, I try not to do that. But sometimes you can't really turn off that.

Jen 17:23

Just change your personality, please.

book cover of My Sister, the Serial Killer

Ashley 17:25

Exactly. As if I only I can just flip the switch and say, I'm not gonna think about that anymore. And then focus on the story. I think I would enjoy them more. But the one that I wanted to talk about, I also listened to you on audio. So Jen, I think you may be onto something there because I... Yeah, I would be interested to try another one on audio and see if maybe that is the key for me as well. It just like keeping, because I think I was much more immersed in the story, I was not as busy trying to figure out what happened or what the reality was, you know, and I think part, partly, this one wasn't a twisty one either. In a lot of ways like you know, you know what's going on and so that makes a difference too. Maybe I just need to stay away from the ones that focus on that particular plot device and instead do ones that are just interesting stories. Anyway, I wanted to talk about Oyinkan Braithwaite's My Sister, the Serial Killer (Amazon | That is the one that I listened to an audio. This one, Jen, I think you recommended this to me. Does that seem right?

Jen 18:23


Ashley 18:24

So I, I loved it. It's about two sisters Korede and Ayoola, and Ayoola has a lot of problems. And one of them is that she keeps winding up in this situation with men where she is in self defense suddenly in a situation where the man must die for her safety and there's some suspicion right away about whether this is what's really happening, but Korede, her sister keeps coming, she keeps being called to the rescue, essentially, to help bail Ayoola out of the situation. And to do the cleaning and the cover up and all of that stuff. And I think what I loved about it is that while you are certainly incredulous about Ayoola's reasons for committing murder. You feel a lot, the reader feels a lot of connection to Korede's struggle about what the right thing is to do. And I think like that is what was fascinating to me about that book was just that it was about loyalty and sisterhood. And how far do those, those ties go? And how far are you willing to go in order to protect the people that you love, even if the things that they're doing are potentially wrong? And so I just thought all of that was really fascinating. So for sure, for me, what was so rich about that story was the relationship between Korede and Ayoola and how that evolves, but there is a man and Korede has some feelings for the man and so all of that stuff is really interesting as well because you know, what, how did those dynamics play out when you have your emotions tied to someone, but then your loyalty is tied to your family member. And like what does all that mean? I mean, all of that was just fascinating for me. But yeah, I do wonder about the-- and it was very fast moving, and it was very short. And so I felt like that was part of it too, is it packed, a really powerful punch. But it was told really well, and it was a tight well knit story that I felt like left you with a lot of questions and a lot of things to think about. And I just loved all of that about it. Whereas I feel like sometimes, like I said, with the thrillers, I want them to move really fast. And I want them to be tightly woven and a lot of time, I think even if there are things I'm interested in it, it's not tight enough for me like that was what I loved about that one really tight, really great characters. Totally fascinating. And all that worked for me. So yeah, I would highly recommend that one.

Sara 20:48

I have that one on my shelf right now. I want to read it.

Jen 20:50

Oh, it's great, Sara. I think you would like it. And I think too. I so often think about thrillers mainly as plot-driven stories. But I do think, like in The Turn of the Key, the protagonist's personality and the development of her character was a huge part of it. And this one, those characters, so maybe that's part of it too, is that I'm looking for the wrong thing. I'm looking for things that people say have a great plot that moves really fast. And of course, I want that. But in order for that to happen, I have to care enough about the characters to want to move forward. And again, just analyzing some of the ones that haven't worked for me recently, I did not find the characters believable.

Ashley 21:28

I think if you hate all of them, for me, I mean, we've talked about that with the bookish turnoffs recently, but like, that's really a problem for me. It's really hard if I hate all the characters, or if I feel like I can't connect to any of them. That's really tough. Whereas like with My Sister, the Serial Killer, I think Braithwaite does a great job of connecting you to Korede to the sister who is helping and trying to figure out what to do. And I think because of that, and because I could really empathize with her struggle, I was much more invested in the story.

Jen 21:57

Mm hmm.

Ashley 21:59

What about you, Sara?

book cover of I See You

Sara 22:01

It's funny, listening to you all talk I, the first book that I have listed was actually one I listened to as well, but then I changed it at the last second. So, so the one that I had listened to that I was going to talk about was Clare Macintosh's I See You and I do think that listening to it, I... first of all, the narrator brings a lot to the table, especially in a novel like that, that was multi perspective. So I do want to just say that I think that you could have something because when we read, I think, especially all of us who are readers, and like you said, like you said earlier, Ashley, pay more attention to the written word than a picture or something like that. I think. I think listening allows us to not scrutinize things as much and so I just thought, I just think that revelation that we had during the episode, I think that's worth mentioning that mine was going to be an audio book.

Jen 22:59

That is funny.

Sara 23:00

But the one I actually landed on is T.M. Logan, and it's his book, Lies (Amazon | I read this probably a year or two ago. I won it in a Goodreads giveaway. And when I got it I just was like I'm just gonna read it right now. So I just started it and it grabbed me from the beginning and it is a story about a man who is happily married, he has a son and for everything that he knows things are going great. And he is one day driving his son to school and he sees his wife with one of, one of their friends having an altercation. And from there things just kind of spiral but what I loved about this is, I thought that it was well-paced. You really were, like, rooting for the main character. So, it gave me someone to root for because I find in thrillers often there's really not always someone to root for. But in this one I was really rooting for the main character. And I just thought that it had, it was a psychological thriller, which I enjoy. And it had twists and turns but nothing that was totally like jumping the shark but I find these days, is that is what takes me out of a thriller quicker than anything is when I everything just seems so preposterous. Or if there's like twist after twist after twist, and you're just, you just, it just takes me out so easily. So that's what I liked about this. It was well paced, it didn't jump the shark, but it still had kind of like that heart pounding. You know, I just have wanted to know what was happening. And I was able to root for the main character, so I like that. I think it would make a great movie actually. Because it's just I mean, you know, it was how lots of thrillers are, I mean, there's just a lot of plot plot plot plot. It didn't seem far fetched at all, which makes that, that makes the thriller for me these days, I think ever since the kind of twisty thing has happened, then I'm always waiting for that. And I don't like it. So, I felt like this was well paced, it was more, there were twists and turns like a thriller should have, but it wasn't anything too nutty or crazy.

Jen 25:18

That sounds so good. And I love that it just starts with a good solid premise.

Sara 25:22

Mm hmm.

Jen 25:23

But the premise isn't, like you said, just based on twists and turns. That it's the situation. I think that's compelling.

Sara 25:30

And you're, like I said, I really like that rooting for the main character. And I will say I gave it to my mom to read and she felt the same way. So, and she doesn't read a ton of thrillers, but I just was like, this was really solid, you know, just a solidly good book. And so she really liked it, too. So it has her stamp of approval as well.

Ashley 25:49

Yeah, that sounds great. And I do think it's helpful to start identifying the things that work and don't work. I mean, there's so many thrillers out there, that it's helpful to identify the things that work and don't for you in a thriller. Because yeah, I think, I mean, like you said, Jen, about if you're looking for the twisty plot, so that's actually not the thing that you love, then, you know, is there a way to find ones that are better fits for us so that we have some success with them? And for sure, for me, I mean, I would like to read more of them, because among other things, they move fast.

Jen 26:17


Ashley 26:17

So, you know, I'd like to, and and you want to know what's going to happen? So it's easy to keep picking them up. So you know, I think in that sense too, that's helpful.

Jen 26:25

So, I would be interested based on what we've said we like if listeners have recommendations that you think would match sort of those preferences, like things that are good on audio or things that are more character driven, or just that have a really solid premise. I would love some recommendations because I do love reading them when I like them. It's just hard when you keep picking them up and then you have several in a row that are disappointing. It's hard to feel like you can keep going with it.

Ashley 26:49

Yeah, and I think I would really benefit from recommendations in this department because I just so far, you know, I haven't had much luck. I mean, the most of the ones that I've tried, I have not enjoyed so...

Sara 26:59

I think and I think thrillers for me often get in the samey type situation. And it's like, and I think it comes from the success of, the big successes of some of those thrillers that have been huge, hugely successful. Because I'm, I remember even after Gone Girl, which was kind of like a breakthrough book, and then The Girl on the Train. And that was kind of like samey. And then I think that you know, it's kind of it's just like a TV show if something's popular then they make like 20 different versions of kind of the same thing. And I feel like that with thrillers. So it's hard for me to find ones. Because I think if you like the genre, people who like the genre and like those fast-paced books, they are much more forgiving, which we might the genres we like were more forgiving for those that we love. So I think it's, it's hard to if you struggle with a genre it's hard to find something suited. The benefits of recommendations really come in to play. So yeah. If you guys have any recommendations for us please let us know we would love to try them out.

Jen 27:21


Ashley 28:05

And I should say also that we are now on Patreon doing--several-- we're releasing several things as far as extra content for our Patreon subscribers and Sara and I recorded our very first Unabridged Uncensored episode. That is about Gone Girl. And we have some differing opinions about that one. So yeah, I think it's interesting to kind of get into it on some of these discussions and really dig into why something works or doesn't and for you.

Jen 28:35

I will just say I cannot wait to listen to that one.

Sara 28:40

Oh, it was fun. It was fun to record. And while we're talking about Patreon, we also have some bookish adaptation episodes that we're doing. Jen and I have recorded several or a couple I should say. And we have several more in the idea pot percolating. Metaphor. I don't know where it came from. I'm missing, I'm missing working my brain, clearly.

Ashley 29:09

Are you missing the key Sara?

Sara 29:13

Oh my gosh.

Jen 29:13

I think you need to let that one go, Ashley

Sara 29:19

Unlike a lot of things, I won't be putting that on a t-shirt. Anyway, we've done an episode on the pilot of the Riverdale series that's on Netflix, we've done an episode on the pilot of The 100 series that is on Netflix and we definitely have some others some some other ideas so, so definitely check out Patreon. It's very reasonable and we're going to be putting tons of new content out there.

Ashley 29:49

That will be coming out you both the audio and the videos we'll be releasing monthly and so we're really excited about that and it does help us to support the cost particularly now we are excited a lot of cost because everything is remote. And so, it is a big help for again, like Sara said, a very reasonable cost for you but, but you know, something that we hope is fun for you and gives you some additional content. It does mean a lot to us.

Give Me One--Things That Are Making Us Happy in Spring

Sara 30:12

And we will be monitoring like the threads in Patreon so we can have our own community there as well. So, definitely check that out. All right, we're at that moment in the episode where we are going to give me one and the give me one for today are, is, is/are things that make us happy in May or things that make us happy in spring. Ashley, what is something that is making you happy?

Ashley 30:42

So this spring, I have really loved all the flowers. This spring in particularly, I feel like I have been a lot more aware of them. It's been so interesting to watch our lives kind of slow down and then to experience nature, I think, in a much more intimate way than I normally do. But because I'm much more aware, we're out in it a lot more, for one thing, my family is. And also, I just have the time to notice all of the ways that the trees and the bushes and all the flowers have changed from day to day. And so I've really enjoyed that. I've really enjoyed experiencing spring. And for sure my favorite thing always for spring as far as flowering goes is the cherry blossoms. My partner and I lived in Japan a long time ago. And that is a huge, huge cultural celebration there and so ever since then, I just feel like I've been really aware of cherry blossom trees and just the joy of that season. So that's already passed, in April, but it was really fun to watch those trees and to get to experience that a lot more closely. And also, we are planting wildflower seeds this year. So I'm excited for, that my daughter, we are not great in any of the stuff like landscaping kinds of stuff. We're not great at that and we've had gardens before, but like flower gardens we haven't ever really done. But anyway, I mean, my daughter desperately wanted to do something. So I'll be excited to see how those go.

Sara 32:10

Jen what what is your Give Me One?

Jen 32:13

So, mine is also flower related. So May is the month when I plant my flowers. So, I don't know that I would say I love the process of planting because it's a lot of work and I'm kind of lazy about things like that, but I love it when it's done. I love that whole process. Like one of my sons really likes to help me with it. And I think just when everything's planted and everything's weeded and the mulch is out, and yeah, it's just something that I enjoy all summer. Usually fall, I'm really tired of watering things because I do have to water the pots pretty consistently and again, lazy. But it's something that I really look forward to having done. And so my mom always says you should wait till after Mother's Day, so we'll see. I don't know what's going to happen now that we're in quarantine, if greenhouses are going to be open. I haven't researched that yet, but I'm hopeful that that is something that will make me happy soon.

Sara 33:04

That's awesome.

Ashley 33:05

Jen is amazing with those things. I always admire her potted plants and the way the landscaping looks outside it's all really great and I always think oh, I should do that too. And then like she said, it's a lot of work. And, it's pretty time intensive and another year goes by and I just don't do it. So we do have some things out in our yard but all of them are badly tended. Either they were already there when we moved here. Thank goodness for the people before us or our, my husband's parents are really great about helping us in each location that we have lived, which we've moved a lot. They've helped us kind of get a foundation I'm sure their intent was to help us get up and then every year we would really take care of it and do these great things. That doesn't happen, but they still have some pretty things from when we first got here. So.

Jen 33:55

I will say the wild flowers will be perfect because those are, they, they are wild. They're supposed to grow on their own. And we used to do that growing up. We had a big yard and we would do that every year and they're really pretty and cheerful. And yeah, I think you'll love that.

Ashley 34:08

Yay. I hope, if it is a success, then maybe that will be the doorway for me into this arena. We'll see.

Jen 34:16

Sara, what's yours?

Sara 34:18

Well, first of all, I want to say I'm sure my parents are terribly disappointed in me and my black thumb because they have gorgeous flowers and my dad like takes care of them meticulously. And we tried to do that for a while and then we were so bad at it. And then my husband just filled our flower beds with rocks. And we have a couple trees that come back and that's about it. So, I do like the way they look and I have to say being here and at home so much I've and in like taking walks around my neighborhood. I'm like, we should plant flowers. I should have an herb garden. We'll see if that just stays in my brain or we actually do it. Stay tuned.

Ashley 35:00

I agree, friend, that I'm much more aware of it right now. Normally I just am blissfully unaware and when I go to Jen's house I'm like, Oh, those are beautiful and sometimes I walk by somebody's yard and I'm like, oh those look really nice. But there's not this like constant awareness of my own black thumb. I like that. But these days I have a lot more time and observation ability to notice. So, yeah.

Sara 35:25

Well, my give me one. My favorite thing right now in spring is we have a screened in porch off the back of our house and we have been, I don't know I guess being inside so much like I just like crave fresh air, so we are out there if it is, if it is doable to sit outside. We go on the porch and I mean I've had like sweatpants and two jackets on as long as I can sit out in the fresh air. I am fine and I love that it's screened in because if it's raining, I can still sit out there. I love to listen to the rain. So that has been a lifesaver for me and my mental health during these times because I just want to be outside and I want to smell the fresh air. And I think it's been really difficult not being able to see my family who lives really close. And I'm really close to so when I go out there I can, I call my mom or I just try to do things and try to get some normalcy. And so it's really, it's been a lifesaver. So that is making me happy.

Ashley 36:30

Yeah, yeah, for us too, like that part. I have friends in other places when they're not able to go outside at all. And I just keep thinking that I'm so thankful that we live in a rural area. And I'm hoping that while I want us to do whatever we need to do in order to stop the spread of the virus, I hope that we'll be able to continue to go outside because for sure, I just can't imagine. I really empathize with my friends who are not able to leave their homes at all. And man, especially the kids, I mean, I think like that. It's not only Important for my mental health, Sara, but you know, I need my kids to be out there and doing their activity, you know, running around and playing and doing exercise and riding their bikes and all that stuff because it makes them happier, which makes me happier. So, it's both that I enjoy the fresh air for myself and also that I need it. You know, I need it for them too. And yeah, for sure. It's been cold here a lot of April. I mean, relative we had a very mild winter and then it's been kind of a residual cold. And so that's been strange, but same, we just bundle up and, you know, put on whatever we need to put on. We went out and played in the rain the other day, I whatever it takes, you know, so I mean, it's been fun every time. So yeah.

Sara 37:42

I walked in the rain the other day. I mean, it wasn't pouring down, but it was a drizzle. And so and I mean, I just am like I need to move. I'm going to walk and I did my normal walk and I came in and my son was like, are you sweating and the whole front of me was wet, but nothing in the back. And I said, if I am sweating this profusely just on the front of my body. Please take me to the emergency room. I was like, no, it's raining. Yes, desperate times call for desperate measures so I'm walking in the rain. Okay, well I think that will wrap up Episode 125 all about thrillers you can't put down. We want to remind you to go to Instagram @unabridgedpod and talk with us, discuss, give us some recommendations for thrillers and also make sure you're checking out our website We are posting on our blog several times a week and we're doing some great compilations of things. And then lastly, make sure that you subscribe to the newsletter so you get our weekly newsletter full of things to help beat staying at home and to provide some activities and some levity in these times when we can't be with our family and friends. We thank you for listening and we will talk to you next time.


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