Read, Watch, Listen

I wanted to try something different today and talk about three different types of media in one post. As you know I love to soak up TV shows and try to read plenty of books all of the time. I also really enjoy listening to podcasts. So it makes sense for me to drop some recommendations now and again.

Today I wanted to start sharing one of each. In this article I will mention three things that I am currently really into. Most days I read a few chapters from a book, listen to a section of a podcast and watch a couple of TV shows. Here are the ones I am loving right now.

Read

This Much is True – Miriam Margolyes

Ever since I saw her popping up as an actress in movies such as the Baz Luhrman version of Romeo and Juliet, I have found Miriam fascinating. She then appeared in a documentary called, ‘The Real Marigold Hotel’ with other celebrities who were exploring India. This series went on for a few years and allowed us to get to know her as a person.

Her hilarious stories and brash way with people made her comedy gold. She has since presented more documentaries on her own which were eye-opening and interesting.

So as soon as I saw that she had written an autobiography, I instantly bought it. Already I am loving it because she maintains her wit whilst reflecting on her interesting childhood and career.

I am still part of the way through this book but every time I pick it up I learn something new and have a giggle too.

Watch

Outer Range – Amazon Prime

I was drawn to this when I saw it advertised on an instagram account for Imogen Poots. She is a wonderful actress who I was lucky enough to see on stage with Imelda Staunton in ‘Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf’. After this performance I got her autograph and had a lovely chat with her and she came across as very genuine and charming.

Anyway, after checking out the trailer I was quickly keen to have a look at this brand new series set in Western USA. Josh Brolin is the other lead actor in this really intriguing drama. I last saw him in a Kate Winslet movie called ‘Labour Day’. where he was an escaped prisoner who shacked up with Kate.

He is the patriarch of a family in ‘Outer Range’ who are living in the middle of nowhere on a cattle ranch. One day he discovers a large, mysterious hole in one of his fields which seems to be a portal to another dimension. Autumn (played by Imogen) comes to camp in a nearby field and things start to get really weird.

Well all I can say is I was hooked right away. It started off gentle and then ramped up the tension. This one is definitely well worth checking out.

Listen

Bridgerton – The Official Podcast

As a massive Bridgerton fan I was excited to listen to the first season of this podcast where they discuss plots, characters and everything related to the making of the TV series.

Shondaland has created a brilliant podcast which includes people who work behind the scenes and cast members. In the second series they are discussing an episode a week and have all of the main actors involved. Hearing them discuss wardrobe, dance practice, set design and dialogue, I feel my need for background information is certainly fulfilled.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post about the book, TV show and podcast that I am currently consuming. For more TV recommendations check out my post, TV shows I laugh at. Please comment your thoughts and consider following my blog for future similar articles.

Heartstopper TV Show – Ground-breaking!

Always someone to welcome and encourage diversity, I am excited to write about the new Netflix series based on the incredible YA books written by Alice Oseman. It was definitely intriguing to see her work get picked up by Netflix but I was initially anxious that they may not represent it as wonderfully as she has.

Thankfully Netflix got Alice on board as script writer and producer during the making of the TV show and integrated some of her unique style into this brilliant take on LGBTQ romance. If you want to know more about the books, check my previous review of Heartstopper Book One here.

Heartstopper Review

This particular TV production was filmed last year in England and has been hotly anticipated ever since. Tiktok has always been fond of Alice Oseman’s best selling webcomic-turned book and the series trailers started to inspire a whole new set of inventive Heartstopper Tiktok videos right away.

Heartstopper tells the modern tale of a nervous, but likeable, Charlie Spring who is openly gay but pretty intimidated by the English equivalent of jocks (otherwise known as rugby players). Being asked to sit next to a slightly older rugby lad in class, Charlie is instantly smitten, despite that guy being apparently straight. Played by a newbie, Joe Locke, Charlie takes us on a journey through his crush.

Nick Nelson is the other lead character. As a charismatic lad who is in with the cool crowd, it surprises Charlie just how much interest in him he shows. Nick is played by Kit Connor who famously had the role of the young Elton John in the movie Rocketman.

Why is Alice Oseman so cool?

Alice originally published a book about Tori Spring, Charlie’s sister, in 2014 after signing a book deal at the age of seventeen. She followed this success with other novellas and, of course, a webcomic which was first put out weekly as a series of Tumblr cartoon strips.

Heartstopper illuminates Alice’s ability to shine a light on diversity in relation to LGBTQ issues without making the stories obscure. She has a way of handling such subjects with respect and cleverness, weaving them naturally into stories without making them seem awkward.

Following trans characters and topics such as confusion over sexuality, she has a way of making her characters very relatable and intriguing. I wish her material was around when I was younger as it would have made such a difference. It promotes acceptance and celebrates individuality.

So, in answer to my own question, Alice is cool because her stories grab readers and enable them to think carefully about these situations and feel more comfortable about their own feelings and insecurities.

The Heartstopper TV Show Itself

The director has a great way of capturing emotions and the actors are really well cast. It is a nice surprise to find out that Olivia Coleman has a guest role as Nick’s mum and it is also good to see Sebastian Croft (a young Ned Stark in Game of Thrones) playing the role of Ben, the guy who toys with Charlie’s affections while remaining safely in the closet.

Without giving too much away, this series of eight half an hour episodes is beautifully laid out with a well written script. The use of some cartoon images really adds a bit of extra Alice Oseman spark. For instance, colourful cartoon leaves float in and out of shot at key points in the episodes.

Summary

If you haven’t had time to check out this fresh and refreshing new Netflix phenomenon, what are you waiting for? It is great to see a series that discusses those issues that can consume you when growing up (and forever after). This show is a genuine heartstopper and is beautifully acted, in keeping with the thought-provoking feel good books of the amazing Alice Oseman.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article about Heartstopper TV Show. If you enjoyed the post, please drop a comment below and consider following my little blog for similar future content.

Three Wishes – Book Review

AF – This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and decide to buy a product I may get a small fee, at no extra cost to yourself.

Happy Easter everyone! As we all crack open the Easter eggs and spend time thinking about our history, let’s make the most of the tradition and rest up, ready for a busy summer ahead. I am not especially religious but Easter represents new life and symbolises how everything starts to become green again, during the Spring.

What better time to read some books? I love nothing more than putting my feet up in a quiet room, flicking through the pages of a good quality novel. For those of you who are new to my blog, you may not realise that I read mainly contemporary dramas and YA fiction, as well as a sprinkling of biographies.

Three Wishes

Although I am a massive fan of Liane Moriarty, I am never surprised when an author writes a book that doesn’t quite meet up to their usual standards. ‘Three Wishes’ is definitely not a book that lowers expectations. With Liane, I am yet to come across any that are sub-standard. For a previous review of one of her masterpieces, check out Bewitching Books which also includes a classic by my other favourite writer, Joanne Harris.

Review

Three wishes is all about three triplets who are in their thirties, living in Australia, going through the usual challenges of modern living. Their parents split up when they were young, but are still a big part of their lives. Two sisters, Lyn and Cat, are identical, while Gemma isn’t. What I love about Liane’s books is that they are grounded in normality, exploring family life in forensic detail.

Liane usually writes in the ‘close third person’ which means that each chapter focuses on a particular character and examines their thoughts, but remains written from a third person angle. We follow each sister as they deal with issues relating to mental health, motherhood, dating and marital upheaval.

Cat , for instance, is keen to have a baby with her husband, Dan. Her career is soaring and she envies Lyn, who balances having a toddler and teenage step daughter effortlessly. Lyn, meanwhile, is having anxiety issues related to car parks. Both sisters have used their identical features to their advantage in the past. They recall a time when one pretended to be the other on a date, for example.

Gemma is used to dating and being happy in short term relationships, which she is always ready to terminate. Being engaged to a guy who suddenly died in an accident, everyone feels sorry for her, but she harbours some resentment for her apparently romantic ex.

A celebration at a suave restaurant for their 34th birthdays turns into a battleground when the sisters finally let loose some revelations that upset the rest of the family. Some things just have to be said, but these women bottle stuff up and let it all out in one explosive evening.

Summary

I love this wonderfully told story, which is no thriller but is definitely compelling, with moments of humour along the way. Liane is very good at making sharp observations about modern life and her playfulness is really amusing. If you have never read a Moriarty book before (Why ever not?) then why not start with this one?

Check out the book on Amazon, here:

https://amzn.to/3KS1WG8

Thank you for taking the time to read my little review of this brilliant book. Please drop a comment about your thoughts or questions related to this. If you enjoyed my article, please consider following my blog for future similar content.