Read, Watch and Listen (November)

It is time for me to share some of my recommended reading, viewing and listening again. I think I actually forgot to write a Read, Watch and Listen post in October but I may just squeeze two in this month to make up for it.

This week I wanted to share an Apple TV Plus show that is in its third season and a new, fascinating Joanne Harris book. Also, I recommend a wonderful podcast about Bees and sustainability.

Read ‘Broken Light’ by Joanne Harris

As a big fan of Joanne Harris’ writing, it will come as no surprise that I am currently immersed in her latest novel. This one is about a middle aged woman experiencing the menopause. For her, the menopause goes hand in hand with a special power.

Joanne has a way of getting inside a character’s head in a way that we end up rooting for them. Bernie Moon, when hearing about the murder of a woman in her local park, unlocks a teenage memory that awakens her ability to shine a light on male aggression.

I am a third into this book but totally fascinated, as usual. It is hard for me to go into detail without giving too much away.

Suffice to say, check out a sample for yourself and see if it takes your fancy.

Watch ‘The Morning Show’ on Apple TV Plus

I always look forward to this epic show about two TV News anchors who have experienced working with exploitative men.

Now in its third season, Alex (Jennifer Aniston) and Bradley (Reese Witherspoon) are back with more drama. Alex now has an evening hard-hitting interview show and Bradley is presenting the early evening News. Bradley’s brother has a secret which could mean trouble for her and Alex develops a fondness for the billionaire who is buying the TV network.

Brilliant TV with a gripping storyline.

Listen to the ‘Queen Bees’ podcast

I may have mentioned this one before a while ago but it is still one of my favourites. Jane Horrocks (from Absolutely Fabulous) and Ester Coles (from Enola Holmes) talk about Bees and related subjects. They often have celebrity guests or experts on sustainability and nature join then for chats.

Jane and Ester lived together when they were students and often share a giggle. They discuss all sorts but generally their podcast relates to nature and ways to garden, keep bees and look after the environment.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully these three suggestions have interested you and you may consider checking one of them out. ‘The Morning Show‘ is gritty and comes in series of ten episodes. Broken Light is currently available in Hardback and on kindle. Queen Bees podcast is easy to access on all good podcast apps.

You may also want to check out Read, Watch and Listen (September) and consider following my little blog for similar future content.

Being Watched – My Story Extract

It has been a while since I shared a snippet from one of my books. So today I thought I would share a small segment of my YA novel, which I didn’t really have chance to properly promote when it came out.

Check out this little extract and maybe you will be tempted to read the kindle version of my dramatic book about two teenagers who come across a weird and mysterious house. After coming across it by mistake, it feels to them as if they are constantly being watched.

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“I just can’t get my head around this,” I murmured to her quietly.

“The dead bird, you mean?” she said, whilst sliding a screenshot beneath my nose of a lifeless black bird hanging out of the mouth of her cat, Scruffy. “Or you mean the house things?”

“Well yeah, all of that… but also him! And him!” I said nudging her eyes towards first the teacher and then the boy sat by Martha, subtly caressing her neck while Mr Long tried to read the difficult surnames of an unfamiliar group of teenagers.

“You have to excuse me if I mispronounce anyone’s name,” he said with genuine discomfort. “Miss Hind is off today due to personal reasons.”

That was weird because Miss Hind was never off work. She was always the picture of health, wide eyed and on top of her workload.

“Is that something to do with her boyfriend, the postman?” came a call from a clearly recovered Scott.

“That is none of your business. Wind your neck in,” said the slightly old fashioned yet highly respected history teacher. Well highly respected by everyone apart from us, mainly due to the fact that we knew his dirty little secret. He seemed to chew his pen in between calling names and as he jumped to defend Miss Hind’s dignity he bit a piece off the end of it with a loud snapping sound.

I wondered for a moment what had happened to the postman, but was going to be filled in later by my mum. For now, I just kept thinking about the house, the shady cleaner, the blackbird and of course, Martha. She was clearly besotted with this guy and he was cheating on her. Even though I wanted her to suffer a little, there was no rationale behind it and in truth she didn’t deserve it as she had done nothing wrong. All she had done was fail to find me attractive and ask me out. Let’s face it, there was no way on Earth that I would have ever asked her out first. I repented for my earlier harshness and decided that I should look into this a little more using my number one spy, Max. I would have to catch up with him in maths and see what he thought. Maybe he could have a chat with the guy and even let on that he knew about it all. Or was that a bit too risky? Another option was to suss him out a bit and work out what his intentions were.

 

Being Watched is available in Kindle at most book selling sites and in paperback.

Read, Watch and Listen (September)

Every month I love to share some recommendations of a book, TV show and podcast that have kept me entertained. If you are anything like me, you will always be on the lookout for some well made programmes, dramatic novels and fascinating podcasts or fresh new music.

Read ‘Family of Liars’ by E Lockhart

I really enjoyed ‘We Were Liars’, the bestselling book about families that return each year to a small island for family summer gatherings. So as soon as I came across ‘Family of Liars’ which was written as a prequel to this, I knew I would enjoy the storytelling immensely.

This YA book is reflecting on a past summer, when a sad loss hung over the family who were trying to get back to that family holiday magic.

Well written in short chapters, this tale of teenagers growing up and enduring anxiety, enlightenment and love, is keeping me totally entertained.

Watch ‘Platonic’ on Apple TV Plus

As a fan of Rose Byrne, I was excited to see that she has reunited with Bad Neighbours co-star Seth Rogan to make this fresh comedy series.

Sylvia (Rose Byrne), a modern mother and out of practise lawyer, comes across her old friend Will (Seth Rogen) and starts to remember their fun times. Dragging her out for late nights, their friendship is back on track, somewhat at the expense of other relationships.

This comedy is funny and easy to follow. I love the chemistry between these two and Rose’s husband is also great fun to watch.

Listen to ‘That Gaby Roslin Podcast’

Gaby Roslin used to present a fantastic TV show in the 90s, called ‘The Big Breakfast.’ These days she hosts radio shows and presents the BBC Morning Live programme. Her presenting style has always been a combination of clever and witty.

I often listen to her podcast as she has brilliant guests who are always willing to open up to her. A previous highlight was her Kate Winslet chat and recently she has interviewed Harriet Walter. Harriet shone a light on her hilarious and dramatic contributions to Ted Lasso and Succession.

In Harriet’s episode she talks about her experiences in theatre and the fun she had hanging out with Hannah Waddingham. She laughs about her three children in Succession and remembers fondly meeting her idol.

Final Thoughts

Going back to work four weeks ago has meant I have been very busy after a lovely, relaxed six week summer holiday. Work stress is already massive and so any opportunity to escape into a book, take in a dramatic TV series or soak in the bath while listening to a podcast is welcome.

Make sure you check out one of my recommendations above and let me know what you think about them.

Talking of returning to work, check out my Back to school poem and maybe follow my blog for similar future updates.