Read, Watch and Listen – June

It is summer now and time to lay back on those sun loungers and start reading some books. If you need a break from the heat, pop inside and watch an episode of one of the many brilliant TV shows on telly. While travelling to work, turn up a great soundtrack that will chill you out. Here are my recommendations for things to read, watch and listen to this summer.

Read The Strawberry Thief

If you haven’t read one of Joanne Harris’ books yet, check out my review of Blackberry Wine which I read recently. Also – Where have you been?? Now I am half way through the fourth book in her ‘Chocolat’ series which is really satisfying.

‘Chocolat’ came out in 1999 and was the first book I read of hers. This fourth instalment carries on the beautiful adventures of a chocolate shop owner and her family as they negotiate life in a small French town.

When Viane Rocher’s daughter is left a small piece of woodland in the Will of a local gentleman, everything is turned on its head. His bitter daughter is determined to take back the land and make money on property sales.

Without giving anything away, this story sometimes feels magical. The description of food and, in particular, chocolate is used to immerse you in the narrative. Joanne writes brilliant, short chapters which carefully and cleverly absorb you into the situation.

Watch ‘A Small Light’ on Disney Plus

Last year when I visited Amsterdam, I took the chance to go to the Anne Frank Museum which is set in the actual offices where the secret annex was. Anne and her family were Jewish and hid in those small rooms during the German occupation of the Netherlands.

Now, Disney and National Geographic bring us a well made drama about the young woman who hid the family and provided them with food. Mieps (played by Bel Powley) was not Jewish and worked as a secretary for Anne Frank’s dad. When they went into hiding she remained a connection between them and the rest of the world.

I feel as though there has been little publicity for this project but it is incredibly well written and acted. I am enjoying the bitter-sweet nature of this eight episode series. It deserves 5 stars from me.

Listen to The Little Mermaid soundtrack

Right now I am listening to ‘Part of Your World’ a lot! Having reviewed The Little Mermaid 2023 last week, you will see how enthusiastic I am about this movie and its soundtrack. Having never seen the original cartoon, Part of Your World has become an ear worm which is played regularly in my household.

There is something about the purity of the voice and the meaningfulness of the lyrics. It celebrates equality by yearning for being a part of the mainstream world. I love it and the talent of Halle Bailey shines through. The orchestra provides a serene backdrop to some beautiful lines.


Please let me know what you think of my suggestions in the comments. I can truly recommend all of these and look forward to sharing more reading reviews in July. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article about what to read, watch and listen to in June. Please consider following my blog for future similar content.

Read, Watch and Listen – 2023

Every month I put together reviews of various books, TV shows and things to listen to. In this regular feature I recommend some great entertainment that you may or may not have heard of. These are my latest suggestions for things to read, watch and listen to in May, including the highly anticipated Queen Charlotte.

Right now, I am bogged down with work deadlines but I have still found time to enjoy my favourite pastimes, guzzling up books and watching or listening to TV shows, podcasts and great music. Hopefully one of them will grab your interest and make you want to check it out.

Read ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’

I am slap bang in the middle of this book and really engaged with the story. When a journalist is invited to meet Evelyn Hugo, a famous Hollywood star, she has no idea what is in store. A well written narrative by Taylor Jenkins Reid takes us on a journey through Evelyn’s dramatic life.

I won’t give anything away but we can assume that Evelyn had seven husbands. Each part of the book focuses on her experiences with each of them. The journalist gets swallowed up in Evelyn’s uncomfortable experiences and the prejudices she faced as she navigated her way through a film career.

I have no idea how it will end but the quality of writing seems good and the story is really interesting.

Watch ‘Queen Charlotte’ on Netflix

Set loosely in the time period where Mad King George ruled over England with his wife, Charlotte, this drama is fruitful. Although it is a spin-off from Bridgerton, it works well as a stand alone.

We see the Queen that we know and love from Bridgerton and her bestie, Lady Danbury, both during the Bridgerton time period and also several years earlier. Forced to marry an English King, Charlotte felt quite remote and judged for her race, but soon tried to take control of the situation.

Without saying too much, there is a lot of rumpy pumpy in this series, much like in Bridgerton season one. It is funny, romantic, harrowing and intriguing. For me, the highlights are hearing Julie Andrews narrate and listening to the orchestral arrangements of modern pop songs.

Listen to ‘Padum Padum’ by Kylie Minogue

I was just about to recommend another podcast when Kylie’s new single popped on my screen. Veiled in red, Kylie has a brilliant new song that has a heart beat backdrop.

Going back to her pop roots and working with writers and producers from her Fever album, she does not disappoint. The music is catchy and as an ear worm it plays over and over in my head. Maybe it will yours too?

My favourite current song.

Final Thoughts

I really like all of the things I have recommended in this post. I have been a Kylie fan since I was 8 and am enjoying reading a Taylor Jenkins Reid book for the first time.

Hopefully you find something you like in my suggestions to read, watch and listen to for May. Recently I also reviewed The Mother on Netflix, starring Jennifer Lopez. Please comment your thoughts on my reviews and consider following my lifestyle blog for similar future posts.

Frazzled – Book Review

It has been a while since I sat down and wrote a book review post. I have been busy working my way through several great books and they are finally coming to an end. So now you can expect a bunch of bookish posts, starting with my Frazzled book review.

Frazzled- A brilliant book about mental health

As a long term fan of Ruby Wax, I noticed she had some books out and ‘A Mindfulness Guide For The Frazzled’ had been a number one best seller a few years ago. It seemed like a good place to start. So I got myself a copy and read it straight away. Usually if I am reading non-fiction it is biographies I go to. This book is partly personal but is also an exploration of the topic of mindfulness. A uniquely original text.

In A Nutshell

Ruby has completed a Masters in Mindfulness for Oxford University. This book takes us through what mindfulness is and what it meant to her when she struggled with depression.

I remember her famous TV show, ‘The Full Wax’ which used to get 14 million viewers. She would spend time with celebrities up close and personal, chatting and winding them up. I especially enjoyed her interview with Goldie Hawn and the crazy one with Donald Trump where she managed to make him squirm.

This brilliant red book is organised into helpful chapters, such as ‘How our brains work and the science behind mindfulness.’ She also goes into detail about how to introduce mindfulness practices when parenting. She intersperses factual information with her own funny reflections (always shown in a different bold font).

I learned so much about how the mind works from this book. Ruby has a way of explaining things that really grabs me. She is an expert writer and her anecdotes are so personal and funny. It has really opened my eyes to some important ideas relating to looking after my mental health.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. It was well organised and written in a relatable way. The funny moments were balanced with serious examples and I now want to read Ruby’s second publication. I can totally recommend checking out her writing, especially if you are wanting to know more about mindfulness.

Hopefully you were intrigued by my Frazzled book review and will check out one of Ruby’s books. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article. For another intriguing book recommendation, check out my Apples Never Fall review and maybe consider following my blog for more of the same.