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.

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.

Read, Watch and Listen (August)

Every month I try and share some media that has caught my attention. Most people know that I am fairly bookish and love TV programmes and films. I am also a sucker for a good podcast or a catchy tune. So here are my suggestions of what to read, watch and listen to this month.

Hopefully I can provide you with some food for thought and maybe inspire you to open a book, search out a programme or pop on a wonderful podcast.

Read ‘The Fell’ by Sarah Moss

In the long, boring months of Covid lockdowns, Kate was going stir crazy. She only had her teenage son for company and could not go to work in the cafe as she had been furloughed.

Living right next to the Yorkshire moors, she just wanted to escape and get some exercise among the hills she had grown up with. Unfortunately her trip became a problem and things soon went pear-shaped.

This short novel is written from the point of view of Kate, her son and her neighbour, as well as the local search and rescue guy. Check it out if you like a good drama.

Watch ‘Succession’

Now I am pretty late to the party on this one but I finally got round to starting this huge production earlier this summer. This story of a media family, who own a powerful company called Waystar Roy, is all about an aging billionaire and his four grown up children.

From the very beginning, we see the offspring vying for prime position to inherit the top job once Logan either steps down or dies. Backbiting, sibling rivalry and practical jokes are mixed with workplace angst. Some of the ways these rich showoffs treat their staff are downright horrible.

But the whole thing is clever. The jokes are funny so long as you are not easily offended. The script is razor sharp. Watch an episode to see for yourself the arrogance and aggravation which encircle this spoilt family.

I absolutely recommend this show, sad to know that it has now ended.

Listen to ‘Joanna and the Maestro’

Joanna Lumley is one of my favourite TV personalities with her royal voice and bubbly nature. Her role as Patsy in ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ will go down in comedy history as iconic, classy and trend-setting.

When I discovered that she was making a podcast with her orchestra-conducting husband, Stephen Barlow, I knew that I was going to be completely fascinated by it.

This couple come across so well on the podcast and it is obvious that they share a deep love for classical music. Having listened to several episodes, I have learned lots about Mozart, opera and film scores. Joanna asks Stephen questions around a theme each time and they pick samples of music that emphasise particular points.

Stephen often tinkles on the old Joanna to make a point. Yes, I am talking about the piano, not his wife.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps I have introduced you to something that you hadn’t heard of until now. Maybe you have watched Succession already and can share your take on it below. Possibly you love classical music and would find Joanna and the Maestro right up your street. And if you need a quality short book, it would certainly be worth reading a sample of The Fell.

Thank you so much for checking out this article about what to read, watch and listen to in August. Follow me if you are interested in reading more of my reviews of books, films and TV shows. I also write regularly about climate change and ways to combat it. My previous July recommendations are here.