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.

Read, Watch and Listen (July)

My regular readers will know that I love nothing more than a good book, a great TV show and something cool to listen to. Now that it is finally the summer holidays I intend to spend a lot of quality time immersed in great books and absorbing plenty of worthwhile entertainment. So let me find you some tasty morsels to read, watch and listen to in July.

Today I particularly wanted to share with you some of the most intriguing content that is keeping me occupied currently. As I lounge around on the settee, I need nothing more than access to a couple of paperbacks and a TV remote in order to be totally satisfied. Yes – I am easy to please. I do have high standards though and will soon give up on a TV show or story if it doesn’t sustain my interest. A podcast has to be eye-opening or funny to keep me coming back for more.

Heartstopper 3 by Alice Oseman

I love Heartstopper. It is easy to read any one of the (currently) four books in a single sitting. These stories originated as web-comics which were firstly posted in bursts on Tumblr and then published after the success of Oseman’s first novel – Solitaire.

Charlie and Nick have a love story that is full of twists and turns. It looks at the issues facing young people as they come to terms with their sexuality and is done in a fun and entertaining way. I feel that Heartstopper is groundbreaking and would have made so much difference if it existed in the nineties when I was growing up.

If you like to dabble in YA books, then these LGBTQ+ books are feel-good pockets of joy. I read the first two a while ago and have finally opened the third instalment, which was just as good as the rest.

HiJack – Apple TV Plus

I am in the middle of this exciting Apple TV Plus drama about a flight from Dubai to London which was taken over by hijackers. Starring Idris Elba as Sam, the confident tactician who finds himself amidst a hostile takeover in the air, this series is gripping and relentless.

Although we expect a hijack from the start, there are so many interwoven plot points which make this TV show unpredictable. It is cleverly written and fast paced. Each episode keeps you on your feet as you try to work out what on Earth is going on.

The Witch Trials of J K Rowling

This controversial and detailed seven episode series is a podcast which explores some of the issues surrounding J K Rowling being ostracised by parts of society.

I honestly knew very little about her situation but was aware that she had upset a large community because of her posts on twitter. I was recommended this podcast as a neutral exploration of the build up to this subject.

It is easy to take sides but I felt I didn’t have enough information to make an informed judgement. This podcast delves into unfair treatment of trans people and the possible interpretations of J K’s words.

I can see now from both sides what some of the issues are. Listen for yourself to be better informed about the matter. The podcast host probes J K deeply and cross-examines protesters as well. It seems a fairly balanced production with eye-opening revelations from both sides.

And Finally

I hope that one of these suggestions has grabbed your interest. Every month I try to recommend something to read, watch and listen to and I value your thoughts on my choices. Please drop a comment with your take on any of them and your own suggestions.

If you are looking for another gritty drama, check out my review of the Paramount Plus series – Yellowjackets. Also please consider following my blog for similar future content.

My Current Projects

Sometimes I feel like just taking stock of what I am up to with regards to writing and blogging. This post is to let you know what my current projects are and how I am getting on with these.

As a teacher, I have to be very organised in order to write fresh content. I also want to keep expanding my horizons because one day I want to write for a living.


My blog is nearly two years old and I have varied the amount of content I produced. Lately I have tried to be more consistent and I can see the engagement has gone up. Here are a couple of recent articles I am proud of:


I have also decided to really get into podcasting again. I dallied in it once before but did not make enough time to grow the podcast. Now I have decided to make sure I produce some spoken content weekly, even if just a small amount.

Here is my first episode:

Or you can find it here:

JamieAdStories Podcast – on Apple Podcasts

Final Thoughts

I appreciate your thoughts on my current projects and would love some followers for my brand new podcast. Thank you for being supportive and keeping up to date with my content.