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.

The Last Of Us – Review

Being a blogger who loves reviewing TV shows, I felt that it was time to look back on the series I just finished. To do a proper ‘The Last of Us’ review I need a whole blogpost as it is quite complicated. Hopefully I can take a balanced look at a series that has got the world talking.

This shell reminded me of the worn out buildings in The Last Of Us.

Not really being a person who plays computer games, I hadn’t heard of this title before. However, when I started seeing trailers involving Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, both of whom were in Games of Thrones, it piqued my interest.

What’s ‘The Last Of Us’ All About?

Well…. it is hard to know where to start. In the first episode we were introduced to Joel (Pedro) and his daughter and they seemed to be living a normal life. Little did they know a kind of apocalypse was just around the corner.

In a one hour and twenty-one minute pilot episode, they took us on a rollercoaster ride from normality to chaos. Joel was forced to run away from some seriously creepy people who had been infected by a fatal fungus. He came across Ellie (Bella) who had survived being bitten by an infected. She then joined him on a journey of discovery, awkwardness and danger.

With military forces penning communities into quarantine zones (QDs) and countless infected everywhere, life became challenging. Joel and Ellie had already both suffered losses and the story led to several more acquaintances dying. A bitter-sweet relationship between the two of them led the narrative forward, unflinching.

Positive Points

– The lead actors were believable in their roles and had great chemistry. Bella was convincing as a lost looking teenager, swept up by a journey full of hazards. Pedro finally took his Mandolurian helmet off and was a mix of heroic and vulnerable.

– Each episode had guest actors (like Melanie Lynskey) who played important parts in carrying the story forward. Apart from a couple of characters, most only showed up in one episode each. A sweet episode where Ellie was exploring an empty shopping centre was particularly memorable.

– There is a lovely LBGTQ storyline where a man locked himself into a gated village and met another guy who he fell for. They had been friends of Joel and so he was taking Ellie to see them. Watching the backstory of protecting the village and their romance blossoming was sweet.

– I was reluctant to watch The Last Of Us as I knew nothing of the computer game. However, I’m glad that I began to watch as it was addictive and brilliant.


– There were a couple of scenes which were overindulgent and could have been much shorter. Sometimes the script wallowed a bit in conversations which didn’t push the story forward.


Final Thoughts

I genuinely fell in love with this exciting narrative which focused on just two characters, played by excellent actors. One minute I was laughing at Ellie reading puns from the book she had managed to save and carry with them. The next my heart was jumping due to some pretty scary infected zombies.

Admittedly, some episodes were better than others but it really made me think. What if an incurable disease took hold and spread throughout the world? What if infected people hid the fact they had it until it was too late? How would we adapt, given our reliance on fuel and imported food?


Thank you so much for taking the time to read my The Last Of Us review. Check out my recent Scream VI review for another exhilarating viewing choice.

Read, Watch and Listen – April

It is time for me to share a variety of entertaining things that you might want to read, watch and listen to. This has been an incredibly busy month for me and so as we move into spring I need time to myself. Time to consume TV shows, books and podcasts.

I have got lots of TV shows on the go at the moment but some go faster than others. Maybe because they have different numbers of episodes or just because I get hooked on particular shows more than the rest.

With reading, I always like to have a couple of fiction novels on the go and a YA book, as well as a biography. For ages I was plodding along with my reading list but now I have reached the end of several at once.

As for podcasts, many of mine are only on for short seasons as they track TV series such as Bridgerton. Finding a positive podcast is always my mission and I think today’s suggestion delivers when it comes to this.

Read – What If It’s Us

Becky Albertelli is my favourite YA author and is closely followed by a couple of other greats, including Adam Silvera. Knowing that they wrote a book together, I simply had no choice but to delve into it.

An LGBTQ story flips between two characters and their take on things. Arthur is staying with his parents while his lawyer mum carries out a project in New York. Meanwhile, Ben is going to summer school to make up for some poor grades.

A chance encounter in a post office leaves them both wishing they had made a connection. Arthur tries to find a way to discover who the mysterious parcel guy is and the narrative takes on a journey of intrigue and romance.

As YA stories go, this is well told. Ben and Arthur alternate chapters so you can see their misconceptions and anxieties and you find yourself rooting for them to get together. Overall this is certainly a great YA fiction novel.

Watch – One Of Us Is Lying

A yacht plays a big part in season two.

After reading the first book in the series by Karen M McManus, I was thrilled to see Netflix making a series about it. Now, the second season is just as fulfilling. Telling the tale of a group of young adults thrown into a situation of bribery and murder, this story is exciting to watch.

Cooper, Addy, Bronwyn and Nate have a lot going on in their lives ever since Simon died during a detention they were all in. Now, in series two, it is Jake who is missing and eyes are firmly fixed on these four alongside Janae and Maeve. Maeve is the tech savvy sister of Bronwyn and comes in useful when trying to work out who is manipulating them.

‘Simon Says’ is texting people randomly with challenges to do. If they don’t do as requested, someone comes off worse for wear. Or maybe even dies.

I absolutely love this gripping series which reflects the adventure outlined in the book. These actors do a good job of convincing us that they are up to their necks in problems.

Listen to – Made With Love Podcast

I have just started listening to Tom Daley’s brand new podcast about things that people love doing. He begins by interviewing Shania Twain and talks about anything his guest is passionate about.

Tom switched his love of diving for a new hobby – knitting. He wanted to make a podcast that discusses positive subjects and so encourages a range of famous people to share why they love what they do.

In the episode with Greta Thunberg, she discusses why she loves activism. Her retelling how she journeyed to America by sea and came across many adversaries such as Donald Trump, is fascinating.

I think this podcast is going to continue to be uplifting and satisfying. Check it out if you are searching for something new to tune into.

Final Thoughts

So if you are looking for something fresh to read, watch and listen to, maybe have a search for one of my suggestions. I feel as though I have leaned towards YA products this time, but they are really good sources of content and you may find that they suitably grab your interest.

Please share your thoughts in the comments and consider following my blog for similar future blog posts. For another of my review posts, check out Read, Watch and Listen from February.