Every month I love to talk about what I had the chance to read, watch and listen to. Recommending books and TV shows or movies is a big part of what I do on my blog, Podcasts tend to be things that I listen to in the bath or when I am driving around. Hopefully, some of the things I review will make you interested enough to look them up.
Read: Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
This third novella is following the same format as the first couple, where each chapter is told by Dash and Lily alternatively. I think I am right in saying that every Dash chapter is written by David and the Lily ones are penned by Rachel.
Dash has gone to university in England, studying at Oxford, while Lily has taken out a year to expand her dog walking business and doggie Instagram, which has become incredibly successful. To surprise him for Christmas, she has deserted her close family and flown to bed down on her cousin’s sofa in London.
The comforting references to English Christmas festivities and traditions are funny when described by these American teenagers. I really like them and the way that these two explore some of the typical aspects of Christmas and compare them to what happens in New York, which is their home.
What I especially like about these books is how intelligent Dash and Lily are and how thoughtful and reflective they seem. You hear their inner worries and pondering as they negotiate their relationship and wrestle with career options, dislocated families, and everyday stuff.
Watch Happy Valley
I came late to the party with this one. I overheard two friends talking about Happy Valley and they sounded so fascinated that I just had to check it out. First, I looked up the original series from 2014 and soon I was hooked.
It is very rare that I watch episodes of anything back-to-back but I viewed all three seasons in a fortnight. I was even able to watch the last ever episode when it came onto BBC One on Sunday evening.
Catherine is a mid-fifties police woman from Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. Her daughter had been attacked by a manipulative Tommy-Lee Royce who ended up being the father of Catherine’s grandson. This gripping crime drama is a cleverly scripted piece of TV magic conjured up by writer Sally Wainwright. With a disturbed family at its heart, the narrative is fast and easily draws you in.
The characters are so interesting and realistic. Played by the impressive lead, Sarah Lancashire, her police sergeant is gritty and skilful. Her nemesis is played by James Norton and her sister by Siobhan Finneran (of Downton Abbey fame).
I don’t want to give anything away but this is a five star series which is so brilliantly written and acted. Definitely go and watch it from the beginning.
Listen to: Happy Place Podcast with Fern Cotton
I love dipping in and out of this podcast because it is full of positivity. Fern Cotton used to be a Radio One DJ and TV presenter but now spends a lot of time writing mental health books and making this fantastic podcast.
Recently I listened to an episode with Sara Cox and I have heard many celebrities discussing what makes them happy and how they stay motivated. Fern has such open conversations and is keen to share ways to build stronger mental health. I love it.
I am looking forward to the newest episodes which involve Joanna Lumley and Shania Twain. If you get the chance, have a listen to this brilliant podcast which is available on Spotify, Apple podcasts and all the usual providers.
I hope that I have managed to get you interested in one or more of these suggestions. Happy Valley is outstanding television and Dash and Lily is a brilliant YA book to unwind with. If you can’t find a good book to get into, you can count on Dash and Lily to cheer you up. Fern Cotton has a soothing podcast with bounding positivity to improve your mood.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article. For more TV reviews, check out Two TV Shows Worth Watching on my blog. You may also find my thoughts about House of the Dragon interesting. If you enjoyed my Read, Watch, Listen post then perhaps drop a comment or even follow my blog.