Read, Watch, Listen Again

Every now and then I love to share what I am currently reading and enjoying as well as something I am watching and listening to. As November looms, it may feel like the right time to snuggle up on the sofa with a good book or TV show. You may want a new podcast to zone into when you are going for a run or, like me, whilst having a bath. Or maybe you need something to send you to sleep.

If you missed my October instalment, it is here. Last time I mentioned the funny paramedic TV series, Bloods, as well as a very nostalgic book, The Former Boy Wonder. I also spoke about the Dragoncast podcast which accompanies House of the Dragon.

Read: Normal People by Sally Rooney

I am incredibly late to the party with this one. Having seen the BBC series, I wondered whether I would appreciate the book as much. It was a lot to live up to.

A rich Irish girl who is antisocial and oozes confidence alongside an intelligent yet rugged guy who has met his match. Hiding the fact that he is attracted to his mother’s employer’s daughter, we witness the intriguing story or Marianne and Connel unfold.

The book is amazing! I found it weird that Sally doesn’t use speech marks but soon got used to that style. I can absolutely see why people rave about her writing. It is fascinating how she shapes a story in short chapters which are insightful, captivating and built around social challenges.

Watch: The Watcher on Netflix

When I first came across the advert for this I was instantly attracted because of Jennifer Coolidge, who recently appeared in The White Lotus. Later on I found out that Ryan Murphy had scripted this series based on real life events. I had to watch it for those reasons.

When a couple moved out of New York to the suburbs and bought a dream home, they quickly found themselves freaked out by the neighbours and some unusual occurrences. A letter arrived which was threatening and overshadowing, signed by someone who called themselves ‘The Watcher’.

I am half way through and loving the mix of scares, comedy and general weirdness. I cannot predict who The Watcher is but I am having fun trying to identify this menacing character.

Listen to: Calm

I have been using the Calm app for quite some time as a way to ease myself to sleep at night. I heard about it from a friend and have found it full of so many soundscapes, stories and relaxation pieces.

Sometimes I play some light piano music or raindrop sounds while I sleep. Other times I hear great sleep stories told by brilliant readers like Tamara Levitt or celebrities like Kate Winslet and Harry Styles. I suggest trying a free trial and seeing what you think. OK so it isn’t quite a podcast but it is a fantastic resource for those of us who struggle to get to sleep.

I take a nap a few times a week while listening to one of the half an hour nap stories.

Putting It Together

I hope your Autumn started well. It is incredibly warm in England which is worrying as it is meant to be cool by now. Climate change is definitely messing with our weather. So my way of distracting myself is keeping busy with books, TV shows and podcasts. I would love to know your thoughts on those I suggested. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

Read, Watch, Listen (October)

It has been a short while since I last wrote one of these posts and so I now have plenty of things to talk about. As Autumn draws in, sitting by the TV or on a sofa, curled up with a good book sounds good. If not, maybe hooking up with a good podcast is your kind of thing.

Today I am happy to discuss a book, a TV show and a podcast that are all really satisfying. I hope that you will consider checking one of them out or recommending your own newly found gems in the comments below.

Reading – The Former Boy Wonder by Robert Graham

This book is really interesting as it is about a slightly washed out music journalist who has daddy issues. It starts off with his parents split and the infrequent visits of his light entertainment father and then jumps around in time a bit.

The author’s way with words is great and some of the nostalgia is very relatable. The main character, Peter, goes to Uni in Manchester and falls madly in love with Sanchia, who fades in and out of the story in an enigmatic way. A lot of the book is during his middle age, when Lucy is Peter’s wife. She was his university housemate and played second fiddle to Sanchia during those college years.

When an old friend invites him to a party at the house where he first met Sanchia, he isn’t sure whether to tell Lucy. Delving back into the friendship group of his early twenties presents emotional conversations and lovely recollections. The story is really reminiscent and warm.

I would say check this book out if you can as rarely has a modern story got such heart as well as stacks of throwback details. For me, the memories felt relatable and cosy, taking me back to my own Uni days in the 1990s.

Watching – Bloods Season 2, Part 2

I may have mentioned this before but I love this comedy which is available on Sky Or NOW TV. Starring Jane Horrocks (as Wendy) of Absolutely Fabulous fame, it is a laugh along show about paramedics and some of the funny circumstances they find themselves in. Lucy Punch (Motherland) is also onboard as a quirky boss who is secretly infatuated with one of the ambulance crew.

My friends and I agree that the comedy has got wittier and the writing sharper in this second series. Samson Kayo is Wendy’s crew mate and their relationship is funny and fractured at times. All of the characters have great comic timing and brilliant onscreen chemistry.

Listening – Dragoncast Podcast

I used to watch ThroneCast which was a discussion show that came on every week after each fresh episode of Game of Thrones. Jamie East used to give detailed explanations of some of the Westeros history and rivalries.

Now I have discovered his brilliant podcast and it is the perfect companion to each episode of House of the Dragon. With special guests and forensic unpicking of the key events, this podcast is very entertaining and helpful. Check out Dragoncast if you get the chance (available on Spotify, Apple etc).

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest recommendations. Please consider following my blog for similar articles about books, TV, podcasts and the environment. You can also read my summer choice in Read, Watch, Listen 4.

Read, Watch, Listen 4

Before I start my holiday I thought I would do one of my update posts regarding a good book, TV show and podcast that I am currently enjoying. I am a book lover and hoping to read a whole book in the next fortnight as well as reporting back on my travels around Europe.

It is worth noting that a few of us bloggers have clubbed together to start a monthly set of articles about greener living and widening knowledge about climate change. I will look forward to plenty of engagement with these posts as we need to start an open dialogue about tackling climate change.

Back to the books…

Five Tuesdays In Summer By Lily King

After impressing me with her brilliant ‘Writers and Lovers’ which I previously reviewed, I was intrigued to see her set of short stories being published and quickly snapped it up.

Although I am not far in, I already like the strong personalities coming through is these heartfelt stories. From a bookseller’s love for his employee to a widow escaping on a seaside holiday with her daughter, the settings are fairly varied and definitely intriguing. More to come on this later on.

Love Victor (Disney Plus)

Love Victor – Disney Plus

I love Becky Albertalli’s books so it was no surprise that I have fell in love with this series on Disney Plus. In its third and final series, I was happy to see Steven Canals directing an episode too (the writer of Pose FX).

The brilliant Victor (played capably by Michael Cimino) has explored his sexuality in a sensitive way and the surrounding characters are fun, interesting and well acted. The soundtrack is cute and the whole feel of the show is supportive, entertaining and feel good. Produced by the actor who portrayed Simon in the ‘Love, Simon’ movie, Nick Robinson also pops up occasionally.

Making the Cut Podcast

Podcast Link

Davina McCall and her partner, Michael Douglas, have presented this fascinating podcast ever since lockdowns began. They cover everything from TV shows to make up, fitness to theatre and comedy to travel.

They only mention things that they like so you won’t hear negative reviews here. I discovered Ted Lasso because of these two and their life hacks are useful indeed. Davina talks a lot about gut health and Michael gives great insights into history and documentaries.

I am a massive fan of this brilliant podcast and totally recommend checking it out. Their relationship is great and you feel like you are part of the conversation in every episode.

Thank you for taking the time to read my content. Please follow my blog for future similar posts.