A Backlog of Books, Podcasts, TV, Movies, and Food

Well, the year is half over and I’ve set myself a new financial year resolution (though not related to finance) to keep on top of Very Good Things. Here are a few highlights since my last, long ago post in March:

BOOKS
Conversations with Friends
by Sally Rooney – her second book, Normal People, swept me away so I had to read her first book. I didn’t want it to end.
Becoming by Michelle Obama – this was a book club pick and wasn’t on my personal list to read but I loved it and became quite teary by the end to think who has taken their place in the White House.
Can’t wait to read Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, available in July in Australia.

PODCASTS
Clementine Ford on Wilosophy – she’s warm, open and intelligent and he really struggles with this interview but credit to him, he openly admits it.
Fresh Air with Terry Gross – the queen of interviews talks with Phoebe Waller-Bridge (13 May) and Christina Applegate (5 June).

TV
Chernobyl
– HBO’s five-part series is chilling.
The Letdown season 2 – the Barossa episode is hilarious.
Fleabag season 2 – just when I thought nothing could top the first season, along comes a second and it’s perfect. Waller-Bridge is also a writer on the brilliant Killing Eve.
Easy season 3 – I particularly loved the episodes about the couple who are navigating an open marriage.
I’m currently watching the second season of Big Little Lies and could possibly be enjoying it more than the first.

MOVIES
Free Solo – a documentary that will have you picking your jaw up off the floor.
Always Be My Maybe – after Chernobyl, light comedy was in order and this was funny, sweet and easy viewing. Worth watching just for Keanu.

FOOD
Everything on Fad Free Kitchen – a shameless plug for a site I do with my dietitian friend that’s all about quick and healthy food using versatile, everyday ingredients, but honestly, I rarely cook from anywhere else.
Kindred restaurant in Darlington – order the cabbage with pine nuts, currant, pecorino and buttermilk dressing to go with your pick of their excellent pastas.

Post-Holiday Wrap-Up of Books, TV, Movies, Podcasts and Other Very Good Things

It’s February so there’s no denying the holidays are well and truly over. If you need a little distraction in your day, here are the best books, TV, movies, podcasts and other stuff I got stuck into over summer:

BOOKS
Normal People by Sally Rooney has been dubbed ‘a future classic’
Tin Man by Sarah Winman is about love, loss and loneliness
The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose asks beguiling questions about the nature of art, life and love
Putney by Sofka Zinovieff is confronting, timely and beautifully written
Yuval Noah Harari has a knack for making sense of complex issues in 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante is not new but swept me away. Now an HBO show

TV
The Cry on ABC iView has tension to the max
Sex Education on Netflix will have you in stitches
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime is sweet and easy watching
Abducted in Plain Sight on Netflix is wild an almost unbelievable

MOVIES
The Wife on iTunes really should get Glenn Close her first Oscar
Private Life on Netflix is a raw and honest look at infertility struggles
First Man is the best kind of blockbuster
What We Did on Our Holiday on Netflix is seriously funny and the kids steal the show

PODCASTS
Believed covers how Larry Nassar got away with so much for so long. Beyond shocking.
The Daily is a news podcast powered by New York Times journalism. Stand out episodes are 16, 19 November and 4, 5, 10, 11 December

OTHER STUFF
I can’t shut up about how spectacular Lord Howe Island is
Peanut Butter Oat bars are simple, healthy and make the best snack
I loved reading this recent travel article on my hometown of Newcastle – get there now

Book: The Woman Who Fooled The World – Belle Gibson’s Cancer Con

Belle Gibson convinced the world she had healed herself from terminal brain cancer with a healthy diet. She built a global business upon her claims. There was just one problem: she didn’t have cancer.

This has to go down as one of the world’s greatest scams and the book, meticulously researched by Beau Donnelly and Nick Toscano, takes you through a moment by moment account of how it all unravelled for Belle Gibson.

Even if you read the news stories and watched the cringe-worthy interview with Gibson, I guarantee you will blown away by how she duped everyone, including Apple and Penguin Random House. She was a spectacular liar and it makes for an enthralling read.

Very Good Things for a Rainy Long Weekend

How is it almost the middle of the year already? Here are my recent top picks for TV, books, podcasts and food. Very Good Things to get you through a rainy long weekend.

Watch
Killing Eve – when Phoebe Waller-Bridge is one of the writers, you have to watch it. View trailer, watch on ABC iView.
The Defiant Ones – history is made when two unexpected music moguls come together. A four-part documentary series about Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. Watch it on Netflix.
Sour Grapes – a fascinating documentary about fine wine fraud on a grand scale. Watch it on Netflix.
Atlanta season 2 – that ‘Teddy Perkins’ episode. Whoa. Watch it on SBS On Demand.

Read
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie – an urgent, fiercely compelling story of loyalties torn apart when love and politics collide.
I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell – an astonishing memoir of the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined O’Farrell’s life.
The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn – a page-turning thriller, the movie is already in development. Great holiday read.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – traces the intertwined fates of a picture-perfect family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.

Listen (I’ve been in a bit of a podcast slump recently but my friend just gave me a bunch to get over it so stay tuned):
Revisionist History Season 3 – Burden of Proof (episode 2).
This American Life – #339 act one (Break-up) and Five Women.

Eat Out
Two restaurants I’ve revisited recently after years and they are still excellent, particularly if you’re after a cosy winter vibe – Alpha (Greek) in Sydney CBD with a stunning bar upstairs and Sagra (Italian) in Darlinghurst for perfect pasta.

Eat In
Curried Fish Pie from River Cottage.
Jill Dupleix’s Salmon in a Light Fragrant Broth. I like to up the spinach and chilli for a green hot hit.

Get Through More Books with Audible

I don’t read as many books as I’d like. The intention is there but the leisure time is not and the ability to focus seems to have dwindled over the years. It takes longer to get through a book than it used to.

One way I’ve tried to overcome this is with Audible. It lets you listen to audiobooks wherever you are – running, in the car or doing mundane tasks. It has the world’s largest selection of audiobooks and many are narrated by the author, which can add to the experience.

Get a 30 day free trial then pay $14.95 per month. With that comes a free audiobook each month and Audible can be used across multiple devices so you can share your library. Tip: the children’s titles are a great tactic to get silence in the car.

You won’t finish with a hard copy on your shelf but the contents will still be in your head. Here’s a recommended audiobook to start you off. More about AudibleGet the app.

Chat 10 Looks 3 Christmas Special Podcast – 2016 Recommendations

Chat 10 Looks 3 is a podcast in which Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales talk about books, television, radio, movies, food, politics and whatever else they feel like. It’s an unrehearsed, casual chat and I love the banter between these two friends. They’ve just released their Christmas special episode which is great if you’re looking for some reading, viewing or eating recommendations these holidays. I can vouch for two books I’ve read on their list this year: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett and Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf. If you can’t spare the 1 hour 40 minute listen, go straight to their list of recommendations. Listen to the podcast.

Liane Moriarty’s Books – Perfect Holiday Reads

I was introduced to Liane Moriarty‘s books by my Mum who is an avid reader and is always spot on at fulfilling my brief for an excellent holiday read. I’ve so far read Big Little Lies, The Husband’s Secret, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and What Alice Forgot. Liane is a master at tapping into middle class suburban Australia and tensions in ordinary families. She is the first Australian author to debut at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Big Little Lies will air on HBO next year and will star Reese Witherspoon,  Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard and Shailene Woodley. Truly Madly Guilty is her new book which is out later this month. Delve into any of her books if you’re wanting a well written and gripping read. I’d start with Big Little Lies. Buy her books.

When I Get A Minute

 

le1511h001s0056dfa53dcae7d3-12709544_1280
Photo from ABC iView

A 15-minute weekly show hosted by Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb where they discuss culture for the chronically time poor. Described by the ABC as “an occasionally shambolic conversation about books, movies, TV shows, cooking and other cultural obsessions.” Each episode is shot around Sydney whilst they’re chatting over something delicious and they never take themselves too seriously. It’s only available to watch on ABC iView. The pair also have a podcast of a similar nature Chat 10 Looks 3.

Tips On How To Read More From James Clear

Reading doesn’t come as easily to me as it used to both from a time and capability perspective. I’m much more distracted these days.

So these posts on reading I hope to grow, particularly since I am going to attempt James Clear’s simple system for reading 30+ books per year.

James Clear writes about how small habits can change our lives, and society, for the better and has a best books of all time list to get you started.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: