I realised my media round ups are definitely a winter post. I seem to devour different forms of media during the darker colder months resulting in actual content to feedback on. In the summer I managed a book or two whilst listening to BBQ playlists on repeat. Finally I have some absolute gems to share with you all which I hope you will enjoy.
I have been ploughing through podcasts recently. I find it therapeutic popping my head phones in and walking the dog for an episode or two. It keeps me outdoors and off my phone. The combination does so much for me after a busy day. I am trying to share the podcasts I have enjoyed weekly/ bi weekly on Instagram so many of these may be a duplicate but I am going to see it as a nice reminder for you all to listen to.
My first recommendation is Serial – Series three. I am pleased series three went on to cover something completely different from the previous series as I think series one was just so addictive nothing was going to live up to it. Series three covers the corruption by (some of) the American Justice system. It focuses heavily on the Black Lives Matter movement and on some shocking statistics. I believe everyone should listen to this podcast. It is insightful, engaging and it really opened my eyes to prejudices across these States and unfair sentencing across America.
I was introduced to FreshAir not too long ago but it is nothing new. I heard that recommending FreshAir is like recommending Desert Island Discs so I am not going to do that. They follow a similar format, interview and music depending on guests. Some are political or techy so obviously follow a different structure. The two I really enjoyed was the re-release of Brain May’s interview from 2010. The interview I had to listen to a couple of times as I found the first listen a little uncomfortable but there is so much fresh Queen content and really hones in on their struggles to break America. The second following the Queen theme was a recent interview with Rami Mahlik and his role as Freddie Mercury. The interview touches on his career journey, how he landed the a role of Freddie and the determination and tenacity he had in his early years to make it as an actor. The interview also focuses on his identity growing up in America. I found him so fascinating to listen to.
I don’t need any more opportunity to plug the High Low but I am going to use it. For anyone feeling, sad, lonely, or a little unmotivated I really recommend this podcast. These two wonderful women helped me out of a rut and encouraged me down other avenues to focus my attention and I am beyond grateful for their nattering. I have learned so much. I recently started listening to Ferne Cotton’s Happy place and it is brilliant. This week I worked through Matt Haig’s, Russell Brand’s and Kirsty Young’s. I couldn’t pick one I enjoyed more than the other so I thought I would include them all. They all touch on mental health, their flaws, the downfalls of comparison and how they manage their mental health and where they find their happy place.
I really enjoyed both series of Bryony Gordon’s Mad world podcast produced by the telegraph so I was happy to see they had released a Mental Health Awareness day special with Scarlet Curtis the author of Feminists don’t wear pink and other lies. The interview was raw, open and honest. It honed in on Scarlet’s physical illness growing up and how she missed out on a normal childhood. The narrative then moved on to her struggles with her mental illness when she had made a full physical recovery. It was a stark reminder of how you never know the struggles people are going through. Her book sounds brilliant, I cannot wait to read it.
I haven’t had much time for films of late. I have been working a lot, ordering presents, researching things or reading so I have hardly had time to turn the the TV on. What I have been doing a lot of lately, however, is visiting the cinema. (Shout out to showcase for being so bloody great). I went with my Nephew to see The Grinch, the remake by illumination featuring Benedict Cumberbatch was brilliant. I love the Dr Seuss story, it has so many important messages for all ages. I believe it is imperative we remember Christmas and December can be an incredibly hard season for many and to always be mindful of what others are going through. I saw Bohemian Rhapsody a few weeks ago and I don’t use the word lightly when I say I am obsessed. You probably can tell from my podcast recommendations. I have always loved Queen my Dad and my Grandma are big fans, as are so many of us so it was always present in my childhood. The film covered so much history of the band I never knew about. The film was beautiful from a cinematic perspective alone. I love London through the 60s, 70s and 80s, they are eras I wish I could have been part of. I loved every second of this film, It gave me goosebumps throughout it all. As you can imagine I cannot wait for it’s release on our screens.
The next film I saw was The Hate u give. I will never have the words to give this film the justice it deserves. This is a film adaptation of the best selling book of the same title by Angie Thomas it is classed as a children’s book but I don’t think it gives it enough credit. It is a story we should all follow. The narrative follows a teenage girl called Star who is constantly switching between lives, The poor majority black neighbour she lives in and the majority white private school she attends. She entwines her lives successfully until her friend Khalil is shot at point range by a white police officer. The film covers her struggles with the differences in privileges her white friends get that her home friends don’t. The film raises the issues of police brutality, prejudices and race. I started crying about 20 minutes into this film and didn’t stop for a while after. It has opened my eyes to so much. A must watch. The most recent film I went to see was Fantastic Beasts: The crimes of Grindelwald I wasn’t that excited to go see this as I will admit I didn’t love the first Fantastic Beasts which was released in 2016 but this film exceeded expectations, I really enjoyed it. It was the Harry Potter fix I needed. Whilst I thought the narrative was brilliant and I really enjoyed watching it, it still isn’t quite a Harry Potter classic. I can’t see me excited to watch it at Christmas each year but it is a good film for any Harry Potter fan. The only thing I didn’t love was Jude Law, who should have been playing a young Dumbledore but was actually just playing Jude Law.
So you’ve been publicly shamed -by Jon Ronson is A brilliant book I was a bit late reading. So you’ve been publicly shamed follows a series of cases of members of the public who have been publicly shamed mainly via Twitter. Often by Tweets or posts misjudged and sent viral by offended users. These small mistakes which were blown up by social media had ruined lives of the victim/ accessed for years. It delved into the world of social media and how these shamings can be shared so quickly and the trolling which follows. It also covered a few success stories, how ‘victims’ of public shaming have managed to control their situations whilst turning it around for themselves. I was fascinated by this book as someone who loves social media.
The Muse is a book I picked up from the charity shop a few weeks back after seeing it in Waterstones, it was a really good find for £1. I am only half way through it but I cannot put it down. It is a follow up novel after the success by the author of the miniaturist. If you liked the miniaturist this will not disappoint.
Got my attention
I found this article in Manrepellar really useful. For someone who is always trying to make cut backs and spend wisely the are some obvious yet helpful tips especially close to Christmas. I have already decided I am going on a spending ban in January, or at least an internet shopping ban.
I came across this poem on Instagram and thought it was brilliant. It literally gave me chills reading it for the second time and a strong reminder to not interpret how someone’s situation looks from the first impression. Christmas can be a difficult time for many. Alcohol consumption increases, families are encouraged to spend more time together and emotions are heightened. It is an important campaign everyone should take the time to read.
This year I have been conscious of (despite my moanings) the privileges I have and have been keen to help out those who are more in need. There have been some easy methods. At work someone has kindly set up a food bank we can contribute to. We also have a Christmas jumper day for save the children. They are only small steps but if we all made these little contributions we could change a lot.
I have also followed Sali Hughes Beauty Bank for a while and wanted to know how I could get a bit more involved donating to those in need this Christmas. When reading Sali’s article in the Guardian she mentioned their online ‘cash and carry’ which offers free delivery on affordable toiletries straight to the charity. These toiletries are then divided up and given out to charities who are there to help those who need these supplies. From Women’s shelters to adolescents at school who need sanity products or deodorant etc. The website you can buy from is called Esho. We could all swap our Secret Santa this year and spend £5 – £20 helping a good cause instead.
I have not switched the TV on in weeks. Well I lie, I did on Monday to watch Made in Chelsea but that is it. So when my group of four started waxing lyrical about White Gold and our favourite main man Ed Westwick I knew I had to try it. This is one for next week when I finally get a minute to myself. Have any of you seen it?