What I’ve Read, Watched and Listened to in April

I’ve been able to read more in April than I have in a month in ages. One of the benefits of lockdown is indulging in a bit of escapism. My brother got me a kindle for Christmas and it has come in so useful, good job Josh.

I’ve also obviously watched a good chunk of Amazon Prime, Netflix and Disney +. So no judgement before you see the lengthy list below eh? 

I read…

Blood Orange, Harriet Tyce – 4.5/5

loved this book. It’s a thriller and an uneasy read throughout as no one is a good character; everyone is flawed but you have the unsettling feeling that there’s something much worse hidden beneath the surface too. 

Flatshare, Beth O’Leary – 5/5

I wrote about this book in my 5 best reads for lockdown post, but this is an original, funny, light romantic novel. It’s a great idea and O’Leary adds such a flare to her characters. It’s hard to put down. 

The Eve Illusion, Giovanna and Tom Fletcher – 4.5/5

This is the second book in the triology. It’s a YA fantasy novel focusing on Eve, the first girl born naturally in 50 years. She’s the saviour of mankind and she’s just escaped the tower where she’s been kept her whole life, to join the Freevers (Free Eve believers). It’s a great book, the whole concept is fantastic. I think I prefer the first book, but this second one doesn’t disappoint.

What You Did, Claire McGovern – 5/5

University friends reunite after twenty-five years and the secrets and lies that unravel destroy everything they’ve known about each other and their own lives as a result.

Someone We Know, Shari Lapena – 5/5

Another brilliant thriller from Lapena. Everytime I get a chance to write about books, Lapena’s name is on there. It follows the same format as her other novels such as The Couple Next Door; it’s a domestic thriller where a woman goes missing and is found dead in the boot of her car, after the car has been pulled out of a lake. As one secret unravels so do many others and it turns out that nobody knows their neighbours as well as they thought.

An Unwanted Guest, Shari Lapena – 5/5

Bloody good. A modern day Agatha Christie. Lapena’s books are GRIPPING I just devour them in hours. 

Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams, 5/5

A gem of a novel, everyone should read it. Queenie is so honest and real and the book addresses so many important issues in a very contemporary and frank way.

You Do You, Sarah Knight – 5/5

The anti-guru strikes again after teaching us not to give a fuck and get our shit together, Knight now tells us to indulge in being exactly who we are. So readable and so useful. 

Ember Queen, Laura Sebastian – 4/5

A YA fantasy novel, the final of the triology. I loved this series. The YA fantasy genre is so dense, so when you find a series that you love and that feels unique it’s so exciting.

The Cactus, Sarah Haywood  – 3/5

I liked this, but I didn’t love it. I didn’t get the humour and felt that it didn’t go anywhere. I’d heard great things so I was a bit disappointed, but it might just not be my thing. 

The Other Wife, Claire McGowan – 3/5

Another thriller (I love them). It wasn’t as good as What You Did (in my opinion) as it had quite an obvious twist, but the premise and idea is unique and very good twists near the end. 

I watched…

The Nest, BBC

I enjoyed this TV show, as it was quite an original topic. A couple cannot have a baby and decide to use a surrogate. The woman meets a young girl of eighteen, they connect and she volunteers to be the surrogate. The woman accepts, but the husband is suspicious, they know nothing about this girl. Excited about the possibility of having their child, they put it to the back of their mind, but Kaya’s true identity reveals itself and it’s much worse than they ever could have imagined.

Modern Family, Amazon Prime

Modern Family is SUCH a feel good family show following the unconventional family dynamics of a father remarrying a younger woman with a young son, the father’s grown children – his son and his husband and their adopted daughter, his other daughter and her husband and their three kids. Bloody love it. Cannot get enough. I’m on Season 8 now and I’ll just start re-watching it when I finish.

Friday Night Dinner, Channel 4

Season six has just come to Channel 4 following a very dysfunctional family reunite for dinner every Friday evening. It’s absolutely brilliant, mad and funny. 

Brooklyn Nine Nine, Netflix

Feel good comedy around a slightly incompetent group of detectives, who relish in being cops and taking the piss out of each other and solving more crimes. I’ve been told to watch this for ages and so glad I’ve finally had time. It’s an easy, enjoyable watch.

Pixar the Animation Story, Disney +

If you’re a creative and struggling inspiration, look no further than this documentary on the founding of Pixar animation studios. It’s amazing. I didn’t know anything about the origins of Pixar and as a film nut I loved this documentary. Such a brilliant story of resilience, creativity and determination.

Harry Potter

Finally had a HP marathon and it was a wonderful as it sounds. Great way to spend a weekend kids. 

All the Marvel films (pretty much), Disney + 

I love, love, love the Marvel franchise. My favourite films (at the moment) are Thor Ragnarok, Infinity War, End Game and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. 

Oblivion, Netflix

Tom Cruise films are always good, but I particularly like Oblivion. Also, as everyday is the same for the couple left behind on Earth the woman always says (even though it isn’t) “Another day in Paradise” and that’s beginning to feel like lockdown.  

I listened to… 

The Empire Podcast

Film geeks talking to actors, writers, producers, musicians, need I say more? It’s verbal fan fiction and interviews, just great. 

Ted Talks daily (podcast)

You can’t go wrong – they cover everything. I really enjoyed the recent talk with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love titled “It’s OK to feel overwhelmed. Here’s what to do next.”

AmazingIf (podcast)

Helen and Sarah are great to listen to, especially if you’re working as they discussdifferent aspects of careers, work place dynamics and how to figure out what you want to do in life. It’s useful, helpful and reassuring. 

The Grow & Glow Show (podcast)

Grow and Glow helps creatives develop their brand and turn their onlijne side hustle into a full-time business. It’s incredibly helpful for increasing blog traffic, improving SEO and also reassuring that actually you can have a creative career and do anything you want if you set your mind to it and work smart. 

What have you been listening to, reading and watching?

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  • Hannah says:

    I always love your recommendations in books, you honestly have the best taste! Going to check out one of the thriller books this evening. xx

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