Relax; make yourself comfortable; take some time out from the rush of life. Whether you prefer to read, listen or watch; I hope this blog post gives you some inspiration. All the books, podcasts and television programmes listed below have been recommended by our Women Aloud members. Enjoy.
Himself by Jess Kidd – 1950: A teenage girl is brutally murdered in a forest. But, somehow, her baby survives. 1976: A mysterious and charming young man returns to the remote coastal village of Mulderrig, seeking answers about the mother who, it was said, had abandoned him on the steps of a Dublin orphanage. With the help of its oldest and most eccentric inhabitant, he will force the village to give up its ghosts. Nothing, not even the dead, can stay buried forever.
How to Be a Productivity Ninja by Graham Allcott – In the age of information overload, traditional time management techniques don’t cut it anymore. Thankfully there is a better way. Using Ruthlessness, Mindfulness, Calm, Stealth and Camouflage this book promises to get your inbox down to zero, make the most of your attention, beat procrastination and learn to work smarter, not harder. Written by one of the UK’s foremost productivity experts, this book is a practical guide to getting more done.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised, and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping Young Adult novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.
The Joy of Depression by Laura Sleep – With the announcement of her friend’s wedding, her workmate’s promotion and her sister’s pregnancy, Tess begins to think that maybe her life needs a revamp. Unfortunately as she tries to pull her life in to shape, her friends and family pull the self-destruct chords on their own lives. Tess begins to spiral out of control, resulting in a very public and embarrassing breakdown. Whilst trying to understand what is happening to her, she tries to be all things to all people but as other concerns take precedence Tess is forced to make decisions. Can she convince the people around her that things need to change?
The Letter by Kathryn Hughes – Tina longs to escape her violent husband. She works all the hours God sends to save up enough money to leave him, also volunteering in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home. Whilst going through the pockets of a second-hand suit, she comes across an old letter, the envelope firmly sealed and unfranked. Tina opens the letter and reads it – a decision that will alter the course of her life forever…
The Whistler by John Grisham – Lacy Stoltz is investigating judicial misconduct by Florida’s judges, and so far her cases have been relatively unexciting. That’s until she meets Greg Myers. Myers is representing a whistle blower who knows of a judge involved in organised crime. Along with her gangster associates this judge has facilitated the building of a casino on an Indian reservation. At least two people who opposed the scheme are dead. Myers and his whistle blower friend want Lacy to start an investigation. Is she ready to pit herself against the most corrupt judge in American history, a judge whose associates think nothing of murder?
GUYS WE F****D: The anti-slut shaming podcast – Each week comedy duo Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson interview a man they’ve slept with. Their aim? They want to make the world a more sex-positive place…where women should be able to have sex with whoever they want, whenever they want, and not be ashamed (or called sluts).
Just the Right Book – This book podcast is hosted by Roxanne Coady, owner of an independent bookstore. Her mission is to help you discover new books in all genres, give you unique insights into authors, and bring you up to date with what’s happening in the literary world. It’s an American podcast but most of the books are ones we can get our hands on in the UK too.
Revisionist History – A weekly podcast from Malcolm Gladwell in which he revisits something from the past: an event, a person, an idea. In each episode he asks whether we got it right the first time? Was there something overlooked? Something misunderstood?
Halt and Catch Fire – described in The Guardian as one of ‘the best shows on TV that no one is watching’. Starting in the 1980s, this American drama television series spans a period of ten years and explores the lives of an unlikely team who want to become the number 1 technology company in America. In the US, Halt and Catch Fire is on its fourth season and has achieved critical acclaim but a lot of people haven’t heard of it or have been put off by its techie subject matter. We’re told not to be deterred. The reviews say you’ll enjoy it whether you love or hate tech. With a mix of 1980s period drama and rich characters (including some strong female ones) this is a series as much about human relationships as it is about technology. The first series is apparently a little slow-going but stick with it.
Making a Murderer… this ten-episode American documentary series premiered on Netflix in 2015. It follows the real-life story of Steven Avery, who served 18 years for a wrongful conviction of sexual assault and attempted murder. He was fully exonerated in 2003 by DNA evidence. However, in 2005 Avery was arrested on charges of murdering a local photographer, and was convicted in 2007. The series also covers the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of Avery’s nephew.
Happy reading, listening and watching. Please comment below if you’ve got a book, podcast or television series you’d like to recommend. Laura x