Hello all! I’m Letty, I work for Louise at Front Roe and I’d like to introduce something a little unusual on the blog today in the form of a guest post. An out-of-the-ordinary post for very out-of-the-ordinary times. If like me, you’re isolating with a full house then there are bound to be some squabbles over film choices. I’m also totally over-faced by my ‘to be read’ pile and I can’t find the list of all those podcasts I should have listened to. Sound familiar? Thought so. I have been thinking about things that will make you laugh, feel comforted, bring back happy memories or just distract you from what’s going on outside, so here is my edit of the best films, books and podcasts to enjoy.
I’ve finally started make a bit of dent in my stack of unread books; inhaling them in fact. With my usual sources somewhat overwhelmed, I called my local bookshop in Dorset and asked if they were still delivering books. Amazingly, they were. I emailed a list, paid over the phone and they arrived this morning! I’ve got a brand new pile of titles and supported a small local business in the process. If the post is working, I’ll be buying.
A really wonderful bit of escapism, Paulo Coelho tells the wonderful story of a young Andalusian shepherd who has recurring dreams about hidden treasure in Egypt. It follows his quest to discover the treasure and how he discovers himself along the way. Self discovery, magic and following your dreams- I go back to this book every few years.
The true story of Lale Sokolov and his time at Auschwitz where he was responsible for tattooing numbers onto the arms of prisoners…I read this in one day. Despite the setting, this is a wonderfully warm story about love in the face of horrific adversity and how it changes over time.
A bestseller from 2019, this is such an easy read with moments of comedy gold. Warm, uplifting and unputdownable…just what we need in these strange times.
This is another one I go back to time and time again- it’s my go to read on a long flight and the film is also brilliant. The Help is set in 1960s Mississippi and is a poignant, very powerful tale of racial divide and friendship. Brilliant- no wonder it was nominated as one of America’s best loved novels.
I don’t know a woman who doesn’t adore Bridget Jones. I read this last week for the first time and enjoyed it more than the films. Proof that a story you know so well can still surprise you.
A book that I discovered quite by accident but absolutely adored. This setting is similar to that of The Help (South Carolina, 1964) and is a really empowering all-female story about motherhood, female relationships…and bees.
My all time fave. Enough said.
Films and Series
This is my Mum’s favourite and there’s five series worth to catch up on. Time travelling romance in 18th century Scotland (so there’s some violent bits) based on Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling books.
I sob during this one but the ending is a happy one! Will Smith and his (actual) son star in this powerful movie. Trust me it’s a good one.
One of the greatest (animated) films ever made (for children). This would be one to sit the toddlers in front of. I’ll be there too.
Based on the true story of a legal assistant who, on discovering that Pacific Gas & Electric were poisoning the city’s water supply, seeks justice. Julia Roberts at her best.
Richard Curtis magic. This film features Bill Nighy, time-travel and Cornwall….what more could you want?
This is the one thing everyone in my family could agree on; we’re watching an episode (or two) a night and we’re hooked. Set in an NYC newsroom, it’s hilarious and gripping in equal measure.
A real favourite of mine, there are three seasons of this on Now TV. I’ve been re-watching it and it’s been making me feel very summery. The setting is the MOST beautiful.
I’m really hoping for a third series of this. Crime (again) but this time in small town New Zealand.
One for fellow true crime fans, each episode looks at a UK case (which is often pretty gruesome). It’s now into it’s 4th season so there’s a massive archive to explore.
A weekly podcast hosted by journalists Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton who discuss pop culture and current affairs- it’s the UK Number 1 women’s podcast with 1.2 million downloads every month.
The writer Elizabeth Day’s podcast celebrates things that don’t go right. Every episode, Elizabeth and her guest talk about how failures impacted them and helped them succeed. Really affirming on those slightly non days.
Perfect for when you don’t quite know what you feel like, this podcast looks at everything from politics to crime, business and the arts.
I was gripped by this one from the first episode. Neil Strauss follows (and takes part in) the investigation into the disappearance of a young actress. When I first met Louise in LA, I was listening to this as I explored the city…which is probably a bit weird given the subject matter.
I love this one. Jessie Ware and her mum Lennie host a dinner guest each week, directly from their very own Kitchen. So much fun.
A classic and I just had to include it. Famous voices choosing the music they’d take to a desert island, along with one luxury item. It’s a good dinner party question too.
And there’s my roundup of the best books, films and podcasts to enjoy whenever you like. I hope there’s something in there that will be new to you and that whatever you watch, read or listen to helps provide a little bit of a welcome break from daily stresses, however small they may be.