So this month (September) I had a family holiday in the Scottish Highlands (wonderful), then my kids started back at school in years one and year five. I was hoping to start going back into the office one day per week, but the rules make it tricky to fit us all in one office. I signed up for my final Masters module, my dissertation, and decided what I am going to do my research on, so I feel like I have made some big decisions. I also joined a local choir, so my nights are becoming pretty busy again.
I have read 7 books (last month it was 6), but for the first time in a long time, I did not finish a single phyical book this month. I think the reason for this is that I have started my Dissertation for my Masters (in Human Resource Management), and that along with working full time and two kids means I no longer have any free time to sit and read a physical book, now I have to read journal articles, this month I have read about 12 journal articles.
These are the seven books I listened to on Audible this month:
- Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
- Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano (book club)
- Man’s search for meaning by Viktor E Frankl
- Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
- Tales from the Farm by Amanda Owen
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
- A Better Me by Gary Barlow
Best and Worst
As always it is hard to choose, mostly because there was only one bad book this month. So I am going to say that since I have read Gary Barlow and Eleanor Oliphant before, I will not choose them, so now it’s between Dear Edward and Flatshare. I think I will choose: Flatshare by Beth O’Leary because I found it very easy to read; and it was nice to read a romantic comedy (or chick-lit as some call it – urgh!). Dear Edward was a brilliant book but far more depressing; as its about a boy who loses his whole family and is the sole survivor of a plane crash.
Flatshare however is fun, light-hearted, predictable yes but well-written and funny and the main characters are very likable, laugh out loud funny occasionally:
“Let’s not beat around the bush, says Gerry who has literally never beaten around a single bush in her whole life.”
It has a clever premise too, one that I have never heard of. Two people share a flat but they never meet. The characters work opposite shifts. They do send little notes to each other and eventually they do indeed meet and change each others’ lives. I am looking forward to reading Beth O’Leary’s other two books.
Again slim pickings at the cinema, unless you love Bond (I do not).
Respect – loved it so much I watched it twice. A fascinating look at Aretha Franklin’s life story, and what a life it was. She had 2 babies in her teens, first at age 13 (so sad!) And she became a singer with a record label in her early twenties; though it took some time to be successful. She also helped the cause by singing for Martin Luther King Jr (family friend). Jessica Hudson was amazing; she sang Aretha’s hits like no other could; it was very believable and enjoyable.
I have been fascinated by a couple of crime-related shows this month.
Manhunt – The night stalker – ITV (4 episodes)
There are two seasons, the second season is about the Night Stalker and it is absolutely fascinating. It’s not scary and does not show you what the bad guy actually does so it is pretty tame (compared to say Waking the Dead or CSI). There was one episode where I was literally on the edge of my seat – don’t you love it when that happens? Now that is great TV. I was surprised by how well Martin Clunes plays a straight role, meaning not a comedic role, he was very believable. This is based on a true story, and there is a book.
White House Farm – Netflix (6 episodes)
I think this was on ITV originally, but it passed me by. This one is more distressing than the one above, as you see a little more, and it involves children, though you do not see what happens to them (thank God!). This is based on a true story too, about a man who loses his whole family when his mentally ill sister shoots them all. Another compelling show, although I found the 80s hairdo’s a little distracting.