Read: Watched: Listened. Some good things

Phew, 2015 hey?

The crazy festive season is done, the long summer days are here and I'm welcoming the heat with open arms. This is a bit rare around these parts - most Southern Highlanders love the cold, the changing seasons, but not so much the heat.

Me? I'm more of a roll around in the heat/ water/ sunshine kind of person, so there's been lots of beach and outdoor time. Together time. Building a cubby house, eating ripening tomatoes straight off the vine, putting the sprinkler under the trampoline and watching the boys go nuts.  The little things, so good.

I've had a few weeks off work and the down time's been great. I stumbled upon some interesting things I thought I'd share - a sort of read/watched/ listened trifecta of goodness.

:: Read ::

In the last days of 2014 I got my hands on Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild: From lost to found on the Pacific Trail Quest. The book sets out her 1,100 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert to the Oregon-Washington border, and its an honest, beautiful account of how she faced not only the trail, but the personal struggles that made her tackle such a massive journey, alone, aged 26.

She also wrote Tiny Beautiful Things, a collection of her Dear Sugar advice columns. Between these two books are some of the most raw, honest accounts I've read of what it is to be human, in all our frailties, triumphs and struggles. It's been a while since I've read a memoir and this was a cracker, and in some ways kind of perfect for the end of a year. Funny how you stumble upon some books at exactly the right time, huh?

:: Watched ::

The Honourable Woman BBC mini-series. Depicting the modern-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict with an incredible cast of powerful, complicated female characters, it charts their personal and family struggles against a riveting international relations and political back-drop.

The themes are complex, thought-provoking and completely fascinating. Plus, I don't think I've ever seen television so choc-full of incredible women characters driving the plot, storytelling and themes. Compelling stuff.

Thanks Naomi Bulger for the recommendation!

:: Listened ::


Pod-casts. A lot. In the early mornings when I walk and run as the sun's coming up. Serial. Yep, a little late to this one, and I have to say it equal parts fascinated and disturbed me. It felt like a crime drama series, except it's real life, with a real victim, her family, and a person imprisoned whose case is currently being reviewed (including a request for testing of DNA evidence) by a community legal centre.

How is the legal review of the evidence affected when the story has been so publicly investigated and then aired in a series of weekly pod-casts?

I know, it's the lawyer in me coming out. Whatever your thoughts are about Serial, it's thought-provoking and challenges our perceptions of objectivity and the "facts". What the producers and journalists of the show thought were important questions differed to what I thought was important; what the lawyers thought; the investigating police, etc. 

Other pod-casts? Radio National Summer. So much good stuff. Hours of it, whatever you're in to. 

Next on the reading pile is the Australian author PM Newton, who writes a lot like Peter Temple I think (a favourite of mine), so I can't wait. Such a great place to be, the happy moment before cracking open a book you're looking forward to reading. The anticipation of good things to come. A top spot to be in these first weeks of a new year I think!

How about you? Come across any good pod-casts or books you'd like to share? Tell me!

2 comments:

  1. Glad you are having a good holiday Pia and thanks for sharing your reading / listening tips. I too loved Tiny, Beautiful Things and Wild. I listed my top 2014 reads in 2014 in my last post so have a look for some good recommendations. Serial was great too and kept has me intrigued during my long walks home from work. I am new to podcasts so am going to check on Radio National. Happy 2015 to you, hope it's a great one and I look forward to reading more of your wonderful blog ! x

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  2. Hi Ing, thanks and I hope you had a fantastic break too! I'm about to go check out your recommendations to kick of my 2015 reading with, and if you come across good podcasts for your walking let me know. Always on the hunt for good listening material while I walk!

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