Monthly

The Hit List

What I'm reading, watching and listening to, the January edition

WHERE — Copenhagen
PHOTOGRAPHY — Sam Flaherty

Introducing The Hit List: aka a few of the best things I read, listened to, watched, cooked and generally enjoyed after the past month.

I’m forever on the hunt for tips from other people about what they are enjoying right now. Whether it’s jotting down notes on my iPhone, or screen-shotting recommendations I see online, I’m all about compiling lists of things I need to check out. Be it a great book worthy of putting to the top of the reading pile. A Netflix series that will have me hooked. A gritty podcast series. Or even an amazing hotel/store/restaurant to store in the memory bank should the tip come in handy.

So I thought I’d start sharing a few of my favourites each month, from what I’m reading to cooking (and occasionally buying). So hopefully, if you’re ever in need of a recommendation next time your fresh out of ideas on what to watch/listen to etc, these lists can come in handy.

PODCASTS I’M LISTENING TO

I devour podcasts like a hungry child, so hopefully these recommendations can become a two-way street. If you have any favourites I should check out, I’m all ears.

I discovered NPR’s Believed, which explores one of the largest sexual abuse cases in US history. You may have read about Larry Nassar, an Olympic gymnastics doctor when this story broke in 2016, but this podcast delves deep, taking listeners more than two decades back. A powerful series that had me in tears.

Griefcast with Cariad Lloyd is another favourite, and I’m now realising both are quite somber topics. Although technically this is a podcast about death and grieving, Cariad is a hilarious comedian, so I promise it makes for great listening. She has a huge back catalogue, so perhaps start of with a guest you’re familiar with to sink your teeth in.

WHAT I’M READING

If these lists serve to highlight one thing, it’s that I tend to read older books (as opposed to brand spanking new releases), one because I usually buy second hand books, and two because I still have a reading list I’ve yet to complete from ‘09. Not that new books are better or worse than old, it’s just my style! But hopefully it means if you want to pick up any of my recommendations you can do so easily.

The One-In-A-Million-Boy by Monica Wood. A unique tale about friendship that spans many generations. More elderly characters should be depicted as their witty/sassy selves. Good for the soul without being the least bit cheesy.

Teacher Man by Frank McCourt. Angela’s Ashes is one my all-time favourites, so after re-reading it last year (along with ‘Tis), I discovered Teacher Man, which is Frank McCourts memoir about his time teaching in New York. Honestly he is such a great story teller, he makes even the bleakest of moments real page-turners.

Gut: the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ by Giulia Enders. An eye-opening look into why your gut is just as important as your brain, written in simple terms any laymen could understand. A worthwhile read for anyone who is interested in their health.

WHAT I’M COOKING

Corn fritters are a brunch staple back in New Zealand and much like flat whites, I feel like they are pretty much everywhere now. If you haven’t had corn fritters (have you been living under a rock?) I get that it may sound odd, but trust me, corn fritters, avo and poached eggs is up there in all time best breakfast dishes (which we also have for dinner to be honest). So while it’s nothing new, I have just recently re-introduced them into my weekly repertoire using the recipe from A Simple Table. The best kind of meal when you’re feeling a bit lazy. Also can’t recommend A Simple Table enough, so many great recipes with a focus on local, seasonal produce.

Although Bill Granger’s corn fritter recipe is pretty dam great, plus the recipe is conveniently online right here if you’re in the mood for fritters stat. Don’t forget the avocado salsa.

WHAT I’M WATCHING

I’m currently re-watching The Sopranos for the millionth time, because it’s definitely my all-time favourite show. If you’ve never watched it, please do, it’s HBO at it’s finest; the character development is so good that you don’t even have to be a fan of mob shows.

And if you like a British crime drama, Safe on Netflix is an intense murder mystery without the usual over the top dialogue and picture perfect characters.

WHAT I BOUGHT

It’s hardly an internet secret, but if you’re looking for really great facial sunscreen (aka oil-free, lasts on day, glides on under makeup, doesn’t cost the earth), Glossier’s Invisible Shield is SPF35 and is the bees knees. Perfect for both city days and beach vacations, wear it 365 days of the year.

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