What I’ve Been Reading, Watching and Listening To

The Hit List: A round up of what I've loved this month

WHERE — London
PHOTOGRAPHY — Sam Flaherty

The Hit List; aka all the things that I’ve read, watched, listened to and loved of late. And maybe even the odd recipe too. Basically a few recommendations to you get you through the month ahead.

 

 

WHAT I’VE BEEN READING

My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is a thriller, but more than that it’s a story about two sisters who are forever annoyed by the other, while ultimately have each others backs. The language is a bit too jovial to really feel dark, but it’s definitely a page-turner you’ll whizz through.

Malcom Gladwell shot to literary fame in 2000 with his first book, The Tipping Point (this is the point where I say if you’re not familar with Malcom Gladwell or The Tipping Point, do yourself a favour and find a second hand copy to read asap). Gladwell is a journalist interested in the social psychology, researching and explaining (in layman’s terms) how crime, money, race, opportunity and time affect the fabric of life. Anyway, his new book Talking to Strangers focuses on how we communicate with strangers – and why we so often get it all so wrong. In all honesty it’s actually my least favourite book of his – but it’s still very much worth reading. And if you’re lucky enough to have not yet read the rest of his work – you’re in for a treat.

When Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman came out in 2017, it was hyped by pretty much everyone (and amassed plenty or awards), and for good reason. A story that is both sweet and sad, and completely original, about a woman with complicated social skills who ultimately is incredibly alone. And yet it’s not entirely depressing, as it’s interjected with just the right amount of humour and hope. It feels like every man and his dog as already read it, but if you haven’t, I 100% recommend.

WHAT I’VE BEEN COOKING

When it comes to cooking, I very much go through phases. Endless soups in winter, as many BBQ’s as I can convince Sam to have in summer, making the same Vietnamese dish for every week for a month. Anyway, my current flavour of the month is soba noodles, and I gotta say I feel like the obsession is justified. Super easy to cook (as in 3 minutes in boiling water) and can be combined with pretty much anything.

One of my favourite soba noodle recipes is this one by Ottolenghi; Soba noodles with lime, cardamom and avocado. Don’t worry, it’s from his SIMPLE cookbook – so it’s super easy to make. His recipes usually – and notoriously – involve 101 steps and uncommon ingredients, however like the name suggests Ottolenghi SIMPLE is a cookbook featuring his usual fresh and punchy flavours, with easier simplified recipes.

The other recipe I love (and is a massive crowd favourite) is this Spicy Peanut Soba Noodle Salad recipe, mainly because anything with that much peanut butter has to be delicious.  I omit the chicken because I’m vege, although to be honest I don’t think it really needs it; you kind of only want fresh crunchy vege to break up the super rich (aka tasty) peanut sauce.

WHAT I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO

Sara Pascoe’s podcast Sex Money Power (she also has a book by the same name) is an incredibly unique insight into the world of sex work, giving voice to a side of the industry that so often goes unheard.

A long-time favourite podcast of mine that I dip in and out of whenever the mood strikes is Freakonomics Radio, hosted by one of the co-authors of Freakonomics (another excellent book series that I highly recommend).  Each episode is kind of like socioeconomics for dummies, where they break down everything you need to know about a specific issue humans face; from sleep to drugs to renting.

WHAT I’VE WATCHED (AND LOVED)

I’m wary of recommending TV shows, mainly because I feel like once anything is on Netflix everyone has already seen it. But in case you’re in need of some TV shows that are as well-made as as they are binge-worthy, here are a few I whole-heartedly recommend.

If if you’re not a fan of Ricky Gervais (which is a concern to be honest), After Life by Ricky Gervais might change your mind; it’s entertaining, sad, funny and easy to watch all rolled into one. Yes, I know it’s not new, but I’m recommending it as season two comes out soon, so now is the perfect time to either catch up or re-watch it.

Another recommendation that isn’t new (sorry) is Safe, a British drama about a teenage girl that goes missing. If you like British crime (think Broadchurch), this one is for you.

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