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That's entertainment: Podcasts and books

28 May 2021
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Father And Son Relaxing By Large Window At Home

In the second part of this series, Style delved back into the group chat to find out what we've been reading and listening to. With a special contribution from our resident Style children. Missed part one on nostalgia and binge-worthy tv shows? Read the full story in our digital edition of Style out now!


A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
Recommended by designer Rodney
“A modern take on The Exorcist in which a normal middle-class family agree to let the exorcism of their 14-year-old daughter be turned into a reality TV show as they try to make ends meet. A fast and chilling read with many pop culture references for horror fans.”

Grown Ups by Marian Keyes
Recommended by busy mum-of-two Janine from our advertising department
“Bit light with slightly disturbing family dynamics, which may be totally relatable after close contact for four weeks!”

Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson
Being re-read by proofreader Kerry
“Brodie is a reassuring presence, always looking out for the vulnerable (who he seems to find wherever he goes) and trying to do the right thing – just the sort of figure to guide us through these unusual times. Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie books are great detective stories but also lovely character studies, and I’m looking forward to falling in love with the characters and the familiar settings from England and Scotland all over again.”

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
Highly recommended by designer Alice
Conversations With Friends“Two childhood friends enter into a relationship with a married couple and it gets interesting from there. The main character, Frances, is stuck in a rut and determined to compare herself to her best friend and see the worst in everything.”

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Recently discovered by deputy editor Shelley
“This is the antidote for our caged creative souls. We are all, at heart, creators, but doubt and self-limiting beliefs have worked their way into our minds, stilling our pens and our paintbrushes. This workbook is a deep dive into your soul and will likely free your artist from its cage. You’ll emerge wanting to write a book or finally put paint to canvas.”


Anything by Dr Seuss
Thumbs up from editor Kate
“Whether it’s Fox in Socks – a workout with its myriad of tongue twisters – or Oh, The Places You’ll Go, for its brilliant relevance to how you should approach life, Dr Seuss’s books appeal to young and old. He’s one of the few authors I let away with making up words.”

Nevermoor series by Jessica Townsend
Highly recommended by nine-year-old Ava
“You’ll like it if you like mysteries, trouble and, sometimes, disaster. It’s not very well known among my friends, but I would definitely recommend it. I find it interested because it’s got loads of fantasy. The more you read, the more eager you are to read more.”

The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton
Approved by Ava, who is enjoying this as a family read started during lockdown
The World S Worst Teachers“It’s got mysteries, adventures and, mostly important, children! It doesn’t feel like an old story. My favourite character is Georgina, because she’s the second youngest of the five and she’s really adventurous.”

Pokemon Adventure Collection box set
Go-to read-aloud chapter books for six-year-old Henry
“I like it because you discover new things. You learn more about the types than you do on TV. I’ve learnt that Ash wants to be a Pokemon Master, not the best Pokemon Trainer.”

The World’s Worst Teachers by David Walliams
Recommended by Ava
“It’s funny how they describe the teachers and the stories behind the teachers are fun as well. In every story there is always a single child who thwarts the teacher and ends up making the teacher never want to come back. Ever.
“Also, David Walliams books always have thank-you notes in the front, thanking those who helped make the book, but there are rude ones too!”

Notable mentions: Room on the Broom, Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Geronimo Stilton books, The 13-Story Treehouse series.



Decoder Ring
Host Willa Paskin examines a cultural question, object or habit and tries to figure out why it all matters. The first episode, ‘The Laff Box’, looks at the history of the sitcom laugh-track, where it came from and how it sounds when it disappears from shows.

Women In Film & Tv Awards 2019 Vip Access

Deborah Frances-White.

The Guilty Feminist
A hilarious panel discussion, led by comedian Deborah Frances-White, on the fraught path of trying to be a good feminist. They confess their insecurities, hypocrisies and fears that underlie their lofty principles. Designer Alice likes this one because, “It acknowledges that we aren’t perfect at anything, so we can’t be all be perfect feminists all the time.”

Hit Parade
A fascinating delve into why certain songs you love – or hate – have created such an impact in our culture and the story of how the song made its way to the top of the chart.

One for the kids: RNZ Nanogirl’s Great Science Adventures. Pass the kids the headphones in confidence knowing that, 20 minutes later, they’ll be bouncing up saying, “It’s finished! Can I have another one?” Because who doesn’t want to learn ‘How high can birds fly’ or ‘What would happen if you got sucked into a black hole’?

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