A small roundup of the past year with some of my favourite songs, Films & TV and books. In no particular order, some of which have been released this year – others I have just discovered and loved this year.
- Shadows by Alphabet
- House Key by Scott Helman
- I Run To You & others by Lady Antebellum
- Love In Real Life by Kiera Loveless
- Make America Great Again by Frank Turner
Best Films/TV show:
- Bohemian Rhapsody: Rami Malek is great as Freddie Mercury & the music is obviously top notch being the hits of Queen.
- The Spy Who Dumped Me: Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon make for a hilarious pair, escaping spies, guns and they run into all sorts of trouble – a great laugh
- Avengers: Endgame: THE avengers movie, with every character you could possibly want
- Little Women: It came out Boxing Day, but the remake directed by Greta Gerwig is beautifully shot and featuring Emma Watson, Saorise Ronan, Florence Pugh and Timothee Chalamet who create wonderful likeable characters.
- The Durrells Season 4: A ludicrously dysfunctional very British family relocates to Corfu without a word of Greek, befriends a host of stereotypical locals and the odd, drunken Brit, and everything proceeds to go completely tits up. What’s not to love?
- Jane the Virgin- final season: the classic Netflix rom com series, follows Jane and her family dramas – based on a Spanish telenovela, the drama is overdramatic but makes the show what it is.
- The Great British Bake Off: Another year, another series of the beloved British baking show. This year saw Henry, Alice, Steph and David and others bake cakes, bread, pastries, partake in vegan and dairy week.
- The Crown Season 3: Olivia Coleman took on the prestigious role of Queen Elizabeth II, a part she played excellently, but the development of Charles and Anne were my favourite, played by Josh O’ Connor and Erin Doherty.
- Cherboynl: based on the real life events, this hard hitting series made a great cinematic watch.
- Keeping Faith: the Welsh thriller and drama series is a slow burner but as the plot unwinds it becomes more twisted and captivating.
- Normal People & Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney: Sally Rooney writes with such precision that this all feels painfully true. It is a novel (for anyone, young or old) that simply presents the truth of youthful experiences without the filters of nostalgia or sentimentality. It invites you to inhabit the psyche of someone else – two someone elses: Connell and Marianne – to identify with them and to feel their pain and turmoil.
- Still Me by JoJo Moyes: The last in the trilogy from Me Before You, following Louisa’s excursions in New York and her boyfriend Sam. Do I think we needed a third book? Honestly, no. I LOVED the first one and the progression of the second. The appeal of Moyes writing style drew me to this and therefore it still makes one of my top reads of the year.
- The Picture of Dorian Gray: A classic, a book I already have written about on this blog, see here for my full review. In case you don’t feel like it: in short I loved it, cleverly dark and gothic.
- Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman: A tale about loneliness and making your way in the world. I laughed, I cried. I was angry. I was surprised. I was emphatic. I was completely fine, sometimes. The memorable characters, relationships and situations make for a powerful book, just don’t expect to read it and not feel something.
- How to stop time by Matt Haig: A different sort of time travel story… How to Stop Time is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness and love. full review here
- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: Du Maurier writes with a beautiful fluidity and builds a sense of tension, and the unravelling of what happened to Mrs de Winter is intriguing and unexpected.
- Why we get the wrong politicians by Isabel Hardman: The only non-fiction book in my list, but a good one nonetheless. Hardman write a well-considered, non-judgemental examination of flaws in the way our parliament scrutinises legislation. This book is accessible and I think is a must read for anyone who wants to see a future with better government.