The Righteous Brothers are iconic for their voices and the wonderful deep melodies on display in classics like Unchained Melody. I was expecting a full album of this sombre but mellow tone but it was actually a lot more playful than I’d thought. There were some jazz experimentations in there, and one song that had a whole skit layered through it which was not necessarily to my taste. (Also hasn’t aged well Phil Spector-wise.)
Obviously, we expect a lot from a P!nk album and thankfully, this one not only delivered but it absolutely outshone a lot of other albums that have come out recently. Is it too soon to declare album of the year? There are obviously some great tunes on there, and some brilliant featured artists. Potentially I don’t think it’s the height of P!nk’s career but it’s another absolutely storming record to add to her catalogue.
I’ve had this in my list to read for such a long time that I didn’t remember too much about it when I started reading. It was an interesting mix of romance novel and action thriller, very frothy and very easy to read. The twists and turns were fun along the way, never quite sure who to trust, although I have to admit the cliffhanger style ending was more frustrating than tantalising.
P!nk recently appeared on the Graham Norton Show on the BBC to sing her latest release TRUSTFALL and promote her new album of the same name. It was an incredible live performance. You can rely on P!nk to add a bit of gymnastics or circus skills to her sets and this time it was all about the trampoline. P!nk was focused on vocals rather than bouncing off the mat, but it’s all the better for it.
Such a good reference book this one. Hillary and Chelsea Clinton have written over 100 essays to cover the stories fo so many women both in history and in the present from a variety of disciplines. From local campaigners to global ambassadors, those that changed the world in medicine, history, law, in the world of romance, rights and respect, and in many other areas. On the one hand this book is incredibly inspiring, on the other hand it gave me moments of deep rage that these things have even had to happen. But ultimately we’ve come a long way and we’ve still got a long way to go, so women will keep on needing to be gutsy.
This was a really interesting science-fiction novel, a really gentle dystopian fiction that was no less horrifying for its slow and steady pace. The world is starting to turn more slowly and we gradually see the impact of that, on the wider global scale but also on very personal levels. Through the eyes of a pre-teen girl, there are still friendship and boy dramas alongside the huge worldwide problems and discoveries.
I was in two minds about watching the second series of Clarkson’s Farm. Some of the recent comments by the eponymous presenter are no good at all and he never really seems to show any motivation to think about what he’s said or change his ways. However, this show is one of the only ones out there that’s really managing to highlight how difficult farming is at the moment, in a way that is accessible to people who don’t know the first thing about life in the country.
I’ve not really had a huge amount of interest in this in the past, but listened to the audiobook read by Hugh Bonneville and actually it was quite a lot of fun. A very approachable insight into the early (perhaps slightly embellished) childhood of the naturalist and writer when his mother upped sticks and moved to Greece. It made me want to watch some of the TV adaptations of his stories and see how they have been portrayed.
I recently listened to the audiobook of Phil Wang’s sort-of-memoir Sidesplitter, where the comedian talks about many areas of his life particularly where cultures intersect - food, family, comedy, and more global topics like the British Empire past, present and future, and how race and racism affects people every single day.
They’re heavy topics in places but the book is really well done, with wit and humour but also a great deal of insight and thought-provoking ideas.
Dina Carroll keeps popping up on the Top of the Pops 93/94 replays that we’ve been watching on the BBC… I was surprised at how many songs she actually has, as I only knew a couple of the big power ballads. It felt like a good time to check out a full album and I was pleasantly surprised. Of course the ballads are on there, but there were some more uptempo pop songs as well, and Dina’s incredible voice carried the whole thing very well.
I loved Paramore’s last album and it’s been five or six years since they released that, so my expectations were high going into this one! Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint although I’ll admit there were no real bangers on the album. But I liked all the tracks and it was a great listen - bit short, but I prefer that to outstaying its welcome. Get in, get poptacular, get out!
This is a useful little reference book, covering all of human history (the main areas, anyway, there’s only so much you can cover in an accessible book like this). It splits into various sections, early history, ancient lands, more recent revolutions, and right up to date with the space race and the internet taking over the globe. What I think this book does well is split up history like that, so that if you’re reading through, you can see which areas jump out at you that you might want to investigate further and read more about. It’s a great jumping off point to start learning more.
A lovely collection of the fantastic messages that appear on London Tube message boards - something that started as a bit of fun from a couple TFL employees and became a bit of a phenomenon. These boards are shared all over social media and help to lift people’s spirits and sometimes touch someone’s soul. Topics range from celebrations, commiserations, reflections, moments to share pain, moments to realise we’re all in it together, dealing with mental health and other illnesses, or just trying to get through another Monday. A great reference book to have on hand if you’re not in London, or not going on the tube anytime soon.
This book doesn’t seem to exist in the Kindle store anymore, so goodness knows how long I’ve had it in my ‘to read’ pile. I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I did on this one, thinking it was going to be a cheesy trying-too-hard comedy romance novel. Actually, it was really good - funny, well written, believable if still absurd situations, a bit of a parody on the world of television production, with some great characters and a story you want to know more about.
I only really know of Phil Wang from Taskmaster (this is true of so many comedians these days!) but he was funny on that so I thought it would be interesting to hear what he has to say. This has elements of memoir in it but is actually more a perspective on life as someone who straddles two worlds, two countries, two cultures. It’s a really refreshing, honest, and, naturally, a very funny book with a sensible approach to life, race, and the many forms of hatred that people can heap upon each other. The chapter talking of cultural appropriation has particularly stuck in my mind. A great read.
This started out so well, I was absolutely gripped to the story at the start - a quiet young woman falling for her teacher in a questionable but not creepy way. The writing was really easy to read and it felt like we were bedding in for a really interesting life story. Unfortunately for me, it drifted a bit once the kids arrived and the neighbours moved in and everything that happened with Andrew.
There was so much confusion trying to find the right album to listen to here - firstly, this was called Whitesnake in the US and 1987 in the UK, and there are so many versions on Apple Music. Remastered this, re-released that, remastered again there. Eventually I found one I could work with, although I’m still not convinced the tracks are in the right order. Once I got to the music, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a little bit cheesy in places, and solidly 80s rock and of its time, but it’s not bad to listen to at all. Here I Go Again is an absolute tune but the rest don’t necessarily let the side down. I’d listen again!
Yay Shania! Can’t describe how much I love this woman, and so excited for another album. It’s great, tunes from start to finish, although I don’t think I liked it quite as much as I did Now. She’s a bit more angry this time, and taking a bit more of a stand (Shania swears, gasp!) and spends some time talking about not being underestimated just because she’s a woman. All good messages, set to great pop country as per usual.
This is such a great concept for a book and well executed as well - focusing in on names and faces from history that you may have heard of but also those that have absolutely been overlooked. I really liked how engaging the book was but must admit some of the layouts were a bit tricky to read on a digital device. Otherwise, definitely recommended.
A fun read this one. For once, I thought I might have liked it better via audiobook because it was such a monologue style and so strongly Irish, I feel like being told the story would have been better than reading it. However, read it I did and I zipped through it. The style reminded me quite a lot of Bridget Jones, that sort of informal, thoughts-on-a-page thing. But I liked that it wasn’t just a rom-com, it was really a woman trying to figure out where she is and where she’s going next, whilst dealing with some family drama along the way. And I really liked the calm ending, not all wrapped up neatly but with some promise for the future.