A Big Beefy Recommendations Post // Books, Netflix, Tunes


Despite abandoning my monthly roundups of what I've been reading, watching and the like I thought a bigger and (hopefully) better post along similar lines would be pretty damn helpful in this unexpected age of staying in and, well, reading and watching things.

Before I get down to it I just want to say, I hope you're OK. If you're feeling a little lost and need someone to talk to please don't hesitate to email me or message me over social media. We're all in this together and all that jazz.

Okay, now I'll get down to it. The following are the very best books I've read, the very best telly I've watched and some feel good Spotify playlists thrown in for good measure (we all need a dance around our living rooms at the moment don't we?) I'll try and keep it shortish, although if I run away with myself we've probably got enough time for all of them anyway haven't we?

B O O K S 

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult // This is possibly the best book I've ever read (although I could maybe say that about all of the books on the following list). It's loosely based on real events (and I bloody love a story based on real events). It's the story of a delivery nurse accused of murder after a baby boy dies on her watch, complicated by the fact that the parents had requested for her to have no contact with him because she's black. As well as having a completely gripping storyline, this book taught me a lot about unintentional everyday racism and stereotyping and made me realise how incredibly privileged I am in ways I didn't even know. Just read it OK?

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson // This is a very difficult one to describe, but in short it's a book about the infinite number of possibilities in life, how one small decision could change the whole course of it and how easily it could accidently slip away. The main character keeps dying, only for the story to resume with a different outcome resulting in her living instead. If you like a book that makes you question everything then this is one for you.


All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven // This is a young adult book, but one that anyone can get into (plus I'm a bit of a sucker for young adult fiction anyway). It's about the unlikely friendship between a teenage boy and girl who meet when they both find themselves at the top of the school bell tower ready to jump and the storyline explores some really important issues surrounding mental health and grief. The ending left me feeling rather emotionally drained, so make sure you're prepared for something heavy.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris // Most people have probably already read this, but if you haven't then you should. Again, it's based on real events at Auschwitz and it's absolutely heart-breaking. Lale Sokolov had the job of tattooing the numbers on the prisoners entering the camp and the book covers his time at Auschwitz plus a little after. I love a book that almost sobers me up and makes me realise how lucky I am (or at least think about it a bit more.)

The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle // This is about two old school friends who end up re-meeting when one becomes the carer for the other, who's been in a bad accident. It's a really lovely story about friendship, needing people and letting others in. It made me really happy to read, so if you're looking for something a little more light-hearted at the moment then I'd definitely recommend this.


T E L L Y

After Life (Netflix) // This was hands down the best thing I watched last year, possibly even ever if that's not too bold a claim to make. Written by and starring Ricky Gervais, it follows his character dealing with life after the death of his wife. Obviously a pretty heavy topic, but it's dealt with in a light-hearted, humorous yet respectful way. Had me creased with laughter one moment then bawling my eyes out the next.

Black Mirror (Netflix) // I know it currently feels like we're living in an episode of Black Mirror, but we've been working our way through them whenever we're in the mood for something a bit mind boggling (they certainly act as a distraction anyway). As each episode has a completely different story line and cast there are excellent episodes and simply 'meh' episodes, but they're all interesting and certainly worth a watch.

Killing Eve (BBC iPlayer) // If the second series had been as good as the first then this would top After Life for me, but Killing Eve is still very high on my favourite TV series list. It follows an assassin (played by Jodie Comer my ultimate girl crush) and the spy who is searching for her and the interesting relationship they develop along the way. A must must must see (worthy of those three musts).

Friday Night Dinner (All 4, Netflix) // The ultimate in light relief, this is pretty much the only thing we're watching at the moment. Each episode is one Friday night at a Jewish family's home as they come together for dinner and it's always ridiculously over the top disastrous and therefore hilarious.

How I Met Your Mother (Netflix) // Another good one for light relief, we finally finished re-watching the whole nine series a couple of weeks ago. Easy watching, funny and totally binge-worthy.

The End of the F***ing World (Netflix) // Part light relief, part heavy, but the aesthetic of this programme is what I love the most. It's British, but has a very retro American vibe to it. It follows a teenage boy and girl who go on the run together and end up murdering someone (as you do). Also the episodes are only 20 minutes long so it's a good one for a little break if you're working from home (I imagine anyway).

Sex Education (Netflix) // The main reason I love Sex Education is because it has the same retro American vibes as The End of the F***ing World. This is one that I'm sure everyone has already seen, but if you haven't you should because it's just really good okay?


M U S I C 

Classic Acoustic (Spotify) // Chilled out golden oldies feat. the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Simon & Garfunkel and The Beatles. I listened to it while writing this post with the sun streaming through the windows and those are the social distancing vibes I like.

Peaceful Piano (Spotify) // If, like most people I assume, you're feeling a bit stressed and overwhelmed at the moment this is the perfect calming playlist. In my head I do yoga to it, but that's not actually happened yet.

Bougie Queen Chill (Spotify - Chloda) // The perfect mix of chill out and sassy vibes, I imagine this would be a good one for some work-at-home motivation.

And I suppose that may be the longest post I've ever written, but I hope you've found some recommendations among all that. Please drop me some of your own in the comments if you have any others!

Amy x

AD // An Ode To In-Between-Seasons Style

Some of the items in this post are gifted, however all views are my own. The Frankie x Oasis collection is available now, for free delivery use the code AMYDEL
 


Skirt* - Oasis (here) // Cardigan* - Oasis (here) // Boots* - Oasis (here)

"Despite the forecast, live like it's spring"

Four times a year we hit an odd time in between seasons where the British weather could do absolutely anything (although whether that makes a change from normal I'm not sure) and you need to be prepared with a winter coat, sunglasses and an umbrella at all times. Outfit-wise, it can be a confusing time; it's just a bit too hot for a big winter coat, but definitely too cold for a light jacket. The dilemmas we face eh?

Despite the oh-me-oh-my-what-shall-I-wear confusion, I must confess I love in between seasons style.

Why?

Firstly, layers. I love layering up because it gives me the opportunity to wear more of my clothes (yes I really am that easily pleased), experiment with putting them together and then I can remove and add layers throughout the day depending on whatever the weather decides to do. I find that layering at this time of year helps me discover new ways of putting pieces together I wouldn't have thought to before, as well as reintroducing some of my spring/summer clothes into my wardrobe while remaining snug as a bug.

Secondly, mixing and clashing styles. I love a bit of juxtaposition in an outfit (seems like far too fancy a word to describe an outfit but I'm going with it). A chunky knit with a midi skirt is one of my absolute go-to outfits at this time of year and gimme a dress with boots any day. I love pairing things together that shouldn't necessarily work, but really really do. It's the little things eh?

Essentially, I feel like these pockets of in-between-seasons help me experiment with my style and fall in love with clothes I may have become bored of or forgotten about. It makes me feel vaguely Pinterest-worthy and it makes me feel cosy and comfortable yet still stylish and I can't really complain about that can I?

Are you an in-between-seasons style lover or hater?

Amy x



Confession // I'm Looking Forward To My Thirties

 

Yes you read the title right; I'm writing this as a twenty-nine and three month old woman who, unusually, is looking forward to the 'big' 3-0.

We live in a society where getting older is seen as something to be terrified of; our WhatsApp groups are full of friends lamenting 'how did we all get so old?', treatments and surgeries to attempt to stop our faces and bodies in their tracks are becoming the norm and the pressure to have achieved a million milestones by a certain age is intense.

I have less than a year left of my twenties, a decade which is seen as the one in which you 'find yourself', have endless amounts of fun and one to which you will always want to return. But you know what, I'm actually looking forward to waving my twenties goodbye and embracing a fresh decade.

I'm not sure about the whole 'finding myself' thing in the first place; in fact I don't really like the idea of having a set idea of myself for the rest of my life. I'm a big believer that we're always developing and growing as people, but if there were a decade in which I 'find myself' I assume it'll be my thirties rather than my twenties because my sense of self only improves as I get older.

Sure, my twenties have been fun; I've created new friendships as well as strengthening old ones, I've travelled to new places, I've danced until the wee hours, but the idea of my thirties seems more appealing because I feel like they'll matter more.

My thirties will be the decade in which I envision myself being truly settled and content.

My thirties will be the decade in which I'll have children, one way or the other.

My thirties will be the decade in which my friendships will be the strongest because they've stood the test of time (and distance).

My thirties will be the decade I see myself moving somewhere new, furthering my career and beginning a proper side hustle.

My thirties will be the decade in which I hope to finally start loving myself.

And going by that my thirties will be the decade in which I'm my happiest self so why would I not look forward to that?

Amy x