Give me a second to sound like every person you’re gonna come into contact with today… Can you believe January is over already?! To be honest, I’m glad it is. January is hard for everyone, and even though my birthday falls in the month, I find it a struggle. Gone is the comforting twinkle of Christmas lights and the promise of good cheer, only to be replaced by a barrage of Weight Watchers adverts and ‘New Year, New You’, bullshit.
To get away from that nonsense, I immersed myself in podcasts, books, films and TV that brought me joy. In this post, I’m gonna be sharing some of those gems with you!
This is a podcast for people obsessed with books. Bethany and Alice are a charming duo whose love of literature in all its forms is so palpable and joyous that listening to the podcast is a sheer pleasure. Each week the pair cover a different topic ranging from broad (true crime) to pretty niche (thrillers set outdoors). I literally can’t get through an episode without furiously adding to my Amazon wishlist. The podcast is available on iTunes or your favourite podcast app, and be sure to give the chuckle sisters a 5-star review.
I’ll be the first to say that this podcast is not everyone’s cup of tea, but over time I’ve found that it really, really is mine. It’s a good combination of dumb gross boy humour and thoroughly researched true crime and supernatural stories. Right now they’re covering the Jonestown Massacre in what I believe is going to be a 5-parter. They’ve covered the big hitter serial killers, including Ed Kemper and Jack the Ripper, as well as the Enfield Poltergeist. One of my highlights has to be when they played a game called ‘Cat or Demon’. Hail yourselves.
Fact of a Body - Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
So I originally started trying to read this in November last year after hearing about it on the What Page podcast, but life got in the way and I wasn’t able to finish it. I got the audiobook at the start of this month, allowing me to listen as I pottered around baking and doing laundry. This book wasn't the play by play I'd expected. As a reader, you delve into Alexandria's life as much as the subject of the book, and some of the details are alarming. This book is gripping and emotional, and will make you think in uncomfortable and possibly new ways.
In Praise of Women’s Bodies - Gloria Steinem
Technically we’d call this an essay, but I’m throwing it in with the books. I know I’m behind, but this was the first Gloria Steinem essay I’d ever read and I was so pumped up after reading it. Steinem writes so wonderfully about the need to be exposed to diverse bodies. I’d highly recommend giving this a read. Incidentally, it’s available on Kindle Unlimited with a free Audible version!
Sarah is a gem, and her blog has been my happy place for a few months. Her style is a blend of effortless, timeless chic and forward thinking ideas. She also writes awesome content like 10 Things You Need to Hear This January and Wearing Clothes That Bring You Joy. If you’re not on the Velveteen Train, you need to get on it.
THE TENSION!!! If you haven’t seen this yet, you need to catch up on BBC iPlayer. I can’t say a lot without giving half the show away, but let me try and summarise. Alex is a little banker man whose family are part of the Russian mafia. Alex becomes embroiled in some pretty intense drama after witnessing something horrible, and chaos ensues. If you can’t stomach violence, then this won’t be the show for you, but if you can then it’s worth the flinching.
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA
An oldie but a goodie. If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that I recently got into this show after clips came up on my recommendations feature on YouTube. This show is equal parts gross and hilarious, and I love it. Gordon Ramsay doesn’t get anywhere near as angry as he has the right to sometimes, and I find him adorable. I wish I had his confidence. In fact, I think I might add a picture of him to my vision board.
The Last Jedi
I saw this when it came out in December, but I’ve seen it a further 3 times since then so I’m including it in my January favourites. A lot of people hate this film, but I am a huge fan, mostly due to the Kylo Ren story arc. A lot of characters were fleshed out in this movie, but Kylo Ren (along with Rey) was one of the most deeply explored. I have my theories about Rey and Ren (so much so that I could legitimately make a powerpoint presentation about it), but I’ll save those for another day.
I’ve tried a lot of photo editing apps, but this is the best. It has so many different filter options that you can edit further. You can crop, rotate, skew and add frames. You can also save recipes, so if you have an edit that you’re particularly in love with, you can save it for next time!
I am a total non-fiction junkie, but quite frankly there are not enough hours in the day to read all of the books I want to. So when I found Blinkist, I was hooked. This app distils non-fiction books into summaries, or blinks, all sandwiched together to make a book that is no longer than 15 minutes. This app lets you read a detailed summary of the book for free, and then you can decide if you want to purchase it or not. They have a free daily blink, and other blinks that you can purchase through the app.
So there you have it! January was low key, but I think I found some good things in amongst the fog. What were your favourite things this January?