Watching, listening, reading October

Well, you can really tell it is autumn in the northern hemisphere as all the new series start up, whether that be on terrestrial television, Netflix or whatever.  For us of course it is spring, but the longer days haven’t stopped us from evenings of viewing.  It was also a month for some good reading and listening.  Anyway, here is a roundup of October’s media consumption.


First up, we watched three things on Swedish TV, Spring Tide (Springfloden) a slightly different crime drama involving homeless people, a trainee policewoman and a big corporation.  We still have a few episodes to go, and have no idea how it is going to end.  Recommended for something just a little different.  We also watched the end of the mystery drama, Ångleby, which finished in such a way that a second series could so easily be made, though I am not sure there is one in the pipeline.  Finally, the comedy drama Bonus familjenabout the ins and outs of parents, step parents and the families, proved to be an entertaining series that could easily have a series 2.

The cast and characters in the Swedish Bonus Family

Sticking to comedy for a moment, we watched the latest series of W1Athe hilarious series set in the BBC, with what you feel must be an element of truth about it.  QI is back, and up to the letter O.  Further dramas we are watching are The Last Posta BBC drama which is also being shown here in New Zealand on TV1.  Set during the Aden conflict, it tells the tale of the men and women based there and the various dramas that unfold.  I am sure it is far from being historically accurate, but it is an entertaining enough production.  Designated Survivor rolls on, with some unintentionally funny bits like the assumption that the president will assume that ‘prime minister’ means that of the UK.

Best of all…the return of Stranger Things.  We are only a few episodes in, but loving series 2 so far.  Are you watching it too?


This month’s top podcasts are the mustardswho continue to make me smile, and at least the BBC Radio 4 Friday Night Comedy has a returned to the News Quiz. I’m really enjoying How I Built This with Guy Raz, with its interesting stories of entrepreneurs and their successes and failure.  Highly recommended.  Back to the BBC, and The Digital Human has returned – always fascinating, the series is about humans and their relationship with technology.  There is a big back catalogue here too.

No music sticks in my mind from this past month – guess I love listening to voice so much more these days!


A month of four books and two halves.  First up, two books with a food connection.

Food related reading

The first one is Cooking for Picasso by Camille Aubray, tells of a fictional account of a young woman who cooks for Picasso when he is in the south of France.  The story is also of her granddaughter, who discovers herself as well as about her grandmother.  Well, it was very readable, but with some highly unbelievable things (such as the instant relationship between the granddaughter and a chef, which was seemed like a desperate plot to have a happy ending).  Whoever did the editing needs a grammar lesson, as twice I read New Years, instead of New Year’s Day/Eve/Party or whatever would have been appropriate in the context.  A good beach read though.

The second book by Kiwi writer Steve Braunias was a series of articles about how he ate at all the junk food places on a street in Auckland. Amusing, it is better read in chunks rather than all in one go.

A fine book

So to two books which are definitely going to be on my top ten of 2017.  First, Eleanor Oliphant is Fine.  This is such a brilliant book, gripping, well written and such an amazing tale.  Not only that, it is set in Glasgow.  I would highly recommend this, and give it 5*.

The other book is pictured in the featured image at the top of the post, namely Paul Auster’s 4 3 2 1The only bad things I can think of to say about this is it is heavy to carry around and the overlong descriptions of baseball matches. What a fantastic book.  It is gripping from start to finish, and I really loved the end (no spoilers!). It is the story of Archibald Isaac Ferguson, and the four simultaneous and independent paths the character takes from birth.  It is a magnificent book, which keeps you turning the pages to see what will happen to each variation of Ferguson.

And that’s a wrap for October.  Looking for suggestions for summer reads if anyone has some, and always new and interesting podcasts.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on




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