Words on Wednesday: reading, watching, listening

I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to believe we are half way through the year already. Today is in fact the 181st day of the year, only 184 more to go until 2022! I started the month of June, full of good intentions, with a to do list of important and not so important things. Not one has been ticked off – why I cannot say but it was rather disheartening to say the least. I guess I don’t have to make up a list for July though.

However, I did manage to read six books, which given I more or less only read on weekends and Wednesdays, isn’t too bad. I read two more books by Australian crime writer Jane Harper: Force of Nature (not in the picture as a friend has borrowed it) and the The Lost Man. Both were really good, but The Lost Man was my favourite of the two. Set in the outback, it tells the story of the death of one of three brothers and the mystery surrounding the event.

I also really enjoyed Curtis Sittenfeld’s American Wife, the tale of a woman who marries a man who becomes president of the USA. It is a sweeping family drama, and I couldn’t put it down. The next theme for our work book club is music, and I picked Lullaby Beach by Stella Duffy, another family drama. After the death of their aunt, two sisters discover a lot about her past. Not always an easy read due to what they uncover, but I still enjoyed the book as it was well written and the characters explored in depth.

In complete contrast, the wonderful collection of essays in In the Kitchen was a real delight, and highly recommended if you are interested in food writing, or just good essays. Finally, another book featuring a lot of food, Hiromi Kawakami’s Strange Weather in Tokyo about the relationship between an older man and a younger woman and how it evolves. It was hard to pick a favourite this month as I enjoyed them all, but the prize for best cover goes to In the Kitchen without a doubt.

And so to what we watched. We managed one trip to the cinema this month to see the French film A Friendly Tale which we really enjoyed (and which I did mention in an earlier post this month). On the small screen at home, there have been some episodes of old British comedies (such as Yes Minister which is still as relevant today in many ways, and also shows how much things have changed), the Icelandic ghost story/mystery Katla which is a real binge watch series, and we have discovered several years after it was first shown, the Israeli drama Shtisel about an Orthodox family in Jerusalem which we are really enjoying.

As for listening, well I like to listen to things when I am cooking, cleaning or doing a dull task at work. I often turning to BBC Sounds for a wide range of old comedies and dramas, with old and new favourites to listen to. I have so many episodes of the ABC series Conversations to catch up on that it is hard to know where to start, but I caught up on a 2019 episode which was re-broadcast recently about the fire at the Los Angeles library. Carol Ann Siciliano over at Fashioned For Joy recommended a book about this event to me a while back, so it was interesting to hear the story on the podcast. I also really enjoyed the first episode of a new podcast from journalist Grace Dent, Comfort Eating.

What have you been reading, watching and listening to in June?

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 thistlesandkiwis@gmail.com


  1. Thanks for the suggestions, always good to get recommendations on books and podcasts ….not to mention movies and music. I think the book ”In the Kitchen” would make a good present for my sister-in-law, who is retired now, but was a food editor….she has so many stories to tell!
    You’ve done very well to read so many books… I’m way behind.

    Liked by 1 person

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