I had some requests for recommendations on things to read and watch this summer. We watch a fair amount of tv—a little bit each night we’re at home, usually a show or two. But, I just want to put a disclaimer with this list—it’s pretty basic! To be honest, when I watch TV or movies I’m usually working at the same time so I half watch/fully listen. And I love reading whenever I can on the weekends but I do it as an escape, not as “work”. So, take this list with a grain of salt! These are what I remember as being recent favorites, I’ll try and update this list each quarter to keep it fresh.
The Female Persuasion: A Novel
This is about Greer Kadetsky, a shy college freshman and the woman she meets that she hopes will change her life, Faith Frank, who is a central pillar of the women’s movement. Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, Greer— in love with her boyfriend, Cory, but still searching for an ambition that she can’t quite place—is inspired, and changes her entire journey.
Meghan: A Hollywood Princess
You know I love Meghan and Harry and I just discovered this biography of her, written by the well-known royal biographer Andrew Morton! He goes back to Meghan’s roots, interviewing those closest to her to uncover the story of her childhood—growing up in The Valley in LA, studying at an all-girls Catholic school, her breakout into acting, and her previous marriage and divorce in 2013. It finishes with an account of her romance with Prince Harry and reflects on the impact that Meghan has already made on the traditions of the House of Windsor and what the future might hold. I’m going to check this one out soon.
I read this last year and this book was SO good! A true recount of professional journalist and amateur drinker Bianca Bosker who didn’t know much about wine, until she discovered an alternate universe of elite sommeliers who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of flavor, and she got HOOKED. She was astounded by their sensory powers, so she set out to uncover what drove their obsession, and whether she, too, could become a “cork dork.” She’s sarcastic and funny, and this makes for a great read and a super-interesting true story!
Tangerine: A Novel
If you loved the the twists of Gone Girl, then you will love this drama about friendship and marriage. Alice Shipley and her husband have moved to Morocco, where Alice is struggling to adjust. An old friend unexpectedly visits Alice, and soon after, Alice’s husband mysteriously disappears—leaving Alice to wonder if her old friend is to blame. This book was recently optioned for a movie starring Scarlet Johannson and it is a real page-turner!
Love and Ruin: A Novel
This book was similar to The Paris Wife, and is by the same author. It tells the story of Ernest Hemingway’s tumultuous romantic life, and chronicles his famously passionate, stormy relationship with Martha Gellhorn, who came to Madrid as a young reporter eager to prove herself. Along the way, she falls in love with a handsome, successful writer, and the rest is history.
When Life Gives You Lululemons
This is the new book by the author of The Devil Wears Prada. It catches up with assistant Emily Charlton, who’s left Miranda behind to build a career as a publicist to Hollywood’s elite. But when she finds herself dealing with a fallen supermodel in Connecticut, she’ll realize that Miranda isn’t just part of her past, but in fact could become a valuable ally. This is a light, great poolside read—my favorite kind!
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
Kitchen Confidential follows Chef Anthony Bourdain as he covers the wild-but-true tales of the culinary trade exposing the Manhattan restaurant business (and the cooking life) by the executive chef at the Brasserie Les Halles. This book popped back up into popularity after Bourdain’s death and it really is a good one if you are a fan of Bourdain!
Watch – TV
The Looming Tower
A recent miniseries favorite! Based on the Lawrence Wright book about the events that led up to the 9/11 attacks, this stars Jeff Daniels and Peter Sarsgaard as dueling FBI and CIA investigators. ” It traces the rising threat of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida in the late ’90s and how a rivalry between the FBI and CIA during the time period may have inadvertently set the path for the attacks of 9/11.
Season 3 of Billions recently released and it’s as good as the first two! Lots of wealth, influence and corruption as shrewd U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades continues to be embroiled in a high-stakes game of predator vs. prey with Bobby Axelrod, the hedge-fund king. You also see lots of their home and personal lives affecting the twists and turns at work.
We love the Americans! Keri Russell and her husband are Russian spies in an arranged marriage living in the suburban US. There have been several seasons now, the latest, set in September 1987, a few months ahead of the Washington Summit meeting between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. The Americans always brings lots of action and really great storylines.
Thank goodness we recently discovered Ray Donovan because there are like 5 seasons so it’s keeping us going for a while! Ray Donovan is a “fixer” for Hollywood’s elite. He is the go-to guy that celebrities, athletes and business moguls call to make their problems disappear. It’s a much more lucrative job than his previous work as a ruthless South Boston thug, vaulting him within reach of the truly wealthy and powerful, which of course causes its fair share of problems in itself.
We also just finished Season 2 of Marcella. This is a British noir detective series (I love British crime TV!) and she is police detective working in contemporary London. In this season, the body of a missing child is discovered inside a wall and a task force is assembled to catch the killer. A complex set of characters from all walks of life and interweaving storylines take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride with turns at every corner. It is a real nail-biter!
Watch – Movies
Eric Clapton Life in 12 Bars
This documentary was very cool. It showcases Eric Clapton’s role in contemporary music and cultural history told through his own words. They cover his traumatic childhood, his difficult struggle with drugs and alcohol, the loss of his son and how he always found his inner strength and healing in music. It features extensive interviews with Clapton himself, along with his family, friends, musical collaborators, contemporaries and heroes—including late music icons B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison.
Black Panther is a Marvel Studios movie about a son who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. Drama with an enemy ensues to put the kingdom at risk and causes the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life. This was the 9th highest grossing movie of all time! We really liked it.
Whether or not you like Tom Cruise, this is a good movie. The true story of Barry Seal, a TWA pilot, is recruited by the CIA to provide reconnaissance on the communist threat in Central America and soon finds himself in charge of one of the biggest covert CIA operations in the history of the United States. He gets in DEEP. The operation spawns the birth of the Medellin cartel and almost brings down the Reagan White House.
Other all time favorites that I didn’t mention because they aren’t ones I’m watching “right now”—but goodies:
House of Cards | Veep | The Crown | Homeland | Somm
Tell me if you have any great shows I should try, as I’m always looking! Happy binging and have a great rest of your week!
Thank you love! I needed a big list that I could watch with my boyfriend, this seems like it has some good co-ed options!
Yes, I get it – I always look for the same! Glad you liked! xx