WHAT a year the Queen has had – with family scandal after scandal AND losing her beloved husband, the man who stood by her side for a staggering 73 years. Strangely, although we celebrate her birthday here (on a day that’s not even her birthday??), she doesn’t get a day off in the UK! But I hope when she does get a day off she puts her feet up and has a cuppa for a well-deserved rest. Which could also be the PERFECT plan for us here in NZ during a drizzly, cold long weekend!
If you’re curling up this weekend, we’ve got your picks for the best things to watch, read and listen to – or if you’re hitting the road for a getaway (see you in traffic!) the podcast recommendation could come in handy!
Legacy, by Nora Roberts
This best-seller gets off with a bang. We meet Lina, in the grips of trying to protect her young daughter, Adrian, as her father storms into her home. It’s the first time he’s met her – and, he leaves quite the impression, trying to kill her during a violent struggle.
Lina soon after leaves Adrian with her grandparents, as she takes off for the summer to promote her billion-dollar fitness brand. It’s a career path Lina soon takes up herself – but 10 years later the mother and daughter are no longer close… although they are soon brought together by a series of death threats, which quickly escalate.
Somehow Nora Roberts has written an outrageous number of books – now more than TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE! She writes gorgeous, rich novels with beautifully written characters who have depth and real believability. She’s best known for her romance novels – which this one strays from the plot on! – but you may have read one of her novels under her pen-name, J D Robb.
High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America (Netflix)
My love for a food/travel show knows absolute no bounds but this four-part series that’s just landed on Netflix is so beautifully made, so informative and so incredibly moving that High on the Hog has now leap-frogged its way to the top of my list. Chef and writer Stephen Satterfield traces the lineage of African-American cooking right back from its roots in Africa, following the journey that enslaved people were taken on after being captured from their hometowns and forced to work in America. Based on the award-winning book by Dr Jessica B Harris, this series shows how so much the American cuisine owes to the talents of the African American community, from the BBQ traditions of the south to iconic ‘American’ meals like ice cream and mac’n’cheese. The show doesn’t shy away from the Founding Fathers use and abuse of enslaved people, or the fact that it’s white people who are still making the most money off African American foods. It’s also at times incredibly wrenching to watch, but the rough history is balanced with the joy and community these foods still bring. Host Stephen is also a) veerry handsome (not the point but it doesn’t hurt) and b) bound to be a star – he’s has the humour and knowledge of the beloved late Anthony Bourdain, but his personal connection to the subject matter makes this even more moving. Exceptional television!
We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle (Podcast)
If you’re familiar with self-help guru Glennon Doyle, or have read her best-selling book, Untamed, you’ll likely have heard one of her mantras – ‘We can do hard things’.
Now, Glennon has opened up her life even further (and given us the gift of introducing us to her sister, Amanda, – the woman she goes to for advice and wisdom). This glorious wee podcast is still just in its infancy with just four episodes available, but my god it’s good. Glennon is a master at creating intimacy between herself and her reader – and she’s quickly proven that she can take it to a whole new level, when connecting through a podcast.
Each episode they kick off with talking about what their “hard thing” has been for the week, before discussing a new topic – so far we’ve had Anxiety, Boundaries, Infidelity (it is one EXPLOSIVE episode, let me tell you) and Fun (I have it queued up for my road trip!), reflecting on their own experiences. Then they take on a Q&A segment, before issuing a bit of homework for the week. I 100% recommend!