The weather has been dismal, here, throughout the summer months. But, fortunately, right now, we are experiencing a warm plume hovering over the whole country – hoorah! Yes, this is how thankful and desperate we get in the UK to experience a few days of good weather! I have been able to sit outside, reading my books, calmly, instead of dashing indoors to avoid torrential downpours every few minutes. Moving on to today’s post, I’m sharing a few TV series, books and podcasts I have been enjoying. Here are my recommendations:
You don’t have to be a fan of “AC/DC” to enjoy this book. There are three parts to it. Brian’s early life and teenage years, times in the band, “Geordie”, and, lastly, joining AC/DC. In the beginning, he tells us how his parents met. His mum was Italian, and his dad was a WW2 soldier. They got together during the war and fell in love, then returned to Newcastle to begin their lives together. Initially, they had to “live in” with relatives as they had nowhere to stay. Brian describes how bigoted times were for the young family, but, stoicism and northern humour shone through. Brian doesn’t skim over his upbringing. There are some hilarious moments as well as sadness. You can hear his Geordie tones telling you the story in his own way, throughout. As I am from the North East, too, it made me laugh a lot. I found it so very entertaining and a real insight into Brian’s early life in Newcastle when times were hard and the only jobs to look forward to, for many working-class lads, were apprenticeships in the steel works and that was if you were lucky.
Later, when Brian was in his first commercially successful band, “Geordie”, he mentions a night in the late seventies when he was playing a gig at a Working Men’s club at Lobley Hill, Newcastle. Further up the road, at the same time, “AC/DC” were playing at the Newcastle Mayfair, promoting their “Highway to Hell” album. I was there that night at the Mayfair, watching “AC/DC”. My older brother had invited me to join him, along with his girlfriend, and a few others to watch a group in Newcastle. I remember being thrilled that he wanted to take me – I had no idea who the group were and hadn’t really heard of them. He didn’t tell me anything about the band, so everything was a complete surprise. We stood upstairs on the balcony directly overlooking the stage. My brother tucked me in front of him so I had a good view and was shielded from the crowd. Wow! That was my first reaction to their first few songs and, of course, the band, especially Angus, who was only around twenty, at this time, were amazing. I’d never seen anything like them. They were loud, tight, exciting, and fantastic. Angus Young blew me away and is still my favourite guitarist – a true showman and a joy to watch. He performed his usual stunts, flying all over the stage and climbing onto the top of the speaker stacks. The energy he had amazed me and made me smile – still does!! I loved this quote from Brian’s book.
“1) grasp all opportunities and 2) never give up”.
Elvis and Me – Author, Priscilla Beaulieu Presley
Elvis Presley was a little before my time. But, he was one of those larger-than-life characters who fascinated us all, growing up. Over the years, I have seen some good and terrible impersonations, as you probably have, too! With no social media showing us how famous people lived back then, we relied on snippets of their glamorous lives through newspapers and magazines. But, my interest in Elvis was reignited, recently, after I watched the film, “Elvis”, a biographical film directed by Baz Luhrmann, who also co-wrote the screenplay. I enjoyed it, immensely. It portrayed what Elvis’s life was really like. Since then, I have read Linda Thompsons’ book, “A Little Thing Called Life”. Linda had a five-year relationship with Elvis following the end of his marriage to Priscilla. I enjoyed her honest account of her time with him. I am now three-quarters of the way through Priscilla’s autobiography.
This was released in 1986 and, of course, many things have happened in Pricsilla’s life since then, including sadly losing Lisa Marie, earlier this year. Lisa is the daughter she shared with Elvis. This autobiography is covering the Elvis years in her own early life, Again, I am hooked. I enjoyed reading how Priscilla first met Elvis and how their life developed, together. I found there were similarities, relationship-wise, between Priscilla and then Linda. I appreciated their honest accounts of life with Elvis, which certainly wasn’t straightforward and trouble-free. I didn’t realise how young Priscilla was when she initially met Elvis. This book is a page-turner. There is a new biographical film due to be released in the coming months based on this memoir called, “Priscilla”. It is written, directed and co-produced by Sofia Coppola and stars, Cailee Spaeny. I will be watching it!
Samuel Brace from “Accord Marketing” contacted me a few weeks ago to ask if I would like to contribute to an article, entitled, “The Ultimate Guide to Podcasts” that he was writing for “Age UK”. This is my contribution.
Music lovers, and anyone who enjoys getting to know some of the world’s most famous celebrities, will love Desert Island Discs. This is one of the best podcasts presented in a classic format of a celebrity revealing what songs, books, and luxury items they would want to have with them on a desert island.
“I seem to have been listening to these interviews, forever. I’m so pleased they have kept going using the original format. I love hearing about the path-altering memories of others, especially people I have followed in my life. I’m interested in their “life journeys” and musical tastes, which certainly invoke memories for me. Their stories make me laugh, cry, and think about my own life experiences.”
This popular podcast features in-depth interviews on various topics from style and fashion to getting older and finding success, “That’s Not My Age” is hosted by Alyson Walsh.
“Alyson is a journalist who writes for the Guardian as well as her blog, ‘That’s Not My Age’, which I love to read. Her podcast always has interesting guests, such as the famous costume designer, Sandy Powell, who has worked on films such as ‘Gangs of New York’ and ‘The Irishman’. I find her interviews warm, thoughtful, uplifting and, often, funny! And, I always feel as if I’ve learnt something new, afterwards. Give this one a listen – you will be impressed.” Click here if you would like to check the article for more podcast ideas.
TV Series, I’ve been watching.
This series stars Elizabeth Olsen (you may be familiar with Elizabeth’s twin sisters) and Jesse Plemons. I enjoyed watching Jesse in “Breaking Bad” where his performance as Todd Alquist was so impressive. I have looked out for him ever since and I’m really looking forward to seeing him in the new Martin Scorsese film, “Killers of the Flower Moon” when it’s released in the coming months.
“Love and Death” is based on a true story. I began watching this series not knowing anything about the story itself and I won’t spoil it for you, here. But, needless to say, the hint or clues are in the title. Elizabeth Olsen gives a fantastic performance. Her range is wide and she plays her character with finesse. I found all the actors/characters extremely good and of a high calibre – including, Thomas J. Pelphrey – another favourite. You may remember him from “Ozark”, playing Wendy Byrde’s brother. This true account and outstanding cinematography were a joy to watch. I also loved the music played throughout each episode. There were some very unexpected tunes, which were always a nice surprise!! I certainly didn’t expect to hear “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” by Leo Sayer. Give it a watch you won’t be disappointed
When I read the plot for this series, I was shocked by the storyline. It is a tale of manipulation, vulnerability and exploitation with extreme gaslighting thrown into the mix – used by the perpetrator for monetary gain while playing on vulnerable people’s loneliness and isolation.
This results in a gripping police investigation, and then a high-profile trial.
This is a true account of what happened. The writers have used witness statements to keep the story as true to fact as they possibly could. This series has an outstanding cast list – which immediately impressed me and made me think it must be good quality. As, indeed, it is. The story highlights how some people will prey on vulnerability with no conscience at all. I found this a must-watch – as a lesson to us all that not everyone has good intentions.
And, just like that, we are at the end!! There were a few other series and books I have finished but I’ll save them for next review post.
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. All items are my own. Like most blogs, this post may contain affiliate links (from which I might make a small commission if you make a purchase). This helps towards the running costs of my blog.