What I’m reading, watching & listening to

It’s been a while since I have done one of these friends, and I must say I have been reading with GUSTO since the start of the year. Something about hiding from the world, or just wanting to be off social media, the hot weather and being stuck indoors with no motivation to go outside with actual people (my poor children) well it means that I have been powering through books and bad TV. Music has been trickier for me as it means that I cry, A LOT, so I haven’t been doing much of that – least of all dancing. One day I will start dancing again. It’s not right now, that’s for sure.


I have been busy in this regard and it has been so good. Every time someone recommends something to me, I always take a screen shot or add it as a note to my phone so that when I am doing a Booktopia order or am in a book shop then I just open it up and voila! Pretty much every book I read is a recommendation from someone. I especially love our local book shop where I go in and just say choose 3 for me you loved. I rarely read the blurbs on the back too I just jump right in. So here is what has been happening over the past 6 weeks or so.

The top picks from this bunch (copy and paste into your notes of your phone right now friends):

Nothing to see Here by Kevin Wilson
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Your Own kind of Girl by Clare Bowditch
The Diary of a Nobody

You can read all my reviews for these on Instagram under the Hashtag #babymacreads and you can see ALL of the books that I have read over the past few years along with star ratings. My faves are all 4 stars or above. I have loved losing myself in between pages again and being caught up in stories and fantasy and PEOPLE rather than mindless scrolling. I have been reading before bed, and reading when I get up (mostly because I haven’t really had to work) but it’s been so good. Harper made a chart for us to read 20 books in 2020 and I am on track with 7 read so far. I do know that my mojo will ebb and flow as the year does and one bad book will set me right off track.


We have also hit Netflix with gusto for all the reasons that I mentioned before. Escapism, heat etc. And there have been a heap of movies land online too that I had been wanting to see at the movies but never got round to.

The Joker: Rob (Daisy: she probably shouldn’t have seen it but her young mind was blown away) and I watched this together and boy was it a cracker. SO SO depressing: reflecting the current state of lots of our cities with violence and mental health and a stunning performance from Joaquin Phoenix it’s really worth watching. You will be on edge and feel woozy the entire time (well we all did) but I still think about it weeks later – I always reckon that means it was a good one.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Rob and I really enjoyed this one – he is a huge Quentin fan and this one lived up to the expectation. A love note to film making in Hollywood and even if that isn’t your thing it has Brad who is looking pretty sch-weeeet. It’s slow, but that’s the point. I loved it.

The Crown Series 3: we are stuck on this one as we are still at the beginning where it is kind of slow but we must get back into it. As well as my podcast I know I KNOW we need to do this. I promise we will….next week!

Cheer (Netflix): Rob, Harper and I loved this one and smashed it out over the past week on Netflix. Such a great doco whether you like Cheerleading or not as it’s the kids and their stories that pull you right in. We loved it.

Very Cavalleri season 3 (Hayu, Foxtel): This is a guilty pleasure of mine as I love reality TV and Kirsten is an old fave from her time on the Hills which I also loved. You should follow her friend Justin Anderson who is on the show on Instagram, he is pure joy. This is junk TV, but I love it and I won’t hear a bad word said against it. I also have been churning through back catalogues on Hayu when I am extra sad as it washed right over you. It’s medicinal I tell you.

Miss Americana (Netflix): Harper and I watched this the other morning and loved it. It’s rated M (but I think it’s because she swears twice in it, that’s it!) but it’s a great behind the scene look into the pressure of the music industry and opens up some great conversations. Harper loved it and loves taking about it to everyone.


I have to say that things have been slow on this front as they have been SAD songs and I find myself crying at just about every song that I listen to. I’m useless! We have also been working on funeral music and listening to a lot of Rob’s Dad’s favourite tunes. Some of those have been:

I guess that’s why they call it the Blues, Elton John
Wild Horses, The Rolling Stones
Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits
Forever Young, Bob Dylan
Magic Time, Van Morrison

See? SO SAD. Can’t stop crying every time I hear one of these.

But that’s enough about ME, tell me everything. What have you been…
Listening to?


  1. Books, books books it’s been a summer for reading: Where The Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens, The lost flowers of Alice Hart, Holly Ringland, Silver, Chris Hamner,Warlight, Michael Ondjartie,Normal People, Sally Rooney. I also loved The Weekend and the Dutch House, yay for hot weather and good books.

  2. Oh gosh , was so excited to read this, same tastes then got to pet of music and an arrow through my heart, such beautiful songs. Your Father in law that great taste and having followed you forever, he sounded like a great and generous man. Take care into 2020

  3. I always love your book recommendations! My summer reading has been filled with them.
    Watching- Morning Wars in unbelievable!! We absolutely loved it. We did an apple streaming free trial and smashed it out!
    Also watched new Netflix doco on Dolly Parton. One of my favourite parts is watching Jane Fonda openly cry as she describes the effect Dolly has on people, great viewing

    • Loved Morning Wars too! Great acting by the cast and a good story line, I cried like a baby in the season finale, can’t wait til the next one.

  4. Thanks for your book reading hashtag! I’ll follow along keenly as I’m always looking for book recommendations. I’m reading Three Woman. Finally getting around to it after all the hype. I am keen to get onto The Dutch House & The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo tho. I’m watching The Affair season 5 on Foxtel, The Commons on Stan and always looking for the next hot thing!

  5. I am, as usual, all about books, music & podcasts. For some reason TV & movies are just not my thing. BUT. I will say that Tim & I spend Friday night eatching this show Ridiculousness on MTV & I know I shouldn’t like it but I laugh soooooo much. It’s essentially a modern Funniest Home Videos & I love it because I don’t have to think, I just watch, laugh & laugh some more.
    Book wise I read 11 books over January & by far the Bronze Horseman series absolutely captivated like nothing else. The are MANMOTH books, each network 500-750 pages of teeny tiny print but I knocked all 3 over on 13 days. I haven’t been able to pick anything up since because it’ll take me a long time to step out of that world. If you want an epic love story that you won’t be able to put down I recommend those.
    Music, well it was hottest 100 month so I had a few playlists on high rotation filled with my fave songs of last year & then one that had mine & my mates faves in it. I shared them on my blog if you want some music that won’t make you cry x
    Podcast arenlike my friends, they keep me company everyday. Listened to BBC foods ep with Mary Berry yesterday & How to Fail ep with Tom Kerridge. Both good. Loved listening to Mamamia Book Club over January. And I dip in out of The Signal & The Quicky for some news hits every week.
    We watched the Joker at the movies. I didn’t want to because my eldest had gone to see it twice & it sounded way too dark & scary for me but I really enjoyed it. Such a gritty story filled with so many truths about society & us humans.

  6. Thanks for your #babymacreads
    You got me buying & reading Your Own Kinda Girl by Clare Bowditch; after reading the comments on your Instagram post. Since buying it on Saturday I am two thirds through already; and loving her very real and raw and at times, familiar, battle of the mind, relatable to the environment of the times we grew up in!

  7. Love all books by Australian crime suspense author living on the northern beaches, Micheal Robotham.

  8. I watched the Taylor Swift doco last night and really enjoyed it! It was sad to see how much crap she has put up with, the professional and personal attacks (and a lot from other women!), but I came away feeling so pleased that she has finally started to come into her own as an adult. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

  9. I managed to get through 4 books this January. By far my favourite was All the ugly and wonderful things – the storyline can be challenging at times but it was so beautiful and really grabbed my heart. I also enjoyed Regretting You by Colleen Hoover – whatever genre she decides to write a novel in I seem to enjoy.

  10. Thanks for sharing all your cultural insights. – you’ve certainly seen, read and listened to a lot of stuff. I’m not a fan of Taylor’s music but I’m finding the doco intriguing – she’s a talented and committed musician but achieving success so young has led to a very unusual and challenging life, despite wealth and fame. Loved The Crown, it definitely picks up after a slow start to Season 3. I loved Marriage Story and enjoyed The Irishman but my favourite recent TV was Morning Wars, which we all watched together and can’t wait or the next season. In terms of books, I’m loving The Library Book about a devastating fire in the Los Angeles central library in April 1986, which happened the same day as the Chernobyl nuclear accident so news coverage of it was not as extensive as it might have been. I also enjoyed John Boyne’s A Ladder to the Sky. He wrote The Boy in the Striped
    Pyjamas (which I’ve not read) but this one is about the lengths people go to to become successful authors – great commentary on the world of publishing and insights into the lies we tell ourselves to justify the unjustifiable. Keep reading, watching and listening – they’re all great ways to switch off!

  11. merry christmas!

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