January Favourites [Books and Podcasts]


Over the Christmas holiday, I was able to make proper use of my time even more whilst relaxing. Some of the things I have mentioned earlier but others, such as listening to more podcasts and books that I wanted to finish are in this post. 

I regularly listen to audiobooks and podcasts, as it’s the perfect way for me to get through my cycling workout in the morning. From language podcasts to random scientific radio interviews, I love to delve into subjects that I am passionate about. These below, however, are just a few books and podcasts that I listened to in the past several months. There are others that I will try to post later on in the year. 

I don’t usually enjoy watching thrillers or horror, but I do love reading a good mystery or true crime book, or listening to rather of late. This is no exception. West Cork is a book that I started prior to Christmas; the tale of a mysterious murder in the countryside. 
This was not a typical case though ...

Since this book is based on an actual crime and murder case, it’s even more intense. I know loads of films and series often are based on reality so that did not bother me but it was a little disturbing to know that this was an actual case. I was unaware of this story prior to reading about it. This is a dark spiralling story full of twists and turns, about Sophie Toscan du Plantier, a French woman who lived near Schull, a small town in West Cork, Ireland. She was murdered just before Christmas in 1996. 

I thought overall, this audiobook was well-done, the production is of a podcast-esque style. It is captivating, disturbing and suspenseful. If you like crime and mystery, this will be of interest — the fact that it was and is still an actual case, with trial updates happening soon; the story is gripping from the beginning.  

*2019/2020 Updates: View the current update about this case and Ian Bailey here 
Listen to it here or here.
You’re Dead To Me (YDTM) - ‘It’s history for people who don’t like history! 

Not so oldie but goodie podcast, YDTM is intelligent, hilarious and will engage you from the start. This BBC podcast by Greg Jenner, a public historian is for everyone but with a specific lean toward entertaining and educating those who tend to not be keen on history. Although the podcast is also for people who love history; it’s well-researched and you can guarantee a good laugh before the ending.  

Each episode includes two guests, an expert historian, and a known comedian. The Victorian Christmas episode, as well as, the Harriet Tubman episode were my favourite episodes, although Stonehenge and Blackbeard are also deeply interesting. View it here on Radio 4.

Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets 

I picked this one up earlier, I think the day that it launched and then tabled it. This podcast uncovers secrets and diverse tales be it historic, scandalous, malice, murderous and of sexual nature during the Victorian era, amongst others.  

Although harrowing at times, the content is witty and full of humour nonetheless. There are times to be cautious because of the subject matter in some episodes particularly, I’d say it’s not for the faint of heart nor is it entirely family-friendly, just an outline for courteous notation. Often times, some may think to be slightly deplorable due to intricate details described, however, overall, I enjoyed the series. It’s entertaining and informative and you will find yourself educated about bits of the Victorian era that you already learned, or thought you knew. View it here.

What have you been listening to or reading? 

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