For me, a particularly enjoyable part of travelling is having plenty of time to get stuck into a good book. Normal, every day life can get hectic and overwhelming, often not leaving me with as much time as I would like for reading. Whether it’s a long weekend away, travel for work or an extended trip like I’m currently doing (especially when lying on a beach), I like to make a conscious effort to read as much as I can.
In addition to books, I’ve also had more time to get engrossed in TV series. Curling up to a couple of episodes of an enthralling TV series is a great way to wind down after a busy day.
I’ve never been one to go to cinema very often, however that seems to have changed while I’ve been away. It is probably something to do with the fact that the cinema is significantly cheaper in SE Asia than in the UK. I have loved being able to see the latest movies without feeling like I need to eat baked beans for the rest of the month.
As part of recording my journey and experiences, the inclusion of this seems apt. I always appreciate getting recommendations and inspiration for what to read/watch next from other blogs. It only seems fair to return the favour. Don’t worry though, I won’t give too much away!
Deception Point by Dan Brown
Like most of Dan Brown’s books, Deception Point was definitely a page turner. Unlike the Robert Langdon series, this story was about a breakthrough NASA discovery. It is full of conspiracy, intricacies of American politics and plenty of suspense. Each chapter focusses on a different character’s story adding to the suspense with the gradual reveal of each plot point. The story was crammed with so many twists and turns that I actually ended up getting a bit dizzy after each new revelation. Nevertheless I loved the concept and plot development of NASA’s discovery and the successive realisations.
My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood
I was honestly so shaken after reading this book. The story centres on a war journalist who returns home after hearing about the passing of her Mother. When things seem amiss at home and she believes a little boy is in danger she is determined to investigate further. The story is compelling and combines numerous difficult but essential themes. These include topics such as the realities of war in Syria, domestic and psychological abuse, alcoholism and much more. I don’t want to give away anymore details but believe me, you will be gripped the whole way through.
The Bat by Jo Nesbo
This is the first book of the Harry Hole series. It is about a Norwegian police investigator, Harry Hole, who travels to Australia to investigate the murder of a young Norwegian woman. The story moved at a leisurely pace but was spurred on with a couple of shocking moments. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending, however the inclusion of Aboriginal history made it an interesting read. It captures the political struggles faced by Aboriginals and how they were treated both in the past and present. The addition of Aboriginal Dreamtime stories also adds an interesting, spiritual dimension to the novel.
Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris
Behind Closed Doors is one of the best psychological thrillers I have read recently. It is the story of a married couple, Jack and Grace. On the outside their marriage appears to be picture perfect. However in reality no-one could even begin to imagine the nightmare that Grace’s life has become and the horrors she faces every second of every day. I think I managed to read this in about two days. I just had to know what was going to happen next. The chapters alternate between the past and present revealing the reality of Jack and Grace’s marriage piece by piece. I had no choice but to race through the book to put together the puzzle as quickly as possible. The book was exhilarating from beginning to end!
I am a big fan of the Marvel movies so was excited to was excited to hear about the release of Thor Ragnorak. I’ve been on the road for a couple of months now so I hadn’t seen any of the trailers and didn’t know what to expect. In this Thor instalment, Thor and Loki must join forces to face their evil sister Hela, the Goddess of Death . It is definitely a lot more goofy than the other Marvel movies where we see a much more comedic side of Thor. The whole thing is incredibly charming and entertaining. The scenes are visually spectacular with vibrant, colourful visuals and incredible costumes. The introduction of Hela and Valkyrie was awesome; two strong, badass female characters I look forward to seeing more of.
Blade Runner 2049
I haven’t actually seen the original Blade Runner movie so was unfamiliar with the whole dystopian future setting and Blade Runner concept. Regardless, it was easy enough for me to follow what was going on. There was also a very useful synopsis at the beginning for people in my shoes. Whilst the storyline was exciting and had enough to keep me hooked, I was way more impressed by the cinematography. It is an absolute masterpiece with breathtaking scenes, stunning wide shots and incredible special effects. Definitely one for the cinema!
Please, please go see this! Coco is a Pixar movie set in Mexico on Dia de los Muertos. It is the story of Miguel, a young boy who dreams of pursuing his desire to become a musician. This is a future forbidden by his family. His struggle to prove himself as a musician ends up transporting Miguel to the land of the dead. Pixar did an incredible job at making the land of the dead really come to life. It is a work of art splashed with colour, music and good old Pixar humour. The story itself is clever, heartwarming and affirms the importance of family throughout. Definitely one for children and adults alike. You will almost certainly leave the cinema with tears in your eyes. I might actually go as far as making the bold statement that it is my favourite Pixar movie!
Stranger Things 2
Now everyone knows Stranger Things is awesome and Season 2 was no exception. With a similarly addictive storyline, it didn’t take me long to get through all the episodes. Will has rejoined his friends after being trapped in the Upside Down in the first series. He has by no means recovered from this ordeal as this series follows his past catching up and literally inhabit him. That kid really does lead a tough life! Eleven has started stringing sentences together and we learn more about her past and the extent of her powers. Season 2 had a lot to live up to and certainly didn’t disappoint. Although saying that, was anyone else a bit unsure about the Lost Sister?
Line of Duty (Series 1 & 2)
A BBC television series which follows cases faced by the police’s anti-corruption unit. The series’ are controversial, thrilling and full of exhilarating plot twists. They seriously know how to end an episode on a cliffhanger. There is a strong emphasis on the difficult decisions faced by police when it comes to balancing their personal lives and internal police politics with catching the bad guys. I enjoyed the links between the two series and can’t wait to see what the next series have in store.
And now over to you… I would love to hear your recommendations to keep me going through December!