The best books, podcasts and shows to stream this summer.
Whether you’re looking for a brilliant beach read or on the hunt for a new show to binge this weekend, we’ve got you covered.
Screen and style icon Helen Mirren stars and produces this opulent period piece chronicling the drama and intrigue of the life of Russian empress Catherine the Great. After Catherine’s husband Peter III mysteriously dies, she takes control of the Russian empire. But ruling isn’t all lavish parties and royal feasts; everyone ones a piece of the power, the question is, can Catherine outwit them all? A big budget bodice ripper also starring Rake’s Richard Roxburgh, Catherine The Great is the perfect power-mad epic to fill the Game Of Thrones-shaped space in your life.
Saturday Night Live star Aidy Bryant leads this clever comedy following the life of Annie Easton, an up-and-coming journalist living in America’s hipster capital Portland, Oregon. Annie loves her life and her curves but is constantly told by the people around her – from family to co-workers – she doesn’t fit in. Tackling body image, feminism and sexuality, Shrill is an empowering portrayal of being plus size and proud in a sample size world.
After breakfast TV host Mitch Kessler (played by Steve Carrell) is dismissed following allegations of sexual misconduct, the cast and crew of America’s top morning TV program struggle to keep the show afloat amid a sea of network politics, rapidly shifting social norms and big egos. Offering a fascinating look into the cut-throat world of morning TV in a post #MeToo world, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston head up an all-star cast in one of the most hotly anticipated shows of the year.
Magazine editors Lisa Sinclair and Claire Isaac discuss the trials and tribulations of life after 45, covering everything from fashion and beauty trends to food fads and social faux pas in this brand new smash hit Aussie podcast. With segments including What Hurts Now and Culture Club, Playing Devils Avocado is like listening in on a weekly catch up with old friends. Tune in on public transport at your own risk: you won’t be able to stop yourself LOL.
Taking inspiration from legendary Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown’s ethos of covering high and low news and culture, British journalists Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton discuss the biggest news of the week from celebrity breakups to global political developments. A brilliant snapshot of what’s happening in the world delivered by two of Britain’s most exciting new voices, the High Low is as entertaining as it is informative.
Stylists Kerrie Anne Jones and Jono Fleming interview some of the most illustrious names in the interiors world to discover the story behind your favourite brands. Offering a fascinating and rare glimpse into the lives of some of the biggest names in the business (think The Block’s Neale Whittaker, Grandiflora’s Saskia Havekes and Kip & Co’s Alex McCabe) it’s a must listen for anyone obsessed with home decor.
The debut novel by former GQ writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Fleishman Is In Trouble follows the aftermath of a New York couple’s split, told from both the male and female perspectives. The result is an intelligent exploration of the differences between men and women and how we deal with love, loss and human conflict. Discover why Taffy’s funny, punchy prose has earned her “Next Big Thing” status and garnered major kudos in literary circles.
Chick lit superstar (author of Me Before You) Jojo Moyes brings her signature easy-to-read style to historical fiction in this page-turner set in 1930s Kentucky. Following the story of five women who work as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s travelling library (which was a real initiative), it’s got all the makings of a sweeping historical epic celebrating love, resilience and the unstoppable power of women working together.
Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert masterfully paints a portrait of 1940s New York oozing glamour and romance in her latest novel City Of Girls. The tale follows the life of Vivian Morris, a young woman sent to New York to make good working as a seamstress for her Aunt Peg’s theatre. What begins as a punitive posting soon becomes the best thing that could have happened to Vivian who wholeheartedly embraces all the trappings that come with a life in showbusiness.
Images courtesy of hbo, sbs, mamamia, wsfm, elle, the interiors addict, amazon.