As Victoria prepares to see restrictions lifted following its sixth lockdown, TSG’s editorial team got together to reflect on some of the media that got them through this latest round of isolation. From a book that reimagines the events of the Iliad as an epic and heartbreaking love story, to a show that explores sustainable living (featuring a healthy dose of Zac Efron being his effortlessly cool self) dive into our recommendations for some quality entertainment.
No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering by Thich Nhat Hanh
If you want to get on a bit of a mindfulness buzz, Thich Nhat Hanh’s gentle writing and digestible concepts are for you.
This book is all about accepting suffering through acknowledging that all experiences are valid and necessary for growth.
Almond by Won-Pyung Sohn
Have you ever been curious about what it’s like to live without emotions? To not feel anger, joy, or fear? To not be able to read other people’s emotions? I think this book can give you a little look at what that is like.
Almond tells the story of Yunjae, a 15-year old who has never learned what emotions are and what they feel like because of a medical condition.
He’s witnessed the murder of his grandma and brutal gang beatings, yet felt nothing at all.
It is one of those books that keeps you curious and confused (but maybe it’s just me haha) all throughout.
I’ve read this book a few times already, and still, every time I have different questions. It is a fun and mind-boggling read.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Wow! That is the first word that comes to mind when I reflect on this book. As someone who considers themselves a mediocre bookworm (someone who reads a lot, but slowly), this book was a 10/10 for me.
From the very start, I was gripped, I started to care deeply about Patroclus and Achilles and their adventures together. I felt transported to Ancient Greece, being able to smell the sea and olive trees…OK maybe not that much but truly, this book was amazing for some lockdown escapism.
A love story I never thought I needed in my life, but boy did I! Like I said before, I love to read but I do it pretty slowly. Not this time around however, this book was devoured over two or three days and for me, that shows just how great of a read it truly is.
Do yourself a favour and get your hands on a copy of Madeline Miller’s 10/10 novel The Song of Achilles and maybe, like me, pick up her other novel, Circe, whilst you’re there!
SHANTAL ITE COOL EP by DPR Live
DPR Live and his amazing team have supplied the perfect summer album (in my humble opinion).
From its pre-release teasers to the release of the ‘Summer Tights’ and ‘Boom’ music videos, I could feel the love and the fun that the whole DPR gang had making this one. IITE COOL is a unique genre-bending experience, the perfect blend of alt/indie-pop and hip-hop.
During the latest lockdown, I’ve kept this album on repeat! ‘Boom’ featuring DPR Ian and ‘Yellow Cab’ are my favourite songs on the whole album. But just about every other track on the EP is a few millimetres behind.
This new EP is everything I never knew I wanted from DPR Live and I can’t wait for more!
JEREMY It’s Such a Beautiful Day directed by Don Hertzfeldt
An emotionally dense film on the complicated problem of death, memories, and loneliness. A minimalist story that contains the world.
There is no better movie to have an existential crisis to.
RILEY Shirley directed by Josephine Decker
After reading The Haunting of Hill House last year I became enthralled with Shirley Jackson, and so naturally I was determined to watch Josephine Decker’s fictionalised depiction of the writer (portrayed by the inimitable Elisabeth Moss) in Shirley.
Take the film with a grain of salt though – it’s not a biopic, and the film’s version of Shirley Jackson is written more along the lines of a character from one of the writer’s stories rather than serving as an accurate portrayal of the woman herself.
But the film is less about accuracy than an ode to the intrigue that shrouds a writer like Jackson.
If you love Jackson’s books and short stories, you will love this film, as it blends and visualises all the best elements of her signature style, as though the acclaimed horror writer might have composed the narrative herself.
Down to Earth with Zac Efron
As a lifelong fan of High School Musical when Zac Efron popped up on my Netflix recommended I was already sold.
But I was pleasantly surprised by Zac’s new show. Zac travels around the world with wellness expert and friend Darin Olien.
We follow them as they try to find healthy and sustainable ways to live. I am not ashamed to admit I binged this entire show in one day, it was fun entertainment and it was super interesting to see Zac in an entirely new light.
Drama Queens by Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton Morgan, and Bethany Joy Lenz
With so many teen drama shows becoming all the hype, I find myself being sentimental for the wholesome early 2000 hit shows. As a big fan of One Tree Hill, I can not recommend the Drama Queens podcast enough.
Talking through the ins and outs of the show and the episodes, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lentz, and Sophia Bush (Peyton, Hayley, and Brooke) not only ignite my love for the show but create the kind of conversations I miss having with my friends due to lockdown.