Lifestyle Monthly Favourites

May Favourites 2021


Gangsta’s Paradise – Robyn Adele Anderson

This 1920s inspired cover of Coolio’s song of the same name is such a refreshing musical choice and reminds me of something that could be played in an episode of a historical detective television series.

Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White – Perez Prado

Perez Prado has been called the ”King of Mambo’ and rightfully so. This 1955 song peaked at No. 1 on US Billboard and is a wonderful combination of big band elements with Latin influences.

Rose Garden – Lynn Anderson

I was familiar with this particular song since it featured on a lot of series I watched as a child. However I never knew its title until now that I found it in my Youtube recommended list.

Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas

This is a masterpiece inspired by the popularity of martial arts films in the 1970s. Not only is it fun to listen to but also holds a special place in disco history as it was the song that established disco into the music genre that came to be.

Someday we’ll be Together – Dianna Ross & the Supremes

Last but definitely not least is a song that instantly brings a smile in my face whenever I hear it.


The Potter’s Field by Ellis Peters

In August, 1143, the body of a woman is unearthed in the freshly plowed fields that once belonged to a local potter, who now is a Benedictine monk. The woman is revealed to be his beautiful young wife, thought to have run away. Medieval Benedictine monk Brother Cadfael must determine if one of his own order is guilty of the crime.

The Summer of the Danes by Ellis Peters

In the summer of 1144, Brother Cadfael is sent to Wales on church business and is captured by Danes. And when a prisoner is murdered, the clever monk knows he’ll not see Shrewsbury again until the killer is caught.

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina, known as Drina to her family, had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother and resolute about meeting with her ministers alone.

One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband….

The Holy Thief by Ellis Peters

In the autumn of 1144, two groups of visitors seek the hospitality of the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul and Brother Cadfael fears trouble has come in with them. Among the first arrivals is Brother Tutilo, a young Benedictine with a guileless face and—to Brother Cadfael’s shrewd eyes—a mischievous intelligence. The second group, a ribald French troubadour, his servant, and a girl with the voice of an angel, seems to Brother Cadfael a catalyst for disaster.

All of Cadfael’s fears become manifest as rising floodwaters endanger the abbey’s most sacred relic, the remains of Saint Winifred. When the bones disappear and a dead body is found, Brother Cadfael knows carnal and spiritual intrigues are afoot. Now, in a world that believes in signs and miracles, Brother Cadfael needs his prayers answered in order to catch a killer hell-bent on murder.

The Diary of Nina Kosterina

Nina Kosterina began her diary in 1936, when she was fifteen years old. She wrote the last entry in 1941, on the eve of her departure for the front to fight against the invading Germans, where she was killed. Apart from being an absorbing and remarkably contemporary story of the growing up of a vital rebellious adolescent, this moving document is also a revealing and candid record of the life of young people in Soviet Russia during the great Stalinist purges and trials, and the early days of World War II.

Though many of Nina Kosterina’s preoccupations were personal, the larger political events of the time shadowed her life and filled her diary increasingly – as the reign of terror spread, enveloping first the parents of her friends and then her own father and family.

A Study in Scarlet – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Dr. Watson, who has just returned from a war in Afghanistan, meets Sherlock Holmes for the first time when they become flat-mates at the famous 221 B Baker Street. Sherlock Holmes later investigates a murder at Lauriston Gardens as Dr. Watson tags along with Holmes while narratively detailing his amazing deductive abilities.

TV series

Shadow and Bone (2021-)

Based on two series of books by American author Leigh Bartugo (the trilogy starting with Shadow and Bone as well as the duology that begins with Six of Crows) the series follows Alina Starkov, a cartographer in the First Army of Ravka, who discovers that she is a Grisha (a person who can perform “small science”) with the ability of summoning light.

When her ability is revealed to the world, tensions arise between the nations of Ravka, Shu Han and Fjerda. With the mentorship of General Kirigan, a Grisha with the ability to control darkness, Alina becomes Ravka’s only hope of destroying the Shadow Fold—a region of impenetrable darkness that has stained the land for hundreds of years and split East and West Ravka.

At the same time, a crew of thieves in the trade hub of Ketterdam known as the Crows attempt to kidnap Alina and win a fortune.


Joanna Lumley’s Hidden Caribbean: Havana to Cuba (2020)

Actress Joanna Lumley visits two of the most enigmatic countries in the Caribbean, Cuba and Haiti, to explore and uncover the hidden gems that these countries have to offer.

Joanna Lumley: The Search for Noah’s Ark (2012)

Joanna Lumley and her team examine the theory that Noah’s Ark was preserved on Mount Ararat, in Turkish Armenia. First she elaborates on the wide-spread tradition of a massive flood, before and after the Biblical version starring the prophet, and scientific interpretation. Then the ark itself, an improbable shipbuilding project for all Antiquity. Finally Ararat itself, and the relative unimportance whether the Ark is real, as opposed to so many people believing in it.

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