Binge Life: 10 TV Shows We Love To Marathon

Muse Monthly Doctor Who Stranger Things Parks and Recreation Broadchurch Jessica Jones Buffy the Vampire Slayer Chef's Table Sense8 Narcos Long Way Round

I love good TV just as much as I love good books – it’s all about the telling of a great story. And I don’t think I’m alone in loving shows that are best viewed all at once instead of on a week-to-week basis, aka the Binge Watch. Here are some TV shows we love to watch over and over again!

Doctor Who

I am a huge Whovian – as evidenced by the very prominent Bad Wolf tattoo on my clavicle. It’s the best show in the world. It’s got everything you want – adventure, action, aliens, romance, snarky wit, social commentary, David Tennant, history, Shakespeare, and so much more. It’s the longest running show for a reason. Best show of all time. Anyone who says differently can fight me.

Stranger Things

Stranger Things is a new release on Netflix and it is excellent. The story centers around the disappearance of a young boy in a small town and the weird events that take place afterwards. Superbly acted on the part of Winona Ryder and the young actors in the show, it’s good and weird and creepy and totally engaging. Once you start watching, you won’t want to turn it off. But also, keep the lights on.

Parks and Recreation

Parks and Rec is my favorite show. Parks and Rec is the show that I watch when I have an anxiety attack. It’s familiar and comforting and funny without ever making jokes at someone’s expense. Parks and Rec is about friendship, hard work, and a group of weirdos just doing the best they can. This is a show that is nothing but pure joy from start to finish.

Broadchurch

I’m not usually one for detective stories, if I’m honest. It’s hard to find police procedural shows that are really well written and intriguing, that don’t have a predictable ending. Broadchurch is not only a masterclass in emotional range from David Tennant and Olivia Colman, but a police drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you love it, also check out Happy Valley on Netflix.

The Marvel Shows: Jessica Jones & Daredevil


So I eat up everything Marvel spits out, but these Netflix-exclusive shows have just been mind blowing. The writers have done a really great job of going in depth with well-known characters, and I always love shows that are gritty and emotional and have expertly choreographed fight scenes. I want to especially mention Jessica Jones and it’s perfect depiction of an abusive relationship. And, you know, more David Tennant. I can’t wait for Luke Cage and Iron Fist, and then the Defenders!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The best female led-show ever. Buffy defines the “strong female” trope. Buffy is funny and emotional and action-packed and smart. What isn’t perfect about Buffy? Nothing. That’s what. Nothing. Buffy is perfect. Fight me.

Chef’s Table

Besides being pure food porn, Chef’s table is a beautiful exploration of the creative process. The show features an in-depth profile of master chefs all over the world, delving into how their lives are woven into their craft. It’s beautifully filmed and absolutely engaging from start to finish.

Sense8

Sense8 is another Netflix exclusive, like Stranger Things, that kind of came out of left field. I was told by a friend to watch it and was immediately hooked. It’s such a wonderfully diverse and inclusive show, and a story about beautiful souls helping each other and falling in love and banding together to fight the bad guys. What really makes this show is the cast’s chemistry. You won’t regret it, I promise.

Narcos

I really love stories about criminals. I love when a well told show or novel makes you think about the world from a different perspective, especially if said perspective is that of the ‘bad guy’. The story of Pablo Esobar is really fascinating, and this show is so tense and thrilling that I couldn’t look away, even when the violence got out of control. Plus, there’s Pedro Pascal and Boyd Holbrook. Mmmmhmmm.

Long Way Round / Long Way Down

The concept: Ewan MacGregor and his friend Charley Boorman drive on motorcycles around the world. The reality: Ewan MacGregor and his friend Charley spend 9 episodes being total goofballs while taking their motorbikes from London to New York – as the title so aptly puts it – the long way ’round, through Siberia. And then they do it again and travel from London to Cape Town, South Africa. Both series are hilarious and heart-felt, and have gorgeous views of their travels. It’s a really good watch, and you’ll totally fall in love with Ewan and Charley’s friendship.

What shows do you love to marathon? What Netflix gems do you recommend to all your friends?

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – Review & Playlist

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi novel book book review Muse Monthly subscription box  Ghana

Okay, okay yeah, I know. It’s not a beach read. But bare with me, okay?

I go through a lot of books before making a choice for each month. Sometimes it’s 3, sometimes it’s more like 6. And sometimes, rarely, there is The One. Sometimes there’s a novel that is just the choice, the only choice, the most epic and brilliant thing I’ve read, head and shoulders above the rest. It’s like the clouds part and a choir of angels descend.

Homegoing was definitely a ‘choir of angels’ moment. It’s an expertly woven tale of a family separated – two half-sisters at the start and their subsequent sons and daughters. Each chapter is a unique history, bringing us through time on two different continents. Through Gyasi’s storytelling, we as readers are absolutely transported. Homegoing gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “take a walk in someone else’s shoes”.

Gyasi has really written an epic of the black experience in America and beyond, a full-bodied story of humanity, each generation individual and rife with problems unique to the characters and their respective time periods. Each story stands both on it’s own and as a collective, creating an intricate puzzle of a family tree. It is a story of slavery, of racism and oppression, of loss and love, of family. But most of all, it is a story of resilience.

Since each chapter is a new person’s story, Gyasi has risen to the challenge of completely fleshing out these characters within a shorter time span. There is a sense of pride in these characters – even through hardship, their conviction remains strong, they remain truthful to themselves and their people even when they are being taken advantage of, and a lot of advantage is taken. But they remain, throughout all that, rooted in themselves and their families. There is always a sense of moving forward, and while where they came from is always important, never are they stuck.

I think there’s a lot we can take away from Homegoing, as readers. Personally I love books like this, where I get to experience a life (or in this case, several) that are so radically different from my own. It’s important to let literature open us up in this way – to open our eyes and our hearts to new experiences and new worlds.

And I want to thank Yaa Gyasi for doing just that.

Forever Recommend: Books to Live and Die by

Books Muse Monthly Book Recommendations Harry Potter JK Rowling A Clockwork Orange  Anthony Burgess The Secret History Donna Tartt One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez Everything is Illuminated Jonathan Safran Foer Stardust Neil Gaiman

 

Every bookworm has suffered the same question: “What’s your favorite book?”

What, like, of all time? You want me to pick one? Impossible.

For people who really love books, giving one single favorite is akin to climbing Everest. It’s easier to say, give a favorite one from each category, or favorite from the last year or so. We need a bit of a narrower category to really give a good answer. But give a favorite in the whole history of literature, out of everything we’ve ever read in our entire lives? Yeah, no. Can’t do it.

And being that I work with books, I get asked for favorites and recommendations quite a bit. People come to me when they need something new to read all the time….alright, alright, fine. Sometimes I give them without being asked. You know you do it too! I can’t help it, I love talking about great books.

So I’ve put together a list of my Forever Recommendations – books that I will tell everyone to read no matter what, books that changed my life and I think will enrich yours, books that occupy a special place in my heart.

the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

Because honestly, if you haven’t read Harry by now, what have you been doing with your life?

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

This one is definitely not for everyone. You might be aware of the famous 1971 film adaptation and it’s iconic outfits, and if so, you’re probably aware that it’s an incredibly violent story. It very much centers around the nature of violence and human depravity, so it can be a very difficult read at times. That being said, I’m a sucker for great use of language, and Burgess did something revolutionary with A Clockwork Orange. The story is told in a mixture of cocky English, Russian, Shakesperian English, and slang to form a dialect unique to this story alone (well, this story and maybe Russell Brand). To me, the inventiveness of the narrative is what makes A Clockwork Orange stand out. If you’re okay with a little blood, this one is a must read.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The Secret History is one of those ones I almost don’t want to share. It’s like when you love a band and then they go mainstream, and you get really possessive and spiteful of ‘new fans’. And I am a jealous person by nature so I want The Secret History to be mine, but that’s not really how books work. So, read it. It gave me goosebumps and heart palpitations and the proverbial feels. Just fuck me up, Donna Tartt. Fuck. Me. Up.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude is gripping from the first sentence. It’s a book that will not only make you think, but will make your heart race and your soul ache. Marquez is a master of language and story, and if you’re someone who likes things a little bit weird and mystical and wild, this is definitely something to pick up. One Hundred Years of Solitude is also my first recommendation for anyone who likes fantasy and wants to get into something a little more adult, or who wants to try reading a book in translation for the first time. It’s an epic story, and one that I will champion until the day I die.

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

So I’ve talked a bit before about how if a writer is really good, I fall in love a little bit. Well, Jonathan Safran Foer is the love of my damn life. I love him, I love him, I love everything he does, I am absolutely mad for him. I will read everything he produces forever and ever. I have stopped strangers on the train because I saw they were reading his book.  Really, read everything by JSF, but I recommend this one first because it was my first one, and because it made me cry in my university library in front of a whole load of people. So, there’s that.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Neil is another great love of mine, a fantastic and epic love that has taken me to so many new worlds and new adventures. Neil is a perfect human being in everything he does, and has produced such a wonderful body of work that it’s hard to pick just one favorite. Again, Stardust was my first, and as a child of fairy tales, it’s my go-to Gaiman. It’s a beautiful story about love and destiny and magic, and it absolutely cannot be beat when it comes to adult fairy tales. Read everything by Neil Gaiman, but if you need a starting place, this one won’t let you down.

Of course, I have many more favorites, including ones I’ll never admit to. My bookshelves are overflowing with books I have loved and given myself to, so these are just a short selection. But there is something about each of these that touched me, that infected me, that became part of me. And I’ll love them until the very end.

What are some of your forever recommendations? Share the book love!