When I’m not knuckling down and working hard on all things digital marketing or blowing off some steam with a spot of bouldering or hiking, you can find me reading books, watching Netflix or listening to podcasts. So, I thought it would be great to document all of the things I’ve read, watched or listened to lately with this post marking the first of a (hopefully) new series here on the Grandiose Days blog. Fingers crossed, you’ll find something new to add to your own list of things to read, watch and listen to.
Books I’ve read recently
All the book I’m reading lately tend to have a business-y theme to them. I do have some light-hearted fiction books sat in my to be read pile. Yet whenever I go to pick a book out of the stack, I find myself drawn to the self-help, business type books. I keep telling myself the next book I read will be fiction but we’ll see… maybe next month, I’ll do better in the fiction department.
PR School by Natalie Trice
Although I love digital marketing, especially content marketing, I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and say I feel wildly out of my depths when it comes to PR. So, when I was gifted the PR School book by Natalie, I was unbelievably excited to get stuck in. I couldn’t wait to expand my knowledge and brush up on my PR skills.
The PR School is a supe-easy read and it’s conversational, friendly tone makes it such a lovely book to unwind with. My favourite part about the PR School is how Natalie includes little homework activities at the end of each chapter so you can put those learnings into practice.
Whilst reading the book, I realised that i was actually already aware of the tactics she was talking about, which made me realise my downfall with PR probably lays in the fact I simply haven’t done it enough to feel confident in my abilities. Natalie’s book reassured me that I do know what I’m doing when it comes to PR, I just have to get out my comfort zone and do it more often. And when I do decide to dip my toes into the world of PR, I’ll be keeping The PR School book nearby as a handy point of reference.
How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie
You’re probably already familiar with the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. I mean, it’s a book that’s been around since 1936. Having sold over 15 million copies worldwide, there’s no denying it’s considered an influential, must-read book.
Despite being over 80 years old, the information in this book is ageless. It reads as though it could have been written yesterday and honestly, I’m mad it took me so long to read it! How To Win Friends is packed full of advice to help you thrive in your career… and in life in general. My boyfriend was actually the person who made me finally order this book after him consistently hinting that I would really benefit from reading it. I think he was getting at the fact I can be a little bit anti-social towards other humans. But we’ll overlook that tiny detail because, whatever his reasoning may be for why I should the book, I’m glad I did.
Although a book focused on learning how to make people like you can sound manipulative, it’s a genuinely insightful and thought-provoking read. The notions Carnegie draws upon make you realise that the true way to win friends and influence people is by being a kind, thoughtful person. I felt like the book taught me more about myself and how I can be a better person towards others, instead of being a book based on using shady tactics to manipulate people into liking you! So, if you want to learn how to be a kind and genuine person, read this book. In fact, even if you don’t want to be a nicer person, read this book. You probably need to…
How To Own The Room by Viv Groskop
Last but not least, in January, I also read the book How To Own The Room by Viv Groskop. I’ll be honest, the cover-art and colours is what initially captured my attention with this book. I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover but seriously, when it looks as bold as this, it’s hard not to!
As much as I wanted to love this book, I just couldn’t. I love the idea of the book – a book dedicated to helping women find their voice and be confident in the art of speaking? Yes! Count me in! I opened the book filled with excitement. Yet in the first few pages, the misandry of this book was loud. I felt as though Groskop would make unnecessary comparisons between men and women, doing so in a tone that made me feel uncomfortable. I’ve since started reading another book aimed at women which highlights some of the struggles women face compared to men. Yet the book I’m currently reading does so in a professional and matter-of-fact way. Something that I feel How To Own The Room fails to do. I may be hated for saying this yet I can’t help but feel there’s personal feelings behind those sentences about men in How To Own The Room.
I enjoyed the general gist of How To Own The Room but overall found myself disappointed in this book. It hasn’t left any kind of impact on me but that’s okay! I guess you can’t enjoy every book you read.
Things I’ve watched on Netflix lately
Netflix is my go-to when the weekend rolls around and I want nothing more than a cosy evening at home. In true millenial fashion, I don’t actually watch anything other than Netflix. I cancelled my TV license and satellite TV subscription almost two years ago and honestly, I don’t miss it.
Our love for French Netflix series actually began with a series called Black Spot – a thriller based in a small-town. After binging a few French series, we stumbled across Ad Vitam and soon got stuck in. This sci-fi drama is set in a futuristic era where regeneration technology means people can live forever. Following the story of a young woman and a police officer, this drama investigates a strange string of teenage suicides.
This wasn’t my favourite TV show but the question of “if you could live forever, would you?” is one I always enjoy debating in my head. Although it was only 6 episodes long, this series feels like a slow-burner. At points, it feels a little bit too slow. Overall, I enjoyed the storyline and how they slowly unweaved the hidden conspiracies and plot twists.
The Good Place
Where do I even begin with The Good Place ? All I want to say is watch it. I’m genuinely saddened that this TV show is over. Set in the afterlife, this show is the most wholesome show I’ve ever watched. It seriously fills your heart and soul with that warm, fuzzy feeling. As the main characters make sense of the afterlife and all the problems that come with it, The Good Place will have you laughing, crying and shouting.
I’m not normally a lover of comedies. But The Good Place was something else entirely. The humour in this show is perfectly balanced with some truly thought-provoking, profound quotes and scenarios that really get you judging the state of the world and your own moral compass.
I urge everyone and anyone to watch The Good Place. It just might be my favourite feel-good TV show ever…
Keeping with the European theme of our recent Netflix viewings, Ares was a show that we binged in just a couple of weeks. Ares is a Dutch series that focuses on a university secret society with a sinister twist. With just 1 season consisting of 8 episodes,
Podcasts and music I’ve listened to recently
The Digital Marketing Podcast
If you read my post about my favourite podcasts for a successful life, you’ll know that The Digital Marketing Podcast is a firm favourite of mine. So, it remains as one of the podcasts I’ve listened to, and loved, lately.
One of their recent podcasts discusses SEO Fraggles, what they are and how you can use them to show up in Google search results. This interview with Cindy Krum from Mobile Moxie is filled with insightful information. Whether you’re a digital marketer, an e-commerce biz owner or a blogger wanting to attract more readers, the Digital Marketing Podcast will really help you elevate your SEO knowledge and skills.
Last year’s Spotify Wrapped showed Caamp as my most-listened to artist in Autumn and Winter, with their music also filling all the spots on my most listened to songs in 2019. This year, my love for Caamp hasn’t diminished. I’m a sucker for Americana Folk music and Caamp encapsulate everything I love about that genre. Their music embodies my love of adventure and the outdoors – it makes me want to pack a small bag and head out into the wild.
In a major contrast to my love of Caamp and all things Folk and Americana, I’ve also recently rediscovered my love for Odd Future. When trying to get in the zone at the gym, my love for folk music sadly doesn’t quite do the trick.
Instead, if I want to have a successful gym session, my music choice varies from pop-punk to rock to hip hop. Right now, American hip hop is taking the lead with some (relatively) old school Odd Future.
This year, I’m making it my mission to get serious about bouldering and climbing. I’ve grown to really love bouldering this past year and want to push my limits to become a better climber. Naturally, as part of that, I’ve become immersed in all things climbing. From listening to climbing podcasts like TrainingBeta to watching climbing vlogs on YouTube and even trying to switch up my training in the gym, climbing is becoming a bigger part of my life.
The TrainingBeta podcast by Neely Quinn is a great sneak-peek into the world of climbing. Featuring interviews, training tips, nutrition advice and everything in between, the TrainingBeta podcast is a must-listen for anyone with an interest in climbing or bouldering.