Our time is precious - maybe even more so in lockdown! - and there is nothing more annoying than starting a book or sitting down to watch something, and thinking it's a complete waste of time.
Conversely, there’s nothing more lovely (well right now I would settle for normality and a holiday abroad!), and guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step, than getting a great recommendation for something brilliant to watch or read.
Over our weekly Cake O'Clock, we asked what our top book and TV or film picks would be and below is our collective absolute must-read and must-watch list!
Cutting the Stone by Abraham Verghesse – A gem of a book - set in Ethiopia it’s the story of twin boys betrayed at birth – original plotline and fascinating read
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts – a brilliantly written, totally captivating full of adventure, love, destruction, cultural differences – a rare gift
A Princess Remembers Memoirs of the Maharani of Jaipur by Gayatri Devi – the most beautiful love story, based on a true story - utterly captivating.
Cider House Rules by John Irving - a story that draws you in and characters you feel
The Humans by Matt Haig - dark comedy which makes you fall in love again with humanity and brightens up dark days.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - a book about books. A love of literature. Mystery, comedy, love story - it has it all.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - this needs no introduction and is a must-read for any feminist or would-be feminist out there.
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant - Un-put-downable. A biblical coming of age/love story/ tragedy with amazing female characters.
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett - An epic tale. And I mean epic. I got so emotionally invested in this book I could not stop reading it!
Man and Boy by Tony Parsons - real tear-jerker, but with some beautiful and humorous parts. A book about real life.
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray - it's just an absolute classic, beautifully written with fantastically drawn characters.
The World According to Garp by John Irving - a brilliantly absorbing book.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - If you haven’t read it, do it now.
The Woman who went to bed for a Year by Sue Townsend – A funny poignant look at modern family life.
Becoming - the Michelle Obama documentary (Netflix)
The Last Dance - Michael Jordan documentary (Netflix)
Killing Eve (BBC)
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (Amazon Prime)
Twin (BBC 4)
The Witcher (Netflix)
Sex Education (Netflix)
The Goodwife (Netflix)
Life is beautiful (La Vita e Bella)
You may recall that we recently asked you what else you would love to see us do and 72% of you loved the idea of us creating the 2to3days Book Club - here’s how it can start to evolve!
We would love to know what your absolute must-read or must-watch list would be if you knew, with the benefit of hindsight, that you were going to be locked away in your home for weeks on end. Or tell us what you would pick in the lovely eventuality that Radio 4 called you up one day and asked you to appear on Desert Island Discs – it’s good to dream, especially in lockdown!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to look back and say that the 2to3days Book and Film Club (the film bit has been the added COVID-19 bonus!) was one of the many COVID-19 gifts to us all? So please join in and share your top picks too!