26 Recommends

From the BBC’s Culture in Quarantine series this is a song by Tom Hickox playing with Chineke! Beautiful black and white photography, soulful music, I’m haunted by this. A lovely development in its lyrics of John Donne’s ‘No man is an island’. Flagged up for me by our friends at Bloomsbury Festival

– John Simmons


A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar

Few things are unique, but this genuinely profound book is as far away from the usual studies of our relationship with art as you can possibly get.

Lessons from a Warzone: How to be a resilient leader in times of crisis by Louai Al Roumain

Running a bank in the middle of the Syrian civil war among mortar attacks and IS fighters. Any CEO – in fact anyone – who thinks they’re having a hard time should be made to read this.

– Andy York


“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.” —David Copperfield

In New Zealand we’ve been allowed back into movie theatres and I wallowed in The Personal History of David Copperfield last weekend. It’s gorgeous to look at and full of clever actors but for word lovers it’s Dickens’ delicious, evocative language, crammed into every available corner of the film, that make it such a treat.

– Melanie Cooper


I recommend a BBC Radio 3 documentary called Silent Witness – John Cage, Zen and Japan. It’s a remarkable insight into how Zen Buddhism influenced Cage’s (in)famous silent piece, 4’33” and how his search for silence led him to something more surprising. I’ve long been fascinated with the piece, but the documentary has helped me see it in a new light.

– Sarah Farley


I’ve started watching Good Girls Revolt on Amazon. It’s about the women writers at Newsweek who sued the newspaper for sex discrimination. They were restricted to being researchers because only men were allowed to be journalists.

I’m enjoying it.

– Margaret Webster 


I’ve been enjoying Mrs America, an American mini-series on iPlayer, which recreates the political atmosphere in the heyday of the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 70s. Portraying legendary figures such as Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan and Shirley Chisholm, it’s been criticised for overplaying the battles among women and the place of the ultra-conservative housewife-led opposition – but hard not to overplay it, with Cate Blanchett as the terrifyingly confident arch-conservative. Accurate or not, it’s a sizzling political drama that takes you back to a world that now seems an age ago (well, it takes some of us back).

– Wendy Jones

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