Tip-top Summer Reading & Viewing

Are you at a loose end for your summer entertainment? Drawing a blank for good titles to help laze away hot days? Well, you’re in luck! This week the MoveGirlGO contribs are sharing their best reads and go-to movies. No more idle browsing, we have titles guaranteed to get your endorphins flowing. Hmmm think I’ll stop now before verging further into infomercial territory…

persuasionFirst up, if you’re looking for a love story with characters who seem destined to be at cross purposes when you desperately wish they wouldn’t be, then ‘Persuasion’ by Jane Austen is the one. It’s my favorite of the Austen novels as Anne Elliot is a chick you’re rooting for from the very beginning with her wretched family and oh-so-standoffish Captain Wentworth. The prose is lovely and the ending – well, you’ll see. Even if you’ve read it before it’s a great redo, and if you can’t get to the beach Ms. Austen will take you to Lyme and you can live vicariously through Anne’s promenades with sailor men. And of course there are the movies to watch after you read the book, the best being the 1995 version with Ciarán Hinds and Amanda Root.

long way downFrom Austen let’s zoom off on motorcycles alongside Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in the ‘Long Way Down’ series. Have you heard of this adventure motorcycling duo? This is their second trip, the first being ‘Long Way Round’ which is also pretty awesome. Along with a camera toting 3rd motorcyclist they travel 15,000 miles through Scotland, England, France, Italy, Tunisia, Libya (pre-Arab Spring), Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and finally South Africa. That’s a heap load of countries, right? If you love seeing new cultures through the eyes of 2 affable guys and their crew then you won’t be disappointed.

the aloha quiltIf you wanted to escape a soon to be ex-scoundrel husband wouldn’t Maui be your first choice? That’s where the main character in Jennifer Chiaverini’s novel, ‘The Aloha Quilt’ goes to help set up a friend’s quilting workshop business. This is a well researched read and after you’ve finished it you’ll understand a wee bit more what makes Hawaiian culture so interesting.


gods must be crazyOh let’s head back to Africa shall we, after all it’s always in need of positive peeps! If you love slightly wacky movies then ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’ will be just right. The director, Jamie Uys, delivers memorable characters, lines and of course African scenery – in particular the Kalahari Desert. A coke bottle drops from the sky and we’re off with Bush people, rhino encounters, crazy militia and a shy dude who can’t talk to the ladies. It’s good  clean family fun.

For those summer days when your own words won’t do to describe your life how bout some poetry to give you a hand? I’m thinking Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘The Complete Poems 1927-1979’. After all it has a section from when she lived in Brazil which you’ll appreciate after watching all that soccer! Ms. Bishop’s poetry is lyrical and image-filled, like this stanza from “One Art”:elizabeth bishop poem

North & SouthMy final recommendation takes us to England in 1855 for Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘North and South’. And nope I’ve never read the novel but I sure did love the 2004 BBC 4-part series with Daniela Denby-Ashe and Richard Armitage. They’ll have you caught up from the get go with their spot-on capturing of that just stepping into the industrialization era England. You’ll want to set apart a good chunk of time to watch the series as like good chocolate they’re hard to not finish all in one go.


We’re not averse to suggestions for our summers so please share your book and film recommendations!

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