How to Stay Sane in a Pandemic

With June Shannon

June Shannon is a medical / health journalist who has helped many of us stay sane over the last year with her live tweets of the briefings by NPHET and Government. She has distilled down figures and words into easily understandable tweets and has regularly burned her dinner in the process.

June’s book recommendations are:

A Light That Never Goes Out by Keelin Shanley

Psychiatrist in the Chair – Biography of Anthony Clare by Brendan Kelly & Muiris Houston

Seamus Heaney 100 Poems

Barbara’s recommendation is Sinead Moriarty’s new novel which will be published in summer, called About Us.

June’s TV/Netflix Recommendations are the soaps – which seem to have been largely forgotten today. June is an avid viewer of both Corrie and EastEnders

June also recommends The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society movie which is on Netflix and Barbara recommends the book too.

How To Stay Sane in a Pandemic

With Dil Wickremsinghe

Dil is a mental health professional, an activist, a journalist and former broadcaster who presented Global Village on Newstalk.

Along with her partner, Anne Marie Toole they founded and run Insight Matters, a counselling, psychotherapy and wellness centre offering affordable and accessible mental health support, in Dublin.

The book recommendation this week was my suggestion and is the Dublin City Libraries One City One Book choice for 2021 and is the beautiful, gentle tale of Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession.

And the TV/Movie recommendation was The Morning Show – available on Apple TV

How To Stay Sane in a Pandemic

With Tom Clonan

Dr Tom Clonan is a columnist, broadcaster, security analyst, feminist and advocate for disabilty and a retired Army Captain. A calm and reasoned commentator, his take on where we are in this pandemic might just cheer you up.

He also has some cracking book, podcast and viewing recommendations which are listed below. Enjoy. And if you do, please share.

Tom’s recommended read : The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

Tom’s podcast recommendation : The Nobody Zone by RTE and Louis Theroux podcast, Grounded especially the episode with Ruby Wax

Tom’s viewing recommendations : Deuthscland ’86 available on All Four.

How to Stay Sane in a Pandemic

Episode 7 : SARAH CAREY

Columnist and broadcaster, Sarah Carey joined me this week for my How To Stay Sane Webcast.

She had some cracking book suggestions along with interesting radio programme suggestions too. And yes, of course, we talked about Bridgerton.

We didn’t get to all Sarah’s book suggestions but she kindly sent them on and here they are:

Non-fiction

East West Street by Philippe Sands,

On Identity, Violence and the need to belong by Amin Mahlouf

Dominion, How Christianity Shaped the Western mind by Tom Holland

The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James.

Fiction

What Sarah called her ‘Spinster Lit’ recommendations

She recommends all the books of Barbara Pym, Muriel Spark and Anita Brookner

She also recommends Nancy Mitford who she says is a hoot.

Other favourites are The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen which she says are one of the most beautiful poetic books I’ve ever read. And other poetry such as Lullaby by WH Auden and ‘What Auden Can Do For You’ by Alexander McCall Smith. And Heaney’s The Cure At Troy

Also recommend On Kindness by Adam Philips, the famous British psychonalyst

Radio and Podcasts

Backlisted podcast – Brings new life to old books. It’s a joy.

Drama on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 4 Extra -right now listening to Hercule Poirot!

The Archers BBC Radio 4

Soul Music (BBC Radio 4)

In Our Time ( BBCR4)

Delusions (short series on BBC Radio 4 you should be able to find it)

Cautionary Tales (Tim Hartford, behavioural psychology)

Thinking Allowed (BBCR4)

If you enjoy these webcasts please share the links either on Twitter, Facebook or right here on my website.

How To Stay Sane in a Pandemic

Episode 5 with Rebecca Horan

Journalist and Broadcaster Rebecca Horan joined me for the fifth episode of my webcast and had some brilliant book recommendations.

You can watch by clicking the link into YouTube here

Rebecca’s Book Recommendations

Fleishman is in trouble by Taffy Brodesser Akner

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

On the Road by by Jack Kerouac

City of girls by Elisabeth Gilbert

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power

Rafa by John Carlin and Rafa Nadal

Barbara’s book recommendation – Away With The Penguins by Hazel Prior

How To Stay Sane in a Pandemic

Episode 4 with TV Producer, Bill Hughes.

My guest this week is Bill Hughes, legendary TV Producer who has made over 1000 hours of music, arts, entertainment and documentary television since he began his career in the 1980s. He began his TV career in 1985 with the ground breaking MT USA which was the first music video programme in Europe. More recently, his company Mind The Gap Films was behind the very popular ‘Cutting Edge’ on RTE.

Bill had some really great recommendations for your entertainment in books, music and film. Enjoy.

Bill’s Book Recommendations:

The Hearts Invisible Furies, by John Boyne

That Glimpse of Truth – 100 of the finest short stories ever written, chosen by David Miller

Fabulosa – The Story of Polari, Britain’s Secret Gay Language.

And my book choice this week is Lady In Waiting by Anne Glenconner.

Bill’s Listening Recommendations:

The box set of The Collected Poems of Seamus Heaney from RTE

Jessye Norman – Four Last Songs

Passion by Stephen Sondheim

Bill’s Movie Recommendations:

Little Women – the recent version with Saoirse Ronan

The Women – from 1939. Avail on DVD.