My Week In Media: Novelist Charlotte Mendelson

Last week I watched...

I'm watching a lot of early Dallas and The West Wing DVDs at the moment, because there is hardly anything on television, though I am becoming addicted to The Apprentice. It's just like early Big Brother, which I loved. The kosher/halal chicken thing was really tragic, but I can actually see where they were confused. As I understand it, the processes in making something kosher or halal are not dissimilar, but grabbing a passing Muslim butcher is not going to make it kosher. They really were quite astonishingly dim. Those documentaries about Amy Winehouse by Jacques Peretti (Amy Winehouse: What Really Happened?) were awful. I couldn't watch the second part. When I'm cooking, I worry about Amy Winehouse. I think she's my proxy younger sister.

Last week I read...

I bought myself a gardening magazine because I've got the bug like everyone else. It was chronically depressing because it was full of adverts for joint cream and hearing aids and stair-lifts. I read newspapers online. I always use The Independent for travel and love the "24 Hours in..." section. ( www.independent.co.uk/travel) and have been looking up places in Greece and Italy. I love The Guardian website and also use The Times. I can't read about Josef Fritzl in Austria. I have as much of an interest in murder as everyone else, which I despise but it's true, but I just don't want to read about it. We'll probably never know if the wife was involved, but other than that there is no fascinating mystery to it and nothing I am curious about, which is an awful way to think about it. The story about the barrister shot dead near the King's Road is shocking because it is a barrister, and that makes me cross. But I have recently developed an addiction to P D James, and as it's so like a P D James, I feel entitled to read all about it.

Last week I surfed...

On Gawker.com I read about lemons, taxidermy, Madonna and, pointlessly, in-fighting in the US media. I love Gawker; the writing is witty and sharp in the way that almost no other online news/satire site manages to be. Oh, and I watched a bit of Juno on YouTube. Also AfterEllen.com, which often has funny writing, and Jezebel.com.

Last week I listened to...

Front Row on Radio 4. I cringed at Jodie Foster talking about "that gypsy film life", although it was a great interview otherwise, particularly about being a teenager on screen. I loved the material about China and Courtney Pine, too, and about the man who played his violin for the taxi drivers. Polly Stenham (the playwright whose first play, That Face, opened in the West End last week) was interesting, too – only a 20-year-old could say: "That's really... real. And... proper".

Charlotte Mendelson's third novel, When We Were Bad, has been shortlisted for the 2008 Orange Broadband Prize.

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