Rosie Barton is a contributing London-based writer.

And here we are again, in the wise words of The Bangles – “it’s just another manic Monday, I wish it was Sunday”. But as September becomes October and we still have no idea whether it’s Cava and olive oil, or beef carpaccio and penicillin that we should be stockpiling, a movement towards discontent seems inevitable. Furthered by the news that a quarter of Britons don't have a best friend and the decline of sources of North Sea cod, along with the incessant rain that has ruined not one but two pairs of my shoes (flip flops being the only safe bet), things are beginning to resemble a sorrier line from The Carpenters as us Londoners hang “around, nothing to do but frown, rainy days and Mondays always get me down”. 

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
ALAS, there is joy to be found yet – or at least, there is the option of removing yourself from the current abyss into yet another wholly absorbing book. This week's recommendation is five-time best-selling writer, Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know. Quite timely really as we struggle to comprehend much of the current political climate with puzzles and miscommunications at every turn, we like Malcolm have discovered that things are often lost in translation, and that “strangers are never simple”. From Ponzi schemes to Cuban spies, Gladwell explores what happens when we judge a book by its cover – so to speak – and how we come to those judgments in the first place. 

From the Anna Delvey's and A. J. Finn's to the more recent Caroline Calloway's, barely a month goes by without some form of deception being publicised; we absorb these stories and we are always surprised, even though the tale is as old as time (cue dancing candelabra and teacup). Gladwell, in his compellingly clever way, investigates this and through a series of case in point encounters invites us to rethink, reworking the way we make judgments. Something we could all learn from in these manic times. 

Click here to discover Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

Griefcast with Cariad Lloyd
As Saturday was National Ghost Hunting day and Most Haunted doesn't have it’s own podcast (a tragic oversight, if ever there was one), this week's recommendation is Cariad Lloyd’s Griefcast with Dolly Alderton, Ahir Shah and Grainne Maguire. With death remaining somewhat taboo despite it being the only inevitability of human life, this podcast airs out anything death-related, stopping us all from tiptoeing around the topic and holding our breath, (another inevitable way to reach death sooner, the breath holding that is – tiptoeing has not yet been proven to increase our likelihood of an early demise, but you never know... dangerously wobbly business...). Many people we know are now dead: Shakespeare, The Easter Bunny, Lord Voldemort, Leonardo (Da Vinci, that is; DeCaprio’s still going strong – his ‘boys nights’ spent bonding with Brad Pitt as they mould clay together into the wee hours, unsurprisingly, giving him a new lease of life). Da Vinci, in fact, celebrates 500 years of being dead this October and to tie it all up nicely, October is also Clergy appreciation month – a crew of folks to whom a funeral is really more of a bar mitzvah-esque party celebrating the transformation of the dead and their progression to that which lies beyond this realm. A frame of mind we might all do well to adopt in these days of selfish shortsightedness, and short-termism, looking beyond our own lives is exactly what we should be doing. 

This episode is one of bemused levity as the group discuss funeral planning in the shower, Linda being the best name for a Medium and the secret but deadly killer: the underwire of a bra. So, to alter the closing lines of Hugh Grant in Love Actually, to the more morbid counterpart, death really is all around us – so dive into the Cariad’s award-winning podcast to lighten the darkness around it, and even have a bit of a laugh. 

Click here to tune into Griefcast.

Also on Because Magazine:

Where to be and where to be seen this October.

+ We're keeping the spirit of fashion month alive in our round-up of September's stylish reads.

Catch up on the last of Rosie Barton's September recommendations.