2017: a retrospective

Thursday, December 14, 2017 Permalink

I’m heading to the first of my Christmas celebrations tonight: a dinner with friends. And tomorrow night I have a work dinner (bizarrely, at the same place I’m going to tonight!). And then a break-up for my pilates class on Sunday. My work area closes between Christmas and New Year so we’re forced to take time off and I’m most certainly excited about the impending break. I may pop back in here for a #5before50 update before the end of the year but I’m thinking this might be my last post for a while so figured it was a good time to wrap-up my year.

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Book review: Know Me Now by CJ Carver

Monday, December 11, 2017 Permalink

I’ve now read all three books in this series by CJ Carver and think this latest is probably my favourite. The first, Spare Me The Truth was very much scene-setting – in which we meet former former spy Dan Forrester who doesn’t seem to remember his old life. We soon learn why and, though his memory’s not entirely returned, we get more of a sense of his past and who he is now in the second book of the series, Tell Me A Lie.

And I think Carver’s now cementing that in this third book, also featuring Detective Constable Lucy Davies.

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Favourite novels of 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017 Permalink

Egad… it’s that time again. It’s time for me to share with you my favourite books of the year.

I’m always a little surprised at how hard AND easy it is when I come to put it together. When I flick through the books I’ve read during the year (new releases only) I find it very very easy to pick a few favourites. If I was to agree to share 10 favourites it’d be harder. Three or five is much easier. They’re not only books I’ve rated a (very) rare five stars, or perhaps 4.5 stars…. but books that have stayed with me long after I’ve turned the last page.

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Book review: Every Breath You Take by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke

Monday, December 4, 2017 Permalink

Every Breath You Take is the fifth book in the series by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke, featuring Laurie Moran – producer of a TV show which delves into unsolved crimes. (And usually uncovers dastardly deeds. Not to mention the odd killer or two.)

The last book in the series, The Sleeping Beauty Killer saw a few changes with the departure of Laurie’s love interest (and the show’s host), lawyer Alex Buckley and I wondered if that meant he’d be gone from our lives as well as Laurie’s.

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Self-care vs self-indulgence

Thursday, November 30, 2017 Permalink

I was talking to someone earlier this week about last week’s post. The one about self-care…. the fact that it looks different for everyone and that sometimes it’s about doing the stuff we don’t want to do in the short term to make life easier, in the long term.

My devoted listener (aka the therapist I pay to listen to me) commented that she’d recently been involved in a similar discussion. One which took a slightly different turn. It was she said, about self-care vs self-indulgence.

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Book review: The Guilty Wife by Elle Croft

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 Permalink

Flawed leads are becoming increasingly common in fiction. I know some readers still struggle to read books featuring main characters who are less-than-likeable. The occasional quirk is usually okay, or even some arrogance or a tinge of psychopathy but it’s still often harder for many to engage and identify with a character who we might not like.

Bethany Reston might be such a character for some because she tells us outright that she’s having an affair. Indeed it’s on the backcover blurb. So we know that from the start.

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Book review: The Burden of Lies by Richard Beasley

Saturday, November 25, 2017 Permalink

I’ve talked before about my old (bad) habit of avoiding Australian fiction. I’ve assumed it was because I’d read to ‘escape’ and didn’t really want to read about my own backyard. That’s slowly changed over the past 4-5 years however and my proportion of Australian to overseas authors has grown enormously.

Richard Beasley – an author based in Sydney – has previously released the popular Cyanide Games and Hell Has Harbour Views – though is new to me and (as always) it’s great to discover a new crime fiction author and (in particular) a new series.

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Self-care: about more than bubble baths

Thursday, November 23, 2017 Permalink

I read (and shared) an article I found on Facebook last weekend. The piece, from Thought Catalogue, about self-care┬áby Brianna Wiest resonated with me – and others obviously – and I’ve been pondering it since.

It was the ‘bubble bath’ phrase that drew my attention initially. And, anyone who knows me knows I love my baths. (As is evident from my blog header!)

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Book review: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 Permalink

I read Wendy Walker’s All Is Not Forgotten just last year; and was intrigued by the plot as well as the book’s almost non-fictional structure. In fact, my niece was recently doing some University study about memories (being planted and / or removed) and this was one of the books I recalled when she talked about that.

Walker’s latest book (the weirdly named) Emma in the Night, is also cleverly constructed and plotted. And so effortlessly well written that I found myself marking paragraph after paragraph* because they seemed eloquently pivotal. Or something…

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