On not losing weight

Thursday, October 21, 2021 Permalink

TW: Weightloss, dieting, self-loathing

I’ve been trying to be healthy. I’d slowly gained some weight after my weightloss surgery in mid 2016. I knew why. I was home all day. Feeling bored and despondent about my lack of employment (and increasing weight). Which led to comfort eating and more despondency about my weight and apathy towards life and my health. My weightloss surgery meant I couldn’t eat massive amounts. Just regularly and badly.

Needing a break

Saturday, October 16, 2021 Permalink

I feel like I need a break. But from what I wonder?

From unemployment and not-working? From job hunting and the hope and disappointment it offers?

From writing, or rather not-writing? From the expectations I place on myself and guilt I feel when I never ever meet them?

From social media in all of its addictive splendour and soul-destroying disregard? From the desire to know everything about anything to news fatigue and information overload?

Book review: The Survivors by Alex Schulman

Thursday, October 14, 2021 Permalink

The Survivors is the first book I’ve read by Swedish writer Alex Schulman. I don’t read a lot of translated books (usually because I read crime fiction and find the police and judicial system in Nordic countries, as well as France and Italy to be very confusing!) but this is also Schulman’s first novel.

Although I’m prone to overthinking and overanalysing (well, at least pondering) I’m still not sure what I think of this book. Its pacing felt a little slow and drawn-out. But it’s written cleverly – we go backwards in time (in the present) which is interspersed with snippets from the past.

Some of the writing is magic and I’m not sure if that’s down to Schulman or translator Rachel Willson-Broyles and there’s a very big reveal at the end that left me speechless.

three-half-stars

Book review: The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

Sunday, October 10, 2021 Permalink

I ADORED The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, released in 2020. I loved the comfort and familiarity of his characters and writing.

The Man Who Died Twice is the second in the series but it doesn’t matter if you’ve not read the first. Other than having met the characters before, there’s no backstory really required to pick things up with the residents of Coopers Chase community known as the Thursday Murder Club… a quartet that revisits cold cases from the comfort of the restaurant of their retirement village, usually with a few bottles of wine to lubricate their minds.

four-half-stars

Book review: Prisoner by SR White

Thursday, October 7, 2021 Permalink

SR White’s debut novel Hermit was a real sleeper for me. It lured me in and had me intrigued before throwing in some huge twists. Someone I follow on social media said his next novel Prisoner, also featuring cop Dana Russo, was their favourite book this year, so I went in with high expectations.

Which, in retrospect wasn’t entirely fair as I kept thinking I’d again be blown away by ridiculously inexplicable reveals at the end. He does…. and I suspect they are mind-blowing, but less-so when you’ve been waiting for them.

four-stars

Book review: I Shot The Devil by Ruth McIver

Monday, October 4, 2021 Permalink

The manuscript of I Shot The Devil by Ruth McIver won the coveted Richell Prize for Emerging Writers in 2018. It certainly has it all. McIver’s writing is eloquent and stylistic, we’re offered an intriguing plot as well as interesting and complex characters.

I found the pacing a little rushed as we neared the conclusion and was a tad confused about who did what, but that’s probably more about my attention span than anything else.

four-stars

Book review: 2 Sisters Detective Agency by James Patterson and Candice Fox

Friday, October 1, 2021 Permalink

2 Sisters Detective Agency by James Patterson and Candice Fox is the sixth collaboration between the prolific US author and Aussie crime fiction writer Fox. I very much enjoyed their Harriet Blue detective series as well as The Inn, which I’d hoped may become part of a series as I liked some of the characters it introduced.

I always wonder how they manage the paired writing (though a friend and I are attempting to also do just that) but most of the books reflect both styles… Patterson’s short sharp chapters that keep you turning the pages, and Fox’s eccentric characters and smart blunt prose.

four-stars

Book review: Forgotten in Death by JD Robb

Wednesday, September 29, 2021 Permalink

JD Robb’s In Death series is a go-to read for me. I’ve not missed any and own most of the series. Forgotten in Death is number 53 and Nora Roberts’s creations – Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her mega-rich hubby Roarke are still going strong.

I hate the ‘guilty pleasure’ phrase as it implies there’s something wrong with what you’re enjoying but (as I’ve said before) these are akin to a comfort read. There’s a predictability – or rather reliability – about the characters and their behaviour as well as the overall story arc, but Robb / Roberts always offers readers a whodunnit that’s a bit different, though I’m not sure how she manages after so many.

three-half-stars

Being childless vs being childfree

Wednesday, September 29, 2021 Permalink

Earlier this month it was World Childless Week. Who knew that was even a thing? I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t seen some articles on social media via Australia’s national broadcaster, ABC which published some great pieces supporting the week and sharing people’s stories.

The thing that hit home most for me – in the articles themselves and in the comments that followed – was the very important distinction between being childless vs being childfree.