Book review: Flight Risk by Michael McGuire

Saturday, January 19, 2019 Permalink

I wasn’t sure about this book. I mentioned the fact on Instagram. Although I’m accustomed to reading about psychopaths and serial killers and the like there are certain things I don’t want floating around in my head. Like the possibility of a plane crash for example. Or being eaten by sharks.

After 9/11 and losing a couple of former work colleagues in plane crashes (when I worked for the Oz Government) I was one of those people who’d look around as I boarded a plane and wonder which one of us the TV movie would focus on… if the plane was to go down. You know… whose backstory would they share? (And I know I’m not alone in that weirdness by the way!)

I must admit there are (eventually) some scenes-I-won’t-forget-quickly, but thankfully Flight Risk doesn’t feed the paranoid tendencies too much.

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three-half-stars

Goal-setting, habits, decision-making and regret

Thursday, January 17, 2019 Permalink

Last Thursday I mentioned a post I’d started writing after being inspired by Mark Manson. I’m not a MM devotee, though don’t get him confused with Charles or Marilyn (unlike a friend of mine). While I don’t agree with what everything he says, I very much like his way with words and find myself listening to his posts (as he offers audio and reading options) again and again… hoping stuff will sink in via some sort of subliminal mind control.

There are two I’ve been listening to of late and – as I mentioned last week, they’ve become linked in my mind – so the post I was originally writing became confused and unwieldy. This week I’d initially planned to – in wanky corporate speak – ‘unpack’ the two themes… but they continue to be inexplicably entwined for me so I’ll include links to Manson’s two articles and focus more on what I ‘took away’ from both posts (more corporate-speak, #sorrynotsorry). 

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My young adult novel: the beginning

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 Permalink

I’m trying to get some creative writing mojo back so shared an excerpt from my (very rough first draft) young adult novel the other day. It’s about a teenage anorexic and it was a version of this opening scene that inspired me to finally attempt fiction – a decade or so ago. I also mentioned though, that 30,000 words in I shelved it and haven’t gotten back to it, but ponder on it every now and then as I wonder which (if any) of the 3-4 half-written projects I could / should progress.

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Book review: Ruin Beach by Kate Rhodes

Friday, January 11, 2019 Permalink

For the third or fourth time in just a couple of weeks I find myself coming upon a series part-way through. But thankfully – once again – it was certainly not a problem. And I enjoyed this a lot, so have already added this book’s predecessor (cos there is only one) to my ‘must borrow or buy’ list.

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four-stars

Overwhelm

Thursday, January 10, 2019 Permalink

You would have loved today’s post.

It was about goal setting and the fact that it’s kinda crappy, and (apparently) it’s far better instead to establish habits to get us to where we need to go. I was referencing a Mark Manson post, though realised later I somehow confused two separate posts (and topics) as MY post went on to talk about how to identify priorities and make decisions and talked about the importance of ‘regret’ in whatever it is we’re weighing up.

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My young adult novel: an excerpt

Wednesday, January 9, 2019 Permalink

Many many moons ago I enrolled in a year-long novel-writing course. I’d never attempted a novel before as I’d never had any plot ideas. An opening scene came to me however… sadly based on my own experiences as a teenager grappling with anorexia nervosa (20yrs earlier), and once it leapt into my head it remained firmly planted; so I decided to make an attempt at removing it word by word.

The course itself was quite enjoyable though everyone (the tutor included) lost their mojo a few months before the year ended. So, my very rough 30,000 words (with about 2/3 of the story written) remained as they were.

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When you don’t believe

Monday, January 7, 2019 Permalink

Over a decade ago I exercised briefly with a personal trainer. It was pretty short-lived for a range of reasons but what I did like  was that we sat down for a conversation before my first session which led to an a-ha moment (that) years of therapy hadn’t produced.

I was doing my usual spiel about wanting to lose weight (yadda yadda yadda) but after I finished talking the trainer commented (it seemed to her) that though I said I wanted to lose weight, I didn’t really believe it could / would happen.

That conversation resonated as I’d struggled (in my old Diet Schmiet blog) to articulate a difference between motivation and commitment.

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Book review: The Promised Land by Barry Maitland

Sunday, January 6, 2019 Permalink

I’ve talked again and again here (and in my most recent crime fiction / thriller reviews just last week) about the challenges of discovering a series part-way through. I prefer to start at the beginning. Cos I’ve heard it’s a very good place to start. You apparently begin with ABC and… oops #sorrynotsorry… couldn’t help myself.

Anyhoo, upon receiving this book (which I’d requested cos the plot sounded interesting) I discovered it was part of a series. And then I opened it to discover it was number 13!!! So I worried – how on earth would I have any idea who anyone was etc?

Thankfully it wasn’t at all a problem (it’s easily able to be read as a stand-alone) and I was intrigued enough by the series lead characters, our temporary cast and crew and the plot itself that I read it in one night.

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four-stars

Book review: The Truth and Triumphs of Grace Atherton by Anstey Harris

Saturday, January 5, 2019 Permalink

The publicity surrounding The Truth and Triumphs of Grace Atherton suggests it would be popular with fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman – my favourite book of 2017, so I happily moved away from my crime fiction and thrillers to dip my toes into the quirky world of Grace Atherton.

It has to be said however, that Grace and Eleanor have little in common. And that’s not a bad thing. Anstey Harris’s Grace is very different to the prickly Eleanor (who readers couldn’t help but love) however this grabbed me from the first sentence…

We were staying at David’s apartment in Paris the night the woman fell onto the Metro tracks.

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four-half-stars