Languishing and nourishment

Monday, June 14, 2021 Permalink

In May this year The New York Times explained that the melancholy, the malaise, the lack of vive la joie we’ve been experiencing was called languishing.

The paper referenced was published long before COVID became a thing and I certainly languished in the past but the article shares research explaining how many feel in this post-pandemic world. It also gives us a word to drop into conversations and blog posts. Languishing is – apparently – ‘the void between depression and flourishing’. The article also offers other descriptions, including ‘a sense of stagnation and emptiness’.

Book review: Vanished by James Delargy

Saturday, June 12, 2021 Permalink

Vanished by James Delargy is a difficult book to describe. I assumed it to be a thriller, but as I started reading I was worried there were going to be some supernatural forces at play and that’s not a genre I enjoy.

Thankfully the mystery surrounding the disappearing family is very much grounded in human actions and interactions… and they’re not swallowed by the earth or some creature hovering beneath.

three-stars

Book review: Mirror Man by Fiona McIntosh

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 Permalink

Mirror Man by Fiona McIntosh is the third in the series featuring Scotland Yard detective Jack Hawksworth, promoted here to Detective Superintendent.

I’ve commented in my review of the two previous books that I very much like that McIntosh presents Jack as a likeable boss and his own supervisor is also a good friend of his. It’s a nice change from the usual bastard-like guv’ners we meet in most novels featuring police personnel.

three-half-stars

Emotional fragility, deflation and resilience

Monday, June 7, 2021 Permalink

I feel like the past few years have been marred by constant disappointment. I never allow myself to be optimistic. I prefer to prepare myself for the worst and yet, when it appears (as expected), I’m deflated.

And it keeps happening again and again. Missed job or professional opportunities. Injuries and health setbacks. People.

Book review: Nancy Business by RWR McDonald

Friday, June 4, 2021 Permalink

Let me just start by saying, when I grow up I want to be 12 year old Tippy Chan. Or at least occupy her world along with her pragmatic mother Helen, her eccentric Uncle Pike and his mostly over-the-top partner (and Tippy’s honorary sissy) Devon.

It’s so easy to get lost in the world RWR McDonald creates, that it seems very real. I feel sad at the thought of leaving them behind each time I turn the last page. Although – in reality – it feels as if it’s I’m the one being left behind.

four-half-stars

Book review: The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock

Wednesday, June 2, 2021 Permalink

The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock was a delightful surprise. I particularly liked its lead, Mercy Blain. She’s in her mid thirties and well-established in her life and career, so relatable for me.

I’m loving the current trend of ‘normalising’ characters with quirks, phobias or mental health issues. Once upon a time it felt like they (we) were portrayed as victims or case-studies. Now their (our) idiosyncrasies and issues are merely part of who they (we) are. I commented in my recent review of Love Objects that I appreciated that the author, Emily Maguire, didn’t feel the need to rid her lead character of some of her obsessive (yet comforting-to-her) tendencies.

Here Mercy has become an agoraphobic – the result of a trifecta of things going badly in her life two years earlier. She’s barely left her house since but forced to do so when it burns down.

four-half-stars

Book review: Legacy by Nora Roberts

Friday, May 28, 2021 Permalink

I was a tad worried Legacy by Nora Roberts would be a bit saga-ish. I love her romantic suspense novels and ADORE her JD Robb series, but the blurb here sounded a bit more Barbara Taylor Bradford circa 1990ish.

Thankfully it wasn’t. We do meet our lead Adrian at various stages of her childhood then on a few occasions during her adult life but it’s less about generations of women or families and their legacies and more about Adrian herself.

It takes a little while to get to the ‘suspense’ part of this book but I liked Adrian and the fact her ambition is balanced with a sense of humanity, so was happy to be along for the ride.

three-half-stars

Book review: Falling by TJ Newman

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 Permalink

Falling by TJ Newman opens with a bang and does not release its readers until the very end.

In fact I must confess I skimmed far more than I meant to here, but it was only because I felt the urgent need to know what would happen. I could not turn the pages quickly enough. I’m fairly sure I held my breath on a number of occasions and steeled myself (several times) for the worst.

four-stars

Self-care: getting out of my own head

Monday, May 24, 2021 Permalink

I’m trying to do more ‘personal blogging’ though not yet succeeding. Predominantly I want to just write more and focus less on book reviews, which often feel as if they’re a chore rather than something I enjoy.

Denyse Whelan’s weekly link-up had the theme of ‘self-care stories’ this week. I think self-care is very individual and I’ve talked before about what I think it is and what it often means.