Weekly check-in

Sunday, September 13, 2015 Permalink

You’ll all be relieved to know my cold / flu has disappeared and I am a fully-functioning 45% again. 🙂

On the book blog front, I had a fabulous reading week and a pretty good blogging week in general, which surprised even me!

What I read

I started the week with a book I’d received from Harlequin Australia after commenting that I’d missed it when it came out and really wanted to read it. It probably didn’t completely meet the hype but I enjoyed The Good Girl by Mary Kubica nonetheless. I guessed the twist pretty early so think it was then just a matter of it all playing out.

the good girl

The Assassins by Gayle Lynds was next on my reading list before the VERY different, Early One Morning by Virginia Baily.

And finally I read The Good Neighbour by AJ Banner. I haven’t had as many hardcopy books arrive recently so I requested 8-9 review copies from NetGalley last week and they all came through. At once. Faaarck!

the good neighbour

What I wrote

The Landing by Susan Johnson – in which not a lot happens. It’s well written but the characters failed to engage me.

The Secret to Weight Loss – in which I reveal (after 30 years of on/off obsessive dieting) there appears to be no secret!

Devoted in Death by JD Robb – Eve and Roarke and their band of merry helpers are back for the latest in this consistently good series.

The Assassins by Gayle Lynds – my first foray into the world of spies and espionage in a decade or two and one I enjoyed!

September 11 – My memories and the sounds of silence – a post I felt I didn’t have the right to write but memories I wanted to share.

uluru

Early One Morning by Virginia Baily – a book I liked more than I expected to.

What I did

I enrolled as planned in the `Magazine and Newspaper Freelance Writing’ course and it kicked off this week. It’s delivered via workshop in Sydney but I’m doing the online version and was surprised to find the first audio download went for almost 2hrs. (Don’t they know I get bored easily? #joking!) Anyhoo, so far so good.

I also met with a local author, TJ Hamilton, whose self-published books are being released by Harlequin here in Australia. I’ll feature the interview prior to the re-launch of her first book (Buying Thyme) in the next week or two. As a complete aside, I’m fortunate to be in contact with two local authors (the other being Peta Jo, whose book The Crushing Season I reviewed recently) as it’s wonderful to be able to talk books, reading and writing with people who love them all as much as me.

What I plan to read

As it’s due to be published any day now, I’ll kick off the week with Lynda La Plante’s Tennison. I’ve been a fan of the series (also the TV show) so keen to read this backstory into the early policing career of a young Jane Tennison. (Ahem… slight update. I wrote this post Saturday and ended up reading this over a 4-5hr period in the bath Saturday night. And I LOVED it!)

tennison

Next on the agenda will be some of my new e-reads. I’m starting with MJ Arlidge’s Liar Liar. I’ve read the first two books in the Helen Grace series but my request for no. 3 was rejected… so I’m hoping I didn’t miss too much as I kick off no. 4.

Liar Liar

I enjoyed Jane Shemilt’s Daughter last year so looking forward to her latest, The Drowning Lesson.

the drowning lesson

As a couple of this week’s novels are lengthy, I’m predicting I’ll tackle nothing else but if that changes I’ll probably read the Cathy Kelly I mentioned last week or perhaps Elizabeth George’s A Banquet of Consequences.

What’s on your reading agenda or #ToDoList this week?

I’m again linking up with Kimberley from The Caffeinated Book Reviewer for The Sunday Post!

And I’m also joining Sheila who’s back with her ‘It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?’ linkup.

PS. And finally, the winner of the copies of X by Sue Grafton and Splinter the Silence by Val McDermid is Jess! I’ve emailed her and will get her books to her this coming week. Thanks to all who entered!

78 Comments
  • Stormi D Johnson
    September 13, 2015

    Glad your over your cold. The books you have to read look pretty good. I need Liar Liar as I love that series! 🙂

    Stormi
    Week in Review

    • Debbish
      September 13, 2015

      I remember requesting no. 3 in the Helen Grace series from NetGalley Stormi and getting a no. I used to be offended by the ‘no’ responses but try to remind myself it’s often a geographical thing as I sometimes still request something which is just for US / UK readers etc…

  • Rita @ View From My Home
    September 13, 2015

    I’m happy you’re feeling better!
    You always have a good selection of titles and I’m writing a few down. I never heard of Prime Suspect, but that book sounds awesome (Tennison). Do you know if the show is on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon or any of those streaming options? If so, I’ll watch it. Also The Drowning Lesson looks good, as do The Assassins and Early One Morning.

    I didn’t like Eeny Meeny that much (probably just me, I’m not one for too much graphic matter), if that is the same author I’m thinking of who wrote Liar Liar. But I’m glad for you that you are enjoying them. Have a good week ahead.

    • Debbish
      September 13, 2015

      I’ve never tried streaming Rita so not sure re Prime Suspect’s availability. Here’s a link to its wikipedia page. (I note each year appears as a separate entry in IMDb).

      I do recall Eeny Meeny being somewhat macabre also…. can’t remember much about no. 2 though so must check my reviews before I start this one so I get more context!

      • Rita @ View From My Home
        September 14, 2015

        Found it on Netflix!! Just watched 2 hour first season, first episode and am hooked. Thanks so much for the tip. Now I definitely want to read Tennison!

        • Debbish
          September 14, 2015

          Great. I remember the quality (of the writing probably, not the acting) varied a little over the years. I remember being very excited that there was going to be a US remake (starring Maria Bello, who I love) but it wasn’t great and didn’t last long. It was quite different to the mini series as well.

  • Kathryn
    September 13, 2015

    Nice to be well again. I noticed The Good Neighbor on NetGalley, there were two of them and I got the other one! Can’t remember the author. Your course sounds interesting, it is great that so much can be done online these days. What did we do without the internet!

    • Debbish
      September 13, 2015

      I noticed the two books with the same name as well Kathryn (think they were almost next to each other). This was a pretty short read (just over 200 pages I think) and I quite enjoyed it.

  • laurelrainsnow
    September 13, 2015

    I love your cover on The Good Girl…glad you enjoyed it. I am eager to check out Shemilt’s book, as I enjoyed her book, Daughter. Thanks for sharing…and for visiting my blog.

    • Debbish
      September 13, 2015

      No worries Laurel, am looking forward to Shemilt’s second book as well!

  • kimbacaffeinate
    September 13, 2015

    Bwahaha..I remember when I first started on NetGalley and requested like 8 books thinking I’d get approved for maybe one or two..but nope all 8. Glad you are feeling better. I have a head cold and cough that is making me mizzy. Friday night I took a ton of meds and went to bed at 6:30!! I didn’t even have dinner or my usually 1/2 pot of coffee.

    • Debbish
      September 13, 2015

      Sorry to hear about your head cold Kimberley – it sucks being sick. I’m sure I’m better but still ridiculously tired ALL OF THE TIME, so perhaps it’s still hanging around a little.

      I know what you mean about NG. I’d actually not requested anything for a month or so as I had so many hard copies arrive… but then I worry I miss something exciting so just go and take a peek…

  • Greg
    September 13, 2015

    What a nice week! Lots going on… it is cool being able to take classes online now. I would probably get antsy too though! Hope this week is good as well.

    • Debbish
      September 13, 2015

      I ended up listening to the audio in bed Greg, but was a bit worried I’d fall asleep. I’ve never tried audio books etc… either!

  • Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
    September 13, 2015

    I’m glad your cold / flu is gone, Deb! And you definitely gave me a chuckle with your 45 %… It sounds like you’ve had a very interesting week, with your new course, meeting with this author whose books will be released by Harlequin as well as some writing on your own.
    The books you read look really good.
    Have a fantastic week ahead and happy reading.

    • Debbish
      September 13, 2015

      Thanks Lexxie – I’ve had a #meh weekend so it was good to be reminded that my week was actually pretty good.

  • Jess
    September 13, 2015

    I am so looking forward to sitting down and reading two books! Yay! Thank you so much!
    A two hour audio would have me bored too, I don’t know how I did it through Uni back in the day.
    What a busy week you had! I missed a few of your book reviews will have to check them out. Xx

    • Debbish
      September 13, 2015

      Congrats again on the win Jess and thanks for the address. I’ll put the books in the mail tomorrow.

      I remember when I worked full time and I’d suddenly go to a course for a day I’d be exhausted – not accustomed to sitting and just listening even though the course was often shorter than my usual work-day!

  • Emma
    September 13, 2015

    Glad your feeling better. Like the sound of the drowning lessons. Think it would be the one I’d read first. Good luck on your course!

    • Debbish
      September 13, 2015

      Thank you Emma. I only just finished my week 1 course homework today so I probably need to be better organised next week!

  • Maree
    September 13, 2015

    Glad you’re feeling better! Looks like you had a great reading week 🙂

  • Jo
    September 13, 2015

    So looking forward to hearing about Elizabeth George’s newie…

    • Debbish
      September 13, 2015

      Me too. Fingers crossed. The last was a bit of an improvement on recent ones so I hope this is the same!

  • Myrthe
    September 13, 2015

    Keep us updated on the course, it sounds really interesting! Have a great week!

  • Teddyree
    September 13, 2015

    Glad you’re over the head cold. I feel your netgalley pain lol. I did that last month, still have 2 books left to write reviews for … never again *kicks self* Hope Liar Liar does it for you. I want another great psychological thriller, (I’m in withdrawals after Black-Eyed Susans) but I’m a bit OCD, have to start at the beginning of a series. Any suggestions?
    I love catching up with local author Sherryl Caulfield, we walk and talk for hours about all things bookish, just wish we could fit in more than one catch up a month. Have a great week Deb and happy reading 🙂

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      I think I’ve requested Black Eyed Susans but not sure. I’d seen a lot of US bloggers rave about it and then saw its arrival on our listings belatedly.

      As for good psychological thrillers (you’ve probably read most of these)… hmmm… in terms of stand-alones some off the top of my head: I Let You Go, by Clare Mackintosh, Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica, Sharon Bolton’s Little Black Lies, The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford, If She Did It by Jessica Treadway. Under Your Skin by Sabine Durrant is a few years old now but VERY good!

      And the series – the Val McDermid’s Tony Hill and Carol Jordan. I also like Karen Rose’s books which are all kinda linked but you don’t really need to read in order.

  • My ParaHangover
    September 13, 2015

    I am SO glad you’re feeling so much better! Looks like you cranked out the reading and writing, too!

    I think your cold/flu decided to visit me last week BUT it’s on its way somewhere else at the moment. I’ve been down with a cold since Wed my sinus headache decided to invite a migraine along for the ride so that got confusing – try figuring out what to medicate when you feel like roadkill.

    BTW – you have every right to write about 9/11 because it’s everyone’s tragedy. So many humans lost their lives at the hands of other humans, period. What’s saddest is that many Americans have forgotten… THANK YOU for remembering – I’m sorry your memories of a great trip are “tainted” 🙁

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      Oh yes… I’m usually of the mindset that I’ll just get better and my body will mend itself but I did take my share of painkillers recently!

  • Elizabeth the Evil Overlord
    September 14, 2015

    How funny, I have The Good Neighbor by a different author! So glad you signed up for that writing course.

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      I saw that Elizabeth – saw both of them in NetGalley (almost next to each other!).

  • Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
    September 14, 2015

    I remember watching Prime Suspect awhile ago so I’ll definitely be looking for Tennison! Glad you’re feeling better. I hate how a cold just lingers on and on and on! You’ve gotten some great reading done and have some fascinating books coming up. Can’t wait to see your review of them. Have a great week!

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      I’ve still been sleeping a lot Katherine and really tired all of the time so I’m assuming that’s the cold / flu just hanging around and making a nuisance of itself.

  • katarguelles
    September 14, 2015

    It’s good to hear you are feeling better! Netgalley can be unpredictable and I’ve requested ARCs thinking I wouldn’t get approved. But now I’m stuck with a pile of ARCs to read lol. I hope they all turn out to be good reads. Have a great week!

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      Yes, I really should have paced myself better shouldn’t I??!!

  • Tracy (@Cornerfolds)
    September 14, 2015

    Hahaha! I hate it when that happens with Netgalley! I’ve found myself overwhelmed with ARCs before too! Good luck with all your new reads! I hope you love all of them 😀

    Here’s my Weekly Recap!

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      Thanks Tracy, I’ve not started them yet as I found something else I’d forgotten was being published this week! They’ll have to wait!

  • imavoraciousreader
    September 14, 2015

    So glad to hear you’re fully functional again. 😀 Yay! Don’t you just love that about NetGalley? It also happens with the library but that’s not so bad because those can always go back and you can get them again. lol I picked up The Good Neighbor though Kindle First. I need to get reading. I hope you have a wonderful week!

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      I enjoyed The Good Neighbour – it’ll be a three star book for me when I get around to the review.

  • Heather Duff (@hross42)
    September 14, 2015

    Glad your feeling better! Well done for signing up for your course, it sounds so exciting and I hope you are enjoying it.

    Have a great week!

  • amyh90
    September 14, 2015

    Hi Deb! I’m glad you’re feeling better 😀 It’s the change in seasons isn’t it? I love the pic “sound of silence”, it says a thousand words, don’t you think? It’s so peaceful!
    Have a great week,
    Amy x

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      I definitely think it’s the change of seasons Amy. I got sick at the beginning and end of winter. Grrrrr…. Hope you have a good week as well.

  • Char
    September 14, 2015

    Most of my reading choices come from your reviews lately. I’m not sure if it’s because I think we have similar tastes or if I’m easily led but it’s working for me.

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      I think we like the same genre Char (mysteries, thrillers, suspense) so that’s probably a good thing! And I don’t stretch outside of my comfort zone tooooooo much!

  • fuonlyknew
    September 14, 2015

    Happy to hear you are feeling like yourself again. And so many awesome new books this week. I see a few I’m hoping to read soon. You sure are busy!

    My Sunday Post – http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/09/13/whats-new-on-my-bookshelf-129-and-the-sunday-post/

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      I suspect this week won’t be quite as manic, reading-wise. I’ve got a few other things booked in so must pace myself better as it’s not usually the reading that’s the problem, but keeping up with the reviewing!

  • Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog
    September 14, 2015

    Glad you are feeling better!! Awesome that you had a great reading and blogging week. I HATE when that happens on NetGalley. I then feel super overwhelmed. Good luck with your class – Have a great week!!

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      Grace, I’m also anal about keeping my NetGalley (approved / reviewed) ratio really high, which is ridiculous I know!

  • fangswandsfairy(alt)
    September 14, 2015

    How cool that Harlequin Australia did that! That’s wone of those “You love me, you really love me” moments. Sorry – Oscars, Sally Field joke – possibly very American.

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      Ah no, I get it Steph and it was very nice of them. I’d reviewed Kubica’s second novel (Pretty Baby) and commented in that about the fact I needed to read The Good Girl and I got this email out of the blue. Very lovely of them!

  • Nise' (Under the Boardwalk)
    September 14, 2015

    Yay for feeling better! Fantastic reading week for you. Looking forward to The Drowning Lesson too.

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      Fingers crossed I get to it this week Nise’!

  • signourney
    September 14, 2015

    Glad to hear you are feeling better! Always fun when all your requests go through at once and suddenly you are swamped. 😉

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      I know… it kinda serves me right Signourney!

  • readerbuzz
    September 14, 2015

    What a busy and productive (and those two adjectives don’t always go together!) week you have had, Debbie! Enjoy your week!

    Here’s my It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      True Deb and they feel kinda true for me this week!

  • lakesidemusing
    September 14, 2015

    Glad you are feeling better! I want to read The Good Girl, and never seem to guess the plot twists. Guess I don’t read enough of that type of novel 😉

    Have a great week!

    • Debbish
      September 14, 2015

      I guess I read a lot of similar books so expected this one!

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    September 14, 2015

    Some newspaper somewhere should employ you to do book reviews and interviews with authors Deb. You are my go to. When I need a new book to read I just go through your back posts to get ideas. You’re me lady for books.

  • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
    September 15, 2015

    Glad to hear your cold has gone and you’ve had a good reading week!

  • divabooknerd
    September 15, 2015

    How are you enjoying the course so far Deb, is it what you’d expected? I’d lobe to do online study, I often think about it so I can do the coursework in my own time, but have never taken the next step and looked into it. You’ve inspired me to check it put. So glad to see you’re on the mend too Deb <3

    • Debbish
      September 15, 2015

      I’m enjoying it so far Kelly but haven’t had to submit stuff for others to read yet. I know that’s when I’ll get all self-conscious. It’s one thing writing stuff here, but another thing entirely when I have to write something to impress others!

  • brandileigh2003
    September 15, 2015

    The Good Girl sounds good, hope you enjoy and have a good upcoming week.

  • lattenightsreviews
    September 15, 2015

    8-9 review copies?!!!! Oh my goodness! I’m trying to be very selective in what I request. Otherwise, I’ll go crazy! I wish you the best of luck.

    • Debbish
      September 15, 2015

      So was I… so I don’t know what happened?! I hadn’t checked in for a month or so and suspect a lot had appeared during that time. I think at least two of them aren’t published until 2016, so I can sit on those for a while!

  • onecurvyblogger
    September 15, 2015

    Sorry to hear The Good Girl wasn’t all you expected. I feel you about NetGalley. You wait and wait for responses and then all at once BAM!

    • Debbish
      September 15, 2015

      Absolutely and I think a couple were ones I assumed I’d get rejected for as they were predominantly for UK / US readers etc…

  • Lola
    September 15, 2015

    I am glad to hear you’re doing better and yay for getting an arc you were looking forward too. Although it’s always a bit sad when you predict the big twist early on, although seeing it all play out is half of the fun as well.

    I just read your september 11 post, how weird that must have been to be on vacation and have those good memories mixed in with bad ones. I always find it interesting how well everyone remembers the days something big like that happens.

    I hope you’ll have a great week!

    • Debbish
      September 15, 2015

      Absolutely Lola. I think the generation before me remember Kennedy’s shooting and the like and for me it’s Princess Diana’s death, September 11, a bombing in Bali which involved a lot of Australians etc…

  • Jen G. (The Introverted Reader)
    September 15, 2015

    I’m glad you’re feeling better. And yay for the new class! I’m proud of you! Enjoy your week!

  • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard
    September 16, 2015

    Oh, the dreaded “oh no all my books from NetGalley came in at once” feeling… I know it well LOL. Also, you go, girl – way to go for starting that class!

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