Weekly check-in

Sunday, June 12, 2016 Permalink

I’ve been mostly AWOL this week. I had a few family-related commitments and was forced to remind myself that – though I try to be as professional as possible and often treat it as a job – I mostly blog for fun. It’s a passion but it’s also just a hobby. So… I attempted to stop stressing and live in the moment (or whatevs) and enjoy time with my family rather than worry about how few books I’d read or book reviews I’d written.

What I read

I only read one book. Yes… you read that right. ONE book. And the lucky winner was the final in Stephen King’s Bill Hodges (Mr Mercedes) series, End of Watch.

end of watch

What I wrote

Like I said, I felt terribly guilty but posted only two reviews:

The Teacher’s Secret by Suzanne Leal – a thought-provoking book centred around a primary school in a small Australian town
End of Watch by Stephen King – a return to where the trilogy started with the villain and hero of Mr Mercedes facing off. One last time.

the teacher's secret

What I did

The week kinda disappeared. I picked my mum up and had her with me for a couple of nights as she had some day surgery / tests. They were all fine, but I needed to be on hand and then drove her back to her hometown after. And I stayed on for a couple of days as my brother came to visit.

And finally I had a chatty and boozy catch up with two friends last night. A lot’s been happening for all of us and it was exactly what the doctor ordered.

drinks

Unfortunately half-way through the evening our power went out as a result of a car hitting a power pole nearby. It didn’t worry us too much but my friends’ 4 and 5yr old boys were equally worried and fascinated by the blackout.

Oh and in happier news…. I finally made it to the gym and attended two aqua aerobics classes last week!

What I plan to do

I’m hoping this week is more fruitful on the reading and writing front but I have two days of travel for work and other stuff – so that’s always a bit tiring.

I received 10 new books last week, including these seven print copies.

book reviewer

And three new books via NetGalley, including my much desired Ink & Bone and The Kept Woman.

book reviewer

I’m feeling a tad overwhelmed about my reading pile at the moment but don’t want it to feel like a chore. And I don’t want to let publishers and authors down by not getting to their books if I’ve requested them.

Having said that, I know it’s cyclical and all I need is a good reading week or two to feel less pressured.

And that’s about it for this not-s0-little, not-so-diligent book reviewer and blogger!

Do you have slow / slack weeks?

As usual I’m linking up with Leanne here in Australia for the Lovin’ Life Linky, Kimberly in the US for the Sunday Post; and Kathryn from NZ for ‘It’s Monday!

78 Comments
  • Stormi D Johnson
    June 12, 2016

    This coming week we are entertaining a guest so I am sure I won’t get much reading in as two days will be spent in a campground…blah. I am really curious about Ink and Bone. Happy reading!

    Stormi

    • Debbish
      June 12, 2016

      Oh dear… my last week was a bit like that. I felt bad just leaving my mother to her own devices when she’s at my place even though I know she doesn’t mind, so don’t hang out in the bath reading for hours on end. And I don’t usually do much reading at her place. (Plus – I forgot – I rented us two DVDs… Room and The Martian, to watch.)

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    June 12, 2016

    Well done you, on being the moment.
    And well done you on that food with a view!!! You had my mouth watering.
    Thanks for joining the #lovinlifelinky Deb!
    It definitely looks like there’s lots to love.

  • Greg
    June 12, 2016

    I felt AWOL this week too, even though I posted a bit I wasn’t around much. the week did kinda fly. Sounds like you had a nice week actually- family and friends. Your food looks good. 🙂

    Enjoy your books this week! I just saw someone on Twitter talking about Lisa Unger…

    • Debbish
      June 12, 2016

      I think Ink & Bone is already out Greg. I’m sure I requested it from her Australian publisher but perhaps it’s not out here yet… so I put in a request via NG anyway! I enjoy her books and heard her speak once and she was great.

      Hopefully next week will be a more productive one for both of us!

  • laurelrainsnow
    June 12, 2016

    Oh, I am scribbling away, writing down titles. I knew Louise Doughty’s name sounded familiar; I loved her book Whatever You Love. And I always enjoy Allison Winn Scotch. Karin Slaughter is another favorite, so The Kept Woman is also on my list now. Thanks!

    I loved Ink and Bone…hope you do, too.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, and I’m sorry you had to hunt to find it! Enjoy your week…that spread pictured above looks so good!

    • Debbish
      June 12, 2016

      This is my first Allison Winn Scotch book Laurel, though I follow her on social media. I had added that to my ‘wishlist’ on NG as yet wasn’t yet available, so stoked I got a copy.

      And… Ink & Bone is on my reading list for tonight – though as it’s Sunday I might even hit the bathtub earlier than usual to start it!

  • Maree
    June 12, 2016

    I got End of Watch for my birthday, but I’m yet to read Finders Keepers. Have a great week 🙂

    • Debbish
      June 12, 2016

      I loaned (lent?) End of Watch to my brother to read on his visit this past weekend and he hadn’t read Finders Keepers (I have it but hadn’t realised he had missed it) – but End of Watch follows a bit more directly on from Mr Mercedes so missing Finders Keepers isn’t an issue.

  • Nick
    June 12, 2016

    I think a lot of us tend to forget that blogging is a hobby and not a job. There are weeks when I want to do nothing but blog, but then others where I have no desire to write a review or do other posts.
    The booze night with friends sounds like it was fun, besides the power cut.
    I hope this coming week will be your good reading week! 🙂
    Take care!

    • Debbish
      June 12, 2016

      True Nick and I was able to settle down today and do some blogging after the night with my friends, so that was great!

  • Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight
    June 12, 2016

    I’m glad your mom’s ok. But that chatty and boozy catch up sounds fun! Sucks about the power outage though. Sounds like your week had lots of ups and downs. It’s ok to take a blogging/reading break sometimes, though I do understand your stress about letting down publishers and authors if you requested their books. If you’re just a tad bit late on some reviews though, it won’t be the end of the world. It still helps them 🙂

    • Debbish
      June 12, 2016

      I used to be able to get all of my reviews done in time for releases Kristen but now I’m struggling to get them done within a week or two of publication!

  • kimbacaffeinate
    June 12, 2016

    Yay for going to the gym. With the heat my daughter and I voted to say we did and skipped our nightly walks..too too hot!! I am 50% done with End of Watch on audio. We always get the review books a few days after release. I am loving it, but will be sorry to see this end. Hope your week is simply amazing!

    • Debbish
      June 12, 2016

      I’m enjoying the water aerobics Kimberly. It’s not too difficult and we can work as hard as we like. The two classes involved different instructors and so were quite different which was good!

  • Kate W
    June 12, 2016

    It’s great to have friends that, as a result of hanging out with them, allows you to the reset button.

    Good job on the gym front 🙂

    • Debbish
      June 12, 2016

      Ah yes, I needed that Kate. I’m sure I spend way too much time alone!

  • Trish @ Between My Lines
    June 12, 2016

    I go through times of not reading very much but I don’t worry about it anymore. Reading is my timeout and even on days I’m mega busy, I have to read a few pages just to relax before sleep but I’ve accepted that some weeks I just don’t get through as many books as I’d like.
    Yay on the gym! I love aqua aerobics but can never make class times for any class fit my schedule.
    That food and that location looks like perfection to me.

    • Debbish
      June 12, 2016

      Ah yes, this week I’m working three days and have an appointment that clashes with the water aerobics class on the fourth day, so will have to just head there and do something myself. I’d like to work up to 3 days a week, which I think is sustainable. I used to go 4-5 days in my old life but I need to remind myself this is forever and I’d like to supplement classes with the odd walk on the esplanade etc…

  • Trish @ Between My Lines
    June 12, 2016

    Oh meant to say I love Lisa Unger so enjoy Ink and Bone, lucky girl!

    • Debbish
      June 12, 2016

      I actually read it in a sitting tonight Trish. I hadn’t realised it was another of The Hollows series… which isn’t my fave, but enjoyable anyway.

  • Annemieke
    June 12, 2016

    Sometimes it just needed to have a week where blogging isn’t one of our top priorities. It keeps things fun, you know. Glad to hear the tests with well for your mom. And having a great evening with friends sounds great. 🙂

    • Debbish
      June 12, 2016

      Yes, I was feeling stressed but had to remind myself that only I was putting myself under that pressure. No one would notice if I skipped days or weeks here and there!

  • Emma
    June 12, 2016

    I think it’s so important to have that work, life and blogging balance…stressing over a hobby is surely wrong? There’s some great books on your new arrivals this week – I think I’d read them all but the Lisa Unger one might be the first I’d pick.

    • Debbish
      June 12, 2016

      It was the first I picked Emma, plus it’s already out (not sure if it’s out here in Australia, but def elsewhere).

  • Maureen Beatrice
    June 12, 2016

    Sometimes it’s definitely good to realize blogging is for fun. I really needed that reminder myself too.
    Great that you made it to the gym. How was the aerobics?
    Since I just came back from my vacation, I’ve been catching up on my emails and getting my blog back in order a little. It should be another slow week, but next week I’m probably back to my blogging self. 😀
    Have a great week and happy reading. 😉

    • Debbish
      June 12, 2016

      I enjoyed the water aerobics Maureen. One of the instructors had us doing a lot of bouncing and jumping things (which made me worried I’d need to go to the loo) and the other had us doing a lot more upper body and abdominal work. We use these big buoyant dumbbells for the weights work!

  • adventureswithabooknerd
    June 12, 2016

    Don’t worry about not reading a lot! Family comes first, and like you said, blogging and reading is a hobby. Don’t get too stressed out about it. How was the gym? I want to exercise more, but I have no idea where to start! Hope that you have a good week. 🙂

    • Debbish
      June 12, 2016

      This week will be more of a challenge on the exercise front as I can only make it to one aqua class, so I’ll need to do something else. And then will try to make it 3 times a week.

  • sjhigbee
    June 12, 2016

    I only read one book this week, as well… It WAS a big book, and though the writing was engrossing and remarkable I somehow couldn’t power through it the way I normally do. So I was very relieved to discover I wasn’t the only one who hit something of a reading wall! But, you’re absolutely right – family has to come first, always. Have a great week and I hope your mother quickly bounces back from her surgery.

    • Debbish
      June 12, 2016

      Ah yes, mum only had some tests done and it was fine. She just needed someone on hand. She’s having some eye surgery in a couple of weeks and needs a driver for 4 days after that as well, but it’s no hassle. It’s handy that I now live in a nearby town and my part-time work means I can be flexible.

  • Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog
    June 12, 2016

    I read Mr. Mercedes but haven’t picked up the second book yet. I really enjoyed it so I don’t know what I am waiting for!! Yay for the gym!! I also got In Twenty Years. Can’t wait to get to it. Have a great week!!

    • Debbish
      June 13, 2016

      Thanks Grace. I didn’t read Mr Mercedes but started with Finders Keepers. It didn’t really matter as Bill Hodges was only introduced in the latter half of that… this felt like more of a direct follow-on from Mr Mercedes. (If that makes sense!)

  • Mareli Thalwitzer
    June 13, 2016

    (*Jumping up and down very excitedly here*) The new Bill Hodges!!!!!!! YEAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait. I loved the first two. I am currently reading 11/22/63. WIshing you a lovely week! (As lovely as the books you chose to read, great selection)

    • Debbish
      June 13, 2016

      Ah yes… and we see more of Bill again in this latest. I should warn you – it is a bit sad….

  • Lillian @ Mom With a Reading Problem
    June 13, 2016

    I need to read the Bill Hodges series. I’ve found out that I really enjoy Stephen King. I didn’t think I would so I avoided him for years and then I read Under the Dome and yeah….I’m sucked it now 😀 Hope you have a great week!
    My Sunday Post

    • Debbish
      June 13, 2016

      Some of his early work really sticks in my mind – especially some of his short stories. I struggle a little more with the fantastical nowadays though.

  • Angelized1st
    June 13, 2016

    Glad you got the opportunity to have some down time. We all need it once in a while. I’ll be taking mine these next couple of weeks. I can’t wait! I just downloaded Mr. Mercedes on audio. I’ve always been a King fan, but haven’t really read much of his stuff in recent years, but I heard this series was pretty good. Enjoy your new books!

    • Debbish
      June 13, 2016

      Yes, I went back to him because I heard good things about Mr Mercedes – though bizarrely am yet to actually read that one!

  • yvonne473
    June 13, 2016

    We all need downtime every once in awhile and I’m glad you were able to get it. I’ve been wanting to read Lisa Unger and Karin Slaughter’s books for awhile. I’ve heard good things about them. Have a great week!

    • Debbish
      June 13, 2016

      I have to admit I’m not loving this current series of Lisa Unger’s as much as I’ve enjoyed her other work Yvonne. They touch a little on the paranormal – which I don’t HATE but struggle to process in my little logical mind. Ink & Bone has a lot of interesting twists though and she does a great job with her characters.

  • Literary Feline
    June 13, 2016

    I am glad everything with your mom came out well and that you were able to unwind with some friends last night, even with the power outage.

    Look at all those great books! I hope you are able to fit in more reading and blogging time this week as you’re hoping. I need to make time to go to the hair salon, but I always put it off as long as I can. It eats up so much time I could be using doing other things . . . And yet maybe that’s what I need. A forced break. Haha

    I hope you have a great week, Deborah!

    • Debbish
      June 13, 2016

      I actually read at the hair salon – which is interesting as I usually ONLY read at night and in the bathtub. But… cos I have an hour or two with stuff on my head I will take a book (or my iPad) to read. And… the salon is in a complex which has poor internet reception so there’s no chance I’ll spend the time surfing online! 😉

  • The Lovely Pages Reviews
    June 13, 2016

    Everyone is reading Ink and Bone, I feel like I’m missing out! It’s perfectly ok to take a break once in a while, that way it’s still enjoyable and blogging won’t turn into a chore. Enjoy your week!

    • Debbish
      June 13, 2016

      That’s very true…. and it’s nice to spend time with family.

  • Kathryn
    June 13, 2016

    What! You have a life away from reading and blogging! Go for it, sounds a great week and everyone needs a change up. I’m kinda interested in reading The Teacher’s Secret, will keep an eye out for it in the shops. I just entered a Giveaway on Goodreads for The House Between Tides on Goodreads after looking it up. I thought that was the title that sounded most like my reading style but I see it is a bit spooky!

    • Debbish
      June 13, 2016

      I must check to make sure I requested all of those books Kathryn. I rarely receive unsolicited books – though it happens occasionally and I need to make sure I prioritise the ones I’ve asked for.

  • charliegirlteachergirl
    June 13, 2016

    I’ve had a very slack week! I didn’t read for more than half the days in the week! I will admit, though, that I have been listening to my audiobook and finished it on Friday and started a new one. I also feel the same about reading. What? A six hour kids’ birthday party? But I could have finished my book…and started a new one. I have that same struggle, and the balance that my blog is a hobby. I just feel so unsuccessful if I’m not taking care of it and doing what I plan on doing and posting like normal. I’m glad you enjoyed your friends’ visit!

    • Debbish
      June 13, 2016

      Ha… no the six hour catch-up was more about me catching up with my friends. They both brought their little ones though so they could play together – which worked well.

      And I completely understand what you’re saying about that commitment to the success of your blog. I’m the same.

  • Char
    June 13, 2016

    Family comes first. Even over blogging and book reviews. Glad to hear that your mum’s tests turned out fine.

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    June 13, 2016

    I do like the look of that cheese platter. I know what you mean about reminding oneself that the blog is just a hobby 🙂

    • Debbish
      June 13, 2016

      I know… I think I try to be professional and am naturally a bit of a perfectionist, but really… it’s all supposed to be fun!

  • seizetheday20
    June 13, 2016

    Nothing wrong with having a slow/slack week. Hey, I’ve been in a bit of a slow/slack/slump for the past month! Actually, it’s more accurate to say that I’ve been busy with paid work, so my hobby blog has suffered as a consequence. Gotta love a relaxing catch up with friends – we can always squeeze them in 🙂

    • Debbish
      June 13, 2016

      Ah yes, paid work sadly needs to come first. Those damned bills HAVE to be paid. #alas

  • Leona Woolfolk
    June 13, 2016

    I’m glad there were some highs amongst this week. I hope the weeks to come you’ll have more happy moments :). Enjoy the rest of your week, and happy reading!

  • Michelle - Jarrah Jungle
    June 13, 2016

    I only like to have half a dozen books on my reading list at a time or I tent to feel a bit overwhelmed as well! I think you could finish Lily and the Octopus in just a few days its a beautifully sweet and sad read 🙂

    • Debbish
      June 13, 2016

      Oh… I’m looking forward to it Michelle so it might be next on my list. And yes… my list is rather large at the moment. I seem to have accumulated a dozen in NetGalley alone!

  • lattenightsreviews
    June 13, 2016

    I hope you’re mom is recovering!! I’ve never read a book by Stephen King! I don’t know if I ever will. I find them intriguing but not enough to pick up yet. I hope you have a better week 🙂

    • Debbish
      June 13, 2016

      I’d normally suggest this latest series was a good place to start though you could try some of his short stories. I like his early work a lot.

  • Myrthe
    June 13, 2016

    Everyone has slow weeks. You can’t always be on top of everything. Plus, sometimes I want to do things that are not reading. I have a feeling that my blog is going to be slow again for a little while after I start my new job, but I’ve already got a lot of posts planned, so hopefully that will keep it running for a but longer.
    Happy reading!

    • Debbish
      June 13, 2016

      Ah Myrthe, that’s a great idea having posts planned. I just need to get organised and prepare a few in advance. I’ve got two that aren’t needed for a while that I’ve started so it’d be nice to have those up my sleeve!

  • readerbuzz
    June 14, 2016

    Funny that you have Lily and the Octopus there, too. Such an emotional and well told story.

    Hope you have a good week. No worries.

    Readerbuzz.blogspot.com

    • Debbish
      June 14, 2016

      Yes I’m looking forward to it Deb… though a bit nervous as a few people have mentioned its sadness…

  • LisaD
    June 14, 2016

    You’ve got a nice stack of books to choose from! Lily and the Octopus was great – quick and funny (and sad!) I enjoyed Ink and Bone. I’m totally jealous of the new Karin Slaughter…can’t request it in the USA yet…

    • Debbish
      June 14, 2016

      Ah yes, you’ve reminded me I need to finish my Ink & Bone review Lisa!

  • Hfineisen
    June 14, 2016

    Ooh, I’d love to read The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter. She’s a favorite. Enjoy!

    • Debbish
      June 14, 2016

      It’s not out for a while so a fair way down my list…. but I’m looking forward to it!

  • Laura@125Pages
    June 14, 2016

    I think we all have slower reading/blogging weeks. Sometimes you need to take a little break in order to regain balance! I loved Ink and Bone so I hope you do too. I also got In Twenty Years this week and it looks like it will be a great read. Have a great week!

    • Debbish
      June 14, 2016

      Oh yes Laura…. so many great books and so little time! 😉

  • Nise' (Under the Boardwalk)
    June 14, 2016

    So glad your time with friends was just what the doctor ordered! Glad things went well with your mom’s medical issues. I go to a water aerobics class three times a week and love it!

    • Debbish
      June 14, 2016

      I’m enjoying my classes too Nise’. I must make sure I try all of the teachers too because the classes I’ve been to have been different, which is great. I like a bit of variety!

  • Jess
    June 14, 2016

    Your deck has the best view! Perfect spot for a boozey afternoon! Good on you for going to aqua aerobics. It feels good to move in water!

    • Debbish
      June 15, 2016

      The deck is a great spot but I really don’t use it enough at the moment. And yes, it does feel nice in the water.

  • Vlora
    June 15, 2016

    That boozy catch up sounds fantastic and the picture looks really great! I know what it’s like to struggle with not having more time to blog – I’m working and writing my BA thesis and organizing my move etc. at the moment, so I sometimes disappear for weeks at a time, and I really start missing it after a while (plus I don’t get to participate in the community as much), but I think it’s important not to beat yourself up about it! It sounds like you got a lot of stuff done. 🙂

    • Debbish
      June 15, 2016

      Yes… I have a few busy weeks ahead of me – in terms of having major commitments (time and headspace) so need to ease off for a bit I think!

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