Weekly check-in

Sunday, September 25, 2016 Permalink

Another week has flown by and though I should be concerned about this time-hastening phenomenon, I’m just glad I can flush my toilets again. That’s right folks… my water tank pump issues were sorted and I can flush freely. (I thought that was important for you all to know before I continue with my weekly retrospective!)

What I read

I started the week with Val McDermid’s Out of Bounds. Poor Val – or at least her book – had waited a while and thankfully didn’t fail to please.

Canadian author Barbara Fradkin drew my attention via one of her previous novels but I’d not seen anything for some time so happily devoured a new book, Fire in the Stars which kicked off a new series.

fire-in-the-stars

I bravely downloaded Aussie Rachael Johns’ latest, The Art of Secret Keeping. I say bravely, because I’ve been a fan of Rachael’s though not read any of her VERY popular and successful books before. As a non-reader of romance I’d pretty much steered clear… but this latest book was a bit different and I’m glad I dipped my toe in those waters.

I also managed to knock off Linwood Barclay’s latest novel in the three-part series set in Promise Falls, The Twenty-Three while babysitting last night. I LOVED the first book in this series, was a little disappointed in the second and have mixed feelings about the third, which I’ll review this coming week.

What I wrote

I blogged every day. Amazingly. And I reviewed a few books….

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta – a departure for the Aussie young adult novelist, centred around family, grief, racism, culture and terrorism… so yeah, just a light read 😉
Out of Bounds by Val McDermid – part of a series that I didn’t entirely remember but very enjoyable nonetheless
Fire in the Stars by Barbara Fradkin – which I reviewed in Goodreads: an enjoyable novel of suspense with a glimmer of romance that avoided the usual cliches
The Art of Keeping Secrets by Rachael Johns – a delightful story about three friends, all at the point of crisis, and who share secrets they’ve long kept from each other.

the-art-of-keeping-secrets

And there were some other posts:

I shared my Favourite Family Meals as part of a link-up on Monday; and on Tuesday I happily revealed the first three things I’d eat if a cure for coeliac (celiac) disease was discovered (spoiler alert: KFC featured highly!). And finally I wrote about my ‘personal’ first aid kit.

What I did

Well, obviously I got my toilet fixed. So yay! And let’s just say I was SERIOUSLY over emptying buckets into my cisterns!

I decided I should continue with the new-house-jobs while I was vaguely motivated and had the outside of my house washed (as it’s white and hadn’t been done for a while) and I organised a local mowing company to mow my grass. My block of land is pretty big… well, it’s two normal house plots I think, so good to get that taken care of.

I made it to THREE classes at the gym, including a circuit class instead of one of my aqua classes AND a ventured down to my nearby beach for a walk.

beach

What I plan to do

This coming week involves more days at work and it’ll be busier, so I’ll need to be less-ambitious in my planning. I’ve got a few books getting published soon. Well, not MINE obviously, but those of others… I think I’ll aim to get through three which should be doable AND give me some nights off as I’ve barely watched any TV in weeks and have been having a lot of early nights.

I’m thinking of kicking off my reading with The Schooldays of Jesus by JM Coetzee, which has been waiting patiently for my attention for some time.

the-schooldays-of-jesus

And then there’s Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things, which has also sat in my pile for a few months.

small-great-things

I’m not sure what will come after that as I need to slot some new arrivals into my TBR list. Somehow.

I’m also planning to finally write about the Problogger conference I attended a few weeks ago. We get access to all of the sessions we missed as well and – as a lot were focused on changing technology – podcasting, videos as well as developing your email database, creating ebooks etc, I want to watch some of the others. You can also get a virtual  ticket to see and hear all of the sessions from the comfort of your own home. Or desk at work. #whatevs

Problogger Resources

Do you have any exciting plans for the week?

As usual I’m linking up with Deep Fried Fruit for the Lovin’ Life Linky; Caffeinated Book Reviewer for the Sunday Post; and The Book Date for ‘It’s Monday!’

64 Comments
  • Jo
    September 25, 2016

    I’m madly de-cluttering & also trying to get posts scheduled- especially for the astro site- October & November are both busy busy months, so trying to get as much done as possible in advance. Have a great week.

    • Debbish
      September 25, 2016

      Are you Na-Noing this year? Or will you be recovering from your new book launch etc…?

  • charliegirlteachergirl
    September 25, 2016

    So glad your toilets are fixed. Wednesday night I was pouring out my fountain drink in the kitchen sink to throw the cup away and rinsing a few dishes. All of a sudden my sink started backing up and I had over an inch of water just standing. I have a rather large sink – it’s what is referred to as a “farmhouse sink” – so that’s a lot of water! I immediately thought, “This is how it starts” and thought of your toilet issues.

    • Debbish
      September 25, 2016

      Ha! Maybe these issues are contagious… like some viral water-based lurgy introduced to frustrate us!

  • MyBlissPoint
    September 25, 2016

    I just sold my house and am planning my move in the next few weeks. I have really enjoyed hearing about your experience. My exciting plans consist of packing and cleaning.

    • Debbish
      September 25, 2016

      In reality my packing and moving went pretty smoothly. My buyer was a bit high-maintenance, but I can’t complain as the move itself went well. And since moving I’ve been getting stuck into a heap of new house things which – when done – will let me settle back and relax.

      Good luck with the packing!

  • Lydia C. Lee
    September 25, 2016

    Is the Coetzee good? He was Disgrace, wasn’t he? Great book that one…

    • Debbish
      September 25, 2016

      Yes he wrote Disgrace, which I read a very very very (very) long time ago. Will let you know what this one’s like.

  • Greg Hill
    September 25, 2016

    Well thank goodness for the water issues being fixed. I think it’s easy sometimes to forget how we’re malfunction away from the old days ha ha no water or electricity changes thing in a hurry! Fire in the Stars kinda grabs me with that cover, the stormy seas, I’m always a sucker for moody covers like that.

    You’ve been busy sounds like, and your beach looks great. I’d love to be that close. And I’ll have to go check out your food post- sounds fun.:)

    • Debbish
      September 25, 2016

      Fradkin’s Canadian Greg so I hadn’t heard of her before I read her first book, but her backlist is quite impressive!

  • Laurel-Rain Snow
    September 25, 2016

    I have Small Great Things, too, from NetGalley…and hope to be starting it soon. After I read Cruel Beautiful World, which will be released earlier in October.

    Enjoy those flushing toilets! These basic things are so important, and greatly missed when not functioning. Yay!

    Thanks for sharing, and I like the look of The Art of Keeping Secrets. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    • Debbish
      September 25, 2016

      I’ve been hearing good things about Small Great Things Laurel so hopefully we both enjoy it.

  • fuonlyknew
    September 25, 2016

    I’ve been alternating between decluttering and scrubbing cupboards to outdoor cleaning and trying to get some reviews written in between. You have some fabulous looking books. I hope you enjoy the new ones.

    My Sunday Post

    • Debbish
      September 25, 2016

      Oh it’s revolting isn’t it Laura. I’m lucky I’m kinda finished that big cull of my stuff along with the packing and move. There are a few thing things on my list now but not too many! So I’ve got no excuse not to read!

  • Literary Feline
    September 25, 2016

    Being able to flush the toilet really is a big deal. I am glad the problem has been taken care of. I’m not familiar with Barbara Fradkin at all. I am glad you enjoyed her book. Val McDermid is an author on my must read list. I’ve heard good things about her books. Such a beautiful beach photo! I hope you have a great week and that work doesn’t take up all your energy and time. I’m attending a conference on Tuesday for my work, and am hoping it will be a good one. Take care!

    • Debbish
      September 25, 2016

      I hope you enjoy the conference. As I mention in the post I attended a blogging one recently and very much enjoyed meeting like-minded people!!!

      And yes, Val McDermid is very popular in the UK (and here in Australia I guess as she’s come to literary festivals). And Barbara Fradkin is from Canada and quite prolific it seems!

  • Denyse Whelan
    September 25, 2016

    Great wrap Deb and I believe your move has done you so much good…it WAS time wasnt it to get away and start a-new. Congrats on the activity …yay. As far as the toilet is concerned I am GLAD. My nightmare, with IBS, is not to have a toilet (that flushes!!) nearby. Cheers, Denyse

    • Debbish
      September 25, 2016

      Yes Denyse, it definitely was time to get away. I’m loving it here – though yet to master the floor cleaning inside. Am seriously thinking of one of those robot vacuum cleaners that goes on its own!

      And on the toilet front, did I mention I have THREE toilets? I don’t always use all of them of course but use two – opposite ends of the house!

  • Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight
    September 25, 2016

    Time-hastening phenomenon lol. I’m so happy for you that your water problems are fixed! And wow, you’ve got a really nice beach nearby! Smooth-looking sand, a nice view, and people-free, the best kind 😀

    • Debbish
      September 25, 2016

      I was quite surprised by the beach Kristen as I’d thought it mangrovey and swampy. THere’s not much of it when the tide’s in but when it’s out it’s great and in summer I’ll be able to walk through the shallow water!

  • maxtheunicorn
    September 25, 2016

    I have a bathroom reno happening so I’m hoping to be out the entire week. I’ll get some blog writing done in cafes at least! #LovinLifeLinky

    • Debbish
      September 25, 2016

      Oh that sounds nice. I’ve never really managed that though when I was kinda doing some work from home I thought I’d head to the library / a cafe to do some work… it was mostly easier at home though. Hope the renovation goes well!

  • readerbuzz
    September 25, 2016

    Blogging every day is quite an accomplishment. Maybe when I retire?

    I’d love to hear more about your blogging conference. I really don’t see myself vlogging or using any of the new technologies in my blog, though. Of course I really never thought I’d be a blogger….

    http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2016/09/nothing-but-picture-books.html

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2016

      Podcasts seem to be popping up everywhere but I must admit I don’t listen to them. I don’t purposely ‘ignore’ them but never think to listen. I don’t think I’d vlog book reviews cos I can’t imagine anyone wanting to sit in front of their screen watching them. Unless they were short and sweet!

  • Tracy (@Cornerfolds)
    September 26, 2016

    Hurray for working toilets! Congrats on making it to the gym too! That’s always such a challenge for me… :/ I hope you enjoy your new books and have a fantastic week! 😀

    Here’s my Weekly Recap!

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2016

      Thanks Tracy! I’ve started the Coetzee, which is…. interesting.

  • kimbacaffeinate
    September 26, 2016

    Glad your toilet is fixed, that is one luxury we all need..lol It sounds like you had a pretty stellar week from the house to blogging..go you! Now rinse and repeat 🙂

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2016

      Oh yes, rinse and repeat Kimberly. It’s my ‘longer’ work week but I hope to settle into a new pattern now the move’s done and I’ve got no other unusual commitments in the foreseeable future.

  • Emma
    September 26, 2016

    Small great things is on my list for this week too. Can’t wait. I wish I was closer to the beach…it’s about 20 minutes away for us but too much of a trip for a walk. Have a good week.

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2016

      Yes, I’m lucky I’m still close to the beach. Distance is a funny thing isn’t it? I’m about 20-25mins drive from the gym I joined and it’s already become a bit of a hassle to get there. Whereas once upon a time – in the city – travelling that far was not an issue, but in a small town you get used to minimal distances.

  • Ardis @ Pondering The Prose
    September 26, 2016

    I’m glad you got your bathroom issues fixed. Those can be a major inconvenience so now you can move on with better projects that you actually want to do. Your beach looks lovely. I grew up in Santa Barbara, California (Southern Cal) and there are lovely beaches there as well. Now I live in Northern California and the beaches are not as accessible, nor as pretty. I hope you enjoy all your new books.

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2016

      Thanks Ardis and the beach here is very pretty. We have some nice beaches in Queensland (and Australia) as well and probably take them for granted!

  • adventureswithabooknerd
    September 26, 2016

    Yay for being able to flush your toilets again! I don’t think I would have made it; I would have just stayed in a hotel until it was fixed. Have a good week! 🙂

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2016

      Ha! It wasn’t too traumatic. (I lived in Africa for a while in the mid 1990s and always kept water on hand as my apartment building often lost water, so I was familiar with filling the cistern!) But I have to admit… it made going to the toilet more of a hassle than usual!

  • Kathryn
    September 26, 2016

    Laughed but you know when something has been out of action it is so appreciated when it starts working again. Wow what a big section and such a gorgeous nearby beach. I was just thinking about the new Jodi Piccoult book – I don’t have it but might seek it out in the future.

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2016

      I actually have an ARC of the Picoult but it’s been sitting there for months waiting until closer to publication for me to read it….

  • Lauren H.
    September 26, 2016

    Hmm. I haven’t heard of any of the authors you recently reviewed. Now, I’m gonna go look them up! HAve a great week!

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2016

      And I’ve done a little jaunt around the english-speaking world Lauren! (I don’t read a lot of authors from non-english speaking countries… not sure why but have struggled with a few translations of Nordic thrillers!)

  • Addicted to Happily Ever After
    September 26, 2016

    YOUR beach is heavenly! I would spend everyday out there reading if I had that nearby. Especially if I had to dump buckets of water in my water closet to get it flush o.O I can’t believe that JUST broke on you!!

    I’ve had Small Great Things, too, but it’s been hard for me to start. I tried to start it about 2 months back but I’m such a sentimental mush-head about babies, I couldn’t take some of it. I’m trying it again, tho… Wish me luck?

    Have a great week!!!

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2016

      I have a rain water tank to supplement my town water and save water and it feeds into my toilets, washing machine and outdoor taps and the pump to it broke, so luckily I still had other water!!! #phew

  • Got My Book
    September 26, 2016

    So glad you got your toilets fixed this week. I got my car fixed and am very much appreciating not having it die at every stop sign/light.

    Sunday Summary #21

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2016

      Oh wow, that would be very stressful. It’s awful having stuff like that playing on your mind and so freeing when it’s fixed!

  • Di @ Book Reviews by Di
    September 26, 2016

    Hi there! I think we definitely have different taste in books – but as you say, it’s great just to connect. We both love written words and that is enough. Plus every now and then I like to reach outside my comfort zone a little and I might find just the book to do that with on your blog!

    Your week sounds super blog productive – blogging every day! Amazing! And yay for fixed toilets. 🙂

    Have a great week this week too!

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2016

      Yes Di, it’s one thing I enjoy about the Sunday Post and ‘It’s Monday’ link-ups… I get to check-in with hundreds of other book bloggers (well, I think I’ve visited 60 blogs so far this week!) to see what others are reading. I often recognise the same things (way outside my genre) being discussed and it kinda keeps me in the loop re what’s out there!

  • Kerrie @traveslwithmum
    September 26, 2016

    I love Jodi Picoult but somehow have missed her new one? Need to get my hands on it!

    • Debbish
      September 26, 2016

      Oh it’s not out yet Kerrie – out on 1 October I think, so not long!

  • Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog
    September 26, 2016

    YAY for getting your toilet fixed!!! That beach picture looks amazing. Can’t wait to see what you think of the Jodi Piccoult book. I used to read a lot from her but haven’t in a while. Have a great week!

    • Debbish
      September 27, 2016

      I’m trying to remember if Picoult’s had anything out for a while. I’m not sure she has – a YA novel with a sister / daughter I think…

  • Mareli Thalwitzer
    September 26, 2016

    Okay, I really need to look into Small Great Things – it’s everywhere…! I still need to read the J.M. Coetzee and that is just sad as I am a South African…. Will make a plan as soon as possible! Hope your upcoming week will be good, but most days close to the sea tend to be good. Here’s my It’s Monday: http://marelithalkink.blogspot.co.za/2016/09/its-monday-what-are-you-reading-3.html

    • Debbish
      September 27, 2016

      The Coetzee was… ummm… interesting. I hadn’t realised there was a predecessor to it as well (The Childhood of Jesus). I’m really not sure what I thought about it Mareli!

  • Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews
    September 27, 2016

    I’m glad the toilets are fixed! Walking at the beach is always so relaxing for me, especially when it’s almost sunset, or very early in the morning. It’s so peaceful.
    Have a good week!
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

    • Debbish
      September 27, 2016

      I did another walk there yesterday Gen and it was lovely.

  • Tea Time with Marce
    September 27, 2016

    Toilets being fixed is priority, I understand you oversharing 😉 lol I have had a Val M on my Wishlist for years, I really need to try her. So much variety this week Deb, well done. Enjoy

    • Debbish
      September 27, 2016

      Thanks Marce. I seem to be reading as much non-thriller/suspense as I am that genre of late!

  • Natalie @Natflix&Books
    September 27, 2016

    What a great view of the beach! I lived in FL for a year and definitely miss being by the ocean. I’m currently reading Tell the Truth. It’s interesting so far. Happy reading!

    • Debbish
      September 27, 2016

      Yes, lovely beach Natalie. Hope you enjoy the book!

  • Amanda Barrett
    September 27, 2016

    Glad to hear you got your toilet issues sorted – what a pain! Hopefully the settling in process is smooth sailing from now on.
    I loved your review of The Art of Keeping Secrets – i knew you would love it. Well done for taking the plunge into a genre you are not so comfortable with!
    Enjoy your books and i hope you get some reading in despite a busy week. We both have Small Great Things to read 🙂
    Enjoy the rest of your week Deb,

    Amanda @ Mrs B’s Book Reviews

    • Debbish
      September 27, 2016

      Thanks Amanda. The Picoult is next on y list!!!

  • karen blue
    September 27, 2016

    Glad to hear you got your toilet fixed. Ours broke a few weeks ago and it was terrible. Glad to hear you are getting things done at your house, and on your site. I haven’t posted every day for a week in a long time. Have a great week!

    • Debbish
      September 28, 2016

      I’d like to post more often to keep that writing mojo going Karen. When I had a diet blog I wrote in it 6, then 5 days a week for a few years… but I suspect I started to get repetitive!

  • Tanya Atkinson
    September 29, 2016

    Oh my, not good on the plumbing issues. Things can quickly go downhill there. Glad that got taken care of. Sounds like it was the week of household maintenance between the plumbing, the house washing and the lawn mowing. Oh the joys of home ownership! Hope you’re having a great week!

    • Debbish
      September 29, 2016

      I know, this is the fourth place I’ve owned Tanya but my first ‘detached’ stand-alone house!

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    September 29, 2016

    Super productive week Deb!!! It feels like you’re buzzin’

    • Debbish
      September 29, 2016

      I hope so Leanne… am trying to step up the pace a little.

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