Book Review – Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan

Book Review – Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan

wp-15971824702765793407642656117477.jpg5_star_rating_system_4_stars1 Talk about “exciting times”. There was a huge question mark over whether or not I’d get this book finished in time to write my review today. I had a bit of chunk left on Monday night but I had an early blood test the next day. This meant minimum late-night reading. The plan was to finish it on my lunch break on Tuesday. Unfortunately, that never happened. A big issue with working from home is the proximity of my bed to my workstation. I tend to eat lunch as I work and have a break later in the afternoon. This means I can spend the whole time doing nothing. Yesterday, I set my alarm for an hour and had a nap. It was pathetic. I’m not going to be fit for anything once I’m no loner shielding. Still, it got me through the rest of the day. It did mean that I had to quickly get through the final 60 pages and write this review all in the same night. As you can guess, I managed it and with a pretty good chunk of time to spare. It’s all down to the power nap.

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Book Review – The Dilemma by Danielle Holian

Book Review – The Dilemma by Danielle Holian

wp-15970083190628516603961987131470.jpg 5_star_rating_system_3_stars I have been blogging for almost 10 years now and, when I started, I had no intention of getting anything from it. Okay, maybe I had a ridiculous and kind of mad dream that I would be offered a job as a film critic but I knew that would never happen. Mostly because life isn’t like a Netflix Christmas film. Mostly because there are plenty of people who were actively working towards getting a career in journalism who deserved it more. The point is, I wasn’t expecting to get anything from it. The idea of getting free books hadn’t even crossed my mind. So, when I started being approached by writers with the offer of a free copy in exchange for a review, I was flattered. I also enjoyed getting the chance to help out. We all know that the publishing industry is pretty rubbish and extremely biased. I like getting the chance to help self-published writers. This weekend, I was offered the chance to read the new poetry collection by Danielle Holian. I’m always trying to expand my poetry horizons after all.

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Sunday Rundown – That’s What She Read

Sunday Rundown – That’s What She Read

Sunday Rundown
How has your week been? What have you been reading?

The good news is that my first week back at work was better than I was expecting. It’s been busy but manageable. The bad news? I haven’t exactly done well with reading this week. I’ve been horribly by other things this week. I’ve not been turning off my computer until about midnight every night and that’s really not a good time to pick up a book. I got some done last night and I’ll try and get some serious reading on today. However, I have a bit of stuff to sort out. Namely applying to a few jobs. Before Covid-19, my boss basically told me that they might not be able to afford to keep me on, so I’m a little worried that, when all of the furloughed staff come back, they might suddenly decide that they can’t keep me on. It’s always good to get ahead with new jobs and, thankfully, people still need marketing people in a pandemic. Now I have real-life experience, it might even be easier than last time.

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Book Review – The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá

Book Review – The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá

17261250 5_star_rating_system_2_stars This weekend I, like so many other Netflix users around the world, sat down and binge-watched the second season of The Umbrella Academy. When the first series came out, I didn’t know much about it. All I knew was that it was based on a comic book series written by the lead singer of My Chemical Romance. Now, I admit that Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge is one of my guilty pleasure albums but I’ve long outgrown MCR. I didn’t expect to enjoy the show but Netflix is clever. It kept playing the trailer over and over until I couldn’t help but watch. I was quickly obsessed. It was a great show and the soundtrack was phenomenal. It felt new and nostalgic at the same time. I couldn’t wait for the follow-up season and, though the narrative wasn’t quite as slick, it was still bloody entertaining. So, when I realised I wouldn’t finish a book in time for today’s review, I knew I had to do something drastic. I bought the Kindle edition of the first volume of the comics. I had to see for myself.

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Book Review – The Truants by Kate Weinberg

Book Review – The Truants by Kate Weinberg

wp-15964061154756590187102295548759.jpg5_star_rating_system_3_stars I know we have the same conversation every time some new contemporary author is compared to Agatha Christie but it’s the kind of thing that bears repeating. Modern readers really underestimate her skills. It seems as though all you need to do these days to be compared to her is either mention her/her books or write a small scale crime thriller. By small scale, I mean not one of these overly dark, psychological thrillers but more of a slow burner that revolves around a domestic or small setting. Here’s the thing: Agatha Christie knew what she was doing. She understood people, she understood motivation, and she understood murder. She had the ability to shock and she knew exactly what her readers wanted. Her books are light on detail and character study because they don’t need it. They do what they set out to do. She wasn’t an indulgent writer because she understood how to craft the perfect whodunnit. She didn’t need gimmicks or excess plot to distract her readers. She hid everything in plain sight. Something writers these days tend to struggle with.

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Sunday Rundown – That’s What She Read

Sunday Rundown – That’s What She Read

Sunday Rundown
How has your week been? What have you been reading?

Today is the last day of my holiday, which means I’m back at work on Monday. Thanks to our local lockdown, I won’t be going back to the office as originally planned. Part of me is really happy but I was kind of looking forward to being able to get out a bit more. I would always go out for a walk at lunchtime but, since March, I’ve not really been able to leave the house. At least it means I can keep pretending that I’m finally going to make my way through my huge TBR.

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Bookish Post – July Reading Wrap-Up

Bookish Post – July Reading Wrap-Up

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Another month is done and, as of late on Thursday evening, I’m back to shielding again. At least it means I’m not being forced back to work but it does mean I’m not going to be getting out of the house for a few more weeks. Time really has become meaningless this year. Do you remember back to January? January always feels so slow but that’s nothing compared to the last few months. We’ve only just got to August and it feels both too soon and too late. I’ve barely seen anyone beyond my family since March. I’ve gone nowhere but the doctors in the last few weeks. Yet,  I still haven’t achieved anything that I thought I would at the start of lockdown. I’m managing to just about keep my reading pace but I’m not reading more. I’ve got loads of unfinished puzzles to do and I’ve not been using the time to apply for jobs. All I’ve done it watch the same old shows over and over again. Can we just pretend 2020 doesn’t count towards our individual achievements?

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Book Review – The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Book Review – The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

wp-15959785767227236833838319294226.jpg5_star_rating_system_5_stars When I started my holiday this week, I had all sorts of grand plans to read loads of my unread books and get ahead with the blog. We’re only halfway through but it’s becoming clear that I’m not going to achieve a great deal with this week. I spent Sunday and Monday playing with my niece, which was admittedly a fantastic use of my time. It just meant that the closest I got to reading was the first page of That’s Not My Kitten and I’m not entirely sure that would count towards my yearly reading count. It didn’t help that my desperation to finish Those People in time for my Monday review had left me not wanting to read anything else on Sunday night. So, in order to get something finished for my Wednesday review, I needed to play strategically. I wanted a small book from my TBR pile. Thankfully, this James Baldwin book has been near the top for a few weeks now and it seemed perfect. Much heavier going than my previous book but that was a welcome change.
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Book Review – Those People by Louise Candlish

Book Review – Those People by Louise Candlish

wp-1595799561783748472352503131247.jpg5_star_rating_system_1_star I must have bought a copy of this book when it was super cheap on the Kindle store because it definitely isn’t the kind of thing that I normally have much hope in. I’ve also never read anything by Louise Candlish before. Still, there was obviously a time when it appealed to me and I ended up buying the ebook and audiobook version. After finishing Animal Farm last week, I decided that I wanted to read something silly and an audiobook sounded like a great idea. I’ve been so tired that even reading exhausts me. I had reached a point when I couldn’t get my way through a chapter before I started falling asleep and I hate stopping halfway. It just makes me feel uneasy. As if I’ll have no idea where I am when I start reading again.

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Sunday Rundown – That’s What She Read

Sunday Rundown – That’s What She Read

Sunday Rundown
How has your week been? What have you been reading?

Yesterday was the first day of my holiday and I did absolutely nothing. I should probably have sat down to finish the book I’m reading but I was just so damn tired. I know I’ve been shut up inside since mid-March but it’s been exhausting. So, I just need to get some rest this week. After all, I’m pretty sure I have to go back to the office in August. I’m not entirely happy about it but I don’t think work will let me continue working home. Now that Boris Johnson has called time on shielding for high-risk people, I just can’t see them listening to my concerns. But, no matter what the PM says, the virus is still out there and I’m still at a huge risk if I get it. The virus can stay in the air for 3 hours and I work in a small office with only the windows as ventilation. This means if any of my colleagues are asymptomatic then I don’t stand a chance. Work can say they’ve taken precautions but they can’t guarantee that we won’t catch it. I’m sure that none of us wants to get it but having a suppressed immune system does make me extra wary. And it’s not as is I haven’t been doing my job at home for the past few months. But nevermind that now. Let’s talk about books.

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