Centre for Kids who can’t Read good and Wanna learn to do other good stuff too

by HughVanCuylenburg, Victoria Helen Stone

Let’s not make a habit of this …two posts in two nights.

*seductive whisper* People will start talking about us.

I feel like writing and I guess this time I’d better make it about reading. Even though, I’m technically not reading much…not because there aren’t some ahhhhmazing books to read right now (yes amazing books, I see you), but because of everything I discussed in my last post.

Ummm by the way, the title of this has nothing to do with what the post is actually about. I’m trying something new, where nothing makes any sense. So have yourself a merry little Christmas, a very merry unbirthday to you and keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel. 😉

But who doesn’t love Zoolander? and if you don’t we can’t be friends.

How do I fight the short attention span, lazy, crazy, coronavirus version of myself right now?

I have a plan.

It’s all about accountability and I heard somewhere (a podcast and some books – sources remain nameless) that when you are forming a new habit if you put it out there to the world you are more likely to follow through. So I’m compiling a list of books I’m reading/have read/need to review to make sure I bloody do it.

There are some fierce competitors I tell you and one review in particular I can’t believe I’m holding back from you. I’ll start there because it’s extremely important to me and I bang on to everyone who will listen to me about it.

The Resilience Project – finding happiness through gratitude empathy & mindfulness

Hugh Van Cuylenburg

I love this book. The resilience project is not just a book – they build resilience in children through education programs, offer live events, present at sporting clubs and do corporate talks also.

Hugh is the founder and I have seen him speak live. I love the resilience project so much that I bought the audio book and the kindle version, have a wellbeing journal and a t- shirt. It’s safe to say I’m a super-fan and it means a lot to me. I listened to the audiobook a very long time ago and it was a situation where I wanted to be able to give the best review I could and wanted it to be perfect, so much so that I delayed writing the review. I do this when I love things a lot – to people too – many times have I not kissed/gone home with someone I reeeeallly like. Why? because I’m stupid. If the resilience project was a man I had a crush on I’d be flirting, pretending not to flirt, giving suggestive looks and praying that they notice me. The review is coming and hopefully by now I have the balls to do it justice.

Problem Child

Victoria Helen Stone

I’m reading this one right now. It is hard to believe my pathetic excuse for motivation has had trouble continuing with it – it bloody fabulous so far and I have the biggest girl crush boner ( don’t have a bone – but if I did…) for the author. Apologies…things have gotten sexual now.

I’ll tell you why:

  1. She wrote Jane Doe and this is more Jane (where I have an even bigger crush on the character Jane because she is a sociopath who reminds me of Dexter and I wish I was her)
  2. She is great I follow her on Twitter and love it
  3. Problem Child has allllllllll the things I love – Jane is so perfect. Strong, emotionless. I. want. to be. her.

I’ve highlighted half the god damn book on my kindle because Jane’s lines (Victoria’s words) are fucking phenomenal this time around. I need to finish the book and get a review to you ASAP. *public service announcement – the review will contain large excerpts of the book, (the man hating parts) hope this is legal.

P.S – love you Victoria. Jane is a GANGSTER.

Also – my heart is large and it appears I even have room for psychos and for some reason Henry Higgins comes to mind – (character from My Fair Lady folks – do your research – or Pygmalion if you are especially creative 😉 ), who I also love and adore – why? because he’s a prick mostly and I have a thing for pricks. In my head I’m singing “just you wait Henry Higgins, just you wait!” Ok, that has nothing to do with the book but the narrative of Henry’s “never let a woman in your life” and “why can’t a woman be more like a man” – makes me want to punch him in the face – Jane Doe style. But what Jane does is better, so much better. By the way when I say Henry Higgins – I mean Rex Harrison. He is my fave Henry. Review coming as soon as I finish the book.

*whispers* I also love Henry Higgins. I may have daddy issues.

Ok that’s enough.

I know. It’s only two books and there are so many more I want to tell you about – but small steps ok?

I have the writing bug, so lets see what happens.

About Victoria Helen Stone

Victoria Helen Stone, formerly writing as USA Today bestselling novelist Victoria Dahl, was born and raised in the flattest parts of the Midwest. Now that she’s escaped the plains of her youth, she writes dark suspense from an upstairs office high in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. She enjoys summer trail hikes with her family almost as much as she enjoys staying inside during the winter. Since leaving the lighter side of fiction, she has written the critically acclaimed, bestselling novels Evelyn, After; Half Past; Jane Doe; and her latest Amazon Charts bestseller, False Step.

Where is my MIND?

If you are thinking about the song by The Pixies… mission accomplished.

If not, I have failed at a writing a captive title once again. Now I’m motivated to create a list of possible alternative titles that reflect my current mood:

1.” This is not a book review because I can’t be ARSED”.

2. “Who remembers what sex felt like anyway?”

3. “Go to sleep moron, you still have work tomorrow”

4. “Never ever will I complain about going out on a school night, dating, pubs, clubs, events or other people again (unless said people are wankers)”

But I digress. Where is my mind is the winner and this post is actually intended to be about the impact of coronavirus on my mind.

When I’m thinking about the impact on my mind, I’m considering several factors because there isn’t just part of my mind affected and not all of it is negative, there are some positive aspects I want to write about too. These are also creatively titled because it appears that’s what I’d like to practice right now. Here we go:

The Focus

I have learnt that my attention span is a little more limited than I previously thought. How many times during a working day do I normally need to get up and walk around aimlessly, check the fridge frequently or call people for no reason other than to talk…about nothing? The impact on my ability to focus is not just when it comes to work. I can’t sit through movies or tv shows as much as I would like right now and reading?? ….forget it. I was excited at the possibility of having more time to read, but the focus is just not there folks. Even writing this post I have been distracted by several texts, Facebook and thinking about whether to get a snack or alcohol. I’m also quite tired and I want to sleep but I am fearful that if I stop now this post will remain incomplete and unpublished.

Mad and Bad

I have an example of this right now actually. The madness hits when I contemplate whether it is acceptable to have a glass of red wine with my late night ‘snack’ of porridge. Porridge because I have nothing else to eat in the house and I’m preparing for an extremely low calorie diet to begin later in the week. Because health matters. Madness also strikes when I’m feisty beyond belief at.absolutely.nothing. You wanna fight me? Huh? Huh?

Badness is me wanting to break the iso rules for a night of passion with a dog walker who previously didn’t want me and now thinks its perfectly ok to hook up. I’ve had an influx of offers from various people, actually. Flattering and infuriating. Badness is also when I think about all the extreme risk taking behaviours I’m going to have when isolation ends and I am free to go wherever, whenever, with whoever I choose (the possibilities are dangerous). It’s important to note that the madness and badness fluctuate and leave me in a state of what I also like to call “antzy pants”, which is boredom bordering on unrest.

Opportunities

It’s not all bad news. During this period I have, completed some small renovations in my house, am undertaking an online course from YALE (yes, YALE), have sent away my DNA to be explored *results pending* whilst completing my family tree, I’m painting a paint by numbers picture of my dog and I have a new home office set up in my spare room.

I’m restless, a tiny bit anxious and just plain bored. So, to counteract all of this, I have had to be creative with my pursuits and try to put my energy into some things I’ve always wanted to do (DNA, family tree). My next endeavour will be online speed dating… stay tuned. I have participated in the in person kind of speed dating – which resulted in a couple of dates, but nothing that knocked my socks off. I’m also want to blog and read more….I have a plan about this but it will have to wait for another post because this one has taken on a life of its own and is far too long winded right now.

The bitch, Loneliness

I keep waiting for the day when loneliness and I will be friends. It has not arrived. I have always spent much of my existence on my own. So nothing has changed you could argue. I guess I’m a little sick of having no one here physically, to look at, to talk to or hug. As wonderful a companion my dog is, sometimes I want that human affection and attention. Over the phone is nice, but it’s not the same. I think we can all agree on that right now.

Gratitude

Oh to be grateful for my friends and family. I have never wanted human connection more and as a self confessed loner, I feel I am more than qualified to make that assessment. I am grateful for the small things. Who knew the Saturday/Sunday coffees or brunch with mum or friends would be missed so much? Or the Friday night drinks in the city that I turned down after work I would be craving right now? and the dates! oh my god, the dates I have turned down, not been bothered, not felt good enough, confident enough…blaahhhhhhhhhhh. What I would give even for a bad date now. The chance to meet someone where no one knows where it will go…the nervousness, the excitement, the possibility.

I appreciate everything I have right now. Myself (as frustrating as I can be), my beautiful house, my gorgeous, amazing dog. The friends and family who listen to me and talk to me daily, weekly or whenever they can. My health – my body that can move and think and live and repair itself. My work that allows me to continue working, earning a living and growing. My resilience. There is a lot to be grateful for right now.

I’m going to end on that note because this post has, in fact taken me several nights to write and I’d like to finish it and move onto the next, which will be even more enlightening, I promise (but probs still not a book review). Whatever the impact coronavirus is having on your life, mind or current circumstances, we are moving forward – but know that it’s ok to feel what you feel, think what you think and go a little crazy sometimes. 😉

Book Review – Back, After the Break by Osher Günsberg

by Osher Günsberg
Published by HarperCollins Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Celebrity & Popular Culture, Entertainment & Performing Arts, Humor, Mental Health, Personal Memoirs, Psychology, Rich & Famous, Topic

*Disclaimer: this post isn’t formatted as smoothly as I would like or at my usual standard…have no fear, my plugin needs updating (that’s what she said) and everything will be back to normal ASAP. The good news is that you have my 5 star review and a book that you should absolutely read …

Sometimes I’m all in for self development and healing and all that stuff. Sometimes, I hate it because it feels like I’m trying to do too much and putting too much pressure on myself to ‘improve’…what’s wrong with me the way I am right now boo? Yeah. I hear you. But right now…we need to be kind to each other and kind to ourselves. We need to support each other more than ever…so be prepared….for the self improvement stuff (which I read a while ago and have not been reviewing with my usual vigour – oh what isolation does!).

Osher Günsberg is the one person in the world I didn’t realise I needed to know more about. Once again, I’m late to the party. I did not know about Osher’s personal battles, or even that he had an amazing podcast (Better Than Yesterday) focused on mental health and self improvement. I knew that I loved Osher. He had a familiar, smiling face, that always appeared friendly and happy. I thought he was attractive with a strong jawline and confident approach. Osher’s biography, Back, After the Break shows that there is so much more than meets the eye.

My history with Osher started with Australian Idol, back then he was Andrew G and it was a great new reality tv show I loved to watch. I then suddenly knew him as Osher and hosting the Bachelor and Bachelorette. Always loveable, always soft. Of course there was a lot more I didn’t know about Osher and his journey. It’s dark and not as glamorous as one would expect. The world of ‘celebrity’, as I’ve learned, is not everything it’s made out to be. There are pressures, mostly put on oneself, to achieve and criticism. Heavy criticism.

It’s interesting and naive to think that Osher wouldn’t or couldn’t struggle and I know better now, with age, wisdom and several university degrees about the subject that mental illness and alcoholism don’t discriminate. You can be powerful, successful, admired and still be struggling on the inside.

I find it admirable when anyone shares their struggles with others, let alone writes a book and puts it out there for everyone to read and possibly criticise. Osher might not recognise this in himself, but his ability to be vulnerable, to share the parts of himself he is ashamed of, as well as his great achievements are what really makes him special and makes his story so wonderful to share. It’s like standing naked in front of a mirror, except the world, as well as yourself, are watching. It’s bloody scary and intimidating. It takes guts to tell everyone when you’ve fucked up, made mistakes and how you’ve overcome the obstacles. Osher, you’ve got some balls mate.

By the way, you didn’t ask me but I’m going to tell you, I would say his greatest achievements to date are his 10 years of sobriety, continued self awareness and ability and desire to help others. There is something to be said about a man that can own his own problems and face them them, dead on. It’s the definition of bravery in my book.

Osher openly talks about his anxiety, alcoholism and how these both affected his personal relationships and day to day life. Would you ever believe that Osher was afraid to leave his home or that he was scared of strangers??? Osher was also in New York during the September 11 attacks, which had a big effect on him at the time and thereafter. Osher also struggled with body image…which really surprised me because he has always looked great in my eyes. I don’t want to give too much away, so you’ll have to read for more, but importantly…

Osher isn’t blasé about the fact that achieving good mental health and self awareness is a daily, sometimes minute by minute effort. There is no quick fix, there is persistence. Like any goal, any achievement, good mental health takes practice and patience. He shares what’s worked for him – hint: exercise, journalling, gratitude, being surrounded by loved ones, as well as professional help. Again, I can’t stress how important his message and continuous journey is… for everyone.

So read the goddam book. While you’re at it, listen to his podcast…Better Than Yesterday, it’s amazing. I particularly love his weekly check ins and find him grounding and calming. Some of his interviews are fantastic too. Most of us have a little more time on our hands and time with Osher is time well spent.

YES its a 5 star review! Even that button won’t work for me right now (that’s what she said…).

Synopsis

Osher Gunsberg, one of Australia’s most loved celebrities, opens up in a powerful, dark, funny and heartwrenching memoir about life, love and living with mental illness. It’s hard to remember a time when Osher Gunsberg (or Andrew G as he was then) wasn’t on TV – he’s just always been there, looking at ease in the spotlight, beaming a big smile, with a questionable haircut. He was there hanging out with The Offspring backstage at the Warped Tour on Channel V; announcing to a national audience of three million people that Guy Sebastian was our first Australian Idol; and later capturing the heart of the nation by hosting every season of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and now Bachelor in Paradise. But while everything looks great from the outside, the real picture has not always been quite so rosy. Osher has always known he’s different to most people. Struggling with anxiety, panic attacks and weight issues since he was young, he tried for years to drink away the anxiety and depression. He ended up unemployed, divorced, suicidal and certifiable on the other side of the world, yet somehow he managed to put the broken pieces of his mind back together and make a life for himself again. He lives with a mental illness – and he’s come to terms with it to live an authentic, rich and fulfilling life. A revealing, raw, funny and heartfelt memoir from one of Australia’s most well-known and well-liked celebrities.

About Osher Günsberg

Osher Günsberg is one of Australia’s most recognisable media personalities and has been a guest in the living rooms of Australian’s for nearly 2 decades.
From his work on Channel [V] in the early 2000’s to seven seasons on Australian Idol, Osher was the first Australian to host live network prime time TV in the USA on Live To Dance (CBS). Currently, Osher hosts three formats within The Bachelor franchise – The Bachelor Australia, The Bachelorette Australia and Bachelor in Paradise, and is the narrator of Bondi Rescue (all Network 10). This year saw Osher’s return to live TV where he hosted season 1 of the smash-hit show, The Masked Singer Australia (Network 10).
The release of his memoir, Back, After the Break (HarperCollins Australia) became an instant best-seller and detailed Osher’s powerful, dark, funny and heart wrenching story about life, love and living with mental illness. It was nominated for a 2019 ABIA for Best Biography Book of the Year and a LIVE show of the same name was produced and toured Australia, selling out nationally.
Osher’s roots in media began in radio in 1994 at Brisbane’s B105 on the overnight shift. He rapidly moved to a national audience with Take 40 Australia and The Hot Hits Live from LA, and years later returned to radio to co-host Hit105’s Stav, Abby & Matt with Osher breakfast show for Southern Cross Austereo, and Osher’s Love Line nationally on the HIT Network.
An early adopter of independent digital broadcasting, Osher has written, produced and hosted several podcasts. His interview podcast Better than Yesterday with The Osher Günsberg (previously The Osher Günsberg Podcast) has been published weekly since 2013 and has over 4.3 million downloads. The show now releases two episodes per week, was a finalist in the 2018 Australian Podcast Awards (Storytelling category) and selected episodes are available on Qantas Inflight Entertainment. In 2017 Osher hosted Tall Tales & True series 3 (ABC podcast) and Love Life with Leanne Hall (Mamamia network). In late 2019 Osher teamed up with Charlie Clausen to create DadPod, a weekly podcast from the duo sharing their experiences around fatherhood.
A man of his word, Osher said he would never be photographed with his shirt off unless it was for the cover of Men’s Health Australia. In August 2018, he did just that when he graced the cover revealing his Men’s Health Transformation cover. He moved his body to heal his mind and was happy to take the aesthetic benefits with it.
Osher served on the board of SANE Australia as a director from 2016 – 2019, in an effort to help change attitudes in our society about complex mental illness. Osher was previously an Ambassador for leading children’s charity The Shepherd Centre to help educate the public and help children who are born deaf or hearing impaired. A passionate photographer, cyclist, plant eater and coffee connoisseur, Osher lives in Sydney with his wife, newborn son, step daughter and their mischievous cavoodles.

Book Review – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Book Review – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail HoneymanEleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Published by Penguin on May 9, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Women, Literary, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 336
Goodreads
five-stars

No. She’s not.

I think that’s ok. I think it’s ok to not be fine, but the lame, standard response to “how are you?” is, “fine”, “good”, “ok”. All smiles. When actually no one is fine or good or ok all of the time and we are all afraid to say it. God forbid we feel it.

I really love Eleanor. Yes, I hated the way she called her mother “mummy” throughout the whole thing. Yes, her prim and proper facade was irritating. But she’s just so perfect because Eleanor is completely herself most of the time. She’s not her vulnerable self, because that’s scary, but she is her imperfect self perfectly.

I know some people don’t like this book, haven’t got into it, but I’ll tell you a secret. The book is actually about trauma and a lot of it. At times Eleanor is just eccentric, amazingly interesting and funny, but it’s much more and much darker than that. Lucky I fell in love with this woman quickly. The love affair enabled me to keep reading and I was very happy I did.

Unfortunately, I gave my copy to the goddamn street library before writing this (foooooooolish) and I had pages earmarked that I wanted to discuss. Pffft. I’m an amateur book reviewer and right now it shows.

I can’t forget the general gist of what I wanted to write about though. I wanted to write about her loneliness. It is all encompassing. I don’t think she knows it is, for much of the book, but it is there like another character. Tick tock of the clock in a quiet room. It’s there and it is possibly the most accurate depiction of loneliness I’ve ever read. Shit. I need my copy of the book back. Or any copy. Hang on a tick.

“When the silence and the aloneness press down and around me, crushing me, carving through me like ice, I need to speak aloud sometimes, if only for proof of life.”

There it is. I’m going to have to re- read this book because there are moments that are like gold. I read an interview with the author a while back (see? research) and she said that she said something about this idea that people can spend an entire weekend not talking to anyone. She said she thought this only happened to old people. Pffttt. Come on now Gail.

I had a lot of smiles while reading this book too. Particularly at Eleanor’s experience of having a visit from a social worker. Where this gem occurred:

“I assume that it’s part of the job, checking to make sure that I’m not storing my own urine in demijohns or kidnapping magpies and sewing them into pillowcases.”

That one was a laugh out loud on the train moment actually.

and then this…

“Well, I haven’t become aware of any additional support needs, and I’m fully integrated into the community, June,” I said.”

For much of the book I could hear Eleanor’s voice as I read. I cried for her, I was happy for her, frustrated at her. Eleanor had me feeling every emotion possible. Her and her alone. I know someone is making this movie, but I tell you, I don’t know if an actress can do this character justice. I may eat my words. I may be surprised. I doubt it though. Eleanor is a character I don’t want anyone messing with. I’m quite protective of her.

Ok, one more thing before I go. I could write all day about this book and it’s not even a thriller! I love the hint at romance. No fluffy, cringe worthy stuff. It felt real. It was refreshing. The focus was on friendships and I really like that.

It’s the authors debut novel and not gonna lie, I expect even more greatness in the future.

five-stars

About Gail Honeyman

Gail Honeyman is a graduate of the universities of Glasgow and Oxford. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine won the Costa First Novel Award and the British Book Awards Book of the Year, was short-listed for the Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize, the Desmond Elliot Award, and the Author’s Club Best First Novel, and was long-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. This is Honeyman’s debut novel and she lives in Glasgow, Scotland.

Too long between Drinks

Yes, yes, yes, yes. It’s been far too long between drinks. I realise I’ve had an obvious absence from my blog. I’m still reading (although not as often as I would like lately). I’m a little behind on my reviews. My book blogging plugin is not working as my paid membership on WordPress has expired. I know. Excuses.

I’m also very well aware the Goodreads Choice Awards are currently underway and I’m not even close to blogging about it yet. Have no fear, I have voted for my favourites and highlights of my blog. It’s no surprise or coincidence that some of my best reads of 2019 make an appearance in the nominations. Stars such as Parkland: Birth of a Movement by Dave Cullen, My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing and Life Will be the Death of Me by Chelsea Handler. But more about Goodreads Choice Awards later…

My blog might look slightly less…structured because I’m currently not intending on paying for WordPress. This may change in the future, but for now, it’s a shambles.

I wrote this some time ago and now even more time has passed and I’m out time, out of date, out of whack. I’m going to be extremely gentle with myself about this. Complete feather touch…because there are bigger things to worry about than a blog. So here it is. I paid for the damn thing because I miss it. However poorly written it is. Oh the irony! A book reviewer who can’t write…luckily, I don’t write I just read and put my thoughts down.

SLAM!

There they are.

Anyway….vengeance, back with it ( as an aside, I thought it was vengence, but it appears that’s not the word I’m looking for)

Book Review – My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Book Review – My Lovely Wife by Samantha DowningMy Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
Published by Penguin on March 26, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Psychological, Suspense, Crime
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Goodreads
five-stars

I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged and the reason for that is several things going on in life that have taken up my time. It doesn’t mean I’ve stopped reading. I finished this book more than a couple of weeks ago I just haven’t got around to reviewing it. I’ve also read a few more… so I have some catching up to do!!! Lucky you, just means there will be a bunch of blog posts coming up.

My Lovely Wife is another fantastic thriller just making my life worth living right now!

I didn’t think it could get any better after Jane Doe, but I’m very happy with My Lovely Wife. Of course a murderous husband and wife team would peak my interest. I read a lot of thrillers and for it to be exciting to me there needs to be a point of difference.

It is the authors debut novel (kudos to Samantha) and a lot of these fantastic thrillers I’m reading are the authors first book. Perhaps there is a little more creativity and bravery among these writers? Who knows. I know I will be very interested in reading Samantha’ s next novel.

I was introduced to the male protagonist (we never find out his real name?) and straight away I was intrigued – even though I initially didn’t know what was going on. Straight away he was picking up a woman and it wasn’t his first. He has a wife, Millicent, who encourages and joins in on the killings. It would appear that he does all the hunting though.

Despite me knowing that Millicent’s husband is just as responsible as she is, I start to feel sorry for him. I find myself on his side – and that is what the author, Samantha does so well. The story from his perspective allows me to see how evil Millicent is, but somehow I forget about his part in it all. Until later…

Some have likened it to Dexter (I don’t think it’s quite there) or Mr and Mrs Smith (nope, not at all). I think it’s original in it’s own right and comparing it to either does not do it justice.

It’s a great read and I finished it quickly and easily. I have recommended to all my friends and that’s when you know it’s really good. It’s also great for psychopaths, like me ;o)

Synopsis

Every marriage has secrets. Everyone has flaws. Your wife isn’t perfect – you know that – but then again nor are you.

But now a serial killer is on the loose in your small town, preying on young women. Fear is driving your well-behaved young daughter off the rails, and you find yourself in bed late at night, looking at the woman who lies asleep beside you.

Because you thought you knew the worst about her. The truth is you know nothing at all.

five-stars

About Samantha Downing

Born in the Bay Area and now living in the Big Easy, I consider both to be home. Along the way I went to school, worked a few jobs and learned a thing or two. Throughout it all, I wrote. Never studied writing, it’s just a hobby that grew into a passion. A dozen books later, my first novel will be published in 2019. My Lovely Wife is not the first one I wrote, it’s the first one I submitted (trust me, the other eleven are terrible).

When I was a kid, my mom brought me to the library every two weeks. I checked out a stack of new books and new worlds. The best thing was becoming so absorbed in a book I couldn’t put it down. I walked around with it in front of my face, I took it to the bathroom, the kitchen, the book came with me wherever I went. I tripped, ran into walls and stubbed my toes because I never watched where I was going.

This is why I write. I want to tell stories that make people walk into walls.

Book Review – Get the Guy by Matthew Hussey

Book Review – Get the Guy by Matthew HusseyGet the Guy: Learn Secrets of the Male Mind to Find the Man You Want and the Love You Deserve by Matthew Hussey
Published by Harper Wave on February 11, 2014
Pages: 272
Goodreads
four-stars

It’s another dating advice book!!!

I’m not even embarrassed to admit that I read them. I don’t always take the advice provided but I guess that’s why I’m still single?

I had seen Matthew Hussey’s videos on social media and you tube and decided to take the plunge and download his book. I got the audiobook this time and normally I have reservations about audiobooks but Matthew is easy to listen to and I made an effort to listen to the book in big chunks. It helped to listen to the book as I was driving, cleaning and walking the dog.

I don’t know if I had any lightbulb moments that I hadn’t read or heard about before from other dating books/websites, etc but I think I respected the advice a tiny bit more because it was coming from a man. Matthew is logical. Logic is what I need when it comes to dating. I tend to be a bit more emotional and sometimes this impacts how I date and relate to men.

There are a couple of things I took from Matthew’s book – the first and most important one being – I need to meet the guy to get the guy. Anyone who knows me well knows I’m a hermit who actually enjoys being at home more than having to go out on dates or go to places to meet people. Matthew’s advice is to attempt to meet and talk to people everywhere you go (train, shops, waiting for coffee) which is incredibly challenging for me. People who know me well wouldn’t say I’m shy either, but it is very hard for me to put myself out there and talk to strangers (let alone men) without a good reason. It sounds so simple, but he is so right with this point. SO – I may be saying yes to more outings, be more open to dates and start talking to random strangers as a result….even if I’m reluctant to start with…

Another tip I like a lot, which isn’t new advice to me but I really need to work on it. Being a woman of high value. Matthew talks about women realising their worth and being able to walk away from relationships or situations that are not meeting their needs. I’m getting better at this, slowly. I have no time for men who don’t want what I want currently and I’m no longer afraid to tell them what I’m looking for. I’m still working on the confidence bit.

The book also has a few great tips for flirting, talking, starting a relationship and even how to keep the flame going once you’ve got the guy. Matthew used to be a dating coach for men, so he comes from an interesting perspective. In the book he states that he understands what both men and women want when it comes to dating so this could make his advice also a little more trustworthy to me. Matthew talks about women approaching men and makings some of the initial moves in conversation, which is contrary to a lot of other dating advice books I’ve read…that are written by women. I am going to attempt to put his advice to the test, even if I feel/look like a weirdo in the process.

I did have one nice date last week. So there is hope!

four-stars

About Matthew Hussey

M atthew Hussey, speaker, New York Times Bestselling author, columnist for Cosmopolitan Magazine, and dating expert on ABC’s digital series What To Text Him Back.

Matthew’s rise to success as a motivational speaker has been meteoric. From humble beginnings working as a life coach with individual clients in London’s coffee shops and cafes, Hussey now runs programs across the globe, helping thousands of men and women reach their true performance potential. In packed conference rooms across the US and UK, or on week-long retreats in luxury locations in Europe and America, Hussey and his team have created tailor-made programs designed to help clients transform their lives. Hussey’s private clients through his life-coaching brand have included directors of major FTSE 500 companies, hedge-fund managers, and celebrities such as Christina Aguilera, whom he worked with in July 2011. His corporate clients include Hugo Boss, The Perfume Shop, Virgin Gyms, Proctor & Gamble, Bare Escentuals, U.S. legal giant Weil Gotshal & Manges, and global management consultants Accenture.

Hussey has lectured at Oxford University to the Department of Neuroethics. He has rooted his business in private coaching work, which has often focused on confidence issues that impacted relationships. As a result, he began to gain recognition helping men with their love lives. For two years, this became a major focus of his work, and he conducted several hundred seminars for large groups of men on this subject, as well as coaching many more men on a one-to-one basis. As his reputation grew, Hussey found himself approached by increasing numbers of women, eager to hear what he had learned about the male perspective on love and romance. In 2008 Hussey created GetTheGuy, focusing exclusively on relationships. The brand established Hussey as one of the leading experts in the field of human attraction in the U.K. and U.S.

Now through his online programs, viral internet broadcasts, sell-out seminars, NYT Bestselling book, and his roster of private clients, he has been able to pass on his insights and strategies to countless people. 50,000 women have attended his live events and he has reached over 10 million online. Hussey is the new international guru of the dating and relationship-coaching scene.

My Mac is Dead 😭😭😭

My blog posts are going to be slightly less beautiful for a red hot minute because my MacBook Air will not turn on or charge.

It is devastating but it is now in the hands of Apple being repaired, so fingers crossed. In the interim, luckily I have my phone.

I’m halfway through a few books right now and I’m particularly excited about one of them. I’ve been reading great thrillers lately. I’m on a roll…. I might have to stop reading thrillers for a while after this one because I’m bound to be disappointed at some point.

Currently, the amazing thriller is distracting me from two other (non thriller) books I was reading. The others are interesting and I will finish them eventually – I just love it when I’m shocked or surprised by a book and lately – the thriller genre is in the lead on that front.

I’m also listening to an audiobook of the dating variety. I know, I know….but I’m really enjoying it and learning many new things to try. I will give you a full report of course.

In the meantime, I’m hoping my Mac will be saved and I can get back to blogging with my usual standard.

Book Review – Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

Book Review – Jane Doe by Victoria Helen StoneJane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone
Published by Amazon Publishing on 2018
Genres: Fiction, Psychological, Thrillers, Suspense, Women
Pages: 258
Goodreads
five-stars

Jane Doe is the most exciting thriller I have read in a long time.

Why is it exciting you ask?

Several reasons:

  1. The protagonist is a female sociopath, yet strangely likeable…
  2. The plot had me on the edge of my seat
  3. I found some of it humorous
  4. It was a very quick read (probably because it was a clear 5 stars to me)
  5. I think it would be an AMAZING tv show or movie
  6. I want more from Jane! (another book pleasssssee)

I have been telling EVERYONE to read this book and it is my favourite thriller I have read this year and it has been sitting in my TBR list since it was a nominee in the Goodreads Choice Awards (where it first came to my attention). I’m going to continue to shout it from the rooftops. I think the point of difference here is the strong female protagonist who isn’t a victim and is ultimately in a position of power and control (wohoo – go girl!).

I actually love Jane so much, even though she is mostly void of feelings and empathy. I want to know more about her. Jane is like a female version of Dexter. I haven’t read the Dexter books but I’m a big fan of the tv show.

Jane is funny. I read this book on the train and I had many giggles to myself.

…and if I have sex with him now, I’ll be trash.Women have to worry about that kind of bullshit when they’re dating and plotting a crime…

It is also very interesting to me that the author used to write romance novels. I am very glad Victoria is now writing thrillers and even more excited to learn that she has a new book out called False Step. Victoria is an author I really, really want to read more from.

Tiny word of warning, if sex scenes make you blush, it might not be for you. They are not terribly graphic but there are a few of them (I quite enjoyed them) but might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

So, it’s a standing ovation from me on this one.

Synopsis

A double life with a single purpose: revenge.

Jane’s days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She’s just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes–meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.

But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven’s bringing out the worst in her.

Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced into Steven’s bed, to insinuate herself into his career and his family, and to expose all his dirty secrets. It’s time for Jane to dig out everything that matters to Steven. So she can take it all away.

Just as he did to her.

five-stars

About Victoria Helen Stone

Victoria Helen Stone, formerly writing as USA Today bestselling novelist Victoria Dahl, was born and raised in the flattest parts of the Midwest. Now that she’s escaped the plains of her youth, she writes dark suspense from an upstairs office high in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. She enjoys summer trail hikes with her family almost as much as she enjoys staying inside during the winter. Since leaving the lighter side of fiction, she has written the critically acclaimed, bestselling novels Evelyn, After; Half Past; Jane Doe; and her latest Amazon Charts bestseller, False Step.

Book Review – Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Book Review – Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane MoriartyNine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
Published by Flatiron Books on November 6, 2018
Genres: Fiction, Women, Family Life, General, Thrillers, Domestic
Pages: 432
Goodreads
four-stars

I finished this one last week, but because I have a case of the cold/flu germy germs, I haven’t been able to focus on reading and/or writing till now. I read a few reviews about this book before reading – even though I was already convinced I’d find it interesting when I had a read of the blurb.

The reviews weren’t great. A few of them were indicating that ‘nothing happens’ and there is ‘no story’. I don’t think this is the case. A fair bit happens, but obviously the focus is on building up the characters and the story to the peak point.

Yes, it’s a little slow moving… which I actually think a lot of Laine’s books are to be honest. What Laine does very well is her characterisation and these characters certainly had personality. I think this book would actually be great as a movie adaptation. As usual, there is the underlying humour in Liane’s writing (which I love) and the characters were very varied, which made for an interesting read. Of course, there is more to everyone than meets the eye and you get to go deeper with each one.

This is not a thriller, it’s more of a drama and if you like a slower pace and a lot of different characters you will enjoy it. I also enjoyed that it was set in a wellness centre and all of the preconceptions about the centre were amusing and as I expected.

Not as good as Big Little Lies, but interesting…

It could have gone to darker places and I would have welcomed this, but, it was still entertaining.

Synopsis

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 

“If three characters were good in Big Little Lies, nine are even better in Nine Perfect Strangers.” —Lisa Scottoline, The New York Times Book Review

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies

Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever? In Liane Moriarty’s latest page-turner, nine perfect strangers are about to find out…

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

Combining all of the hallmarks that have made her writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft.

four-stars

About Liane Moriarty

Liane’s most recent novel Truly Madly Guilty was published in 2016 and also debuted at number one on the New York Times Bestseller list. Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, together with their respective production companies, have once again partnered to option the film and TV rights.
Liane’s youngest sister Nicola Moriarty has also written three wonderful, gripping novels, Free-Falling, Paper Chains and The Fifth Letter.
Liane is now a full-time author. She has sold over 14 million copies of her books worldwide and her novels have been translated into thirty-nine languages.
She lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter. When she’s not writing she can be found reading, demanding coffee, clutching her forehead and occasionally falling to her knees on the soccer field sidelines (the grief, the joy, the drama!) demanding chocolate, skiing like she’s thirty years younger than she is, recovering from skiing injuries, doing the school run, walking around the block to avoid writer’s block, talking to old friends about getting old, listening to her children explain the wonders of MineCraft, watching TV series far too late into the night and reading, which has already been mentioned, but deserves a second mention.