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 I’m also quite tired and I want to sleep but I am fearful that if I stop now this post will remain incomplete and unpublished.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.


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.


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. 😉

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.


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)

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 – The Catch by Samantha Brett

The Catch by Samantha Brett
Published by Allen & Unwin on 2012
Genres: Family & Relationships, Love & Romance
Pages: 330


I’m not ashamed at all.

The truth is, I have read many dating books. Albeit, I have read them very quietly, on my kindle where no one can see me reading them…

Today is a new day. Not only have I read this dating book, but I am shouting it from the rooftops and reviewing it publicly. I may even do it again one day. Whilst I was reading this one and talking about it a friend recommended another to me and I think I’ll read it too.

The Catch really wasn’t hugely groundbreaking, but I enjoyed it and I took a few tips from it, which I am now actioning.

The book is a guide to becoming “The Catch”. An elusive being who men want to date and eventually marry. Now, I like to think I’m already a catch…in so many ways, I just haven’t met the right man yet. However, there were a few things I took from this book, the exercises (already done a couple and another is in progress) and tips throughout.

One such exercise I am using to stop the scum of the male species from invading my heart and vagina. It is a 30 day man free, date free, dating app free challenge. Or as some of my friends so aptly called it “Dry July”. This is one of the extreme measures the book suggests to keep dickheads at bay and start fresh only attracting lovely men. I also enjoy the fact that the book suggests to focus on me during this time and things I want to do or achieve – I mean…I kinda do this anyway, every day of my life, so this part wasn’t really new to me, but I did get some good ideas and motivation to look out for myself a bit more.

Another exercise the book suggests is a 30 day bootcamp – which is kind of the same thing…but a little more of an intense focus on me. I can’t wait. I’ll be running the world before you know it. Sucks to be you (all of my ex’s).

One thing I did not like about the book, were the stories about, I’m assuming, real women and their dating struggles/wins. The problem with these stories were that the women were not relatable in any way, on any planet. They were either models, had perfect bodies, were CEO’s or some such garbage. They may have been completely fictional for all I know but I’m sorry….I’m not really buying that the model has trouble attracting a man.

Are there better dating books out there? YES. Was this still a bit of fun with good tips? YES.


Sick of dating guys who want sex and fun without any commitment? Ever wondered how some women always have men chasing them?

These women are what dating guru Samantha Brett describes as The Catch: the ultimate single girl who knows her worth, doesn’t settle for less and doesn’t get caught up in the whirlwind of the dating game.

After the abrupt end of a fairytale eight-year relationship, Samantha found herself thrust back into single life. As part of the healing process she interviewed thousands of men, as well as the women they defined as the ultimate Catch. In the process she developed a foolproof method to help you become The Catch.

This book will teach you how to:

– move on from a break-up

– avoid the traps of the dating game

– become a stronger you through the 30-Day Catch Boot Camp

– get a man to propose in only six steps

Forget chasing him ever again!


About Samantha Brett

Samantha Brett is a news reporter and bestselling author of six books. Samantha began her journalism career in New York as an intern at the Fox News Channel, before returning to Sydney to write Australia’s number-one lifestyle column for six years. Samantha has since gone on to file news reports for Sky News, CBS, CNN, and currently works for Australia’s Seven Network. Samantha has covered a variety of international stories and breaking news including the terror attack in Jakarta and the joint world rescue of stranded researchers in Antarctica. Samantha has written more than 1000 articles for newspapers and magazines around the world on a variety of topics. She is passionate about helping other women to achieve their dreams, and is a proud supporter of the Pink Hope Foundation and Mummies Paying it Forward.

Book Haul – true crime and yet another memoir…

Just a casual blog post I’m writing on my phone tonight.

I purchased these two reads today and as well as having a beautifully matching color scheme, they are both non-fiction works.

I was a little reluctant to buy them after I realized they were both non-fiction. I love true story reads but I’ve read quite a few memoirs of late and I was actually looking for another thriller. But of course… both stories intrigued me and I just couldn’t resist.

The Lost Girls by Ava Benny-Morrison

I first heard this story on a podcast (Australian True Crime) and I found it interesting and of course, gruesome. When I saw the book today, I almost felt like it was fate. I wanted to know more about the crime and how it was solved. I do expect a bit of heartbreak and anger reading this one, but that is to be expected when I’m reading about anything unjust, like murder.

The Erratics by Vicki Laveau- Harvie

I thought this was a general fiction thriller when I picked it up. It looked like a quick read and I was fascinated by what appears to be a mental health breakdown by the author’s parent (I could be wrong, but that’s the impression I got). I almost put it back – in search of something fiction – but my curiosity got the best of me. Upon doing a bit of googling I see it has some great reviews.

I can’t read either of these until I finish my current reads.

Parkland by Dave Cullen, which is breaking my heart into so many pieces and making me smile at the same time. Such amazing young people who have the balls to fight back against the NRA. I will give you a full review – it’s touching me in a way I didn’t think it could. It also makes me feel a little helpless.

Sister by Rosamund Lupton. I’m enjoying this thriller so far and getting into the story. It’s an easy read and I’m hoping for some twists and turns. Right now I have no idea what’s going to happen (which I love).

This rainy Melbourne weather is perfect for reading and blogging and I’m certainly excited for all my upcoming reads.

Street Libraries

street library near me…

What is a street library you ask?

It starts with community. People who love to read and share books with others. It’s essentially a little library in the street where people can borrow, swap or leave books for others. You can imagine my joy when I discovered a street library close to my house!

Despite Hunter’s visual impairment, he was curious about the books in the cupboard on the street.

I really love the idea of a street library. It promotes sharing and a sense of community that I love. I used to take my pre loved books to secondhand shops, but I think this is a better idea. Better because you don’t need cash to enjoy the book and it is easily accessible to anyone.

Whilst I’m a kindle convert through and through, this may just ignite my love for reading physical books again. Of course I dropped some books off to the library, but not without being seduced by a couple of titles I took home for myself. What can I say? it’s getting colder here and this weather is perfect for snuggling up with a great book.

These will need to be added to my TBR list… but because I just completed that post, I’ll add them here…

The Bus on Thursday by Shirley Barrett

This book is described as “Bridget Jones meets The Exorcist in Twin Peaks”…so…yeah, right up my alley. It’s supposed to be humorous and shocking. Also written by an Australian author. Gotta love that. You know I have a penchant for the unusual…I’m hoping this one doesn’t disappoint.

Sister by Rosamund Lupton

I’m excited to read this thriller about a missing sister and murder. This book promises a twist that “I won’t see coming”. Well… this is me we are talking about, my imagination knows no bounds. So calm down with your wild statements book blurb.

I haven’t read any books by either author before, so I don’t know what to expect, but of course I’ll let you know if they are hot or not.

Book Review – Bully Brother by Craig M Dial

I received this book for free from the author, Craig M Dial, in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Thank you to the author for the opportunity.

Book Review – Bully Brother by Craig M DialBully Brother Published by Independently Published on May 24, 2018
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Family Life
Pages: 258
Format: Paperback

I had been meaning to read Bully Brother for quite a while. The author sent me a copy a long time ago. I misplaced it and he was kind enough to send me another copy. I’m glad he did.

I always make this disclaimer, but as with any memoir or personal story, I’m particularly sensitive to the fact that this is someone’s life and story – who am I to say what I think of that? I always feel terribly responsible and cautious when reviewing.

For me as a reader, Bully Brother was like exploring an era. I really like the fact that Craig asks readers to play the music mentioned throughout the book whilst reading to evoke that sense of being in the 60’s and 70’s. I thought it was a great concept and really gave me an idea of the mood and tone. The 60’s and 70’s being slightly before my time, I think this helped set the scene. I loved the music (most was familiar to me) and found myself waiting for the next mention of a song whilst I was reading.

I found the descriptions about Craig’s childhood and his relationship with his siblings familiar. Despite the fact that I grew up in the 80’s. Some of his stories were funny, some were a little worrying. The bullying by Craig’s brother David, was not as extreme as I expected it to be, but, I am used to reading things a little darker and more disturbing (so maybe it’s me and my dark mind?) and, once again, who am I to comment on someone’s experience? I’m sure it was horrible for Craig at the time.

I will say that the book was an easy read, but, I often wondered where it was going. I was waiting for the inevitable tragedy, but I found this was very close to the end of the book. I think I would have liked a hint of it at the beginning.

If you enjoy reading memoire you will enjoy this book. Particularly if you are interested in the 60’s and 70’s and family types of genres.


About Craig M Dial

Craig grew up in Marin County in the late 1960’s and 1970’s where he experienced the hippie love culture from a child perspective. He is married and now lives near Sacramento, CA.

Struggle town – pop.1

I am not a quitter.

When I set my mind to something, I like to think I’m an achiever. It may take me a couple of tries. I might take the long way round or get a little lost along the way. I might not succeed a few thousand times. Ok, it’s usually not a few thousand times… but it certainly feels like it.

Hence the reason why I really don’t like giving up on a book.

Maybe I’m worried I’ll miss something. Perhaps there’s something wrong with me if my friend really liked the book and I don’t. Often, I realise too late that the book isn’t getting any better and even if there was an amazing, fantastic ending it doesn’t make up for the hours of struggle to get there.

I am struggling through a book right now and I’m over half way. The dilemma is real. I really want to keep reading but I’m not looking forward to it. I don’t care about the characters and as someone once told me, life is too short to be reading a book you don’t enjoy.

What do you do when you aren’t enjoying a book?

Do you give up? Or press on?

Sadly, I think  I’m going to have to throw in the towel. I don’t want to review it because I don’t feel it is fair, having not read the book in it’s entirety.

On to better books.  I am still working through my TBR list and I’m very excited about some that I have been dreaming about for a while. I’m also now on holidays, so more time for reading and relaxation.

I’m also keen on a January theme. I don’t like making false promises but… I’m considering a “self-help” theme for the start of 2018 and I already have some great ideas. January is the time of year where we often look at self-improvement, our lifestyle, diets, wellbeing and exercise. I would argue that this should be a continual process, but the reality is that most of us consider these things at the start of a new year. I know I certainly am, but I have been thinking about my health and wellbeing and self improvement for a while now. Here’s a sneak peek of the likely themes…

Possible January posts:

  • Keto or Paleo diet books (nothing new here for me, but I’ve regained an interest after a long hiatus)
  • Gratitude and the impact this has on mental health and wellbeing – several books on this
  • Dare I say it….mindfullness (never thought I’d dig it, but with daily practice…I dig it)
  • Last, but not least, removing the negativity from my life – negative people, situations and feelings. 

Lemme know if you are also into the above and any books you’ve struggled with finishing.




Friday Night Delights

It’s Friday night here in Australia (believe me when I say I have international readers) and my grand plan was rest and relaxation.

What better way to relax than a bathtub, surrounded by candles, a glass of red wine and my kindle?

Rhetorical question. We all know the answer to the above.

It was actual bliss though. Nothing but the sound of a clock ticking in the other room. No phone, no other distraction. My favorite way to read. It was lovely to disconnect from everything for a few hours.

It prompted thoughts about social media, media in general and technology in general. It’s difficult to escape. It stresses me out (I don’t watch the news and some people think this is weird), I just need to disassociate from everything sometimes and then I come back feeling recharged. I do wonder if there are more people who feel the way I do.

Is retreating a reward for you too and if so, what does this tell us about ourselves, the world and everything around us?

I’m also well aware of the irony that I am using technology to communicate my thoughts right now and will most definitely share it on social media.

I was in the tub longer than I thought and had those delightful skin wrinkles. They don’t bother me at all because I know I’ve completely disappeared in my own little bliss world. I really do love my bathtub more than many many things. I have considered that I may be part mermaid.

Of course I did the face mask, face treatment, body scrub, foot scrub … can I get any kind of other scrub because I want to be buried in it. Yes, I know how to do this pampering stuff properly.

I know what you are really interested in, this is a book blog after all…

I was reading Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. If anyone has read this (and I’m sure many, many of you have – I’m tremendously late to the party on this one, forgive me) – you will know that it’s not exactly gentle, light reading. The topic matter is a tad distressing. Of course I like it, but it’s not usually something one would read to relax.

Regardless, I am very relaxed and there will of course be a full review of Nineteen Minutes. All I can say at this stage is that I’m enjoying it but it’s not easy to read. It’s challenging, upsetting and frankly, such a courageous topic to write about. School shootings. I’m very glad it was written – I say this before I’ve finished reading but I appreciate everything Jodi has done with it so far (40% read on my kindle). It makes me angry about guns in the US and lack of gun laws in the US – but I will silence myself on this for now. Watch out for my review – it may contain profanity, not about the book, but the topic that we all wish wasn’t a topic or a reality.

On that note, I leave you. Take some time to relax, look after yourself and think thoughts.

The return of Joe Goldberg

Just a quick little post to let you know I heard a rumor. Or rather, I saw it.

As I had hoped in my glowing reviews of Caroline Kepnes “You” and “Hidden Bodies” – there is going to be A THIRD BOOK!!!!!

This makes me very happy so I had to shout it from the rooftops.

The rumor has merit because it was confirmed by the author herself on twitter. Of course I took a screen shot.