Sunday Sharing (13)

I often find posts by other bloggers
that strike a chord in me for one reason
or another and I’ll be occasionally sharing
them here on Buried Under Books.

Today’s share is from Ben’s Bitter Blog:

Isolating Long Before It Was
Cool Bitter Friday Giftures

By bensbitterblog on March 27, 2020

As you may not be aware of, there is this outbreak of disease going on, which means that we have to stay home as much as we can for a while. I’m not sure how all these extroverts are going to handle this, but us introverts are doing just fine. If it wasn’t for the other tinier humans in our house driving us crazy and making us do their homework, this would be an ideal situation. I’ve done isolation really well for most of my life and have been called shy, introvert, weirdo, or go-outside-and-mingle-with-someone my whole life. Now all of you naysayers telling me that I was supposed to get out and meet people were wrong. So I don’t want to tell you, “I told you so”, but I absolutely told you so. And I will continue to rub that in your face. Oh wait, I’m not supposed to touch my face or anyone else’s. So I will facetime or Skype it in your faces then. Regardless, the Bitter Friday Giftures will continue in earnest…

Looks like Tom Hanks had it right in the movie…

Fish Years GIF

…not so much in real life.

I am writing songs like this…

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…all day with my free time. What are you doing?

Turns out Dwight Shrute was right…

Toilet Paper Office GIF by Leroy Patterson

…to turn 2 ply into one ply after all.

We may not have enough toilet paper for a fort…

Donald Glover Troy Barnes GIF

…but we sure have enough pillows.

I saw a couple people outside…

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…yesterday.

I went outside…

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…and did some fun activities with all my friends.

I made sure to…

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…100 feet from everyone like I always do.

Made sure to remain…

unproductive GIF by Product Hunt

…as productive as usual.

Made sure to be a good listener…

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…as usual.

I made sure to stay…

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…nice and motivated.

Made sure to let everyone know…

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…how hard I would be working.

Made sure I got permission…

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…before I did anything.

Made sure to help everyone…

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…with whatever they needed.

I know it seems like I’m a bit of an overachiever, but this is where I thrive. I think Dwight was right when he said that we needed more plagues, so we could get more productive like I clearly am. Make sure you wash your hands because you have to get all that productivity off your hands and make sure you stay at least 100 feet away from everyone, including your family because they might ask you do something for them. Why didn’t we all just listen to me in the beginning?

ARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH

Bitter Isolation Before It was Cool Ben

Sunday Sharing (12)

I often find posts by other bloggers
that strike a chord in me for one reason
or another and I’ll be occasionally sharing
them here on Buried Under Books.

Today’s share is from The Book Blog Life:

COVID-19 & Me | Anxiety Tips

By The Book Blog Life on March 21, 2020

I need to preface this blog post with I am not a doctor and you should always seek medical advice if you are really struggling but I have tried to ignore this whole thing and can’t so thought I would vent on here and give you all some of my tips!

Just a bit of background but I live on a small island where thankfully we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 yet, the government over here after a lot of indecisiveness has started to put lockdown, isolation and social distancing procedures in place which are all fantastic and I support 100%. Despite all of this we are a tiny population and are all working off the assumption that it’s a when not an if when COVID-19 descends and I cannot help but feel nothing but anxiety about it. I am an asthma sufferer and a chesty cold will knock me sideways but this is my worst nightmare.

So I haven’t been the greatest to be around, I have been grouchy and irritable, emotional and just an all-round mess if I’m completely honest. But for now, my life has to keep moving forward, I still have to work and move past it. I could tell you that being really grateful that we haven’t got any confirmed cases is enough but I would be lying. It almost feels like impending doom, and I feel like I’m constantly looking over my shoulder waiting for the horror to step in. I am SO grateful beyond grateful we don’t have any cases but my anxiety just will not settle.

So I’m trying to be good to myself and look after myself by practicing self-care and making sure that I don’t spiral too much which I know is way more difficult than just the tips I have put below.

Reading

I thought I would get the obvious one out of the way. I am a huge reader and reading has got me through a lot of bad times and is the way that I end up calming myself down. I have changed my reading a little the last couple of weeks and tried to pick up more fantasy and light-hearted reads. Anything that takes my focus away from everything that’s going on around the world.

I have picked up The Goldfinch and I think that was a little bit of a mistake with it being a little darker and deeper than what I was planning for but I think the act of reading is doing me more good than worrying about what I’m reading.

Writing

I have yet again abandoned the novel that I won NaNoWriMo 19 with but I have started writing my own again. Which I thought would be the last thing I would want to do, you know too much pressure but actually, it gives me more of escapism than panic of extra, it feels as though I’m being productive rather than freaking out about everything and sitting nothing.

I have started writing something I’m really enjoying and I’m letting that take over. I don’t know where it will end up but for now, it’s making all the difference where this pandemic is concerned.

Baths or hot showers

This is something I do when I am beginning to get overwhelmed with everything going on around me. I like to either sit in the bath with a good book or a movie and forget the world around me. If I don’t have time to sit and completely relax in a bath the shower is just as good.

I love turning the heat up and having it literally wash away the tension and the stress of the day. I give myself a lovely head massage when washing my hair and take great cares to wash my face and complete a skincare routine and really make an effort to take care of myself.

Walking the dog

This one isn’t one I’m great at but it is one that I really should try to do more of because it really does make a difference to my feelings and I love being on the outside. The island where I live is a beautiful place and there are some really lovely places to walk and experience. Plus my dog really loves going on these runs and she’s always knackered which is a great thing especially when she wants to sleep for the entire time.

Cry/Talk it out

I think this one is really important. This only happens when none of the things above seems to help. I sit with my husband, and I think that’s important to note I never sit and cry alone. We talk it all through and he lets me vent and worry about my concerns and we deconstruct the problems one by one. Sometimes there was a solution and sometimes there isn’t but it always feels better to talk these things through.

Chat with me about books

How are you guys feeling about everything? Do you have any tips for those moments where things seem to get too much? Let me know!

20-odd book blogger, with a huge appetite for books and reading. Follow my ranting, reviews and all my other content written here!

The Book Blog Life

Sunday Sharing (11)

I often find posts by other bloggers
that strike a chord in me for one reason
or another and I’ll be occasionally sharing
them here on Buried Under Books.

Today’s share is from Write-Escape:

#Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews–
Review–4.5 Stars–#NetGalley

Sunset Beach::.jpg 850.jpg

A well-written, romantic, and captivating cozy mystery.

Coming 5/7/19

 

Drue hadn’t seen her father for over twenty years. Her parents divorced when she was very young, and her dad had never been part of her life. So when he showed up at her mom’s funeral, Drue was taken back. She was especially suspicious when he offered her a job. Drue accepted the offer, however. Because how bad could working be in a legal office? But when Drue started at her position, she was blown away. Not only was her high school frenemy her superior, but she was also married to Drue’s father. That, however, would only be the first of many surprises.

While Drue was working, she noticed how rude and unfair some of her dad’s clients were being treated. But after becoming emotionally involved with one of the clients, Drue started her own investigation. She discovered a missing person’s file in a place it should never have been. Her research was bringing up more questions than answers. And, in some way, Dru knew her father was involved. But to what degree? Drue was determined to find out.

Sunset Beach has a bit of everything in it, intrigue, humor, and romance. Very well done.

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4.5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Amazon                                                   B&N

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of The High Tide Club, The Beach House Cookbook, The Weekenders, Beach Town, Save the Date, Christmas Bliss, Ladies’ Night, Spring Fever, and Summer Rental, all from St. Martin’s Press, as well as Savannah Breeze, Blue Christmas Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies and Savannah Blues, all Harper Collins. On May 7, 2019, St. Martin’s Press will release her 26th novel, SUNSET BEACH

A former reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she wrote ten critically acclaimed mysteries, including the Callahan Garrity mystery series, originally under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. The Callahan mysteries were recently re-released by Harper Collins, as Mary Kay Andrews writing as Kathy Hogan Trocheck.

A native of St. Petersburg, FL (and a diplomate of the Maas Bros. Department Store School of Charm), she started her professional journalism career in Savannah, GA, where she covered the real-life murder trials which were the basis of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

As a lifelong “junker” the author claims to know the location of every promising thrift store, flea market and junkpile in the southeastern United States, plus many parts of Ohio.

She has a B.A. in newspaper journalism from The University of Georgia (go Dawgs!), and is a frequent writing teacher and lecturer at workshops and book festivals.

Married to her high school sweetheart, she is the mother of two grown children and a proud grandmother. When not on book tour, she divides her time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, GA.

By Write-Escape on April 20, 2019

Sunday Sharing (10)

I often find posts by other bloggers
that strike a chord in me for one reason
or another and I’ll be occasionally sharing
them here on Buried Under Books.

Today’s share is from Reading Tonic:
My Review of Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

Book Blurb

Someone once told me that you have two families in your life – the one you are born into and the one you choose. Yes, you may get to choose your partner, but you don’t choose your mother-in-law. The cackling mercenaries of fate determine it all.

From the moment Lucy met Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana is exquisitely polite, but Lucy knows, even after marrying Oliver, that they’ll never have the closeness she’d been hoping for.

But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice, the matriarch of a loving family. Lucy had wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was ten years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, leaving a suicide note. But the autopsy reveals evidence of suffocation. And everyone in the family is hiding something…

My thoughts

My friends gave this book such mixed reviews, that I approached it with a bit of apprehension. What I worried about the most was that I won’t be able to engage with the story, that it won’t provoke any strong emotions. Well… For the first half of the book I just hated Diana for her inability or apparent unwillingness to give her children the support they needed. Then, gradually, I began to see the other side of the story and started thinking about my own parents and parents-in-law, our numerous quibbles as well as happy moments nobody can take away from me.

Everyone, no matter how old they are wants their mother’s approval. And everyone, no matter who they are, wants their mother-in-law’s…

Every mother needs to know her children can survive on their own when she is gone. Every mother-in-law finds it impossible to reach a perfect balance in her relationship with her daughter-in-law.

I loved Sally Hepsworth’s style: her catchy metaphors and her attention to detail. The mystery element of the story was utterly gripping, I just kept reading compulsively, even though by the end of the book it was clear that there were so many possible culprits with so many motivations, that it was impossible to guess and it probably didn’t matter. What mattered was how and why you end up being so misunderstood.

In social psychology there is a term: the Actor Observer Bias. We readily attribute other people’s actions to their predispositions/ character. On the contrary, we acknowledge the role of external factors, the situation, the circumstances, in shaping our own behaviour.

In her own mind, Diana’s intentions are good. Okay, sometimes she feels she really knows better, having lived through hardships and having made her life a success. But all she can do is watch in dismay how all her attempts to share her feelings somehow go astray.

Another thing I kept thinking about, which I am not going to go into in this post, is how a suicide affects the surviving family members and how impossible it is to predict its consequences.

This book made me think about my own relationships and the endless potential for miscommunication and misinterpretation of other people’s intentions.

The casual eye doesn’t see everything…

Thank you to NetGalley and St.Martin’s Press for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

By readingtonic on March 22, 2019

Sunday Sharing (9)

I often find posts by other bloggers
that strike a chord in me for one reason
or another and I’ll be occasionally sharing
them here on Buried Under Books.

Today’s share is from The Chocolate
Lady’s Book Review Blog:
Night Witches and Chasing Evil

Book Review of “The Huntress” by Kate Quinn.

huntressBy the beginning of 1950, the efforts to find Nazi war criminals and bring them to justice for their horrendous and unthinkable crimes was already on the wane, except for the biggest of fish. Still, some Nazi hunters couldn’t let go of finding any of these criminals, no matter how small. On this backdrop, Kate Quinn’s newest novel focuses on a British ex-war correspondent Ian and his American ex-soldier friend Tony, who aren’t willing to allow these Nazis to stay hidden and avoid justice, and in particular, die Jägerin – the Huntress – the woman who killed Ian’s brother Sebastian. Into this mix, comes Nina, a former combat pilot for the Soviet Army who, as a witness to Sebastian’s murder, joins forces with Ian and Tony in their quest. Finally, there’s Jordan, the young American woman in Boston who wants to become a photographer, but she knows her widowed father needs her, and is willing to sacrifice her career for him. Jordan also learns to suppress her suspicions about her father’s new wife, Annelise, a woman who left post-war Europe, bringing with her the obviously war-traumatized young girl, Ruth.

On the surface, this plot summary of this novel seems somewhat complicated, but Quinn helps smooth this out by telling the story from three aspects. First there’s Ian and his determination to find his brother’s killer; then there’s Nina’s wartime adventures, which brings her to Sebastian, and; finally, Jordan’s story with her father, his new wife, and Ruth, all mixed with her own ambitions. Surprisingly enough, by artfully splicing together all of these fragments, and through the very distinctive voices she gives each of them, Quinn somehow succeeded in simplifying the overall story line. For me, that was no small feat and I must praise Quinn for this. Mind you, she did much the same with her previous novel “The Alice Network” so that wasn’t much of a surprise.

To begin with, I already knew that character development was one of Quinn’s fortes from her previous novel “The Alice Network,” and she doesn’t disappoint here in the least. My personal favorite (and I’m noticing I’m not alone in this assessment) was Nina. Quinn paints Nina to absolute perfection, even going as far as giving imperfect English when she appears in scenes with the other main characters, but sounding grammatically correct when she’s speaking in Russian while telling her own story. I seriously read the former passages with a Russian accent in my head, it was that convincing! Add to this the fact that I know very little about female Russian combat flyers, and Quinn’s research into this facet of WW2 became something for which I was eager to learn more. This alone might have been enough for me to love Nina, but Quinn made her just feisty enough, just passionate enough, and just troubled enough to make her totally believable, and ultimately the most compelling character of the book. This was enhanced by such a range of experiences and emotional upheavals, that had Quinn decided to just focus solely on Nina, I would have been one very happy camper. One also wonders if the title of this book didn’t just refer to the Nazi they were hunting, but also to Nina.

But Nina wasn’t the only major protagonist here (more the pity); we also had Ian and Jordan. Ian was highly sympathetic, and his motivation for hunting Nazis, and this particular woman, were clear and believable. I also liked Jordan, and how Quinn portrayed her spunk and desire for a real career in photography, which conflicted with her adoration of her father and wanting to care for him, as well as her growing need to care for the troubled Ruth. However, neither of them reached the level of empathy that Quinn achieved with Nina’s character, which made this book a touch lopsided. As for Tony, our extra fourth character, his usefulness becomes apparent through Ian’s and Jordan’s story, making him a minor character. To be honest, I was disappointed that Tony didn’t get a chance to tell us his story himself, and thereby make him into another major protagonist, because Quinn did give him a very rich and fascinating back-story, along with an endearing charm. (By the way, I noticed that Kirkus Reviews is hoping that there will be sequels to the Nazi hunting stories. I wouldn’t mind that myself, but I have a feeling that Tony and Jordan wouldn’t suit such sequels, which would be a shame.)

There were other aspects of this novel that weren’t as successfully written here, mostly regarding the plot and consistencies in how some characters acted. For example, after Jordan reveals her suspicions about Annelise, Jordan seems to too easily accept Annelise’s explanations as fact and reasonable, and almost immediately pushes away her fears. She then embraces this woman a bit too warmly, and too quickly for my taste. It seems to me that their relationship would have always included some of the lingering skepticism on Jordan’s part, as well as a level of persistent resentment from Annelise. You would think that a cold-blooded murder such as die Jägerin wouldn’t be able to keep up the act of being so forgiving and thoughtful for so long without somehow trying to extract a level of revenge. Mind you, that was mostly excusable, if we assume that die Jägerin is not only evil, but also a truly talented actress! That makes sense, since otherwise she wouldn’t have been able to capture the heart of Dan (Jordan’s father) so easily. I also felt that the Huntress at the conclusion of this book were just a bit too pliant for my taste.

As noted above, what mostly makes up for these drawbacks is Quinn’s character development, particularly with Nina, and also with the underused Tony. Add to this some powerfully written and absolutely captivating action scenes – not limited to, but surely highlighted by Nina’s experiences in the Soviet air force – and this novel becomes a true thriller. Overall, I truly enjoyed this book and found it a very powerful and absorbing read, so I will recommend it with a healthy four out of five stars. (By the way, I’m seeing lots of full five stars from other reviewers, so I have a feeling this novel is going to be a real hit!)

0ae9b-4starstiny

William Morrow/Harper Collins released “The Huntress” by Kate Quinn on February 26, 2019. This book is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart (Kobo) US eBooks and audiobooks, the website eBooks.com, iTunes (iBook or audiobook), Wordery or The Book Depository (both with free worldwide delivery), new or used from Alibris, used from Better World Books (promoting libraries and world literary) as well as from an IndieBound store near you. I would like to thank the publishers for the ARC of this novel via Edelweiss.

By The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog on March 8, 2019

Sunday Sharing (8)

I often find posts by other bloggers
that strike a chord in me for one reason
or another and I’ll be occasionally sharing
them here on Buried Under Books.

Today’s share is from Becky’s Books:
The Devil’s Half Mile ~ by Paddy Hirsch

 

The Devil’s Half Mile ~ by Paddy Hirsch

Posted on

This is what real historical fiction looks like. It takes place in Manhattan circa 1799, only a few years after the Panic of 1792. There are banking scandals, serious race issues, labor troubles, and plenty of crime and corruption going on.

Justice Flanagan arrives back in the US from a stay in England where he was educated as an attorney. He wants to investigate the very suspicious hanging death of his father which occurred just before he left the US.

*******
The Devil’s Half Mile
by Paddy Hirsch
2018/ 292 pages
Read by Euan Morton – 11h 22m
Rating: A- / historical crime
*******

Justy, as our protagonist is called, gets involved with a variety of people, mostly corrupt, but who can tell, a few of them are pretty obviously above board. One is a very appealing young woman he knew before he left.  Another is a Norwegian sailor he met in passage.

Justy arrives at an interesting time – there are many new immigrants especially from Ireland, there are newly freed slaves, there are shysters and con-men and very few laws The language Hirsch uses is strewn with the slang of the times, but there is a glossary at the back for help in navigating

The book is nicely written and so wonderfully well researched that Wall Street and the environment of the era come alive.

By Becky’s Books on March 2, 2019

Sunday Sharing (7)

I often find posts by other bloggers
that strike a chord in me for one reason
or another and I’ll be occasionally sharing
them here on Buried Under Books.

Today’s share is from Storyshucker:
Wait…

I’m watching from my window today.

For a few minutes more, at least. Saturday errands call, but right now the view into the garden has my willpower paralyzed. Soothed by the peaceful nothingness happening out there, I stare blissfully through the glass a little longer.

Oh well. I need to start those errands. Yawn, stretch, and one last glance outside before I begin. I stand up.

Wait… I sit back down.

There’s a bird. A little yellow bird. He flits and darts to the top of a frost-covered evergreen. Stops, hops, poses, and drops to another branch to repeat his mesmerizing moves. He struts and prances along several branches then flies away in a blur. Gone. How lucky I was to have shared that moment!

It doesn’t matter.

I have to get the car inspected. It’s too important not to. I stand up.

Wait… I sit back down.

Those leaves. Those five little leaves left clinging to a twig on the winter-bare crepe myrtle. They were yellow a second ago. Wow look! In one fluid move they drift from yellow to gold to fiery orange as a shifting morning sun illuminates them from behind. Amazing to have seen that magic display!

It doesn’t matter.

I have to get to the post office. It’s too important not to. I stand up.

These errands and many others! Now I have to hurry! So much to do today! Urgent rushing and running!

Wait…

Just wait. Maybe I’ll get the car inspected tomorrow. And the bank is open next week. What’s one more day for a few insipid tasks?

How often does a yellow bird dance in the trees for me while the sun turns tiny leaves into fire? Moments like these happen every day, but I won’t see if I don’t watch.

I really should watch. It’s too important not to. I sit back down.

Saturday errands call but I know what they can do.

Wait…

I’m watching from my window today.

Stuart M. Perkins

By Storyshucker on February 10, 2019