Well, it’s been a long time since I posted anything on here.

Things are good. We’re coming towards the end of the third lockdown period in England and I’ll say that this one has been difficult in different ways – it’s felt as if the virus has been closer this time around.

It’s been the first time I’ve known people who have had COVID, the first time I’ve had to self-isolate (my daughter had to separately as well), the first time I’ve known people who have lost loved ones to the virus.

At work, we returned to being a remote team. We didn’t use furlough again, but people were sent home and that felt like a cruel blow. Back in March, when the team were furloughed, we could never have imagined that a year later we would be in a similar position still.

But we all remain healthy and safe.

I posted early in the first stage of lockdown hoping that taking sensible decisions then would allow our business to survive, perhaps even thrive – so far, it would seem that that is the case. Although the furlough scheme remains available and I’ve always wondered what will happen when that closes and businesses that haven’t paid wages for 12 months or so have to decide whether they can meet that expense or need to make lay offs.

I’ve had the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and I was really moved by the experience. I went to the hospital to have it done, and there’s a separate vaccine area with huge tents erected. It felt like some kind of emergency response, like I’d see in the news happening in another country – and I guess that’s exactly what it is. It was really quite emotional to see the medics working so hard to get as many people vaccinated safely as they could. Amazing.

Anyway, I continue to read. I’ve just started waking up at 5am each weekday morning again and I use that time to just sit quietly, watch the sun rise, journal and read a non-fiction book. Then I have a separate book (normally fiction) that I’m reading at bedtime.

I’m up to 23 books read for the year so far as I write this on St Patrick’s Day (17 March), but I’ll only share January and February reads for now.

JANUARY 2021:

  • Help Yourself by Curtis Sittenfeld – my favourite fiction author! I’m delighted that she has started putting out these collections of short stories so I can get a more regular dose of her work. In fact, her book Rodham (read last year) started as a short story in one of these collections. As always, I highly recommend her.
  • Ghost Mortem by Jane Hinchey – a paranormal cozy mystery by my Australian writer friend, who I met on a writing trip in Bali.
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – my husband practically handcuffed me to a chair and forced me to read this, he loved it so much. It’s good! I bought a copy to gift a friend – it’s that kind of book that you want to share after reading it.
  • Midlife Curses by Christine Zane Thomas – this one is paranormal women’s fiction and it was really enjoyable.
  • Around The Corner to Around The World – this is a bio about Dunkin’ Donuts. I love business bios. I’ve been reading them for nearly 20 years ever since I discovered Sam Walton’s!
  • Plotting The Murder by Ron D Voigts – a quick read, about the craft of writing mysteries
  • Places, Clues and Guilt by Ron D Voigts – another one in the series
  • Save The Cat Writes A Novel by Jessica Brody – this was a really helpful and practical book about story structure
  • Wrong Side of Forty by Jana DeLeon – another paranormal women’s fiction book
  • A Good Neighbourhood by Therese Anne Fowler – I really enjoyed this Romeo and Juliet-esque novel about teenage romance, and a tree…

 

FEBRUARY 2021:

  • Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh – a powerful New York man is murdered and both of his twin daughters are under suspicion.
  • Adventures in Opting Out by Cait Flanders – an interesting book about not following the regular life path
  • The Meaning of Mariah Carey – okay, MiMi is my guilty pleasure y’all, and It’s Like That.
  • Deacon King King by James McBride – picked this recommendation up from SHU and LOVED it!
  • Anxious People by Fredrik Backman – I believe this was another SHU recommendation and another great one!
  • Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas – I love this author and I’ve read all of her books. This book is set around 20 years before The Hate U Give.
  • Ahead of the Game by J D Kirk – yep, I’m still loving these Scottish crime thrillers and I tend to mark the release day for each new one in my diary and read them as soon as I can after launch. J D Kirk recently got to number 1 in the whole of the Amazon.com Kindle store, so I’m clearly not alone in thinking this series is amazing!
  • The Appeal by Janice Hallett – loved this book! So creative! It’s a murder mystery, but it isn’t set out as a novel, it’s the case file of evidence and you read along and hopefully solve the murder. So good!
  • Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh – this guy’s tag lines are incredible. For this book, the tag line is something like “The Killer Isn’t On Trial – He’s On The Jury”. How can you not want to read it after that?!

 

That’s all for now!

Katie

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