Friday, July 15, 2016

The importance of unplugging

Or at least trying to....

Cell phones, tablets, e-readers, laptops, notebooks, computers, VR-devices, Apple watches, digital television, Netflix, .... and so much more.
Books replaced into digital editions, texting has turned into whatsapp and imessage, etc.

Our lives are becoming increasingly more digital. From Facebook to LinkedIn, the options are immense and sometimes even a little scary.
I'm no stranger to them either. I often find myself going from laptop to phone to tablet and back. Constantly worrying that I might have missed something important.
I have friends across the world ranging from Australia to as close the UK and the World Wide Web is exactly what you need to keep in contact with them. It's probably the means that got you into contact with them in the first places.

If I were to calculate the amount of time behind my computer I think I'd be astonished. It's not like I feel guilty about this. Why would I. My computer is my baby and I need it both for work and personal life. I don't just browse cat memes. I use it for work, for my administration, to write on, to prepare, etc.

But lately, especially when my eyes hurt from all the screen time, I have felt the need to go on a digital cleanse. To unplug from the world and just breathe and (as cheesy as it sounds) enjoy the little things around me (or even, finally clean up the mess that my room has become).

I try to unplug once every two months for a week. And I'm not going to lie, I can't unplug 100%. I'll admit, it's more 'cutting down rather than fully unplugging. I need my phone and computer for my job. But what I DO do is that in my spare time I'll refrain from using them. I'll reply to the odd text I receive (but who receives texts still? All my messages seem to be sent through Whatsapp. Seriously why do I still pay for my phone subscription?)
I'll leave my tablet, computer and phone alone for the entire night. What will I do instead? Read or write. Or I'll watch some tele with the family. I know technically television isn't necessarily considered unplugging but at least I'm spending time with my family and thoroughly enjoying it.
Also, I'm surprised at the amount of other stuff I got done during that time.

So what I'm trying to do is not necessarily cut out all electric/digital devices my life but cutting down the amount of time I spent on them.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Flash Review: Alice and the Fly

5/10 for Alice and the Fly by James Rice

A spellbinding debut novel by an exceptional new young British talent. 
This is a book about phobias and obsessions, isolation and dark corners. It's about families, friendships, and carefully preserved secrets. But above everything else it's about love. Finding love - in any of its forms - and nurturing it. 
Miss Hayes has a new theory. She thinks my condition's caused by some traumatic incident from my past I keep deep-rooted in my mind. As soon as I come clean I'll flood out all these tears and it'll all be ok and I won't be scared of Them anymore. The truth is I can't think of any single traumatic childhood incident to tell her. I mean, there are plenty of bad memories - Herb's death, or the time I bit the hole in my tongue, or Finners Island, out on the boat with Sarah - but none of these are what caused the phobia. I've always had it. It's Them. I'm just scared of Them. It's that simple. 
Source: Goodreads

I was given a review copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I find it hard to judge this book  because it was so far off what I usually read. I love stepping out of my comfort zone when it comes to reading and coming across stories like this. But I'm not sure I was prepared for what it would give to me.
First of all the title threw me off.
Starting this I assumed that Alice was the main character. Only to find that it wasn't Alice but it was a boy named Greg. Total

The way this book was written was absolutely brilliant. Seeing through the eyes of the main character, following its thoughts and the way he perceived the world was spot on!

But I struggled to connect with the story. And for me that is the most important thing a book should be able to do.

Having said that, the world needs more books like this. Especially if they address a side of humanity that involves mental illness.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Book Review: Working It

9,5/10 for Working It by Leah Marie Brown

Falling in love is always in fashion…. 
With her trust fund and coveted job at Christian Dior, Fanny Moreau believes she has it all. But when her best friend finds a fulfilling new career abroad—and a dreamy relationship with a great guy, Fanny’s fabulous life suddenly feels empty. Inspired to find her true purpose, she trades her cushy lifestyle in San Francisco for an adventure in the Alaskan wilderness. 
Everyone thinks Fanny has gone off the deep end. What’s a girl with a Ph.D in Prada doing teaching in an Inuit village? Even Fanny is wondering, especially when she comes face to face with Calder MacFarlane. The Scottish search and rescue pilot is everything Fanny is not—selfless, heroic, and used to living on the edge. He’s also the man who once loved her best friend. Yet something in Calder’s sexy gaze has her believing that she’s a woman capable of great things—a woman who might just find her own happily-ever-after, in a place where she least expects it…. 
“Leah Marie Brown has a wily way of bringing her stories to life with sharp dialogue and drop-dead sexy characters.” —Cindy Miles, National Bestselling Author
“When it comes to crafting clever, intelligent, wonderful escapist fiction with a heroine every woman wants to know, Leah Marie Brown is a new voice to watch. Prepare to fall in love!” —Renee Ryan, Daphne du Maurier Award-Winning Author
Source: Goodreads

I received a copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.

In all honesty, there were a few niggles with the book.
Them being
- I was constantly borderlining on disliking Fanny. She was judgemental and shallow at the best of times but what kept her straight was the way she could truly care about people once she got over her own prejudice.
- The time she actually spent in Alaska and what happened before were unbalanced. The Alaska time was rushed and it almost felt like watching a trailer of a movie rather than having an entire film. I don't know how this book kept its length without actually zooming in on the actual story plot.

Then why did I give this story 9,5/10?
Simple, because I loved reading this book!
There's something about Leah Marie Brown's writing that makes her stories like a soft fluffy pillow. You can't help but love curling up with them.
This is the third book in the It Series but it works perfectly as a standalone which is great for new readers. On the other hand it also has little hints for the people who have read the previous books.
And with this story I was happy to see an old favourite make a come-back: Calder McHottie!

As Calder manages to slowly thaw Fanny and make her more loveable (and horny), I also started to like Fanny more and more.
We also meet Laney and I feel like she was used as a middle person. The thing we needed to connect Fanny from the one event to the other and this being her only purpose. Which was a bit of a shame because she was an interesting character with more potential.

So When LMB said the next book will star Laney, I hope we'll get to find out more about her but also about the setting of Alaska of which we now only had a glimpse.

Despite the few issues I had with it, I enjoyed it rather a lot. This book is simply a perfect story to read during summer by the pool or under a blanket with a warm drink.