Saturday, 21 November 2015


I am having a tough time at work.  If I'm completely honest, I've been having a tough time at work all year.  When I first started just a little over two years ago, I couldn't imagine finding a better job - surronded by books, could I ask for anything better?

 However, a lot can happen in two years and I find myself getting to that weird point of should I stay or should I go?  The bookworm in me says "stay, you'll never find anything better" but I find that I'm continually anxious going into work every morning, even on my days off.  It's Saturday, and I'm sitting here with my stomach swirling and I can feel the small tremors throughout my body thinking about work.  I'm counting the weeks until my next holiday, but at the same time I know that will be over before I know it and I'll have another long stretch of being desperately unhappy, and feeling like I'm the worst employee in the world.

A combination of the system and how we are being continually let down by it, plus my own incapabilities and not knowing how to improve them are massive points of stress and contention.  Plus feeling like I don't fit in because I'm awkward and quiet - not to mention the judgey mcjudgersons always seem to have the loudest voices.

I get that not everything can run smoothly, but I feel like a complete failure at all times.  I never do anything right, I always let things slide, I don't keep track of things as well as everyone else, I always half ass everything, I might as well just not do anything at all because that's how much use I am to everyone.  I'm continually beating myself up every day and I can't stop.

These feelings aren't going go away anytime soon, but I read Felicia Day's "You're Never Weird on the Internet (almost)" this week and this quote has really stuck with me:

"Weathering the rough times requires a lot of self-confidence outside of the things that you can't control, like career and what other people think of you.  You need to be able to feel proud of yourself even if you were living in a tiny hut in the middle of nowhere, taking care of goats.  You are unique and good enough JUST AS YOU ARE.  As a theoretical goat herder."

The chapter the quote comes from is a really honest insight into Felicia's struggles with anxiety and depression.  While reading this chapter, it felt like she was speaking directly to me - I felt less alone and my own anxiety didn't feel so trivial.   My goal is to keep repeating goat herder every time I feel those negative thoughts start creeping in, or when something that isn't going my way - I just have to own everything no matter what -  and by doing so I hope that this in turn eases the pressure I feel about work.

I feel better for getting this off my chest.  I'm going to go read now - I've got a massive stack of library books and I treated myself to a brand new copy of Marissa Meyer's Winter on Monday so I've got plenty to choose from.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week's topic is the "Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession".  I'm cheating a bit, as I got 11 books out of the library last night, but haven't included them all as I wanted to show off some of the stuff I've managed to get from the staff bookshop in the week.

1. Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
I've been reading Shadow Show (both the novel and the comic - see below!) and I wanted to read more of the source material, so I picked up the only Bradbury that was in the library yesterday.

 2. Vanishing Girls - Lauren Oliver
 I pre-ordered this before starting Delerium...after not really enjoying that, I'm a bit nervous about Vanishing Girls...good thing I got it from the library!

3. Dreams of Shreds & Tatters - Amanda Downum
I feel like I've seen this book everywhere recently (apart from the work bookshop!), so as it was in the library I thought, why not pick it up?

4. Foxglove Summer - Ben Aaronovitch
I loved River's of London but haven't felt that any subsequent volumes in the Peter Grant series have lived up to that promise.  I haven't decided to give up completely on the series - so I'm thinking Foxglove Summer could be the "make-or-break" book.

5. Shadow Show - Various
I bought Shadow Show in Sweden last year - and then found out some of the stories have been published in comic form earlier in the year.  Cue squeals when this turned up in the proof box last Wednesday!

 6. Y The Last Man - Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra
 I've heard good things about this series, and as the library had both vols 1 & 2 (alas no vol 3), I thought it was time to give it a try.  I read a few pages when I got home this evening and I'm already rather smitten!

7. Chew Volume 9 Chicken Tenders - John Layman and Rob Guillory
 New (well new for me) Chew!  I tell you, the library saw me coming yesterday...

8. Playing with Fire - Tess Gerritsen
 This is a gift for my mum.  Found in the bookshop at work, I'm always happy to find an unexpected proof!

9. As If - Jen Chaney
The best thing about getting two free damaged books a week is that I'm more likely to pick up really odd books!  Case in point, As If which is a retrospective of Clueless to celebrate the movie's 20th anniversary (I can't believe the film is that old...)

 10. Our Lady of The Streets - Tom Pollock
Another library pick.  Our Lady...wasn't even in the library catalog last month so I was completely shocked to see it on the shelf when I was having a peruse yesterday!  This book ends Pollock's fantastic Skyscraper Throne Trilogy - I'm excited to read it, but at the same time I'm a little sad that the story is nearly over for me.

Have you read any of the above?  What was on your list this week?

Monday, 13 July 2015


How did this happen?  I went into the library to pick up one book!  One book I tell you!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Summer TBR 2015 - Koko Takes a Holiday

I received Kieran Shea's Koko Takes a Holiday for my birthday last year.  I only requested this book because it has a Joey Hi-Fi cover.  The Hi-Fi method seems to have been a safe and effective way of finding awesome new books and authors as I haven't been let down yet (next up on my wish list are Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor and Dream London by Tony Ballantyne).

Five hundred years from now, ex-corporate mercenary Koko Martstellar is swaggering through an early retirement as a brothel owner on The Sixty Islands, a manufactured tropical resort archipelago known for its sex and simulated violence.  Surrounded by slang-drooling boywhores and synthetic komodo dragons, the most challenging part of Koko's day is deciding on her next drink.  That is, until her old comrade Portia Delacompte sends a squad of security personnel to murder her.

Koko is essentially a popcorn movie in book form; glossy, a touch ultra violent, a whole lot of fun, and essentially a perfect summer read.  I managed to read the whole book in one weekend which is an amazing feat for me at the moment.   I'm not one hundred percent sure that there was a lot of character stuff going on, and I wish that some of the ideas that Shea had included in his world had been expanded upon, but this didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of reading this bonkers story.  Weirdly, the only issue I took was with marketing, as Titan advertise on page 2 that Koko the Mighty is due in 2015...She's being hunted by bounty hunters, surely you want to actually give the impression that Koko might not make it?

On a fun note, the arm's dealer reminded me of a Doctor Who character - so much that I haven't been able to stop quoting, "I'm old...I'm fat...I'm blue!".

To sum up; if you get a chance, check this crazy book out!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Summer TBR : The Girl on The Train - Paula Hawkins

I haven't got a lot to say about The Girl on the Train.  I picked it up because I had seen a lot of hype all over the interwebs and thought, why not?  Normally I would have to wait for ages for hyped books using the library and by the time they get into my hands everything has died down a little and I can make my own mind up; but now with work there's a 9/10 chance that a copy will turn up in the shop.  I'd heard things like it was the next Gone Girl - and while there are some similarities, I didn't really take to this book as much.

Paula Hawkin's debut is basically what it says on the tin.  Told from 3 female points of view: Rachel, a girl on the train; Rachel's ex-husband's new wife Anna; and Megan, the girl that Rachel passes by every day on the train.  When Megan goes missing, Rachel's life starts to spiral out of control - or at least her web of lies does.
Now, I'm all for an unreliable and unlikeable narrator -which I know is not everybody's bag - but all three characters were pretty dull.  Anna comes closest to being interesting (let's be honest, she's what you'd call a straight up mean person), yet Hawkins never really develops her character beyond the mother bear and blameless homewrecker archetypes.

The story is supposed to unravel slowly as Rachel reveals more of her deceptions, keeping the reader on edge.  For me, I got so bored that I kept flicking forward to the last few pages to see if my predictions of the "big twist" were going to be correct.  Is it too much to ask for a story to be so gripping that I want to read every single word on the page and not even notice how far along I am?

The Girl on the Train is an easy read, but it's also formulaic and disposable.  I don't think I'm going to remember it in six months time as I'm having trouble enough remembering details now when I'm only two weeks post read! 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Flowers on a Friday

Hi, my name is Emma and I have developed an obsession with taking photographs of flowers.  In a bid to keep sane, I'm trying to do more things that make me happy...and taking rubbish photographs is one of those things!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Top Ten Books On My TBR For Summer 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week's topic is "Top Ten Books on My TBR for Summer 2015".  It was so hard to choose just 10!

 1. City of Stairs - Robert Jackson Bennett
 2. Moxyland - Lauren Beukes
 3. Monsters of Men - Patrick Ness
 4. Koko Takes a Holiday - Kieran Shea
5. Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King
6. Shadow Show - Edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle
7. Prudence - Gail Carriger
8. The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
9. Zeros - Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti 
10. Lock In - John Scalzi