Tag: psychology

Sunday Summary – 23rd May 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s weekly Sunday Summary update post! I hope you’ve had a really good week wherever you are and whatever you have been doing.

Aside from the usual 9-to-5 grind and the usual reading/blogging, I’ve been doing some work on my knitting and crafting projects. This week’s focus has been working on a dotty cardigan I’m making. I also recently finished a lovely crochet blanket (that has been over a year in the making now) and I’m really pleased that I’m putting aside time to do these. Some people may laugh, but I find it very therapeutic. I’ve always been a crafty person – I don’t think that will change. 

On the blogging front, I have shared a couple of posts with you this week. My first post of the week was shared on Thursday. Last week I decided I wanted to share a Discussion Post on why I think reading books from multiple genres is of a benefit. I still really think this is the case and I would be interested to hear your thoughts as well!

On Friday, I took part in a blog tour for A Knot of Sparrows by Cheryl Rees-Price. The post is a promo of the book and I hope you can check that out. I’ve also included links to some of my favourite reviews from the tour so far too. If you want to find out more, you can do so using the link above. 

 

Books Read

My first priority of the week was finishing You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney. I did in fact finish this at the very beginning of the week as planned in last week’s Sunday Summary post. I had around 30% left to read and I really enjoyed picking up this book. It has elements of humour and the psychology featured really does make you think about yourself, and opens your eyes to the psychological tricks that you yourself are prone to. It was both entertaining and insightful and honestly, it was nice to pick up a non-fiction for a change!

Later in the week, I read the first 50 or so pages of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I’ve really enjoyed picking up this series again. I haven’t read the books since I was a teenager and it’s really nice revisit. Looking back, they are quite easy reads (at least so far!) but there’s also a lot of detail I have forgotten since reading the books and watching the films when I was younger. I’ve only read 50 pages or so in one sitting, but I will definitely be picking this up more next week. If my experience of the first couple of books is anything to go by, I won’t be reading this one for long either.

I have listened to a little more of A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin, however not too much. I must confess I’ve spent more time watching TV of an evening and so I haven’t really done too much in the way of listening to audiobooks.

 

Books Discovered

A nice and quiet report this week-quite simply, there is nothing to add!

 

Coming Up…

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday post is one where I have a little bit of choice. The topic is ‘quotes from books fitting a theme’ – a theme of my choice. I haven’t chosen one yet, but I’m going to have a look at the quotes that I’ve saved on the likes of my Kindle and Goodreads and I will draft a post depending on what I have! It will be interesting to see where this post takes me.

Later in the week, I will be returning with a regular Friday feature. This was temporarily put on hold this week as I was taking part in the blog tour for A Knot of Sparrows. This week it is the turn of my Shelf Control feature post. For those of you who don’t know, in this particular post I take a look at a book on my TBR and review/discuss why I like the sound of the book, why I want to read it and generally just get myself hyped for it! I hope you can join me for that post.

That’s it for today’s Sunday Summary post. What have you been reading this week?

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Sunday Summary – 16th May 2021

Good evening everyone and welcome to today’s usual weekly Sunday Summary update post. If you are new to my blog, this is my regular weekly update in which I talk about what I have been reading, any new books I have added to my TBR (or ‘to be read’ list) and I also discuss what posts I have planned for the following week.

This week I have gotten back to my usual, slightly calmer posting schedule. I didn’t have any tours this week, which takes the pressure off. In terms of blog posts I have published this week, I shared a book review of This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay on Thursday and a First Lines Friday feature (no prizes for guessing when…)

 

Books Read

You are not so smart

I have been continuing to make progress with You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney.

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update post, I was around 35% of the way through the book. At the time of writing this post I have made roughly the same amount of progress again this week, taking me to 70%. I don’t have long left in the book in terms of reading time (just over an hour) and so I expect to get this finished reasonably soon.

I haven’t made any audiobook progress this week. Usually I would listen to an audiobook in the evening or on a Saturday after cleaning (now that I’m back to my usual work routine) but instead I have been watching a television show this week. It’s probably only fair that I take a brief break from George R R Martin – I have been reading and listening to a lot of his stuff lately!

 

Books Discovered

Technically I have added a book to my TBR this week, although also in a way, I haven’t. I’ve always known since reading the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo that I wanted to read her Shadow and Bone series. This is the TV series I have been watching this week and I have absolutely loved it! So, don’t be surprised if I start reading Shadow and Bone soon…

 

Coming Up…

I want to do something a little bit different this week and share my thoughts in a discussion post. I quite often talk about the range of books that I read, but it wasn’t always that way. As a teenager I used to pretty much exclusively read fantasy. It was fun, but my reading taste has certainly evolved… especially since I started my blog. So, my discussion post for this week is about why I think reading diverse range of books is a benefit to any reader. I’d also be really interested to hear your thoughts on the subject!

On Friday I am sharing a promo post as part of the blog tour for a knot of sparrows. As a result, I’ll be taking a brief break from my regular Friday features; this week would have been a shelf control post. Don’t worry, I’ll be back with this the following week!

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post. What are you reading?

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Sunday Summary – 9th May 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary weekly update post. As always, I hope you’ve had a really good week wherever and whatever you’ve been doing!

There’s been a lot going on over here at Reviewsfeed. My blogging schedule has had a bit of a shakeup this week – I posted three times by Wednesday! Normally my posts are a lot more spread out, however, I was taking part in blog tours back to back on Tuesday and Wednesday. Furthermore, I also wanted to share my monthly wrap-up for April before those posts went live. So, my April Monthly Wrap-up was posted on Monday, my blog tour extract post for Glasshouse by Morwenna Blackwood published on Tuesday and my guest post for The Legacy by Alison Knight was shared on Wednesday. Phew!

Given that I’d had a busy beginning of the week I am glad I decided to leave it there until today’s Sunday Summary post.

 

Books Read

It finally feels like I have an update I can give you this week! At last, I have finished Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin! In last week’s Sunday Summary update post I only had a few pages left of the book. Finishing it was absolutely on the cards and I did this at the beginning of the week.

Since finishing Fire and Blood, I have picked up a book called You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney. This has been on my TBR for some time, partly because I am interested in the psychology aspect it covers, but also because it’s funny. I’ve made pretty good progress with this book this week as well. As of writing this post, I have read 35% of the book. I’m finding it easy to pick up and put down as the chapters are nicely separated and concise. This one definitely won’t be taking as long as Fire and Blood to finish!

I have also listened to a couple more chapters of A Clash of Kings this week. Nothing much to write home about, but progress is progress. With something as long as this, even chipping away a little bit at a time makes a difference.

 

Books Discovered

Aside from buying my copy of You Are Not So Smart to start reading the book, there have been no other purchases or additions to my TBR this week!

 

Coming Up…

This week I plan to feature a review for a book I read last year based on a recommendation from a work colleague, and I loved it! It’s had quite an effect on me; at times it the easiest, funniest book to read and yet the very next chapter can have some very hard-hitting content that opens your eyes to the truth behind the struggles of the NHS doctor. This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay was one of my favourite reads last year and I’m looking forward to sharing my full thoughts with you this week.

Later in the week my regular First Lines Friday feature will be back! I haven’t chosen this week’s featured book as yet but that’s half the fun and I hope you enjoy the post once it’s drafted and shared.

 

That’s it for today’s Sunday Summary post. What are you reading this week?

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Shelf Control #24 – 25/09/2020

Happy Friday everyone! Welcome to my first Shelf Control post in a little while. It’s actually my first post of this type in over a month! Since I have been taking part in blog tours this regular feature post was temporarily put on hold – but we’re back!

In case you haven’t read one of these posts before, Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

Today’s featured book is part of a genre that I don’t read all that often. I really should make more of an effort to read it because I really enjoy it when I do! I like the sound of this book in particular as I think it includes a lot of humour.

Shall we check out today’s featured book?

 

You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself – David McRaney

You are not so smart

Goodreads – You Are Not So Smart

An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise.

Whether you’re deciding which smart phone to purchase or which politician to believe, you think you are a rational being whose every decision is based on cool, detached logic, but here’s the truth: You are not so smart. You’re just as deluded as the rest of us–but that’s okay, because being deluded is part of being human.

Growing out of David McRaney’s popular blog, You Are Not So Smart reveals that every decision we make, every thought we contemplate, and every emotion we feel comes with a story we tell ourselves to explain them, but often these stories aren’t true. Each short chapter–covering topics such as Learned Helplessness, Selling Out, and the Illusion of Transparency–is like a psychology course with all the boring parts taken out.

Bringing together popular science and psychology with humor and wit, You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of our irrational, thoroughly human behavior.

 

My Thoughts…

Psychology is the main non-fiction topic that I’ll read, but picking up a non-fiction book in itself is rare for me. More often than not I read to escape reality, and so I find myself reading more fiction. I do want to make more of an effort to read different things though and I think You Are Not So Smart will be a perfect read for me. I like the psychology element, but also the humour and wit implied in the synopsis.

Have you read You Are Not So Smart? Is it as good as it sounds? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Reading List – September 2020

I can’t believe it’s September. Where has this year gone?

Given the current circumstances I don’t suppose it’s a bad thing that this year is flying, but still… shortly we’ll be 75% through with 2020 and it doesn’t feel like it should be at all!

Regardless, it is the beginning of a new month, and you know what that means. It’s time to share my TBR for the month ahead. This month’s list features a couple of books that I am reading for blog tours. Another is a request from the author and the rest are all from my TBR and contribute towards my Beat the Backlist challenge I set earlier this year. 8 months ago.

Again, where has this year gone? That barely felt like five minutes ago!

Anyway, shall we check out the books on this month’s reading list?

 

Freedom of the Creed – N. J. Coleridge

Goodreads – Freedom of the Creed

The Woe-Be-Gone boys, a vicious gang of outlaws rushes south through the American frontier, leaving desolation in their wake.

On their trail is Saoirse Creed, a bounty hunter with a debt to pay. Her only chance to pay that debt rides with the gang, but what depths will she sink to achieve her goal.

Now, as she tracks them down to a town on the precipice of despair, Saoirse must overcome the final hurdle in order to capture her man and return to a life that she thought was all but lost.

 

I am reading this particular book for an upcoming blog tour. The first thing that caught my attention when reading the synopsis is the chase through the desert. Might sound daft, but that combined with the western vibe reminds me of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. If you’ve read the book I think you’ll get it.

I haven’t read anything like this in a little while so I’m looking forward to it!

 

The Rue Stone –Janet Stock

Goodreads – The Rue Stone

The rue is a mysterious and rare being who is rarely seen, so Janna is amazed when one arrives at the inn where she works, looking for a room. The next morning, her life changed forever, she is left wondering whether she will ever see him again. Only time and the rue stone have the answer.

 

The Rue Stone is a fantasy novella that I’m squeezing into my blog tour schedule. It’s only around 80 pages, so a nice short read. I’ve enjoyed picking up some shorter books lately and I’m sure this will be no exception. Janet has published four books to date but this will be the first time I have tried anything of hers. Novellas are a great way to try a new author and I’m looking forward to giving this a go. The synopsis doesn’t give much away, so I’m intrigued to find out what happens!

 

 

Rags of Time – Michael Ward

Goodreads – Rags of Time

London.1639.

Thomas Tallant, a young and ambitious Spice Merchant, returns from India to find his city in turmoil.

A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament, as England slides into civil war. The capital is simmering with dissent. The conflict is ready to boil over.

But Thomas soon has other troubles to contend with. A wealthy merchant, Sir Joseph Venell, is savagely killed; then his partner Sir Hugh Swofford plunges to his death, in the Tallant household.

Suspicion falls on Thomas, who is sucked into a mire of treachery and rumour within the City of London. As the merchant struggles to clear his name, he becomes captivated by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables.

Pursued by the authorities, Thomas races to unmask the real killer who claims a third victim to implicate him further, toying with his future in a deadly cat and mouse game.

In a desperate race against time, Elizabeth applies her powers of logic and deduction to unearth the clues that will point to the killer, but her way is barred by a secret message from the grave.

Can she crack its code before Thomas, now a wounded and exhausted fugitive, succumbs to the chase?

And, if she succeeds, has Thomas the strength to face his tormentor and win his life and reputation back?

Rags of Time is the first book in an engaging and entertaining new historical crime series, set during the upheaval of the 17th Century.

 

Despite not really taking on many ARC’s at the moment, I’m glad the author Michael Ward contacted me to ask for a review of Rags of Time. It’s a historical/crime fiction novel which is right up my street! It’s not too long a novel either, so should fit perfectly into this month’s TBR with my other reads. It’ll also be nice to have a bit more variety in genre as there’s a high proportion of fantasy in this month’s list.

 

The Psychology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained – Various authors

Goodreads – The Psychology Book

Clearly explaining more than 100 groundbreaking ideas in the field, The Psychology Book uses accessible text and easy-to-follow graphics and illustrations to explain the complex theoretical and experimental foundations of psychology.

From its philosophical roots through behaviorism, psychotherapy, and developmental psychology, The Psychology Book looks at all the greats from Pavlov and Skinner to Freud and Jung, and is an essential reference for students and anyone with an interest in how the mind works.

 

Regular readers of my blog will have picked up on the fact that I’m a huge psychology fan. I studied it back in school and loved the lessons since I had a great teacher. I added this book to my TBR a good few years ago as a refresher to some of the things I have learnt already. I’m hoping there are also some new and different things in there as well though.

I have picked up this book before so I have an idea of its formatting. Its chapters are quite short and there is a new one for each ‘idea’. This will be a good book to pick up here and there as these chapters are very short and digestible.

 

Dune – Frank Herbert

Goodreads – Dune

Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender’s Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Melange, or ‘spice’, is the most valuable – and rarest – element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person’s life-span to making intersteller travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of Arrakis from the noble House Harkonnen to House Atreides, the Harkonnens fight back, murdering Duke Leto Atreides. Paul, his son, and Lady Jessica, his concubine, flee into the desert. On the point of death, they are rescued by a band for Fremen, the native people of Arrakis, who control Arrakis’ second great resource: the giant worms that burrow beneath the burning desert sands.

In order to avenge his father and retake Arrakis from the Harkonnens, Paul must earn the trust of the Fremen and lead a tiny army against the innumerable forces aligned against them.

And his journey will change the universe.

 

It’s only taken me three and a half years since being gifted my copy of this book to get around to reading it…

I’m finally going to read an iconic sci-fi novel and I can’t wait to see if I agree with all the reviews. I have actually picked it up and flicked through the first few pages before now. I think I must have been bored one day and needed a change of genre. I’ve only really read enough to sample it so I know I like the writing style. It’s the longest book on this month’s list at just over 500 pages. Fingers crossed it lives up to its reputation as a brilliant book.

 

Red Sister – Mark Lawrence

Goodreads – Red Sister

I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

 

I couldn’t tell you how old I was when I last picked up a book by Mark Lawrence. I’d quite safely bet that I was a teenager, but that’s as specific as I could guess.

The only series of his I have read to date is The Broken Empire series; I loved it! I’m surprised it has taken me so long to read another of his books. Red Sister has been on my TBR since April 2017 and it’s one of the books on my Beat the Backlist challenge. I’m not sure if I’ll get to finish this one before the end of the month, but I’ll try my best!

So, that’s my reading list for September! Have you read any of these books? What are you reading?

 

 

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Blog Tour Review: The Dead Tell Lies – J F Kirwan

Good morning everyone and welcome to today’s blog tour post for The Dead Tell Lies by J. F. Kirwan. It is books like this that make me very happy to be a book blogger and to have a place to tell people that they really must, absolutely and unequivocally read a certain book. I finished The Dead Tell Lies less than half an hour before writing this post and I can hand on heart say that this is one of the best psychological thrillers I have ever read!

Before I get stuck in with rambling about just how great it is, I want to say a massive thank you to the author and to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for the chance to read this book and take part in the blog tour. If you haven’t been following it or want to check out more details/opinions of the book, you can check out the other participants of the tour at the end of the post. Please go and check out their posts as well! There are also more posts coming up in the next few days, so don’t forget to keep an eye out for those too!

 

The Dead Tell Lies – J. F. Kirwan

Goodreads – The Dead Tell Lies

Greg Adams, a criminal psychologist at Scotland Yard, specialises in bringing serial killers to justice. He tracks down a spree serial killer nicknamed the Divine, who has already killed six teenage girls and is about to kill a seventh. Greg works out the location where he is hiding and joins a raid. The police capture the Divine and save the girl, but on the very same night, Greg’s wife is brutally murdered by another serial killer, known as the Dreamer.

A year later, unable to bring the killer to justice, Greg has quit his job and is ready to end it all, when he receives a phone call from a man who tells him the Dreamer is dead, and that he didn’t kill Greg’s wife, Kate.

Greg returns to Scotland Yard to work for Superintendent Chief Detective Donaldson in the hope he can re-examine the case with the help of two new detectives, Finch and Matthews.

As Greg delves into the case further, he becomes more convinced that the Dreamer wasn’t the man responsible for his wife’s murder.

But if it wasn’t the Dreamer, who was it?

In order to solve the mystery around his wife’s murder, Greg is going to have to delve even deeper into the mind of a terrifying psychopath. And this time he might not make it back in one piece…

 

Purchase Links –   Amazon UK     Amazon US

 

My Thoughts…

For me, the best indicator of a good psychological thriller is how obsessed you become about trying to work everything out. If it occupies your mind even when you have to put down the book to do the mundane things, you’re on to a good start. Find one that keeps you on the edge of your seat and guessing until all is revealed, and you are onto a winner! The Dead Tell Lies is both of these things. I have been thinking about it almost constantly for the past two days, the timeframe over which I have read the majority of the book.

The Dead Tell Lies is a psychological thriller in the literal sense; our main character Greg is a criminal psychologist, renowned for putting away six serial killers throughout his career. He has the scary ability to get into the mind of a serial killer to unravel their motives and use it to get them off the streets for good. When his wife turns up dead with the classic signature of The Dreamer’s killings, it seems that things have gotten personal.

Greg is a really likeable character. He’s wickedly smart but just as human and vulnerable as the rest of us. I think that is the part that appealed to me as a reader. He is the personality we get behind emotionally. When he summons his ‘cold fire’, his semi-detached emotional drive, to get under a serial killer’s skin and crack the case, he’s a completely different man. We stand firmly behind him as his motives are to save lives by catching the killer, but his demeanour and mental state when he is “in the zone” is unnerving!

The Dead Tell Lies is packed full of action and there is never a dull moment. It’s easy to pick up but impossible to put down once you are in the thick of the narrative and dying to know what happens next. The book is also very cleverly written. I found myself trying to find hidden clues and working out the subtext constantly, but alas, authors only leave behind clues for the things they want you as a reader to know! It makes it all the more exciting when it’s time for the big reveal.

With the way this book ended, it could equally remain a standalone or become part of a series. I seriously hope for the latter because I would love to don Greg’s shoes again and delve into another captivating thriller. I have already added another series written by this author to my TBR having loved this so much! I’ll just have to pick that up and cross my fingers in the meantime…

 

Author Bio

J. F. Kirwan is an insomniac who writes thrillers in the dead of night. He is also a psychologist, and has drawn upon this expertise, including being taught by a professor who examined serial killers for Scotland Yard, to pen the crime/mystery/thriller The Dead Tell Lies for Bloodhound Books. He wanted to shed light not only on the darkness of serial killers, but of those who track them down, who must inevitably step inside the serial killer’s worldview, and may not come out clean afterwards. He is also the author of the Nadia Laksheva thriller series for HarperCollins (66 Metres, 37 Hours and 88 North). His favourite authors include Lee Child, David Baldacci and Jo Nesbo. He is married, and has a daughter and a new grandson, and lives between Paris and London.

Social Media Links –

www.jfkirwan.com

@kirwanjf

https://www.facebook.com/kirwanjf/