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review 2016-11-24 00:00
Sorted!: The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Bossing Your Life (Good Psychopath 2)
Sorted!: The Good Psychopath’s Guide to ... Sorted!: The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Bossing Your Life (Good Psychopath 2) - Andy McNab,Kevin Dutton Q:
‘The key is deciding beforehand,’ Andy explains. ‘It lies in being psychologically aggressive with yourself and consciously seizing the initiative. That way you take control of the situation and impose your will on the task rather than letting whatever it is you’re doing dictate your mental state.
‘Stick with it and after a few goes you’ll find that being average actually feels great … and that what feels even better is when you start to notice other people “trying too hard”. There’s nothing more uncool!
‘In the Regiment you’re taught from Day One to be the grey man. To not stand out in a crowd. And you know what, Kev? Forget the licence to kill. There’s nothing more liberating than the licence to bore the shit out of someone!’
Become a gamer
Fiendishly clever research shows that symptoms of PTSD may be tempered by playing the video game Tetris right after experiencing a traumatic event. Sounds bonkers – but not only is it true, the logic is water-tight. Here’s how it works.
On the one hand, biologists studying the phenomenon of neuroplasticityfn2 have discovered that memories are ‘consolidated’ or laid down in the brain over a period of approximately six hours. On the other hand, cognitive scientists have demonstrated that the brain’s capacity to consolidate memories is limited.
Put the two together and it follows that an intensive mental task – such as Tetris – should, if played in the ensuing aftermath of a bad experience, successfully compete with the formation of negative images and thereby disrupt the development of traumatic flashbacks.
Of course, this doesn’t just apply to bad experiences. It works for any experience. So if the evils of work are preying on your mind and you want to keep them firmly on the other side of your front door, then why not get your tablet out on the train home?
‘Who’d have thought it?’ laughs Andy. ‘A tablet to block memories rather than enhance them!’
Put the kettle on
Napoleon Bonaparte once quipped: ‘The reason I beat the Austrians is they did not know the value of five minutes.’
Horatio Nelson made a similar observation: ‘Time is everything; five minutes makes the difference between victory and defeat.’
And it’s true!
It’s amazing what you can get done in five minutes … if you allow yourself to.
‘And it’s also amazing just how many five-minute periods there are in a day!’ laughs Andy. ‘It’s good discipline, five minutes. Sometimes, I lay my boring paperwork chores out on the kitchen table – bills, expenses, that kind of thing – put the kettle on, and aim to polish them all off by the time it boils. It’s a little game I’ve played for years, and I’ve always beaten the whistle.
‘But it’s also a great workout for the mind. Keeps you fit and flexible. Brain cardio, I call it.’
Good advice that, from Andy. Because once, like him, you start to get five-minute-fit, you begin, quite literally, making short work of everything.
So why not put the kettle on and give it a try?
‘After all,’ says Tea Boy, ‘what have you got to lose? At the very least you’ll get a brew out of it!’
Just do it.
Research shows that procrastination uses up valuable mental resources, and, a bit like leaving the lights on in the car, constitutes a subtle drain on battery power. So next time you find yourself putting off filing that report:unchain your inner psychopathjumpstart your motivationtoughen your resolve …
… and ask yourself this: since when did I need to feel like doing something in order to do it?
‘I can honestly say,’ comments Andy, ‘that the only time I ever feel like doing something is when I’m actually doing it. The decision to do it is always cold and clinical.’
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review 2016-09-29 00:00
Margaret the First
Margaret the First - Danielle Dutton I'm reading Blazing World partly to tell what I think of this book, which honestly felt very much like the author's notes at the end: She read a bunch of Virginia Woolf and then wrote a novel about Margaret Cavendish.

I appreciated all the historical detail, and the research the author put in, and it was certainly literary and attempting to show warts and all, but I don't think I came out with a hold of what was driven Cavendish to write, or at very least what was driving her to publish. The prose is dreamy and disconnected, with occasional vivid moments, and the end impression of Cavendish is the same. Which doesn't marry with what I've read of her writing.

I am left perplexed.
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text 2016-08-26 20:53
Wrap Up: From the Ballroom and Beyond: A Limited Edition Regency Box Set
From the Ballroom and Beyond, A Limited Edition Nine Book Regency Romance Box Set - Julie Johnstone,Christi Caldwell,Jane Charles,Catherine Gayle,Rose Gordon,Ava Stone,Jerrica Knight-Catania,Deb Marlowe,Claudia Dain
A Scandalous Past - Ava Stone
More Than A Governess - Jerrica Knight-Catania
Twice a Rake - Catherine Gayle
The Love List - Deb Marlowe
Bargaining With a Rake - Julie Johnstone
A Reluctant Rake - Jane Charles
His Jilted Bride - Rose Gordon
Much Ado About Dutton (More Courtesan Chronicles) - Claudia Dain
My Lady of Deception (Brethren of the Lords Book 1) - Christi Caldwell

 Well, I have certainly learned my lesson - No more box sets of novels unless they are trilogies or less and written by the same author. If I want to go searching for a new author to read, I will stick with anthologies of short stories. There was more downs than ups, although I did find a new favorite author (Deb Marlowe) and two other authors to keep trying in the future (Ava Stone and Jane Charles). I know who to stay away from too, despite their pretty covers with beautiful dresses.


The authors used all self-published works in this box set; some forgot to use a copy editor (and in some cases, story editor) which is one of the standard marks against reading self-published works. I still take the risk of reading self-published works because I never want to miss out on a possible great story just because traditional publishers didn't want to sell it. One thing for self-published authors to keep in mind when adding their work to a box set - use the first story/novella/novel in the series, not one from further down the series!


Another issue I had with this ebook was that there was no way to skip around and read a story from further in the box set; each story had to be read before going on to the next story, so DNF was not much of an option. I wish there was a table of contents that linked a title listed to the page the story starts on.


Here is a recap of my ratings for each book in the box set and a link to the reviews:

1. A Scandalous Past (Scandalous #4) by Ava Stone 2.5 stars review

2. More Than a Governess (Wetherby Brides #2) by Jerrica Knight-Catania 3 stars review

3. Twice A Rake (Lord Rotheby's Influence #1) by Catherine Gayle .5 star review

4. The Love List (Half Moon House #1) by Deb Marlowe 4 stars review

5. Bargaining with a Rake (Whisper of a Scandal #1) by Julie Johnstone 1 star review

6. A Reluctant Rake (Tenacious Trents #5) by Jane Charles 3.5 stars review

7. His Jilted Bride (Banks Brothers Brides #3) by Rose Gordon 1 star review

8. Much Ado About Dutton (More Courtesan Chronicles) by Claudia Dain 0 stars review

9. My Lady of Deception (Brethren of Lords #1) by Christi Caldwell 1 star review


I am so burnt out on Regency romances right now, that is another reason I am glad to be starting MM and OB's Halloween Bingo soon.



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review 2016-08-24 17:12
Started strong
Capturing Forever - Erin Dutton

I was happy with the first 70% or so and feeling like this would be the book that would make me fall back in love with the author's work. But then it all fizzled out with lack of communication that didn't feel authentic to the character and a rushed ending. 


I'm sure I'll try another book by Erin Dutton because I can't seem to stop.

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text 2016-08-24 14:52
Reading progress update: I've read 82%.
Capturing Forever - Erin Dutton

And now I'm rolling my eyes and shaking my head. Damn it! 

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