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text 2017-05-14 16:53
The Sunday Post: Clachnaben

Happy Sunday!


In a spontaneous turn of events, a couple of friends invited me to join them on a hike yesterday. I was at their house waiting for the tow truck to take my broken down car to the garage when they came up with the idea of walking up one of the many, many, many hills around this part of the world. So, of course, I was delighted - even tho the prospect of getting up early for outdoorsy exercise after a night of drinks and nibbles (it was Eurovision night last night!) was a bit daunting. 


I needn't have worried. I woke up freakishly early (you know that waking feeling when you're trying to decide whether a hangover will develop or not?), made sandwiches and coffee, and dug out my hiking boots.


I haven't been hiking properly for about two years (and am not the fittest of people), so this really was a bit daunting but the company was great and we got there early enough to have a lot of time to make our way up the hill.



Clachnaben (Gaelic for "rock on the hill") looks pretty impressive but it is still classed as a "hill", not a munro. The ascent, however, was pretty challenging - well, it was for me - and changed between wide paths to very narrow ones on the edge of steep slopes, from smooth to rocky steps and rubble.



By the time we made it to the top, I was done for.



The views made up for the effort, tho:


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review 2017-04-26 15:20
Rezension | Ragdoll. Dein letzter Tag von Daniel Cole
Ragdoll - Dein letzter Tag: Thriller (Ein Daniel-Cole-Thriller, Band 1) - Daniel H Cole,Conny Lösch



Nachdem Detective William Oliver Layton-Fawkes aus seiner Suspendierung zurück in den Dienst der Londoner Polizei kehrt, wartet ein ziemlich persönlicher Fall auf ihn. In unmittelbarer Nähe zu seiner neuen Wohnung wartet eine aus sechs Körperteilen, von sechs verschiedener Opfern, zusammen genähte „Lumpenpuppe“ auf ihn. Der Kopf der so genannten „Ragdoll“ gehört ausgerechnet zu dem Fall, der Detective Layton-Fawkes für einige Zeit seinen Job kostete und den Aufenthalt in einer psychiatrischen Klinik nach sich zog.


Kaum hat die Polizei die Ermittlung der weiteren Opfer aufgenommen, wird eine Todesliste mit sechs Namen durch Detective Layton-Fawkes Ex-Frau übermittelt. Obwohl alles daran gesetzt wird die genannten Personen vor dem Killer zu schützten, scheint der Täter immer einen Schritt voraus zu sein. Die Zeit wird knapper und der Täter nährt sich langsam dem Ende der Todesliste auf der zuletzt der Name des Detectivs selbst steht.


Meine Meinung


Daniel Coles Debüt „Ragdoll. Dein letzter Tag“ ist ein gelungener und spannungsgeladener Thriller ganz nach meinem Geschmack. Der temporeiche Handlungsverlauf kann mit überraschenden Wendungen überzeugen und die Charaktere haben Ecken und Kanten. Da ist es kaum ein Wunder, dass bereits eine Verfilmung der Geschichte geplant ist. Ich bin auf jeden Fall schon gespannt was sich Daniel Cole für seinen nächsten Thriller einfallen lässt, denn dies ist erst der Beginn zu der New Scotland Yard Reihe.


Das Cover ist ein richtiger Eyecatcher und die glänzenden, leicht hervorgehobenen Buchstaben schreien geradezu danach berührt zu werden. Nur leider passt die Abbildung überhaupt nicht zum Inhalt der Geschichte. Zumindest ist mir während des Lesens kein einziger schwarzer Vogel aufgefallen. Meiner Meinung nach trifft es das Cover des englischen Originals, bei dem eine Nadel, Faden und Bluttropfen zu sehen sind deutlich besser.


Detective William Oliver Layton-Fawkes, oder kurz „Wolf“, ist der Hauptprotagonist der Geschichte und zeichnet sich vor allem durch seine unbändigen und unkontrollierbaren Charaktereigenschaften als ein wahrer Anti-Held aus. Solche Figuren mag ich sehr gerne, denn sie heben sich deutlich vom Einheitsgrau ab und bergen ein großes Potential, für Überraschungen zu sorgen, in sich. Die Protagonisten sind zwar durch einige Klischees behaftet, wie z. B. Wolfs ehrgeizige Ex-Frau die eine Journalistenkarriere anstrebt, seine alkoholkranke Kollegin Bailey und und und. Am meisten herausgestochen hat Edmunds, der „Neue“ im Team, der durch seinen Instinkt und Arbeitseifer sich schnell einen Platz in meinem Herzen erobern konnte.


Bei „Ragdoll. Dein letzter Tag“ konnte mich vor allem der rasante Plot begeistern. Geschickt reiht Daniel Cole die einzelnen Szenen aneinander und sorgt durch Abwechslung von Rückblick in die Vergangenheit und Erzählung der gegenwärtigen Ereignisse für explosive Spannung. Man sollte also definitiv genügend Zeit für das Buch haben, wenn man zu lesen beginnt, denn man kann es einfach nicht mehr aus der Hand legen.




Ein gelungenes Debüt, doch ACHTUNG, hoher Suchtfaktor inside!

Source: www.bellaswonderworld.de/rezensionen/rezension-ragdoll-dein-letzter-tag-von-daniel-cole
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review 2017-03-28 17:48
An insightful and clear introduction to Laing’s life and work in time for his rediscovery
Ronald Laing: The rise and fall and rise of a radical psychiatrist - David Boyle

I’m writing this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. I was provided with an ARC copy of the book that I voluntarily chose to review.

I’m a psychiatrist and although I studied Medicine in Spain I have trained as a psychiatrist in the UK. Despite that, R.D. Laing and his ideas weren’t a part of our curriculum (I don’t know if things have changed now, as that was almost 25 years ago). During one of my training jobs, one of the psychotherapy tutors showed us a recording of an interview with R.D. Laing and he talked to us about him. He came across as a fascinating man with very interesting ideas, quite contrary to the standard focus on biological psychiatry, evidence-based interventions and emphasis on classification and symptoms rather than people. I read several of his books at the time and although I was fascinated by his ideas I didn’t have the time to study his figure and the rest of his work in detail.

This short book (the text takes up around 88% of the book as after that there are some extracts from other books from the same publisher, The Real Press) does an excellent job of highlighting both the person (the biography is succinct but it manages to include the salient points of his family life, his work experience and how both influenced his ideas) and his works. It also places Laing’s figure in its historical and socio-political era, linking it to other thinkers and movements of the time (hippy movement, antipsychiatry, existentialism, LSD culture…). Due to its length, it is not an exhaustive study of the individual works but it presents a good overview that will allow those who’ve never heard of R.D. Laing to gain some familiarity with his life and his work, and will bring together loose ends for those who might have read some of his works but don’t know how they fit into his career (because, as the author points out, some of Laing’s books are very difficult to understand). This text also provides a good guide to students interested in going deeper into Laing’s work and offers suggestions for further reading (both of Laing’s own works and of works about him). The book is being launched to coincide with the premier of a movie about Laing called ‘Mad to Be Normal’ starring David Tennant, and it should be a great complement to those who might come out of the movie intrigued and wanting to know more without embarking on complex theoretical books (that are very much of their time).

Boyle does a great job of extracting the most important aspects of Laing’s work and life and shows a good understanding and empathy towards the man and his ideas. Rather than focus exclusively on the most scandalous aspects of his life, he emphasises his care for patients, his own disturbed childhood, and how he insisted patients were unique and not just cogs in a machine that had to learn to show the required and accepted behaviour. Although many of his ideas have been discredited, his feelings about the profession and his insistence on listening to patients and putting their needs first resonate today as much as they did at the time. Personally, I’m pleased to see his figure is being re-evaluated. Never too soon.

Laing is one of these people whose life and scandals throw a big shadow over his work, but this book and, hopefully, the movie, might help new generations to rediscover him.

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text 2017-02-06 19:39
The Best Laid Plans-February Edition
Martyr - Rory Clements
Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles - Margaret George
Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey - Nicola Tallis
A Perilous Undertaking - Deanna Raybourn
The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith
The Flame Bearer (Saxon Tales) - Bernard Cornwell

I had planned on writing out my reading plans for February last week. Then the flu decided to rear its ugly head and tear through my house like my four olds tore threw Christmas presents. Of course the one time a year I happen to get sick also happens to be the time the other adult in my house decided to have dental work done. If I'm praying to the porcelain god and he's delirious from the pain medication, who exactly is watching our children? A Kindle and some Legos watched my oldest. Twin B was worshiping next to me. Twin A was hanging out outside of the bathroom door crying because we put her twin in quarantine. Where's a grandma when you need one? 


Anyway enough about my problems. Let's talk about my books! I am off to a great start this year. My personal reading goal for the year is 75. That's a bit under last year's goal of 175 but last year I was at home all day, every day with my kids until I decided to start working again in December. I've also recently become part of a crusade to get a referendum passed so my children can go to school in a building that doesn't have condemned classrooms and fungal issues. I've been spending a lot of my spare time consuming massive amounts of wine after explaining to people why they should care about the future of their children's education. Apparently around here we are suppose to care more about the future of old bricks and concrete than the flesh and blood and brains inside said bricks and concrete. Ugh. 


Seriously, I ramble. I can't help it. Those of you who take the time out of your day to stop and read this are the closest thing I get to adult interaction sometimes. I work at an elementary school. Sure there are adults there but who has time to talk to them? 


Anyway. Really this time, I'm going to tell you what I want to read in February.


At the beginning of the month I wanted to finish Martyr by Rory Clements. By the time I've gotten around to writing this post, I've finished. It checks of one of my Monopoly spaces.

-Side note: Over at Goodreads, I'm a member of a Historical Mysteries group. For 2017 we are playing Historical Mystery Monopoly. Want to join us? Come on over! 



This month I also desperately want to finish Mary Queen of Scotland and The Isles by Margaret George. I have been reading this book since the end of August 2016. It's not that I don't like George's work. I loved her novel about Henry VIII. It's just that I have such a hard time with Mary, Queen of Scots. She is just not very bright. I spend a lot of time wanting to throw my books. It's a pretty big book so I should probably avoid throwing it. 


Carrying on with the theme of finishing things, I am also looking to finish Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey by Nicola Tallis. So far it is excellent. At times, I have to remind myself I'm reading non-fiction. I'm pleasantly surprised by the author who is said to have honed her craft at the feet of Alison Weir. 


Finally, I want to finish The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey and The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley.


Hopefully by the time I am done finishing books I will have time for some new books. 

Some of those books I hope to read include:

The Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (my next Monopoly square)

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

A Perilous Undertaking by Deana Raybourn

The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell





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review 2017-01-31 00:00
An English Bride in Scotland
An English Bride in Scotland - Lynsay Sands Where Can I Get My Own Kilted Hunk?

Oh my. This book is classic Lynsay Sands. It is everything I love in my romances. It has the pre-requisite hot hunk in a kilt who is, of course a sex god, he is also thoughtful and kind and did I mention he was hot? Then we get to the heroine. At first glance, she seems as if she is going to be a useless, fumbling ditz, but that glance would be incorrect. Annabel may have been raised in a convent ready to become a nun, but when she needs saving, she generally saves herself and maybe even saves Ross!

The story briefly without spoilers - Annabel is the second daughter and has been confined to a nunnery since she was seven. Her sister Kate had been contracted to marry Ross, but for reasons you will see when you read the book, the deal falls through. Ross and Annabel marry, leave her parents house and all of a sudden someone is trying to either kill Annabel or to kidnap her.

The end of this book really surprised me because the person after Annabel was sure not one that I would have ever thought of. Clever move Ms. Sands!

Annabel is worried that by not being raised to be a Châtelaine that Ross will end up throwing her over when he finds out and while Annabel cannot lie about her upbringing, she sure can put off telling the truth with the best of them!
This book has all the elements that the typical Lynsay Sands book has, wonderfully written main characters generally strong but with some sort of flaw, funny and loveable secondary characters, an interesting mystery and most importantly a bit of a message to us women.

I think Ms Sands does a wonderful job in each of her standalone's of promoting the message that we women are perfect the way we are and that usually we allow others petty jealousies to shape our idea of ourselves. I don't particularly like the idea that most authors push the idea that it only takes a good man to force us to see ourselves as the perfect women we always have been, but this is a romance and certain ideas need to be followed. Ms Sands promotes these ideas in the best way possible and I love her writing because of it.

One of my favorite lines in this book-"Annabel began to soap herself. It seemed she would marry, be a wife to this unknown Scot, the mother of his children, and lady of his people...Lord save them all."
*eARC Supplied by Publisher paper copy by Vine*
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