Personal, Weekly Round-Ups

The Week I Got My Brain Back

Last week’s post left off just as I was about to go into hospital to find out when they’d be booking me in for surgery. I had been hoping that it might be fairly soon, since I’m apparently an urgent case and I’ve barely been able to leave the house in months, but hope is a treacherous and flighty beast, and of course things didn’t go quite so smoothly.

The waiting list for surgery is 4-6 months long; the minimum amount of time in which I’ll be booked for surgery is four months. Then there’s an eight-week recovery period, so basically whatever happens I’m essentially taking the rest of the year off.

They can’t push me up the list unless my Angry Internal Organs actually rupture, which made me start wishing they would, until I remembered that would have irritating potential side effects like involuntary sudden death. So I figured maybe I’ll obey the doctor’s instructions and not do anything to make this whole situation any more precarious, and look after my Angry Organs, and hopefully maintain this tenuous truce for as long as I can.

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Books

The Girls by Emma Cline

A few months ago, I read an article – I think it was in Vogue magazine – about this person who’d written a debut novel and managed to get an unprecedented advance for it. She sounded interesting, and the novel sounded like it’d be right up my street, mainly because the article said it was about growing up in a cult, which I did.

And then a couple of weeks ago, a copy of a book dropped through my letterbox and I started reading it. I didn’t make the connection until I was a few chapters in, and then I thought, Wait a minute. This is that book. 

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Books

Uncorked by Paul Shore

When I first offered to review Uncorked, I did so because I thought it was a book about wine. The author replied that this wasn’t the case, and that he didn’t want me to get my hopes up and end up reading something I didn’t enjoy.

I thought I’d give it a go anyway, because it sounded like an interesting memoir. And it was.

The book begins with Shore moving to Saint-Paul de Vence, a small town in Provence where Marc Chagall created many of his most famous paintings.

When he moved to France for work, Shore wanted to live in a place that wasn’t too popular with tourists or other expats. Like many people who move abroad, he wanted to truly experience French culture and understand what life in Provence is like as a local.

And he managed to do just that.

Read the full review on ExpatFocus.

Books

Summary Justice by John Fairfax

This is a novel that centres around an interesting premise: a barrister working on a murder case, desperate to prove his client’s innocence, is particularly driven because he’s been convicted of murder himself.

Having spent years in jail, William Benson is now out, and has set up his own law firm because no one else will hire him. With the help of Archie, another ex-con, and Tess de Vere, who first met him at his own trial all those years ago, he sets out to demonstrate his client’s innocence in the same court room where he was convicted.

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Books

A Hope More Powerful Than The Sea by Melissa Fleming

This is not a novel. I had to keep reminding myself of that all the way through.

This is not a novel. This is real life. These things happened, and are still happening, and sadly will probably continue to happen for a while yet.

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Books

Turning: A Swimming Memoir by Jessica J. Lee

I love swimming. I also love books. So when I was asked whether I wanted a review copy of Turning, Jessica J. Lee’s memoir of a year swimming in lakes around Germany, I of course said yes.

It’s always a bit weird reviewing a memoir. How do you review someone’s feelings?

You don’t, of course. You review how they presented them to you.

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