#5Books: Book recs and your blogging life: how do you manage your time?

#5Books book recs for the week ending 5 March 2018

You know the lull over the holidays when you get into the groove of blogging and life slow down and you find yourself happily answering comments when you get them and not a week later? Yeah, I miss that.

I’m trying very hard to be better and more logical about my time spent blogging and also stepping away from trying to do to much after work at night, but sometimes I’m not too good at that, and that’s when I’m grumpy the next morning!

So how do you carve our your time blogging and commenting? Tell me what the secret is!


Every other weekend, Hope and Eden-backpacks, Walkmans, and homework in hand-wait for their father to pick them up, as he always does, at a strip-mall bus stop. It’s the divorce shuffle; they’re used to it. Only this weekend, he’s screwed up, forgotten, and their world will irrevocably change when a stranger lures them into his truck with a false story and smile.

More than twenty years later, Hope is that classic New York failure: a playwright with only one play produced long ago, newly evicted from an illegal sublet, working a humiliating temp job. Eden has long distanced herself from her family, and no one seems to know where she is. When the man who abducted them is up for parole, the girls might be able to offer testimony to keep him jailed. Hope sets out to find her sister-and to find herself-and it becomes the journey of a lifetime, taking her from hippie communes to cities across the country. Suspenseful and moving, Eden asks: How much do our pasts define us, and what price do we pay if we break free?

This one excited the thriller fan in me, but at the same time you can well guess what a kidnapper could have done to them, and how that could have changed their relationship. But, from the last sentence, this is about moving forward and how they do it so yeah, as dark as it sounds, it also promises something hopeful maybe?

A Noise Downstairs

The New York Times bestselling author of No Time for Goodbye returns with a haunting psychological thriller that blends the twists and turns of Gillian Flynn with the driving suspense of Harlan Coben, in which a man is troubled by odd sounds for which there is no rational explanation.

College professor Paul Davis is a normal guy with a normal life. Until, driving along a deserted road late one night, he surprises a murderer disposing of a couple of bodies. That’s when Paul’s “normal” existence is turned upside down. After nearly losing his own life in that encounter, he finds himself battling PTSD, depression, and severe problems at work. His wife, Charlotte, desperate to cheer him up, brings home a vintage typewriter—complete with ink ribbons and heavy round keys—to encourage him to get started on that novel he’s always intended to write.

However, the typewriter itself is a problem. Paul swears it’s possessed and types by itself at night. But only Paul can hear the noise coming from downstairs; Charlotte doesn’t hear a thing. And she worries he’s going off the rails.

Paul believes the typewriter is somehow connected to the murderer he discovered nearly a year ago. The killer had made his victims type apologies to him before ending their lives. Has another sick twist of fate entwined his life with the killer—could this be the same machine? Increasingly tormented but determined to discover the truth and confront his nightmare, Paul begins investigating the deaths himself.

But that may not be the best thing to do. Maybe Paul should just take the typewriter back to where his wife found it. Maybe he should stop asking questions and simply walk away while he can. . . .

Linwood Barclay is one of those names I’ve seen over and over and never picked a book of his up — mostly because I think he seemed so big I just couldn’t imagine getting into his work — which yes,  I know that makes very little sense, but I am putting it down to the hype and being overwhelmed by it. But, while this actually sounds like horror, it’s billed as psychological suspense, which is my jam so here it is.

Who has read his work before?

The Clarity

Dr. Matilda Deacon is a psychologist researching how memories are made and stored when she meets a strange eleven-year-old girl named Ashanique. Ashanique claims to harbor the memories of the last soldier killed in World War I and Matilda is at first very interested but skeptical. However, when Ashanique starts talking about being chased by the Night Doctors—a term also used by an unstable patient who was later found dead—Matilda can’t deny that the girl might be telling the truth.

Matilda learns that Ashanique and her mother have been on the run their whole lives from a monstrous assassin named Rade. Rade is after a secret contained solely in memories and has left a bloody trail throughout the world in search of it. Matilda soon realizes Ashanique is in unimaginable danger and that her unique ability comes with a deadly price.

Yeah, this is complicated isn’t it? Memories of the dead, an assassin and a secret that might not be actually be just Ashanique’s and there might be other people who retain the memories of the dead? I feel like this blurb is ping ponging me from plot point to plot point, so here’s hoping it comes together. (But really, memories of the dead, I would have given it a go just for that)

Down the River Unto the Sea

Down the River Unto the Sea centres on a former New York City police detective, now working as a Brooklyn PI, who is investigating the case of a Black civil rights activist convicted of murdering two city policemen. At the same time, he’s still trying to piece together the conspiracy that caused his own downfall at the hands of the police.

This is one of those books I’ve seen over and over, and never really paid attention until I got an email saying explicitly: oh hai, here’s two new crime novels you might like. Yeah, I maybe should stop judging a book by its cover? Or something. This is a very tame blurb on the surface, but a quick search of the author’s name — does anyone else know his work? — proves this is worth a read — Joe King Oliver is investigating a murder, while working to clear his name from a rape charge years ago and the woman who accused him sends him an apology.

Has anyone read his work before? What would you recommend starting with?

Monday’s not coming

A gripping, relentless, and timely new novel from critically acclaimed author of Allegedly, Tiffany D. Jackson, about the complex mystery of one teenage girl’s disappearance and the traumatic effects of the truth.

Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable-more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried. When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Mondaywouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best-and only-friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.

As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?

Allegedly is another title that’s on my TBR and here is the second book from the same author, and this past week I have seen this on other blogs, and this sounds like a complex, emotional mystery and … someone tell me the secret to more hours in the day for the things I love, thanks???


  • Monday’s Not Coming and The Clarity sound really good and I’m going to have to keep an eye on them. As for blogging, I try to devote a few days a week to work on it and then take some days off where I don’t do much on it at all – maybe check comments on lunch break or something. It would be easy to focus on it all the time and then I could see where it would get overwhelming!

    • Verushka says:

      I think I have some sort of weird FOMO when it comes to blogging and answering comments, because I feel like I should be doing something all the time when really I need to train myself to chill and not blog every day. Maybe. Or some variation thereof 🙂

  • I try and spend some time after work looking at blogs, but not too much. I think it’s important to have some time away from the computer and actually reading. I tend to write my book reviews on a Sunday and then schedule them up throughout the week.

    I love Linwood Barclay’s writing. 🙂 It’s wonderful.

    • Verushka says:

      You’re right, it very much is important, I just need to convince myself of that lol What would you recommend is a good Barclay one to start with?

  • To be fair, about the comments – I have not been managing either. But it’s the simple fact of logging out and logging back in 3-4 days later and finding 100 comments – and whoa, I can’t revisit 100 blogs just like that. And I’m usually exhausted from work as well! Blogging isn’t easy! I don’t think it’s bad to be late with comment replies, or with returning the visits. What’s important is not to get so carried away that it becomes work – because that can land you in a pretty bad slump. #beenthere xD

    • Verushka says:

      It’s definitely not easy — and I love that people have taken the time out to visit and comment, and i feel like i should immediately jump on and comment back — but it’s usually taking longer and longer these days. I think I *really* need to get okay with taking my time with comments.

  • Jen Mullen says:

    Blogging and visiting and commenting can be time-consuming. Sometimes there is time and sometimes there are things more important or more necessary…whether we want to do them or not. 🙁

  • I have good weeks and bad weeks when it comes to blogging and commenting. I can have a week where every day in the evenings before going to bed I blog hop and comment and the next week it can be totally different and not do it at all. I feel like I’ll have one of those weeks this week. But I try!

  • Lily says:

    all of these actually look different and interesting. I love the sound of The Clarity

  • Errrm.. I think I’m the LAST person that should be talking about how I manage my time. Ha ha! I’m TRYING to set aside a little time each day to visit a few blogs and leave comments, but then LIFE! There’s only so much spare time to go around and I also want to concentrate on the reading! So, moral of the story is – when you learn the secret please let me know!

    Despite the confusing blurb, The Clarity sounds interesting and that cover drew my attention too.

    Hope you’re having a good week

  • These are some really great sounds finds! But I have to say, I am super curious about A Noise Downstairs. It sounds right up my alley, horror and psychological thriller all in one. Yes, please!

  • Thanks for the recs. Monday’s Not Coming sounds like one I would like to read. I’m also interested in the Walter Mosley book.

    I try to squeeze in some time for commenting first thing in the morning while I’m having breakfast and then again in the evenings, but then I usually pick one night, usually Thursday night, where I get caught up on all of the comments and visits I’m still behind on. As far as writing posts, I try to do most of that on the weekend so that I can just schedule them to post throughout the week. I don’t know if it’s a good system but I haven’t come up with anything better yet, lol.

  • Thanks for the recs! I have an eARC of Monday’s Not Coming and am very eager to read it after hearing all the great things about the author’s other book!

    I am trying to do a better job of commenting on other blogw when I have the time. Usually I take some time for it when I can, sometimes that’s not until the weekend, but I do try to keep up with everyone’s blogs and responding to comments on my own blog.

  • AngelErin says:

    Thanks for the recs!!! You know how much I love your recs V. Oh, and as far as managing time? Please tell me when you find out this secret. When I start to feel on top of everything I end up with hardly any sleep and being a major grump. Either that happens or something (or many things sometimes) always start to slip and fall behind. I can’t win. LOL!

  • Daniela Ark says:

    Monday’s not coming sounds really good!

    I wish I could offer any advice but I;m the one always struggling to keep up especially because I want to finish my WIP too besides reading and blogging! You seem to be doing really well V even if it doesn’t feel that way to you! Your blog is awesome!

  • This is the issue I’m having at the moment. I seem to spend all day blogging then I feel too tired to do more than slump in front of the TV at night. I need to somehow find more of a balance in my life.

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