#5Books: Book recs and journalling

#5Books for the week ending 18 November 2018

I’ve spoken before about bullet journalling, but I want to talk about regular journalling, which I think is the best way to describe it. I’ve been seeing a therapist/counsellor for awhile and one of the things she’s encouraged me to do is to trying writing things down in an effort to deal with it.

It took me ages to get started because I had to have the perfect book and pen and all that and yes, I am the master of avoidance. But I eventually did, and it was more therapeutic than I gave it credit for. However the key I found is consistency.

It’s been not the best time recently, and I have avoided writing simply because I’ve been angry and have been turning that inward instead of onto the page. But today I started writing again — anyone else slightly horrified by their bad handwriting — and there’s something to be said for getting things out on the page and seeing it in front of you — and not turning it inside.

Anyway, that’s been on my mind this week. Have you tried journaling? Do you find it helps?

But aside from the therapy session above, here’s the book recs:

Her One Mistake

What should have been a fun-filled, carefree day takes a tragic turn for the worse for one mother when her best friend’s child goes missing in this suspenseful, compulsively readable, and darkly twisted psychological thriller.

It all started at the school fair…

Charlotte was supposed to be looking after the children, and she swears she was. She only took her eyes off of them for one second. But when her three kids are all safe and sound at the school fair, and Alice, her best friend Harriet’s daughter, is nowhere to be found, Charlotte panics. Frantically searching everywhere, Charlotte knows she must find the courage to tell Harriet that her beloved only child is missing. And admit that she has only herself to blame.

Harriet, devastated by this unthinkable, unbearable loss, can no longer bring herself to speak to Charlotte again, much less trust her. Now more isolated than ever and struggling to keep her marriage afloat, Harriet believes nothing and no one. But as the police bear down on both women trying to piece together the puzzle of what happened to this little girl, dark secrets begin to surface—and Harriet discovers that confiding in Charlotte again may be the only thing that will reunite her with her daughter….

This breathless and fast-paced debut—perfect for fans of Big Little Lies and The Couple Next Door—takes you on a chilling journey that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

If you’re an aunt or parent, or just involved with kids, I think you would have to be turned up to 10 at all times, while still trying not to hamper the poor kid’s growth and interest in all things around them. Sure, getting up onto a chair for the first time on their own is the best thing for them but that doesn’t mean you’re not standing there close, trying not to hold them still because you’re sure they’re not going to fall off.

But the point of all that rambling is that it’s the scariest thought in the world to be in charge of someone else’s (or your) kid and to find that kid gone. 

An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good 

Maud is an irascible 88-year-old Swedish woman with no family, no friends, and…no qualms about a little murder. This funny, irreverent story collection by Helene Tursten, author of the Irene Huss investigations, features two-never-before translated stories that will keep you laughing all the way to the retirement home.

Ever since her darling father’s untimely death when she was only eighteen, Maud has lived in the family’s spacious apartment in downtown Gothenburg rent-free, thanks to a minor clause in a hastily negotiated contract. That was how Maud learned that good things can come from tragedy. Now in her late eighties, Maud contents herself with traveling the world and surfing the net from the comfort of her father’s ancient armchair. It’s a solitary existence, but she likes it that way.

Over the course of her adventures—or misadventures—this little bold lady will handle a crisis with a local celebrity who has her eyes on Maud’s apartment, foil the engagement of her long-ago lover, and dispose of some pesky neighbors. But when the local authorities are called to investigate a murder in her apartment complex, will Maud be able to avoid suspicion, or will Detective Inspector Irene Huss see through her charade?

I could not resist that title, along with the needlepoint cover. And besides, an elderly lady who has no qualms about murder? Is that not an interesting, unusual premise!?

The Woman Inside

An impossible-to-put-down domestic thriller about secrets and revenge, told from the perspectives of a husband and wife who are the most perfect, and the most dangerous, match for each other

Rebecca didn’t know love was possible until she met Paul, a successful, charismatic, married man with a past as dark as her own. Their pain drew them together with an irresistible magnetism; they sensed that they were each other’s ideal (and perhaps only) match.

But twenty years later, Paul and Rebecca are drowning as the damage and secrets that ignited their love begin to consume their marriage. Paul is cheating on Rebecca, and his affair gets messy fast. His mistress is stalking them with growing audacity when Rebecca discovers Paul’s elaborate plan to build a new life without her. And though Rebecca is spiraling into an opiate addiction, it doesn’t stop her from coming up with a devious plot of her own, and this one could end absolutely everything.

What follows is an unpredictable and stylish game of cat and mouse—a shocking tale of unfaithfulness and unreliability that will keep you racing until the final twist and make you wonder how well you really know your spouse.

Husbands and wives and crime — I feel like this must be a up and coming genre, because I’ve been noticing this more and more recently. I like that Paul and Rebecca are at each other’s throats — that sounds so weird to say — because they seem like such formidable characters on their own. 

Liars’ Paradox

A master of international intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Taylor Stevens introduces a pair of wild cards into the global spy game–a brother and sister who were raised to deceive–and trained to kill . . .

They live in the shadows, Jack and Jill, feuding twins who can never stop running. From earliest memory they’ve been taught to hide, to hunt, to survive. Their prowess is outdone only by Clare, who has always been mentor first and mother second. She trained them in the art of espionage, tested their skills in weaponry, surveillance, and sabotage, and sharpened their minds with nerve-wracking psychological games. As they grew older they came to question her motives, her methods–and her sanity . . .

Now twenty-six years old, the twins are trying to lead normal lives. But when Clare’s off-the-grid safehouse explodes and she goes missing, they’re forced to believe the unthinkable: Their mother’s paranoid delusions have been real all along. To find her, they’ll need to set aside their differences; to survive, they’ll have to draw on every skill she’s trained them to use. A twisted trail leads from the CIA, to the KGB, to an underground network of global assassins where hunters become the hunted. Everyone, it seems, wants them dead–and, for one of the twins, it’s a threat that’s frighteningly familiar and dangerously close to home . . .

Filled with explosive action, suspense, and powerful human drama, Liars’ Paradox is world-class intrigue at its finest.

Oh hello, twins as spies and a mentor for a mother. But what broke these twins apart? What broke these twins and their mother apart? What begins as an intimate story about a mother and her kids because so much bigger by the end.

Waiting for Monsieur Bellivier

‘Are you waiting for Monsieur Bellivier, madame?’

Helena Folasadu should of course say no. She doesn’t know the man talking to her, she doesn’t know Monsieur Bellivier, and she certainly isn’t waiting for him. But, bored of life, and sparked by a whim, she says yes. The go-between leads her to a deserted floor in an office building and offers her a large sum of money to sit at a computer and forward emails to Monsieur Bellivier. The emails turn out to be in code, and the bouquets Helena is handed every evening entangle her in an even greater mystery.

Mancebo, a Tunisian shopkeeper, lives a quiet and ordered life, manning his grocery on a street leading to the Sacré-Cour. But one day he is approached by a woman asking whether he will spy on her boyfriend, who lives in the apartment across the street. To his surprise, Mancebo agrees. As he begins to focus on the man, his own life comes into focus, and he starts to suspect that his wife and cousin are leading secret lives.

Helena and Mancebo don’t know it yet – they haven’t even met – but their missions will overlap in the most surprising ways. And, as they do, we will realise that the City of Light harbours secrets in its cafés and courtyards – more secrets than its inhabitants and visitors could possibly suspect…

I find this whole premise so utterly charming, though I freely admit, Paris probably has a lot to do with that. How do these two interactions and missions overlap? And what on earth are these secrets that Paris holds?!

That’s it for me! What are you looking forward to this week?


  • Liars Paradox sounds like it has some interesting elements, as does Her One Mistake. I’m not sure if I’ll read them but they do sound interesting.

  • Daniela Ark says:

    love this post V! I’m a bullet journal junkie and I love regular journalling as well . It also took me ages to started it but I love it now. I agree that consistency is the key. However, even though I’m not consistent, once in a while it is better than nothing. every time I journal I feel better. Glad to hear you found it helpful too!

  • I don’t journal. I think it would stress me out that it’s just one more thing to do. I do see how it could be beneficial though. I am a list maker so BuJo fits me much better. I am glad it is helping you though. I love the cover and title of the Elderly Lady is Up to No Good. Sounds kind of interesting as well.

  • Jen Mullen says:

    I’ve journaled for years, but usually avoid even in my private books some of the things that bother me most. At least, I avoid putting all of it down in words–the thinking about writing some of the things is beneficial as well.

    I am most interested in An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good and Waiting for Monsieur Bellivier.

  • I can see how journaling would help. I really should try it. Great recs this week!

  • Angela says:

    For a couple years I kept a gratitude journal. I really feel like it helped me get into a more positive headspace. I haven’t done it in awhile, though.

  • I used to journal a bit a few years ago and I found it, as you say, to be very therapeutic. It was nice to have a private place to vent my frustrations so that I wasn’t just internalizing everything. I kind of fell out of the habit once I began blogging though. I should get back into it because it really was helpful.

  • I have never had a diary or a journal. I am amazed that I have blogged consistently for as long as I have to be honest. I do think that everyone needs an outlet. I think I just vent to my husband while he ignores me 🙂 I am happy to hear that the journal is working for you. That is what really matters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.