Tag Archives: belinda neil

“All I Want For Christmas Is You” … and books, mainly books

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Trust me, he wanted a book not that sweater.

Have you left Christmas shopping until December? Have you just realised that stores are now zoos full of rabid animals? Never fear, I can and will help you… well,  not so much me as books. Books can and will solve your problems. So here are my Christmas recommendations for those of you without the time to think.

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Where Do You Hide Two Elephants? by Emily Rodda. Ridiculously cute picture book.

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The Red Wind by Isobelle Carmody. For the lover of fantasy. Added bonus, yes it is a series. We fantasy geeks love a good series.

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Impossible Quest Series by Kate Forsyth. The first two books are already out. Get into them before they blow out Harry Potter style. Fantastic kids series.

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The Protected by Claire Zorn. Incredibly moving YA novel about grief, resilience… I actually have to stop writing about this novel now because I’m tearing up just thinking about it. It’s powerful stuff. I’ll leave it at that.

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The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss. Non Fiction exploration of stereotypes and beliefs thrust upon women/Tara Moss. That description does not do it justice at all. Captivating read. Just go out and get it for any and all women you know.

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Under Siege by Belinda Neil. A memoir about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It rings true for a lot of mental illnesses though, such as depression and anxiety,  not only PTSD, so is highly accessible.

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Holiday in Cambodia by Laura Jean McKay. For you travel bug friend. Get Destination Cambodia by Walter Mason as a companion piece. Your friend will love you forever. I’m trying not to literally laugh out loud remembering the “dangerously jolly” scene in Destination Cambodia.

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The Black Dress by Pamela Freeman. Get it for the woman who wants to read about strong women and also anyone with an interest in religious history. A truly excellent read about Mary MacKillop.

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Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Yes, you can believe the hype. Buy it for yourself for Christmas.

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The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. For your historical fiction loving friends who enjoy some romance.

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The Nightingale by Fiona McIntosh. Another beautiful romantic historical fiction novel.

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Fishing for Tigers by Emily Maguire. For the Literary snob who secretly likes it a bit sexy. In other words,  exceptionally well written but they get down to business.

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Avoiding Mr Right by Anita Heiss. For the woman who likes the idea of chick lit but needs something with a bit more depth.

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Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan. Styled as young adult but so brilliant. Honestly,  it’s for any adult, young or old, human or seal. A beautiful take on the Selkie myth.

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Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood. Love a light murder mystery and the cover is very cool. Seriously, I know you can’t judge a book by its cover but… well… we do.

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Animal People by Charlotte Wood. Slightly traumatising but oh so good. For your friend who likes a bit of real life grit.

Okay Christmas peoples,  go forth and part with your cash. Probably online, so you can avoid the people. Mwah.

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Book Review: Under Siege by Belinda Neil

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This memoir was gritty,  haunting, disturbing and made me cry in places but that’s exactly what it needed to be. In her line of work as a police officer Belinda Neil has been witness to horrific crimes. She wasn’t even spared of horror on the first day on the job. As someone who has family and friends who are on the Force this gave me a whole new level of respect for them. I always knew it was a tough job with horrible sites to witness but this book took me a step closer to just how mentally tough our police force has to be. I’m glad it only took me a step closer and that I will never have to fully feel the unspeakable horror of seeing a triple homicide. And I’m grateful for our men and women in Blue who are assaulted with this daily so that I can live a safer life.

On a personal note I found it quite interesting how after child birth her symptoms became over powering. Through my own dealings with PND, the psychiatric hospital, group therapy and managing my Facebook for mentally complex women ( https://facebook.com/groups/563402577109194 ) I have found that past trauma always comes flooding back after child birth and that PND does not happen in a vacuum. Although Belinda Neil has PTSD I believe that women with PND would get a lot out of this book.

Reading this book reminded me of Walter Mason’s “Inspirational Conversation” ( http://www.waltermason.com/?m=1 )  with P.M. Newton ( http://www.pmnewton.com/?m=1 )  at Ultimo library. She had said that she needed to to go on a journey of self discovery after the darkness of serving on the Force and now she writes Crime novels. I hope that Belinda can similarly find solace in writing,  although I know writing her own memoir was harrowing rather than cathartic perhaps fiction will give her the release she deserves.

Find out more about Belinda Neil here http://www.belindaneil.com.au/

Review also here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1098696331

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As always if you’re a lady and a bit crae crae you are welcome to join my group

https://facebook.com/groups/563402577109194

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