Professional Reader

out of 5

This book, like with every book I read and review, will start off with the full 5 stars.

Oh dear. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm under 1% through and have already found two errors multiple times that should have been picked up waaaay before it was published! The first annoying error is that the author puts different characters speaking on the same line instead of in a new paragraph. The second one is that there have been several occasions already where part of a sentence is on a new line, so you get literally two or three words on a line then the next line down the sentence carries on, so that's the first star lost already. I seriously hope it improves from here on in.

Still at 1% and the author has used a brand name that I hope she's got written permission to use or she could get herself into hot water over. I'm sorely tempted to knock off a second star, but I won't just yet.

The second star is coming off already 'cos chapter two starts on the same page as chapter one finishes, with just a number 2 separating them. I was really looking forward to reading this book, but I'm struggling to find anything positive to say about it so far.

I know I've already knocked off a star for this, but having literally two or three words on a line before moving down a line and having two separate people talking on the same line is really getting on my nerves now, so I'm gonna knock off a second star which takes us down to 2 stars and I'm only 5% of the way through. I'll be very surprised if I make it to 10% before I run out of stars and totally give up.

And it's the same with the start of chapter 3 too, so that's the fourth star coming off at 6%. Either the publisher, Avon, is a self-publishing company, similar to KDP on Amazon and the author just couldn't be bothered to read her own book to fix the errors, or it was a genuine mistake on the editors part and they just approved it and hoped for the best. I'll keep reading, but only until there's another unforgivable error.

Now the author is using a television show here in the UK and one of the very well-known presenters which could land the author in even more hot water, so at only 8% of the way through the book, I'm officially giving up and stopping reading. I'm just grateful that I got it as a free ARC from NetGalley instead of paying for it and regretting every penny I wasted on it.

Every book I read and review starts off with the full 5 stars and it's the same for this book too.

I'm on page 3 and the author has already used a character from another book, so I hope he's got written permission so that he doesn't get into hot water with such a huge company!

I like how the author has melded two fast food restaurant names into one so that it's obvious where the inspiration came from and it's obvious what sort of fast food restaurant it is, without getting into hot water with such huge brand names... if the author had done that on page three, then the five stars would have remained solid instead of wobbly. The rest of the first chapter was better and I've read the reason for the title, but the title would have been better with just the word "Body" IMHO. Chapter 2 is starting with the full five stars still firmly in place.

Blimey! Already finished chapter 2 and I didn't even take a sip of my hot drink... this book has my full attention and I'm enjoying how the author is weaving in the backstory instead of it being one huge chunk too... seriously looking forward to chapter 3 now!

Chapter 3 was great too... I've sped through two chapters in about an hour and I'm looking forward to each chapter instead of like I was with the first one. I'm finding this really enjoyable so far and the star has stopped wobbling by now, thankfully.

This book is getting better and better - my monthly virus scan finished 27 minutes ago and I didn't have a clue!

I'm about half way through the book now and those 5 star are still well-deserved. There could have been more speech in place of descriptions, but other than that, this is a great book that I'm really enjoying!

OMG! Where have the last few hours disappeared to?! I'm really into this book and it's kept my attention all day... glad that we only had a make-do lunch 'cos of my monthly virus scan 'cos I wouldn't have wanted to stop reading if we'd had a proper lunch that meant putting my laptop on the floor!

There has been a liberal amount of big names being used throughout this book so the first star is coming off for using them potentially without permission from the trademark bods. I've let it go up to now, but I've taken a star off other books for the same reason, so that's what I'm doing with this one too... down to four stars now, unfortunately.

Wowsers! Chapter 18 was so incredibly powerful! I was so so wrong when I said about knowing what this book was about at the start of this review... so so wrong.

The end was sooooo unexpected, but a brilliant way to finish off the book. It's taken me the best part of 14 hours but I loved it and I reckon it's a must-read by everyone who wants to escape into fiction! WTG Sean Coons!

I've had depression on and off for the last 30 years so it'll be interesting to see if there's anything in this book that I haven't already tried! I'm going opening it up with a totally open mind so we shall see how many stars it ends up with.

It's got 127 pages, so hopefully I'll get it read in one sitting, but we shall see.

I've got my "posh" (aka cafetierre) coffee on the go and it's not even 10am yet, so let's see how much I get through before I have my lunch.

Ooooh! I'm already 10% of the way through and my coffee is barely tepid 'cos I've been so engrossed in the book. If it carries on with this quality then I'll be recommending it to everyone I know with depression!

If I didn't like cold coffee, half a mugful would have gone to waste by now lol I'm 22% of the way through and every single one of those 5 stars is still firmly in place.

I'm 60% of the way through it now and I still reckon each of those 5 stars are well-deserved. It's almost lunchtime, so gonna read a bit more then stop to eat... I reckon I'll be finished by this afternoon and it's held my attention throughout!

Wowsers! What an incredible book! I've just finished reading it and each of those five stars are still totally solidly in place. It's a total must-read by everyone!

out of 5

Every book I read and review starts off with the full 5 stars and this book ain't any different.

I usually read fiction but non-fiction is also cool and groovy, as long as it's not boring and doesn't use words that I've never even heard of before.

This book sounds really interesting and something I feel passionately about, so I'm hoping it'll be a high scorer, star-wise. I got a free copy in advance, thanks to NetGalley and I can't wait to get stuck into it!

The cover is simple but effective and I can't wait to get started on it when I've fished my Kindle out of it's drawer beside me... I hope it's fully charged up!

Nope, it's dead, so I'll plug it in and leave it to charge up a few percent so that I can open the book lol

There have been 14 mostly blank pages at the start of the book... is the author and/or publisher trying to add pages to the book to make it feel like it's more worth the price?

I'm loving this book so far... it's sooo different from my usual fiction and I'm really appreciating what the author is saying and it's making me realise just how good my life is in many ways compared to others - I've got a roof over my head, food in my belly and drinks available whenever I fancy quenching my thirst... there are so so many, even in rich countries like the UK, who don't have those luxuries and I admit I've been taking them for granted. Even healthcare is free at the point of use, unlike other countries in the world and all prescriptions cost the same. Hospital treatment is free, whether it's for a broken toe or a triple heart bypass (I don't even know what that is, but I bet it costs the NHS a pretty penny every time it's performed). I saw a Neurologist this morning and it was free 'cos I'm a UK-er born and bred, but there's no way I could afford it in America! That's without even considering those who live in poverty... they would be equally entitled to free healthcare, but when was the last time they had a drink of fresh water that they didn't have to beg for? When was the last time they replaced their toothbrush or even managed to afford a tube of toothpaste?

Back onto the topic of this book now though lol

I hope the author has got written permission to use all these big names, ads and music groups or they could get themselves into hot water!

Blimey Charlie! Where have the hours gone? It's taken the best part of 3 days to get this far, but other than the things I've mentioned already about using trademarks and stuff (which may have different usage rules to fiction, but I dunno about that, so I ain't knocking off a star), the days have disappeared into the ether and after I start reading I don't stop until I head to bed! It's rare to find a book like that for me, so the author should feel really proud of themselves for keeping me reading without even needing to go for a wee and my hot drinks have usually been left to get cold too, which is another sign of a good book.

I was wrong at the start of this review, thinking that the blank pages were a marketing thingybob... the text is pretty small and there are over 350 pages so maybe it was more of a gentle introduction to all these quality words throughout the rest of the book?

Just reached the conclusion and it may sound daft, but I'm starting to feel emotional about not having it to read and think about during the times that I'm asleep or doing other things online. It's seriously opened my eyes and made me think about how I can explore my own beliefs and biases and how I can adjust them to make me a better person amongst those who aren't like me. I thought I was open-minded and unjudgemental and that I was all for helping those who needed my support, but this book has made me realise that even though I do my best, I've still got a looong way to go to help others.

Just finished the book (with the exception of the notes ;-) lol) and I'm a changed person because of it... it's made me want to examine myself and my past and constantly challenge each thought - where has it come from, who introduced that thought and most importantly, why?

out of 5

Every book I read and review starts off with the full five stars and the hope that they will still be in place on the last page and this book is no different.

Blimey the text in the prologue is tiny! I hope it's bigger after that otherwise the first star will be coming off already!

Chapter one was good, but the tiny text is already giving me a headache. Onto the second chapter.

The second chapter was good too... if a little predictable. I think I can guess what'll happen before too much longer lol

I hope the author has got written permission to use these well-known brands otherwise they could get themselves into seriously hot water!

I'm really into this book now, so much so that I've forgotten to review the previous two chapters lol Every one of those five stars are still firmly in place and I'm still hopeful that they'll stay there too.

That's the third big brand name that's been used, I'm guessing without written permission, so unfortunately that's the first star coming off after just under a third of the book :-(

I'm half way through this book now and another big brand name has been used, but I've already taken one star off for that reason, so we're still at four stars... this book is sooo good though and I'm so glad I discovered it hidden in the depths with all those other books that I've yet to read and review!

Only got 53 pages left to read now and the last couple of chapters must have been absolutely heartbreaking to write but I reckon the author has handled it really well... not so heartbreakingly that you heart feels ripped to shreds but at the same time they have made me emotional too.

Down to 28 pages now and it's taken a few unexpected turns and I was possibly wrong with my assumptions at the start of this review, but at the same time so right in other ways. I won't spoil it for you, but I can see a 'happily ever after' at the end of this wonderful book.

OMG! That was a shock I wasn't expecting so close to the end... could there be a sequel in the works??

This is a definite must-read by everyone and the one and only reason I'm not giving it the full 5 stars is 'cos of the use of those brand names is all.

out of 5

Every book I read and review starts off with the full five stars and I start every book with an open mind and hope that it finishes with the five stars still firmly in place. This book is no different, so lets get on with reading and reviewing it!

I've got the Kindle version and Penguin Random House are a huge, well-known publisher, so I'm hopeful this book will give me a glimpse into the lives of those living with domestic violence. I never have, fortunately, but my heart goes out to all those who have and please make sure that you're in a safe place with support available if you need it before you read any more of this review and especially the book.

I like that the author has put a trigger warning before the first chapter starts - that's reassuring and makes me hopeful that the rest of the book will be supportive too.

Wowsers! I've just read the introduction and first chapter and it's been incredibly intense and well written. I was wrong at the start of this review when I assumed it'd be about domestic violence... it's more than that and I feel it's filling a huge gap that has needed to be filled for too long, so I want to thank the author for taking the initiative to write it.

I'm immensely proud of the author for including men as being the victim at only 4% of the way through! Most people seem to forget that men can be assaulted too so I'm glad that the author has brought it up so soon in the book... I'm hoping that it'll be more than just that sentence and that it'll be talked about in equal detail to female and non-binary assaults too!

The first chapter was truly incredible and I hope it's an indication of the quality of the rest of the book. I'm gonna stop reading now, purely so that I don't emotionally overwhelm myself, but I'll be reading it again tomorrow. I was approved to read this in advance of its publication on 13th August 2021 by the publisher and right now I recommend you only read a chapter or two a day so that you don't get overwhelmed either. So far it's been a definite must-read for me though and each of those five stars it started with are still firmly in place.

Mornin' all, I'm back for the day and I'm wondering if it's just the resolution (or whatever it's called) of my Kindle, but the first letter of the first word is considerably larger and on a line of it's own which is a touch difficult to read. The new chapter starts on the same page as the previous chapter ends too... is that how all Kindle books are or is the first star wobbly already please?

Chapter 3 was an intense and slightly worrying read. I didn't realise that choking had become such a normal thing to do during sex and that some people don't respect their partner's dislike of it. It takes a large amount of courage to say "no" so it's awful that some people don't respect their partner enough to immediately stop as soon as the request is made... consent is everything and some people don't feel comfortable enough to assert themselves so each partner should be aware of how the other person is feeling. Is it really so hard to ask "does this feel good/OK?" or even just more generally "is this still OK with you?" and instantly respecting the choice if there's even a glimmer of doubt for either partner!

A quick bit of advice - this isn't an instruction manual, obviously, but "rough play/sex" and BDSM are regularly talked about so please be aware of that before you get this book. It talks about them honestly and consent is totally necessary but not everyone wants to read about kinky sexual encounters - it isn't graphic with descriptions at all, but if your mind tends to wander at the mere mention of that kinda thing then please be very very careful.

Gonna read one more chapter before my lunch - so much for last night's advice to only read a couple of chapters a day eh? lol

Up to chapter 10 now and the previous chapter was almost entirely about race rather than helping me to understand about sexual things that I have no experience of... I started reading this book expecting it to be about domestic violence but it's been all about sex up until chapter 9 when it suddenly turned into race with barely anything about relationships... almost like the author felt they had to put in a chapter to prove how inclusive they were?

Just finished reading chapter 10 and that was mostly about race too, so I'm getting mightily confuzzled now - is it a book about domestic violence (as the title made me wrongly assume to start with), sex (as chapters 1-8 made me think) or race (as chapters 9 and 10 are making me think)? Unless the author makes up her mind and sticks to it in chapter 11 and beyond, that first wobbly star is gonna fall off. Don't get me wrong, it's been good so far, but I'm not sure where the author is going with her book - it's changed direction three times so far after all!

Chapter 11 is back to LGBTQ discussion which is more like what I was thinking than the previous two chapters, so the fifth star is still just about hanging on, just not as firmly as it started out and I was hoping for, unfortunately.

Ah-ha, back to sexual relationships now, but with people who are disabled this time, so I reckon those couple of chapters about race/ethnicity were likely a part that either the author or publisher felt needed to be in the book so that everyone felt represented. I'm 56% of the way through and up to chapter 13, so I'm hoping for around 60% before I take my last pills of the day and maybe 70% by the time I head to bed... let's see what happens before setting it in stone though.

The second half of the book is maybe more about relationships than sex judging by chapters 12 and 13 which I reckon is a bit back to front... the way I see it, the race bit should have been at the start, then the relationships and finishing with the sex so the book seems to be back to front for me, sorry.

Just read about up-skirting etc and the lack of law surrounding it and it was a necessary addition but pretty dull compared to the rest of the book so far. It's not even 6pm yet, so 70% seems pretty do-able before I take my pills again.... maybe even 75% before I head to bed!

Not quite 75% but I'm 72% of the way through, so I'm thinking I should be finished well before I head to bed tomorrow so that I can put this review up in the appropriate places. The fifth star is still there, it's just teetering unsteadily so I reckon that this'll be a 5 star review unless something happens in the last 28% of the book tomorrow.

Right now I reckon the title of the book is misleading, but maybe that was deliberate? If it had been a better title then I wouldn't have been so confused at the start and the race bit, I personally reckon, is unnecessary, but that's just my own personal opinion, as is this entire review lol

Good morning again everyone. I've done everything I need to do on a Monday morning, so I can settle in to finish reading this book until our groceries are delivered now.

Just finished it with literally 5 minutes to spare lol

The last few chapters were good, but not as intense and well written as the first few. Still a five star must-read by everyone, and I stand by what I said at the start about it filling a huge gap in the market, but the fifth star is wobbly instead of solid... still very much hanging on by its fingertips though!

Review of "Listen: How to Find the Words for Tender Conversations" by Kathryn Mannix

Kindle version:

Hardback version:

out of 5

Like with every book I read and review, this one is starting off with the full 5 stars too and I'm hoping that it'll not only finish with those 5 stars, but I'll learn how to sugar-coat sensitive conversations too.

Let's get started!

OMG! Where has the afternoon slipped away to? I wrote that paragraph (and sentence) 69 pages ago and haven't stopped reading until now. This is a fantastic book so far!

Done it again... currently at page 114 and I haven't even stopped for a drink or wee all afternoon which is soo unlike me! lol This is a serious must-read for everyone and still a very solid 5 stars.

Just 10 more chapters/sections/whatever they're called in non-fiction to go and I'll be able to put this review up. For now though, I'm stopping reading for the night and I'll be back reading as soon as I can tomorrow.

I really am enjoying this book... I don't wanna say too much about it otherwise it'll spoil it, but it's a definite must-read, even for those who think they are great listeners already... I'm learning so much from this book and I'm so glad I was approved to read it in advance of it's publication. I'm grateful to the publisher and to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for this review... I'm loving what I'm reading and can't recommend it highly enough to you all!

Oh boy, just read about death and now about grief... this is gonna be heavy and prolly upsetting, so make sure you've got plenty of tissues and support available before you read these bits!

One sentence, more than any other single sentence in this book, has just said everything I've been trying to say all my life but the sentence says "Surrounded by people but with no one to hear us can be a place lonelier than isolation." and it describes how I've felt my whole life! I'm surrounded by friends who reach out to me when they need a bit of support that I'm more than happy to provide, but on the rare occasions I need support too, I'm totally alone. For the last two years on Facebook I've had mini melt-downs each December but I've been told by people I thought I could trust to "take it down and put it on your blog instead" then that's literally it for another year. I've tried reaching out on a depression forum but nobody replied on there so I've tried reaching out to friends and I get less than a couple of sentences of support before it goes back to me supporting them. If I did that to them they would call me selfish and break off our friendship. I really am surrounded by people but with no support I really am feeling lonlier than complete isolation.

I'm currently sat here sobbing my heart out... the pages I've just read have been so understanding and it feels like they were talking straight to me. Thank you to the author for those pages... they mean a lot to me.