Do You Re-read Books?

Do you read books more than once? Find out why I can’t.

In my adult life I’m not sure I’ve ever re-read a book. I’ve tried, but never completed any. As a child I made my parents read me the same bath time story every Sunday, as a teenager I was often grounded with nothing but books I already owned to entertain me. Now with an endless supply and instant access to new books I still see so many bloggers talking about re-reading but I can’t seem to do it, lately I’ve been wondering why? Here’s my reasoning…

Continue reading “Do You Re-read Books?”

A Stupid Question

Have you ever been the person in the room digging deep for the courage to ask a question? One you know you will feel stupid for asking but having no other choice..

Have you ever been the person in the room digging deep for the courage to ask a question? One you know you will feel stupid for asking but having no other choice..

I have a crystal clear memory of one of these moments, it should have been forgettable and insignificant but instead a five minute ordeal seems to have greatly contributed to my personality.

I’m standing in the office at my previous workplace, it’s open plan with work stations along each wall and a large desk in the centre for the store manager. It’s always slightly hushed in here because several different departments share the space. There are receptionists on the phones or signing visitors in at the window, different levels of management flit in and out constantly and occasionally a floor level employee will hover nervously in wait for who knows what.

I have recently been promoted, I am now on the first step of the management ladder and my superior has sent me in to copy some documents. Now here’s my dilemma. I don’t know how to work the photocopier.

SIMPLE? Right? Actually no. Not for me. At 21 years old I have never had cause to use a photocopier. I understand the concept, put the documents in the tray, push the green button and the copies come out the other side. But I need to select the amount of copies, the paper dimensions, content enlargement, and I saw a girl last week get her copies all jammed up. Every person in here uses this machine every day with ease, who can I ask that isn’t going to laugh at me? They’ll have to be soft-spoken, if I ask the wrong person the whole office is going to overhear, then they’ll all know what a fool I am. The store manager is right next to the copy machine, there are five other senior managers nearby as well as the gossipy administration team and a handful of sales floor employees…

I made the wrong choice.  Easy to do when you’re in a store full of colleagues vying for the same promotional opportunities. I asked help from a girl of my own age and management level, we’d been working together a few years by then. She laughed loudlyand talked me very slowly through my task with a false bubbly tone as if I were a child tying my shoe laces.

In my mind I thank this girl. Those few moments whilst all the workers stared at me, my face burning as I silently admonished myself, stuck with me. It’s irrelevant but needs to be said that I moved on to bigger and better things.

The point is I make certain to ensure no-one ever feels any sort of negativity when approaching me for help. If you ask anyone who presently or previously worked with me for a summary of my management style the same words always surface.

Approachable. Understanding. Fair.

As far as I know the girl of my story bolted up the management ladder at that particular company, only to be made redundant in a series of budget cuts during the supermarket price wars almost a decade ago.

The smallest events can have the largest impact.

Tell me about yours…

Book Review; Inhuman Resources- Pierre Lemaitre

Friends, I’m going to do things a little differently in my review today…

inhumanresources

Inhuman Resources – Pierre Lemaitre

Page Count 400

Publication date: Sept 2018/ Publisher Quercus Books. MacLehose Press

Synopsis:
Alain Delambre is a 57-year-old former HR executive, drained by four years of hopeless unemployment.
All he is offered are small, demoralizing jobs. He has reached his very lowest ebb, and can see no way out.
So when a major company finally invites him to an interview, Alain Delambre is ready to do anything, borrow money, shame his wife and his daughters and even participate in the ultimate recruitment test: a role-playing game that involves hostage-taking.
Alain Delambre commits body and soul in this struggle to regain his dignity.
But if he suddenly realised that the dice had been loaded against him from the start, his fury would be limitless.
And what began as a role-play game could quickly become a bloodbath.

*****


I received an eARC of Inhuman Resources via Netgalley a while ago, I requested this title based on my enjoyment of Lemaitre’s detective series – Alex/Irene/Camille. I diligently made notes throughout reading and was sure to be posting my review on time to schedule.
I didn’t.
Even now, months later, I can’t bring myself to properly discuss what I consider to be an absolute train wreck of a novel. Instead I will leave you with my bullet points, make of them what you will!

Writing:
First 30% hopeless, dingy atmosphere
Way written made me feel pity (not sympathy) with the characters plight.
The plot veers extremely far from the blurb which accounts for only the first half of book.
Very hard to keep track of all the employees during hostage event, the names were similar and some characters felt pointless.
It was noticeable the author hadn’t done enough research on financial market or lawsuits to carry parts of the story convincingly, a stark comparison to the level of insight into hostage scenarios. However the story is told from Delambre’s perspective and so it could be argued that the character wouldn’t have that knowledge.

Characters:
Disgraceful behaviour as a husband and father.
Has casual and bizarre sexual thoughts about his daughters and their appearance.
Felt no love between the main character and his family, they seemed like his possessions.
Wife was too idealistic in her views
Perhaps it was my own values that made the main character so unlikable, even in desperation I’d like to think I wouldn’t be capable of the decisions Delambre made.
Charles is my favourite character in the book- he almost brings out the human in Delambre. Their journey of friendship was a wonderful light in an otherwise dark and desperate story.
Fontana made a fantastic foe, descriptive body language, I could picture him perfectly in my mind.
The chess game unfolding between Delambre and Fontana kept me reading.

Story:
Delambre plans were outrageous, unbelievable but clever, twisted and turned over the last half of the book.
Constant peril took away the edge of suspense, became a background hum which slowed the pacing considerably.
Previous experience of Lemaitre was fast paced and tense, got a glimpse of this towards the end of Inhuman Resources but far more ostentatious and therefore less enveloping.
The ending was deflated and empty- an all for nothing kind of deal.
Inhuman Resources forces you to consider the lengths you’d go to for money, what really makes you happy.

Conclusion:
That friends, is all I have to say about that! I was sorely disappointed and I’m left unsure as to whether I will pick up any future releases by this author.
But don’t let this hodge-podge review put you off Lemaitre entirely, I can vouch for his Detective Camille series!

Roxanne’s Reactions

Professional Reader