Living with ‘The Gloria Films’ by Pamela J Burry

You only have to say ‘Pammy’ to a counsellor and they will know exactly who you are talking about. It’s why I pounced on  Living with ‘The Gloria Films’ by Pamela J Burry.

At some point in every counsellor’s training, they will be shown ‘The Gloria Films’. In the films, newly-divorced mother, Gloria, has three psychotherapy sessions with celebrated therapists – Carl Rogers, Albert Ellis and Fritz Perls – and each gives their response to what was most troubling Gloria at that time – dating and fielding questions about her sex life from her then nine-year-old daughter, Pammy. Continue reading

My Best Books for 2022


I did away with ‘top tens’ a few years ago, and instead I finish the reading year with a recap of the books that are still speaking to me (less about four and five-star ratings, more about what has stuck). Continue reading

Quick (very quick) reviews

Yep, running out of time to draw a line under the reviews for the year. Some of these I’ve been meaning to write for eleven months. Lucky it doesn’t actually matter… Continue reading

Found, Wanting by Natasha Sholl

I recently did a Grief 101 session for colleagues, mostly to explain the types of grief other than that associated with bereavement. At the end, someone asked about further reading and without hesitation, I recommended Natasha Sholl’s memoir, Found, Wanting. The ‘without hesitation’ bit is noteworthy because I’m usually reluctant to hold up a memoir as a means of understanding grief in a text-booky-way, but Sholl’s writing is succinct and beautiful, compelling and devastatingly real and it would be hard not to identify with what she says in a helpful way. Continue reading

A Year of Sample Saturdays – 2022 Edition

I’ve read 78 Kindle samples this year – I reckon that downloading sample chapters is more prudent than impulse buying books that don’t quite pan out after the first few chapters. Continue reading

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

The story of a family is always a story of complicity.

As always, I struggle to review books that I loved unequivocally. Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood is such a book.

Lockwood’s memoir focuses on her father, Greg, who, despite being married with five children became a Catholic priest (there’s a loophole in the Vatican rules). As Lockwood describes, after years of being a Lutheran pastor, “…he was tired of grape juice. He wanted wine.”

She creates a striking portrait of Greg – a guitar-toting, gun-cleaning man, who has a penchant for cream liqueurs and struts around in his underwear, making bullish demands of his family. Continue reading