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Hello 2014

Yes, I may be a little  late for this post but I’ve always been a little slow so it’s better late than never! I’ve been lurking around the blogs again and see that may have done little wrap up and resolutions for the year ahead and thought I’ll  get in on that too. As you guys will have probably noticed (or not), I don’t regularly update this blog anymore. Instead, I have returned to lurking. I enjoyed blogging, and still do, but I suppose the field got a little too full and I felt a little competitive. It also got quite overwhelming with all these great books being recommended and the TBR grew ever higher with no hope of it ever being read. Along with the TBR, I really enjoy simply picking books at random and reading whatever I fancy. So,  in a few words, everything in the blogging world got too much and I stopped. But I have missed it, particularly the good community feel.

Reading wise, without the constant recommendations, I found I read far and wide last year. I read a lot of non-fiction, got far too interested in the Tudor history (always a late comer) and Anne Boleyn, read a lot of popular ‘hot’ fiction, became less picky and snobby about reads and generally enjoyed reading on the whim. While I did try to read more classics and my own books, I found I borrowed far too much from the library (working there doesn’t help the cause) and I became overloaded with library books. You would too if you saw the book sitting on the shelve looking all beautiful and fascinating and just screaming at you to borrow them.

My reading resolutions for this year:

  • Read more classics. I still want to get through Thomas Hardy’s collection and the rest of Jane Austen.
  • Read largely from my own collection.
  • Continue reading far and wide.

Completist Reading

After seeing Lizzy’s Literary Life completist reading page, I was motivated to set up my own. I’ve been in the process of reading all the works of favourite authors and, on a purely aesthetic level, there’s nothing more satisfying than having the complete works of a favourite author on your shelves. I’ve done part of the list which largely consists of classic authors and it’s still a work in progress but feel free to check it out under ‘Reading Projects’ and to give any tips or advice. I’ve also renamed ‘Reading Challenges’ to ‘Reading Projects’. I never really take part in challenges because I don’t like feeling restricted and the only challenge that I’m (sort of) participating in is the 1001 Books You Must Read.

Has anybody else set up a completist reading page? I suppose everyone do keep track of it somehow but the page makes it so much nicer and easier.

In more blog related stuff, I’m in the process of writing a reviews policy just to give the blog a bit of standing.

And in other news, I have a huge stack of books whizzing my way soon (Book Depository – you torture my soul and my wallet but I still love you). It’s a bit of a splurge but I’m using my upcoming birthday as an excuse.

Long Weekend Delights

Finally, the long weekend is upon us and wholly due to a certain queen celebrating her birthday. It’s been a hectic few weeks and there are several more to come before things, hopefully, will quieten down a bit. I’ve been a bad blogger these past weeks and a bad reader. I’m nearly finished with Jude which I am enjoying immensely (although Arabella does make my blood boil) and I hope to squeeze in some more reading the next few days. The weather has also been quite horrid (hello Winter! and lashings of Rain!) so I’m looking forward to bunkering down in bed with doonas, books, sweet goodies and hot drinks.

'Still Life with Drawing Board, Pipe, Onions and Sealing-Wax' (1889) - Vincent van Gogh

Things I’m hoping to get done:

  • Finish Jude the Obscure. I think I’ve been reading this for three weeks, although I did get distracted by Lost for about a week.
  • Ignore the still very large pile of library books and start something from my own collection. However, I did just borrow The Uncommon Reader today (the perils of going near libraries) and it would a very fitting read…
  • Watch a few DVDs. I finally got my hands on The Lovely Bones. I also have the first season of the Tudors and back episodes of, er, Glee.
  • Visit and catch up with the many lovely other bloggers that I’ve been neglecting these past few weeks.
  • I found an answer to my dilemma of the ‘reading elbow’: a Book Seat!
  • Get up, or stay up, on Monday morning (at 4am!) to catch the first Australian FIFA match: Australia vs Germany. I’m going for the aussies, of course, but I do have a soft spot for the Germans. There’s a bit more of an affinity between aussie fans because we all have stayed or woken up at the strangest hours to watch a ball being kicked around. I love the understanding that passes between people who are bleary eyed, grunt ‘soccer’ and the understanding nod. Ah, soccer mania. 🙂

Kreativ Award

I received a nifty award in purdy colours from Elena the other day.

kreative-blogger-award

The receipient lists 7 things they like and 7 blogs they like. A lot of sevens and a lot of liking here but there’s plenty of love in the bibliophile blogosphere.

Things I like:

  1. Bookshelves. If I can’t say books (because that’s self-explanatory) then I must say bookshelves. The hours I have spent on Flickr looking at other people’s shelves is quite embarrassing.
  2. Travel. I haven’t travelled extensively but hopefully in the next year or so I’ll be able to do that One Big Trip that everybody simply must do at some stage in their lives.
  3. The Sims (1, 2 &3). Love ’em.
  4. Food. I’m a foodie. I’m not that fussy about what I eat (However, I do have a slight aversion to prissy fine dining. There’s more to life than strategically placed cutlery and plates) and I could never be those girls who pick at limp salads.
  5. Night. Stars, the moon and the navy sky is when I am at my best. I’m a night person. I did my best essays at 3am.
  6. Stationery. Moleskines are my favourite but any quality and beautiful piece quickens my heart.
  7. Mushi. It’s my little bitty Pooh bear that I had since I was 12. It’s been through a lot – the little red t-shirt has been lost, the ‘Made in China’ tag long ripped off and its fur all but faded but it still brings warmth to my heart when I give it a prod. 🙂

Blogs I like:

I don’t reguarly follow many blogs but these make up the core of it.

  1. A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook. I know, Elena also gave this award to Matt but his blog is one I follow regularly. He covers a wide range of genres and authors, book reviews are insightful and intellectual and despite receiving scores of comments, Matt always find the time to reply.
  2. Reading Matters. One of the first Lit blogs I discovered. Kimbofo writes original and interesting posts and keeps me updated in the going ons of the book world.
  3. Biblioaddict. J.S. Peyton is as book obsessed as all of us and her posts and comments on all things bookish are fun and insightful.
  4. Booklust. While her blog used to concentrate solely on books, Patricia now blogs mostly about the art and cartoon world. Why? Because she’s an amazing artist!
  5. Robaroundbooks. An original and large site and blog, Rob covers an amazing array of bookish things including my personal favourite, Bookshelf of the Week.
  6. The Boston Bibliophile. Marie blogs about all sorts of things, from book reviews to ethics of book reviewing.
  7. People Reading. Captures everyday people reading on the streets of San Francisco. It’s endlessly fascinating to see what people are reading and a really great concept for a blog.

Change

I thought it was about time I made this blog a little more ‘bookish’. Unfortunately, my layout and graphic skills aren’t what they used to be, but this is the best I could do within WordPress’ limitations. The banner is a very cropped version of one shelf in my bookcase. It’s mainly my ‘classics’ shelf.

On another note, I have  just found out I have received a First Class grade for my honours year. 🙂 🙂 🙂