Reading, Writing and Resolutions

2016 Reading Resolutions Image

This post is coming a bit later than I wanted, but it’s been a busy start to the year!

I’ve been reflecting a lot about the past year and what I want for 2016. My main focus is buying my first house, which is obviously a huge decision and will take up a lot of my time and energy once the ball gets rolling, but I definitely want more reading and writing to be part of this year.

I’ve come up with a list of goals that I’m hoping will help motivate me. Maybe some of these will inspire you too, especially my fellow bibliophiles!

  • Goodreads Challenge: I’ve never done this before but I wanted to this year so I could track how many books I read and give myself a target to aim for. I’ve gone with 45, which is approximately 4 books per month. Hopefully I can manage that! I’ve read one so far, Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine, which I’ll be reviewing soon.
  • 2016 Reading Challenge: This year I’m taking part in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2016 Reading Challenge, which is to “read 12 books in 12 different categories in 12 months”. I’m looking forward to diversifying my reading and finally tackling some books I should have read years ago. I wrote a post about it here.
  • Writing Competitions: Last year I entered a competition run by Almond Press to write a short story with an apocalyptic theme. I’m delighted that my story was chosen to be published as part of their anthology which will be released later this year. It’s made me feel more confident as a writer and I’m keen to enter more competitions this year.
  • Memory Jar: I’ve wanted to do this for years but have never gotten around to it. Memories JarI’m a very nostalgic person and love to look back on things past, so having a memory jar where I can keep note of significant events and milestones feels like a great idea. I got mine from Pretty Pink Toes via Amazon.
  • Blog Posts: I don’t post here anywhere near as often as I would like and I want that to change this year. Along with book reviews and general posts, I really want to feature more projects like the Future Library Project that I wrote about in 2014. It was one of my favourite and most popular posts and I love hearing about creative ways of sharing the reading experience, so I would like to share them here too.
  • Literary Events: I already know I’ll be going to a couple of book festivals and publishing conferences this year, but I would also like to attend more events like literary salons, book launches and author events.
  • Writing, Writing, Writing: Above all, I want to write as much as possible. I have a novel idea which is slowly being fleshed out and I would love to do some solid work on it this year. I’m never happier than when I’m writing, so I want it to be a constant theme of 2016.

I hope you’re all having a great start to the year and that it will be a good one!

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2016 Reading Challenge

MMD-2016-Reading-Challenge

After New Year I started looking for inspiration to take my 2016 reading in a new and fun direction. I stumbled across the wonderful Modern Mrs Darcy blog and she had exactly what I was looking for.

This challenge is a great motivation for me to finally read some books I’ve had on my TBR for a long time across different genres and time periods.

A book published this year

Star Trek: Voyager – A Pocket Full of Lies by Kirsten Beyer: In case you didn’t know this already, I’m a massive Star Trek fan and my favourite series is Voyager. The post-series novels are fantastic and Beyer, a huge fan herself, knows the characters inside out and is doing an amazing job of continuing their adventures. I can’t wait to read this when it comes out in a few weeks.

A book you can finish in a day

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes: I borrowed this from a friend and it’s short enough to read in one day (150 pages). I’ve never read a Man Booker Prize winner before so that’s also a plus point.

A book you’ve been meaning to read

My Antonia by Willa Cather: There were lots of books I could have chosen for this one, but I’m going with My Antonia because it’s been on my TBR for over 10 years and I actually already have it in an anthology of American Literature. One of my favourite quotes comes from this book and I’m really looking forward to understanding it in context.

A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton: This one was easy. I bought it almost a year ago from my local bookshop after the owner raved about it and said it was one of the best books she had read all year. I’ve heard good things about it from other people too so I’m looking forward to getting into it.

A book you should have read in school

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: In honour of Modern Mrs. Darcy who created this challenge, I’m going to go with one of the only books I have ever given up on. That was over 10 years ago and it bothers me that I’ve never finished it, so it’s time to give it another shot!

A book chosen for you by your spouse, partner, sibling, child, or BFF

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner: My friend Stefani (blogging at Caught Read Handed) reads more than anyone I know and I trust her judgement. When I asked for a recommendation this is what she came up with, which works for me as I saw her raving about it on social media so I was already intrigued!

A book published before you were born

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Another one I’ve been meaning to read for a long time, this book was published over 60 years before I was born. I’ve never read any Hemingway, which I feel is a serious omission on my part, so this challenge is the perfect motivation to read one of his novels.

A book that was banned at some point

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou: This book has been banned countless times, particularly in schools and colleges in the US, because of its depictions of rape and race relations. It’s one that I’ve crossed paths with before but never read, so this is my chance.

A book you previously abandoned

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: l can count on one hand the number of books I’ve abandoned in the past and this is one of them. As I explained in an earlier post, I didn’t give up on it because I wasn’t enjoying it, but because of the headspace I was in at the time. I’m looking forward to picking it up again and finishing it this time.

A book you own but have never read

Interned with Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell: This book was given to me by one of my friends in August last year and I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. From what she told me I think I’ll really enjoy it.

A book that intimidates you

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius: I wouldn’t necessarily say this book intimidates me, but it’s going to need more of my focus and concentration than normal as it’s heavy philosophical non-fiction from 180 AD. I thought about choosing Don Quixote by Cervantes, but it’s HUGE and since I’m not the fastest reader in the world it would probably take up a lot of time I could be using to read other books, so I’ll leave it for another year!

A book you’ve already read at least once

Born With Teeth by Kate Mulgrew: This one’s a no-brainer. One of my posts from last year explains why this book means so much to me, but needless to say I really want to read it again. I’m actually already doing so by listening to the audiobook on my commute. It’s read by Kate herself and it’s absolutely wonderful.

If you like the look of this challenge, you can find it here. It also has a very varied and fun Pinterest board here.

Are any of you doing reading challenges this year? What books are you looking forward to reading the most?