Saturday, 20 January 2018

My Reading Goals for 2018!

I love setting reading goals for a new year. Even if we're twenty days in, but it's actually my birthday today so it's like a new year all over again for me! I start a new Goodreads shelf on this day anyway, to track what I'm reading at what age. The shelf of everything I read when I was 20 is vastly different to the shelf of what I read at 23!

1. Keep Replacing!
Last year I unhauled 20 books which, for me, is incredible. Part of the way my OCD manifests is in slight hoarding so getting rid of anything is hard. Getting rid of things that I have read in my childhood, or haven't read, really bothers me. But. I'm working on that and the motivation of only buying one book for ten I unhaul works. Plus, I want seven 2018 releases so...

2. Bigger and Better!
I want to read some chunky books. For me, big books are any over 400 pages but this year I'm looking at some 500+ page beauties. Maybe even 600+ pages. Who knows! I just feel like challenging myself to stick with a book for a good long time.

3. Read all of my 18 Books I want to Read in 2018 list!
My Goodreads goal is set to 18 this year after failing my first attempt at a challenging number last year, but in my mind, it's these 18. I really think I covered classics, non-fiction, new releases and starting and finishing series well.

4. Diversify!
I don't really read diversely. I do read mostly women but last year I only read two books written by a POC, and four that had LGBTQIA+ characters. That's pretty garbage! So in 2018, I want to diversify my reading more. I definitely want to read more books with characters that are LGBTQIA+. Hit me up if you have any recommendations!

5. Thread them all on Twitter!
I've seen a few of these threads over the last year and I was envious of those who had them for their 2017 reads. So I started my own. I'm hoping that I'll be able to see trends and patterns at the end of the year with it all written out linearly.

What are your reading goals for this year?

Monday, 15 January 2018

Under my Christmas Tree!

Another Christmas has been and gone! I really like seeing what people got for Christmas, mainly because I'm nosey, and I like writing this post every year. It's my way of looking at everything together and feeling ever so lucky. And I get to look back at what I got last year, the year before that, the year before that and the year before that. It's wild to see how tastes change and stay the same year after year.

Plus, I'll bet there are other people like me that just love reading these types of posts. Welcome!

Anyone who knows me, knows I do love a good mug. And this year I was treated to two; the My Favourite Murder podcast Toxic Masculinity Ruins the Party Again mug that I wished for. And one that my parents picked up on a trip to Copenhagen! It's a Royal Copenhagen design that has silicone to protect your hands from hot contents. Perfect for a chilly January cup of tea.

On the subject of podcasts; how brilliant is the Vermilion Minotaur pin from Hello from the Magic Tavern? I've really loved pins this year and I'm glad to represent the best tavern in Foon with this!

As I get older I find myself more and more excited about good skincare. So you can imagine my celebratory dance at finding the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate in my stocking. It's a thinner oil then I'm used to and I love how quickly my skin absorbs the goodness.

The Konjac Sponge is so weird but so cool. It's solid when it's dry but after a couple seconds under the tap, it starts to soften up until you have this handful of sponge that is ever so slightly gooey feeling without the goo. I'm into it, and I can't wait to see the effect on my skin.

Since I only bought a few books in 2017 because of my self-imposed book buying ban (mini-haul here), I was really excited to get some fresh new books in my stocking. Books like the first Miss Marple novel; The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha ChristieWomen & Power by Mary BeardI Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora EphronTravels with my Sketchbook by Chris RiddellThe Faber Book of ChristmasIt Devours! by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor and the gorgeous Folio Society edition of Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome! Gosh, there's nothing better than a beautiful pile of books.

The entertainment continues with my new box-set of Golden Girls (in German because there's no UK full box-set). I couldn't be more excited to get to know Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia. And hello future foster cat/ Sims names!

The first expansion to Exploding Kittens; Imploding Kittens is going to make the game all the more fun. If you're looking for a quick card game for a few people, you can't beat it. This expansion also comes with a human-sized cone of shame too which is just brilliant.

Santa definitely had a theme this year! The royal cat socks are just fantastic, I'm wearing them right now and they're keeping my feet cosy as well as making me smile every time I look down. The 'Cat Lady' and cat mug patches are going to be sewn onto a boring jacket I have to snazz it up.

And the big man also treated my foster cats too. The heated pet bed is currently under my desk with two very happy cats napping, and the Snuggle Kitty is going to come in handy next time I have orphan kittens!

And, of course, chocolate! The Lindt Santa had an unfortunate squash but tasted good anyway. Probably better because I didn't have to deal with the guilt of a chocolate-y beheading.

What did you get for Christmas? Link me if you wrote a post like this!

Thursday, 11 January 2018

18 Books I want to Read in 2018!

My Goodreads goal for this year is 18 books, but in my mind, it's not just any 18 books, it's these 18 books. I'll be doing a full post on my other reading goals soon but these are the top picks that will be set aside from my shelves and hopefully, over the year will find themselves on my 'read' bookshelf.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
I bought the audiobook of this last year and have started it at least 3 times since. I need that last push to get me over that hour mark so I can really immerse myself in this story. It sounds like something I'll like; a woman doing her best as men try and complicate everything.

Villette by Charlotte Brontë
I have the Penguin Clothbound Classics box-set of 4 of the Brontë's works and the only one I didn't read in 2017 was Villette. So, even though Charlotte is my least favourite Brontë, I do want to read this and see if I prefer her more autobiographical work.

Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion by Jane Austen
Another box-set of Penguin Clothbound Classics I have (after it was put up for sale for £10!) is the Jane Austen complete works. I read Emma and Pride and Prejudice in 2017, and I'd quite like to finish her full novels this year. I really enjoy them, even though I'm still waiting for a favourite.

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
Spoiler alert for my Christmas presents post, I was lucky enough to get the gorgeous Folio Society copy of my favourite book and it seems like a very good time for a re-read!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
I can't believe I haven't read this yet if I'm honest. I thought when I made my 'Stop Delaying' reading goal in 2017, that this would find it's way into my hands sooner or later. Seriously, these books have been to Norway, Milan, Germany... I even bought the audiobooks! I think it's book anxiety; when you really want a book to be good but you fear disappointment. Speaking of...

Empire and Dominion by Jennifer Ridyard and John Connolly
Talk about book anxiety! I first read Empire almost exactly two years ago and loved it, and since then these two have been to Northumberland, CorfuNorway and Mexico all without a page being turned. But 2018 is the year I find out what happens to Syl and Paul.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
I've slowly been making my way through the Harry Potter books and since my library app has the audiobooks, I'm ready to finish my re-read with the two that I only read once on release days as a child. Of all the books on this list, these two are probably the ones I'm least looking forward to if I'm honest.

The Fear Within by J.S. Law
This is the much-awaited follow-up to Tenacity (now called The Dark Beneath) that blew my mind when I first read it. Released at the tail end of 2017, I didn't manage to pick it up but I am so ready to jump back into Leitenant Dani Lewis's world in these NCIS-type thrillers.

Coming Out Under Fire by Allan Bérubé
On the topic of the military, I want to read some more non-fiction this year and Coming Out Under Fire seems like the perfect blend of my interests in the military, the LGBTQIA+ community and WWII. I've only read the introduction so far but I can tell this is going to be fascinating.

Please Take Me Home: The Story of the Rescue Cat by Clare Campbell
As I've mentioned before, I started fostering cats and kittens back in 2017 and it's been wonderful. I just got an email today that a cat that needs a home will be joining me next week! So I'm taking an interest in the history. This covers how stray cats went from being pests to being what they are today: the best pet.

The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements
This is being published on February the 8th and I am so excited. I've been a big fan of Katherine Clements in past years. Her debut; The Crimson Ribbon was beautiful and The Silvered Heart was a heartbreaker, but she hasn't published anything since 2015 so news of a 2018 release was music to my ears. This Yorkshire Moors ghost story is top of the list for the cold winter nights in the early year.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
Being published March 8th we read the story of how, in 1969, four children go out to learn their fortune. This is the story of what they do with that knowledge and I love this premise. I think this sounds really imaginative and I haven't read a good one of these long-term type of tales in a good while.

Never Greener by Ruth Jones
I adore Gavin and Stacey and Ruth Jones is such a funny woman that when I found out she'd wrote a book, you can bet I was waiting by the letterbox for my proof copy. It's another long-term, where do these two people who had an affair end up, type story and I'm hoping for some uplifting wise words from Jones. It's being released on April 5th so look out for it!

What books do you want to read in 2018?

Monday, 8 January 2018

Books I Want to Buy and Why #14: 2018 Releases!

Last year, I wrote my 2017 list and wondered what would make it to this years list of releases that I'd want to buy. Well, past me, here you go! In order of publishing date and everything! This is actually the longest of these new release lists I've made; 7 books. And since I'm going to continue my 2017 goal of unhauling 10 books for every new book purchase... I better get unhauling!

Missing Person by Sarah Lotz
I'll always be interested in anything Sarah Lotz is writing ever since The Three was such a mindblowing book. Admittedly, I didn't like Day Four as much but her 2017 release; The White Road was a good'un so I can't wait for Missing Person. I also find the real website this is based on fascinating, where anybody can help link up missing persons with unknown deceased; Lost & Found (TW: pictures of dead people).
Release date: 21st March

Six Tudor Queens: Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen by Alison Weir
I said when I reviewed the first book in this series that Alison Weir had got me hooked when it came to this series. Six books in six years about all six wives? Count me in! And I'm really looking forward to the Jane Seymour book because I don't really know as much about her as Katherine and Anne.
Release date: 3rd May

Today by Felicia Yap
Yesterday was the thriller of 2017 and I really liked it so I'm looking forward to diving back into the world where everyone either has 24 or 48-hour memories. This is the prequel so I'm hoping for a lot more detail about how it all started.
Release date: 23rd August

Magisterium: The Golden Tower/ The Enemy of Death by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Now, there's one name for this on Goodreads and another on Amazon so who knows. However, I do know one thing and it's that I am both not ready for this series to be over, and desperately wanting to know what happens to Call in the final book.
Release date: 6th September

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling, Illustrated by Chris Riddell
Now, I'm not the biggest JK Rowling fan after my on-going re-read of the Harry Potter series and I do think they're really just mining this series for every penny it'll put out... But I'll buy pretty much anything Chris Riddell illustrates so this is a tough one for me. I might re-read my old copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard and see how I feel then.
Release date: 2nd October

An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris
Charlaine Harris is an auto-buy author for me, but when I saw that this is about "the disintegration of America" and "a surefire hit for fans of The Walking Dead"... I'm wishing away months of my life so it's October already. I need more of her writing in my life since I've recently finished all her series.
Release date: 4th October

Face Off by Brenda Novak
I just finished the second book in this series, Hello Again, and I'm already needing to know what happens next. I find serial killers and psychopaths fascinating and ever since reading the first book I've known that this is a series I will follow through on.
Release date: 29th November

What 2018 releases are you most excited for?!

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