Sunday, 31 December 2017

Books Read in 2017

In 2017 I failed at many, many things and that includes both blogging and my reading challenge. Last year went so well that I decided to up to my target to 65 instead of the regular 50. Clearly that was a mistake as I only managed 53/65. I ain't mad tho'. 2017 has been horrendous for a multitude of reasons, some of which I have elaborated on in the previous post. However, i'm trying not to dwell on that and looking forward to whatever 2018 brings. Here's my mostly annual list of the books I read over the last year. 

  1.  The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily - Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
  2. Talking As Fast As I Can - Lauren Graham
  3. All I Know Now - Carrie Hope Fletcher
  4. The Queen of Zombie Hearts - Gena Showalter
  5. The Adventures of Supergirl - Sterling Gates
  6. Forever Geek - Holly Smale
  7. Gwenpool - Christopher Hastings
  8. Demon Hunters: Trinity - Olivia Chase
  9. Happy Mum, Happy Baby - Giovanna Fletcher
  10. Incomplete Shakespeare: Macbeth - John Crace
  11. City of Heavenly Fire - Cassandra Clare
  12. Alice In The Country of Hearts - QuinRose
  13. See How They Lie - Sue Wallman
  14. Mark of Athena - Rick Riordan
  15. Pushing Perfect - Michelle Falkoff
  16. Alex Approximately - Jenn Bennett
  17. Girlhood - Cat Clarke
  18. Cinder & Ella - Kelly Oram
  19. On The Other Side - Carrie Hope Fletcher
  20. Highly Illogical Behavior - John Corey Whaley
  21. Reasons To Stay Alive - Matt Haig
  22. Cinder & Ella: Happily Ever After - Kelly Oram
  23. A Seven Letter Word - Kim Slater
  24. Tyranny - Lesley Fairfield
  25. Beginners Guide To Astronomy - Patrick Moore
  26. Supergirl: Girl of Steel - Jeph Loeb
  27. Glass Houses - Rachel Caine (re-read)
  28.  The Dead Girls Dance - Rachel Caine (re-read)
  29. Midnight Alley - Rachel Caine (re-read)
  30. Noah Can't Even - Simon James Green
  31.  Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher (re-read)
  32. Feast of Fools - Rachel Caine (re-read)
  33. Illuminae - Kaufman & Kristoff
  34. Lord of Misrule - Rachel Caine (re-read)
  35. One Of Us Is Lying - Karen M McManus
  36. Preludes & Nocturnes (Sandman) - Neil Gaiman
  37. The One Memory of Flora Banks - Emily Barr
  38. Almost Adulting - Arden Rose
  39. Faceless - Alyssa Shienmel
  40. Carpe Corpus - Rachel Caine (re-read)
  41. Girl, Missing - Sophie Mckenzie
  42. Fade Out - Rachel Caine (re-read)
  43. All The Bright Places - Jennifer Niven
  44. Who Runs The World - Virginia Bergin
  45. Turtles All The Way Down - John Green
  46. The Silver Mask - Black & Clare
  47. Ill Wind - Rachel Caine
  48. Some Kind of Wonderful - Giovanna Fletcher
  49. Scott Pilgrim Vol 1 - Bryan O'Malley (re-read)
  50. Locke & Key Vol 1 - Joe Hill
  51. Locke & Key Vol 2 - Joe Hill
  52. It Only Happens In The Movies - Holly Bourne
  53. We Should All Be Feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Saturday, 30 December 2017

It's been a while | Reponse post to The Arts Shelf

!!!IMPORTANT NOTE!!!: This blog post was written a LONG time ago but my phone died and I never got around to posting it. It's still super relavant and important to keep the discussion going so i've decided to post it anyway.

** Holly's Original Post: Love or Hate TBR **

It has been a long time since I've even logged into this website, never mind actually post something. I've talked about it before but the last 12 months of my life have been some of the most difficult things I've ever had to deal with. I don't know if I'm ready to commit to blogging again but I really wanted to respond to The Arts Shelf post about TBRs. I'm using my phone for this so I'm not sure if I can link to it but I'll certainly try.

Holly talked about the mixed emotions she has regarding her TBR and although I've talked about it previously, it's now more pertinent than ever to bring that topic back to life. As I said, I've been gone from the blogger world for a long time now and with that has come a lot of emotions. Like Holly, I get so much happiness and satisfaction from walking into a book shop and taking in the environment, the feel of a book in my hand, the little burst of excitement from picking out a new read, a new world to explore and new characters to befriend and fall in love with. All of those things are a part of who I am and the parts of me that I love the most. However, the anxiety of that is also very real. For the first time in my life, my TBR is larger than my Read books. Something I swore would never happen to me. I've always been concerned about it but nothing has made me feel worse than taking a hiatus from blogging.

I didn't stop buying books but I did stop reading. Ok that's not entirely true but compared the last year? It's a very small portion of books I've read. I've never been a popular blogger but I often got book mail and was that girl who squealed when a package arrived on my doormat in the morning. Until that started filling me with dread. Review books always come first and they were piling up around me. I was so upset all the time over not being able to read anything and enjoy it because my TBR was dictated by what book had been sent that week. I stopped reading altogether at that point and I stopped blogging too. Granted, there are other reasons I dropped off the face of blogger but it's the one reason I have not returned until now.

I've probably read around 40 or so books this year and I haven't reviewed them at all. Why? That guilt and anxiety. I still have books to read & review from over a year ago and I'm so terrified of NOT doing it that I just didn't do, well, anything. I stopped one of the most joyful parts of my weeks because I didn't know how to deal with a ridiculous TBR.

And that needs to end.

I am not employed by any publisher. I make NO money from blogging. It doesn't pay my bills and it doesn't feed me. So why the hell should I let it matter to me? This anxiety over what book to read isn't healthy and it shouldn't dictate how I enjoy my free time away from the responsibilities of life. So my TBR is hundreds of books? Big deal. I'll either read them or I won't. Publishers no longer send me books and I no longer request them. Sure I hope in the future, if this thing kicks off again, that will change. But in the mean time I am concentrating on the most important thing of all: my enjoyment of reading.

I don't know if I'll come back and blog full time again. I still have no access to a computer and it's REALLY hard to do this now the app doesn't work on my phone. But I do hope that maybe someone reads this and keeps the conversation going. By the nature of or hobby, readers are fairly solitary. So we need to give ourselves a break and just let us enjoy our quiet time. I for one am pledging that from this day forward, my TBR is of no concern to me and I'm going to enjoy possessing every single book, whether it gets read now or never.

Who's with me?

Another post about nothing after FAR too long.

If you're interested, I posted about a terrible event that happened in my life here: Where I've Been.
I posted a handful of times after that, always attempting to get back my routine and normal life but in a moment of complete honesty (because this blog is always my honest space), I haven't been doing well. My mental health has suffered dramatically and even now, 13 months later I am struggling. The last 3 months i've started to feel better, started to slowly get back into reading (albeit with a mass of Morganville re-reads but hey) and by a miracle & saviour - we have a beautiful home that is truly ours and day by day, we are getting our shit together.

Today I turned my laptop on in over a year.

I wasn't even sure it would work to be honest, it's not exactly new (7 years old to be exact - eep) and wasn't in a great condition even before the event happened. However, it loaded up and I clicked on the browser to find this... Blogger was the last tab I had open before everything changed. It made me happy to remember how much joy I got from this. Just simply having a place to rant and rave about books! I realised that now, the only thing stopping me is me. I have some goals I'd like to achieve in 2018 (post coming soon!) and almost all of them are for the sake of my mental health, because it's time to allow myself to admit to it, and work on it.

So hopefully for the last time, i'm sorry i've been AWOL.

Cazz x
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