February ’17 TBR

So hands up who’s been so horrified by school/uni/work/the news/the world that they’re planning to make a small house out of their books and duvets, and hibernate for a few months? I certainly am. January was a crazy month, but February for me is going to be even busier. Deadline after deadline is looming over me right now and I’m trying not to look… Sadly because of this I’m keeping my TBR short, I don’t think I’ll have too much time to read.

So here is my February ’17 TBR:

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My first job of the month is to finish Windwitch. I don’t know why I haven’t finished it yet as I’ve been really enjoying the story so far (life’ just got in the way I guess). I think however I’m having  a problem with the style of the prose… I’m loving the story but the I’m still trying to get used to the writing style.

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My second task is to finish The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, that I put down to start reading Windwitch… Shame on me. This book I was also really enjoying but I weakly gave into the new release hype and cast this aside. This month I’m going to be strong and give this book some respect!

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We had a guest speaker come and give us a lecture the day after Trump won the election. It was a really inspiring lecture and I left with a huge list of books to add to my TBR pile – cue simultaneous sighing and cheering. This is one of those books. Recommended for the insights on writing (and the possibility that it might get you inspired to run) I’ve downloaded the audiobook and raring to go.

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So what are you reading this month? Let me know in the comments!

Other posts you might like:

10 Books I Want to Read in 2017

Bookish Bingo Update #5: January (Winter #2)

January ’17 TBR

Bookish Bingo Update #5: January (Winter #2)

Please visit Pretty Deadly Reviews for more information on Bookish Bingo!

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Where did January go?! I can’t believe it’s time for another wrap up already! I hope you all had a wonderful January and the new year is everything you wished it would be.

Check out my last Bookish Bingo update here. As you can see I’ve made a little bit of progress on last month (mostly because I read very short books).

Behold my mighty MS Paint skills!

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This month I read 2 books (January’s colour is pale blue):

White Cover – The Wicked and the Divine Vol 1: The Faust Act by  Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie (Illustrations), Matt Wilson (Colorist), Clayton Cowles. This was a beautifully drawn, if not slightly confusing graphic novel. I’m sure most of you have seen it around on Booktube and on your favourite book blogger’s site. I have to say I quite enjoyed it – and that it managed to capture my interest really quickly. I’ll be picking up the second volume soon!

Survival – What the Trump? by Steven S. Stevens. I’m not even sure how to rate this book… My boyfriend got it for me because I was very stressed (I have him trained well) and on some levels this book was quite fun and other other levels it was ridiculous and repetitive. I am currently the only person to have rated it on goodreads though!  

As you can see I’ve been struggling to find the time to read this month, Uni has been crazy and so has work. I can see one maybe two videos that are lining up well – so I think I’m going to have to chose what I read in February carefully to get them! How are you getting on with this card? Let me know in comments.

~ Lizz

Other posts you might like:

10 Books I Want to Read in 2017

Top 5 Books of 2016

New Year’s Resolutions 2017

Top 5 Books of 2016

Earlier today I published a list the 10 books I’m most looking forward to reading this year and I thought I would write a little bit about my favourite books from last year as well.

I had a fairly unsuccessful reading year last year, I only read about 30 books (and at least 4 of those were comic books) so I’ve only managed to pick out a few really fantastic books for this list.

Here are my top 5 books of 2016:

Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse

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This book was an utter delight and a complete surprise. I picked it up because a friend of mine who is a habitual two star-er on Goodreads gave this a five star review, and I had to know why. This book was deep, charming and the prose was enchanting. It’s a very short book as well so if you’re looking for a quick read that will make you think but also cheer you up give Siddhartha a read.  9/10

Truthwitch – Susan Dennard

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Female friendships, pirate hijinks, witches – need I say more. It’s a little slow to start but the last third is absolutely fantastic so stick with it. (And the second book comes out this week if you live in America, or sadly if you live in Britain live me it comes out next week ) 8.5/10

The Word for World is Forest

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It’s so rare that I read a book for Uni that I enjoy, I didn’t just enjoy this book however I flippin’ loved it.  This book will make you question what it is to be human, what it is to feel empathy, question everything you ever thought about war, and very possibly make you want to go live in the forest. 10/10

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

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Oh my days this book. It was beautiful. When I finished reading this I felt both heartbroken and like I was a better person. The world Gaiman creates is fascinating and the narrative voice is perfection. Full review coming soon!  8.5/10

Fight Club

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Love the film? Well the book is even better! More gore, more ridiculousness, more anarchy! I was worried, having seen the film first, that the book was going to be really boring because I knew the big spoiler at the end, but I was completely wrong. Knowing the spoiler allowed me to concentrate more on the fantastically clever writing. 8/10

Honorable mentions:

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms – A donkey wearing a hat, sword fights, peasants waving sticks! 7.5/10

The Martian – BOTANY in space. 7/10

His Majesty’s Dragon – The Napoleonic wars but with extra dragon – further proof that dragons make everything better.  7.8/10

What were your favourite books in 2016? Did you read any of these and did you enjoy them? Let me know in the comments!

~ Lizz

Posts you may like:

The Best Lessons I have learnt from Steven Universe

10 Books I want to Read in 2017

2017 New Year’s Resolutions 

10 Books I Want to Read in 2017

2017 is here and I thought that I would share with you the top 10 books I want to get round to reading this year. A few of these you will have seen on TBRs all through last year because I’m a bad person… but lets forget that and look forward to 2017.

Here are the 10 books that I want to read in 2017:

1. The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss

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I’ve owned this book for months and still haven’t got round to reading. It’s the second highest rated book on Goodreads and everyone I know who’s read it has loved it. I need to get around to this soon!

2. A Dance with Dragons – G. R. R. Martin

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I promised myself that I was going to read all the A Song of Ice and Fire book, and did I? Well I read A Feast for Crows and died a little inside! But the excitement of the New Year I think will get me back on the horse and finishing this just in time for Winds of Winter.

3. Windwitch – Susan Dennard

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Truthwitch (the first book in this series) was one of my favourite book I read last year, so I’m so excited to pick Windwitch up when it comes out next week (America I’m so jealous of your earlier release).

4. Gardens of Moon – Steven Erikson

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Early last year I saw this series recommended in a Buzzfeed article, and put in on my reading list. However, a month or two ago one of my good friends recommended to me that I give this series the time because it was by far his favourite. So it’s been swiftly moved up the list.

5. Guards, Guards – Terry Pratchett

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I love Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series and all my fellow Discworld fans have told me that Guards, Guards is their favourite. I’ve got a bet running with a friend that I can read all of Pratchett’s books this year, which I’m not sure I’ll win but if I read any of them, I want to read Guards, Guards.

6. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street – Natasha Pulley

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This was written by my teacher at Uni and has fantastic reviews  so it’s made the cut. I don’t know much about it other than that it is set in London and involves watches, but that’s how I like to go into books (having seen major spoilers on blurbs before).

7. A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J Mass

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Everybody and their cat was raving about A Court of Mist and Fury this year and I’m dying to read it. However, I need to actually read the first book in the series before jumping into the second.

8. The Shining – Stephen King

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We were asked to read a horror book set in a hotel for one of my classes last year, and most of us really didn’t enjoy it. My teacher suggested we try King’s The Shining instead. I’ve been meaning to pick up one of his book for a while now so I thought I’ start with this one.

9. Rebel Spring – Morgan Rhodes

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Another book that I had a lot of fun reading last year was Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. I’d really love to catch up with the series before the final book comes out sometime in the next year.

10. A Wizard of EarthSea – Ursula le Guin

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The Word for World is Forest was one of my top books last year, so I’m planning to pick up as many le Guin books as possible and I’m going to start with the EarthSea quartet as a lovely friend got me it for Christmas.

~

What books are you planning to read this year? Let me know in the comments!

~Lizz

Posts you might like:

The best things I’ve learnt from Steven Universe

10 Fantastic Reading Challenges That Will Push You to Read Something New in 2017

SO HEY I EXIST love Elly + New Years Resolutions

Sometime last year two girls got inspired to create a blog together because FRIENDSHIP and WRITING and THEY WERE REALLY PASSIONATE AND SOMETIMES ANGRY BUT MOSTLY OVERALL CRITICAL ABOUT THINGS IN THE MEDIA. And one of them came up with a brilliant and witty nickname, and the other designed the blog and created it and did a lot of general planning and indeed most of the work. And then Life, the cruel succubus of the abyss interfered. And the girl who did all the planning and always worked hard and was ambitious continued to be a hard working contributor. And the other girl, who admittedly was amazing at nicknaming, watched as lasers and burning things and tsunamis of bad bad badness surrounded her. But then through patience and subtle manipulation the hardworking girl got the nicknamer to get some semblance of her life together and write again. AND THUS WE ENTER 2017 WITH A SENSE OF HOPE AND PURPOSE.

So hey. Two girls one blog got its original team back together. CUE 80’S DAD ROCK ANTHEM. It’s me Elly, your friendly film expert, and the girl who has no sense of structure, ON A COMEBACK. I’m not gonna say 2017 is gonna be my year, because time isn’t real, but if we look at 2016 as the mean ogre with a pitchfork who kept me in a cage, we could see 2017 as my fight sequence and eventual escape from ogre captivity. And that’s the attitude we all need for this year, Fight! Kick that essays ass, bat that mental illness away with a golfclub, joust your way into that person’s affection. This is the year of trying and recovery and not limiting yourself. This also might be the year for me to question some of my inspiring metaphors.

But what does that mean for me on the blog? Well it means content! That’s Right! The bare minimum of what you would expect for a blog! I am going to post here. But Elly, You ask, in slight apprehension, curiosity and maybe a hint of outright fear, what will you post? And to that I say hmmmmmmmmmm. I love films, and I love TV and I love media. I also love the sound of my own voice, so expect any combination of this and some varied writing. WHO KNOWS WHAT SORT OF HIJINKERY I AM CAPABLE OF. But in all seriousness it’ll be some reviews, some tips and some level of critical thought. And lets keep our fingers crossed that it’ll be up to the fantastic level and precedent set by my fellow writer Lizz, who is great. And pretty. AND VERY PATIENT.

Welcome 2017, The year where our standards are literally too low that anything mildly good will be great.

Elly

You might also like

Lizz’s new year resolutions – https://twogirlsonebloguk.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/new-years-resolutions-2017/

Elly’s favourite lessons of Steven Universe – https://twogirlsonebloguk.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/the-best-lessons-i-have-learned-from-steven-universe/

The best lessons I have learned from Steven Universe

So 2016 sucked. Like the amount of animosity I have towards a metaphysical entity of a made up concept is downright ridiculous, but as the worst year ever ends and a new one begins, i will not wallow any more on how much life sucked last year. Instead I return to writing my bullshit opinions about media and what a way to start the new year than writing about the best thing ever.

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If you don’t know what Steven Universe is then shut yourself off from society for a couple of days, just you, your laptop and a couple of crystal gems BECAUSE YOU WILL BECOME A BETTER PERSON. I started watching SU because it was popular on the internet and i am a slave to popular culture, but it soon became apparent that this was a show for me and people like me and there had not really been a cartoon show for liberal minded young people with a pastel colour palette and musical interludes before. (All of which are my goddamn weaknesses.)

The story follows Steven Universe as he navigates life as a crystal gem, a team of alien heroes defending life on earth. Steven is the half human son of their former leader and is learning how to be a crystal gem. And gosh darn he is adorable.

(Actual dreamboat)

We follow Steven as he learns to control his gem powers with the help of his crystal Gem family, Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl, and his human family, Greg. We see him interact with the people of Beach city and Connie, who is his best friend (and maybe moreeeeeeee) as well as face the ongoing threat of homeworld. I am not going to give you all the lore of the show as I already have several whiteboards full of conspiracies about this show, that would be impossible to explain, but needless to say the world Rebecca Sugar and her team have built is vast and immersive and fascinating.

But the really incredible thing about the show is that they’ve decided to use that world to teach children important lessons and to demonstrate healthy behaviours and ideologies. While making dumb jokes. TRUE ART.

So these are some of the most important lessons I’ve learnt from Steven Universe.

  1. HEY, THEY LET YOU MAKE TV SHOWS ABOUT LESBIANS.

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Ok so this isn’t technically a lesson the show itself taught me, the actual lesson the show taught kids was that it’s okay to be gay, which is still pretty impressive and undoubtedly one of the best aspects. But the really amazing thing is that they got away with it? Like do you know how hard children’s networks work to block queer narratives in their shows. So hard that when Adventure time wouldn’t let Rebecca Sugar make the queer narrative between Marceline and Princess Bubblegum explicit, SHE CREATED A SHOW WHERE EVERYONE IS A LITTLE BIT GAY OUT OF SPITE. Like truly amazing. A show formed by a bisexual woman’s need to tell the world to suck it. That is critically acclaimed. Solid life goal. But the best part is that it’s enabled so many more shows to branch out, like loads more queer narratives are a possibility that wouldn’t have been 5 years ago. So the first lesson Steven taught me is to write whatever I want.

2. You have to do things your own way. 

Since episode one it’s been made pretty explicit that the only way Steven is going to work is if he does what works for him, and the same goes for every other character. If there was a universal message of Steven Universe it would probably be something along the lines of, Be unapologetically yourself and work hard at it. After all the reason the crystal gems were formed is because some of them didn’t fit into the mould set by the homeworld so they started a revolution. Which is an interest idea to keep with you as we head into Trump’s America, Be You, Work Hard and Screw the people who try to make you feel anything less than what you are.

Sorry for that turning into an inspirational instagram post.

3. You don’t have to be perfect.

Granted this one is very similar to the last but let us consider the immortal words of Greg Universe,

“If every porkchop were perfect we wouldn’t have hot dogs.”

As well as teaching you to work in your own way and strive, the show continually teaches us that your flaws do not define you nor do they detract from what makes you great. And as someone who regularly deals with copious amounts of self loathing this is a lesson that I need shoved down my throat at multiple intervals. Character arcs are formed around self acceptance, and that’s amazing for a cartoon show, especially when the medium usually deals with hijinks and action sequences and fart jokes. One of those is the worst. And it sure ain’t hijinks.

4. Always be kind. Always try to understand. Always greet people with a smile.

Be kind, be soft and make friends with monsters. Steven is a silly serious show which sometimes cannot understand which kind of tone it wants much like the writer of this article but at it’s core it is gentle. Also like this writer. And that’s why this show is a good show to watch when you are a little sad and maybe in need of something to tell you there is good, that everyone has some good, including you. Steven is like the best chocolate cake, glass of nice wine and hangover cure rolled into one. It tells us simultaneously to be kind whilst being kind to us with small soft stories. Steven is smol and you should be too. God i love this show.

5. Talk about how you feel and even if its bad.

The season four episode “Mindful Education” might not be my favourite episode of Steven Universe, but it is the one I sometimes think about at one a.m when I can’t sleep. Because the emotional impact of that episode really just hit. The lesson was simple, talk about how you feel and trust other people, even if what your saying is bad or if you have to admit you did something wrong. Simple, but honestly how many times has that been a message in media? How many times do you see a character say they think that acted badly and not immediately try to defend themselves with skewed morality so they seem like the good guy? looking at you all network crime shows. We never got told to talk about our feelings. Did we ever get told it was okay to feel bad? Or was everything from our childhood this constant stream of be happy, be happy all the time, if you aren’t everyone will make fun of you and you will sit in the corner in a grey colour palette. Yes, Yes it was. This episode is a classic example of Steven telling you its okay to feel and it okay to talk but it isn’t the only one. And I am so happy that in this quite frankly dark and unsettling time we have things like this telling us to look forward to the future and have hope.

 Steven Universe is a good show, I’ll probably end up writing and talking about it more on here, but if there is one thing I can tell you to do this year to make it better, it would be to watch this show.

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Also here is a handy picture of fellow twogirlsoneblog writer Liz, as her probably gemsona Pearl. The amount of similarities are startling. (Debate is still ongoing as to whether I am Amethyst or Peridot.)

~Elly

10 Fantastic Reading Challenges To Push You to Read Something New in 2017

Wondering what to read in 2017? Thinking about exploring a new genre? Looking for the perfect 2017 reading challenge? Never fear, I have put together a list of 10 fantastic reading challenges that are taking place this year to inspire you!

For everyone… Take the seasonal challenge of the Bookish Bingo cards: 

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Run by: Bekka @PrettyDeadlyReviews

Dates: December 1st 2016 – February 28th 2017 (Winter) But she runs one every season!

Description: Every 3 months (new season) a new bingo card is released. Each square on the card has it’s own challenge – the aim to cross of as many boxes in rows as possible. Check out my latest Bookish Bingo update here.

Original Post: http://www.prettydeadlyblog.com/bookish-bingo-winter-2016-2017/

For those looking for an eclectic challenge… Try this year’s Popsugar reading challenge:

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Run by: POPSUGAR

Dates: January 1st 2017 – December 31st 2017

Description: Designed to make you mix up your reading list and pick up something you never would have thought to, the POPSUGAR reading challenge is back again this year. With enough tasks for you do one every week this is a great challenge to take on!

Original Post: https://www.popsugar.co.uk/love/Reading-Challenge-2017-42802963

For those looking to read more diversely… Try one of these challenges: 

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Run by: Lisa @Books and Feminism

Dates: January 1st 2017 – December 31st 2017

Description: Only read books written by women for a whole year – are you up to it?

Original Post: https://booksandfeminism.com/2016/12/07/women-writers-2017-reading-challenge/

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Run by:  Gina @Book Dragon’s Lair

Dates: January 1st 2017 – December 31st 2017

Description: Read at least one book this year with an LGBTQIA character in it – simple!

Original Post: http://www.bookdragonslair.com/2016/11/lgbtqia-reading-challenge.html

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Run by: Alysia @Sistahs & Satire

Dates: January 1st 2017 – December 31st 2017

Description: This challenge asks you to add diversity of race to your reading list this year!

Original Post: https://sistahsnsatire.com/2016/12/30/2017-poc-reading-challenge/

For those looking to stick it to the man… Try reading some banned books:  

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Run by: Gina @Book Dragon’s Lair

Dates: January 1st 2017 – December 31st 2017

Description: Fight censorship and encourage bookshops and libraries to continue buying banned book!

Original Post: http://www.bookdragonslair.com/2016/11/hosting-bannedchallenged-books-reading.html

For Crime fans… Spend the year adventuring with the world’s greatest consulting detective: 

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Run by: Marian @Noonlight Reads

Dates: January 1st 2017 – April 2018

Description: With this challenge you’ll be reading the entire collection of Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories in the order that they take place in the great detective’s life. All in 16 months!

Original Post: http://noonlightreads.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/the-chronological-sherlock-holmes.html

For those from whom one world is not enough… Try exploring the galaxy or another world this year: 

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Run by: Melissa @The Space in Between

Dates: January 1st 2017 – December 31st 2017

Description: This challenge is inviting you to read some of the great SFF books that you haven’t got round to reading yet.

Original Post: http://readingchallengeaddict.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page_4.html?m=1

For those looking to learn something new… Try picking up some non-fiction books from your shelf:

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Run by: Michelle @Gather Together & Read

Dates: Any five years of your choice

Description: This challenge has a bit more freedom than others and could fit really well around your other reading as you’re only required to read an average of 10 books a year. Pick at least 50 non-fiction books, pick a starting date (your end date will be five years later) and get reading!

Original Post: http://www.gathertogetherread.com/p/a-non-fiction-adventure.html

For those looking for more than prose… Get stuck into some verse:  

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Run by: Serena @SavvyVerseandWit

Dates: January 1st 2017 – December 31st 2017

Description: The aim of this challenge is to read more poetry this year, and maybe if you’re feeling brave enough try reading a new type of poetry!

Original Post: http://savvyverseandwit.com/2016/12/poetry-reading-challenge-2017.html

Are you taking part in any reading challenges this year, let me know in the comments!

Happy reading everyone!

Check out my last post: New Year’s Resolutions 2017

~ Lizz

New Year’s Resolutions 2017

Happy New Year!

For many of us 2016 was a long and hard year, it was for me too. I’ve been battling with illnesses all year on top of the everyday trials of life at University. The good news is I love New Years and all the goal setting and leaf turing that comes with them. This year is no different, Ive woken up this morning feeling a little bit lighter. So as we all enjoy our fresh starts today I’d like to talk to you about my goals and intentions for 2017 (both in real life and on this blog).

However, before we get into that I wanted to say thank you to all my readers in 2016. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read something that I have written. Thank you for your patiences over my infrequent posting and for baring with me whilst I clumsily try to figure out my style. Thank you for being so kind to me this last year. And most of all, thank you for your own posts that inspire me daily – keep up the good work in 2017.

Word of the Year – INVEST

This year I noticed that many people were cleverly using one word to sum up all their goals and intentions for 2017 and this really inspired me. I sat down one day last week and thought about what I wanted to do in this next year and everything came back to one thing – investing. Be it time into projects, effort into content and sometimes even money in buying enough food. Having one word that all my goals lead back to has really helped me focus on what is important to me right now, and how I can make 2017 my best year yet.

Real Life Goals and Intentions:

[a]Fitness –  Around September time I started getting really into going to the gym and working out, and I really saw changes in both my mental health and my body. Sadly in November I was put on the FODMAP diet, I panicked and stopped feeding myself properly. All my progress went out the window but this year I have a plan to turn things around. I’ve  struggled with being underweight for a while now and going to the gym regularly really increased my appetite as well as pushing me up to the healthiest BMI score I’ve had in years. So I’ve got a cooking and eating plan ready, and this year I’m back off to the gym to improve my strength and general health.

[b]Writing – some of you may not know this but I’m currently doing a Creative Writing degree with the intention of becoming a full time writer at some point in the future. It’s hit me recently that for someone who calls themselves a writer I don’t do a lot of writing – so this year I’m changing that. I have a two pronged attack plan – firstly I want to write at least the first draft of a book this year, and secondly I want to write at least 500 words of it everyday. I’m planning to start a series about my writing and how it is all progressing on the blog so I’ll keep you all up to date on it.

[c]Looking after myself – One of my major victories of last year was really improving my mental health, but I really let myself down on looking after the physical side of my health. I found myself going to the gym even though I hadn’t eaten that day or when the hospital put me on a new (uber restrictive) diet to work out what was making me sick I ate the same meal three times a day for weeks because I was too scared to eat anything else. I also spent a lot of this year picking up the pieces after everyone else and letting the amount of work and fun I was doing suffer because of that. This year I’m going to braver, not only am I going to eat more healthily but I’m going to go traveling on my own, treat myself and invest time into making myself happy.

[d] Working hard – As you might be able to tell I’m a dreamer, I love making plans and setting goals. However this year I’ve set myself these amazing and inspiring goals and then been to scared to work towards them. This year though, that’s going to change I’m going to work hard and shape my life into the way I want it to be.

Blogging Intentions:

I have three main focuses when it comes to blogging in 2017:

[a] Writing more posts – Although it pains me to admit it I barely wrote any posts last year. Throughout the whole 9 months since we started this blog I only wrote 30 posts and only 7 of those were book reviews. This year I’m aiming to write at least 100 posts for you guys and make close to half of those book reviews.

[b] Writing better posts – On top of writing more posts for you this year I want to write you posts of a lot high quality. I don’t want to be churning out things none of you want to read. I am aiming to spend more time on each post as well as increasing my production level (i.e. photos are going to hopefully start looking better and there might even be a few videos coming this year as well!).

[c] Writing more wide ranging posts – Now, don’t get me wrong I love books but there are a few other things that I love that I really want to share with you all. There will still be all the book content that you could want but on top of that there will be a few posts about writing, cooking, fitness, and a few other non-bookish things. I think this is going to be very exciting and I hope you’ll love it too.

Blogging goals:

Im not going to share my exact blogging goals with you as I’m a little embarrassed and if I achieve none of them but get all my blogging intentions done I’ll be more than happy.  simply they involve tripling everything – tripling output, tripling followers and tripling views.

I will also be aiming to a better job at the social media side of things [twitter // instagram // pinterest // goodreads] which has been seriously lacking this year.

~

I really hope you have a fantastic year and it goes the way you want it to! This is the first personal post I’ve written so thank you for baring with me! If you need a little encouragement with your goals this year share them in the comments and we can all cheer each other on.

~ Lizz

January ’17 TBR

2017 is here and about time.

Of course my first post of the year is a TBR, however I’ve got some other exciting things planned for this blog in 2017! Last month I managed to read four (and a half) books, so I’m optimistically squeezing five onto my list this month.

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Here’s my TBR for January 2017:

1. On Writing – Stephen King

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‘“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon the publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.’ – Goodreads

One of the challenges that I have set myself this year is to read at least one non-fiction book every month. So I’m trying to kick January off on the right track with Stephen King’s autobiography/writing guide.

2. The Traveller Series – Tiffany Teoh

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‘The series started from a longing to want to travel after hearing all the good and bad tales from long term backpackers.Every single piece that made it and didn’t make it in this is book has a special place in my heart as they were the beginning of a journey of a memory that never happened, but a longing that was constant.We all naturally have it in us to wonder and wander, it’s just a matter of allowing it to take you to places.’ – Goodreads

I wrote a blog post in October about all the reasons why I want to read this book – read it here. Finally this January I think I’m going to have enough time to get round it reading this collection. Yay.

3. Soucery – Terry Pratchett

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‘All this books and stuff, that isn’t what it should all be about. What we need is real wizardry.
There was an eighth son of an eighth son. He was, quite naturally, a wizard. And there it should have ended. However (for reasons we’d better not go into), he had seven sons. And then he had an eighth son… a wizard squared…a source of magic…a Sourcerer. Unseen University has finally got what it wished for: the most powerful wizard on the disc. Which, unfortunately, could mean that the death of all wizardry is at hand. And that the world is going to end, depending on whom you listen to. Unless of course one inept wizard can take the University’s most precious artefact, the very embodiment of magic itself, and deliver it halfway across the disc to safety…’ – Goodreads

Another one of my 2017 challenges is to try and read all of Terry Pratchett’s novel, most likely it won’t happen but I made a bet with a friend of mine. There’s a whole £5 at stake people! I have this one out of the library at the moment so I’ll start with it – I hope you all don’t get board of Terry Pratchett reviews…

4. Death Comes to Pemberley – P. D. James

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‘It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery.

Inspired by a lifelong passion for Austen, P.D. James masterfully re-creates the world of Pride and Prejudice, electrifying it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted crime story, as only she can write it.’ -Goodreads

Picked up randomly due to a librarian’s recommendation (got to get those Bookish Bingo squares, am I right guys?) I’m quite looking forward to reading this. She described it to me as perfect for the fan of literature and of crime – so I have to give it a go!

5. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street – Natasha Pulley

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‘1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the reader on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles long-standing traditions, and beyond. Blending historical events with dazzling flights of fancy, it opens doors to a strange and magical past.’ – Goodreads

This book was written by one of my favourite teachers a Uni, so I bought myself it as a reward for making it through this last term. I haven’t had time to read it over Christmas so I’m hoping to have time to get round it this New Year!

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Let me know what you’re planning to read this January or if you’ve read any of these already – I’d love to hear what you thought of them. Happy New Year everybody, I hope you find your new favourite book in 2017!

 

Bookish Bingo Update #4: December (Winter #1)

Please visit Pretty Deadly Reviews for more information on Bookish Bingo!

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Hello everyone, hope you had a great December! Just like everyone else I’m ready for 2016 to be over and I’ve got loads of really fun posts planned for 2017! So here it is the first Winter Bookish Bingo update. [See my final Fall wrap up here] I’m pretty happy with my reading this month, I got through four books (which I know is nothing special but it’s better than usual!).

All hail my MS Paint skills!

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This month I read four books (December’s colour is dark blue):

Free Sqaure – Taking that now to make myself feel like I’m making slightly more progress…

 Blue Cover – The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman. I love this book (review coming soon) and the British edition, which I have,  has a blue cover so I’m slotting this one in her.

Sequel – Sourcery, by Terry Pratchett. (Review coming soon) The 5th book in the Discworld series – this was funny and smart and everything I want in a Pratchett novel.

Not YA – The Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter. (Review coming soon) Oh my, this was not YA… This was weird and gory and full of sex and weird. I can’t think of a book that fits this category better.

Banned Book – The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. (Review coming soon) I re-read this book as part of my degree this month. This book was a delight, I had so much fun reading back through this little book (it’s really small, I used to think these books were huge!)

 All in all I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made so far with this card – plenty of possible bingos are lining up. Let me know how you’re doing with this card!

 ~ Lizz