Comment, Personal

Back again for 2019!

Hello dear readers! As you may have noticed, I have been very quiet on here recently, but I am glad to say that I am now back for 2019.

My last posts in November 2018 were about the Young Writer of the Year Award, for which I was on the shadow panel. I kept meaning to write a ‘summing up’ post in December about the experience, but somehow that never happened. I have to say I was thrilled that Kings of the Yukon by Adam Weymouth won the award. I loved reading it (my review is here). I was very flattered to be asked to be on the shadow panel, and it was a great experience. In the end I was too ill on the day to attend the actual prize giving, which was a shame as I was very keen to attend (especially since it was at the London Library) but I was very pleased to be able to meet up with the rest of the shadow panel to decide our shadow winner, particularly as it meant meeting some bloggers that I had followed online for some time. It was tough reading all the books on the shortlist in such a short amount of time, but it did bring back memories of tearing through books and making notes from my time at university, which was kind of nice. If you get asked to do the shadow panel in the future, I’d say go for it, as long as you have the time it requires (more than you think!). I was very pleased to be a part of it in 2018.

As usual I received some great books for Christmas and my birthday (which you can see on my Instagram here), including my current read She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth by Helen Castor. I’m currently in the section about Isabella of France and am very glad I have finally got around to reading this fascinating book – it’s been on my list for ages! I’m also keen to read Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough and The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams, both of which I received for my birthday. I feel like I’ve read quite a bit of non-fiction recently, and I feel really ready to get back into fiction. I had a dream about Donna Tartt (not that uncommon for me) and it made me desperate to read fiction as perceptive and life-giving as hers. The last book I read like that was I Love You Too Much by Alicia Drake (my review here). Which reminds me, I obviously missed the window for doing a best of 2018, but that was definitely one of my favourite books of the year.

Life got in the way over the last couple of months, figuratively in that I was super busy in December at work, and super tired and January – and literally, as in December I discovered I’m pregnant, so that took up most of my time! Read: being constantly exhausted and incredibly nauseous. 24/7. Fun times. But now I am getting back into reading and have a handful of reviews planned – so watch this space!

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Comment, Personal

hello september! an update

i was going to write and publish a book review today, but i realised it wasn’t really what i wanted to post right now. i know this is a book blog, but for me it’s also very personal. it is my life in books. books are right at the heart of me. but recently books have not been my priority or my main focus, because my life has been crazy. and so today i just wanted to share a personal post. so my apologies if you are not here for that – feel free to skip.

i started to write a review today, but then something made me stop and just look out of the patio doors at the garden. sometimes i get that in the middle of writing a review – a weird blank moment where i have no idea what to say next, and i need a minute of staring into space to just get my head back on track and remember what i wanted to say. this is why i find it helpful to write notes about a book before i write a review – i often have so much to say, or some weird specific point, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and just forget it all.

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personally i have been feeling overwhelmed quite often recently. my job has become massively busier in the last couple of months, for several reasons, and i have been given more responsibility – which is both good and bad. it’s that classic catch 22 where you are doing well, so they give you more work, which then means you can’t perform quite as well because you are too busy. so you don’t do quite so well. that is essentially what has happened to me since like july. i pride myself on my organisation in my job and realising that i had started to let things slip was pretty horrifying. i started researching diaries and planners, somewhat frantically, and i have started to think a lot more carefully about how i plan and use my time. it made me realise that i haven’t done as much reading as usual over the last couple of months, meaning that i haven’t been writing and posting reviews as much, which is a shame because that’s what i love to do. for me reading is massively important to my self-care and if i don’t do enough then i feel overwhelmed, and un-centred, and weird. reading is my time to myself, when i can feel calm and centred, and i don’t have to worry about anything other than being comfortable and having enough tea. it is a haven.

my point is that my life has been crazy and stressful recently, and that’s why i have been a bit quiet on here, and on my twitter and instagram. in the coming months i am pledging to be more organised in all aspects of my life, to make more time for reading and blogging, and to emanate calm and zen – as much as i can!

apologies for the non-book post. sometimes a life in books isn’t just about reading.

back to book reviews for my next post – the review i’m currently writing is The Road Through the Wall by Shirley Jackson, and i am currently reading Life Among the Savages, also by Shirley Jackson. soon i am also going to be posting my review of A Little Bird Told Me by Marianne Holmes, which was sent to me from Agora Books, so look out for that! as always, happy reading x.

 

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