Reading challenge for 2016…

I am a bit of a book worm and I absolutely adore curling up with a good book. I love feeling the pages in my hands and wondering where the author will take me, reading about different people, places and their views. I love receiving books as gifts and giving books as gifts too, not to mention swapping books with others and having a natter about how it was written and the plot (I know there are actual clubs for this). I’m always book sharing with my friend Nichola.

I read quite a few books last year, far more than I had anticipated or realised, especially as 2015 was such a mad year. 

When I was thinking about this year and what I would like to achieve (always good to have targets, dreams and goals!), I decided that I really wanted to read more and watch trash tv less, much to the pleasure of my husband who shoves headphones on the second Big Brother starts. I didn’t think about how many books I would like to read or how I would achieve this goal until I signed up to Goodreads, which is a great website for any book lover. You can track your progress on books that you are reading (I am 19% through How to be both By Ali Smith), keep track of books that you’ve read, share reviews and receive recommendations. I have also been reading Ali’s blog, and Ali read thirty two books last year which is blimmin’ brilliant. This all inspired me to set a target of how many beautiful books I wanted to devour this year and I must admit it’s quite a target… I’ve decided to try and read one book a week. Fifty-two this year! Whilst it will be quite a challenge, I do believe that it’s absolutely achievable (unless they all resemble the constitution of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix!) and I am quite looking forward to it. 

The way I am ensuring that I reach this target is by calculating how many pages I need to read a day in order to finish the book within seven days. Some days I will become so absorbed that I will surpass the target and other days life will get in the way, but this is roughly how I’m rolling with it.

I’ve decided to start a new book each Monday, new book, new literary adventure!

I’ve already read Still Alice by Lisa Genova this year, which I absolutely loved, even though it was terribly sad at times. It’s much better than the movie and I would highly recommend reading the book over the film as I felt that the film didn’t really do the storyline justice and glamorised Alzheimer’s in some ways. 

I’m currently reading How to be Both by Ali Smith. This is such a different read and I have to concentrate to ensure that I am fully absorbed. It’s a bit of an odd one at times if I’m honest, but it’s enjoyable all the same.

I’m thinking I might start posting reviews about some of the books I’m reading and discussing topics that are raised in some of the stories.

Are you setting yourself any reading challenges this year? Have you read anything exciting recently?

L x

Happy New Year!

 So 2016 has arrived and I know I might sound like a right middle aged wally, but it really has flown in. These past couple of months have whizzed by in such a haze and now my feet have landed firmly in 2016. In all honesty, I am always underwhelmed with New Year. I’ve never really embraced the celebrations and have spent all but a couple of New Years Eve’s with Grandad. We used to watch the Hootenanny and sing Auld Lang Syne. Sometimes we would play board games and alcohol was always involved (Grandad loved brandy!). This year was the start of something new and we trotted off to our friends home for an NYE gathering. 

One of my aims when we were planning our wedding was to make the bridal party feel welcome and get to know each other. This turned out to be a huge success and we’ve now formed a gorgeous friendship circle full of couples. It’s so nice spending time together and we all get on really well. That’s why when our friends suggested spending New Years together, we jumped at the chance. Unfortunately a few people couldn’t make it, but we had a great time as a group of six welcoming 2016.

Phil and I took over some games (Dobble, Balderdash and Cards against humanity), and our friends Kim and Simon suggested a couple too. Kim and Simon put on a lovely spread and we also ordered pizza, so amongst copious amounts of face stuffing and Spotify playlists ahoy, we had a giggle playing some games whilst on the big countdown.

We had such a nice evening and hopefully I can return the favour and host New Years in our new home next time.

How did you see in the New Year?

L x

Making the most of ‘Me’ time…

I’ve written before about how important I think it is to make time for ourselves. We lead such busy, demanding lives that we can often be so busy pleasing others that we forget to please ourselves. The festive period is a time when I like to take some real time out to just exist. To not have somewhere to be all of the time and certainly not thrusting myself out of bed at six in the morning. Normally I still make a few plans and actually land up being busy, but at a slower pace. This year, I’ve really taken these few days to relax. I’ve been going to bed late and sleeping in late, lounging in my pyjamas until the late am whilst shovelling copious amounts of gluttonous food in my gob and consuming hours of Netflix and books. I’ve managed to read two books within six days and watched a good two seasons of Pretty Little Liars. I’ve enjoyed snuggles with our furball and cuddles with the hubby. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not become a total recluse. We’ve visited family, shopped, caught up with friends, but all at a slow pace with lots of snatchings of ‘me’ time. It’s been absolutely wonderful and I feel really refreshed. I think it’s just what was needed after such a funny year with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I know that the next few months are going to be pretty busy, so I’m embracing these last couple of lazy days at home!

Have you squeezed in some ‘me’ time over the holidays?
L x