Monday 30 December 2013

Reading Resolutions, 2014 Edition!

So it's a bit of tradition over here for me to make a list of all the bookish/bloggish etc things that I want to accomplish over the next year, forget about them and then remember about them about the week before the new year and be a bit annoyed with myself. So here are my resolutions from last year!

1. Read at least 95 books. 
2. Finish Harry Potter. 
3. Comment more on other blogs.
4. Finish something I started writing. 
5. Post at least 10 times a month. 

Well, I did warn you. I have literally done none of these this year! Though it's not technically 2014 yet so I suppose there's still a chance I could get 95 books read! I was close, though! I think I'll have had 93(?) read by the new year, which I am still pretty happy about. But the others? Well, they were kind of lost causes from the start, but it's nice to optimistic! I like setting myself goals even if I don't achieve them. Or remember what they actually were...

Anyway, here are mine for 2014!

1. Actually finish Harry Potter this time. Is this cheating? Having the same one twice? I hope not... But regardless, I think that it's important that I actually get the last two Harry Potter books read. I feel a bit like a phony, being a YA book blogger who's still not read all of HP after about 3 and a half years at this gig!

2. Read 92 books. 92 seems like more of a realistic number this year, because of exams in the summer and starting Uni in autumn. In fact, anywhere in the 90-range is impressive for me.

3. Be more sociable (on the internet). Despite being on the internet a lot, I don't really put myself out there. And I don't want to, not completely, but I don't just want to lurk for the rest of my days either. Really I just want to talk more to people on Twitter (without annoying them), read and comment on more blogs (because on the front I am just ridiculously bad. I never know what to say in comments! I'm surprised that I get any over here with the lack of comments that I leave on other people's blogs), and just sort of not feel so awkward about self-promotion? It's not really something that I like doing unless I've written a review/post that I'm really proud of and want people who maybe wouldn't read it otherwise to read, but maybe I should do it more? I don't know...

4. Don't stress out about blogging so much. It's a fun thing to do, but at the same time I care about it and I don't want to feel like I'm letting anyone down. But I need to stop letting it get to me in the same way. I don't have a responsibility to produce a certain amount of content a month, and I shouldn't force myself too if it's making me unhappy.

5. Contrarily, try and think of something new for the blog. I don't have to, but I want to produce more than just reviews. Maybe just to do a feature week or get a guest post or author/blogger interviews? I don't know, just something that makes my blog more interesting, and that makes me more interested in blogging. I like writing reviews but when they're almost the only things that you're writing they can get a little tedious and repetitive.

So, those are my resolutions for 2014! They seem a little more doable, and hopefully, one step at a time, I'll get to a place where I'm happy with my blog and my reading and all that.

Happy New Year, by the way! I hope 2014 is a great year for everyone.

Sunday 29 December 2013


So I think I'm going to be ending this year on a kind of depressing note, blogging wise. As the title would suggest, I've been feeling a bit connected from blogging, from reading, from the blogosphere lately. It's only until now that I realised that that was the way I was feeling. I thought I'd just been in a bit of a slump as per usual, but it's been going on for what feels like forever now and I just wanted to address that properly.

It comforting to have been able to read so many posts of late about this sort of thing, because it's nice in a way to realise that even the most talented, wonderful bloggers out there have slumps like everyone else. I'm not going to give up blogging or anything, in case you're wondering. That's not the way to go about fixing this problem, I don't think. Well, personally, for me anyway.

 I just feel like for the past year at least that I have come to a complete standstill with blogging. I love it and I mostly do it for me, but at the same time I want to feel like I am contributing something new or interesting or different to the community that I belong to. I see all of these bloggers who are just so great at what they do and who have so many ideas and so many plans and are so organised and have such initiative, and it's like what do I give? What do I provide as a blogger? My opinion on books, which is what I set out to do, but that's it! I literally pretty much only do review posts these days. I mean, I never really had any ideas for features or the like in the first place, but I feel like I am not producing the sort of quality content, the variety of content, that I should? For some reason I just feel like I've put a lot of pressure on myself to be better and I lack the motivation and the creativity to do so. I love the followers and readers that I have dearly, and I wouldn't have gotten this far without them, and I know that it's not about the views and the follower counts, but I still just feel like I have come to a complete standstill and like I have nothing to give.

I've also felt so disconnected from what I've been reading lately. I was thinking about this when I was writing up my top ten books of the year, and I realised that compared to last year, it didn't really feel like much stood out to me. I still like the books that I read but they don't spark things in me like they used to. There are very few books which I read this past year which made me feel and made me feel better and just evoked something in me, something that made it truly special and personal, you know? And I still think reading is fun. I don't think you could force me to give up reading now if you tried. I just want to get back in my groove, finding a happy medium between reading loads of books and not really getting anything out of them and reading hardly any books at all but adoring them. Maybe it's just been a bad year for me reading/blogging wise. I don't know.

I just feel at a bit of a loss with this whole thing, you know?

Yeah. Well, I really hope that 2014 is the year that I get back on my feet with this whole thing. I feel a bit better now getting all that off of my chest.

Thursday 26 December 2013

My Favourite Other Stuff of 2013

So, I've already done a top ten list for my favourite books of 2013, but I've liked a lot of stuff this year and I want to share the love for all the films, tv shows, games etc that I've really enjoyed and haven't spoken about as much on the blog. So, here we go!

I have two favourite films from this year: Catching Fire, which I blogged about and absolutely loved, and The Way Way Back, which I did not blog about, but also absolutely loved. Catching Fire was everything I wanted it to be, and it exceeded my expectations. It was pretty much incredible and I have yet to see a fan of the books who didn't like it. The Way Way Back, while not being based on a book or anything, felt like a YA novel. It's a coming of age story about an awkward teenager and it's probably the funniest film I've seen this year, and one of the nicest, and I just really loved it. It's made by the same people that did Little Miss Sunshine (I think?), which is one of my favourite ever films, so if you liked that and never went to see The Way Way Back, or if you like contemp YA and haven't seen it yet, then I completely think that you should. Seriously, it's so great.
There seemed to have been a lot of less successful YA adaptations that came out this year, too, and of those I saw Warm Bodies, Beautiful Creatures, How I Live Now, The Mortal Instruments, Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters and The Host. Most of the were just sort of okay, and none of them really stood out as amazing, but How I Live Now and Warm Bodies were both really good. I think the fact that I hadn't read the books when I went to see those two meant that I could enjoy them more without getting hung up on details that were missed out. I actually enjoyed most of the films I saw this year. The only one that I really didn't like was Oz: The Great and Powerful. God, that film was just bad. Oh, and before I forget, Frozen! I only just saw it on Christmas Eve, but I don't think I've ever felt that happy upon leaving a film. Honestly, it is so good. It was everything I wanted it to be. I'm going to try and see it again before it stops showing because I don't know how I'm supposed to wait for it to be out on DVD.

TV Shows
Look at these cuties man I love 'em
Now, if you guys follow me on the internet at all, you can probably already tell which TV show I'm going to talk about here. Yeah, you guessed it, Sleepy Hollow. I don't really know what to say about it apart from that personally, I adore it. It's like if you combine Elementary and Supernatural and add in a load of other awesome stuff, and then you sort of get close to how great I think Sleepy Hollow is. Abbie and Ichabod are basically my favourite people ever and I love their relationship and I love almost everything about this show. The first season has really warmed up now, and I don't want to speak too soon, but I really hope that it goes on for a long time. It has already been renewed for a second season, so there is hope! As far as other new shows this year, Almost Human has also started out strongly. It's a procedural cop show, set in the future, with Karl Urban and androids. Yeah, it's pretty great. Also, Hannibal, which is incredible and terrifying and season two is going to be so twisted I cannot wait. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has also gone from being meh to being almost kinda good. Plus, pretty much all the tv shows that I watch these days are my favourites, otherwise I wouldn't still be watching them... So Game of Thrones, Elementary, Parks & Rec, Community, Teen Wolf, Supernatural (though I have yet to watch any of season 9). They're all awesome, and you should watch them so that we can talk about them please.


I don't really play as many games as I used to, and I've only actually been playing two games this year, but I love them. Animal Crossing: New Leaf is pretty much the most adorable thing that has ever happened. I named my town Westeros, and as you can imagine, it's pretty much about as far from Westeros as you could actually get. It's just so nice and it makes me so happy and I want to live in my Animal Crossing town because I'm pretty sure that it is literally the nicest place ever. Nothing bad ever happens. It's amazing. Plus it's winter at the minute and because the seasons change with the seasons in real life (which isn't new to this particular Animal Crossing, but is still adorable) it's snowy and Christmassy everywhere like in the picture. If I ever feel bummed out then I just go on Animal Crossing and walk around and I'm happy again. And Pokemon X is also really good. I haven't played that much yet, but from what I've played, it's already much better than Diamond/Pearl (which were the most recent Pokemon games I played. I never got around to Black/White). You get to play with your Pokemon! Like they're real pets or something! It's so cute. I think I'm getting too emotionally attached to my Pokemon... 

Before this year, I didn't really read a lot of comics and graphic novels, and I still don't read loads but I have a few that I started and really like. There are a few that I want to talk about on here. Hawkeye is awesome. Even to my novice understanding of comics and the like, I can tell you that Matt Fraction's Hawkeye is just really good. David Aja's artwork is simple and I love it, and the colouring is sort of minimalistic and it works really well. There isn't really a main storyline yet, but it's starting to come out, though I like the standalone nature of a lot of the stories. And I really like Clint. In this, he's not some superhero, he's just en everyman who happens to be good with a bow. Also, Kate Bishop, who is also Hawkeye, is awesome and I love her and I love their friendship. I also really like Captain Marvel, and cannot wait for the new Ms Marvel when then starts next year, as well as Young Avengers and Wonder Woman. I started reading Saga, but I've only read the first volume. I'm not really sure how I feel about it yet, but people say that the second volume is even better so I'll read that and see if I like it more then.


Let's face it, Beyonce is pretty much the queen as far as music is concerned. And Beyonce is pretty much amazing (the album, that is. Well, and Beyonce). I love it. My personal favourite songs are XO, ***Flawless, Pretty Hurts and Blue, but they are all really good and not what I was expecting. I also love Arctic Monkey's AM. It's sort of rocky-bluesy and just good. My favourite songs are Arabella, Do I Wanna Know and I Wanna Be Yours but again, they are all really good and great for when you want to listen to music that makes you feel like a badass. Fall Out Boy's Save Rock and Roll is my other go to badass album of the year. Like, just listen to My Songs Know What You Did in The Dark and tell me you don't feel 110% more awesome than you did before. And I love CHVRCHES, too. I only heard of them this year, but their electro-pop sort of music is just great. We Sink, Lungs, Lies and Gun are my favourite songs of theirs, and if you haven't listened to them yet, then you should because they're awesome. And Haim. Haim are just great. Okay, I'm done just sort of listing bands now. Promise.

So, this ended up being longer than I thought it would. Originally, I was planning on doing a top ten or something, but I realised that there was just so much stuff that I really liked this year that I wanted to share it all with you guys. Yeah... So what was some of your favourite 'Other Stuff', as I have so eloquently put it, from this year?

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