Monday, 31 December 2012

Books Read in December

Ah, December has come and gone. A whole year has finally passed. December has been fantastic in terms of reading. I mean, I got 28 books read. Truth be told, though, quite a few of those were short story/novella e-books, and it helped me bump up my book count.

December is the time of the year where I hide in my room and avoid all social interactions. The Christmas season is a difficult time for me, and the only way for me to deal with it is to hide and read. I suppose I can't complain when it made me complete my challenge.

1. The Spindlers - Lauren Oliver
2. The Sacrifice (The Enemy, #4) - Charlie Higson
3. The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2) - Patrick Ness
4. Grimspace (Sirantha Jax, #1) - Ann Aguirre
5. The New World (Chaos Walking, #0.5) - Patrick Ness
6. Errant (Killer Unicorns, #0.5) - Diana Peterfreund
7. Turn Here - Jackson Pearce
8. Clockwork Chloe - Ian Thomas Healy
9. number9dream - David Mitchell *
10. Black Spring - Alison Croggon *
11. When God Was a Rabbit - Sarah Winman
12. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
13. 172 Hours on the Moon - Johan Harstad
14. The Neverending Story - Michael Ende
15. Never Knew Another (Dogsland, #1) - J. M. McDermott
16. Snow White Blood Red (The Grimm Diaries Prequels, #1) - Cameron Jace
17. Ashes to Ashes and Cinders to Cinders (The Grimm Diaries Prequels, #2) - Cameron Jace
18. Beauty Never Dies (The Grimm Diaries Prequels, #3) - Cameron Jace
19. Ladle Rat Rotten Hut (The Grimm Diaries Prequels, #4) - Cameron Jace
20. Mary Mary Quite Contrary (The Grimm Diaries Prequels, #5) - Cameron Jace
21.  Blood Apples (The Grimm Diaries Prequels, #6) - Cameron Jace
22. Dead Girl's Dance (The Morganville Vampires, #2) - Rachel Caine
23. Midnight Alley (The Morganville Vampires, #3) - Rachel Caine
24. The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien *
25. Snow White and the Huntsman - Lily Blake
26. Ransomwood - Sherryl Jordan
27. Mystic City (Mystic City, #1) - Theo Lawrence
28. The Crimson Thread - Suzanne Weyn

So, on that note, the last monthly recap of 2012 has been posted.
I wish all my followers and readers and people-who-randomly-stumbled-upon-my-blog a fantastic new year.

2013 Resolutions

Happy New Year!

I want to focus on this new year with a positive eye and with positive goals in mind. It's important that I look after myself and my mental health.
Anyways, without further ado, here are my resolutions:

  • Read at least 100 books
My goal last year was to read 200 books, and I barely made it. The only reason I actually broke my goal was because I'd read a whole bunch of short story/novella ebooks to bump up my book count. It was stressful to try to reach my goal, and I really don't want to go through that again. 100 seems like a nice, safe number. Very doable, and high enough that it'll make me feel good about myself. 

  • Write at least one complete novel
As a writer, I need to constantly be writing. Duh.
Notice that the word complete is in there. Last year, I'd written one complete novel, and two novels that were a bit more than half done, but I'd kind of lost myself and abandoned it. I don't want to keep doing that.

  • Get passing grades at uni
Uni is very hard for me. Because of my mental health problems, I sometimes don't have the will to get out of bed, let alone travel all the way into the city to be surrounded by hundreds or thousands of people. I struggled last year, because I skipped so many classes and lectures because of my depression/anxiety (also, I was pretty sick at one point). So, my goal this year isn't to not skip classes, because that won't help my mental health, but instead to try to do better at my coursework. If I skip a class, then I have to get ahead: do all the readings and assignments well ahead of time to make up for the lost classes.

  • Keep a reading journal
I got this idea from bettielee from Far Seeing Fairy Tales, to keep a journal of all the books I've read this year, and to write short tidbits of how I felt, notable quotes, and other such stuff. It's sort of like reviewing, I guess, except that this will be a project for myself. When I reviewed books, it got to the point where I wasn't doing it for myself any more, but for my readers and for publishers, and for my GR followers. And that wasn't fun. It felt like a chore, a job. But maybe, if I do this reading journal thing, it'll open me up a bit, and get me back on track to writing a review every now and then. We'll see. 
I already have a gorgeous notebook all ready and waiting for my first entry. I'm sort of excited. :)

  • Be more social
Because of my mental health problems, it's very hard to make friends, or to keep them. I have severe social anxiety that makes me keep to myself, and ignore people, because that's how I feel safest. But, in order to make and keep friends, I have to open up a bit. Just a bit. This will be a continual work in progress, and who knows, it might be one that I have to keep working at for years. 
Speaking of which...

  • Work on bettering my mental health
From the amount of times I've mentioned it in this post, by now you've guessed that my mental health is a bad thing. It consumes me, in the simplest sense. 
Last year, I already took the first steps towards bettering myself by getting myself to a psychologist and getting on antidepressants to help me somewhat. The goal for this year is to find a psychiatrist that works well with me and my specific problems, and to find ways to control my compulsive habits. Like the previous goal, this is something that I need to work on in baby steps, and it may take several years to work towards.

  • Finish editing FG
FG is my precious main project. It's the novel I want to get published more than anything. Problem is, I need to finish editing it. 
I'm very slow and lazy when it comes to editing. But this year, I'm going to discipline myself. I need to get better at editing on a deadline, otherwise, no agent nor publisher would want to work with me. 
Also, I'm fairly sure that my CPs are getting really annoyed at me for making them wait so long, haha. You'll get it soon, guys, I promise!

So yeah, these are my new years resolutions. In a years time, we'll see if I've kept them.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Books Read in November

November flew by so quickly, didn't it? I was so busy and overloaded with NaNo, but thankfully still managed to get a decent amount of reading done.

As always, an * indicates a favourite book.

1. Faerie Tale - Raymond E. Feist
2. God's War (Bel Dame Apocrypha, #1) - Kameron Hurley
3. There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill her Neighbour's Baby - Ludmilla Petushevskaya
4. The Amber Amulet - Craig Silvey
5. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet - David Mitchell *
6. Blood Storm (Lharmell, #2) - Rhiannon Hart
7. Carnival of Souls - Melissa Marr
8. After the Quake - Haruki Murakami
9. The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1) - Patrick Ness
10. Ghostwritten - David Mitchell *
11. Every Day - David Levithan
12. Enchanted - Alethea Kontis
13. Infidel (Bel Dame Apocrypha, #2) - Kameron Hurley

The most notable books are, of course, the two books by David Mitchell. He's fairly new to me; I only picked up his most famous novel, Cloud Atlas (soon to be a movie, which is why I was so intrigued in the first place) just last month. Immediately, I was a fan. I'm now going through the rest of his books. Two books on my to-read pile for December are the last two books of his that I haven't read, number9dream and Black Swan Green. To say I'm excited is an understatement. I have high hopes for these books.

Other books I'm planning to read in December include the second and third books in the Chaos Walking trilogy. I'm going to be doing a readalong with Glaiza and Emily from Goodreads when I get back from my vay-cay.

I've got a few more Murakami books to read--I've really fallen for his surrealism--and I want to start reading some more Virginia Woolf.

Sadly, I'm still 7 books behind on my goal of 200 books for this year. I need to read 25 books during December in order to make it. Oy vey. Wish me luck!