Monday, 26 January 2015

January Reading Wrap-Up

As I mentioned in my New Year's Resolutions post, I'm aiming to read 25 books this year. To start off the year on the right foot I should have finished 2 books by now, with just one week left in January. Am I? Well surprisingly (to me at least), yes!


The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

I started, and finished, this book right at the beginning of the month. I think I finished it in two days, before I got stuck into revision and other such distractions. It was a pretty easy read, I went into it already knowing most of the plot (who doesn't these days?), and didn't find myself forming any particular emotional connection to the characters or storyline, I wasn't particularly invested but enjoyed it nonetheless. I doubt it's a book I'll go back and re-read at any point, but I'll be giving the remaining books in the trilogy a chance.

Sisterhood Everlasting - Ann Brashares
I bought this on my Kindle towards the end of last year, having read all four of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants books when I was younger, and then promptly forgot it even existed. Then one evening I was pondering over what film to watch and stumbled across my copy of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants DVD, I watched it, and then remembered the book I had yet to read. Already a little enveloped in the universe of Bee, Tibby, Lena and Carmen, I started reading it that night.
Sisterhood Everlasting is set 10 years after the previous book in the series, Girls in Pants, and brought with it a huge sense of nostalgia, taking me back to the summer I read the first three books back to back in my dad's old bedroom in my grandparents house. Unlike reading The Hunger Games, I was emotionally invested right from the start, and I felt connected not only to the familiar characters, but to my younger self. Sisterhood Everlasting is by no means a happy-go-lucky conclusion to the series, in fact, quite the opposite, I cried my way through most of the book, out of frustration, out of loss and finally out of some sort of happiness. It is by no means a perfect book, but it's flaws are, in my opinion, worth overlooking in favour of the bittersweet nostalgia it brought.

This probably isn't a book I'd recommend reading if you didn't read, and enjoy, the series when you were younger, but for those who did, it was an emotional reconnection with characters who were hiding around somewhere in the depths of my imagination.

Currently Reading:
As usual, having only one book on the go at the time just isn't the way I here's what I've just started/am midway through:

Yes Please - Amy Poehler
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
Stopping me from Reading:
Given that I've not managed to fit much reading in this month I thought I'd include what it's been that has got in the way of that. I've lost count of for how many years January has been a month of exams, even if this will be the last, and as someone who is not able to pick up a book and put it down any less than a number of hours later, reading does not work as any form of study break for me. Instead I have to turn to Netflix, where the entertainment comes in 25/40/60 minute chunks - and yes, sometimes this turns into a little longer, but not quite in the way getting stuck in a good book does.

Pretty Little Liars

January's Netflix obsession of sorts came in the form of Pretty Little Liars, an American teen drama which has proven to be very addictive. All 5 seasons are available on Netflix, with new episodes added the day after they air in the US, and in typical procrastination mode I've managed to watch the entirety of the first four seasons so far this month. There's nothing particularly groundbreaking about PLL, but the combination of dramatic (yet ridiculous) storylines, unsolved mysteries, and an attractive cast keep me coming back for more.

Hannah-Rose x

Books Read in 2015: 2

Sunday, 4 January 2015

New Year's Resolutions

Although the idea of waiting until a new year to make a change in your life makes so little sense when you look at it objectively, the opportunity to start something new along with the start of a new year is just too appealing to ignore. So I'm taking the chance to set myself some goals for 2015, bearing in mind that things may be added as they occur to me throughout the year.

Read 25 Books
Every once in a while I decide I'm definitely going to read more, but this year I've decided to put an actual number on this goal. 25 books amounts to an average of just over 2 books a month, which should be manageable. I'll be taking part in the Goodreads challenge, so you can follow my progress here. Hopefully I'll post a couple of reviews on here as the year goes on too.

Create a Project Life Album
I'll be graduating, after a fantastic four years in Sheffield, in June and I'd like a more tangible version of all my memories to look back on later in life. Inspired by Lily's video, I've decided that a Project Life style scrapbook is the way I want to go about this, and I can't wait to get started!

Run a 5k
Something you should know about me is that I will always say I dislike running. Not running full stop. Just running for the sake of running. I play Ultimate Frisbee at a decent enough level that running can't be avoided, and I've never hated all the running that goes on throughout a tournament weekend, but the idea of going for a run just doesn't appeal to me. Saying that, I've never properly given it a try, so the idea is to complete a Couch to 5K programme, and then actually run a proper 5k race, before making a proper decision on whether my hatred of running is justified.

Get Healthy
The most generic New Year's Resolution ever (it must be, right?). But I've put on a little bit of weight this year (and I don't just mean over Christmas), and I'd like to go about losing that while improving my general fitness and the range of healthy vegetarian recipes in my repertoire. Nothing drastic, just small changes here and there.

Plan an Unforgettable Summer
I'll be starting a graduate job in September, and as I've spent my last three summers working, I'd like to make the most of the three months after I finish my degree. I don't know exactly what form this will manifest itself in yet, but I'm excited to see what I can come up with!

Complete a Sewing Project
With some of my wages last summer I bought myself a sewing machine, but other than playing around with it when I first got it, I've not yet used it. I now own two sewing books, with projects and patterns included (Learn to Sew with Lauren and The Great British Sewing Bee Book), so figure that I should really just pick a project and go from there. I'm sure sewing escapades will make their way into a blog post once I get started with this.

This really didn't seem like a lot in my head, but now that I've written it all down I've ended up with a pretty sizeable blog post, so thanks for making it this far.

Let me know if you've got any resolutions for 2015, and if you've dedicated a blog post to them, share the link and I'll check them out!

Hannah-Rose x 

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Hello 2015

So now that we're a couple of days into 2015, and I've had a chance to recover from a wonderful New Year spent in Newcastle with friends from uni, it's time to start looking forward to another year.

I'm a chronic procrastinator, especially when it comes to setting and achieving goals or making changes in my life, at its best, this results in waiting until Monday to go to the gym or start meal planning, at worst it means waiting for a new month (or even year) to start a new project or try something new (actually finding a project that involves using my sewing machine or starting a couch to 5k programme for example). This means that as much as I rationally know that there is absolutely no benefit to waiting for a specific day, which is really no different to any other, to start something new, taking January as a fresh start is an opportunity to set goals and actually start doing something about them which I can't afford to miss.

And so here I am, at 1am, writing a blog post, and telling myself that this year will be the year I'll stick with it - although why this year will be any different to the three or four times I've attempted in the past I'm not quite sure, but here goes nothing!

Resolutions/goals for 2015 will follow shortly - once I've figured out what they are!

Hannah-Rose x