How are your new year's resolutions going? I have to admit, mine have largely been ignored for the first two weeks of 2017. January always hits me hard, it seems more so each year, but I'm slowly coming out of the fog and reigniting my determination to make some positive changes in my life.
One of my resolutions for 2017 (and for 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013...) is to read more. I feel like I have been making this resolution my whole life, but that's fine – I can never read enough. Twelve books for the year may not sound like much, but when you work a full time job and fit in a social life too (not optional) there isn't much time left for reading.
My bedroom is small, and I've got stacks of books waiting for me. Having recently watched a documentary on minimalism (check it out on Netflix, and thanks to Tania for recommending!) I feel like now is the time to get some things in order. I want to love these books. They will be read.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler
I began reading this in December but didn't get to the end, even over the Christmas period when I had heaps of free time. This book is not what I was expecting but I love the style of writing and its slow pace.
Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig
Another half-read book from 2016, Reasons to Stay Alive is one that resonates with so many, I must finish it. Matt Haig writes in such a way that makes me feel like my depression/anxiety is the most normal thing in the world. It's a great eye-opener for anyone who has or hasn't been affected by mental illness.
A History of Britain in 21 Women – Jenni Murray
I spotted this at the Cheltenham Literature Festival back in October, and made a note to order it for my best friend, Bethan's, Christmas present. It turns out my mum had the same idea for me and I was so excited to find this in my stocking on Christmas Day.
Swing Time – Zadie Smith
Another Christmas gift (if you're ever gonna buy me a present, a book is always a winner), this time from my best uni pal Chloe. We both adore Zadie Smith, and it's been a good few years since I read anything of hers so I cannot wait to get stuck into Swing Time.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers
Ahh, Eggers, my old friend. It's been a while. Four years, in fact. I'm a huge fan of Eggers' work, so to think I've had this book on my shelf since my uni days and not finished it is abominable. I will read this work of fiction/non-fiction (who really knows) from start to finish in May – my birthday month!
Yes Please – Amy Poehler
I still don't really know who Amy Poehler is, or what she stands for, but I have seen numerous recommendation for Yes Please pop up all over the internet, and I found this book in Rise for £3(!) so obviously I bought it. I feel like this will probably be quite an easy, holiday read – perfect for June.
NW – Zadie Smith
When I saw this had been made into a TV adaptation I knew I had to read NW (anyone else feel like they have to do it in that order?)
Quiet Power – Susan Cain
Fellow introverts, take note. If you're a long-time reader of my blog you'll know I am a huge fan of Susan Cain and her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking. It's not just for us quiet ones, either, but a breath of fresh air in this overcrowded world, and I have high hopes for her follow-up, Quiet Power.
Thank God it's Monday – Mark Greene
Our viewpoint on work is quite narrow. You're either expected love your job or you hate it, and that's the end of it. Mark Greene explores faith in the workplace in a series of books I have been meaning to read for a good three years (are you beginning to see a pattern here?) and at a time in my life when I'm beginning to wonder exactly what direction I want to take my career in, Thank God it's Monday seems like a good place to start.
October, November & December
The Lord of the Rings trilogy – J R R Tolkien
A 23rd birthday gift from an old flame, and such a beautiful edition, too, I am saving this trilogy for my favourite time of year. As the days get shorter I'll be more inclined to spend evenings at home, and when it's dark I need escapism – something I am sure LOTR will provide.
As much as being around people is good for my mental wellbeing, so is switching off and fully falling into a book. The effect a good book can have on me is so wonderfully relaxing I don't know why I don't force myself to do it more. I'm all about that instant gratification and it can be so hard to ignore the buzz we get from interactive technology, of always being connected to something. I'm afraid to be alone, but maybe this year I should learn to love what's good for me.
What are your books for 2017? Have you read any of the above titles? My aim is to read all 12 of these before the year is out but if you have any recommendations for extra reading please send them my way!