Happy New Year! I rang in 2015 in true book-ish style – reading (after I watched the fireworks on TV because I’d rather not watch them with the crowds) while I waited for teen son to return home. My book of choice was Euphoria by Lily King, which was recommended by The Incredible Rambling Elimy and sent to me by Pan Macmillan Australia. It’s a rather enthralling novel set in New Guinea, with beautiful imagery and an exotic tension … and isn’t the cover fantastic?
Backing up a little to the final days of 2014 – a sudden desire to redecorate led to the removal of a big bookcase to open a room up and make way for a reading corner overlooking the garden. We moved in a smaller bookcase, bought another to replace that one in another room and I was given the task of sorting out books. Some family and friends will be very happy tomorrow when I turn up with a few dozen books for them to fight over. It’s always hard sorting books, but I put on my editor’s hat and knuckled down. There are 15 books on my review shelf and at least the same again on my to-read-just-because shelf, so I’ll be replacing the ones I’ve given away pretty quickly.
So, what does 2015 have in store as a reviewer/writer? Here’s a list of what I hope to achieve creatively:
- Read at least 10 books by Australian Women Writers as part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2015. In 2014 I read 56 … that was not planned and I was surprised by the final tally. I don’t expect to beat that this year.
- Take part in the TBYL Reading Challenge as a part of my monthly book club.
- Continue reviewing, interviewing authors and maintaining this website. In 2014 I reviewed over 130 books. I’m not aiming to beat that because a lesson I learnt in 2014 was to read “just because”. Reviewing is a hobby. I can’t let it take over.
- Read “just because” – revisit some old favourites, especially the ones I refused to pass on when I did the big book clean out.
- Set aside some time to write, whether it’s poetry, micropoetry, a short story or a novel. I’ve started one, but I’ve had trouble fitting in dedicated writing time.
- Set aside time to draw and take photos. I get a lot of pleasure out of both activities.
- Continue to host Stories on Stage events at Koorliny Arts Centre – I have a great line-up of authors scheduled this year (see below) and I can’t wait to meet them.
That’ll do for now!
2015 sounds busy. I hope we find time to catch up a couple of times. On Saturday 17th I’m coming up to Perth to visit Jennie Jones & Juanita Kees overnight, returning Sunday. If you’re floating around on 18th, maybe we can catch up somewhere? 🙂 Happy New Year!
I’m up for that – will tweet you.
Love your cosy-looking corner—how nice to have a reading nook! Looking forward to more reviews in 2015. You do a fantastic job! xx
Thank you, Louise. One day I hope yours is on my to-review list.
Love your new reading corner. And also we do need to just read for us so that’s important. Have a great 2015 x
I came to a point mid-way through the year where I just had to put on the brakes, Rebecca. I’m not very good at saying “no”!
Me neither, especially when it comes to books!
Euphoria is an awesome book, so glad you’re enjoying it!!
I loved it.
I agree so much with your reading ‘just because’ – I too felt myself becoming a bit stale through too much reading and reviewing, while my writing projects got put on hold (for various reasons). And I’d love to hear what you thought of Euphoria – I’ve recently finished it but will be reviewing it shortly.
I’ll look out for your review as well. I loved the book.
I think becoming stale is something we all face. Are our reviews all starting to sound the same? Are we reviewing the same types of books? It’s important to take a step back and refresh your mind.
Good luck with your new reading challenges. I set some goals too: https://grandbarda.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/reading-the-classics-challenge-in-2015/
Happy New Year!
I’m sure you will meeting your challenges for the year. Your new reading corner looks so welcoming … the ideal corner to settle in with an engrossing book. Thanks for all the wonderful reviews during the past year. I’ve been ‘reading for me’ all year and thoroughly enjoying your recommendations.