End of the Year Book Tag

Can you believe we’re already well into September? The concept of time creeps me out. How can minutes and whole months tick away almost without notice? Spooky. Anyway, September is where we are so it’s time to see where I’m up to with my reading and reassess my reading goals for the end of the year. This book tag was created a couple of years ago on Youtube by Ariel Bissett. I thought I’d translate it to my blog cos like fuck I’m making a video.

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

YES. About a hundred. I’m a famous ‘pick a book up, read two chapters, LOVE IT, then completely ignore it for the rest of my life’ type of reader. But to pinpoint a couple? The Fifth Season by N K Jemisin is one I purchased a couple of months ago and have heard nothing but good things about. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far and think it’ll be a great wintery read. Pride by Tim Tate is one I’ve started last week (but famously already put down). I adore the movie Pride and think everyone should watch it. It restores your faith in humanity, recharges your activism and makes you bubble with solidarity. This book is sure to give the exact same feelings. It is set up as a book-long interview with many of the real people from the movie’s story. Lastly, Milkman by Anna Burns. Wow, has this book been hanging over me. I just haven’t been able to get into the reading style yet. But I can’t imagine it won tons of awards for no reason. So I just need to try again.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

What else could be said for this question other than Harry Potter? I mean, come on. But in all seriousness, I am wanting to get to Chamber of Secrets this month since reading Philosopher’s Stone in July. I’m working my way through the beautiful illustrated editions in preparation for the fourth book getting released next month!

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

I’m actually not usually one for new releases. As in, I don’t really research new books for the sole reason that I despise hardbacks. So I find it pointless getting hyped for a book that I’m not gonna be able to buy for eight months or so. I find books on the grapevine just as they’re coming out in paperback! That being said, the series I’m listening to on Audible right now (Keeper of the Lost Cities) is bringing out its eighth book this year! That’s Legacy by Shannon Messenger. I’ve been listening to one a month so will get to that one right on time. Another book I’m excited for is The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, which is actually out today! I never dreamed this book would have a sequel so I’m pumped for that (in eight months).

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, because I’m insane but have just been staring at this book on my unread shelf for years now. A book shouldn’t intimidate you. Right? More Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin because, although these books remind a lot of summer, I just cannot wait any longer to see what happens with all these characters! Just Kids by Patti Smith has been sat half-read on my shelf for too long now. Also, there’s just something about New York in the autumn.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

I waited for this book alllllll year (see my earlier comment about hardbacks). All I’ve heard is amazing things about this novel so I just had to read it. Now I finally have it I’m almost too scared to read it because I’ve built it up so much in my head. I’m really excited to read it though! The book is Motherhood by Sheila Heti.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2020?

I have. Have you met me? I’m an obsessive planner. My project is called Sarah to Zero. That’s all you’re getting for now. I’ll give you more details in January!

Called Out In The Dark (Reworked) – Snow Patrol

2019 Reading Goals

We’re headed in to our fourth month of the year so I thought it was about time I tell you my reading goals for the year. We were stuck in a Wrap Up cycle there for a while but now we’re up-to-date they should just be monthly moving forward! I love talking about books almost as much as I like reading books or buying books or rearranging books on a bookshelf. Books just make the world go round, right? Since finishing uni, I’ve been making it a bigger priority in my life to read good, important, brave, inclusive, informative, diverse, funny, honest, blunt books. Each year I’ve done a little better. Last year I managed to complete my challenge of reading 50 books. This was a HUGE deal for me. Going back a couple of years i was reading maybe 14 a year. Which is still a big number and the right amount for some people. But I knew I wanted to inhale more words. I wanted to expose my brain to more ideas. So I needed to read more books. Between January and June last year I read 26 books. Literally crushed it. Then between July and November I read 7 books. Leaving 17 to be read in December. Reflecting on this information, I decided to keep my Goodreads Reading Challenge at 50 for 2019. I think this is sensible, right? It’s a goal I hit but not without a heck of a lot of scrambling towards the end. So now we have the number but what are the other goals?

1. I want to read every day.

2. I want to aim for one book a week. Sometimes I’ll be busier than others and a week may go by with finishing a book. My intention, though, is to not have seven consecutive weeks pass without finishing a book.

3. Stick to my book buying system (find here: https://sarahwilliamsandco.com/2019/02/11/the-book-buying-ban-pt-2-conclusion/) I’m doing really good at this so far!

4. By 2020 own more read than unread books.

5. Buddy-read lots with my boyfriend. (We’re reading the Mistborn trilogy right now!)

6. Read all the memoirs in the world.

7. Choose reading over Netflix 90% of the time. I.e. STOP BEING LAZY.

8. Read more women than men. (Something I seem to be naturally doing after my year of reading women in 2017!)

9. Read experiences that are not my own.

10. Have fun with it. Yeah, I’m setting these goals but I don’t want it to be a chore or it will inevitably end in failure.

Happy reading, kids!

Ticket To Ride – The Beatles

self-care for the new year

So we’re gonna start these self-care Fridays up again slowly. Baby steps, kids. For your self-care journey. And for me actually writing posts.

I find in my own life, but also when I look at the people around me, that we don’t give ourselves a break. Like ever. And I can’t work out why. Do we not think we deserve it? Do we really think we can’t find even ten minutes of time a day for ourselves? Or do we just not love ourselves? I’m not sure but I imagine it’s different for everyone.

However, I’d like to try and show you some ways that you could treat yourself better. Some activities that will help you reset, but also help you to connect to yourself and maybe discover something new. I want to convince you that self-care is one of the most vital acts in life and will hopefully lead to you feeling more balanced and content. We just need to give ourselves the chance to change.

So this week’s self-care task is simple: open your journal, or a word doc, or the notes on your phone, or a fucking scrap of paper you’ve found on the floor (no excuses) and write down your intention. Your intention for self-care. Why you personally want to incorporate more of it into your life, whatever form it may take.

Keep it just for you. And then any time on this journey that you feel you’ve lost your way or just need some renewed encouragement, breathe. Take a second. Then come back to this intention you’ve written and you’ll remember why you began. What you want from life. And how you’d like to evolve.

Simple, right?

Now get going, kids!

Almost (Sweet Music) – Hozier