Is it me, or does Christmas already feel like ages ago? I always find January to be such a weird month, with the excitement (and stress!) of Christmas quickly fading, as everything seems to go from being busy, busy, busy to just…blah.
I did have a really nice Christmas though, and I actually got three days off work over the festive period, which was nice. I worked Christmas Eve which was manic, but was then off on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and the following day. I stayed at my boyfriend’s over Christmas, but we did go to my parent’s house for Christmas lunch, which was lovely. My nieces and nephew were all there, and super excited about presents, and that’s what always makes me feel festive these days. A few years ago when there were no children in my family I could never really get into the spirit of Christmas, but there’s something really infectious about how excited kids get!
I got some great presents myself this year, with my boyfriend buying me two Nintendo DS games (Pokemon Ultra Sun and Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which I’m now totally obsessed with!), the illustrated Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban and some adorable Pusheen bath bombs! My sister also got me a hairdryer, which I was pleased with, because my old one literally sounds like it’s going to explode every time you turn it up to full heat (which you have to with hair as huge as mine, or you’ll be there all day!), and my brother got me loads of chocolate. My parents gave me a NOW TV box which I’m loving so far (I’m totally binge-watching episodes of ‘Catfish’!), and some money, some of which I’ve already spent on books, surprisingly!
My boyfriend and I then spent a really chilled out Boxing Day just hanging about, eating chocolate and watching TV (and obsessively playing Animal Crossing in my case!), before going into town and checking out the sales the following day.
However, whilst Christmas was really nice and chilled out, my New Year’s was pretty much non-existent: I was working both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, so I just stayed in at my parents and ate takeaway, before heading to bed just after midnight. And now, of course, everything is just settling back to normal, although I do have some holidays booked off work later on in January, so that’s something to look forward to.
I hope everyone has had a wonderful festive period!
Whilst I said in my Best Reads of 2017 post that I was hoping to hit 60 books on my 2017 Goodreads Challenge, I didn’t quite manage it, but I was still happy with 59. I still surpassed my target of 50 books by quite a way, and I’ve set my 2018 total for 60, hoping that I’ll make it this time!
Over December I read a few books, starting with The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances, which I absolutely loved. It was a slow starter, but quickly became super compelling, and I just couldn’t put it down! I then read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, which I’ve had a copy of for ages, but had for some reason never got to. It turned out to be an incredible book, and one of the most original I can remember reading in a long time, so I don’t know why it took me so long to get to it!
I also read The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan, as I figured I’d bump up my Goodreads Challenge with a couple of thrillers at the end of the year, seeing as I always seem to get through them fast. I didn’t like it as much as The Girlfriend, but I still really enjoyed it.
I read some non-fiction this month too in the form of Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publically Shamed, which was super interesting! I may actually do a full post on my thoughts about this one because I have some pretty strong thoughts on the whole ‘Twitter shaming’ thing, as I think there’s a very fine line between calling someone out (which I think is fine if done correctly) and going on a witch hunt. I really dislike that darker, uglier side of the internet, and Jon Ronson’s book investigates how normal, supposedly moral people can become bullies through the anonymity of the internet, and it made for a fascinating, yet uncomfortable read.
I bought a few books this month too, and have bumped up my TBR somewhat, but you can never have too many books can you? With some of my Christmas money, I bought Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (which I’ve already read, and really enjoyed) and Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson, which I’ve had my eye on for a while.
I also had another Kindle binge and bought Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, Lost Boy by Christina Henry, Pendragon by James Wilde, Malice by John Gwynne and The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving A F**k by Sarah Knight. So I’m hoping to read some of them this January!
My fiction writing virtually went on hiatus for most of December… I was just too busy and stressed, so I really need to get back to it this January. I want to continue with the Robin Hood themed novel I started in NaNoWriMo and get that finished, as well as continue work on my other work-in-progress, and maybe even write some short stories and enter some competitions? I definitely intend to be busy this January!
December wasn’t a great month for me in terms of blogging either, as I felt a little low on inspiration. But thanks to the ‘New Year, new start’ mood that I get into every January, I have loads of ideas and am feeling pretty excited to get back to blogging with a vengeance this month! So keep your eyes peeled for upcoming posts!
Meanwhile, my meagre December offerings included:
So how was your Christmas and New Year? What have you been up to this past month, and what have you been reading?