I don’t want to start out this post by yelling, BUT HOW THE HELL IS IT LESS THAN THREE WEEKS UNTIL CHRISTMAS ALREADY!? WHERE HAS ALL THE TIME GONE!? Christmas just always feels like one of those things that sneaks up on me: one minute it seems to be ages away, and then suddenly it’s a matter of weeks and you find yourself wondering, ‘what the hell happened to November!’
To be fair, my November has definitely been a busy one thanks to NaNoWriMo and loads of birthdays in my family, including my little niece’s first birthday! My sister threw a party for her at a local farm park, which was super fun, as I got to see loads of my family that I haven’t seen in ages, as well as stroke some ponies and goats, and go down all the slides and zip lines (I was supervising the kids, I swear!).
It was also my Mum’s birthday this month, and so I used it to try and convert her to the way of the Kindle! My brother, sister and I clubbed together to get her one and she seems to like it so far, which I’m happy about. My Mum is a casual reader, in that she mostly only reads on her breaks at work and when she’s on holiday, so I think she’ll find it so much more convenient to take her Kindle around with her than a book.
Speaking of presents, I’m actually pretty proud of my self right now! Usually, by early December I’m still panicking about what to buy everyone for Christmas, but this year I’m actually nearly done with my Christmas shopping. I have a few bits and bobs left to get for some of my family, as well as my boyfriend’s main present (I only just came up with a good idea for his gift!), but I’m so much further on than I usually am, and it’s such a relief to know it’s mostly taken care of.
I can’t say I’m getting overly excited about Christmas yet though, but I am something of a Scrooge in general, largely due to me working full time in retail. Whilst in a lot of industries Christmas means a more relaxed work schedule and time off, retail just means working even more and everything being frantic and leaving you feeling panicky and exhausted. I do have a couple of days off together over Christmas which is nice, but otherwise, I’m just working my regular hours, including Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (so my New Year’s is going to be virtually non-existent).
I usually get in the spirit on the day though, and I am looking forward to getting to spend the time with my boyfriend and my family! So Merry Christmas everyone!
Reading: Between winning NaNoWriMo and completing my Goodreads Challenge of 50 books, November has been a month of wordy achievements for me! I just finished reading One Dark Throne, which has put me at 54 books so far in 2017, so I think next year I’m going to raise my target a little way. I can’t decide whether to go super ambitious though and aim for 60 and over, or to play it safe and stick around 55, as I look set to exceed that amount this year. I’ll have to have a think about it!
I’ve finished off a couple of series this month, with Excalibur by Bernard Cornwell (the last of the Warlord Chronicles) and Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. I ended up loving both of them, especially Excalibur, and I suffered a major book hangover after that one. Nothing seemed to compare! I definitely intend to read more by Bernard Cornwell, because I loved that series so much.
I also read some non-fiction with Jeff Goins Real Artists Don’t Starve, after I got it for a bargain price on my Kindle. I enjoyed the book, in an ‘it was inspiring, but not overly memorable’ kind of way, but was definitely worth a read, and I connected with a lot of the stories he told about people trying to find their true path in life. I also went for something a bit different this month and read a contemporary/chick-lit kind of book (I’m so unfamiliar with the genre, I don’t know what it’s called!) and read Sophie Kinsella’s My Not So Perfect Life, and I really enjoyed it. I think we all suffer from social media envy sometimes, when we see everyone else’s Instagram feed and assume their life looks that beautiful 24/7, so I think it’s a book a lot of people could relate to!
In terms of my book buying this month, it’s actually been really odd… I don’t think I’ve actually bought any books aside from Real Artists Don’t Starve! I can’t believe it either, but it’s not exactly like I haven’t got a huge backlog of things to read, so I’m hoping to get stuck into some of the books I’ve had on my Kindle since forever, this December.
November was a pretty good writing month, seen as I successfully completed NaNoWriMo, and I absolutely love the story I’ve been working on. I’ve chipped away at it some more since NaNoWriMo ended last week, but I’ve definitely seen my progress take a nose dive, which I always find at the end of November. I’m going to try and pick up the pace again though, even if I have to give myself some leeway over Christmas, as I’d like to have the first draft of this book done by early 2018!
I’ve been such a bad blogger this month! I’ve barely posted anything that wasn’t a NaNoWriMo update, and I’ve been terrible at answering comments and visiting other people’s blogs. I’m definitely going to try and get back into it this month, and in the meantime, here are my measly offerings from November:
- The Pros and Cons of Second-Hand Books
- Life Crisis: When You Don’t Know Which Hogwarts House You’d Be In
So how has your November been? What have you been up to and what have you been reading? And how are your Christmas preparations going?