I did this tag last year after Tangling Thoughts tagged me to do it, and I absolutely loved every minute. I haven’t been tagged again this year, I’m doing this off my own back, purely because I find this sort of blog post quite refreshing, and a little bit different from what I normally do.
Get in shape : name a book that doesn’t quite fit on your shelf correctly
This is definitely a tough one, as my answer for last year is still relevant – my encyclopaedia of swords is still a weird shape. However in 2016 I moved house and naturally that meant moving all the books, and then finding a new home for them. My cookbooks are all weird shapes, my various crochet/knitting/various crafting books are all a bit of an odd shape. I think though it might have to be the Star Wars- Galactic Atlas, purely because it is quite tall but also thin, and doesn’t really have a place on a shelf yet.
Eat healthily : name a book you feel was good for you to read
First Bite: How We Learn to Eat by Bee Wilson was definitely one of the most enlightening books I read in 2016 followed very closely by This is not a diet book: a user’s guide to eating well also by Bee Wilson. I’ve been consciously struggling with food this year because I have been reading a lot about quitting sugar, eating more super foods, and swapping to plant based diets, all in the attempt to get myself thinner. Well I got married in 2016 and being thin is seemingly the main message broadcast to brides – that resulted in me getting fatter and actually at the point I got married I was at my heaviest ever weight (at that point in my life – I’m even fatter now).
Reading Bee Wilson though has been good for the soul and for my relationship with food. So much so I will be reviewing the books soon enough, but for now she has helped me have a much healthier attitude towards food.
Read more : name a book you keep telling yourself to read but haven’t yet
Well I still haven’t read 1984 by George Orwell, so that is still on the list. However turns out my husband owns a copy (which came up from his parent’s house after we moved somewhere bigger than we had before) with a step further in the right direction than I had been last year.
Quit caring about what others think : name a book you kept going back to even though you had finished it
Last year I chose Poems that make Grown Men Cry as the book I kept going back to – poetry for me is a bit of a spiritual journey, and at the time I wrote that last year I’d assumed Poems that make Grown Women cry would become the replacement. Nope – I bought the book but my spiritual journey with poetry had ended by that that point.
Most unfortunately I don’t have a book in this category for this year – this is because of a bad experience I had with a book that put me off reading for a very large chunk of the year.
Save more money : name a book you got for a really good price
I managed to pick up Colour: Travels Through the Paintbox by Victoria Finlay from a sale last week. I think it was cheap only because the cover was a bit damaged. I know people that would be bothered by that, but not me, at least not in this case. Part of my Master’s dissertation was about how colour was used in food in medieval Europe so I’m really excited about having managed to pick up this book at such a low cost.
Be more organized : how do you organize your bookshelf?
This has been a bit of a pain this year owing to the move – but we have fiction books we love ordered in series on some shelves in the lounge, and the rest of the fiction books on the shelves in the guest room. The study holds the rest, mainly history and various other non-fictions books ordered according to how well they fit on the shelves. The language books and various foreign language dictionaries I own have their own section now.
Be punctual : shortest and longest time it took you to read a book
If it wasn’t for the fact I needed to sleep in order to go to work the next day, I think I would have easily read the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling in a single sitting. I devoured that book with a gusto I have rarely felt this year.
I haven’t read much this year, so I think for the longest it would have to be Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World by Timothy Brook. I started it about three months, and because I haven’t finished it, but I do intend to, I’m therefore still technically reading it. Only taking so long though because it’s a history book that I’m deeply interested in and I’m taking notes as I go.
Go out more : what book made you isolate yourself from the outside world?
I’ve always said that Harry Potter isolates me from the outside world more than anything, but for the majority of 2016 I haven’t been reading much.
For me, I connect to the world through reading and writing, and I was isolated from that world because of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. From what I read it isn’t a bad book, and I wouldn’t discourage anyone from trying it. But for me it triggered something within me that isolated me from reading and writing.
I blame the book, but it is very much a scapegoat – I was stressed out by getting married, moving house, having a long complicated honeymoon, changing jobs, and just generally being fed up with the world. 2016 was a good year to get a lot of change out of the way, but I will never be able to read that book because the stress of trying to read it cracked something inside of me and took the relief and pleasure of reading away from me.
Be unique : what was your favourite book of 2016?
Easily Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster. I love the film – I love the book even more though. Easily the best Star Wars Book I have ever read, and I’ve read quite a few, including the novelisation of Rogue One by Alexander Freed. The latter is a great book and a really good accompaniment to the film, but the novelisation of Episode Seven captivated me more.
Be more personal : what book are you waiting for most this year?
This is a sad reflection of how bad a year I have had with reading, that I haven’t been in the loop of what is going to be new and big in 2017. Haven’t a clue.
2017 is for me the year I’m going to save a bit of money and work through the books I already own that have gone unread so far. The only book I’m currently planning to get a hold of is The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. I love the TV adaptation, and I want to know the original material as well.
Really, resolutions? : what book do you promise to read this year?
Technically I have started it, but I got distracted and it was heavy so I can’t really commute with it, but I want to read A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I’ve read part one, but I’m planning on starting over, this time with a little notepad to jot down the names and backstories as I go to help keep a better track of what is going on.
So there we are, that is my year in reading – hopefully 2017 will be a better one.