Tag Archive: goals


Wrap Up of 2013 and Plans for 2014

2013 has been the busiest year of my life so far…as I think back to last New Year’s Eve, there have been so many changes but mostly in a good way I think.  In February I went on an amazing visit to Uganda and then reciprocal visit of the Ugandans to Bristol in April was just as fun.  My hard work and revision paid off when receiving my AS results in March and August and we had a really relaxing (and full of reading!) family holiday to Corsica in the summer holidays.  I was elected Head Boy of my school and that has brought a lot of work and commitment but is really rewarding.  Since coming back in September for my final year at school, I’ve applied to university to study chemistry and I currently hold 4 offers from my 5 universities so I am really chuffed with that.  Christmas was quiet and calm which was just what we all needed I think!

In terms of reading, I haven’t been particularly brilliant – I had a good start to the year and a great summer of reading but apart from that I was only able to snatch at a few pages a night in term time, which is obviously not really enough!

I have several reading goals for 2014:

  • 1: Better my 2013 books total.  I read 27 books in 2013 so that means I need to read at least 2.3 books a month to better it.  Ideally this would mean trying to read a good 3 books a month, but I know that often this can be very optimistic!
  • 2: Better my 2013 pages total.  I read 10038 pages in 2013 so that means I need to read an average of 837 pages a month to better.  Maybe I should aim for at least 850 pages a month to make it a nice round easy target…
  • 3: Spend at least 30 minutes a day reading.  Now this may seem quite a small amount, but during busy school time 30 minutes is very long!  I want this to be 30 straight minutes with no checking the internet, watching TV etc at the same time.
  • 4: Keep up my classics reading.  I have been pretty good this year about sticking to this (10 classics in 12 months) but I want to make sure I still read at least one classic every month, even though I know this can be hard with classics being so long and taking much longer than ‘normal’ books to read.  I’m really looking forward to the readathon!
  • 5: Stay an active blogger.  By this I mean post about almost every book I read; continue to read other blogs; participate in challenges and events; reply to comments and comment myself.

These goals are obviously similar to last year except the targets are a bit lower – it’s good to have targets but really it doesn’t matter very much as long as I’m enjoying reading!  That’s definitely the case at the moment 🙂

The next Classics Club readathon is coming up on the 4th of January and I really recommend that to you – it was great fun last year and is from 1.00 pm on Saturday until 1.00 pm on Sunday (for me in England) so that works out quite nicely really.  I am currently reading a physics book and The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo but the idea is really to read a classic from your list if possible…so I am hoping to alternate between these two titles and The Warden by Anthony Trollope too.  I also have quite a lot of work to do so who knows how many hours I will actually be able to dedicate to reading.

Again, thank you to everyone who reads this blog, I hope 2014 is a brilliant year for you and we all continue to discover amazing new books and authors.

The Classics Club Spin #3

The Classics Club Spin

It’s that time again where we all list 20 books on our blog and a random number is chosen and we have to read the corresponding book over the next couple of months.  Last time, I read Rebecca which I really enjoyed, so hopefully this time I will be just as impressed by whichever book comes up!

Here is my list:

5 books I am really looking forward to:
1. Othello – William Shakespeare
2. Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers – J.R.R. Tolkien
3. The Comedy of Errors – William Shakespeare
4. The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
5. The Cranford Chronicles – Elizabeth Gaskell

5 books on my TBR shelf:
6. Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare
7. Suite Francaise – Irène Némirovsky
8. The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot
9. The Warden – Anthony Trollope
10. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift

5 books I don’t own yet:
11. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
12. Nicholas Nickleby – Charles Dickens
13. If This is a Man – Primo Levi
14. Night – Elie Wiesel
15. Conference at Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

5 books I am slightly (!) apprehensive about:
16. Dombey and Son – Charles Dickens
17. Agnes Grey – Anne Brontë
18. A Chocolate Orange – Anthony Burgess
19. Middlemarch – George Eliot
20. Atonement – Ian McEwan

June Wrap-Up & July Plans

Again, another month has flown by and left much reading to be desired.  I finished my exams about halfway through June, but then it was straight back to school where I have been very busy since I am Head Boy and a lot of things have been going on.  Anyway, even though I felt like I did a decent amount of reading in June, I obviously didn’t as I only finished one book!  Never mind – let’s hope it’s better in July

Here’s what I read in June 2013:

Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

This is not good as I aim to read at least three books every month.  This fewer books than I read in May so that’s a shame.  My aim of 1200 pages a month was definitely not fulfilled, as I read only 441 pages – somehow I don’t think I’ll be beating how many I read in 2012!
I definitely did not do 30 minutes reading a day, but I actually wasn’t far off!
I did try to read at least one science book every two months but I haven’t finished Periodic Tales yet.
I did fulfil my at least one classic a month target with Rebecca though!
Lastly, I try to stay an active blogger and this was poor too – better than last month but still a lot of improvements to make.

Challenge Progress in June 2013:

The Classics Club :  16/60 books read  (1 this month: Rebecca) This makes 27%!

At the moment this is my only challenge for 2013 – maybe I will formalise some of my own yearly reading goals into a challenge.

Currently In Progress:

I am continuing with my science read, Periodic Tales, which I am enjoying and I am just about to start The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman.

July Plans:

Books: The next three books on my TBR shelf are: The Amber Spyglass, Life The Universe and Everything and The Help.  I really hope to get to as many of these as possible!

Challenges:  None of these will count towards The Classics Club unfortunately.

Hopefully with July and August looming, we will all have some time to relax and read – maybe on holiday?  Thanks again to everyone who loyally still reads these posts – means a lot! 🙂

May Wrap-Up & June Plans

Wow I’ve managed to write a planning post within the first week of the month!  May has been slightly better than April for reading, although it has gone crazily quickly!  I have had lots of exams and now (hallelujah!) I only have one left.  It’s a shame though, as it’s in two weeks time and all my friends have finished already! Oh well, that’s life!  I am back to school and lessons next week so I thought I would try and post now as I might not have time again for a while.

By the way my classics club spin book is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, which I have started and I am enjoying so far.

Here’s what I read in May 2013:

The Code Book – Simon Singh

1984 – George Orwell

This is not very good as I aim to read at least three books every month.  This is the same number of books as I read in April  so at least I haven’t got any worse (if that’s even possible!).  My aim of 1200 pages a month was definitely not fulfilled, as I read only 727 pages – but this is over double what I read in April so it’s ok!
I definitely did not do 30 minutes reading a day, but I actually wasn’t far off!
I did read at least one science book every two months as I read The Code Book.
I did fulfil my at least one classic a month target with 1984 too!
Lastly, I try to stay an active blogger and this was poor too – better than last month but still a lot of improvements to make.

Challenge Progress in April 2013:

The Classics Club :  15/60 books read  (1 this month: 1984) This makes 25%!

At the moment this is my only challenge for 2013 – maybe I will formalise some of my own yearly reading goals into a challenge.

Currently In Progress:

At the moment, I am enjoying Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier and I am about 1/4 of the way through.  I am also loving my latest science read, Periodic Tales by Hugh Aldersey-Williams, which is all about some of the myths, history and traditions of the chemical elements and is so far a great read.

June Plans:

Books: The next three books on my TBR shelf are: The Help, The Amber Spyglass and Suite Francaise.  I really hope to get to The Amber Spyglass but I don’t know about the others.

Challenges:  Rebecca and Suite Francaise are part of my Classics Club list.

Again good luck to everyone with exams (or with friends/family doing exams!) I hope you all do your best and enjoy the rest of the summer.  I tell you, if the weather stays like it is, I won’t even need my holiday to Corsica!  We have had so much sunshine over the past week or so and there has also been the French Open…you can see why I might not have done as much reading as I could have done…nor revision!

As you may well have noticed, it is rather late in May to be doing a wrap-up of April and planning my reading for May!  However, I have been crazy busy recently: in April we had Ugandan guests staying with us (they loved England, especially London!), I was also applying to be Head Boy of my school (I got it!!) and over the past week or two, I have been doing exams and obviously revision has taken priority over reading.  I have done my mechanics and further maths exams, leaving French, chemistry, physics and pure maths but now that I am on study leave (begins tomorrow) I should have more time to juggle.
Anyway, I thought I would post even if I don’t really have much to say about reading!

Here’s what I read in April 2013:

The Two Gentlemen of Verona – William Shakespeare

Le Petit Nicholas – Sempé-Goscinny

This is not very good as I aim to read at least three books every month.  This is half of what I read in February so I have definitely had a poor month!  My aim of 1200 pages a month was definitely not fulfilled, as I read a mere 318 pages which is miles off 1200!
I definitely did not do 30 minutes reading a day, but never mind!
I did not read at least one science book every two months but again never mind.
I actually did manage to fulfil my at least one classic a month target with The Two Gentlemen of Verona!
Lastly, I try to stay an active blogger and this was poor too – when I have more time I really hope to get back into the book blogging world.

Challenge Progress in April 2013:

The Classics Club :  14/60 books read  (1 this month: The Two Gentlemen of Verona )

At the moment this is my only challenge for 2013 – maybe I will formalise some of my own yearly reading goals into a challenge.

Currently In Progress:

At the moment, I have just finished The Code Book by Simon Singh and I am a few pages into my reread of 1984.

May Plans:

Books: Well we are already over half way through May but what the hell! The next three books on my TBR shelf are The Help, Rebecca and Suite Francaise but I can’t see myself reaching these before June.

Challenges:  If I finished 1984, then it will count towards The Classics Club.

Good luck to anyone else who is linked directly or indirectly to the exam season, I wish you all the best.  Everyone else, I hope you are well too and can forgive me for being very silent recently!

The Classics Club Spin

I thought I may as well combine these two posts (as the deadline is tomorrow…) so here is my spin list for The Classics Club.  We list 20 books from our original list in whichever categories we chose and then a random number is selected and we are challenged to read that book before the end of June (who knows if it will happen!)

Here is my list:

5 books I am really looking forward to:
1. Othello – William Shakespeare
2. Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien
3. The Comedy of Errors – William Shakespeare
4. The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
5. The Cranford Chronicles – Elizabeth Gaskell

5 books on my TBR shelf:
6. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
7. Suite Francaise – Irène Némirovsky
8. The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot
9. The Warden – Anthony Trollope
10. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift

5 books I don’t own yet:
11. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
12. Nicholas Nickleby – Charles Dickens
13. If This is a Man – Primo Levi
14. Night – Elie Wiesel
15. Conference at Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

5 books I am slightly (!) apprehensive about:
16. Dombey and Son – Charles Dickens
17. Agnes Grey – Anne Brontë
18. A Chocolate Orange – Anthony Burgess
19. Middlemarch – George Eliot
20. Atonement – Ian McEwan

March Wrap-Up & April Plans

Here we are in April yet it still feels like January!  I don’t understand why it is still so so cold here in the UK but I am just hoping it means and extra hot summer will follow… Anyway, March has been a relatively calm month for me apart from the usual business at school.  I got my results for my January exams and I was very relieved that all my hard work had paid off!  This two week Easter break has been very welcome and although it means starting revision for my next set of exams, it has given me some time to relax and read as well.

Here’s what I read in March 2013:

The Host – Stephenie Meyer

Big Bang – Simon Singh

The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Full Cupboard of Life – Alexander McCall Smith

This is really good as I aim to read at least three books every month.  This is much more than I read in February so I have made up for a weak month I guess.  My aim of 1200 pages a month was definitely fulfilled, as I read 1600 pages exactly.
I’m not too sure if I did 30 minutes reading a day, although I am sure I did at the start and the end of the month!  Overall, I think it probably averaged about 30 mins a day, so that’s good too.
Reading Big Bang mean I read at least one science book every two months but since I didn’t read any science books in January or February, I should really try and read another before the end of April.  Also, it is getting closer to the time I apply to university so I may have to double my science reading.
I also fulfilled my at least one classic a month target with The Hound of the Baskervilles!
Lastly, I try to stay an active blogger and this was medium – I am not getting a lot of traffic on my blog at the moment and I think it’s because I am not reading much of other peoples…I don’t really have that much time to discover new blogs but I do always read the posts of people I follow already.  Maybe in the summer when more people have more time to read we will all become a bit better and being active bloggers!

Challenge Progress in March 2013:

The Classics Club :  13/60 books read  (1 this month: The Hound of the Baskervilles )

At the moment this is my only challenge for 2013 – maybe I will formalise some of my own yearly reading goals into a challenge.

Currently In Progress:

At the moment, I am reading The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Le Petit Nicholas but I have only just started them both and I’m not really into them yet.

April Plans:

Books: The next three books on my TBR shelf are 1984, The Code Book – Simon Singh and Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier.  Both the books I am currently reading may take me a while and when I go back to school next week I will be very busy again so these may turn into plans for May!

Challenges:  If I do get to 1984, then it will count towards The Classics Club.

Hopefully, you are all relaxing and reading a bit over Easter and (if appropriate) finding time for religion/spirituality too.  I am sure you’re all looking forward to the sun and warmth of summer as much as I am (if it ever comes).

February Wrap-Up & March Plans

Well February is always a month that goes quickly, as obviously there are only 28 days, and this year that was the case too.  I had an absolutely amazing week in Uganda – I truly fell in love with Africa and with Uganda especially.  The music, the scenery and above all the people just made it the best week of my life.  I won’t bore you with loads of details but basically, my Dad set up a link with his school to a school near Masindi about 6/7 years ago and this year he went back with me, my sister, two students from his school and two teachers.  We saw all the amazing developments the link has made possible for the school in Uganda and we were hosted magnificently well.  We spent the second last day on a river cruise along the Nile to Victoria Falls, which was obviously mind-blowing.  We even saw elephants in the wild!
Unfortunately, while I was in Uganda there was such intermittent power and basically no alone time, so I barely read at all.  Since I came back, I managed to read a bit but my time was taken up with mounds of coursework!

Here’s what I read in February 2013:

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Richard III – William Shakespeare

I know this is a bit rubbish as I aim to read at least three books every month.  This is fewer books than I read in January, but I do think I had good excuses!  My aim of 1200 pages a month was not fulfilled as I read only 637 pages.
I definitely did not keep up my 30 minutes reading a day, although I did read at least for a few minutes every day, even in Uganda when it was like midnight and I knew I had to get up at about 6!
I did take Big Bang with me to Uganda, but I have not read at least one science book every two months so I need to read 2 between March and April ideally!
I definitely fulfilled my at least one classic a month target as both the books I read were classics!
Lastly, I try to stay an active blogger and this was definitely a fail for February – I haven’t been that good at posting or commenting, but I hope I will improve in March.

I am not too disappointed as I did read 2 books and The Host (which I am reading now) is very long anyway.

Challenge Progress in February 2013:

The Classics Club :  12/60 books read  (2 this month: Pride and Prejudice and Richard III )

I reviewed my Classics Club list and have added a few alternatives as I am now a year into my list – details here!

I hope there may be some new challenges in 2013 that fit in with my reading plans for this year; if not maybe I will create my own!

Currently In Progress:

At the moment, I am rereading The Host and actually really enjoying it (I know it may not seem like my kind of book, but it’s actually really good!) I was hoping to finish it in February, then at the beginning of March but it is very long and may take a bit longer than anticipated!

March Plans:

Books: The next three books on my TBR shelf are Big Bang – Simon Singh, Le Petit Nicholas and 1984.  I need to read Big Bang and I would love to get to 1984 and Le Petit Nicholas as well, but this may not be possible!

Challenges:  If I do get to 1984, then it will count towards the classics club.

I really hope to find some more reading time in March – hopefully the Easter holidays will give me a few more hours in the day to play with…but with uni open days and exams looming, it may get worse before it gets better!!

January Wrap-Up & February Plans

I say this every month without fail, but January 2013 has flown by!  It was Christmas and suddenly it’s now February!  Well anyway, January was quite a busy month for me, as I had 5 exams which (mostly) went well thank goodness…I get the results in March!  Also, there was all sorts of crazy weather including a large dumping of snow which shut school…except I had to go in anyway for an exam! :O  I’m sure February will prove to be just as crazy and busy, as I am off to Uganda for 8 days next Sunday!  It is going to be an amazing and eye-opening experience for definite but also a 9 hour plane journey seems like prime reading time!

Here’s what I read in January 2013:

Villette – Charlotte Brontë

The House of Silk – Anthony Horowitz

The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

This is good as I aim to read at least three books every month.  This is more than I read in December, which is good.  My aim of 1200 pages a month was fulfilled as I read 1340 pages.
For the first 3 weeks of January I had no problems keeping up my 30 minutes reading a day, despite my exams, but as soon as I started Pride and Prejudice, I couldn’t maintain this – I just can’t really get into it!
I need to read a science book next month to keep up with my target of at least one science book every two months.
I definitely fulfilled my at least one classic a month target as I read two – The Hobbit and Villette.
Lastly, I try to stay an active blogger and I have worked on this – commenting more and when not commenting still reading posts.  I also came across quite a few new blogs due to The Classics Club Readathon.

So as you can see, I have met pretty much all of my targets for January 2013, so hopefully I can keep it up in February.

Challenge Progress in January 2013:

The Classics Club :  10/60 books read  (2 this month: Villette & The Hobbit )

The Literary Classics Reading Challenge: 6/15 (Villette) (This challenge has been discontinued but it does no harm to keep track anyway!)

I have some more classics to add to my Classics Club list and I really need to do this before Uganda – I hope I have time!

Currently In Progress:

At the moment, I am reading Pride and Prejudice but it is taking me FOR EVER!  I think this is because I haven’t really had the time to dedicate to it that it deserves and the days have just slipped by.  I am really hoping to finish it before Uganda.

February Plans:

Books: The next three books on my TBR shelf are Middlemarch still, Richard III and Le Petit Nicholas.  I am leaving Middlemarch, but I am taking Richard III, The Host and Big Bang (Simon Singh) to Uganda with me so I have some varied reading.

Challenges:  When I do my Classics Club review, Richard III will count towards that and the next classic I plan for after that will probably be 1984 (a re-read).

Yes my reading has been a bit sparse over the last week or so, but the rest of January was really good for me, especially as I loved The Hobbit so much.  I hope you all discover some new favourites in February like I did in January. 🙂

2012 Wrap-Up & 2013 Plans

Well what an amazing year 2012 has been, both in terms of reading and non-reading.  Back in January and February, I was inspired to start my own book blog and I officially began in March 2012.  Since then, I have (pretty much) kept this blog going even when I was very busy/not reading much, which I am proud of.  I enjoyed holidays to Vienna, Majorca and of course the amazing Olympics.  There was the French Open, Wimbledon, Euro 2012 along with the US Open which was definitely my favourite sporting event (aside from the Olympics) as Andy Murray finally won and Laura Robson exploded onto the professional women’s tennis scene.  My exams and all the hard work really paid off when I got my results at the end of August and I have embraced sixth form life since I began in September as well.  The Classics Club started and has grown massively and the book-blogosphere has continued to expand.

What a load of great things; 2013 has a lot to live up to!

I have several reading goals for 2013:

  • 1: Better my 2012 books total.  I read 34 books in 2012 so that means I need to read at least 3 books a month to better it.  Ideally I would like to read 4 books a month, but that is not always possible, especially as many of the books I read are quite long and take me a while!
  • 2: Better my 2012 pages total.  I read 14070 pages in 2012 so that means I need to read an average of 1173 pages a month to better.  Maybe I should aim for at least 1200 pages a month to make it a nice round easy target…
  • 3: Spend at least 30 minutes a day reading.  Now this may seem quite a small amount, but during busy school time 30 minutes is very long!  I want this to be 30 straight minutes with no checking the internet, watching TV etc at the same time.
  • 4: Keep up my science reading.  I get some science magazines through school, which I don’t blog about, but I have decided to try and read at least 1 science book every 2 months.  Hopefully this target won’t be that hard to meet.
  • 5: Keep up my classics reading.  I have been pretty good this year about sticking to this (8 classics in 10 months) but I want to make sure I still read at least one classic every month, even though I know this can be hard with classics being so long and taking much longer than ‘normal’ books to read.  Also, I need to do a Classics Club review very soon where I add some more titles to my list!
  • 5: Stay an active blogger.  By this I mean post about almost every book I read; continue to read other blogs; participate in challenges and events; reply to comments and comment myself.  My main blogging goal however is to read some new blogs, as there are so many people signed up to The Classics Club now and I very rarely end up reading posts by people I don’t know!

I hope you agree with my goals (feel free to suggest more or prompt if you feel I am not fulfilling them)!  I will probably look back over them as I do my monthly wrap-ups and hopefully I will find that I am sticking to them.

Classics Club Readathon January 2013

The next thing I need to talk about is the first Classics Club Readathon which is taking place this weekend.  For us in the UK it is actually from 1.00 pm on Saturday to 1.00 pm on Sunday, but I am probably going to be reading on off all weekend as much as possible, as I am pretty busy with revision and other things at the moment!  I really hope you can join us, as a whole load of bloggers all reading together at the same time is a pretty amazing experience.  It’s times like these that we have to appreciate the internet and the international connections it allows us to make!

I think I will still chug away with Villette for the readathon, as I never really enjoy having more than one book on the go at once!  I have been reading Villette since mid-December and I am about 2/3 of the way through.  I would really like to get as much read as possible before I go back to school on Monday!
After Villette, I have planned The Hobbit, The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz and Pride and Prejudice for January.  I feel this may be slightly ambitious if I don’t rush through all of these, but I can still hope!  In December I only read 2 books and no classics, so I need to up my game if I am to stick to all my new goals!

I really hope you all have a great 2013 that is full of books and reading and feel free to link up your yearly wrap-up or 2013 goals posts in the comments here, as I would love to see what you have got planned, especially if you are reading this and you don’t think I have come across your blog yet!

Yes, I realise that it is already the 9th of December (how did this happen?!) but I have only just now had time to wrap up for November!  Of course, I am very busy at the moment and will only get busier, but nevertheless, I read 3 books in November.

Here’s what I read in November 2012:

E = mc² – David Bodanis

Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

The Visible World – Mark Slouka

This is good as I aim to read at least three books every month.  This is the same name number as I read in October.  It is a bit of a mix with a science book, an absolute favourite and a let down!  However, my target of at least one classic every month was not fulfilled in November.

Challenge Progress in November 2012:

The Classics Club :  8/60 books read  (None this month)

The Victorian Challenge 2012:  4/6 books read  (None this month)

The Literary Classics Reading Challenge: 6/15 (None this month)

Still need to read Middlemarch and Villette for The Victorian Challenge but I think Villette alone will be enough of a challenge!

Currently In Progress:

Currently in progress is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams, which technically I haven’t read before, but I have listened to all of the radio series countless times so it is kind of a re-read I guess. I also have lots of science magazines on the go.

December Plans:

Books: The next three books on my TBR shelf are Middlemarch still, Villette by Charlotte Brontë and The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz.  I have already mentioned I am leaving Middlemarch until I can focus on it, but I do hope to get to Villette.  I did want to read Pride and Prejudice this Christmas as well…this may become an early January read.

Challenges:  If I do get round to Villette, it would both count towards all 3 challenges.  Pride and Prejudice would count towards two (not Victorian) and I hope to read at least one of these two books.

I am actually reading every day, but when you are busy it is hard to read more than a few pages – you don’t have time for more!  I am really hoping that I can do my usual balancing of revision and reading in the Christmas holidays this year, as I have exams (again) in January.