Reading Resolutions for 2023

Happy New Year! I hope your 2023 reading is off to a good start. As I do every January, I have listed below some reading resolutions for the year ahead. I don’t do very well with numerical targets and goals or anything that restricts my reading choices too much, so these are just some loose plans to help shape my year of reading.

* Finish my Classics Club list. There are only sixteen books left on my list and I’ll be reading at least one of them this month (Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell) so I think this is very doable! My deadline for completing the list was actually last November, but I’m not really bothered about that; I would just like to finish the remaining books and have already started to prepare a new list!

* Re-read some old favourites. I say I’m going to do this every year and then hardly ever do it! I used to re-read a lot, but now, with my endless TBR, there always seems to be something else that needs to be read first.

* Resist the temptations of NetGalley. After a lot of hard work I have finally got the number of review copies waiting on my NetGalley shelf down to single figures! NetGalley is a great source of new books, but you can very quickly find yourself requesting more than you can keep up with. While I’m sure I’ll still request some, now that I’m down to a manageable number I want to focus more on books I already own.

* Make some progress with my Reading the Walter Scott Prize project. I did quite well with the 2022 shortlist, reading three out of the four shortlisted titles, as well as some others from the longlist. However, there are still lots of books from previous years’ shortlists that I haven’t read yet, so I’ll try to read some of them this year. I’ve already discovered lots of great new books and authors through this particular prize and am looking forward to discovering more.

* Continue with some of the series and trilogies I’ve started and never finished! There are so many of these I couldn’t even begin to list them all here, but a few I would particularly like to go back to are Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series, Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series, Ellis Peters’ Cadfael mysteries and Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Cazalet Chronicles. There are many, many more!

* Take part in the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge and Read Christie 2023 (although I won’t do the Christie challenge every month as it can become too much). Apart from these two year-long challenges, I will be joining in with any shorter reading events and themed weeks/months that appeal to me.

* My final resolution is the same every year – make every book I read a potential book of the year! That means being more ruthless about abandoning books I’m not enjoying (something I find very difficult) and being more selective about which books to pick up in the first place.


What about you? Do you have any reading resolutions or plans for 2023?

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick post to wish a very Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it – and for those who don’t, I hope you have a lovely day anyway!

Thank you to everyone who has read, liked or commented on my reviews throughout the year. It’s very much appreciated! Have a great Christmas and I’ll be back soon with one or two more posts before the end of the month.

A new year begins…

Happy New Year! I hope everyone’s 2020 reading is getting off to a good start. My first read of the year is Big Sky by Kate Atkinson, which I’m enjoying so far. What’s yours?

When I posted my ‘favourite books of 2019’ list a few days ago, I mentioned that although I had read a lot of good books in 2019, there were very few that I can honestly say I loved. I’m not entirely sure why that is, but I think one of the reasons is that, particularly in the final months of the year, I was concentrating mainly on new releases and getting through my backlog of NetGalley review copies, and reading fewer of the older books that usually turn out to be my favourites. I want 2020 to be a more enjoyable reading year so, without being too specific in terms of targets and numbers, I have put together a short list of resolutions:

* Read more of the books that are already on my own shelves, some of which have been waiting for years for the ‘right time to read them’ to arrive.

* Re-read some old favourites – and don’t feel guilty for taking the time to do so.

* Make more progress with my Classics Club list and my personal projects such as Reading the Walter Scott Prize, both of which have been the source of some great discoveries in the past.

* Find a better balance between trying new authors and reading books by authors I already know and love.

* Continue with some of the series and trilogies I started years ago and inexplicably abandoned after one or two books, despite loving those one or two books!

* Be more ruthless about giving up on books that I’m not enjoying, rather than persevering to the end.

I’m hoping that by trying to follow these resolutions throughout 2020 I can make every book I pick up a potential book of the year!

Do you have any reading resolutions or plans for 2020?

On Christmas Eve…

On Christmas Eve, Heilige Abend, Anna’s household watched curiously as she set up a little fir tree in the hall, and decorated it with apples, nuts and some paper flowers she had made.

‘Martin Luther may be a heretic,’ she told them, fixing candles to the branches, ‘but he started a delightful custom that we in Kleve like to observe. One night, he was walking through a forest when he looked up and saw thousands of stars twinkling through the branches of the trees. It inspired him to set up a fir tree in his house, lit with candles, to remind his children of the starry heavens whence our Saviour came.’

From one of my current reads, Anna of Kleve, Queen of Secrets by Alison Weir.


Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it!

New plans for the New Year

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s 2019 – that means in October my blog will be ten years old! I’m sure I’ll be reflecting on that later in the year and finding some way to mark the occasion. For now though, like many other book bloggers, I wanted to use my first post of the year to look at my reading and blogging plans for the next twelve months.

Challenges and events

I prefer to have as much freedom in my reading choices as possible, so I’m not signing up for any year-long reading challenges this year, with the exception of the Historical Fiction Challenge hosted at Passages to the Past. I read a lot of historical fiction anyway so that one is not really a challenge for me, but I still like to take part as it helps me to connect with other like-minded readers and to keep a list of my historical fiction reads in one place.

I do enjoy participating in shorter events hosted by other bloggers such as 20 Books of Summer, the R.I.P. event and Nonfiction November so I will join in with some of those in 2019. I’ll also keep working through my Classics Club list and participating in any associated Classics Club events.

Blogging plans

The same as last year, really. I will continue with my Commonplace Book posts at the end of every month and my Historical Musings posts in the middle of the month, as well as participating in Six Degrees of Separation and Top Ten Tuesday now and then.

Personal projects

My Walter Scott Prize Project has been neglected recently, so I would like to make some progress on that in 2019. I also want to devote more time to re-reading old favourites – I say that at the beginning of every year and never manage to do it. Sadly, I only re-read one book in 2018, but I’m determined to improve on that number in 2019 so have started off my year’s reading with a re-read of Cashelmara by Susan Howatch. I also want to make progress with some of the series I’m in the middle of reading and find time for some of those long-anticipated books I’ve been putting off reading for years because I wanted to have ‘something to look forward to’.

Most of all, I just want to enjoy the books I read in 2019.

What plans do you have for the year ahead?

A new reading year begins…

Image courtesy of Happy New Year!

I did have a book review scheduled for today (still trying to catch up on a backlog of books read near the end of 2013) but as most other bloggers are posting about their plans and resolutions for 2014 today, I decided to do the same and keep my scheduled post for tomorrow instead. And this will probably be the easiest post I write all year, because I don’t actually have a lot of reading or blogging plans for the year ahead! I have signed up for two reading challenges – the Historical Fiction challenge, which is never a difficult one for me as I read so much historical fiction anyway, and the What’s in a Name? challenge, for which I already have my five choices in mind and will be starting the first one soon. Other than that, I have avoided the temptation to commit myself to any more year-long challenges or projects. One thing I’ve learned during my four years of blogging is that I’m happiest when I can choose to read exactly what I want to read and when I want to read it – and that’s what I would like to do in 2014.

The Classics Club However, one reading event that does fit in with my plans for this month is the first of the Classics Club’s Twelve Months of Classic Literature. Each month, the club will be hosting a month of themed reading based on a different literary period or movement. The theme for January is William Shakespeare and his contemporaries, which is perfect for me as I’m starting a FutureLearn course on Hamlet later this month. I’ll be re-reading Hamlet in January, then, but beyond that I’ll be looking forward to seeing what other Classics Club members are reading for the event.

I do have one other goal for 2014, in terms of blogging: I will be trying to write about every book I read within two or three days of finishing it. I hate being behind with my reviews and would like to avoid any more situations like this, where I’m starting a new month with five books from the previous month still to write about!

Do you have any exciting reading or blogging plans for 2014?

Temporary absence…

Just a quick note to let you know that I’ll be away for a few days. I’m going to Dublin tomorrow (the first time I’ll have been to Ireland) and will be back on Friday.

I won’t be able to respond to comments or emails, but I’m scheduling one or two posts for while I’m away. See you at the weekend!