Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!
This week’s theme is ‘Resolutions/Hopes for 2021 (bookish or not!)’, and I think we can all hope that 2021 is going to be a much better year than 2020.
That being said, I want to give myself some goals that will both push me out of my comfort zone but that also won’t make me feel bad if I don’t achieve them, because I think we all need to be a little kinder to ourselves.
Stop requesting books from NetGalley
The truth of the matter is I’m only going to get on top of my NetGalley reads if I stop requesting them and it’s simply not fair on all the authors whose books I’ve been incredibly lucky to receive a copy of when I don’t then review them close to the pub date. I don’t need to request books from NetGalley to create interesting content for my blog and, frankly, if I desperately want to read a book, then I either need to buy a copy or borow it from the library and support the author that way.
Make an effort to read more of the books on my shelves
I do read a lot of books that I buy, but a lot of the books I read are books I read on my kindle. There are so many books that have been patiently waiting on my shelves, that have survived every time I’ve culled my shelves which proves that I am interested in reading them, and I’d really like to read more of them in 2021 so that I can have shelves full of books I’ve read and loved or I can pass the books I end up not enjoying on to other people who’ll love them.
Buy no physical books from Amazon
Look Amazon already gets enough of my money from the ebooks I buy, so I don’t need to buy physical books from them as well. To be honest I rarely do this anyway – when lockdown saw small businesses struggling, I tried to buy from indie bookshops where I could and I bought a lot of books from Blackwell’s, who offer free delivery in the UK – but I am guilty of pre-ordering books from Amazon because I like that the money won’t leave my account until the book is released, so I can pre-order a bunch of books at once without spending a lot of money at once. I’ve cancelled all my pre-orders with Amazon, though, and instead I’ve been pre-ordering 2020 releases from Wordery, Waterstones and indie bookshops which has felt lovely.
In 2020 I was incredibly lucky to be able to leave my house share in Gloucestershire, where I lived and shared a kitchen with four other people in a busy city centre, and come to hide out in my parents’ house in the South Welsh countryside during lockdown. I was furloughed from April to July, and have been working from home since July so, to save money, I ended up giving my room up to move back in with my parents permanently.
I’d desperately like to find a new job and return to the north of England, where the majority of my friends are, and move into a flat of my own where I can have my own space and my parents can have theirs. I’m incredibly grateful I’ve had somewhere to escape to, where there’s so much more room outside to go for country walks and there’s a garden I got to sit and read in over the summer, but I need my own space.
I’m not the kind of person who enjoys going to the gym, but I am the kind of person who enjoys workout classes. Sadly 2020 saw us kiss goodbye to those for a long time so I haven’t been able to go trampolining or to go to zumba, and it’s something I’d like to start doing again because I feel unhealthy and I hate feeling so sluggish. I’d like to be kind to my body, and if I’m going to continue to enjoy food as much as I do then I need to give it some proper exercise.
If I can find a group that doesn’t intimidate me, I’d also love to join a Historical European Martial Arts group. The history nerd in me would love to learn how to swordfight.
Start a cookbook collection – and actually cook from them!
The kitchen intimidates the hell out of me. I love food, but cooking isn’t something I’ve ever enjoyed. To be honest I think some of that comes from having never had my own kitchen – I’ve used my parents’ kitchen and shared a kitchen with others at uni and in Gloucestershire – so I’ve never felt comfortable being able to experiment with food, but it’s a skill I really want to develop. I really enjoy baking, even though I haven’t baked in years, but cooking isn’t something I’ve ever enjoyed because I’m too impatient–I just want to eat the curry, dangit, not cook it!
Get to a 100 day streak on Duolingo
I’m rubbish at learning other languages, but ultimately practice makes perfect and I have found my Italian very, very slowly improving with Duolingo. I’ve never managed a 100 day streak, though, and it’s a little something I’d love to accomplish!
Learn to read music
Last year I started taking singing lessons for the very first time – I used to sing a lot when I was younger, and sang at a few school concerts, but it was always something I did for fun – but I didn’t sing in front of anyone for about a decade and I lost a lot of my confidence. I never learned to play an instrument, despite always being drawn to the piano as a child, but my parents very kindly got me a keyboard for Christmas and I’d really like to learn how to read music so I can play, and also to help me sing better!
I haven’t cosplayed in years, and whenever I have I’ve simply bought a costume online, but I’d love to go back to a comic con (if it’s safe to) and cosplay again, and I’d love the challenge of trying to find items to make up an outfit instead of simply buying a costume. My ultimate dream is to dress up as Evie Carnahan from The Mummy, who is one of my favourite heroines of all time.
Finish three short stories
I’m terrible at starting short stories and then leaving them unfinished, so I’d love to finish at least three of them and hopefully get them edited to a standard where I’m happy to send them off to magazines. The three I’d particularly like to work on are all historical fantasy stories called ‘Checkmate’, ‘The Little Death’ and ‘The Eternal City’, so feel free to yell at me until they’re done.