Remember, remember, the… tenth of November?

So, as you might have surmised, the Letters to October series barely lasted half the month before I realised my life was very, very mundane. With very little worthy of note going on it seemed pointless and a waste of time to continue chattering about my days when, on some days, I did nothing more than sleep, eat, work, and read like 10 pages of a novel.

In the meantime, well, I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22. Yes, that’s right, I turned 22 in a predictably odd-fashion; filming accused witches’ testimonies down in the Witches’ Dungeon of Lancaster Castle in preparation for a lecture series on the Lancashire Witch Trials. So my 21st I spent watching David Tennant give us his Richard II, my 22nd was spent pretending to be a ‘witch’. An odd early modern theme that, bizarrely, I feel like continuing – we’ll see where my 23rd takes me.

Until then, I’d like to take this update opportunity to reflect back on the fact that it’s November. Holy crap. Yes, it’s the eleventh month of the year. When did that happen and why did no one tell me? Realising 2014 is almost over leads me to consider what’s happened in this past year and what my immediate plans are for the future – nothing too heavy, I promise. So let’s talk books. I really do want to make more of an effort with my reading goals. I surpassed the 52 books challenge on Goodreads – yay! I actually made a couple more booktube videos – yay! And now I need to get this blog back on its feet – yay! And what better way to do that than to set out my November TBR – it’s a little late but better late than never!

November TBR

  1. Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie Perkins
  2. Isla and the Happily Ever After – Stephanie Perkins
  3. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea – April Genevieve Tucholke
  4. The Bone Season – Samantha Shannon
  5. Cinder – Marissa Meyer
  6. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: Selected Narratives – John Foxe^
  7. Atomised – Michel Houellebecq^
  8. The Flood – Maggie Gee^
  9. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro*^

[* marks a re-read] [^marks a required text]

So, realistically, I should be reading any book marked with a ^ first. As it stands, it’s 10th November and I’ve re-read Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss so odds are good that that series of companion novels will get finished before any of my actually required reading is tackled. It’s terrible and I’m a terrible student for it but really how can someone title their book ‘and the happily ever after’ – that’s just cruel and unusual to my fervently-seeking-closure self!

Aside from this TBR, one very important point that has been realised by me over the course of the last month or so is how apologetic I am for my opinions. A lovely person called Elisabeth on tumblr wrote a poem that I feel encapsulates this entire feeling and you should all go read it, for general interest if nothing else, because it’s beautiful. It expresses feelings I have a hard time talking about without feeling ridiculous and silly for feeling, let alone for expressing to anyone else, and it’s that feeling of worthlessness – of feeling like what you have to say contributes nothing to the discussion so therefore you should apologise for your opinion because it’s not worthy of the breath it takes to express it, or else it’s just going to be ‘wrong’. I do it a lot and, what’s worse, I think it a lot and censor myself accordingly.

This realisation, along with the debate that flared up on Booktube about reading critically, has inspired me to really try to review books more and think more carefully about what rating I would give the things I read and why. Because I feel it’s a useful exercise and a lot more productive than just saying ‘yes I liked that book, I gave it 4 stars’. So I’m going to try to write reviews – even if they’re just brief or flippant ones – for books I read from now on. I’ve started out well, I think (1, and 2) but let’s hope this trend continues. I know November is hardly the time to start making resolutions but any I do make in January do seem to doom themselves to being forgotten wholeheartedly by February so perhaps it’s time to stop thinking January holds this magical susceptibility to change that other months sorely lack.

December, I’ll see what you bring. A light dusting of snow would be nice.

One response to “Remember, remember, the… tenth of November?”

  1. I have a big collection of youtube videos to watch now, how delightful. This is going to be awesome after my day of teaching! As for feeling 22, savour it, I am about to hit my ‘mid-twenties’, people keep telling me 23 is the start of that. It’s scary. Miss you x


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