2020 Aims

Finally, I managed to sit down and think of my plan for 2020.

The first thing I have to consider is the extreme amount of reading my Masters is taking up. I am thoroughly enjoying it but it is taking its toll on my reading time so I have decided to take this into serious consideration on my reading plans for 2020.

My first thing I have decided to read some of my old favourites or books I have always wanted to reread and give a second chance. I started this year by starting to read Emma by Jane Austen. I first read this book in 2002 and hated it but now I can’t put it down. Also because of the amount of studying and work I am doing I always like the comfort of a reread, it is like a warm blanket that comforts and helps me through the day.

I have set my Goodreads goal as 70 books but I am not entirely sure how attainable that is. Fingers crossed I manage it. I have also decided to not take on any reading challenges this year because I just do not like being so confined to a certain list and never complete the list.

I have also decided to try and seriously curb my book buying this year as I have now got a lot of books on my TBR pile, in fact I have many piles all over my house and my parents’ so I think it is high time I got reading. So I might set myself a rule of reading 10 books before I buy one. I say might because I know I will not have the will power to resist a pretty book!

All in all 2020 is all about working hard on my Masters and getting the best mark I can and using reading as my way to relax. Fingers crossed it all goes to plan!

 

2019 in Review

Finally, I have time to sit down and reflect on 2019!

Firstly, I want to say a massive thank you to all of you who support me, read my blog, follow my blog and for just being amazing. Thank you!

I have been blogging for over a year! This is quite a shock to me and I am really impressed that I have managed to keep this blog going for over a year. I have also thoroughly enjoyed reading and following fellow book blogs.

Overall, I have read 71 books that equals approximately 15921 pages.

I have also read a lot more poetry and explored a lot of quotes. I have also tried to read different genres from my usual comfort zones.

I have discovered a new favourite author, Elly Griffiths and a new favourite poet Christina Rossetti.

I haven’t visited as many Waterstones stores as I would like but I am hoping to tick off more in 2020, especially in London.

I bought loads of books in 2019 and sadly have not read them all, so my TBR Pile has grown alarmingly large. I really can not help myself where buying books is concerned!

The other thing I learned in 2019 was that I really do not like reading challenges. I really struggled to keep to my Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge and really hated feeling confined to list. I found it useful whilst away on holiday to know I have a list of books to read on my Kindle but as soon as I was home surrounded my all my lovely books, I just wanted to pick and choose what I wanted. So inevitably I did not complete the challenge and have decided I will not attempt one again in the near future other than my Goodreads challenge of how many books I plan to read in a year.

The other thing learnt this year was how to switch off properly. For the first time ever I went on a resort holiday and to begin with I struggled at this relaxation business and kept thinking I needed to do things but then I realised I could just spend the day by the pool and read and not feel guilty. It was a wonderful experience and one that I hope to repeat. I managed to read a wonderful amount of books as an added bonus.

So I think that is a round up of my 2019.

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Christmas Bookish Presents

Hello!

As promised here is my post showing my Christmas presents with a book theme. Thankfully, I had quite a few books and a very groovy book light that I love.

Here are the books I received:-

The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett

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Dreamcatcher by Stephen King

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The Everyday Poet: Poems to Live By edited by Deborah Alma

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Rossetti

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Be More Cat by Alison Davies

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Then there is my amazing new light!

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A lot of these books have been on my wish list for some time so I was really pleased to receive them. Drop me a comment with your thoughts.

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Twelve Carols of Christmas: First Carol

Hello!

Today is officially the first day of Christmas and the twelfth day of Christmas is the 5th January.

I have decided to celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas with a Christmas Carol each day. So here is my first Carol. This Carol is traditionally sung to the tune Sussex Carol, this tune is special to me because my husband and myself had it at our wedding, so this carol will always have a special place in my heart.

 

On Christmas night all Christians sing

On Christmas night all Christians sing

To hear the news the angels bring,

On Christmas night all Christians sing

To hear the news the angels bring,

News of great joy, news of great mirth,

News of our merciful King’s birth.

 

Then why should we on earth be sad,

Since our Redeemer made us glad,

Then why should we on earth be so sad,

Since our Redeemer made us glad,

When from sin He set us free,

All for gain our liberty.

 

When sin departs before His grace,

Then life and health come in its place;

When sin departs before His grace,

Then life and health come in its place;

Angels and we with joy may sing,

All for to see the new-born King.

 

All out of darkness we have light,

Which made the angels sing this night;

All out of darkness we have light,

Which made the angels sing this night;

‘Glory to God and peace to men,

Now and for evermore. Amen.’

 

Traditional

 

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Happy Christmas!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day today and you all get some wonderful bookish gifts.

I leave you with a carol that is always sang on Christmas morning.

 

O Come, All Ye Faithful

O come, all ye faithful,

Joyful and triumphant,

Come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;

Come and behold Him,

Born the King of angels:

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord!

 

God of God,

Light of light,

Lo! He abhors not the Virgin’s womb;

Very God,

Begotten, not created:

O come, let us adore Him…

 

Sing, choirs of angels,

Sing in exultation,

Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;

Glory to God

In the highest:

O come, let us adore Him…

 

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee,

Born this happy morning;

Jesus, to Thee be glory given;

Word of the Father,

Now in flesh appearing:

O come, let us adore Him…

 

J. F. Wade (c.1711-1786)

 

Happy Christmas

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p.s the picture is of the Christmas tree at the Church I play at.

First Day of Advent

Happy Advent!

December 1st and the first day of Advent means Christmas is coming!

Today I started my day by playing the organ for an Advent service and that included playing my favourite Advent hymn. In my eyes it isn’t Advent until I have either played or sung this hymn.

O come, O come, Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heav’nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Adonai, Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times didst give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Translated by John Mason Neale (1861)

Today has also meant the Advent candle being lit, a couple of Christmas decorations going up and of course opening the first door on my Advent calendar. I also managed to get some Christmas reading in as well, which is always good!

Happy reading.

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Music and Reading

Hello my fellow book dragons!

Over the last few days I have been pondering something that happens to me and I was wondering if it happens to any of my fellow readers.

As a musician music is a massive part of my life and so is reading and often the two go together as I do like to listen to music and read at the same time. However, when I reread a book I notice I associate certain parts of the book with certain songs. This happens the most when reading Harry Potter. When I first discovered the Harry Potter series I was visiting my sister in Scotland and read the books on the car journey to and from her house. At this time I also had a massive Linkin Park addiction and so now whenever I read one of the first four Harry Potter books I think of certain Linkin Park songs.

Now this evening whilst teaching one of my flute students I also had the same experience. My student is currently learning a piece I performed at university and had to write a massive essay on comparing 4 different performances of the same piece. This meant for weeks I was constantly listening to this piece, I was also commuting back and forth to university on the train and when I wasn’t writing essays on the train I was reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Now when I hear this piece I think of the book and it brings back very nostalgic memories of one of my favourite books.

This happens a lot with me whilst reading and I was wondering if anybody else experienced it or similar situations? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please drop me a comment.

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p.s My cat Lyra wanted to feature in the photo as well but wouldn’t keep still.