Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 Goals

With this being the last day of the year and all, I thought it was about time to come up with some goals for 2013. So here they are! I've tried to make most of them bookish, or at least reading related, but there are some personal goals in there was well. 

1. Keep reading a lot
This may seem obvious, but I tend to neglect my reading when things get busy. In the last couple of months of 2012, I haven't read as much as I would've wanted, and I want to change that. Reading is the best way for me to relax, to be able to get away from stressy things, but at the same time it's one of the first things to suffer when I get busy. To make it a goal I can accomplish: I want to read at least 90 books in 2013. 

2. Read more sequels
I started a lot of series in 2011 and 2012 and I didn't really keep up with reading their sequels, which means I've got a ton of unfinished series that I'm in the middle of. I need to finish them before I dive into even more series in 2013. My goal is to finish at least 10 series in 2013. 

3. Read more standalones
This goal doesn't really work with the last one, at least not on first glance. But I've been reading so many books that are part of a series and while I love those, I sometimes long for a book that is just that; one book. One book to suck me in, grab me, and take me on a roller-coaster. I love those kind of books and I just don't read enough of them. The goal: read 15 standalones in 2013.

4. Read classics
While I love reading, I haven't read a lot of classics. I think I should be able to count the amount of classics that I've read on one hand. Which is pathetic, and I need to change that. There are so many good books out there. Many of the classics are outside my comfort zone, so I'm starting carefully: read 5 classics in 2013. 

5. Read books I already own
So I have a bit of a book-buying problem, which results in crammed shelves with tons and tons of books (love!) that haven't been read (not so much love). While I've been making some progress in 2012, I have a long way to go.. Which is why I'm aiming to read at least 20 books that I own as of January 1st, 2013, but haven't read yet. 

6. Cook properly and healthy
So I'm moving out of my parents' house in 2013 and I'll be cooking for myself, and I'm aiming to cook some healthy meals for myself. I'm a bit of a lazy person, so I tend to lean towards food that can be made in less than 30 mins, and they are often not the most healthy dishes. But my parents gave me a cookbook for single cooking with delicious looking meals in it, so I'll be using that a lot. 

7. Do things that make me happy
If there's one thing that I've learned in the past year, it's that I need to keep myself happy. I was in an unhappy place for a long time, but lovely friends, getting a job, going to London by myself and buying a house have brought me back to that happy place again. I want to stay there, so I'll be doing stuff that make me happy; go to an aquarium, visit a city, go see a film in theatre, things like that. It'll be a learning curve, but I'm going to do it. For me. 


So those are my goals for the new year! What are some of yours? Feel free to link up to your own posts, if you have one :) 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Home Update

Since I haven't posted much since my last post (ahem, one post), I thought I'd write a little update for those of you who are interested :)

As of today, all of the paperwork is filed and I'll be signing the last papers on Friday at the notary's office and when that is finalised, I'll be getting the keys to my very first home! I'm very excited, but at the same time I can't seem to comprehend that it's really happening.

The first couple of weeks will mainly consist of painting the walls and ceilings in several rooms and replacing (parts of) the floor, after that it'll be putting together IKEA furniture for some time (man, I love IKEA) and hopefully everything is set up before April 1st, so I can move in by Easter!

Because my weekends will be mostly taken up by house-stuff until I settle into a steady rhythm, I'll probably be posting sporadically on here, but I'll keep reading. I keep my Goodreads updated at all times, so if you're curious what I'm reading, check out my Goodreads page.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Best Books of 2012

Since it's almost 2013, I thought it was time to name my top-whatever of Best Books that I read this year. So here they are! They are not all published in 2012, but they are all read in 2012.

The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Man, this book made me weep like a baby. After liking, but not loving his other books, I read this one and instantly fell in love with it. The way it was written, the emotions and just.. I can't even explain myself. One of my favorite contemporaries. Ever.

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
One of the first books I read this year and one of my favorite fantasy novels I've read so far. I haven't read the sequel yet, but I absolutely adored this one. Belen was awesome, as was Kerrick. But let's not forget about Tohon, who is in my top 3 favorite villains. Maria has a way with words..

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
I didn't believe the hype this book was getting when it first came out. Everybody was raving about it, but all I could think of was how I disliked the cover and it sounded 'just okay'. Well, guess again. Second Chance Summer sucked me right into the story. And while the plot was a little thin at times, Matson made up for that and more with her way to take you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. I mean, my feelings were all over the place, with one particular scene breaking my heart into a million tiny pieces. This is one that I'll definitely be re-reading next year.

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
If you haven't read the Chaos Walking Trilogy yet, I strongly recommend you do so. The Knife of Never Letting Go was written in such a distinctive way, I couldn't help but want more and more. This one just picked up after the cliffhanger in the first book and MAN it was good! I kinda wish I could read this entire series again for the first time, purely because it was so addictive and original. This series is one of my all time favourites.

Variant by Robison Wells
It's a book that originally didn't earn the full five stars from me, but it STILL has me thinking - even though I read it all the way back in July. It's one of those WTF-books, messing with your brain and confusing you by throwing plot twists your way when you think you know where the story is going. It's so awesome to find a book that is able to do that! Man, I loved this take on boarding school, combined with sci-fi goodness and a crazy storyline.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Another one that I read early on in the year, but it's one that I absolutely adored. I loved the combination of a dystopian society combined with a wasteland, kind of post-apocalyptic story mixed in with some paranormalish elements. I particularly fell in love with Roar, who just swept into the story and stole the limelight. I thoroughly enjoyed the character development and slowly building romance in this one and I cannot wait to get my grabby little hands on the sequel.

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
Dude. I don't even know how to describe this one, aside from "epic". I didn't even know I liked sci-fi, but this one pretty much rocked my bookish world. I was thrown into something I didn't think possible without sounding unbelievable, yet Kincaid managed to do it. AND HOW. I'm still in awe how she was able to do this. This has the potential to be one of my favorite series ever. Great book!

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cyborg Cinderella! This was one of the biggest surprises for me. I got this as a galley because everyone was raving about it, and while I wasn't expecting something that would blow my mind, I devoured this book. Everything in this book combined to an unputdownable read, making sure I wanted to read on more than I wanted to eat (believe me, that's serious business). One of the most promising debut authors of 2012.

Well.. I think I spot a trend in these favourite reads of this year xD Apparently blue and red covers work their magic..

While I didn't read as many books as I did last year, I've read a TON and quite a few were awesome. Some honourable mentions that just barely didn't make this list: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, Five Flavours of Dumb by Antony John, The Duff by Kody Keplinger, Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry and Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent. If you're looking for a good read, I'd definitely recommend checking any of these titles out!

So, these are my personal favourites, but which books made your top-whatever list of 2012? I'm curious!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I'm Getting A Library! AKA The Big "I Bought A House"-post!

Yes, you're reading that right; I've bought my first home! Which is also the reason you haven't seen me around much lately. I've been buried in certificates, reports, information leaflets for financing, regulations, more certificates.. But I've made my way through it and I'm currently awaiting news from the bank. Yay!

I've wanted a place for myself for years now and when I accidentally bumped into this apartment, I jumped at the chance. It's pretty big (three bedrooms!) so one of the bigger bedrooms will be transformed into my own library. I'm so excited about that, I've already thought out what I want the room to look like and everything.. While I haven't even decided on the necessary important stuff. Whoops!

Anyhoo, this is just a short note that I haven't forgotten about reading, the book community or blogging, I've just been really busy. I've got a couple of posts I want to write in the next week or so, so I will try my best to actually get them up this time.. But I'm sure you'll understand if it all takes a while for me to get some decent stuff up. Bear with me :)

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