Category Archives: New Year

2018!

Hi Everyone!

First of all, I wanted to share this amazing photo of one of my trees at home in the snow. It’s really pretty! Thankfully the snow is just about gone now.

Secondly, and most importantly, Happy New Year! 2018. Blimey. Where is the time going?! Today is the start of another new chapter for us all and I can only but ponder what is in store for us all.

I thought I’d kick the new year off with a new post about what my aims and hopes are for this year. But what are they? I’ve really no idea.

It’s easier for me to turn my attention to reading. Last year I managed to read 36 books. I was a tad disappointed but it gives me something to aim for in 2018!

The books were as follows:

Asher, Jay 13 Reasons Why
Behrendt, Greg & Tuccillo, Liz He’s Just Not That Into You
Bell, Alex The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club
Butland, Stephanie Lost For Words
Coelho, Paulo Eleven Minutes
Dickens, Charles A Christmas Carol
Doughty, Louise Apple Tree Yard
Dyer, Geoff Paris Trance
Emmerson, Miranda Miss Treadway & the Field of Stars
Foer, Johnathan Safran Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Galgut, Damon In A Strange Room
Hawkins, Paula Into the Water
Hislop, Victoria Cartes Postales from Greece
Honeyman, Gail Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Jansson, Tove The Summer Book
Kemmerer, Brigid Letters to the Lost
Kinsella, Sophie My Not So Perfect Life
Levy, Deborah Hot Milk
Loos, Anita Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Mackintosh, Claire I See You
Makis, Eve The Spice Box Letters
Minghella, Anthony The English Patient
Priestley, J.B An Inspector Calls
Pritcher, Annabel Ketchup Clouds
Sachar, Louis Holes
Seskis, Tina One Step Too Far
Shakespeare, William Macbeth
Sheffield, Jack Dear Teacher
Stevenson, Robert Louis The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Swindles, Robert Stone Cold
Thompson, Lisa The Goldfish Boy
Wax, Ruby The Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled
Wilde, Oscar Salome
Wilde, Oscar Only Dull People Are Brilliant at Breakfast
Wilde, Oscar The Ballad of Reading Gaol
Woodfine, Katherine The Painted Dragon

Some of these books I teach so I read them again and again. Nevertheless, I’m really excited about the Read The Year Challenge. I like to learn new things and this is perfect for that, to find new writers and genres. It’s easy to stick to what you know; it becomes a sort of comfy blanket really.

I hope you guys continue to follow my journey. I’ve met some amazing people on here and would love that to continue. I’m going to try and be a bit more regular on here. I know I’ve said that a lot but it’s important to me. So fingers crossed you’ll be hearing and seeing more from me. It seems a good time to say…

January 1st 2018: this is me. I have many flaws, I don’t get to read as much as I’d like, I live to work and I miss amazing posts from people here. But, I am me.

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The last thing I’d like to leave you with is the message I got inside my fortune cookie last night. I wanted to share it with you all because we all face challenges and have hurdles we have to cross. It’s easy to forget sometimes.

So to my amazing blogging family, I hope you have the best 2018. You all deserve it.

Big love xxx

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Read The Year With Penguin

Hello lovely people!!

As the end of December is fast approaching, I have turned my attention and thoughts to reading resolutions for next year. Whilst having a mooch about the sales online, I stumbled across Read The Year With Penguin Books. Naturally, I was curious. It looks awesome!

The aim of this reading challenge is to try something new, to experience new writers and genres. I try to branch out but I think this will really help me to continue the mission of finding more. I’m hoping you can all help me too!

The topics for each month are as follows:

January: Start the year with a book about new beginnings.

February: Get stuck into a story of obsessive love.

March: Read a book about a women you hadn’t previously heard of.

April: Grab a book that will help you explore your creativity.

May: Use a book to get closure to nature.

June: Pick up a book that delves into the experience of fatherhood.

July: Travel anywhere in (or out of) the world with a book.

August: Choose a book which tells a migration story.

September: Dive into a coming of age story you haven’t read before.

October: ‘Tis the season for spooky stories: take your pick.

November: Pick a book about the country you live in.

December: Finish the year with a book that embodies the festive spirit.

As you can see, this looks quite exciting. There’s areas here I haven’t considered before so I’m thinking I need to get planning what I’m going to read. Penguin do offer some suggestions here.

This is where I need you, my fellow lovely bloggers. Do you have suggestions for any of the months? Let me know. My plan is to review the book I’ve read each month for the challenge. I’ll try anyway! Maybe you could take part in this with me? That would be awesome too!

Big love xxx

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NYE – Roll on 2017

Hey guys! 

Before it gets a bit crazy and everyone is in the roll of festivities for New Years Eve, I just wanted to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 

This community really is amazing. I’ve spoken with some incredible people with blogs I’m in awe of. I’m lucky to be a part of that and to know such lovely people. 

Surprisingly, I have no big plans for 2017. I don’t plan on changing who I am or making any grand gesture. What’s the likelihood of sticking to it anyway?! What I do plan on doing is changing my focus and outlook on things. 

This image kind of sums it up perfectly. So much so, I’m going to print it and pop it up in my classroom. 


Whatever your plans are for this NYE I hope you all have a fabulous evening. I wish you health, happiness and peace for 2017. For me it’s a meal with my family, a big knit and a thick scarf. (See pic below) Then, we will crack open a bottle and sit watching the fireworks on tv. It takes all sorts I guess. 


Big love guys. Make 2017 your year! Xx

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Au Revoir 2015! My Bookish New Years Resolution

Hey everyone! 

Well we are getting ever closer to the end of this year and the start of 2016! Therefore, I thought it would be the perfect time to look back on my New Years resolution for 2015. I set myself a challenge of reading 100 books in a year and I’m really proud to report that I read 104

I was adamant I would continue to read for pleasure a variety of poetry, prose and drama and I’m thrilled that I managed to do it! I tried to read different genres too. You’ll see from my list there’s a mixed bag here. I’m sure others would have read many more than me, but considering how life and work sometimes takes over I’m really chuffed. 


The books I read in 2015: 


A:

  • John Agard – Half-Caste and Other Poems
  • Cecelia Ahern – The Year I Met You
  • Cecelia Ahern – Love, Rosie (Where Rainbows End)
  • Mitch Albom – The First Phone Call From Heaven
  • Hans Christian Anderson – Stories from Hans Andersen
  • Hans Christian Anderson – The Tinder Box
  • Hans Christian Anderon – Andersen’s Fairy Tales
  • Daisy Ashford – Where Love Lies Deepest
  • Dani Atkins – Fractured
  • Jane Austen – The Beautifull Cassandra
  • Denis Avey – The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz

  


B:

  • Fredrik Backman – A Man Called Ove
  • Alan Bennett – The Lady in the Van
  • Harold Brighouse – Hobson’s Choice
  • Emily Brightwell – Mrs Jeffries & the Missing Alibi
  • Emily Bronte – The Night is Darkening Round Me

  



C:

  • Eric Carle – The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Rachael Chadwick – 60 Postcards
  • Stephen Chbosky – The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • Jenny Colgan – The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris
  • Judith Cutler – The Keeper of Secrets

  


D:

  • Roald Dahl – Rhyme Stew
  • Roald Dahl – Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life
  • Roald Dahl – Switch Bitch
  • Roald Dahl – The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
  • Roald Dahl – Esio Trot
  • Roald Dahl – Going Solo
  • Jill Dawson – The Great Lover
  • Len Deighton – An Expensive Place to Die
  • Charles Dickens – Christmas Books
  • Charles Dickens – Oliver Twist
  • Charles Dickens – The Great Winglebury Duel
  • Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol
  • Arthur Conan Doyle – The Narrative of John Smith
  • Jonny Duddle – A Pirate’s Guide to Landlubbing

  


E:



F: 

  • Jasper Fforde – The Eyre Affair
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Penelope Fitzgerald – The Bookshop
  • Giovanna Fletcher – Dream A Little Christmas Dream
  • Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter – The Dinosaur That Pooped A Lot

  


G: 

  • Claire Gadsby – Perfect Assessment for Learning
  • Robert Galbraith – A Career in Evil
  • Nina George – The Little Paris Bookshop
  • Linda Grant – The Clothes on Their Backs
  • John Green – Looking For Alaska
  • John Green – Paper Towns
  • John Green & David Leuithan – Will Grayson, Will Grayson

  


H: 

  • Mark Haddon – A Spot of Bother
  • Daniel Handler – Why We Broke Up
  • Helene Hanff – 84 Charing Cross Street
  • Paula Hawkins – The Girl on the Train
  • Emma Healey – Elizabeth is Missing
  • Mary Hooper – At the Sign of the Sugar Plum
  • Nick Hornby – High Fidelity
  • Nick Hornby – How to be Good
  • Nick Hornby – Juliet, Naked
  • Nick Hornby – A Long Way Down
  • Kathryn Hughes – The Letter

  


I:



J: 

  • Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen – The Rabbit Back Literature Society
  • Henry James – The Figure in the Carpet

  

K:



L:

  • Harper Lee – Go Set A Watchman
  • Harper Lee – To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Nell Leyshon – The Colour of Milk
  • Mary Elizabeth Lucy – Mistress of Charlecote: The Memoirs of Mary Elizabeth Lucy 1803-1889

  


M: 

  • Christopher Matthew – Now We Are Sixty
  • Guy de Maupassant – Femme Fatale
  • Bob McCabe – Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filming Journey
  • Horace McCoy – They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
  • David McKee – Elmer’s Parade
  • Kristina McMorris – Letters From Home
  • Tom Michell – The Penguin Lessons
  • Arthur Miller – A View From the Bridge
  • A. A. Milne – Now We Are Six
  • Clement C Moore – The Night Before Christmas
  • Richard C Morais – The Hundred-Foot Journey
  • JoJo Moyles – Paris for One
  • Kate Muir – Left Bank

  


N:

  • Jandy Nelson – The Sky is Everywhere
  • Irene Nemirovsky – The Fires of Autumn
  • David Nicholls – Starter for Ten

  


O: 

  • Jenny Oliver – The Parisan Christmas Bake Off
  • France’s Osbourne – Park Lane
  • Wilfred Owen – Anthem for Doomed Youth

  


P:

  • Raquel J Palacio – Wonder
  • Nicky Pellengino – The Food of Love Cookery School
  • Samuel Pepys – The Great Fire of London
  • Sarah Perry – After Me Comes The Flood
  • Edgar Allen Poe – The Tell-Tale Heart

  


Q:

  • Anthony Quinn – Curtain Call

  


R:

  • Willy Russell – Blood Brothers

  


S:

  • Annie Sanders – Busy Woman Seeks Wife
  • Claire Sandy – What Would Mary Berry Do?
  • Brian Sibley – Harry Potter: Film Wizardry
  • Julia Stoneham – Muddy Boots and Silk Stockings

  


T:

  • Elizabeth Taylor – Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont
  • James Thurber – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • J.R.R Tolkien – Letters From Father Christmas
  • Sue Townsend – The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4

  

U:



V: 

  • Delphine De Vigan – No and Me

  


W: 

  • David Walliams – Ratburger
  • David Walliams -Awful Auntie
  • Walt Whitman – On the Beach at Night Alone
  • Katherine Woodfine – The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow

  

X:


Y:


Z:

  • Benjamin Zephaniah & Richard Conlon – Face: The Play

  

So, this leads me to this years resolution, again, to read 100 books including a variety of prose, poetry and drama from a range of genres. Wish me luck! 

Whilst I’m at it, I just want to wish you all a very happy, healthy and peaceful new year. Make sure 2016 is the best yet!! 

Big love xx

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