Saturday, January 16, 2016

Hello 2016, Let's Get Down to Business

As you should know, it's a new year. 2016. New beginnings and new opportunities. And as much as I would like to say I'm immune to the hopeful spirit of the new year, it's too infectious not to affected. And so I have penned a list of resolutions, or more ambitions, that will hopefully keep me on track instead of, well, slothing my way through life.

So without futher ado, here are the goals and such that I am aspiring to.

1. Get a handle on scheduling and writing posts beforehand.

If you follow my blog, you can probably discern that no, I am not a careful planner of any sort. Most of my reviews are written in a floundering heap, written feverishly the day before I post them. It's a terribly ineffective method, and this year I've promised myself that I will not fall into this trap, despite the tardiness of this post. (Not quite a winning factor, but let's move forward, shall we?)

2. Review books before jumping to start the next one.

I'm a serial reader. Jumping from book to book without taking a breath to stop and smell the flowers is a skill I've acquired through difficult time constraints and busy schedules. This of course, means that I often leave books with a simple few sentences and the cursory "review to come" on Goodreads, which usually ends up staying that way for months. I even have a shelf for not-yet-reviewed books that has books I read in February. It's come to the point where I must carefully reread each book when I come down to writing a review, because it has been so long since I first read it. So, this year, I'm trying hard not to fall back into bad habits, but we'll see how the rest of the year goes.

3. Work on features and other types of posts behind simple reviews.

I've tried working on features before, but the vast majority of blog posts I've crafted are reviews. I do enjoy writing reviews, but many times my favorite posts on other blogs are discussion posts, which I find fascinating to read. There are so many interesting topics to discuss in the bookish world, and when I do get the courage, I'd like to share mine.

On a different note, reviews can be quite time-consuming to read and write, thus I want to work on posts that differ a bit from the classic review, and yet offer the same experience as a review.

So those are my new years resolutions for this blog. May 2016 shine bright for all of us, and I hope I can look back on this post at the end of the year and be proud of myself. 


Friday, January 1, 2016

Suspended in 2015: The Year of New Beginnings

2015 was a pretty damn impressive year if I say so myself. I not only graduated high school but started college, the ultimate transition into adulthood. And of course, I started this blog this year, a major accomplishment, considering I'd been teetering on the edge about making one for so long. While I didn't get a chance to fully immerse myself in the community, I've admired it for a long time, and though it's a small corner, I'm glad I've stepped out to carve this space for myself.

I've missed eating food, especially Japanese food, which I adore with every fiber of my being. It's great to be back home and I like that I can sleep without consequence, unlike when I was at school, where the minutes ticked faster than you could imagine. Quite a lot of shopping has occurred now that I'm not contingent on my own purse, for necessities of course since I'm still woefully unprepared for real cold weather. Besides that and going out with friends, I've really been a bum, convincing myself that I'm being productive when I"m really not.

Possibly because I've been so caught up in relaxing and being lazy but the number of books I've read is dauntingly short despite my ambition to read as many as I could once I got home. I immersed myself in contemporary, with The Fill-In Boyfriend and On the Fence, both by Kasie West, although sadly I was less than impressed by the two. Fluff and I just do not seem to make a good pairing, although I tried to fall in love, there seems to be a cynic lurking underneath. Another contemporary I read was The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin, which made me sob in the last quarter so look out for a glowing review soon. (I keep making these promises don't I?) It's quite emotional, especially with the heartfelt moments, and I was reeled in by its promise of best friends falling in love trope, which it more than delivered on. I also read Winter, which was a satisfying conclusion, although top-heavy, with a few minor issues, but I must say I'm pleased by the end result. I struggled quite a bit with the multiple povs in the previous book, but Winter struck a nice balance in terms of variety, although content wise there were some issues. See How They Run takes the cake as my utter favorite however, not that I'm surprised because Ally Carter is my favorite of favorite authors. A truly excellent book, I was both astonished and enthralled by the twists and turns in this book in addition to what I must say is top-knotch characterization and elegance from Carter. I've been too lazy to add the books on Goodreads but I have plunged into the Amour et Chocolat series by Laura Florand. I'm impressed to say the least, by how well-crafted the characters are, the intricate layers of character development and entertained by the mouthwatering descriptions of chocolate.

I have not watched much TV, but I did start the gritty Chicago PD show, lured in by the attractive casting, mainly Sophia Bush really she's such a beauty. The Chicago trifectas: Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and Chicago Med, I've enjoyed from what I've seen. I was wary of them being too damn similar to other shows, and while I'm not sold on Chicago Med, I can definitely say PD  brings a different kind of cop to light. For cinema, I saw the much anticipated Star Wars, which reached for the stars and delivered on that promise, an impressive feat, and I am very much adoring the new young stars, may the Force be with them. I also saw The Intern, a bit late to the game, but Anne Hathaway never disappoints and Robert De Niro is always superb. I also saw Sisters, amusing but not quite my flair, it was a tad too comedic for my taste.

If I want to be emotional I guess this would be the appropriate place. I've made many new friends this year pretty much on Twitter (since I am absolutely shit at blogging consistently and making the social rounds, I promise I'll do better next year) but there is one person that deserves a shout out. That person is Siiri@Little Pieces of Imagination, a true fire-breathing dragon that I both look up to and love so very much. I would have never been able to start blogging if it weren't for her support and advice so thank you. There are many others I'd like to thank for lighting up my life with their presence, but I did make a thread on Twitter for that, seen here.

 I began blogging this year in April, but really I've been doing a deplorable job of staying on top of things. So 2016 you will be the year of new beginnings and the holder of my hopes and aspirations of accomplishing all that I set out to do instead of having drafts of incomplete reviews that never end up posted. I believe in you and may there be great things ahead for Airy Reads.