Confessions of a Book Blogger: I can DNF Books after all

A while back, I wrote a blog post where I explained that it is really hard for me to DNF (Did Not Finish) books. However, more recently I’ve changed a bit around in my life that has also affected my ability to DNF books.

As you’ve seen, I’ve gotten rid of a lot of things (and a lot of books) due to Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying. Our home has become less cluttered and all the things I didn’t like anyway have left the premises. This has also opened my eyes more and more to doing things I don’t like.

Of course, there are certain things you have to do, mostly because in the end they are beneficial. Finish school, go to work, go to the bathroom, getting dressed and more. However, finishing books that are boring, uninteresting, sexist or horribly written are definitely not part of this list.

Sure, I already knew this before, but somehow my mind would still see it as a failure if I didn’t finish the book. As a perfectionist, that was the hardest part. Failing to finish a book.

Now however, I see getting rid of a book I just can’t get through as a victory. A victory over the restrictions I have, for so long, placed on myself. It still feels scary, and a little part of my brain still isn’t convinced that it isn’t really failure taking over after all. However, practice makes perfect. Or, from the field of behavioral psychology: just keep doing it until the anxiety about it subsides and it’ll become as normal as waking up in the morning.

So, for all those out there I can tell you from personal experience: it is possible. And it’s freeing to be able to say to a book: “You suck, fuck off! Stop wasting my time.”

Series review: Newsflesh trilogy

 Series review | Review of the Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant | 4 stars

Newsflesh by Mira Grant

Cover design: Lauren Panepinto
Images: Shutterstock
Orbit Books 2010
ISBN: 978 0 356 50056 0

Synopsis

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop.

The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives—the dark conspiracy behind the infected.

The truth will get out, even if it kills them.


Bullet-point review

★★★★☆

+ zombies
+ social media
+ political intrigue
+ bloggers
+ 20th century references
+ sci-fi

 – So many side characters, I sometimes got them confused


Full Review

There are so many things I love about these books. For starters, I’m going through a bit of an (after-) apocalypse phase, so the zombies in this book totally do that. On top of that, there are often references to what people did in zombie movies and how they should or shouldn’t do this as well.

However, zombies are the main focus of this book, at least not quite. They just happen to inhabit the world this book is set in. It’s the political events that are the real story; often of course related to the zombies.

Bloggers are the only still remaining trust-worthy news source, as the regular media didn’t pick up on the zombie outbreak until it was too late. Our bloggers, who are the main characters, get to follow a political campaign and this way get involved into this whole new world.

Throughout the series, we find out more and more about this strange new world, where fear is overwhelmingly present and decides peoples’ actions. This is just about the single most important thing I took away from this book: you cannot let fear decide how to live your life.

Plus, a bunch more cool stuff happens, but I don’t want to spoil any of it. Some of it sci-fi and relatively far-fetched, but not so much as to make it unbelievable. There were a lot of side characters in the books and sometimes I got a little mixed up trying to figure out who was who again. Apart from that, it was easy to read.


Glanerbrug Boekenbeurs 2017

Just like last year, the last weekend of January meant that there was going to be a second hand book fair in Glanerbrug (Enschede, the Netherlands). I’ve been there for the past couple of years and wrote about it last year as well. I explained that all of the money they raise goes to several different charities. If you’d like to read that, you can find it here.

This year, I ended up buying 10 different books (one for the boyfriend), for a total of 20 Euros. Not bad, right? Unfortunately, I was too absorbed in my book-buying, that I forgot to take any pictures at the book fair. Oops.

One cool new thing was, that when we bought the books, we all received a reusable linen bag. Love it!


6066864Now, let’s check out the books I bought. Some of them I’ve read before, some of them I’ve
just heard good things about. All of them are going to be read one day!

  1. Tirza by Arnon Grunberg
  2. The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov
  3. Second Foundation by Issaac Asimov
  4. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  5. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  6. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller4588
  7. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
  8. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  9. Camera Obscura by Hildebrand
  10. Hitler’s Kinder by Guido Knopp

KonMarie Method – Step three: books

As promised a long time ago, here finally are some pictures of step 3 of the KonMari Method, the decluttering of my books.

20160920_19282420160920_19284820160920_20242920160920_202439

As you can see, that’s a lot of books. Also, lots of chaos! I discarded almost half of all these books. My list stands at 235 that I got rid of. This means that there were 326 that I wanted to keep them.

Another joyful fact is that my bookcase looks so much better now. It was by no means crowded before, but somehow something always seemed off. Now, I find, that it looks so much better!

For a bunch of the books I’ve already found some lovely people who would like to have them. All the other ones will be donated/sold to second hand shops.

Next on the KonMari Method list is papers. We already did this as well. Lots better organized now, and a lot less papers still around. We’re now slowly going through all the other things we have to do, before moving on to sentimental items.

Ps. I think my TBR never went down as fast as this, and probably never will again.

Favorite books of 2016

It was really hard to cut this list down to only ten books. I wanted it to be a mix of fiction, non-fiction, Dutch, English, German, children’s, young adult and adult books. So it took me a while to get all those categories represented in the best way!

So, without furrther ado, in no particular order (or well, the order they were read in throughout the year):

  1. De Gouden Dolk by Thea Beckman 1551208

  2. 16147181The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

  3. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne39999

  4. 21686Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

  5. Feed by Mira Grant7094569

  6. 18808023I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

  7. Room by Emma Donoghue24968083

  8. 22011085The Life Changing Magic of Tyding my Mari Kondo

  9. Das Paket by Sebastian Fiztek28254289

  10. 19542841More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

What were your favorite books of 2016? Did you read any of the books I read, what did you think of those?

Review: Goals 2 0 1 6

Blogging Goals 2016.2As mentioned in my previous blog post, I wanted to check up on the goals I set last year. What happened to them? Were they reached?

I posted two different blog post at the beginning of last year describing my social media goals and my reading goals.

  • original pictures on the blog

    I mostly managed to do this. However, not in the way I planned. I still take my pictures from my Instagram pictures very often. At least they’re my pictures though. So I’ll consider this one half-way reached.

  • feminist blog posts

    Nope. Didn’t happen. I still want to, just didn’t really write very many.

  • update list of reviews weekly on the blog

    This did most definitely not happen.

  • let go of ‘the perfect picture’ on Instagram

    I mostly did this. Most pictures are not too set-up anymore and all of them are taking by phone. I think I can consider this one as reached.

  • use my Facebook page more

    I didn’t do this. Like with certain other goals I didn’t reach, I still want to, but I didn’t get to it.

  • upload reviews on Goodreads

    Nope, I forgot all about Goodreads for a while.

  • interact more on Twitter

    Twitter wasn’t really in the picture anymore…

  • pin new posts on Pinterest once a week

    Hmmm, I skipped this one too.

  • follow more bloggers on Bloglovin’

    Well, since I wasn’t blogging, I didn’t do anything on Bloglovin’ either.

  • read 120 books

    I didn’t get to read this many. Especially since starting my new job (that I love!), I’ve not read as much. This is why I set my reading goals a lot lower this year: it has to be realistic after all!

  • read 15 books in German and Dutch

    These I reached. I read 20 books in Dutch and 18 in German!

  • read 5 non-fiction books

    Yes! I read a total of 16 non-fiction books.

  • read 10 classics

    Almost, I read 9 books I would consider classics this year.

  • read 2 fairy tales each month

    Uhm… nope. Didn’t happen. Maybe this year?

  • Reduce TBR to under 150 books

    Yes! I didn’t do it reading, I got rid of a lot of my books (about half). Now, my TBR is under 100! So, achieved!

As you can see, I did not achieve all of my goals. I’m ok with that. During the year my life changed (full-time job), so my goals had to change as well. I therefore don’t regret that I didn’t achieve all of them: there were other things that became more important.

How did you do on the goals you set for yourself? Let me know in the comments!

2 0 1 7 GOALS

* 2 0 1 7 *

IMG_20170108_104813.jpg

The previous year went by so fast, with lots of ups and downs. I feel like I’ve finally got the hang of working full time and having a social life. However, blogging seems to have taken a backseat. I’m hoping I’ll be able to fit it in again at some point as well.

So it’s the time of year where we set goals. Since I didn’t really achieve very many last years, I’d like to try again and maybe make them a little less ambitious and more realistic.

  1. Excersize at least twice a week (tae kwon do, pole dancing, running, yoga).
  2. Finish 52 books this year.
  3. Acquire two new games (board/card games).
  4. Reduce my TBR from 88 to 50 books.
  5. Go to the sauna at least once a month.
  6. Experience 5 new things (foods, activities, sports, places etc.).
  7. Finish the Konmari method + repeat at the end of the year for books and clothing.
  8. Post 1 new blog post each week.

There are more things I would like to do in 2017, of course. This list of goals is by no means extensive. However, writing everything down would be excessive (and possibly boring).

My goal for next week? Review the goals from last year. Perhaps I did better than I think.

Happy New Year! May all your dreams and goals come true this year!