January wrap-up, favourites and other

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Dear reader,

How come January is already over?

So many things happened and I grew a lot. As I said in another blog post, 2017 has been a very challenging year for me and I have been feeling terrible most of the time. As we are now in February, I can say that starting a new year has done a lot for me: I am trying to feel better and it is working.

I did a lot, started some of my goals, which I will talk about in another blog post soon, and for now it seems to work. I also started reading a lot again and I’m very happy to see that reading at least 10 books per month became “normal” to me – it’s now my own pace and I love it.

So here is what I read in January and what has been important to me!


READING WRAP UP

In January I read 13 books, which is amazing for me. There were many times during which I couldn’t read at all and I really thought I haven’t read a lot but it turned out I did! I’m also really happy about it because this year I want to read between 10 and 15 books per month (I tried to read 10 books per month last year) to be able to keep reading more and more, and it looks like I can do it.

Anyway, here are all the books I read this month:

  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, 5/5 stars (re-read);
  • Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie, 3.5/5 stars;
  • Your Soul is a River by Nikita Gill, 3/75/5 stars;
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, 3/5 stars;
  • Seeds Planted in Concrete by Bianca Sparacino, 3/5 stars;
  • The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan, 4/5 stars;
  • What I Didn’t Post on Instagram: A Collection of Essays on Real Lives and What We Filter Out edited by Chrissy Stockton, 2.90-3/5 stars;
  • The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher, 4.25/5 stars;
  • Béatrix by Honoré de Balzac, 4.5/5 stars;
  • Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes, 4.25/5 stars;
  • The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan,  3.85/5 stars;
  • Glacé by Bernard Minier, 4/5 stars;
  • and Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh, 3.5/5 stars.

My rating may seem weird this month but I have a good reason: One of my 2018 reading goals is to be more careful when I rate books and to stop giving 5/5 stars to all the ones that made me either smile or cry. To be able to give a rate closer to what I truly felt, I decided to not care about numbers. That’s why I now give such weird grades, like 2.90, but I’m very happy about it.

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My favourite book of January was Glacé (translated as The Frozen Dead), if you don’t count my re-read of ADSOM, and it’s a total surprise for me.

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Here’s the thing: This book has been published by the publishing house I work at but I do not like today’s French literature and I never read thrillers before. I was very anxious to start it, thinking I would be bored throughout the whole story – well, I was wrong. As soon as I started it, I was hooked. The writing style was captivating, the story scary and the whole thing incredible. To be honest, I wasn’t able to read it outside because I was too scared of everything that was happening. I was a bit disappointed by the end but I still adored it and can’t wait to pick up the sequel. I’m also planning on watching the tv show adaptation which is available on Netflix.

My favourite book could have been Béatrix as well but I was disappointed by the last part and discovering a new genre I seem to like, thrillers, got me way too excited anyway. So, here is why a 4 stars book won the title of Favourite of January.


MY FAVOURITES
  • Hamilton: An American Musical

I have been a fan of the musical Hamilton ever since the very beggining of 2016. When at the end of the year I got the chance to register myself in the priority list to see the musical in London, I couldn’t believe it. Never did I think I would one day see it, as it is too expensive for me to 1) fly to the USA and 2) buy myself a ticket for the show at Broadway. But I did register myself and in January 2017 I got to buy my ticket before everyone else. I cried for a whole hour when I got it… and I finally went to see it on the 6th of January 2018.

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I cried when I saw the theatre, even though I already knew what it looked like since I went to see it while it was being constructed during last summer, cried when they printed my ticket, cried when I saw the stage, cried when it started, cried during the show and mostly cried after. I was a mess but I just couldn’t believe I realised one of my dreams. Hamilton is one of the reasons I am who I am today, one of the reasons I am still breathing and fighting. I still can’t believe I saw it, that it was real, but I’m so glad it happened. How lucky we are to be alive right now.

  • Tom Stanley Holland

I can see all of my friends currently rolling their eyes as they are reading this, and I know this isn’t new. The thing is that every day there is something to remind me of how much I adore this man, how much I admire him. He brings me a lot daily and watching videos of him, mostly interviews, somehow became a new weird addiction this month. Listening to him calms me down and helps my anxiety. I know it sounds crazy, and I probably am, but I owe him a lot today.

  • One Day At a Time

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I can’t thank enough my friend Lucie for introducing me to this brilliant tv show. If you don’t know what it is, it basically is a comedy on Netflix and each season has 13 episodes (the second season has only been added). But please, watch it. It deals with so many important things, such as racism, homophobia, coming out, gender identity, mental health, xenophobia, immigration and many more. It may be the most important tv show I have ever watched, and it is also incredibly funny and relatable. You need it in your life.

Here is the premise posted on WikipediaPenelope Alvarez (Justina Machado), a newly single Army Nursing Corps veteran, is raising her two children: Elena (Isabella Gómez) and Alex (Marcel Ruiz) with the support of her colorful Cuban mother, Lydia (Rita Moreno). Penelope works as a nurse for Dr. Leslie Berkowitz (Stephen Tobolowsky), providing her with a regular shift so she can return home to her loving family at the end of the day. However, the return to civilian and family life has been difficult, as Penelope faces a lot of unresolved issues from her time in the Army. She has not been in contact with her estranged husband, Victor (James Martínez), who is also an Army veteran. Currently working for a private contractor in Afghanistan, Victor is an alcoholic with post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic injury.
  • Working out

It isn’t really a favourite but it definitely is something that I am proud of. To this day, I have officially working out for four weeks without every missing a training. I stopped giving myself any excuses and just did it. It is hard but I am getting better and better, and I am feeling so happy afterwards that it definitely is worth it. I’m hoping on continuing the entire year like this and to get healthier.

  • Going to the movies

At the beggining of January, my friend Lucie and I decided to buy ourselves an illimited movie cards which basically allows us to go to the movies anytime we want without paying as we are paying only once at the beggining of every month, and I am so happy that we did that. Thanks to it, I will now also talk about all the movies I watched every month on this blog. There are so many great movies coming out in 2018 and I am so excited to see them all.


January has been an important month to me. So many things changed and I worked hard on my mental health. Today, I am feeling good. I know it’s not as if I was healed but I feel in control and able to conquer the year. I am full of hope and determination. I can’t wait to see what will happen to me during February.

Love always,

Clara

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