Archive | January, 2022

What I Read in 2021

27 Jan

I’ve seriously procrastinated on this post, and I think I know why. I’m ashamed. I only read 27 books last year. That’s the lowest number since I left university! There are a number of reasons: ongoing pandemic, working from home, putting energy into learning languages, binge-watching the Sopranos, starting to write copy freelance, dating etc. But they are all excuses. I just haven’t made reading central to my life and that’s bad for me in so many ways.

I’ve been doing a lot of self-growth work through a meditation programme, and one of the cornerstones is deciding your ‘authentic code’. I’ve enshrined learning and curiosity in my code, but another thing that’s important to me is loving. And that includes loving myself. Since I was three years old, reading has been a therapy, an escape, a relaxation. And I should make more of an effort to prioritise that.

She said, having worked on her first job until 7.30pm the last three nights, and her second job until nearly 12.

Anyway, I didn’t read a huge amount of YA in 2021. The YA community has become very fragmented, with many authors shifting to MG or adult, so I feel like I’m a bit disconnected from what’s going on. Additionally, I feel like contemps have been more prominent/popular, and they’re just not my favourite genre.

I also didn’t read as much non-fiction as I would like. I LOVE reading gripping history. But since reducing my reading time, wading through a hefty tome can be somewhat intimidating.

Reading The Mirror and the Light took absolutely FOREVER so that wiped out a lot of potential reading progress…!

As always, bolded titles were my particular favourites:

  • Witchsign by Den Patrick
  • The Betrayals by Bridget Collins – ooooh I loved this one! Dark Academia, enemies to lovers, a Gormenghast-style rambling school with dusty corners full of secrets…
  • Not a Year Off by Lindsay Williams
  • Wicked by Design by Katy Moran
  • Luckenbooth by Jenni Fagan – the Devil’s daughter moves into an Edinburgh tenement building
Continue reading

Autopsy of 2021

1 Jan

For the last few months, I’ve wanted to write about the process of ‘coming out of’ the pandemic. A sort of ‘Covid is over’ retrospective. Although, of course, we find ourselves now in the midst of Wave Eleventy, in this funny kind of ‘personal responsibility’ quagmire that benefits nobody except the chronically selfish.

This year seems to have passed in an instant, doesn’t it? Perhaps because from November to March, I was in near total isolation at my parents’ house, in a city I have never lived in. It was a privileged position, in many ways: I had food, a warm, comfortable house to stay in, and the companionship of my family. We watched a lot of good TV and movies. We went to the beach for bracing walks, when allowed, and, when restrictions tightened, we limited ourselves to a loop around the block.

But in a city where I knew no-one else, my social world narrowed to phone calls and a semi-regular roleplay game in which I played a drag queen wizard with the stage name Glamione Danger. When it came to the spring and cases had at last dropped a bit, I was so desperate to come home to my own life, it was a physical ache.

As for the rest, I hardly know where to start.

Continue reading