Where did 2018 go?
In some ways this has been a hard slog of a year. Personal challenges abounded, lots of change and compromise at every turn and a very hectic schedule. I'm pretty tired and run-down right now.
The thing that keeps me going though, through good times and bad, are my good friends, books. When all else fails, there's a book waiting to be discovered or an old friend waiting to be reread.
I'm starting to see posts about reading challenges for next year as well as the 2018 in review posts, but it was Fanda's recent post that got me motivated to write something myself. Next year, Fanda is embarking on a no plan reading year. I heartily support this!
I've been a no challenge blog for two years now and feel so much freer for it. As much as I loved the community chatter and discussion that surrounds the making of new year reading plans, I never, ever followed through all the way to the end of the year.
In the end they became another thing I HAD to do. They began to feel like a chore.
But I do love this book blogging community and I do love a readalong. And that is where my focus no lies. Because I have no reading challenges to get through by the end of the year I can join in or even create random readalongs at short notice. Just for fun!
Fanda reminded me that I had proposed a Moby Dick readalong for 2019 and that is still in the works. It will probably be February before I get it up and running, but I would like to combine reading a chapter of the book with listening to a chapter of the Moby Dick Big Read podcast. At the moment my brain is only coming up with rude hashtags for the readalong, so I welcome your thoughts!
I still have two more Iris Murdoch books ready to go for Lizzy's #IMreadalong in 2019 (The Sea, The Sea and The Book and the Brotherhood) and I always look forward to Fanda's Zoladdiction in April.
Reading an Austen in August is now a lovely habit and something to look forward to rather than a challenge and I will always read three or four classics a year thanks to the Classics Club Spin.
The closest I will come to a reading challenge is this lovely Agatha Christie one that I spotted recently, hosted by Robin @Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks. I have caught up on all my cosy crime series, so some Agatha Christie's will be my stop gap measure until Jacqueline Winspear and Sulari Gentill write their next books.
There may or may not be some kind of combined Classics Club and Rachel @Hibernator's Library Shakespeare readalong to look forward to in 2019 as well.
My TBR pile is a constant, threatening to topple over and smother me in my sleep at any time! I don't/can't/won't keep track of how many of them I'm reading each month or over the year, but I love any prompt that helps me to read another one.
I love the Dewey 24 hr Readathon - I will attempt as many as they dare to host! The next one is due for 6th April 2019.
Thanks to my on-going editor's position at the Australian Women Writers Challenge (as well as my job in an Indie bookshop), I will always be lookin for a chance to read more Australian authors. If you're keen to read more Aussie books yourself, feel free to browse our database or join in the yearly challenge to be posted soon.
Paris in July and Non-Fiction November are the other two big book blogging events I look forward to every year as well. They do nothing to help my expanding TBR pile, but they're such a lovely social gathering I cannot resist.
I will also join in Shelia's annual First Book of the Year meme.
I'm in the middle of both the Michelle Obama memoir, Becoming and Any Ordinary Day by Leigh Sales. I'm loving both for their positive attitudes and hopefulness.
My summer holiday reading stack includes Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (my next book club book) and my CC Spin book, John Matteson's bio on Louisa May Alcott and her father, Bronson, Eden's Outcasts. My stand by book is Bridge of Clay by Marcus Zusak and the little light relief option is A Maigret Christmas by Georges Simenon.
Finally, a blogging curiosity.
Last week, the Google doodle was in honour of Nobel prize winning poet, Nelly Sachs. Two years ago I wrote a post about Nelly, including some of her poems in translation.
Last week my stats went wild.
My Nelly Sachs post suddenly appeared in my 'popular post' sidebar at #3 with a whopping 1298 views in just 24 hours. So thank you to Google and German/Finnish artist, Daniel Stolle for highlighting a little known, mostly forgotten award winning female poet.
Good luck with your 2019 reading plans, whichever way they work for you and please let me know below if you'd be interested in joining in a Moby Dick readalong early next year.