READING, READING, AND THEN SOME MORE READING
For the past three semesters (1.5 years) I have been studying my Masters at the University of Zurich. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and learning, and despite the stress of assignments and those deadly deadlines, I have enjoyed myself. I have read books that I never would have personally chosen, which resulted in new favourites and new disappointments. But things are changing. Next year I am starting my Master’s thesis, which requires an original research contribution to the field of English Literary Studies. It also means that I have no more literary classes left. This means my reading time just got a whole lot freer. Rather than a weekly dose of two-four novels and some articles from the course lists, I can choose my own reading lists. I did a stock-pile of my books and I have around 40 or so books on my to-read list which means in 2016 I will have my reading work cut out for me.
Here is a glimpse at what 2016’s reading list has to offer:
- Everything I Never Told You
- The House of Mirth
- Bless Me Ultima
- East of Eden
- Mary Barton
- The Blazing World
- The Satanic Verses
- The Fisherman
- Fear of Flying
SHORT STORY SUNDAYS!
I have always been a fan of short stories. Yet, I feel that in many academic and non-academic cycles, the short story is getting left behind. This is why I want to trial Short Story Sundays: The last Sunday of every month I will review a short story and talk about the author. I want to go through classics like Raymond Carver and Truman Capote, but I also want to explore new short stories from around the globe. I also want to open it up to you, blog readers:
Do you have a short story you would like me to review? It can be a favourite already published author, or maybe you are looking for feedback and help with getting your name out into the world? If this is you, then I hope you will get in contact with me through Facebook, email, or Twitter.
BE EASIER ON MYSELF
New Year’s Resolutions would not be the same if they didn’t come in threes, right? The more and more I get to know myself, which I believe is something that can only happen with time, the more I realise how much of a perfectionist I am. Usually this work has positive connotations: you want everything to be right, to be good, to be perfect. If I could just lose one more kilo, if I could just be smarter, if I could just BE BETTER AT EVERYTHING… then my family would be perfect, then everyone would love me, then I would get the job I have always wanted, then I would be respected, then I would get published… Perfectionism is a big problem that actually has more negative effects than we realise. Perfectionism can never be sated. It is a hunger that knows no end until it will consume you.
A dear friend of mine once told me, “Don’t let perfect get in the way of good enough.” And it might seem like a cop-out, but actually it is my new mantra for 2016. Being good enough… is enough. If you’re panicking about not being slim enough, smart enough, fit enough… If you think that by achieving these things someone will love you, family won’t leave you, life will be better, the sun will always shine… I’m here to tell you, there is nothing wrong with being imperfect. And trying to be perfect for someone else, or even yourself, is not the answer. There is nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself, but set yourself realistic goals. Give yourself time to learn, love, fail, grow, and change. Don’t let perfect get in the way of your good enough.
(If you want to know more about Perfectionism then I would suggest the Stuff Mum Never Told You podcast.)
What are your plans for 2016? Are you a fellow blogger with big blog ideas for 2016? Do you have your own reading lists planned for another 365 days of books? I would love to hear your thoughts! Remember to always share the reading love.