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Friday, 12 January 2018

4 books to read in 2018

Reading is one of my favourite things to do to relax. I read some really great books last year, but there were four that really stood out for me, and I just had to share these on my blog. If you're looking for something new to read, I'd highly recommend picking up one of these books this year to get stuck into!

The Power - Naomi Alderman 

The Power was a great read, and something different. I really like to read books that are about the world as it is with a huge difference (if that makes sense - books like the Hunger Games!) and The Power ticks that box. What would happen in a world if women were the ones with the power? This book is very thought-provoking!


The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas

Starr witnesses her best friend being fatally shot by a police officer, and this a story of how the people around her react. She lives two lives as such, swapping between her persona in the poor neighbourhood she lives in and the upper class school she attends with her siblings. This is such a topical book, and whilst upsetting, it's a very good read! I really liked Starr as a character as well, which makes all the difference when you're reading a book.



The Story of a Secret State - Jan Karski

Jan Karski was a member of the Polish underground state during world war two. This book tells his story, and the story of so many others, and it was so interesting. I learnt so much when I read this book, and sadly it sheds light on a few harsh realities about the second world war. Whilst it's a hard-hitting read, you should definitely give this book a go in 2018!


Homecoming - Yaa Gyasi

I loved this book, it is easily in my top four books of 2017. Whilst it was heartbreaking at times, it was beautiful alongside that as you read about each character and their story. It was so different to anything I've read before but it really drew me in, and touched on some incredible sensitive but important issues in such a stunning way.


All four of these books were incredible, and touched on some subjects that I think are so important to be discussing today.  After finishing each of these books, I couldn't help but think that they should all be read in schools. Perhaps reading one of these books would introduce a serious subject to someone who hadn't even considered it, or help a student learn more about a subject they were already beginning to consider.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
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Friday, 5 January 2018

2018

Something about this year feels different. I can't quite put my finger on it, but usually the first day of a new year is spend reflecting on the previous year, and looking for ways to improve things for the next year. Goals are set, and not always achieved, but they are thought about. This year though, and I think it's because 2017 was so fantastic and because I'm pretty bloody happy, there hasn't been such a fierce feeling of wanting to improve myself and do better.


Having said all of the above, there are a few things I'm hoping to do in 2018.

Volunteer more

I recently read this post by Hayley from Honestly Russell, and it really struck a cord. When I was younger, I was so involved in issues I cared about - collecting money for a charity that aimed to improve the quality of life in Rajasthan and getting involved in a campaign against bullying at school. Whilst I've done the odd thing over the years since, I want 2018 to be the year I volunteer again.

Read 60 books

Last year I read 54 books, and I relished in the challenge. This year, I'd like to hit 60 books. Spending my evenings reading books, rather than being absorbed in my laptop did wonders for me last year and I'd like to continue as I mean to go on. Here's to another year of good books!

Boost my savings

2017 was quite an expensive year, especially after 2016 where we managed to save a lot of money towards a house. I'd like to save a bit more this year so we can head further afield on an adventure in the coming year(s) or just do lots of smaller trips! I'm not sure how I'm going to do this yet, but I love the idea of a challenge so we'll see how this one goes.

I'm so looking forward to what 2018 has in store. Whilst I doubt it will be as busy as 2017 was, I've got a really good feeling about this year.

What are you hoping to do in 2018?


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Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017

What a year 2017 has been! It's been a year of so many changes for me; including changing my job, car and moving into a rented house with Dan. One of the main things I've learnt this year is that happiness is such a valuable thing, and I'm finishing the year feeling truly happy and content. I've decided to do a little round up of my year - with links to my month in numbers posts which I've enjoyed writing this year.



January was quite possibly the busiest month of the year. Not only did I start my new job, but two days before I moved into a little one bed house with Dan. An exciting, but exhausting, way to start 2017.


Nothing major happened in February, but we did get the chance to catch up with friends from uni which was lovely.


March is a busy month for family birthdays - especially in 2017 as my sister turned 21 and my grandma turned 80! We had parties to attend, and I took my sister to London for a day of birthday fun.


In April, I visited Poland for the first time ever with a weekend break in Warsaw. We spent time with my grandparents, and I upgraded my car to a mini one which I love, and has made me a much more confident driver.


May was a busy travel month. Dan and I headed to Valencia for a couple of days, and later that same week I jetted off to Stockholm with my friend Mary.


I'll admit that June was spent invested in Love Island, but I didn't put all of my eggs in one basket - and headed to Canterbury for a hen do as well. 


I headed to the Battle Proms at Hatfield House with my work colleagues, and spent a lot of time watching Jane the Virgin, which is hilarious.


In August, I visited two new countries (Luxembourg with my mum, and Czechia with my Dad) and I also read eight books - reading in the summer is one of my favourite things.


Dan and I headed away to Centre Parcs for a week of R and R. I'm convinced that we need to go on a staycation yearly, because it was so relaxing. I'm eyeing up Cornwall for 2018 as I've never been!


My baby sister graduated with a first class degree (I'm so proud!), I turned 24 and also saw Zara Larsson with my best friends. What a month! October is always a family filled month, and I love it.


November saw my Dad ordained as a Baptist minister. I'm so proud of what he's achieved, and celebrating with the family (and the 120 people who turned up because my dad is brilliant) was a highlight. 

December 2017

A busy, but lovely and festive month. We had Christmas for the first time together alone, and spent a lot of time with friends and family. A lovely way to round off 2017!

Here's hoping for as good a year in 2018! I'm looking forward to what the new year will bring, and hope to continue with my month in numbers. Wishing you all health, wealth and happiness for the coming year!

What did you get up to in 2017?
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