silver plant

Hello and welcome to my first Sunday post of the year. I hope 2014 is treating you well so far.

I want to take some time to share my goals and plans for reading and blogging this year so that I can refer back to them when I lose my way (which I somehow always seem to do). 2013 felt like a year of readjusting for me: to my cousin moving out and away to Colorado, to living on my own again, to beloved co-workers leaving the library due to retirement and promotion and to new job duties in my role as adult services librarian. I think I am finally used to all of the changes, but I hope that 2014 is just as challenging because I have learned that change is beneficial and can bring about much needed reflection and adaptation.

One thing that I’d like to see stay stable and consistent, though, is this blog. I had some lapses last year and many times when I thought I would quit altogether, but I just couldn’t because I knew that blogging is one of my joys and it would be unwise to scrap something that is so fulfilling. After much thought, I’ve devised a plan to keep myself interested and on top of reviews. I’ve realized that I like writing about three books at a time. I don’t know why, but it helps keep my thoughts flowing. So, I’ll share book thoughts after every third book I read. Since it can take me a long time to read three books, however, I’ll also share a post every Sunday, even if it’s just a photo and a quick hello. I’ll occasionally post thoughts about one book by itself (like I will for The Frozen Deep and The Woman in White for the Wilkie in Winter challenge) and I’ll continue to post a monthly Cover Collection. I love assembling those covers!

I’m going to participate in three challenges in 2014: Wilkie in Winter, The Great War theme read and the A Century of Books project started by Simon at Stuck in a Book. I’m a little nervous about ACOB, but I’ve committed to finishing in two years and will do my best to meet the goal.

Other reading goals for 2014:

  • Read more Elizabeth Taylor novels
  • Read at least two Anthony Trollope novels
  • Read the two Sarah Waters books (Tipping the Velvet & The Night Watch) I haven’t read before her new novel comes out in the fall
  • Read all of the Persephone novels I own (around 18 or so)

These goals are really ambitious for me, especially as I’ve decided to become a knitter as well, but I know I can make progress if I just TURN OFF the TV. I watch far too much TV these days and would like to decrease my viewing time so I’ll have more time for other pursuits.

I wish you all the best with your own reading and blogging goals, if you made them.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Sunday!


  1. Trollope is a goal of mine this year too. Don’t start with The Warden, I read it last year and it was terrible. I’m not defeated though and shall keep tryIng with him. No too fond of Elizabeth Taylor but I love Sarah Waters and Tipping the Velvet is one of my favourite books. I’m really happy you’re not giving up blogging. Happy 2014!

    • It’s too late for The Warden – I read it in 2012. I liked it, but I have a feeling it is not Trollope’s best work.
      I adore Sarah Waters and can’t believe that I haven’t read Tipping the Velvet yet. I’ll have to buy a copy as my library doesn’t own one.
      Happy 2014 to you!

      • I agree, The Warden is pretty slow, but it sets up the story for the Barchester series — Barchester Towers is WONDERFUL!! I also loved Doctor Thorne. I also loved The Way We Live Now and The American Senator, both of which are stand-alone novels. I’ve got about 20 books by Trollope on my shelves unread and hope to read several this year (I did read five last year, which is pretty good). And yesterday I counted, I have 24 unread Persephones!!! I’d like to read one every month, that would make a good dent in the pile.

        • Let’s read those Persephones!
          It is due to you and Lisa and others that I want to read Trollope. His novels sound so delightful and full of great characters – I can’t resist. Barchester Towers is on the TBR for winter or spring.
          I didn’t realize that he had stand alone novels – those might be worth tracking down as I seem to be allergic to series.

  2. I have also starting knitting and it is making me very happy. Love your reading goals. I am going to check out the reading challenges you are taking on and maybe participate in one of them. I especially like the sound of Wilkie in Winter. The new movie The Invisible Woman about Dickens features Wilkie Collins in many scenes. I had no idea they were such good friends and collaborated on writing projects. Happy New Year!

    • Isn’t knitting fantastic? It calms me yet challenges me like nothing else.
      I would love to see The Invisible Woman – I’ll have to keep it in mind. I enjoyed The Frozen Deep by Collins and am now moving on to The Woman in White, which I read many years ago and liked. I don’t remember very much about it, though, so it will be fresh for me. Happy New Year to you!

  3. Your reading goals sound good, I’m sure you’ll manage to achieve them.
    I’m sure lots of those Persephones will help towards the Century of Books challenge?

  4. Those are wonderful goals and you should always have a wonderful book ahead of you. Trollope has just clicked with me, and I have plans to reread Elizabeth Taylor’s Angel. You’ll find that knitting and television can work well together, once you’re comfortable with what you’re doing.

  5. I’m pleased you’ve decided to continue blogging and have devised a plan you feel happy with! Good luck with all your goals for 2014. I hope you have time to read the two Sarah Waters books – The Night Watch is one of my favourites.

    • I’ve tried to read The Night Watch before and for some reason it hasn’t clicked with me. I hope I can pick it up at the right time this year. Her new book sounds intriguing and I am very much looking forward to it.

  6. I’m also so glad to hear that you will be continuing with the blog. It sounds like you’ve figured out a balance, and what you want to do with it, and that’s so important, I think. I’m impressed & slightly envious that you have so many Persephones waiting. I have only found a couple, but then I haven’t dared to start ordering them directly. I’m pleased to see Trollope on your reading list, though I have to disagree with Ruby Scarlett above about The Warden – did you read that one already? If you’d like any suggestions, just let me know 😉 Happy reading!

    • I started collecting Persephones at least four or five years ago and shamefully haven’t read many of them. I’ve only ordered directly from the shop 3 times because it is so expensive – those have been Christmas gifts to myself. It’s the shipping that does you in!
      I did read The Warden a couple of years ago and I liked it so plan to continue on with Barchester Towers. Is that the best place to go on to?
      I’m glad to be back to blogging regularly again!

  7. I made a resolution this TV year that I would only keep up with two shows at a time. In past years, I’ve had a whole bunch of current shows that I’ve felt pressured to keep up with, which led to me watching way more TV than I needed to be watching. But this year, it’s only New Girl and The Good Wife. I’ve found it very freeing. I resolved it in advance of the TV year beginning, and that made it easy.

    I have to read Affinity before Sarah Waters’s new book comes out! That is a good goal for me to have. Gotta make it happen.

    • It sounds like a good plan to limit the number of series to keep up with. I only really love a small percentage of the shows I watch anyway – I think I could do without most of them!
      Affinity is brilliant – a bit slow to start but seething with that dark Victorian shimmer that Waters does so well.

  8. piningforthewest

    Gosh you’re so organised, I just go bumbling along in a completely random way, probably not the best way. I’m so glad that you’re keeping at the blogging though and I also really enjoyed The Warden. I watch too much TV too but often it’s just on for background noise!

    • I’m not really organized, but I try to be! I usually end up being random, too, but during those rare times when I stick to my goals I do get more accomplished.
      I also turn on the TV for background noise as it can be much too quiet in my house sometimes.

  9. I love these goals! Trollope is wonderful and, if you’re uncertain where to start, do ask Lisa. She is an excellent guide!

  10. I don’t have an goals, but I really should (now that’s almost a goal word, isn’t it?!) read my unread Persephones — it’s not like that will be a struggle, as they are so nice to hold in the hand and I’ve not been disappointed with a single one that I’ve so far read. Enjoy your reading – that’s the most important thing!

    • Reading the Persephones won’t be a struggle, but I wonder why I haven’t read them before now? I think I am hoarding them for some reason.
      There have been years where I haven’t set any reading goals and those were lovely, but I think this is a year for goal-setting. I never let that interfere with my enjoyment, though. As soon as something doesn’t work for me any more or feels too pressured I am fine with letting it go.

  11. Good luck with your challenges and goals this year 🙂

  12. Best of luck with your goals, 18 Persephones is admirable! Glad you’ve adjusted well and interesting that you write best about three books at a time, one is a lot by itself so you must have quite a lot of willpower!

    • For some reason I can be more succinct and brief when I write about three at a time. I don’t like rambling along about a book because I just repeat myself, but I try to fill the page and it goes on and on and on. So, three at at time suits my style. 🙂
      I don’t know how I accumulated so many Persephones, but now I really must read them all!

  13. Happy New Year! I think the post every three books idea is very good. I might give Sarah Waters a go, too!

    • Happy New Year to you, Nicola! Sarah Waters is magnificent, but I don’t know if she’d be your cup of tea. I hope you do try her, though.

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