I decided to do this post, purely so I can look back in the future. I can’t remember exactly when I read these books, but they’ve definitely been in the past 10 years. This decade I read mostly YA books! This list isn’t in order, but are the most memorable books I’ve read in the decade.
- Flowers in the attic by Virginia Andrews. I read this at the start of the decade, but still remains my favorite book of all time. I’ve got a post dedicated to reviewing this so I’ll link that below if you want to read why I love it so much. The sequel is good, but definitely not in my top of the decade.
- Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger. I read this at the start of the decade too, and I was the perfect age to read this book. This book also remains in my top 10 reads of all time! I think my age played a huge role in that, as I related a lot. I want to reread it again soon to see how it differs at this age. This is a book everyone should read!
- It’s kind of a funny story by Ned Vizzini. This is a great book about mental illness, and is an easy read for those wanting an introduction to books about this genre. It’s an easy read made for teens but includes some important points on depression whilst still having humor. The movie is also great!
- All the little lights by Jamie Mcguire. I went into this book without any expectations but I came out adoring it. The characters had such unique aspects that I was addicted. I didn’t expect this book to make the top, but it definitely does!
- When elephants fly by Nancy Richardson. This made it into my top books of 2018 post. I felt so close to Swifty the elephant in this story, and still often think of her… I never thought I would be this connected to a fictional animal!
- The book theif by Markus Zusak. I think this book will forever remain in my top favourite. It’s so unique! Written by death? This is all I need to say… Go and read now if you haven’t!
- My heart and other black holes by Jasmine Warga. I read this book when I was really struggling with my mental health, and thus has stuck with me. It’s a YA book about suicide, and is a huge trigger if you’re struggling. Despite this, I didn’t predict the scenarios of the book, and read it in one sitting. I want to reread this whilst I’m well to see how it differs.
- Stolen by Lucy Christopher. I read this as a teen, and absolutely began my love for YA books. I’ve read this book so many times. I don’t relate to the characters, yet they are both unique in such different ways. It is a quick read, and is in my top YA picks.
- We were liars by E. Lockhart. I had to read this book twice as I was confused the first time. There is so much depth to this book. Another YA pick, which has won many awards, and I can understand why!
- The Harry Potter series. I dislike any type of fantasy, but at the end of 2019 I decided to try and see what all the hype is about… If you’ve read my posts, you’ll know how significant this is. I still need to publish my review on this… (too much pressure)
I’m not one for New years resolutions, so these are more goals that I want to keep indefinitely, not just for the year. It is also a little odd for me to be writing this as I’ve been in a really good place for a few months now. I’ve struggled with my mental health for about 7 years now, it’s differed in severity over that time. I’ve been relatively well for a couple years now, with only a few blips in the way. I have not self harmed in 5 years. I am not currently on medication or receiving psychological intervention. A brief introduction on my situation out of the way…
- My first goal is to stick to my consistent sleeping schedule. I’ve been doing this a while, and it really affects me! I didn’t realize it could play a huge part in my mental health. I’m not too strict on it, I give myself a little lay in when I need to, and rarely stay away past midnight but I averagely get a solid 8 hours a night! I feel this consistency really has given me the mental energy I need, especially when I’m struggling a little. I don’t sleep too long or too little!
- Saying ‘no’: This use to be a big problem for me, and is something I’m still not the best at. I’m getting good at doing it over text/email but is still hard for me in person. A few too many times I have said yes in my job, when I know I wanted / needed to say no. Therefore, this year I aim to say ‘no’ more when it could negatively affect my mental health.
- Self help? I’ve had multiple types of therapy since my journey began all those years ago, but I wasn’t in the mindset to want to get better, which is why I suppose they didn’t help much. I want to be, and stay better now. So I’m aiming to delve into the world of self help. Mainly in the form of books! I’ve always been skeptical but there is no harm trying something that could potentially help!
- Find a hobby: I lack a hobbie that I can leap myself full force into, and escape from the world for a while. I love reading and blogging, but they are very self focused and lack the aspects that I’m wanting to get into. I am going to try a few different classes this year, sport wise, art wise, anything I can find local! Knitting also seems appealing, but I’m not the best at sticking to things I’m not good at… I’m going to try a few and see where I end up in a few months!
- Don’t let a negative emotion ruin my whole day: I’m not the most positive of people so when something bad happens, or I’m not feeling the best, I’d often naturally see my whole day as negative which is something I want to change. I understand I’m going to have harder days, and negative events are going to happen, but I’m hoping I can turn it around and not let the whole day be affected.
These are just a few things I hope to improve upon this year! I also did a bookolution (book related goals) post previously if you’d like to check that out!
This is my first review of the decade/ new year, and what a great one to start with. This year I aim to read more classic fiction, all those books everyone should read in their life time. I decided to start with To Kill a Mockingbird and what a great introduction was this.
Firstly, my favorite genre for the past few years has been YA, and this book surprisingly gave me this vibe. I’m not sure why, but I expected this book to be slow. I was wrong, I flew through this book, and finished it within 24 hours of starting. (Writing this on January 4th and I’ve already finished 3 books thus far). I think ‘Coming of age fiction’ is going to be my new YA.
I’m going to try and make this spoiler free… The characters were all unique, the infamous Atticus Finch, a distant man and quiet father yet you still feel great emotion pouring from him was a strong basis to this book. The siblings Scout and Jem. These two were definitely my favorite characters, both very different yet I can’t pick one. Boo Radley displayed a great mystery to his character, and one that I’m sure will fascinate the audience. Despite often forgetting about him during parts of the story. I was very intrigued by his character. I was also fond of Calpurnia.
This book involved heavy topics, including racism, domestic violence/rape, death ect, yet due to the story being written by Scout, the youngest of the siblings, it had a great aspect of innocence to it. I can see why many middle schools choose this for English class, and wonder what I would have thought if I read this as a teen. The story flowed well, language was beautiful yet not difficult and made me not want to put it down.
The story line kept me intrigued, I fell in love with the characters, I can understand why Harper Lee will forever be seen as a great author. I have no faults on this novel, and give it 5/5. To Kill a Mocking Bird is a book everyone should read and can’t believe I didn’t pick this up sooner. I have ‘Go Set a Watchmen’ by Harper Lee, but am not going to read it straight away. Everyone had to wait 45 years after To Kill and Mockingbird… I definitely won’t leave it that long to pick up the next one, maybe a few months. Have you read both?
I’m not one for making new years resolutions (I don’t think you need to wait for the new year to give yourself a fresh start) but decided to make a few book related goals I would like to accomplish this year, and for the whole decade.
-My main book goal is to record EVERY book I read on paper. I am currently in my favorite coffee shop studying and writing blog posts, and on my walk home I shall pop into a independent store (or end up in TJmaxx) and buy myself a special notebook to do this. I’m going to try and find a strong one as I imagine it will take years to fill up. I hope this is a habit I will keep for life. I’m just about to finish a book, and thus this evening the notebook will hopefully begin! I can’t wait to see the book slowly fill with books I’ve read.
-Secondly, I want to keep my orignal goal of reading 100 books a year. This seems overwhelming to say out loud, but it works out to only 8-9 books a month, which is manageable for me! I completed this 5 years in a row! Although this year I’m not sure I did, as I didn’t record any of my read books, nor did I do monthly wrap ups on my blog which I could have worked out overall. Which is a shame… Hence why my first goal is so important!
– Write more book related blog posts. I enjoy my blog in the sense I can write about anything I please. I find it helpful writing about my mental health, and will still do this, but I would like to write more book ones as I do thoroughly enjoy them once I’ve started. I aim to do at least a monthly wrap and an individual book review a month, with a mixture of other posts.
– My last goal is to delete my TBR and not make a new one. This probably shocks all of you with a book blog… I struggle with spontaneity and having lists for literally everything. Therefore, I thought taking away this list would help combat this struggle. It’s a list I refer to quite often, but without it, it won’t increase my anxiety. (If that makes sense?) In comparison to removing a list related to my degree ect. I will pick a book as and when I finish the current one. I’ll still have a TBR in the sense that I have books on my shelf that I want to read, and have a specific shelf for this. (I’m currently writing an update post on my book shelf and how it recently significantly changed)
Do you have any bookalutions?
I’ve been very open about my mental health on this account. One of the reasons why I started my blog was to write anonymously and honestly about my mental health. Not only in the hope that it will help myself but on the slim chance in can also help someone else, even just making you feel less alone. I made this blog anonymous so I could literally talk about anything and everything, no matter how deep or personal. (If you do have any questions you’ve always wanted to know,but felt too intrusive, you can always comment or email me. I will answer anything!). I openly write when I am well, as well as very low.
I’ve reached a point in my journey, where I feel I’ve been for a good few months. I’m OK. I’ve reached a stage where I genuinely feel I want to be alive, now and for the future. Even when I am riddled with intrusive thoughts of suicide, I now have the thought in the back of my mind that suicide is not what I really want. This little voice in the back of my mind gives me the strength to realize these thoughts are temporary and irrational. This is HUGE for me, as for the past 5 years I genuinely believed suicide was my only option. I really needed support when I felt this way, as I believed my thoughts.
This revelation that I want to stay here is confusing. It hasn’t miraculously made the intrusive thoughts or low moods go away. Therefore, when I feel this way, I really have to work through them, which is very mentally draining. It has also given me a new anxiety for the future, as I now see the importance of my degree, and my part time job. These are understandable , as these are ‘normal’ life stressors. Despite this, I do not have the skills to cope with this.
I’m doing amazing in the sense I want to stay alive or rarely get thoughts of self harm anymore. I don’t have sick days at my part time work, I hand my assignments for my degree on time and get good grades. I sleep and eat well. (coffee and cake is life) I do and have planned so many fun activities. Yet I’m not ‘better’. Everyday is still a struggle for me, despite the appearance that I have my shit together. This is hard, so very hard. Am I going to burn out? Is it just stress that will naturally go away?
A niggling in my mind is telling me I need professional help to healthily work through all of these emotions. I haven’t been open about my suicidal thoughts or self harm when previously in therapy. My biggest fear in life is being sectioned, so find being in the presence of psychiatric professionals very uneasy, and lack trust to share these thoughts. Should I work through these whilst I’m in the best place I’ve been?
I’m overwhelmed and confused but I’m genuinely okay.
I recently decided to delve into the world of classic fiction. All the books I feel everyone should read in their life time. I can’t believe I had never read Of mice and men. Especially as lot’s of people seem to be introduced to it when in highschool.
Firstly, it is a very short read. Easily read in one sitting, although I read it over two days. It wasn’t a difficult read, but still displayed beautiful language.
I only seemed to connect to the two main characters, Lennie and and George. None of the other characters seemed to stay in my mind. There is only one female character in this book, who I don’t think was named. George and Lennie are friends in the era of the great depression, both of whom are migrant ranch workers. Lennie displays some type of mental disability, and George has always looked out for him. You can clearly see the protectiveness George has over Lennie, and the commitment that they share.
I’ll try to avoid spoilers. The ending of the book really took me by surprise. To summarise in one word; EMOTIONAL.
I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve read Of mice and men. I feel it’s a book all ages could read, pre teen aswell as adults. It’s a short and emotional read, a classic that everyone needs to read at least once. A solid 4.5/5 from me!