Happy New Year from Tokyo

(Courtesy: talkie_tim)

Our holiday has been full of all the things, but as here in Tokyo it has been 2018 for two whole hours, it’s about time I wish you all a very happy New Year. We were at Shibuya Crossing for the midnight countdown, which is like Tokyo’s equivalent of Times Square. Thousands of us crowded together to watch the giant Coca-Cola-sponsored countdown clock. It was fun, but crazy. Much like Tokyo.

Happy 2018 everyone. Let’s hope it’s a good one.

2016 – a year in stats

Happy New Year’s Eve! To quote Tim’s newest T-shirt, 2016 sucked. I’m not sure how, but I have to hope that 2017 will be better.

That said, this year wasn’t all bad. There has been great music, great theatre, great art and of course great books. I read 80 books this year (less than last year) or 20,571 pages (more than last year). I read 12 classics towards the Classics Club, including finally getting round to reading books I’ve had on the TBR for many years.

I read 21 books in translation, from many different languages (my spreadsheet shows 10 languages but in addition, Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales was translated from all over the world), which is more than double what I managed last year. 24 books were by authors from a country other than the US or UK, which again is up on last year.

I read 32 books by men, 40 by women and 8 by authors of both genders, which I’m happy with. I read 4 poetry books, 4 short story collections, 9 non-fiction books and 20 comics, leaving an overwhelming 43 fiction books. I think I should read more non-fiction next year.

Continue reading “2016 – a year in stats”

Reading round-up December 2016

Happy holidays! I’ve had a week off work and I have read half a book. Crazy! In fairness it’s a big book – 684 pages in the edition I have. And I finally finished it this morning, just in time for a New Year fresh start. If I feel like reading today, I’ll dig out a short story or three, but I think we’re running out of time to do stuff before going out for New Year anyway.

I have sadly failed to complete my reading bingo card. Even cheating a little bit by including short stories for two of the remaining categories, I didn’t manage to tick everything off. But I think in general I did pretty well and it did encourage me to read a few things I otherwise wouldn’t have – including my epic reread of Sophie’s Choice.

Tomorrow I’ll weed out the TBR a little as my kind and generous family gave me 10 new books for Christmas and I’m expecting/hoping for a couple more for my birthday next week. Lovely lovely bookses.

But for now I’ll quickly list my December reads and then get to my annual stats in another post.

Continue reading “Reading round-up December 2016”

Sunday Salon: New year, new start?

The Sunday Salon

The new year is really just an arbitrary point in time, but I think a lot of us see it as an opportunity for change. That might be making resolutions, beginning new projects or routines, or just making promises to ourselves to be “better” in some way this year. I pretty much never make resolutions, though I do have annual reading goals, but I do tend to see the new year as a time to start afresh on good habits.

Well, we might only be 12 days in, but so far the signs aren’t good for my habits this year. I could blame it on the nasty cough/cold I’ve had or the fact I’ve not yet settled back into a routine after the Christmas holiday, but I’m still not happy with how my year has started. I have so far finished one book. I have done zero exercise. The to do list is longer than ever. And I’ve not been eating especially healthily. Hmm.

Just practising

On the plus side, since my mother-in-law taught me to knit in December I’ve been practising a little every day and I’m really pleased with my progress. I might even treat myself to a second ball of wool soon! I find myself studying every knitted item I see to figure out what stitches it’s made up of and whether I think I might be capable of making it in the future.

Oh – and I have also ordered myself a comfy reading chair, which I look forward to snuggling up in when it arrives. That will – finally – complete our library, a mere three a half years after we started work on it. We’re not the fastest at redecorating!

Right, I need to squeeze in some reading and review-writing before the weekend is gone. It’s time to start asserting those good habits!

How’s your new year going? Do you have any special aims, goals or resolutions? If so, then good luck with them!