I haven’t posted since my review of Force of Nature on the 15th of January, which was a cheat post anyway because I wrote it last June. Before that I did my End of Year Reflections, plus a few other posts thinking about the year that had just happened and the one that was coming up.
Well, suffice it to say 2017 wasn’t exactly excellent. For the past few years I’ve adopted a Russian tradition of writing a wish for the upcoming year on a piece of paper, burning it, then tipping the ash into a glass of champagne and drinking it as I welcome in the new year. This year I didn’t get a chance to do that, but if I had then my wish would have been for the year to be better than 2017.
A couple of years ago my friend found a Buzzfeed list of questions to ask yourself at the end of each year, and they were quite good so I incorporated them into that year’s New Year party. Since then I’ve done a bit of reflecting on them myself, so here’s this year’s contribution. Read more
Well, it hasn’t been the best of years. I’ve spent most of it heavily medicated, curled up in beds or baths at home or in hospital. However, there have been some highlights, and the extended period of time at home made me remember some stuff I’d forgotten, like how important philosophy is to me, and how much I enjoy spending time alone.
the sights of 2017
the grey sofa covered in grey blankets, and grey me lying there greyly
a purple laptop with flickering screen, nestling amongst white bedclothes
a piano covered in dustsheets
plants at the end of the bath, fronds dangling near my toes
the glaring bright of the bathroom light: an attack
my face in the mirror, a white death mask
and smoke rising from a cauldron.
Following on from yesterday’s best fiction post, here are the best non-fiction books I read this year. (Note that not all of these were published this year, that’s just when I read them.)
The following are abridged reviews; where there’s a longer version on the blog, I’ve linked to it.
This year hasn’t really been very Instagram-worthy, because I’ve spent most of it stuck in the house. However, as 2017bestnine.com shows, there have still been a few noteworthy posts scattered throughout the shots of me watching Netflix in bed.
Today I came to a realisation that can be summed up in a sentence that sounds fairly simple, but has taken me an embarrassingly long time to grasp:
Just because you’re good at something, that doesn’t mean you have to do it.
…before I stop talking about the new year and get back to a regular blogging schedule.
Last year on New Year’s Eve, my friends and I went through a Buzzfeed list of questions to ask yourself as 2015 became 2016. I thought it’d be interesting to answer a few and then do the same at the end of 2016 and see what, if anything, has changed. Last year’s answers are here. And this year’s are below.
I’ve done my travel round-up and my book round-ups – fiction, non-fiction, and biographies – but here’s a recap of the highlights and lowlights of 2016 overall.