the sounds of 2018
operatic voices rising, my own included, then falling away
the whirr and grind of the sanding machine
the builder rolling paint onto the walls: up, down, up, down while I worked in the other room
the purr of an engine as I turned on the car and started to drive
screech and yank and bang of furniture moving and plumbing
floorboards giving a sharp loud smack as I pulled them up
beeping hospital machines (I thought I was done with those)
the murmur of danish tv shows
the blissful sound of silence
a finally tuned piano
my first strum of a guitar
and, towards the end, the new cat miaowing and galloping around. Read more
The difficulty with writing this post is that almost all the non-fiction books I read this year were excellent, but I suppose that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get a shout-out here as well.
So here are my favourite non-fiction books from this year. (Note that not all of these were published this year, that’s just when I read them.) Read more
Every year I say I’m going to keep track of all the books I’ve read, and every year I fail. I think I might finally have stumbled across a reliable way of doing it, but I only worked it out at the beginning of December so that’s not very helpful. However, here is a list of the books I’ve read this year and recorded somewhere; it’s probably missing 20-50 more which I read but didn’t review / make notes about / remember.
Where there are reviews, I’ve linked to these in the titles; and I’ve added notes to some of them too.
2018 has been a weird year. OK, on the whole, with some not-great bits but nothing absolutely horrific, so that’s something. I’d been planning to have a quieter year than I ended up having, but it still hasn’t been the level of foot-to-the-floor busy that I’m anticipating in 2019.
So, what’s been going on? Read more
Spotify tells me I’ve listened to a fairly eclectic range of music this year, which is nothing unusual for me. Read more
I’ve been reading Postsecret since I was about 15, and whenever there’s a relatable one I usually save it onto my computer, where it lounges around for a while before ultimately being deleted. This year I thought I’d put all the relatable ones into a blog post and share them at the end of the year, because it’s fun to look back and see what you’ve looked at and thought “omg same” throughout the year. Read more
One of the things I love about my life is how flexible it is. I spent most of last weekend on the phone to various doctors because my body’s being a pain again. They said they’ll need to do a load more tests (cue more hospital time) and told me to take it easy, to spend lots of time resting for the next few weeks and to go to bed early. So I emailed the lovely people at FMCM and said I had a bit of extra reading time on my hands… and they sent me the nominees for the British Book Awards!
These are all up for Debut Book Of The Year. I’m going to write mini reviews of each of them, and talk about which one I’d like to see win. Read more
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.