School holidays, excessive philosophy-learning, a lot of reading… I really, really love vacation. It also happens to be my second-favourite month of the year, December, because without school there’s so much more time. I’m not complaining about school, but I do appreciate the spare 6-hours-a-day on weekdays. All the hobbies I want to take up, I finally have time to ease my way through them. And, not to mention, a wonderful January 2014 is happening as we speak, so Happy New Year to all! May the new year treat you with kindness and success.
So, let’s jump straight into the highlights of January. 🙂
Like I mentioned above, I’ve been reading a lot now the hours have opened up. Sixteen books (!) in a month, which for me, is a record. Of course, most of this is due to NetGalley, where you have a set time to read/review books. It’s basically where you get books for free, so long as you’re willing to offer your honest opinion. This got me into reading again, as I requested way too many books at first, and had to trudge through them all.
But my favourite book throughout the month wasn’t a newly published book.
Whereas I usually get bored of classics, I found myself hanging off every word in The Picture of Dorian Gray. I loved the characters, the plot and the strange morals the book offers; it’s so different from the kind I usually find. I also love how the protagonist is the antagonist, the wrongdoer, the culprit; it makes for an even greater story. The dialogue is concise and witty, the characters are over-the-top in a satirical, hilarious way and the realm of darkness that lurks beneath the words is definitely another plus point.
So many genres are mixed in this book. I wholeheartedly enjoyed it, and it has a place on my All-Time Favourites shelf –and may just be, in fact, my all-time favourite book, because I loved it beyond words can explain. I am actually reconsidering re-reading it (something I never do).
Have you ever read The Picture of Dorian Gray? And if so, did you enjoy it? 😀
Have I ever told you I have a cousin with an amazing voice? Like, the one who makes me realise just how awful my singing voice is? Let me introduce you to one of her covers –the first one I heard, and the one I fell in love with– where I had trouble believing it was her who sang it. The audio quality is not great, but I’m forever in awe by her voice.
Basically, I never heard Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful” until I heard her cover. And now that I have, I can’t stop replaying it.
The song wouldn’t be that great without the “I know you will” at the end of her questions -“Will you still love if I’m no longer young and beautiful?” But it takes my breath away, and opens up so many possibilities. She trusts that this person will love her, but will that trust be enough? Is this just a naive assumption, or something she’s telling herself to avoid the truth? Is there something she’s not telling us?
There’s so much the lyrics tell us without blatantly stating the obvious. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a huge fan of Lana Del Rey’s music. The lyrics are so subtle, open to interpretation, and the acoustic sound is easy on the ears.
It’s such a simple yet elegant idea. I love how continuous it looks (although I can spot a slight seam in there, but it doesn’t matter, because the idea is beautiful). Just watching the clock turn with a simple tick-tock. 🙂
And I think that’s about it for favourites! I’m sure there are many, many other things I’ve enjoyed during December, but I can’t remember them all (note to self: must begin walking around with a notebook in hand). December 2013 has been a wonderful month, and I hope it’s been the same for everyone else. And, if not, we’ve got a whole new year to look forward to in 2014.
Which brings me to my next point… NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS!
- Achieve a 100% feedback/approval rate on NetGalley (currently sitting on 96% last time I checked; unfortunately, I got approved for another book, and now the percentage has inevitably decreased)
- Rewrite (and edit) The City Is Silent into a complete new draft. I aspire to make it around 72,000 words, as I have many new subplots to add, which convey the overall theme more strongly.
- Finish writing the first draft of Violet Ink. Funny thing, I expected it to be finished over the holidays, but I’ve been studying (and reading) way too much. That’s okay; I no longer see writing as anything more than a hobby, a pass-time, so I’m allowed to put projects on hold for the time-being.
- Read 100 books in 2014. This year, I only read 80 (or 85? I can’t remember) so I really want to increase my number of books read. Hope 2014 is a better year for my reading and writing.
- I want to watch every physics video on Khan Academy. Maybe a video everyday? Yes, I’ll try and make it a habit of mine –one Khan Academy video per day.
- Have over 500 songs on my iPod. This is probably not much of a resolution, but I want to discover more artists (and take the time to do it) and be whisked away with the beauty of music.
- Finish a computer-programming course on Codeacademy. I want to learn all the computer programming languages, but most definitely need a schedule to mark my available time out (since school is starting in approximately one month or so)
- But, quite possibly the biggest New Years Resolution, is to check my answers after I finished a problem. It’s an awful habit of mine, writing and solving an equation, and thinking, “I’ll do it later” when it comes to checking it. Unfortunately, though, I may be getting a lot of “known” things wrong, and the only way to ensure I’m on the right track is to double-check and answer-check. (Sigh. Wish me luck)
- As for health and fitness, I want to aim for 30 mins of walking everyday. It’s absolutely doable, and I might just use the time in the mornings (I wake up at around 6:30 – 7:30 AM) to got towards the cause.
Do you have any New Years Resolutions? Or maybe even some monthly reflections? If so, just comment below; I’d love to check them out. 😀 Or you can just tell me in the comment section –you don’t have to write a post about it if you don’t want to. 🙂