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My 2018 Resolutions

Yes, it’s February. And yes, I said a while ago on Twitter I would most likely be posting a video of my 2018 resolutions (both bookish and not), but I’m here writing a blog post. I’m kind of discouraged with my YouTube channel at the moment, but I’ll be talking about that later in this post.

Without further ado, let’s get into the resolutions!


2018-Resolutions

Bookish

1) Read at least fifty books.

Last year I got close to my goal; though I read 35-ish books out of my goal of 50. I’m of course going to be counting audiobooks and rereads. I chose this number because I know that it is not unachievable for me. I won’t be upset if I don’t reach the goal in 2018, but I’m going to try my best.

2) Read more audiobooks.

I read some excellent audiobooks in 2017. I started listening to them on the tail-end of December 2016, and it was probably the best decision I have ever made. Audiobooks are excellent for commuting, as I don’t have a car, and doing chores. In 2018 I want to consume even more audiobooks, as to up my reading count. I usually get audiobooks from Overdrive via my public library.

3) Set a monthly book buying budget/buy fewer books.

I’m definitely going to be working on this goal for the rest of this year. In January I ended up buying so many books, most of them being from Christmas gift cards, but still, it seemed like a lot when I really kept track. I also unhauled over 100 books from my shelves recently, most of them being unread, so I want to reduce my book buying so I can read more of the books that I buy and not just let them sit on the shelf.

4) Write a review (or film one) for every new book I read.

This is sure to be one of my hardest resolutions for this year. But, I really want to flex my writing muscles and have more of a variety of reviews on Reading Arsenal. Also, if I get my YouTube channel up and running again, I might film video book reviews.

5) Write at least one blog post each month.

I don’t want to leave my followers completely in the dark when I go months without posting something. I’m still working up the courage to figure out stuff related to my YouTube channel, so I haven’t included it in this resolution.

6) Use my public library more.

So far, at least in the month of January, I have been using my library quite a bit. Along with borrowing audiobooks, I have been borrowing physical books as well as e-books. I am also planning on volunteering (if I can get a spot) with the Friends of the Library. If you did not know, I have a Library Technician diploma. Therefore, any library-related experience would help me in my field.

7) Attempt Zero-By-2020.

You may have heard of the “Zero TBR By –” challenge, but if not, basically it means I want my physical to be read pile to have zero books by 2020. I was inspired by Amanda Center on YouTube, as she attempted Zero By 2017 (or 2018, I think). My current To Be Read count is currently set at around 200 books, so it is sure to be a great feat for me to try and do this.

8) Decide some things about my YouTube channel.

You may have noticed I haven’t been posting a lot on my YouTube channel lately, whether you are subscribed or are pledging to my Patreon. Life got away from me as I mentioned in my previous life update. The short of it is that I have overcome a whole lot as of now, but I’m still not posting videos like I would like to. I guess it’s my perfectionism, or perhaps I’m not used to editing or being in front of the camera.

Anyways, the decisions I’m going to be making, due to my changing feelings are:

Is making videos enjoyable for me anymore or is it just a chore? Am I comfortable enough with my abilities and confident enough to do the entire process? And finally, do I want to continue making videos?

I have been feeling this way for a few weeks now. I hope it just a phase because I remember really loving the entire process of making videos, even when I wasn’t able to make videos. I’m still wishing to be creative, but I honestly don’t know how to go about it anymore.

Does anyone have any tips for getting out a creative lull? Leave a comment below!

Life

9) Find a job.

I’m currently unemployed, so I don’t have a large income coming in. Luckily I have some money saved away, but that probably won’t last me for long. Currently, I’m finding it difficult to find positions, especially in retail (which is the only place I have experience) due to possibly the minimum wage being risen where I live and fewer jobs are being posted.

10) Stop lurking; start posting.

This goal is related to social media, such as Twitter and Instagram. I don’t post as often on Twitter as I used to, same with Instagram. If I try to post more, I think I can stretch my creative muscles with both writing and perhaps creative photography. I also want to occasionally start posting bookish related things on my Instagram.

11) Practice creative writing.

I love writing, seeing how long this post is. But, I really want to confidently say that I’m a creative writer. I haven’t been really writing creatively lately, but I definitely want to start. A far off dream of mine is to perhaps become an author, of what I’m still not sure. But, I still want to practice and hone my skills.


I hope you enjoyed my resolutions! Have I inspired you to start on your own resolutions? Would you like to share a few? Leave a comment down below!

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Book Review #39: Looking For Alaska by John Green

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .
After. Nothing is ever the same.

Before I move forward with this review, I do realise that this novel has the definition of a “manic pixie dream girl.” With that being said, however, Looking For Alaska does paint a portrait of a complicated love interest if even that.

Miles, or “Pudge,” seems to fall flat as our main character and narrator; I could count on one hand the intriguing things about him. Pudge, who is supposed to be our main focal point, transcends into this narrator being.  I usually forget he is there most of the time while reading until he decides to say something. Forgettable is not a word I like to associate with the main character. Almost everything even remotely interesting happened around Pudge, whose personality was as dull as an unsharpened pencil.

I found some of the other characters a lot more interesting and developed, like the Colonel. I honestly wished Alaska had been more fleshed out. Other characters that gained importance towards the end, like Takumi, I wish were more developed as well.

Looking For Alaska was separated into two parts, “Before” and “After,” which was then separated into small chapters detailing the days before and after. Only for a moment, the novel had me wondering what pivotal event happened in between with that structural set-up.

The plot overall had just enough engagement to keep me reading. At the end, I was left wondering… what was the point? The pivotal event in the story occurred for a bunch of men (okay, as well as one other minor female character) to achieve a coming-of-age growth and confirming the prior mention of a manic pixie dream girl premise.

Although given this trope, Looking For Alaska did have some good things to say and I didn’t outright hate it.  I even saw some quotes I want to go back and underline if I find the time. However, I can’t really justify giving it a higher rating. My enjoyment was at about a constant three stars for the entire thing so I guess it has consistency? I don’t know, maybe I wasn’t woke enough to understand the literary references?

Looking For Alaska, in short, had its moments where it could have been great, and there was some floppy character development. I’m not sure what this book was trying to say, essentially. Was it that Pudge had turned the thought of Alaska into something almost mythical, a being that was perfectly unperfect when really she was just as fucked up as anyone else? Maybe I need to chew on this book for a while.

 

star-rating-three

Three Stars!

 

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