December, and other things

Two. Zero. One. Six. 

This year has been a monster. It's been chaotic and painful and long and stagnant and I, for one, am glad it's the last month of this tumultuous year. I honestly can't remember a year other than this one where I can't really find one good thing to say about it. Personally, it was a year of great change and upheaval. I left the place I had always known and it was a mistake but I learned from it. I've always been of the opinion that change is better than continuity but I couldn't have been more wrong. Both have their merits. This was the year that I realised I didn't want to have a career in the area that I've been working towards for my entire life. But that's okay - it's all part of growing up and finding yourself. This year was terrible but I think I needed this year to shake me out of the drifting I was doing - to remind me that I'm okay and that I'll be okay. 

This year has also been a nightmare of a year for reading. I've spoken about it before but I just lost the ability to concentrate on anything for a long periods of time. I have been reading though - just in small amounts. I've read a LOT of poetry and short stories this year. I finished Sir Gawain and the Green Knight which is one of the greatest texts I've ever read. I've read a few more texts written by Ivan Turgenev - he's now firmly in place as my favourite Russian writer. I've read Greek plays. It doesn't amount to much but for how intense this year has been it's good enough for me. 

Now for what I want to achieve in December... 

I'm currently reading a bunch of books. They include the Decameron (I will finish this by the end of the year - I will not accept failure), the House of Mirth, Spring Torrents (another Turgenev that I recently bought), a collection of Chekov short stories, a Shakespeare play and a Sophocles play. I want to finish them all by the end of the year but if I don't that's okay. I'm really in love with reading again so it's okay to take it slow. I also want to read A Christmas Carol. Dickens is my nemesis (I just can never settle with him) so I'll start small. I have been reading a bit of the Pickwick Papers and I love it so...

I have some great plans for next years reading which I'll post about at the end of December but I'm really looking forward to 2017 and the books I want to read. I think I'll take a turn at hosting another event next year - personally I achieved my Ancient Greek and Roman challenge goal - and if I do it will be a Russian Literature Challenge. 80% of my reading list is Russian Literature and I recently bought a bunch of new Russian Lit books so that challenge should help me out.

For now I'm going to finish writing a review of two Turgenev novellas I read this year and then read some more of Spring Torrents. There's nothing like Turgenev's prose. 


  1. This year was a very uncomfortable and strange year for me, so you're not alone. I hope 2017 promises bluer skies! :-)

    I started out well with the Greeks but stalled and now I'm on the tome-like Histories, which I'm quite enjoying. Your Russian lit challenge sounds good to me! I'm in if you decide to do it.

    All the best and more for 2017!

    1. I hope so too! 2016 seems to just be a horrible year for everyone.

      I only read as many Greek plays as I did because of a class I took for my degree but still it wasn't what I imagined. And the Russians are my first love so I know I'll have better success with that. I LOVE the Greeks though.

      You too :)

  2. Dickens has that effect on people; however if you've not read A Christmas Carol before, it may be a different experience. It is a beautiful story about forgiveness and redemption, and maybe it will even make you cry. I try to read it every December, and I was just thinking about it today. I can't wait to read it again.

    1. I was probably not wise starting with the Tale of Two Cities... but I'm very familiar with the story of A Christmas Carol so hopefully that will make it easier. Ancients I can do. Shakespeare I can do. Russians I can do. Joyce I can do. But for some reason Dickens intimidates me.


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