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Archive: January 2019

My Top Five Books of 2018

Last year I read a total of 46 books. Yep, forty-six different books I read over the space of a year. It's quite the accomplishment if I am being honest. I am very proud of myself which is probably why it was so hard to pick just five to feature in a blog post, but it's a post I have been asked to do a couple of times, so I wanted to tell you all the five books I recommend you to read this year if you haven't already and some extra ones at the end that didn't quite make it into top five but that I still adore. My taste in books, just like my taste in everything is quite eclectic, I'd say thriller books are probably up top alongside crime books, non-fiction books, I even like a little chick-lit from time to time like Devil Wears Prada and Legally Blonde. So with that... here are to top five books I read in 2018: 

1. ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL
Anatomy of a Scandal was the book I most recommended throughout the year when someone asked me what they should read. It's a thriller written from a number of POVs and each chapter kind of chops and changes between the POVs. It is about a very privileged man who is accused of a horrid crime and the court case which follows. Delving into his wife's determination of his innocence and the certainty of the barrister who hopes to bring justice as she truly believes he is guilty. I couldn't put it down, it was definitely a quick read because it was so hard to stop reading, even when I had to. 

2. THE VANITY FAIR DIARIES
Tina Brown was once the editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair, the glossy fashion magazine under Conde Nast Publications. During her time as editor-in-chief, she kept eight years worth of diaries. Documenting her time working there, her time with her family, her socialising with the biggest and best of fashion and publication and even her pregnancy. Not only is this truly interesting to anyone interested in the fashion and fashion publication sectors, but it is hilarious and gives you such a clear understanding of what it must have been like to be a woman in charge in the 80s. This book is such an easy read and I could have read it all in one sitting if I had the time. It also reminds me of getting my job as I was reading it in a cafe waiting to head to my interview so I hold this one dearly. 

My Top Five Books of 2018

3. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN
Okay, an oldie and probably one everyone has read, but I didn't read this book until last year. I adored Gone Girl and whenever I'd talk to people about it they'd tell me "you have to read Girl on The Train" so I did and I loved it. Girl on The Train follows a broken woman who has recently divorced from the man she thought she would spend the rest of her life with and on top of that he married the woman he had an affair with. Her train to work takes her past his house every morning and evening, but she doesn't look because she becomes obsessed with his neighbours and their story. When one of the neighbours disappears she becomes invested, worrying that she's the reason behind the disappearance. It is a wonderful thriller that keeps you reading even when your eyes are ready to close. I have read it again since and loved it again the second time around. 

4. NOTES OF A NERVOUS SYSTEM
Now, I'm not one to really read books on anxiety but this one really took me by surprise. Matt Haig has such a beautiful way of writing that you get wrapped up in what he is talking about and are able to relate to his every word. He talks about the world around us and how the world is designed to create anxiety within all of us. I totally agree with everything Matt has to say on the matter and found myself truly thinking of the things which worry and cause me stress. Realising how much I allow the world to affect my mood I decided to take control and I have found myself looking back at this book when I need a little pep talk or reminder. 

5. HOW TO BE AN OVERNIGHT SUCCESS
This book is a really good read for anyone looking to one day start their own business or like me have a side hustle i.e. a blog. Maria is the creator of the luxury skincare brand Rodial and this book describes how she became an overnight success, which in fact, she didn't. It describes how there is no such thing as an overnight success and that there are years of work that goes into becoming an overnight success. I loved reading Maria's story and being inspired by how she handles herself as a businesswoman, her ethos, her passion and her love for what she does. She is a truly aspiring woman and I loved reading her story. 

OTHER FAVES FROM THE YEAR...
  1. Flashboys by Michael Lewis 
  2. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert 
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 
  4. Into The Water - Paula Hawkins
  5. The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena
  6. The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k - Sarah Knight
  7. Friend Request - Laura Marshall 
What were your favourite books from 2018? Did you set yourself a goal for this year? Let me know in the comments below or catch me on social media for a chat: 

Hello 2019: Goals and Aspirations

So, that last post I published was pretty heavy, I'm still quite shocked I actually hit the publish button on it, it's not like me to share my feelings so openly like that. I guess though, it's who I want to be in a sense. I want to be able to share my feelings more openly and stop putting a taboo on my own emotions. That's not why I am here though, I want to be less heavy with this blog post, I want to be a little more positive with this post if I am being honest. I know resolutions are a bit taboo nowadays, mostly because people totally go about them in the wrong way, but I won't get into that, but I actually really enjoy making goals, big or small for the year ahead. I feel like the new year creates a fresh, blank page wherein you have a full year to adapt, to grow and to take that step closer to who you really want to be. I've found it hard to actually write up my goals this year, all I could think of for a week or so was "be happy" so that's where I am starting.

BE HAPPY
This year I want to be happy. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? I mean, it's not like I am not happy now, not like I haven't been happy in 2018, I have, of course, I have. I just put limitations on my happiness in numerous ways. from telling myself I'm not allowed to be happy to going out of my way to look at things that make me unhappy. 2018 was the year I did a lot to make me happy, but I spent a lot of my year feeling sorry for myself, making myself feel bad, y'know how it goes, but I don't want to do that in 2019. I want to live more, do more, put myself first, take opportunities that will make me happy. I just want to stop walking on eggshells, I want to be happy and take more care of myself. 

Hello 2019: Goals and Aspirations

THINK LESS
I know this one sounds silly, but I am as type A as they come for the most part. I worry constantly, I over analyse every single thing I do, I over think and I drive myself crazy and I am sure my family and friends are also driven crazy. It's pretty annoying actually so I'd like to stop that. I would like to do things for no other reason than I want to. I want to stop trying to have a "perfect" life and instead, I want to have a happy and carefree life. I want to think less, over think less, stop making up worse case scenarios in my head or thinking about things I can't control. I want to just relax for once.

BE MORE CAUTIOUS
 I know, kind of contradictory, but while I want to think less this year I also want to be more cautious about what I do and how what I do effects the world around me. I want to make my decisions based on what will help this world and the other people living in it. My personality type means I all too often put other people before myself and don't focus on myself enough. I want to do both though, I want to be more aware of myself and my well being but I also want to be careful about what my choices do to the world. That means being kinder to the environment, to people, volunteering, not giving into fast fashion, watching what I eat and so on. I want to be careful of the effect of my actions upon this beautiful but dying world. 

That's it. That is all I want to do, three small goals, everything else fits in between. I am excited for the opportunities the next year holds. I find it fascinating that this year could hold a number of possibilities and I am currently aware of none of them. Bring it on 2019, I am ready.

What are your 2019 goals? Do you have any plans for how you want to spend this year? Let me know in the comments below or find me on social media: 

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