Bookish Resolutions for 2022

I do like writing a list! That is the reason why I still continue to come up with bookish resolutions / goals / aims (whatever you want to call them) every year, although I don’t always achieve them. I have five bookish resolutions for 2022. It will be great if I manage to fulfil every single one of them until the end of the year, but if I don’t, I won’t beat myself up because of it.

Regarding numbers, I want to read 35 books. Although this is a higher number than I managed to read in 2021, it is in line with previous years. The main reason why I decided to increase the number of books I want to read is connected with my next resolution, though.

I want to take part in more reading challenges or initiatives. I have four in mind, subject to them being organised, obviously. For the last three years or more, I have been taking part in Daphne du Maurier Reading Week in May and plan to do so again in 2022. But I also hope to participate for the first time in Reading Ireland Month in March, Women in Translation Month in August, and 20 Books of Summer. For this last challenge my aim is to read some of the shortest books that have been on my wish list for a long time. So, being able to read more books than last year seems realistic at this point. Continue reading

Have I Read the Books I Said I Wanted to?

Since I started blogging, more than five years ago, I’ve written various posts about the books that I want to read, have on my wish list or am excited about. But have I read the books I mentioned in the past? I scrolled through the content of my blog from 2016 until the end of 2020 and discovered nine posts (there may be more) focusing on the books that I had on my wish list back then. For the purpose of this post, I decided not to take into consideration the posts that I wrote this year, since not enough time has passed to make me wonder why I may not have read certain books yet.

 

“Huge Books on My Wishlist”

In the summer of last year, I wrote a post about the massive books I was planning to read. Although I’ve picked up all of the four books that I mentioned on that post since then, I didn’t finish reading all of them. I’m currently reading The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton and became very fond of Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb. But I ended up DNFing The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy early on this year.

 

“Books in Portuguese to Read This Year”

In 2020, I put together a list of six books by Lusophone authors that I wanted to read during that year. I’ve read in their entirety three of those books (not all within the time frame I had set) – O Irmão Alemão (My German Brother) by Chico Buarque, Quatro Contos Dispersos by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen and Gaveta de Papéis by José Luís Peixoto. I also started reading Lillias Fraser by Hélia Correia, but decided not to finish it. I still haven’t read A Maçã no Escuro (The Apple in the Dark) by Clarice Lispector and O Quase Fim do Mundo by Pepetela. Continue reading

Book Blog Post Ideas

It doesn’t matter when you decided to start sharing your passion about reading books with other people through a blog, it may have been months or years ago, the time will surely come when you will find it difficult to come up with new ideas for posts. The struggle is real and you’re not alone!

Recently, I’ve been trying hard to find new topics on books to write about. After staring at my shelves for hours (mandatory online hyperbole!) seeking inspiration, I decided to scroll through my blog to recall what I’ve written about so far. I can’t say that I was successful in having brilliant new ideas, but I came up with a list of possible types of content for those who are also on the lookout for things to write about.

 

Book reviews

If you decided to start a blog about books, it’s a given that you like sharing your opinions about them. Book reviews are the most obvious way to do so in a comprehensive manner. We use them to convey our feelings about the plot, characters, writing style, the pacing, the quality of the dialogue. Some decide to give books a star rating, while others do not. It’s also up to you whether you review all of the books that you read or just only the ones that you enjoyed. I personally write (and read) what can be considered negative reviews, but many bloggers do not. Continue reading

Why I Write Negative Book Reviews

Reading a book is a subjective experience. More often than not, it’s possible for readers to interpret the personalities of the characters, the descriptions and even the overall message of the book in different ways. When we pick up a book, we also have unique expectations, which tend to mirror what we enjoy in a story. For all of these and many other reasons, it’s impossible for a book to be universally loved. Some bloggers choose to only write reviews about the books that they enjoyed. I, on the other hand, don’t have any qualms about writing negative reviews.

I’m sure that it is distressing for an author to read a negative review about a book that is the result of months, if not years, of intense work. I don’t write reviews for the authors of the books, however. I envisage the audience of my blog (that is to say, the small number of lovely people who read my musings) to consist of other readers who want to not only know more about certain books, but also share opinions on them. Thus, I don’t tag the authors of the books on my reviews. I only imagine doing so if a book is a 5-star read, as these are the only faultless books to me.

I rate the vast majority of the books that I enjoyed and think are worthy of reading with four stars, though. For that reason, in most of my reviews, I mention at least one small element that I thought was not perfectly accomplished. As long as the book is not a 5-star read, I always remark on what I liked and didn’t like about it. But other readers may not have a problem with what I didn’t like about a book. For example, books that mostly consist of snippets, save for rare exceptions, don’t tend to work for me. If this is something that other readers enjoy, they may still decide to pick up a book I didn’t like after reading my review. Continue reading

2019 Mid-Year Resolutions’ Evaluation

We are almost midway through 2019. Thus, this is the perfect time to evaluate if I’m fulfilling my bookish resolutions for this year. A couple of them are vaguer than usual, so it may not be easy to come to objective conclusions.

When it comes to numbers, my desire is to read at least 35 books. I’ve finished 17 so far and am halfway through another. It seems likely that I will achieve my goal, particularly because I’ve already read more than half of the total number of pages that I’ve read last year, according to Goodreads. I may end up reading less books than in 2018, but it looks like I’ll have read more pages.

My second goal is to reread at least one of the books that I remember as old favourites, meaning books that I constantly mention as being favourites of mine but that I’ve read both before having this blog and started using a rating system. I’m currently rereading O Ano da Morte do Ricardo Reis (The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis in the English translation) by José Saramago. Continue reading

Favourite Posts of Three Years of Blogging

Yesterday was my blog anniversary! Three years have passed since I published my first blog post – a review of The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. To celebrate, I decided to share with you three of the posts that I enjoyed writing the most for various reasons. They are examples of part of the type of content that you can read on my blog and are in no particular order. The titles link to the posts, in case you are interested in reading them.

 

Discovering Fernando Pessoa around Lisbon

In 2018, I started a new category of posts about bookish places. I hoped to write one feature each month about either a special bookshop, a library, a museum associated with books or a specific author, etc. I’ve only written two so far, though. But I particularly cherished writing the one about the places connected with the life of Fernando Pessoa in Lisbon. It includes photos and even a (very shaky) video that I edited specially for it.

 

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

It was a challenge to write a review of Rebecca that conveyed how much I loved it. In the end, I think that I managed to fully express my appreciation for such an atmospheric and mysterious story, which is full of compelling characters. Continue reading