Best of 2016

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I wasn’t planning on writing anything this year, but in the end decided to compile a quick list, just for myself, with no explanations. It was quite a nice year for me media-wise, with comic books, Hamilton and MCU dominating most of it. Also it’s so easy to forget by the end of the year all the things you loved at the beginning of it, jeez.

Books

10 // The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

9 // The Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

8 // The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

// Fables (vol.1-4) by Bill Willingham

6 // Au bonheur des ogres by Daniel Pennac

5 // A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

4 // Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

3 // Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

2 // Preacher by Garth Ennis

1 // Hawkeye by Matt Fraction

Music

16 // Little Mix

15 // Gabrielle Aplin

14 // Lauren Aquilina

13 // One Direction

12 // BTS

11 // Hedley

10 // TWICE

9 // The 1975

8 // Florence + The Machine

7 // Sara Bareilles

6 // All Time Low

5 // Panic! at the Disco

4 // Halsey

3 // New Politics

2 // Daughter

1 // Hamilton

Movies / TV

1 // Marvel Cinematic Universe (all movies + Daredevil, Agent Carter s1)

2 // Moana

3 // Deadpool

4 // Pride and Prejudice (1995 mini-series)

5 // Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

6 // Star Trek Beyond

7 // Arrival

8 // Clueless

9 // Monty Python and the Holy Grail

10 // Teen Wolf (but it’s No. 1 in my heart forever and ever and ever okay)

2017 Resolutions

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After writing my bookish resolutions (sort of) yesterday I actually thought that that would be it, because in my head I have that list of all the things I kinda sorta want to do, but it’s all very abstract and tentative so why bother. But just now I’ve realized that maybe I should write that list down, so that in a year I’ll be able to look at it and be mad at myself. Also my memory is shite, so there’s that.

  1. One off-line day a month every month, and one off-line week in July or August, when I don’t have school. No internet whatsoever for a day/week with the exception of Spotify for music and Viber in case of emergencies.
  2. Write! Book! Reviews! I’m so bad at writing them, and there’s no way I’ll get better if I never start. At least in Russian.
  3. Update my bookstagram at least once a week. Even if it’s with a picture taken months ago, the updates should be constant.
  4. Same goes for this blog.
  5. Drink more water. Some days water is all I drink, and I drink plenty, but sometimes I fall into these Cola-slumps that last days if not weeks, and that’s not cool.
  6. Go to bed before midnight. Or at least 1am. Gotta start small.
  7. Quit dropping TV-shows. I don’t watch that many of them, and most of the ones I start are short, like Black Mirror, or only have one season out, and I really like them, so why do I drop them?
  8. Cut my spending and save money so that I always have some in case of emergencies.
  9. Study more. I know, I know, ugh, but I GOTTA.

Enough for now, I think.

2017 Reading Plans

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I have a list of 58 classics I want to read in 2017. I will probably add a few titles to that list over the course of the year, so basically it means an average of 5 classics per month. And while some of them are essays and plays, some are huge, like Vanity Fair and The Forsyte Saga. I’ll probably do a quick check mid-year to see how things go, because to be honest, I’m not feeling very optimistic at the moment.

Also I want to read as much feminist literature as I can get my hands on. Some of the titles are already on my list, but contemporary ones are not. There’s also the fact that many of them I simply can’t get here, because I live in the most useless country in the world, ugh.

Anyway, here’s the list:

1. J. Milton, Paradise Lost
2. C. Dickens, Great Expectations
3. W.M. Thackeray, Vanity Fair Continue reading

How to Stop Procrastinating and Start Living (Sort Of)

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How many times have you referred to the proverb ‘Better late than never’ in vain hope to justify yourself— to yourself? And what about Mark Twain’s ‘Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow’? How many times did it look like a fitting excuse? And every single time you end up with a low-quality end result, thinking to yourself ‘I could have done better, but now no one will know’ and ‘Next time I’m going to start it right away!’ (Spoiler alert: you never do). It is high time you stood up to that lazy part of yourself and defeated it once and for all!

One tip that most people will give you is to keep a planner. Write down your appointments, to-do lists, and most importantly — your deadlines. And here is another tip: if your project is due in three weeks, set the deadline for a week before that. That way even if you don’t do the entire project in that one night, you will have a good chunk of it done when you eventually get to it the night before the actual deadline. Also, you might actually forget about the real date and will have a full week to fix mistakes and improve it.

Do everything in one go! Obviously it won’t work with big projects (well, it can, if you do not care about its quality, but you absolutely should), but small tasks, like answering those e-mails that have been piling up in your inbox, or finally doing the dishes before they go moldy, should be tackled in one sitting. Washing one plate so that you can eat will most likely only make you more miserable when you get to the rest of them (especially if they do go moldy; ew).

Over the years I came to the realization that the only way for me to do something is to actually push myself to do it, to sit down in front of my laptop and just do it. Usually I put some music on, because silence makes my task look even more daunting than it is. But my tip is to put on something new, maybe that new album you have wanted to listen to for ages, or a new artist you have been meaning to check out since last year. Familiar, well-loved songs I know by heart just lead to impromptu sing-alongs that last well into the night, and in the end I just shrug, tell myself I will do it tomorrow, and go to bed.

Also, be aware of the breaks you take— five minutes means five minutes, not ‘just until I finish this episode’ or ‘I’ll go back to work at 3pm exactly!.. Well, 3:30 is as good a time as any’. Set a timer and stick to your timetable, and do not start anything that will require a lot of time during breaks. Have a quick snack or watch a BuzzFeed video, not a 35 minute long daily vlog— even if it is your favourite vlogger.

One problem I always face is overthinking. I start stressing about how much work I have to do, and all the research and preparation that goes into it, and I get myself so anxious that I just cannot start it, I’m too scared— that it is bigger than me, that I’m too stupid for it, that I should just quit. When I finally face my deadline, though, it turns out that I most definitely can, but then I don’t have enough time to do it well.

So don’t think about all the work you need to get done; just get it done.

(P.S. As you can probably tell from my months-long absence, I’m really bad at fighting procrastination. Any tips?)

T5W: Characters You Wouldn’t Want to Trade Places With

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Let’s not talk about this past month, please and thank you. Let’s begin, shall we?

  1. Any of John Green’s girls. Or boys. Or anyone.
  1. John Watson from Sherlock Holmes. I’d make a shitty sidekick; I’d rather be Sherlock.
  1. John the Savage from Brave New World. First of all, I hated this book so I wouldn’t want to be any of its characters. Also, poor boy.
  1. Charlie from Flowers for Algernon. A mentally disabled man becomes a lab rat for people who can increase his IQ, which works— for a while. As far as classics go, this is one of my favorites, BUT.
  1. Liesel Meminger from The Book Thief. Don’t know what to say without spoiling the whole book, but— Germany, WWII, just. Nope.

T5W: Rainy Day Reads

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This is actually one of last April’s topics, but I never did it, and also today’s one (favorite first sentences) is not something I’m particularly interested in doing, since I’ve read most of the books in Russian, and besides, the only first sentence that stands out to me is “It is a truth universally acknowledged…”, because I’m THAT cliché. Also the weather here is crap. It’s my blog, after all, so Imma do what I want! (But please leave links to your posts with today’s actual topic below, I would love to check them all out!)

Please don’t try to make sense of my associative chains. There is none. I’m a Gemini.

  1. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. I read this book two years ago, so all I can remember is that they were always wet. I’m not kidding.
  1. The Elegance of the Hedgehog. First of all, look at that beautiful title. Do you really need to know anything else about it to read it? Because I didn’t. And I just read it. And it was lovely. And sad, which is why it’s a rainy book.
  1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It’s dark blue. It’s about water (sort of). It’s slightly creepy.
  1. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. I could go with any of Murakami novels (or non-fictions, I think Underground is a really good rainy read), but this is one of my favorites, and also the one I would probably recommend to someone who wants to start reading Murakami and is not afraid of a little challenge (and if you want to play it safe – go for Norwegian Wood).
  1. The Book Thief. Because if the rain is loud enough, there’s a good chance no one will hear you cry.