There are times in life when everything feels like it’s getting away from you. 
I’m in the middle of one of those times right now. 
(At least, I hope it’s the middle and not just the start of something bigger!)
My head space is full of routine stuff, life stuff, work stuff, planning stuff, organising stuff and I’m finding it hard to find time for creative stuff, reflection and personal growth.
Every time I think about my blog, I experience stress. 
Reviews are piling up – I’m simply not in the right space to write them. 
I need to write.
Could my inner creative side be in revolt? 
No more reviews; it’s time to write something else? 
Except a huge part of me wants (CRAVES) this place that helps me keep track of my reading life. 
I like having this 8 year old record of my book journey. 
I’m reading much more mindfully than I ever have before and I’m loving it. 
But I’m making more time for reading, than I am for reviewing. 
What I need is to find a way to make this easier for myself.
I need to let go some of the stuff cluttering up my head space.
And I want to write something, anything; even if it’s just another list!

Books Read But Not (Yet) Reviewed

Narrow Road to the Interior by Matsuo Basho
My Purple Scented Novel by Ian McEwan
The Annotated Persuasion by Jane Austen & David M, Shapard
Just Flesh and Blood by Jane Caro
Books I’m Halfway Through
The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham (by next book club book)
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo x3  (readalong)
Last Stories by William Trevor
The Best Short Stories by Guy de Maupassant
Love and Freindship and Other Youthful Writings by Jane Austen
The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne
Books I’ve Just Started
The Compete Maus by Art Spiegelman
The Nice and the Good by Iris Murdoch (readalong)
Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father by John  Matteson
Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India by Shashi Tharoor
12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson (perhaps I should uninstall this one!)
Basho The Complete Haiku
Mirror Sydney by Vanessa Berry
Bookish Things I’m Looking Forward To
Seasonally speaking, this particular event always feels a little wrong to me. 
In Sydney, spring is desperately trying to make itself known.
The days are lengthening, I’m being woken by bird song every morning and the bulbs & blossoms are suddenly popping open.
There’s a sense of waking up, emerging, and a sense of all things fresh and new.
Reading gloomy, dark, spooky stories feels like a good wintry thing to do; not a good sunny days, bursting with the joy of new life thing.
I’m sure we will have another bout of cold weather before true spring arrives; another grey, gloomy weekend when reading a gothic thriller will be just what the doctor ordered AND if that happens, then I will gladly, willing tackle Peril the Third and read one book for this 2 month challenge. 
I discovered this on Goodreads and thought it might be a nice way to read another book from my CC List #2. The Victorian era goes from 1837-1901. I have 3 possibilities. 
A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (1887)     (this could also help me with R.I.P. XIII)
Little Doritt by Charles Dickens (1855 – 57)
Basil by Wilkie Collins (1852)
I’ve never been organised enough to join in this challenge before, but I have 2 books on my TBR pile first published in 1944.
The Headmistress by Angela Thirkell
The Golden Fleece by Robert Graves
A chance to read Frankenstein in October (another R.I.P. XIII possibility)?
A copy has just made it’s way onto my TBR pile, so maybe….
I was recently tagged on Twitter to name 3 books that made me stay up reading long into the night (thanks Kate).

Last night I read until 1:30am because I finally got to the exciting part in The Secrets She Keeps.
Last week it was The Annotated Persuasion.
But then I would have to think long and hard to remember a third….
On Instagram Fanda challenged me with this list:

Favourite Fantasy:
The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy
Favourite Sci-fi:
anything by John Wyndham
Favourite Contemporary:
Liane Moriarty
Favourite Romance:
The Ladies of Missalonghi
Favourite book from 10 years ago:
is this favourite book that I READ in 2008 or favourite book first PUBLISHED in 2008?
2008 is pre-blogging days and I simply cannot remember everything I read back then.
I remember rereading Jane Eyre for my book club and I started Max Gallo’s Napoleon series.
I also read Geraldine Brooks People of the Book (I went to a local book event and got a signed copy).
Published in 2008 but read and loved later, were The Hunger Games and Olive Kitteridge.
Favourite book from the last 100 days:
Too hard to pick just one, so here’s five favourites.
Lenny’s Book of Everything
Northbridge Rectory
Sugar Money
The thought of hunting down these books to take a pic of them was too much to bear!
Feel free to consider yourself tagged.

That’s not in my brain any more.

Maybe there will be some space for creativity, reflection and personal growth today?


15 thoughts on “#JustSaying

  1. I know this isn't how you meant for your readers to take this blog post, but I am glad to hear that I am not the only one. Life gets in the way often and the books I'm reading, my choice mind you, aren't ringing my bell. But I plod on. Today I got one more CD finished of Suite Francaise audiobook and completed the last ten pages of another book which I should have finished last week. Today I learned I have two more audiobooks waiting for me to download. When will I have the time to listen to them? Eek! We go on…


  2. Maybe it's in the air … all over the world. I am having the same problems, although I don't have that many Bookish things to participate in. Just need to continue and finish up with some challenges and review more! I am more behind on reviewing books than you are… and I am reading a lot for me. I think you probably have much more going on in your life than I do, but I am older and a great deal of my energy goes into my job. (I am beyond retirement age but still won't retire for over a year.) I just have little time and motivation left to do much else. Thanks for the info about The 1944 Club. That is perfect for me.


  3. As you and others have experienced blogger fall into slump sooner or later.I was so deep in that abyss….I closed my first blog (Feb 2017) and never wanted to blog again. Luckily I made backups of old post…but still I thought stopping was the only solution.Now, having said that, I want to share that I have bounced back and so can you!IMO size does not matter. Reviews don't have to be 600 words+ or more..inflated with foto's and long quotes. That is all extra work and when time is of the essence, economize. You can say so much in just 250-300 words + 1 foto. IMO find what you love to write without stress. If I may quote a your blogpost around this time of year (20 Oct 2015) \”I'd rather be busy than bored, but I do feel like I'm constantly chasing my tail and never really getting anywhere. In an attempt to gain a semblance of order in my chaotic life, it's time to write a Stories & Shout Out housekeeping post.\” Now there is something you can do….stressfree – just do the 'Stories & Shout Out Post' for awhile. You stay connected but have more time for other things.IMO the life-safer for any blogger is to take the time and create a 'buffer'. If you just take one book at a time and write a DRAFT review and SAVE IT. Then the next one…SAVE IT. In the meantime you enjoy the writitng without pressure. During one of my slumps…I built up a 10 review buffer. Yes, they are short…but my thoughts are on paper and I can dip into the buffer whenever I feel the need for more relaxed blogging.Brona, I hope some of these tips are helpful (reading journal, remember?) building a buffer, stay connected with S&Shouts + update lists or literary prizes. Just do smth that makes you feel good.IMO you must feel better….knowing your are not alone in 'slump-ville' ! 🙂


  4. It may not have been a conscious thing when I started this post Anne, but it is always lovely to know that one is not alone. So thank you for popping by and taking the time to have a chat. You're right, that a lot of it is about the choices we choose to make, the things we choose to prioritise, and I'd still rather be busy than the alternative. But right now, I feel that the balance (i used to work to maintain) is slipping beyond my control.For now 🙂


  5. Thanks Tracy. Glad I could help add another challenge to your reading life :-)One of your recent posts reminded me that I could have easily put The Time Traveller's Wife as my fav sci-fi or fav romance. It was also a book that kept me up reading late at night when I read it 15-odd years ago.


  6. Thank you for your support once again Nancy and THANK YOU for reminding me about Stories and Shout-outs – I had forgotten that little meme.I do have several half-draft reviews – I'm not waiting for perfect or anything – just time & the right head space to finish them.I've just had an afternoon visiting the Art Gallery of NSW and then a lovely stroll home to the ferry via the Botanic Gardens to see all the spring blooms and I feel a little more centred and grounded than I did this morning. The photos I took along the way, may even turn into a blog post or 2 on my other blog :-)Thanks again xo


  7. I don't have anything as handy as a new school year as an excuse – the Australian school year runs the same as the calendar year. But certainly having our youngest only 5 weeks away from his final ever exams, is having an impact. Mr Books and I are looking forward to not having to plan holidays around school terms anymore after this though 🙂


  8. Books have always been my obsession Deb, so I believe I have developed a fairly high threshold before I 'do too much'. My writing threshold, however, is much lower, which is when posts like this one come out!


  9. I have Maisie Dobbs, Rowland Sinclair and Maigret for my quick, fun reads. I also have a few old favourites that I can call on to reread in times of need. At the moment though, it's not the reading that feels out of control, it's the writing/reviewing part. As Nancy suggested above, I need some comfort posts to write at times like this – she reminded me of my old Stories & Shout-out posts which I may revive, just for fun, until the reviewing urge returns.


  10. Wonderful to read Stories and Shout-out is coming back!Comfort posts…catch-up on life – share links to interesting posts – make lists for future challenges if you plan on joining. I love Read Ireland in March and #AWW 2018..so I'm now taking the time to find books. That is the fun part…and if the time comes I have a list ready to go!


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