December.

I wanted to say something fairly profound on starting this new blog, or at least begin by explaining why the change in location, but honestly, right now I'm in shock that it's December. It was a year ago, more so, that I was chasing robins around trying to get good pictures of them (since then, incidentally, I've held one of those very robins). It was nine months ago when I was eagerly (or perhaps obsessively) waiting for the daffodils to emerge to mark the end of a very long winter. Our new hens aren't new any more, they've been with us five months. The Faerie Queene, which dominated my thoughts for what felt like forever, was finished nearly ten months ago. I could go on, and that's the scary thing. This year has gone by at a rapid pace. The heatwave, thinking I would never cool down, that's disappeared entirely. All these things that seem so recent are firmly in the past. One month from now, it will be 2014. This is incredible.

So, this how I'm starting my new blog! I decided early in the week that I needed a change, and this is to be both a new project, a new approach, and perhaps a change for change's sake. It isn't desperately important, really. A few things triggered it. As I say, I needed the change. The old blog felt like it was going to ruin, and I was sad about that, but I realised that it didn't inspire me at all any more, there was so much clutter on it and all of a sudden no drive. I wanted to start afresh. The new project is the blog itself, and the new approach - I suppose this is important - I want to slow down. My reading pace has increased rapidly. Although I haven't read more books than usual, my pace is incredible and for quite a while I haven't really dwelt upon what I've read, which is noticeable in that reviews have almost entirely ceased. I'll still share my plans, but I do want more reviews, and various other things. I just want to start afresh. 

One of my big plans is to do a lot more re-reading. There are so many books I've loved but forgotten about, like David Copperfield for example - I know I loved it, same with Les Misérables, but I barely remember anything of them. I hope that reviewing more will help anchor more books in my mind! There's some books I haven't loved, either. Some that are well loved, but not only do I not appreciate why, I can't even remember them to offer an opinion. I feel there's so many I might as well not have read. It's been a beautiful journey where I travelled at a break neck speed. I do read fast, but these past few months I've read even faster. I want to go back a bit, back to where I was before summer. With this in mind, my first readalong on this blog will be Middlemarch by George Eliot, which is hosted by Beth of Too Fond. This week I'll be reading the first two books, then the following the next to books and so on. A slower pace, and I aim to write a decent blog post at the end of it, whether I loved it or not. And, as I say, revisit some old favourites, some books that were lost on me, like Homer, some Shakespeare plays that I did like, and perhaps a return to Dickens, whilst, of course, exploring the new.

A part of this is down to the Zola website I've started. It's far (far) from ready, but I loved so much re-reading The Fortune of the Rougons, and I've got so much more out of the second read. I did finish it a few weeks ago, but I've decided to write about each book again, just share some thoughts really, before I write whatever I will write for the website. In the next few days I'll post about Fortune, which I have already written about, and then when I finish The Kill I'll post about that and continue through the series once more. 

As you can see by the pages at the top, I'm sticking with The Classics Club (I would never abandon The Classics Club - I'm already thinking about the next list!), and The Penguin English Library. Finally, I decided to slowly work my way through the novels of Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I have to say, as well, I had a good sign last night I think. I decided earlier in the week to call this blog "Beyond the Stars", a reference to Dante: "The poets leave hell / And again behold the stars" (depending on your translation). Well, last night, the stars here were incredible. I saw Jupiter, the brightest star of the night, and it was so clear here - the terrible, forbidding beauty of a winter sky. I watched them for hours: Jupiter appeared to the left of my window, and it was well past the centre before I fell asleep. One of the best night sky I have ever seen!

So, then. Plans for December. Middlemarch is one of them, and finishing The Kill and writing about it for the website is another. So far, progress has been slow, but it's been a busy month. I do want to work on it this month, but I plan on starting the real work in January. Aside from Zola and Eliot, I plan on reading Kim by Kipling because it was my Classic Spin number, and I want to read Stendhal's The Charterhouse of Parma because it's my last of my 2013 Challenges, after which I shall think about some 2014 challenges! 

And, Lord, it's December! Christmas cards need to be sorted, I still haven't made my Christmas cake (I planned on making it last week, but my headaches got quite bad and I had to go to hospital for a scan, which was clear thankfully), and I have pine cones to spray gold, trees to think about, presents to buy, fairy lights to buy, all the wonderful Christmas things to prepare! I do love December! This is a good month to start a new blog! 

With that in mind, I'll finish by saying the boring admin-type things - if you subscribed by email or in a feeder, I'll have to ask you to do that again. But, if you just bookmarked Délaissé, in the next few days I'm going to redirect it, so when you click for it you'll end up here.

That is all! I'm going to spend the rest of the afternoon starting Middlemarch and watching 'The Muppet Christmas Carol'! 

Happy December, everyone!

Comments

  1. So glad you'll be joining us--I'm planning to spend the afternoon with Middlemarch as well. The new blog looks lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) I've made a start with it - read the first two chapters in the bath. Quite enjoyed it, actually :)

      Delete
  2. Hmm, Blogger made my comment disappear when I clicked on Preview, so here's my second attempt.

    I just wanted to say that the new blog sounds very promising. I like the look of it - new, but still warm and cozy. I get that feeling sometimes, of not being grounded enough as a reader, and it is what makes me return to book blogging after long stretches of ignoring it. I hope this new approach does the trick for you. I'm a quiet reader these days, but I still read along and enjoy your posts, and will do so at this new place as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Claudia. I'm happy with the new space :)

      (Hope there's not going to be any further comment problems...)

      Delete
  3. A wonderful post! I'm so excited to read your thoughts on books both new and already loved. A lot of us bloggers seem to be making the choice to slow down and focus on what turned us to reading in the first place (a good thing, I believe), and I hope the new blog gives you a new perspective of reading to enjoy.

    Your Dostoevksy project is something I'll definitely be keeping an eye on!

    Also, about the headaches, my Dad spends an awful about of time in bed with a bad head, and he's had every scan under the sun trying to work out the root cause. Therefore I've seen how badly it affects him, and I can understand how much it must affect your life and reading. I hope it's ok for you at the moment.

    Wishing you all the best!
    Lucy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lucy. Yes, I've seen a few people blogging about slowing down or wanting to re-start.

      Sorry to hear about your dad. My headaches are odd - very quick, but very sharp. When I went to the doctors that afternoon, I actually went because I thought I had tonsillitis, but I got worse and was sent to hospital to check for meningitis. Doctor quickly saw that wasn't the case, but he did start the ball rolling with the headaches. Overall it seems positive. He suggested cluster headaches - is that the kind of thing your dad has?

      Delete
  4. I love the look of your new blog and think the projects you have chosen sound very exciting. Looking forward to reading about your re-reads :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) I'm already making a list!

      Delete
  5. I hope your new blog home is a happy one :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I know a blog can be dreary and boring after sometime. THe same thing happens to diaries (I have them). That's why it's always good to start anew. For a book it's easy - just change it. For a blog.. the same thing goes, I think.

    I can't wait to read your blog in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to agree. It is quite inspiring, just making the change :)

      Delete
  7. kudos for following your instinct - it's your blog, your ideas, your timing! Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've had a presentiment recently that you would do so... Lovely idea, lovely o! I understand your motives very well! It feels very cosy and comfortable and I hope that it does so to you as well! It also slightly resembles Delaissé as I found it in 2011 - with that brown, bookish, almost biblical template you had at that time, but since this is a new start - let it be new (but Delaissé posts will be missed...). Thank you for not leaving for a very long time instead! -ruby (I'm blogging again too!!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is great news! I shall look at your blog this evening, very much looking forward to it!

      Delete
  9. Exciting! I look forward to reading your posts as well as your Zola site when it's ready.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Congratulations on the new blog, it looks great!! I look forward to reading your posts -- both about Zola, and Kim (chosen for my 2014 TBR Pile Challenge!) and everything else.

    PS. I'm reading The Earth by Zola for MY Classics Spin!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on The Earth - I think that was my least favourite Zola, though I do wonder if I was in the right mood for it... (I can never just admit I didn't like a Zola!)

      Delete
  11. Definitely looking forward to your new blog. Also, I LOVE Muppets Christmas Carol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's for sure one of the best versions! :)

      Delete
  12. I like this new blog of yours :) I love its name, too. I didn't immediately recognized it, because it isn't a literal translation, but I like it in English, too :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. God, I know. This year felt more like six months. I've never been more surprised to see Dec 1st on my calendar. What with exams and then my sister giving birth, my tree isn't even up yet. Let's conveniently sidestep the Christmas cards issue or I'll cry. Mine will reach their destinations by New Year. Want one, since we're at it?

    I love your new blog! I don't remember that quote from The Divine Comedy (Dante and I did not get along), but it's certainly fitting. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God, I still haven't done my cards yet.... :S

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts of the Month