This week's Top Ten (hosted by Broke and the Bookish) is Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2014, and I'm glad to do this because the new year seems to have passed me by a little. I have thought about goals and resolutions, and I've blogged about them too, but I wasn't feeling the spirit of it at all. I still feel under the weather post-cold, which has spread to my chest, so that's not much fun at present, but I do feel much better and more inclined to feel excited for the new year. All that said, I can't help but feel that Vernal Equinox is something to really look forward to! A new year is fun, but it seems almost arbitrary. There is nothing arbitrary about Vernal Equinox: when spring starts, the year truly does start.
- With that in mind, my first non-bookish resolution is to have the ultimate spring clean. I do like a good clear out in March, but I'm starting early this year: I have a habit of building up tasks and not starting them until a day I randomly deem appropriate, and most often it's very overwhelming. So, when my chest is completely better (I'm not starting before because adding dust into the equation isn't terribly sensible), I'm going to do one thing every day towards the spring clean, whether it be tidy out one drawer, one cupboard, one file, or one shelf, I will do one thing a day. Come March, hopefully what will remain is the standard clean and not a stupendous amount of organising.
- Fix my camera. I miss taking pictures of the birds, and I will really miss having it come spring. Having no camera during spring and summer would not be much fun at all.
- Write more reviews and commentaries. I'm happy with the way this blog is going, and I've written more reviews and commentaries in one month than probably nine months of the old blog. I've very committed to this goal.
- Organise my time more effectively. This seems like a very clichéd resolution, nearly everyone says it (and who resolves to waste their time?), but I, like everyone else, do mean it. I take far too long on important tasks, I faff about before I start them, and often during them, and I drag things out more than I should. But this year I have a lot of things I want to read and write about, on and off blog, and my typical day doesn't allow for it. I won't actually be able to achieve what I want to achieve without effective time management (I detest how that sounds, like my conscience is dressed in a suit and standing in front of a power point presentation).
- Join in with more readalongs. I enjoyed the Middlemarch readalong in December and found it very worth while, so I'm on the look out for more! This month I'm reading Onegin by Pushkin with Marian, so if there's any readalongs happening around February / March, let me know!
- Complete all my 2014 Challenges. Goes without saying!
- Finish my 25 re-reads list and embark on another one. I love doing this, it's the best and most favourite challenge I've ever set myself.
- Work very hard on my Zola things. It is this that makes me realise that I don't organise my time very well! But I do want it up and running, so I will work on it. I intend to start on The Belly of Paris this week.
- Read more literary criticism. I've found it helpful reading the introductions to the books I read (after I've finished of course) and dipping into Virginia Woolf's The Common Reader, and I think I'd find it beneficial to see what other lit crit there is out there. I do want to be a better reader.
- Read more non fiction. I have read a lot more recently, not entire books, but various chapters and articles here and there (mostly to do with Zola, whether it be about him, his novels, or about the Second Empire). It's a good thing to do, and I'm not sure I'll often read whole books in one go, but I will, as I say, read more chapters and articles. One of the non fiction books I do intend to read in its entirety this year is Das Kapital by Karl Marx.
For now, though, I'm returning to Les Misérables. I've just finished the first chapter of the third book, 'Paris in Microcosm': there are some fantastic comparisons with Émile Zola and I'm very eager to explore them. I shall write about them a little bit more later in the week, though it won't be a very detailed post, it will be a good starting point to organise my thoughts. Wonderful chapter, that one. Love Les Mis very much. Not sure I'll be finishing it any time soon, though!