~4th-11th January 2021~

Hi everyone! Like so many people I think the first week of 2021 has been… utterly horrific. From the political situations in the US and the UK to more personal matters including my ever increasing load of university work it’s been a long seven days. However, this isn’t the time or the place to recap negatives. I’m hoping to do a weekly round-up every couple of weeks (not weekly as the title suggests because that would be too much like hard work for me). I hope by looking at the weeks where I felt everything was going wrong and finding some positive things to write and talk about with you guys that I could look back at 2021 happily. So here are some of the great things that happened this week!

Since the beginning of the year I have already completed three books (one on the very first day). This week though I have read two books. Back in December I couldn’t think of anything worse than picking up a book because I was feeling unmotivated to read but I have so many great books in my physical TBR currently that I am excited for each new book I pick up. This week I finished The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa. At 274 pages it’s one of the shorter books I’ve read recently but it was also one of the most though provoking. No book has left me feeling so sad upon finishing. I gave it a 4 stars on Goodreads and definitely think this book will soon be considered a classic. Next, I finished Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin. Going back to my fantasy YA routes served me well. Although I only gave this book 3 stars I enjoyed it a lot and I am looking forward to reading the sequel. I am now hoping that my reading stays like this for most of the year. Reading books you genuinely like is so much easier than struggling to get through something you dislike.

Along with the great start to my reading year I also kicked off 2021 with a new way to track my reading progress. Although Goodreads is a great way to track progress The Story Graph might have stolen my heart. I set up my profile and this week have been noticing all of tools it gives readers. From giving recommendations based on a small quiz, constant updated reading stats (including a personal favourite of mine- a page count) it seems like a great place to go and talk about books. There are two major aspects which really stand out to me: the star rating which goes up in increments of 0.25 for more accurate ratings and the ability to add trigger/content warnings within your review. This makes the whole process easier. If you want to see what I’ve been up to on The Story Graph my user name is allie_english!

In terms of university work I have been slowly starting to write my dissertation. I’ve never been academically stressed but I am writing about a subject I love and so interested in. On top of that work I’ve been completing my semester one final assignments. Essay writing over the Christmas period definitely felt too much like a chore so I have definitely been catching up this week. I received my final timetable for university (big scary moment). I realised this week that at the end of January I am starting the final semester of my English degree and I am 1) slightly relieved and 2) very nervous. I am planning on starting a PGCE after my degree ends but thinking about it fills me with equal parts excitement and dread so for now I am focusing on enjoying my final months of my undergraduate course.

In other news I’ve been searching for new recipes to cook when I get back to my university house. I feel after three years cottage pie and spaghetti Bolognese can’t be the only two meals I can cook confidently so I have been looking for new things to try and experiment with. Hopefully my house mates will appreciate my Gordon Ramsey impersonations as I try and cook a pie from scratch.

I hope everyone had the best week they could given everything that went on this week. Sometimes you have to take a step back and look at the little good things that happened so you aren’t always focusing on the big bad things. Here’s to more weeks of successful reading and successful baking.

Published by Allie About English

I am a 21 year old student who loves reading books which helps because my degree consists of reading books and writing essays.

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