Dove Cottage: one year on. 

A year ago I moved across the country for two weeks to do a work placement at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere. It was a really valuable experience and I want to document my experience here. 

In my second year of university I studied a Romantics module and we visited Grasmere (best trip ever). I had the most amazing time climbing Easedale Tarn and getting emotional in Dove Cottage knowing so many great writers occupied this space. 

On the last day of the trip, my friends and I returned to the Wordsworth Trust to buy some gifts and a member of staff told us about their internship programme. Flash forward to summer 2016 – and having that conversation in mind – I decided to see if the Trust had any volunteering opportunities. 

On the 16th July 2016 I moved into my room and on the 18th July I started my first day. I will admit, I was a little bit nervous. I walked around Grasmere alone on the Sunday not knowing a single person and getting very lost on walks. I didn’t have much mobile data on my phone so I felt very disconnected from the world. However I met some people on the night and after my first day I settled pretty quickly. 

My main duties were to work on the front desk of the museum and to give tours around Dove Cottage. As these were both public-facing roles, I met many people from across the world. Some visitors were huge Wordsworth/Romantic fans and others were not aware of the Romantic movement at all. Some people stumbled across the Cottage by chance and others were visiting for the nth time. It was heartwarming to have people come up to me and give such positive reviews of the place. 

One of the highlights of my experience was all the time I spent in Dove Cottage – William Wordsworth’s home from 1799 to 1808. It was here the famous Daffodils poem was written and where Dorothy Wordsworth started her journals. I could tell you the entire tour – I still remember it. My first tour was nerve-racking but my tour group were patient with me   and supportive. 

Before I started volunteering, I read Thomas De Quincey’s Recollection of the Lakes and the Lake Poets. In this collection of essays, De Quincey discusses his relationship with Wordsworth and how he was a huge fan of Wordsworth’s work. I had watched a documentary previously in which punk poet John Cooper Clarke visits Dove Cottage whilst researching De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater. A few of De Quincey’s items are in the Cottage so I used my research to discuss his objects in further detail. 

I cannot express how much I loved being inside Dove Cottage. Knowing William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, Thomas De Quincey and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (to name a few) walked its floors was overwhelming. Being a massive history and literature nerd it felt surreal working inside an influential building. 

Speaking of history, I was lucky enough to be volunteering at the same time the Trust were celebrating the 125th anniversary of Dove Cottage being open to the public. I had the opportunity to dress up as a Victorian and feel like a celebrity with the amount of photos I had to pose for. It was nice seeing so many enthusiastic visitors and seeing people become so involved with the celebration of a former poet laureate. 

Grasmere is a beautiful place and gave me the opportunity to go on walks most nights after work. I went to Silver How and Grasmere lake most of the time because they are close by but thankfully I had company because I would get lost A LOT. One day I tried to find Rydal Cave without a map and ended up walking one hour in the wrong direction. I found the cave eventually and it was worth all the unnecessary walking. 

I would visit the Wordsworth family graves, like the good literature student I am, and limit my amount of visits to the village bookshop so I didn’t look weird. I caught the ‘Romantics bug’ and wrote a lot of poems and short essays in my spare time. Spending time outside of city life and barely using the internet cleared my head. 

My short two weeks at the Wordsworth Trust were incredible. I learnt a lot about the upkeep of such a valuable building and why the Romantics still influence us today. However the most valuable skill I gained whilst volunteering was presentation skills. After giving tours of the Cottage, I have noticed I am no longer nervous when speaking in public. In the last year I have noticed I don’t feel ill before interviews and presentations and my voice shakes a lot less. I also gained a lot more confidence and it’s incredible how much I changed in two weeks. I couldn’t be more thankful for my experience and I hope to return to Grasmere soon. 


Reading translated fiction.

I’ve recently read Madonna in a Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali and it was beautiful. Without revealing too much, it is a story within a story as our narrator uncovers the story behind his colleague, Raif Efendi. It is about the 1920s Berlin art world and how a painting can change your life.

Maureen Freely and Alexander Dawe translated this Turkish text into English and Penguin published it in 2016. It has taken 74 years for this miniature masterpiece to be translated into English. As a person who is only fluent in English, this made me think about the importance of translated fiction.

Without the literature from non-English speaking countries, we wouldn’t have some of the great British and American writers as we know them. Would the Beat Generation be the same without the influence of Existentialism? Would Patti Smith’s writing be different if she had not encountered Arthur Rimbaud?

The works of Dostoyevsky, Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre are the cornerstones of existentialist literature – all texts are not originally in English. Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables influenced so many British writers and is referenced throughout pop culture. Going back even further we have Dante’s Inferno which has shaped a lot of the Western literary canon. Whether it is Jacobean playwrights or contemporary authors like Dan Brown, the accessibility of his work has been influential. 

As students, we read the works of Nietzsche, Freud, Lyotard and so many others who shape our literary and philosophical landscape. Where would we be without a translation of these works?

Moving away from the world of academia and onto pleasure reading, translated fiction teaches us about different cultures and history. The politics discussed in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and War and Peace are challenging. However, I came out of that reading experience with a tiny bit more knowledge on nineteenth-century Russian politics. 

I am really thankful for translators; some of my favourite works are pieces of translated fiction. The thought of me never reading Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita because it was only in Russian (which I cannot read) terrifies me. Translating work to make it accessible to as many people as possible across the globe is so important. Stories from different cultures enriches your reading experience. 

In saying that, the right translation for you is important. Some books, mainly classics, may have multiple translations. Some are old translations, some are new, and some are as close to the original text as possible. Unless you are studying the text, I don’t think it is vital to read the text closest to the original. Inevitably, some things will be lost in translation. Sample different editions of the book and see which version you prefer. 

There are a few publishing houses which publish translated works and can easily be found in bookshops. Penguin and Vintage books are a good place to find mainstream writers, such as classic European and Russian authors or more contemporary writers like Haruki Murakami. They also normally use different translators which helps for variety. Pushkin Press is also a good publisher for classic and contemporary works from across the world. Serpent’s Tail is not exclusively translated fiction, but it has some great lesser-known works available. 

I thought I would suggest a couple of books for people who do not usually read translated fiction and would like to start. 

1. The Vegetarian by Han Kang. 

I think this novel defines contemporary literature. It is a Korean novel which is split into three parts and centres around a woman who becomes a vegetarian. That is all I will say. 

2. Astragal by Albertine Sarrazin. 

I’m not going to lie I wasn’t too pleased with the translation and found several errors, but I am grateful to have access to this story. The semi-autobiographical piece written from a prison cell is about Anne who escapes from prison and breaks her ankle. She is picked up by a motorcyclist who is also on the run. It is a story about love and danger and is basically the book version of a Jean-Luc Godard film. Patti Smith also introduces the book so that’s a selling point. 

3. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami. 

Tsukuru Tazaki’s friends all have colours in their names. Tazaki does not. One day his friends stop talking to him and Tazaki is left floating trying to figure out what happened. It is a relatable piece about isolation but it is also so much more than that – it is a work of art. As the novel progresses, an eerie atmosphere looms over the events. As a reader you have to put a lot into the book and find the missing puzzle pieces but that is what makes it so fantastic. 

This post is limited to my personal tastes and I know I am leaving out some key genres and discussions about translated fiction,  but I want this to be a useful introduction for some people. 

If anyone has any suggestions of translated works they like, I would love to know!

My end of uni ‘to be read’ pile.

Last week I handed in my final assignment for my undergraduate degree, which is absolutely terrifying.

At the weekend I removed most of the books from my shelves and I am now left with a select few pleasure reads I have been impatiently waiting to get my hands on. I thought I would share that list.

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

I have already read 200 pages. Since reading War and Peace last year, I have been dying to read Anna Karenina. When Vintage brought out their new Russian classics collection, I had to get this edition and it has been sitting on my shelf since February.

Anna Karenina is a story about a married socialite woman and her affair with Count Vronsky. Vronsky instantly falls in love with Anna when he meets her and attempts to pursue her whenever she is out in society and wants her to leave her senior government official husband.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky described the novel as “flawless as a work of art” and from what I have read his statement is very true. I had watched the 2012 film when it was released but it took quite some time to get to the beginning of the film’s events in the novel. However, the chapters leading up to meeting Anna make sense to the story as multiple characters weave in and out of the novel to create a rich plot line like a grand tapestry.

2. Ross Poldark by Winston Graham.

I love the BBC series Poldark and my housemate was kind enough to buy me the books for Christmas. It feels like forever since I have read a series of books and I now have 12 Poldark books so it seems like a perfect time to make a start on the series. I am still debating whether to read ahead of the television series or watch the series first then the books they are based on because I have loved the surprises when watching the series and I am worried I will not like the series as much after reading the books.

The novel is set in Cornwall from 1783-1787. Ross Poldark returns from fighting in America to find his family life turned upside down and the woman he loves engaged to his cousin.

After studying the 18th century at university, I am really excited to read this and think about the historical context surrounding the novel’s events.

3. Golden Years by Ali Eskandarian.

I noticed this on the new fiction table in my local Waterstones and later picked it up during a student lock-in in February. The quote from the Observer says: ‘A scorching story powered by both politics and poetry, and seething with sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.’ Sounds like a great book.

The description on the back of the book is even more interesting as it reads:

In Brooklyn, New York, during November 2013, Ali Eskandarian was murdered alongside two members of his band, the Yellow Dogs.

I tried to do some research on this book and came back with very little. Excuse my ignorance, but from what I gather this is a true story with possible fictionalised aspects. If anyone has read it, please correct me. I’m looking forward to reviewing this as it was an impulse buy and I know little about it.

4. Madonna in a Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali.

I saw this book in hardback last year and was intrigued. This year it was released in paperback and every time I was in a bookshop I would pick it up and sadly put it down. However, last month I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the book from Penguin as a thank you for completing a survey and I am so happy it is finally in my hands.

All I know is that the novel is about a Turkish man who falls in love with an artist in 1920s Berlin. 

I misread this to be a modern historical novel which put me off but then I found out this has only recently been translated into English. Translated fiction, the 1920s, the art scene … I’m in.

5. Tarantula by Bob Dylan.

I listened to a lot of Bob Dylan when writing my dissertation and I was so happy to see him win the Noble Prize for Literature.

I was so happy to find this discounted in one of my favourite local bookshops as Tarantula has an interesting history.

The publication for Tarantula was constantly delayed and for years only bookleg copies were available. Written in 1966, Dylan captures the turbulent times of the decade in a mixture of poems and prose.

6. The Call of the Weird by Louis Theroux.

I would like to use this platform to thank Louis Theroux for getting me through third year of university. Happy? Watch a Louis Theroux documentary. Sad? Watch a Louis Theroux documentary. Procrastinating but want to feel like you are learning something? Watch a Louis Theroux documentary.

Weird Weekends is my favourite Louis Theroux series and in this book Louis returns to some of the people he met in the series and dedicates a chapter to them. I’m just excited; it is going to be great.
And that’s all the books I have with me in my university room. I’m not sure if I’ll get through them all before I leave because Anna Karenina is nearly 1000 pages long but I hope to read a few of them. My collection is not very diverse considering half of the books are set in America but I will be able to read a wider range of books when I am reunited with my books at home.

After Anna Karenina, I think I will read Louis Theroux’s book for a bit of nonfiction. If you have read any of these books, or think I should read one sooner, please let me know. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Visual Journals.

About a month ago, Ariel Bissett uploaded a video about micro journaling. Here’s the video:

I completely agree with Ariel that I struggle to keep a diary and I think her method of journal is amazing and I think I will try it out. I have tried to journal since I was very young. Over the years I have tried to write in diaries and write blogs, but I have never managed to successfully maintain any form of journaling. I cringe at my writing and I have to delete or throw away my writing because I dismiss my thoughts as being silly. I blame American teenage dramas for my fear of someone finding my diary and reading it out to the world – despite the fact I have nothing to hide. It’s such an irrational fear.

Instead, I have found an alternative method of documenting my life without writing anything. Since 2011 I have created visual journals and I have never looked back. By collecting images instead of words, I can create a collage of feelings and experiences on the page.


The picture above shows two of my visual journals. It is not clear on the photo, but the book on the right is my complete journal and the notebook on the left is my current one.

I really like collecting photos, clippings from magazines, postcards, etc. so this is a good place to store them. However, my visual journal is different to a scrapbook (I am making this more complex than it should be). My scrapbook has photos of me with my friends and family, but my visual journal is mainly for pictures I have found in magazines and online.

Here’s some examples of the pages in my journal:


There’s a mixture of pictures I have found online, pictures from magazines, old gig/club wristbands, poems.

I love creating moodboards; they really help me map out ideas. Before I started my dissertation, I created a moodboard of influential people, monuments and photographs from the time period I was looking at to help me get in the zone.

Creating these kind of collages on paper help me map my thoughts and feelings for project, or even just a brief time frame in my life. Although there are few words on each page, opening up the journal and looking at the pictures I can remember what I was feeling during the time period I was creating these moodboards. Comparing parts of my journal to older pages allows me to see how much I’ve grown and changed over the years.

Tips for starting a visual journal:

  • Anything goes! – Cut up a magazine, write a poem, draw, make a list, print some photos out you like, collect tags from items you have bought. It can be anything.
  • There is no time limit – There is no structure to this method of journaling, which I think is really useful because there is a certain pressure to creating certain content for other methods of documenting your thoughts. I like the fact that I can leave my journal for months and not feel guilty, whereas I feel the pressure to write everyday in a diary.
  • Cut up magazines – I always forget to throw magazines out and end up with a massive pile hidden in my wardrobe. Cutting them up and putting them in your journal is a good way to keep the pieces you want and to free up space in your room.
  • Use pinterest or tumblr as inspiration – I always go through my tumblr account and create a moodboard of my favourite pictures that month and print them for my journal. Having an account of these websites has made it easier for me to document my inspirations, but it is not a necessity. For years I would just browse these websites and other blogging platforms for inspiration without making an account.

Ultimately I think this is a really fun thing to do as a hobby. As an English Literature student, I spend a lot of time writing so it is fun to create a journal through pictures as an alternative to writing a diary.

I hope people find this somewhat useful and have fun making their own journals!

Rekindling my love for music.

Since the age of twelve I’ve always identified as a music lover. I struggled with the transition from primary school to secondary school and the thing that got me through it was discovering music. My favourite past time was reading music magazines to discover new bands.

Two days after my fourteenth birthday I went to my first concert. A couple of months ago I went to watch a band at the venue of my first ever gig and it filled me with so much nostalgia. I went to a lot of gigs as a teenager and saw a lot of bands I admired at the time.

At seventeen I landed a volunteering job at a music venue and by eighteen I was attending at least one gig a week. Listening to my local music scene expanded my musical horizons (and also got me really weirdly into psychedelic rock) and I felt like music defined me. People knew me as that girl who went to gigs, worked at a music venue, and knew a lot about bands.

For various reasons – mainly my poor work-life balance – I stopped making the effort to search for new bands. In college I listened to a few artists who I didn’t really love but felt like I had to like more than what I did. I still have CDs I bought when in 2013 of people who I know I was never fully ‘digged’. Some of those bands I’ve have learned to love, for example after seeing Swim Deep support Wolf Alice in 2016 I decided to dust off their debut album.

It soon got to the point where I stopped giving bands the chance and was overly critical. I would think ‘yeah, but they just sound like Arctic Monkeys’ or ‘they sound like five other bands on the scene right now’. In reality this has always been the case no matter what time period we are talking about, but for some reason I was allowing that to be a valid excuse not to listen to new music. I was so bored and this mindset has taken me three years to get out of.

Last year I watched a documentary about Andy Warhol and an entire section of it was dedicated to The Velvet Underground. I had listened to The Velvet Underground before but for some reason the beginning of ‘Venus in Furs’ enchanted me and I felt like a door had been opened. For months I would only listen to Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, The Kinks, The Beatles – basically any revolutionary artist of the 1960s/1970s. I was reading rock memoirs and rediscovered my love for 90s grunge and delved into the world of Riot Grrrl. Part of the reason I am writing my dissertation on Allen Ginsberg and Patti Smith (besides them being incredible) is because of this epiphany. I’ve even shocked myself by not writing on Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, but when picking my dissertation topic I knew I needed something to inspire me the way The Velvet Underground did. As cheesy as it sounds, there has not been a moment during the writing of my dissertation where I have no been excited. A nod to the music scene Ginsberg and Smith were involved with kinda runs throughout my dissertation. I had already found myself in literature thanks to Dorian Gray, but I was still trying to relocate myself in music and Ginsberg and Smith have become my mentors.

It’s all well and good listening to the greats of the twentieth century, but what about the up and coming artists? I still wasn’t there. I managed to come back to the first decade of the twenty-first century. I am always going to embrace my emo roots and scream the lyrics of Taking Back Sunday, Panic at the Disco, and Weezer at the top of my lungs. Teenage Dirtbag is still my jam at £1 a pint on Saturdays. I’m nostalgic for Phantom Planet and Motion City Soundtrack like I’m in a 2005 time warp. I proudly wear my indie band t-shirts pretty much every day and have a classic 2000-2008 indie playlist on Spotify. The Vaccines, Two Door Cinema Club, Foster the People and my absolute loves The Black Keys are the soundtrack to 2012 and leaving school. Peace, Swim Deep, and Tame Impala made the cut to document my college days. Wolf Alice were the only ‘new’ band I listened to during my first year of uni.

Discovering The Big Moon almost a year ago has really helped me discover new music. I am obsessed with them and cannot wait for their debut album to be released in April. Here’s a sample of their music:

For the first time in years I was really excited about new music. I have bought every single they have released, which is something I never used to do.

Listening to The Big Moon motivated me to check out more bands. I started to listen to the bands the musicians I liked where listening to. If I saw a celebrity I like on Instagram (usually someone from Alexa Chung’s circle because in my head it is still 2011) was at a gig, I would check that band out online.

So, getting to the point of this post, I think I’m cured and out of my rut. I can say I love music again! For ages I have felt like an impostor of my own identity because I didn’t really live up to the title of ‘liking music enough’. It pained me hearing people ask me why I wasn’t as interested in listening to new music like I used to be. Taking a step backwards and going to the roots of bands that inspired me when I was 14 perpetuated me forward to find my favourite bands of 2017.

There was absolutely no point to this blog post but I haven’t posted in a while and wanted to document the return of my enthusiasm. I am currently drafting a post about journaling and how to journal which should have more of a purpose.


Self-care and education.

This is my fourth draft of this post. Let’s see if I publish it.

When I hit certain points during my time as a student I panic and think I have to do all the things. I did just that in my final year of college by doing two casual jobs and several volunteering jobs alongside my education. It’s crazy, I know. I said I’m never doing that much again because it was draining and my grades and happiness suffered. I juggled too many tasks just to feel like I was ‘enough’.

During my first year of university I decided to never do that again and just focus on my education and work during my long breaks off. That worked for two years. Now it’s third year and I am doing the thing I said I should stop doing – overworking. Maybe it’s a fear of not doing enough with my time and a fear of regretting not saying yes to opportunities. Maybe I do not want to look back on my time as a student and think “I wish I was involved in more extra curricular activities”.

I carefully planned my summer to try and make third year as stress free as possible. I moved back home and worked at my old job. I organised my research for my dissertation and read the books I was studying for the upcoming semester. I was incredibly lucky and volunteered in the Lake District at an organisation relevant to my degree. Surely that is more than enough, right? Apparently not.

As soon as September arrived I was applying for every job I saw advertised and applying for volunteering jobs. I freaked out and decided I needed to do everything this year. I knew this was a silly idea but I justified it by saying I would only work for a short period of time then I can chill in semester two and just focus on my studies and applying for postgraduate courses. It’s semester two and that has not happened. I have managed to burn out before my classes have even started and it is inevitable it will happen again at some point during the semester.

I think writing all of this down will help as a reminder to stop overworking and prioritise what is important to me, which at the moment is my degree.

This is what I want to do:

  • Take breaks. It sounds really simple but I actually struggle to do this. This year I am not allowing myself to eat and work. If I am eating my lunch or my tea, I have to stop working.
  • Only work between certain times of the day. This is something I will have to work on and I know I cannot always stick to it if I have a lot of deadlines. I want to try and work during reasonable hours and after a certain point stop and leave work for the day. I have a bad habit of working long hours when I do not need to and it does not benefit me in any way. Although I finish the day thinking I can relax more the next day, I still do the same amount of work the next day regardless. Setting my self a time frame might help me complete tasks quicker and more efficiently.
  • Do a few things well rather than many things poorly. Another one I really need to work on. This year I need to prioritise what matters the most and what makes me happy. Basically, I need to be brave and say no to opportunities I know I do not have the time to do.
  • Stay Organised. I’m pretty good at this and want to keep it up. I bought an hour-by-hour journal to organise my days and it is really helpful. I dedicate certain times for certain tasks, for example one afternoon I will only work on my dissertation and another I will only work on the seminar prep for one of my modules. This has stopped me from being overwhelmed by all the things I have to do.
  • Write a list of my achievements that day. I always feel guilty if I haven’t been productive. I want to write lists of what I have done to stop me feeling guilty when I try to relax. Even if it is just cleaning the house or sending an email, I am still being productive.

I know a lot of people worry about trying to get enough work done during the day and I hope this list can be a reminder not to burn out. I think it’s easy to convince yourself to try and complete every task at once but it is not realistic. It is important to manage your time and make room for relaxation.




Reading goals for 2017.

I thought I would start the year off with planning out my reading habits for 2017. I normally write a small list in my journal of the books I want to read in the year, but this year my list is planned out in a slightly different way. Last year I made a list of 14 books but I purposefully did not complete the list. I can be a bit of a perfectionist so I made the effort not to read everything on my list so I could learn to deal with not completing a task. The list I have created this year may be slightly ambitious because I am about to enter my final semester of my undergraduate degree and (hopefully!!!) start a MA at the end of the year. However, I hope I do not tick everything off this list this year because I want to work on being less of a perfectionist.

Last year I read more poetry, memoirs, and Russian literature which I was really pleased with. I also read a lot of large books (500+ pages) which I am really proud of because the average book I would read would usually be about 280 pages. I also used audiobooks more and borrowed from the local library.

This year, along with my other goals, I want to use the university library more for pleasure read books. I wouldn’t say I am a person who buys lots of books, but I want to make sure I limit my spending when it comes to book buying. Unless it is a book I really want to own, I am going to use the library instead. Anyway, here are my reading resolutions:

1. Read three Shakespeare plays.

The last time Shakespeare play I read was The Tempest when I was in college. I did have to read it again for my first year at university, but I cheated and didn’t because I know the text backwards.

Considering I am a literature student, I am embarrassed to say I haven’t read many Shakespeare plays and I want to change that. This year I want to read one Shakespearean comedy, one tragedy, and one historical play.

2. Read five new plays.

The only play I read in 2016 was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child so this year I want to try harder and read five plays. I have already read A Streetcar Named Desire this year, but I am not counting that because I want to try some plays I have not read before. If any one has any recommendations, that would be great!

3. Read 2/3 of the books I own but have not read.

Over Christmas I counted the books I own but have not read and thankfully the number wasn’t ridiculous. Since moving to university and living in a city with amazing secondhand bookshops, I have acquired quite a number of books because they are cheap so I buy them before I never see them again. There are some books on my shelf I really want to read this year, such as: The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, Persuasion by Jane Austen, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, and I, Claudius by Robert Graves because I have owned those books for a couple of years and have not read them. I also own Richard Ellmann’s biography of Oscar Wilde which I want to finally get to this year. I have written all the books down in my notebook and hopefully I will cross a lot off this year.

4. Read a Dickens novel.

I have only read A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and I really wasn’t a fan. I remember downloading Great Expectations on a reading app on my phone when I was 15 and it took me a year to read because I really did not enjoy it and I would stop reading it to do other things. I was resilient and eventually finished the novel but I decided I did not like Dickens. At the time I was new to classics and wasn’t used to the writing style of nineteenth-century novels. Now with a broader insight to literature, maybe my opinion will change. I think I might Oliver Twist or Hard Times. 

5. Read more ancient classics.

I’ve wanted to do this for some time. When I was little I loved Greek mythology but over the years I have forgotten most of it. One of the first texts I read at university was Ovid’s Metamorphoses and I loved it. I want to try and read more Greek and Roman myths so I can understand references in more modern books. This goal could tie in with my aim to read more plays this year, but I do want to read a diverse range of plays and not just several from one literary movement. Again, any suggestions of what to read would be most welcome!

6. Read Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.

Every year since I was 15 I said I would read this book and every year I fail to do so. I will read this in 2017. This is the one goal I must complete because it has been nearly six years since I said I will read it. I read War and Peace last summer so I am hyped and I am going to do this. I’m going to find myself a copy with a readable font and a good translation and hopefully that will encourage me to finally read it.

I will stop my list there. I feel like a lot of the stuff on my list are things I should have already read so this year I want to tick some off. With saying that, I do not want to restrict myself just to this list. Last year I gained an interest in late twentieth-century American fiction so I read a lot from that time period so I strayed away from my list.

Currently I am reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and re-reading The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. After A Little Life I am going to concentrate on my course books and then hopefully find some time in the semester to tick off some of my reading goals!