Year Wrap-Up: Books, Personal Bits and Highlights

Here is the second part of my year review. It contains the more personal bits, or anything not knit or craft related to be more precise. In general 2014 has been a lot quieter on the personal level than 2013. Which is good, for the most part: no frantic hospital visits and no sad partings. Instead, 2014 saw the Treehouse residents making their merry way across the pond, have loads adventures in-between working steadily on my university degree.

☆  Books   

A new year has come and gone, which means that a lot of new books have been read, loved, laughed at, cried with and occasionally thrown at the wall. New favourites have been added to the ever growing list of loved books. Here is my list of favourite reads of this year, perhaps they are your favourites too, perhaps you hated them or the list might inspire you to read some of these books and (hopefully) be enchanted by them as well. If you read any brilliant books this year, feel invited to recommend them to me!

Favourite books I read in 2014: 
– The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
– The Awakening -Kate Chopin
– The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn- Mark Twain 
– Dracula – Bram Stoker ( I did not expect to like this book, but it completely floored me) 
– Macbeth – William Shakespeare
– A Room of one’s own – Virginia Woolf


Books I want to read in 2015:  

The great thing about reading books is that there are always MORE books to read. And rereading books, or reading different editions of books. I think we might need to put up some new shelves in the Treehouse next year.

Academic reading: 
– Loads of classical literature. Unlike my partner, I never had to read a lot of classical literature at school, and my personal interest lay more with the pre-medieval northern European, Old and Middle English texts. I mainly want to read some more classical literature because of their influence on other literature, and I think it will help me understand them. Last year I read The Aeneid, and was surprised by how much I liked it.
– For my main research of the next couple of months I want (actually, need) to read a lot academic works on colonial and post colonial literature. To contextualize it I want to read more (post) colonial literature. 
– Irish-language novels, specifically, specifically autobiographical fiction and Gaeltacht autobiographies. Again this is reading I need to do for my research as well. High on the list are The Poor Mouth by Brian O’Nolan and The Islandman by Tomas O’Crohan
– I’m taking a course on Canadian Literature, so that’s on the list as well. 
– Finally, I’m taking a course on “The European Novel”, for which I need to read some of the important novels of Europe. I’m looking forward to reading some of the novels; All Quiet on the Western Front, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, but not so much to some of the others such as rereading A Rebours, which I already read for an optional course last year. 

Non-uni reading:

Not sure how much time will be left for non uni reading, as I will be working on my bachelor research and have lots of course related reading material. But what is life, if you cannot look forward to more books? 
– The Needle and The Spindle – Neil Gaiman
– Hansel and Gretel – Neil Gaiman
– The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath
– Through the Woods – Emily Carroll
– We, the Drowned – Carsten Jensen
– To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
– Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales – Angela Carter
– Faery Tales (Re-telling) – Caroll Ann Duffy 
– The Poetic Edda
– Peter Pan –  J. M. Barrie

☆  Other highlights   

Most listened artist in 2014:
1. Gach Sgeul – Every Story – Julie Fowlis
2. Nebraska – Bruce Springsteen
3. To Be Still – Alela Diane

 Alela Diane performing in Roepaen. Photo taken by my brother.

Most loved Tv/Radio/ series: 

1. Frozen Planet – BBC ( documentary series originally aired in 2011, but only saw it this year).
2. Good Omens – BBC radio 4


 My goal was to blog more often in 2014, something I succeeded in, albeit by a few posts only. My other blogging goal was to comment on other blogs more often. I did comment on blogs more often, especially in the first half of the year, and it comes in spurges. When I’m busy I comment less than when things have eased up. I’m quite content with this progress. For the time being I simply do not have the time to be one of those multiple times a week bloggers ( I admire these bloggers greatly, but phew, where do they find the time?) For the next year I want to try to blog more consistently and a wee bit more, resulting in roughly one blog post a week. Apart from that I want to keep up with other blogs and keep on commenting more frequently on the blogs that I visit.

Other social media platforms:

I didn’t set any specific goals for other social platforms I’m on, and don’t plan so for next year but I did want to mention them here. I’m not big on social media, I don’t have a personal (or any kind of) facebook page for example. I’m active on Ravelry and Goodreads, but I rank them as a “special” kind of social media, because they are not social purely, you learn a lot from them and they’re communities for a specific hobby.

Other than those two I’m on Twitter and on Instagram. On twitter my presence hasn’t much changed. I don’t tweet every single day but I don’t only tweet blog links either. I’m content with my “middle of the road” approach. Instagram has seen a lot more activity this year. After account creation, it sat idle on my phone for a while, but after I discovered how active the knit community is on there I’ve been a lot more active. This includes both posting there and following others, I’m still a bit gun shy with commenting on others, it’s something I have to get over ( and I will!), but there is an introvert part in me that I’ll have to get out of the way each time I post something. I don’t post something every day, but it’s not something I aim for. I post something when I have something to say or show and when I don’t that’s okay I’ll just wait until I do.

Personal highlight of the Year: 

My personal highlight of the year was visiting Scotland. It was a long standing wish of mine to visit Britain, and Scotland specifically, though for a long time my mind had settled on the idea that it wouldn’t be proper to visit Britain but not London first. Though I still want to visit London one day, I’m glad that I decided to go to Edinburgh and Scotland this year, as it was a truly heart-warming experience with great people, awe inspiring nature and a country that will stay with me for many years to come. *

*Scotland is awesome because of its nature, mostly. Well, and its people. Its nature, its people, and its yarn shops. Oops, I meant castles! Scotland is awesome because of its nature, its people, its yarn shops, its wild sheep, its rainy weather, its castles ánd its bagels.

Here at the Treehouse we look forward to the new year with lot’s of excitement. I will be spending most of my year working on my most important thesis I’ve ever worked on, while trying to balance it with regular uni work and, you know, irrelevant things like personal life (AND KNITTING!). Meanwhile my partner will be finishing his final project, graduate and you know… start life as an ex-student. Next year promises to be exciting, challenging and a tad bit scary, but I look forward to sharing it with you here on the blog. Thank you for reading and joining me in my crafty adventures! See you on the other side!

Best wishes for you and yours in 2015. May it be filled with love and lots of creativity.
Enjoy your New Years Eve tonight!
Happy New Year!
Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!

3 thoughts on “Year Wrap-Up: Books, Personal Bits and Highlights

  1. Joehoe, leuk de lijstjes, van wie heeft ze toch kind? Zou oma zeggen.
    Op oudejaarsavond heeft frank bedacht om je te vragen een tekst in het dialect schots of wals te schrijven. Leuk je stuk te lezen.

  2. Jow, ik heb lijstjes nodig om mijn leven georganiseerd te houden! 😉

    Oh cool idee, en toffe uitdaging ook! Moet hij het wel kunnen uitspreken he! Maar kwam dat idee tot stand na wat glazen wijn op oudjaarsdag? 😉


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *