For the past couple of weeks I was away on vacation with my family, so my life’s been fairly quiet. I enjoyed my time sleeping, doing nothing much besides soaking up the sun’s rays. Christmas and New Year’s were rather uneventful but with the rest of the year usually jam-packed with things to do, this was a very welcome change of pace.
The best news for me as I rounded up 2013 was the release of my results from the past semester. I received my second highest semester GPA in the course of my university studies, so all that hard work I put in finally paid off. It also was my toughest semester as I completed my honours thesis and took two seminar modules that went beyond my requirements. Going beyond all that which I had to do though really paid off, so I am satisfied.
What makes it even bigger news is that since I passed everything, I HAVE (SORT-OF) OFFICIALLY GRADUATED! Paperwork still needs to go through. Transcripts aren’t out yet and I won’t receive my certificate till convocation in July, so the excitement isn’t there as much as it should be. That is because I accelerated my course of study and graduated one semester early. Whatever it is, I shall bask in that accomplishment as I figure out where I want to apply for jobs and what exactly I am going to apply for. I mean, I have ideas but nothing is set in stone.
As some of you have noticed, I did a major overhaul of my blog layout and theme. My blog finally looks more like I had envisioned it all along, so I’m really happy about that. I went back to format all my old posts and added the post headers. Technically I had some all along but I knew I was going to change them, so I didn’t really commit to anything visual over the past two months, opting to just care about the content. In terms of formatting posts, I’m just left with a couple of book reviews, and then everything will be streamlined for everyone’s viewing pleasure.
There’ll still be some tweaks here and there, so if things aren’t quite working the way they should or if something seems off, please do let me know in the comments, tweet at me or send me an email, so I can set everything straight. Other than that, I think like the simplicity of it coupled with the vibrancy of the splashes of colour here and there. Also, I’m a freak when it comes to colour-coding, so it was bound to happen here too. Whenever I highlighted my school notes, I had a fixed colour for points, elaborations, explanations and definitions. True to my inclinations, every type of post has its own colour firstly, to differentiate the types and secondly, to make sure things don’t look monotonous.
In terms of what went down the past week on the blog, here’s an overview:
- [1 Jan] Of Resolutions and of Book Challenges
- [2 Jan] How Do You Read?
- [5 Jan] Retrospect #1: January 5th
After many months of thinking about what to do with my BookLikes account since I already run this blog and I’m not budging from Goodreads, I think I finally thought of how I can best utilize it as a companion blog of sorts. It’ll be much more informal and more of a collection of things I find that are book-related. Things like book trailers, playlists, etc.
For my introductory post on BookLikes, check out Finding a Use for BookLikes.
Most bloggers spent the past week reviewing 2013 and setting their goals for 2014. Beyond all the anticipation that filled the blogosphere about the coming year, here are a few posts that particularly stood out to me.
- Jen @ Starry-Eyed Revue explains why she has been feeling so meh about memes. I can see where she’s coming from. Her reasons are partly why I never really got the hang of memes either. Book Beginnings is the only one and if it didn’t already exist as a meme, it would surely have become a feature for me.
- Asti @ A Bookish Heart shares her tips for new bloggers and also gives some encouragement, so don’t lose heart if you’re new to it all!
- Nikki @ The Paper Sea listed a couple of blogging tools to help cut down on the time spent blogging.
- Ashley @ Nose Graze lists ten reasons that make her love a blog.
- Sandra @ Tea Between Books weighs in on hardbacks vs.paperbacks, deciding that she prefers paperbacks. I must say, I agree with her and so does my wallet but for me, it mostly comes down to the fact that they’re more portable than hardcovers.
- Emma @ Spun With Words takes a look at redesigned book covers but can’t entirely make up her mind about them. She wishes covers could just be right from the start.
- Cait @ Notebook Sisters constructed a list of 10 things she never wants to read again because she finds them too common or too unbelievable in YA fiction.
- Shanelle @ The Art of Escapism kicked off The 3 Days of the New Year by sharing some resources to learn HTML. Very useful for bloggers and anyone else who has been meaning to pick up a new skill this year.
- April @ Good Books And Good Wine put together a guide to cleaning up your bookshelves, complete with a flowchart.
- Jade @ Bits & Bobs shows how she keeps her weekly blogging schedule to ensure regular content.
- Cassie @ Books With Cass loves Goodreads but laments the absence of half-star ratings. She points out that as a result of this, ratings are skewed and not an accurate reflection of how readers actually rated a book. It’s no wonder readers often add comments in their reviews, stating their actual ratings. So, those 4 stars? Might be a 3.5 or a 4.5 but that’s not captured in the overall ratings.
- Kelley @ Another Novel Read makes her case for novellas, defending companions to series in particular.
- Chrys @ Oh, Chrys! manages not to be affected by books that contradict her beliefs. How many of us can keep an open mind like her?
- Sophie @ Paper Breathers wonders how we choose the books we read.
Remember your life isn’t about where you end up. It’s about who you love and what you can give them, even if you think it won’t be enough or what they need.
So, how did you spend your holiday season? What’s new on your front?