The Reset of the New Year


Whilst social media has been busy promising itself to be healthier, fitter, more hydrated and less in debt this week, I’ve decided to use the coming of the new year as more of a reset rather than a reinvent. I lost my way a bit towards the end of 2017 – I didn’t sleep enough, read enough or write enough. I just drooped, a bit down but definitely not out!

Now that’s not to say 2017 was a bad year at all. It saw my sister marry my lovely brother-in-law and my best friend marry her best friend. It saw more of my books entering bookshops. I visited new and old places on holiday and swapped living alone for living with the boy… just (he moved in at 5pm on New Years Eve!).

That being said, I want 2018 to be a place that sees me heading back towards to bookshelves and this blog again. I only managed 36/50 books in my Goodreads challenge last year, what with wedmin and other things taking precedence over reading, so now, with the new year I am resetting. I’m aiming for what I hope to be a manageable (if not underestimated) 40 books this year and in the spirit of easing me back in, I’m in the middle of rereading one of my favourite series – The Hunger Games (reviews here, here and here).

I also want to read more new releases and actually read them not just have them languishing on the bookshelves until they’re no longer new. So to help me stay on top of new releases (and to give future me little treats to look forward to!) I’ve got four books on pre-order, one to arrive every month between now and April:

2018 TBR

At the end of this month I’m finally getting my hands on Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. I’ve been desperately waiting for it to come out in paperback and now it has, the wait is (almost) over!

I saw a lot of bloggers raving about The Hazel Wood over the Christmas period – lucky devils getting proof copies! – so that’s going to be my February read.

On 1st March the new Louise O’Neill is landing in my letterbox – Almost Love. I’ve loved everything she’s written thus far so fingers crossed it continues! It sounds like it will be another amazing read from the blurb though.

And to see me into April is The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson. Again, this has been popping up all over my social media of late and with a title like that, it was too intriguing not to purchase.

I want 2018 to be a bookish new year, a happy new year and an explorative new year. I want to read those books that have been waiting to be read. I wish to clear the shelves a little and, most importantly, to enjoy words again.

So to paraphrase one of my favourite literary redheads this is a new year, fresh with no mistakes in it yet! So let’s enjoy it!



An Ode to Resolutions

The tree is undressed and the bottles all drained,

The wreath is unhung and some pounds have been gained!

Christmas is over and the New Year seen in,

Resolutions are made – let the ‘new me’ begin!


I’ll look after the pennies, I’ll budget and plan –

It’s the year of good finance, a frivolity ban!

But the sales are a calling – they only come once a year,

And Jan is too bleak, it needs spending cheer!


So I’ll go to the gym and workout every day,

To be lean, thin and lithe and half what I weigh!

Early mornings are hell! More sleep must be better

Than plodding and panting in an old uni sweater.


The diet’s the thing! A complete overhaul!

More fresh fruit and veg ­and no pizza at all!

But no wonder I’m hungry, I live like a rabbit…

Will I ever catch on to this ‘clean-eating’ habit?


Right, I’ll stop all the booze – no pub trips in sight,

I’ll resist the temptation with all of my might!

A leaving do? A birthday? A Friday night drink?

It would be rude not to go… just a quick one I think!


Saying “yes” to new things will enrich my life –

I could knit, be an artist, a chef or a wife (?!)

But the one thing I want more than hobbies and fun

Is a night on the sofa and a meal just for one!


So for this shiny New Year, I think the best aim,

Is to be happy, healthy and mostly… the same!

No impossible changes or drastic amends –

Just good times and laughter with family and friends.


© Libby Walden, 2017


Here’s to 2017!

The tree is undressed and the bottles all drained,

The wreath is away and some pounds have been gained!

Christmas is over and the New Year seen in,

Resolutions are made – let the “new me” begin!

© Libby Walden, 2017


Happy New Year TTWers! I hope you all had fabulous festivities and find yourselves experiencing utter mortification that it’s all over for another year and we’re already a week into Jan? Good, not just me then!

The beginning of January always starts with a reflection on the year just passed – what we enjoyed, who we saw, what we read, etc. – and a look at what we want for the coming twelve months. I not the biggest fan of the unrealistic overhauls some people adopt but I do see the clean slate of the new year as a good opportunity to put the promise of better habits into practice. Frivolous spending will (for the most part!) be curbed, alcohol consumption will be reduced and the amount of exercise taken will increase. I have two huge weddings coming up this year – my sister’s and my best friend’s – so I have the motivation to look my most fabulous! It’s just down to me now…

Looking back, 2016 was a mixed little bag of a year. It saw my first picture book (Feelings, illustrated by the incredibly talented Richard Jones) and my first non-fiction book (In Focus) publish – both of which give me endless joy and pride every time I see them on my shelves and out “in the wild”!

(I’ve got some other books coming out in 2017 that I’m very excited about… more on that soon!)


Early 2016 I also made the difficult decision to postpone my dissertation and put my MA on hold in the summer. Life had just got on top of me and my uni course was one thing I could hit ‘pause’ on while waiting for everything else to settle down. I am coming back with a vengeance to complete it this year though!

Oh and I bought a flat and moved into my first ever home this year!!! I’m still not sure the reality has sunk in that home is now where I live, rather than being where my parents are, but planning the décor has gone into overdrive! I love my little corner of the world, my safe haven in the craziness that is London and 2017 is all about nesting and making it the cosiest, snuggliest place for me to come home to (and yes, there will be candles!).

This year I want to read and review more books, both old and new, and I want to write more. Despite experiencing the amazing feeling of seeing my book on a trip to Waterstones, I don’t really see myself as a writer. I write but, at the moment, I write only because it’s in my job description to. 2017 is going to be a transition year – the year I put all those half-baked ideas in my little head to paper, play with them and either use or discard them. I’ve thrown down the proverbial gauntlet so it will happen!

Whatever happens in the wider world or at home, 2017 is only going to be as good as year as we make it, so let’s step into it with positivity and a long TBR list!


The start of my 2017 reading list!