NaNoWriMo 2016


I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year. If you haven’t heard of NaNoWriMo before, here’s an explainer from their website:

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.


I’ve gotten a lot of encouragement to just try writing every day for November from reading Stephen King’s On Writing. At this stage, I am happy to reach a goal of writing every day more than the 50,000 word goal.

Good luck to all the nano participants out there!

The Best and Worst of My Goodreads Challenge So Far

It’s nearly the end of September. I’ve read 21 of 50 books. I’m vaguely reading 3 at once. I don’t know whether I’ll make it to 50 – so here’s the best and worst of the books I have read so far in 2016 for my Goodreads Reading Challenge.

The Worst


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
Verdict: Fanfiction

Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner
Verdict: I thought this was a lesbian romance novel….it was not

The Widow by Fiona Barton
Verdict: Good journalist character, unsympathetic wife character

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Verdict: It tried at angst and failed

The Best

The Man In The High Castle by Philip K Dick
Verdict: A scifi classic worthy of adoration

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Verdict: Thrilling and captivating with all of its twists

Young Romantics: The Tangled Lives of English Poetry’s Greatest Generation by Daisy Hay
Verdict: Rich and romantic…poor Mary Shelley

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Verdict: Life-changing

What’s the best and worst of books you’ve read in 2016?

~ Emma

Goodreads Challenge: 50 Books in 52 Weeks (1 Year)


This year I decided to take part in the Goodreads Challenge. Namely, reading 50 books in one year. As a friend pointed out to me, that’s just more than one book per week.

This realisation filled me with trepidation. I am a full time teacher, and so my life is filled with school during the week….then marking and planning most weekends. Add a social life, exercise and managing a chronic illness to that…. how was I going to manage?

The first thing I did when taking part in this challenge was vow not to beat myself up if I don’t reach the 50 books goal. Last year, I read 17. But regardless, whatever number I reach at the finish line will be a job well done.

Secondly, I decided I would listen to audiobooks. This was because after work, my eyes are way too tired to focus on a book or screen. Being able to flop on my bed and listen to a story is paradise. This also means I can clock in more ‘reading’ time by listening to an audiobook on the commute to work.

So far, I’ve had a few hits and misses with the books I’ve read for this challenge. I like to read a broad range. My faves so far have been Ellyn Saks’ memoir of living with schizophrenia, The Centre Cannot Hold and Philip K Dick’s alternate WW2 universe The Man In The High Castle. I have to say that Stars Over Sunset Boulevard deeply disappointed me, but that’s no one’s fault but mine as I miatakenly read too much into the blurb and thought it was a lesbian romance. Spoiler: it was not!

You can follow my challenge reading progress here.

Have you given yourself a reading challenge? How are you going?

~ Emma