Rinn’s New Year’s Resolutions 2018

NY Resolutions 2018

On my previous blog, I always used to share my New Year’s Resolutions, and I thought I’d continue over here! I never really like to set super strict goals, but rather things I’d like to take into consideration over the next year. Here’s what I’d like to do in 2018:

  • Take better care of myself. Physically, emotionally, mentally – I’d like to consider a little more about what I’m putting in my body and how I treat it. I’m generally quite good when it comes to meals, but stop snacking so much (or at least snack more on fruit).
  • And talking of food… experiment more with cooking. I’ve had my own place since March now, and one thing I always said I’d look forward to about having my own flat was having free range of the kitchen. Whilst I’ve tried some new dishes this year, I haven’t tried to make as much new stuff from scratch as I’d like.
  • Read at least 52 books this year. This is a really low goal for me – since I started blogging five years ago, I’ve consistently read at least 100 books every year, and the total has increased each year. By the very end of 2017 I’d read 151 books, which is a record for me. However, I like to aim to read at least one a week, and set no more – to avoid any unnecessary stress (I get very competitive when it comes to setting goals so need to go low…)
  • Keep up both the blog and my Twitch channel, but don’t let them take over my life. For a while, my book blog was all that I’d think about. I think I spent more time writing posts, thinking about writing posts and checking out new releases online than I actually did reading. I felt pressured to post a certain amount of times a week, get a certain number of comments on each post for it to be a ‘success’, constantly network on Twitter etc and comment on other blogs. It was not healthy and I eventually burned out, and began to almost resent book blogging. Hence this blog, which is much more casual and also covers a wider range of topics – so if I feel like ignoring books for a bit and posting about something else, I can. Similarly, before I reached Twitch Affiliate I got a bit obsessive about streaming and pretty much spent all my evenings playing games until midnight. Now I’m an Affiliate, I feel more relaxed and have instead set up a schedule, which I won’t neccessarily stick to if I just don’t feel like it.
  • Make something out of my job. I’m a bit fed up with just having a job. I want a career, and I want 2018 to finally be the year something happens. Whether this means I move on up where I am now, or I try and get back into the museum sector, I don’t know – but I want to feel like I’ve made progress career-wise by the end of 2018.

What are your resolutions for 2018? Do you set strict goals for yourself, or just have an idea of what you’d like to achieve?

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Rinn’s Year In Books

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I’m jumping on the bandwagon and also sharing my year in books! I love it when Goodreads does this feature every year, because I always find reading statistics to be really interesting, whether they’re my own or someone else’s.

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I read 59,696 pages across 147 books. I kept my Goodreads goal at 52, so one a week, even though I knew I’d beat it. One a week is a comfortable amount and gives me some wiggle room, in case I go off and do nothing but play video games for a week *cough*very possible*cough*

The longest book I read was A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander #6) by Diana Gabaldon, at 1,439 pages. Somehow even though this was longer than the previous book in the series, I read it MUCH more quickly.

The shortest book I read was 154 pages – Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne, which I decided to finally read after playing the game 80 Days on Steam (highly recommended!)

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My rating breakdown looks like this, with an average rating of 3.9:

  • 5 stars: 47
  • 4 stars: 47
  • 3 stars: 41
  • 2 stars: 9
  • 1 star: 3
  • Did not finish: 3 (not counted in my final total)

I read within the following genres: Fantasy (43), Science Fiction (38), Non-Fiction (27), Contemporary (13), Graphic Novel (7), Historical Fiction (4), Crime/Thriller (4), Paranormal (7), Classic (4).

This split is quite surprising – fantasy and science fiction are no surprise, but I didn’t realise I read so much non-fiction this year. This mostly comprises of historical non-fiction, biographies and travel books.

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The highest rated book on Goodreads that I read in 2017 was the excellent The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. The lowest was Swords and Scoundrels (Duelists Trilogy #1) by Julia Knight, which I personally quite enjoyed!

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I re-read quite a few books, including all but one of the Harry Potter series, and finally started my re-read of A Song of Ice and Fire, which will continue into 2018.

How was your year in reading? Did you achieve your goals?

Warcross by Marie Lu | 3 stars

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3 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

There’s no doubt about it – I’ll always pick up a book about video games. I love this merging of my two top hobbies, and sometimes it works out in my favour, for example Ready Player One or the .//hack manga series.

Warcross looked very promising. The story of a young hacker struggling with debt and facing life on the streets, who accidentally manages to glitch herself into a major competition of ‘Warcross’, the world’s favourite e-sport, when testing a new hack. Emika is instantly caught up in the world of competitive Warcross, where opposing teams have to capture each other’s ‘Artifacts’ to win, and her life is transformed. However, as often goes with rags to riches type stories, not everything is quite as it seems.

I felt like Warcross as a game was well set up, and easy to visualise for the reader. Online games such as MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas) are really big at the moment, so it was also very relevant. And like Ready Player One, the use of Virtual Reality meant that Marie Lu could write Emika as if she was doing all the actions herself, rather than just controlling a character.

This was an enjoyable novel, but as soon as there was a whiff of romance I began to lose interest in the book. The romance was too convenient and quick, and the ultimate plot twist at the end was incredibly predictable as a result. Apparently it is a series, but could probably have worked as a standalone novel too.

In a sentence: a fun idea for a novel involving a video game I would definitely play, but ultimately let down by the romance and predictable ending.

I’m a Twitch Affiliate!

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After one month of streaming my Dead Space misadventures, experience of Paladins, return to Kirkwall and dating of Dads, I’m now a Twitch Affiliate!

If you’re not familiar with Twitch, this basically means I can make money from playing video games. Yep, I can make money from doing one of my hobbies! It’s going to be very small amounts, but still – why not? The revenue comes from subscribers and adverts, and it’s a really exciting development and one I’m really proud of.

Over the next few weeks I’ll work on building up my Twitch ‘brand’. I am, of course, going for the whole spaceship theme, with myself as the captain and my followers and subscribers as the crew.

If you’re interested in following, or even subscribing, please go and take a look at my Twitch channel. Even if I’m not live, you can view my previous broadcasts under ‘Videos’.

Is there a particular game you’d like to see me play? Let me know! 🙂

Rinn’s Top Books of 2017

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It’s that time of the year when every book blogger shares their top reads, and I’m not going to disappoint! As usual, I can NEVER settle on just ten; this covers books I read in 2017, not just those published this year.

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Artemis by Andy Weir was maybe one of my most anticipated books of the year, and I was kindly sent a copy by the publisher. If you grab the UK hardback, make sure to look under the dust jacket! I wasn’t sure what I’d think of The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed, but I am so glad I gave it a chance. It’s a really fantastic and meaningful story that is sadly very relevant in today’s culture. Has anyone been able to ignore The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood this year?? The book is shocking and the recent television series updates it for the modern world.

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American Gods by Neil Gaiman is another book that got the TV treatment this year, although I have to confess I haven’t actually finished watching it. The book was truly weird (so truly Gaiman) and so unique. Another book I received from the publisher was An Almond for a Parrot by Wray Delaney, a historical fiction that had me reading late into the night. Written by a local author, Planetfall by Emma Newman is a really interesting sci-fi that explores areas you might not expect in the genre.

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Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames was one of my book group’s fantasy picks and I LOVED it. It’s a funny book that made me think of epic gaming sessions. However I have to say, if you only read one of these books, you should definitely read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It’s heart-breaking and beautiful. Or if you’re in the mood for non-fiction, then try Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. I really need to read more of her books now, and am currently waiting for more of her stuff from the library.

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 Red Sister by Mark Lawrence is definitely an absolute favourite of the year, and I managed to convince both Claire and another friend to give it a shot! I was late coming to The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, but it was so good. So slow and a HUGE book but I got through it pretty quickly because I just couldn’t stop. And finally… A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, the sequel to one of my absolute favourite books of 2016. It felt like quite a different story to the first but I still loved it.

What are your top books of 2017? Did you read any of these?

Paper & Pixels is on Facebook!

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Paper & Pixels now has its very own Facebook page, so please head on over there and give it a like if you want our latest posts delivered straight to your news feed!

Please note that this was originally the Facebook page for Rinn Reads, so if you previously liked that then there’s no need to do anything further!

You can also find myself and Claire on various other social media sites:

Find Claire on Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Find Rinn on Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Steam | Twitch

Dead Space | Why Am I Even Here?

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If you know me, you probably know I am not a fan of horror.

So naturally, my first solo Twitch stream choice was a horror game I’ve had for a long time, but never played: Dead Space. The plot is pretty familiar if you’re a fan of the Alien franchise: trapped on a spaceship, being hunted down by things that travel through the vents – although in this case, it’s the mutated crew of the ship, not an alien species, which somehow makes it a lot worse.

Horror games are always a fun choice to stream, because both the streamer and the viewer can feel pretty involved. And honestly, I’m not sure I’d be playing this game without my followers chatting alongside and giving me the moral support I need to even move just one step!

So, here we are, my first two live streams of Dead Space. Twitch keeps recordings for up to 14 days, so I’m archiving my videos on Youtube as well. If you’d like to follow me on Twitch, or watch the videos on there instead, my profile can be found here.

Please note these videos contain plenty of shrieking and swearing – it’s a scary game! 😉 You may want to skip the first minute or two, as it’s just an interval screen whilst I was getting ready for the stream.

Have you ever played Dead Space? Are you a horror game wimp just like me?