Well two days ago I wrote a post about the last year on this blog and what has been popular. Today (which is the actual day of my blogiversary) I want to look at the new things that have happened this year, and what I’m hoping to see happen next year.
I’d love to know if there’s anything you guys have enjoyed this year, anything you’d like to see more of, or even see some of!
So what has happened this year? (In chronological order, most recent last)
- I’ve started using Amazon Associates on my blog with the idea of getting money together for giveaways, and hopefully for paying for a self-hosted blog. I’ve made a little bit but no really significant amount. If you fancy supporting me through amazon however you can click any link to amazon and anything you buy on there will give me a small percentage of revenue. It doesn’t have to be the thing you click the link for.
- I got a Kindle! I was still unsure about reading from what is basically a computer, and imagined I would only really use it outside the house but I was quite positive about the idea. In reality? I liked it more than I expected. I find I read faster on it, or at least seem to. It’s easy to carry around- being fairly small and light. I can get cheaper books for it, and lots of (mainly indie author) books are avaliable only as e-books. I still prefer the experience of reading from a paper book. Owning an e-book seems like less of a possession, I don’t treasure it the same. I feel more like I’ve achieved something from seeing all the paper books I’ve read than from looking at a list of kindle titles. Sometimes the formatting can be a bit off on the kindle too.
- I took part in my first Bloggiesta and got a lot done! I really enjoyed it and am already looking forward to the next one in September.
- I set up a facebook page as a new way for readers to follow my blog. My twitter is certainly more active but my number of likes is certainly going up too.
- I’ve changed my banner again, and again, and again. Still not satisfied though.
- I started using netgalley. Great site for free review books which I can now use easily because of my kindle. This has meant a lot more review books.
- I started a new feature, Children’s Hour, where I review children’s picture books which I’ve read to the kids at work. This is probably my favourite new thing I’ve done on the blog this year.
- I joined in with the occasional Top 10 Tuesdays meme. I’m not a big meme fan, I prefer original content and often memes seem like making a post for the sake of it, but I was always quite fond of reading Top Ten Tuesday posts so thought I would have a go at writing some.
So what next…?
- Another new header. Hopefully one I like this time. I’m looking into getting it done for me because I have next to no knowledge of graphics (if you can recommend someone that would be awesome).
- I’d like to take part in a read-a-thon although most seem to happen while I’m at work.
- Hopefully more musing posts, I don’t feel I’ve been posting many recently.
- More reviews!
This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered
Two giveaways in one week, aren’t you lucky, lucky people?! It must by my Bloggiversary!
I thought that Children’s Hour is pretty much my only schedueled post, and a pretty big part of what makes Lucybird’s Book Blog what it is. However the giveaway opened earlier this week was completely devoid of anything related to children’s picture books.
So I’m having a whole other giveaway devoted to children’s books. You can win from a selection of books mentioned in Children’s Hour. Unfortunately not all the books are still available but you can choose from any of the following. One books, one winner.
I’m not Cute!
You’ll Soon Grow into Them, Titch
Giraffes Can’t Dance
One Mole Digging a Hole
I Want My Mum
I Want my Potty
Walking Through the Jungle
A Squash and a Squeeze
Splat the Cat
Take Turns Max and Millie
Not Not Bernard
Alfie and Annie-Rose
Commotion in the Ocean
Anyone can enter but you must be in a country where the book depository delivers for free. You can get extra entries by following in various ways and tweeting. The contest will close next Thursday 6th September
a Rafflecopter giveaway
It’s Blogiversary Time so that’s a great time for looking back, right?
A perfect opportunity to see which the most read posts have been on my blog have been this year.
So without further-ado here are the Top 10 Posts to be read on this blog over the last year. I’ve taken out giveaways and Page posts as these are popular for reasons other than themselves.
1) When God was a Rabbit- This was one of my first ever requested review. It’s a book I really enjoyed and it gets a lot of traffic from search engines.
2) Harry Potter Merchandise- I loved making this post for Harry Potter Week. It’s lots of different Harry Potter related items you can buy- mainly from etsy.
3) About a Boy- I went through a bit of a Nick Hornby phase (set off by the Rory List). This review is interesting because I do a lot of comparison to the film. Usually I write film reviews and compare them to the books, not the other way around.
4) Film Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 2)- Personally I like this post just for the troll comment, however it’s also probably one of my more extensive film reviews.
5) How Winning the Lottery Changed my Life- I’m not particularly fond of this review, possibly because I was less than impressed by the book. I think it’s the title that gives me the hits.
6) The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts- I’m glad this is a popular post. It’s one of my favourite books, and I’m quite happy with the review too. I imagine a lot of the hits have to do with me giving it away (twice), naming it as one of the best books I have read since starting this blog and it being my book of the year last year
7) Sputnik Sweetheart- Another favourite author, although this is not my favourite Murakami. No idea why this particular post is popular actually.
8) Half Blood Blues- This is a book which was nominated for a few awards which explains why people could be interested in a review. The post has a couple of pingbacks too which helps. Not my favourite book but the review is quite good I think for a book I wasn’t bowled over by.
9) 50 Shades of Grey and Decency- I think that this is quite a recent post and the only musings post in this top 10 really says something about how people feel about 50 Shades of Grey. I love all the debate on this post too.
10) The Whereabout of Enea’s McNulty- The only reason I could see for this post being popular is because of the popularity of The Secret Scripture which this is a prequel of.
Filed under general, Musings
This Giveaway if now CLOSED. You can still enter my Children’s Picture Book Giveaway however.
Hey it’s that time of year again! Blogiversary time!
It’s my blogiversary this week (the 31st to be exact) so as part of my celebrations I am hosting a giveaway of one of the Top 10 Books I’ve read since starting this blog. That is:
Pop Co.- Scarlet Thomas
Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism- Natasha Walter
Brooklyn Bites Series- Scott Stabile*
The Lucifer Effect- Phillip Zimbardo
Handle with Care- Jodi Picoult
How to be a Woman- Caitlin Moran
The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts- Louis de Bernieres
Kafka on the Shore- Haruki Murakami
Mockingbird- Kathryn Erskien
Middlesex- Jeffery Eugenides
Anyone can enter so long as The Book Depository delivers free to your country.
You don’t have to be a follower to enter (just fill in the Rafflecopter and leave a comment saying which book you would like) but you can get extra entries by following my in different ways or tweeting about the giveaway.
Entries are open until next Tuesday 12:01am EST.
*Brooklyn Bites is only available for kindle, so you must have a kindle to choose this prize
This is my first time using rafflecopter so if you have any comments or problems do let me know, I’d like to know if it’s worth doing again.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Blogiversary Image is adapted from icons at bella_sol
Tomorrow is the closing day for entries for my Blogiversary Giveaway.
People seem to be struggling somewhat with finding the answer to the scavenger hunt so I am going to give the second book to a randomly picked person who enters, rather than answering the scavenger hunt leave me a message on the form.
So my first year of blogging, my first review of the year. Looking back it was a bit of a sloppy couple of posts but still did what I intended, as in talking about my favourite books of the year. I picked two that year, so looking back do I still remember them fondly.
Winner 1: Handle with Care- Jodi Picoult
I don’t think my memory will ever stop loving this book. It’s not just that I love Jod Picoult’s books, although that is part of it, it’s how it connected to me personally. This personal connection means I will never forget this book, and probably never stop loving it.
Winner 2: For One More Day- Mitch Alborn
Err I do not remember this book at all. Only that I enjoyed it! I wasn’t even sure of the title when I needed to write it for this post, despite having read it a few minutes before. Maybe it wasn’t so great after all!
During my time in the blogging world I have found lots of other fantastic blogs. You can see everyone I follow (more or less, it needs updating) on my sidebar but sometimes I have found the need to give a special mention to blogs I love. I thought that as it is a happy time for my blog it would be nice to look back and share the love. Do have a look at the blogs in my sidebar too, they are all fantabulous.
Reading in the Bath: when I first wrote about this blog it was very new, with only 2 posts but I highlighted it because I thlought it showed potential. Now it’s a bit older my hopes are confirmed. I still love the chatty style of writing and the eclectic mix of books.
A Thousand Books with Quotes still remains a favourite of mine. Rather than a standard review format this blog picks out favourite quotes from great books. When I first posted about this blog I said that it could be good to find new books with a tone you like but I find I generally prefer it for remembering books I have loved. (Also check out the picture up top, enough to make any biblophile jealous!)
An Old Flame: Oh the sadness when a loved blog goes. For a while An Old Flame lay redundant, but still there. Now it is gone. I used to love Trina’s discussion posts but as she started blogging more about the books her boys were reading, and eventually decided it didn’t fit with her old blog format she started moving more over to her new blog which focuses on children’s books. It is still a great blog but not of the type I read.
Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing is another one which drew me in through discussion (do you sense a theme here?). The reviews are very detailed. A good blog for YA.
A Novel Review: again the discussion got me interested, I like the layout of the reviews too.
As nobody has yet got the right answer to my Scavenger Hunt Giveaway I have added a little hint to the original post. Feel free to enter again if you have already entered.
Again as part of my blogiversary week I wanted to look back at something from my blog. Today I’m going to look at a past musing.
One of my most commented on posts is a post about how the popularity of a book may effect a reader’s perceptions of it.
Well I have a little personal slant to add to it. I don’t want to re-hash old ground seeing as my thoughts are still pretty much the same as they were when I wrote the original post, so you may as well just go back and look at that particular post.
I wanted however to talk about a particular series of books because it is a time when I have been on the outside, or so it would seem. You may have heard of these books The Hunger Games trilogy. They are certainly well known. Lots of bloggers have read them, lots of bloggers have loved them. It’s got to the point where I am cheering to see bloggers saying that they haven’t read them because it means that it is not just me!
Well lets put it blankly. I first heard of these books (may even have been book at that point) before I noticed any big popularity thing going on around them. I can’t honestly say I was interested. Maybe there was something there but the idea just reminded me of Battle Royale, which just makes it a little unoriginal, especially as Battle Royale has such a cult following, it’s not as if it’s a bit of inspiration taken from a generally unknown story. I haven’t read Battle Royale, in case you were wondering. I’ve seen the film (and yes I know as well as anybody that there is rarely any real comparison there), which is pretty horrific in a kind of you don’t want to see but can’t look away sense.
Anyway back to the point. I wasn’t very interested in this book but gradually I was seeing more and more rave reviews of the books, and people who could not wait for the release of Mockingjay.It made me begin to think that possibly I was missing out on something. Maybe it was more that just a calmed version of a gruesome cult classic for a younger generation? So far I have stuck to my guns, but who knows how long. I’m been tempted a few times but not jumped. What if it ends up like Twilight? With a need to keep reading but a hatred of what I was reading?
So there you go, popularity can be seductive. But sometimes it makes you want to resist.
As part of my blogiversary celebrations I wanted to look back at some of my previous posts and see how my opinions have changed and what memories I have of the books.
I’m going to be starting off by looking at my first review, December by Elizabeth H. Winthrop
Synopsis (from Amazon)
Eleven-year-old Isabelle hasn’t spoken in nine months, and as December begins the situation is getting desperate. Her mother has stopped work to devote herself to her daughter’s care. Four psychiatrists have already given up on her, and her school will not take her back in the New Year. Her parents are frantically trying to understand what has happened so they can help their child, but they cannot escape the thought of darker possibilities. What if Isabelle is damaged beyond their reach? Will she never speak again? Is it their fault? As they spiral around Isabelle’s impenetrable silence, she herself emerges as a bright young girl in need of help yet too terrified to ask for it.
Memories of the book
I remember very little about this book. I remember that it felt similar to the sort of novels Jodi Picoult writes. I can remember not liking it as much as Picoult’s books, but maybe that is just because I discovered Picoult first, it makes Winthrop look unoriginal.
This book has been sitting on my shelf for a while. I just didn’t feel compeled to read it for some reason. I’m not sure why, it sounded interesting enough.
In the end it reminded me quite a bit of Jodi Picoult books, a similar style. In a way this was good because well I like Jodi Picoult books, but at the same time it made it seem unoriginal. All the same I enjoyed it, in particular I liked Isabelle, and the psychologist in me was really interested in why she wasn’t speaking.
Highlight below for spoiler
In fact the psychologist in me didn’t like that we never found out for sure. I guessed and I think as a reader I was meant to guess but I would have liked to know if my suspicions were right
Thoughts on review.
That was simple wasn’t it?! I think I would still be annoyed about the spoiler thing if I read it again, but I can’t remember my theory now!
Today is my blogiversary. Can you believe it? Lucybird’s Book Blog has been going for two whole years! I would not think when I started that thread (which is still there by the way) on The Bookclub Forum over 2 years ago that it would come to this. Never had I imagined the amazing blogs and bloggers I would find, the visitors who would stop by, the authors who would actually give me free books just for my review!
Yes a lot has changed, my reading has gone up, my postings have gone up, my visitor count has gone up, I’ve even joined twitter, but I think this blog still as the same ideals that I set it up with; to write simple reviews of books I had read which people would enjoy (or at least I hope you all enjoy them). And to write about book related topics which interest me (and hopefully again interest my readers). I’m still proud that I don’t take part in two tons on memes, just The Book Blogger Hop. I still don’t really like memes, they just seem like filler to me, or a way to get people to visit your blog. Not that it’s bad to get people to visit your blog, just it seem a bit like a popularity contest.
What is still to come? Well only the future will really tell, but I have a few plans. I have a reading challenge in the pipeline for the new year, and a possibility of re-launching the Out the Comfort Zone Hop along with it. I have a few little things I want to change (like writing a proper review policy). I’m considering the possibility of setting up a fan page for facebook, as just another way for readers to connect with the blog. I also want to write a sort of blog guide for new visitors.
Watch out over the next week for more Blogiversary posts, including a giveaway with a twist!
Filed under general, Musings