Well, today marks the one year anniversary of this blog. I started an earlier blog for general musings, but I found most of my musings seemed to lean toward books, so I decided to start a dedicated book blog. It is one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while. I had not realized how much I missed writing. I used to write a lot in high school and college, but as I got older and life got more complicated, writing always got pushed aside. So, I’m happy to be writing again. Maybe this will segue into some creative writing sooner or later.
I’ve learned a ton of stuff about book blogging in the past year. The biggest perk to book blogging has definitely been the ARCs. (NetGalley is my new best friend!) Most people will say the blogger community is what they love most, but I cannot tell a lie…it’s the free books. I have enjoyed connecting with other book lovers, though. I get a jolt of joy every time I hear my phone chime indicating someone has liked or commented on a post. My favorite stat on WordPress is the one that lets you see what countries your visitors are from. I love bringing up that world map with all the different countries lit up! It thrills my soul! I guess it is the travel geek in me, but I can’t help it! To think that someone in Indonesia visited my blog just blows my mind. But, I digress.
Let’s get on to more interesting things…
I definitely had some favorites this year. The Crown Tower (Riyria Chronicles #1) by Michael Sullivan was my first 4 1/2 star review of the year. It was followed by Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, The Vanishing by Wendy Webb, and Invisible City by Julia Dahl. Rarely do I give 5 stars reviews, but I gave three of them this year! The honors went to Winter People by Jennifer McMahon, The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, and The Revenant of Thraxton Hall by Vaughn Entwistle. The Kitchen House was one of our book club choices and the other two were ARCs. All three of these took me by surprise because I wasn’t expecting any of them to knock my socks off. I highly recommend them all, but Winter People would be a great Halloween read if you’re looking for something with a creep factor.
I definitely had some flops this year too. She Walks in Darkness by Evangeline Walton and The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch were my least favorites and both received 2 1/2 star reviews. I think they clocked-in so low because I had really high expectations for them. I also had several books that didn’t get extremely low ratings, but I was disappointed with them none the less. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch and the entire Divergent Series by Veronica Roth didn’t live up to my expectations. They had all received really good reviews and a lot of my trusted bloggers liked them, but, for me, they just fell flat.
I have posted 82 posts during my first year. That pales in comparison to some of your blogs, but I want this to be fun. I have found that when I start pushing myself and trying to maintain a timeline, blogging loses its fun and feels more like an obligation. I refuse to ruin reading for myself, so I’ll just keep posting as I read. I may not post every week, but sooner or later, I’ll be around.
I did have some cool things happen this year. One of my favorite writers, Michael Sullivan, emailed me and thanked me for reviewing his book. He also tweeted out a link to my blog. I thought that was just about the coolest thing ever! Vaughn Entwistle also liked my review of his book on Goodreads. I haven’t had a lot of author contact, but it was enough to spur me on. So, if you’re an author and you’re reading this, please thank the people who get the word out about your books. It means a lot.
Last, but definitely not least, I want to thank everyone who stopped by my blog, liked a post, or commented on a review this year! You’re the reason I do this.