Misc.

A Year In Books 2014

books2014

So it looks like 2014 has been a pretty good year, lots of four and five star books! I’m also writing this ten days before the end of the year, so it’s entirely possible that there may be even more of them. So what happened in 2014?

At the beginning of the year, I moved to BookHost.

I don’t regret that one bit. Ashley has been wonderful and always responses to queries really quickly. Any issues are resolved as fast as possible, and I honestly have no complaints about the service.

I came up with quite a few new features.

And I really need to post more of them again… Museum of Literary Wonders, Notes From The Netherlands, Prose & Pixels and Snapshots.

I met lots of my fellow bloggers.

Various events mean I’ve now met many of my fellow bloggers, most recently Amber (again!), Mel and Judith in Amsterdam. We somehow visited all the bookshops and didn’t buy A THING. Now that’s willpower (or an empty bank account…).

I started my Masters degree, and moved to the Netherlands in August.

Obviously a HUGE change. Less time for reading and blogging, a lot less blog activity. I’m hoping to get some posts scheduled whilst I’m home for Christmas, and maybe at least get January covered. It’s not been as easy to balance it all as I expected – but I’m trying to just forget about that and post when I can and want to – I need to make the most of my year abroad after all, and not panic about my blog.

Sci-Fi Month happened again.

And I was the worst host ever. I really can’t think Asti and Kelley enough for co-hosting and pretty much doing everything (I’m going to be thanking them forever). November just went by in a blur and I had so much work, so little time. My blog was pretty much at the back of the backburner…

I’m getting more used to reading on my Kindle.

I still much, MUCH prefer physical copies. But if it means I can read more whilst I’m in the Netherlands, then it’s all good. It hasn’t stopped me taking some books with me though…

I, er… kept my Netgalley ratio where it is.

Yeah. It’s still 54% or something. BUT I requested quite a few books, which means I’ve been keeping up with the reviews – obviously just not enough to raise that ratio yet…

I would say that overall, it’s been a great year. My only regret is that I haven’t been able to keep up with comments, on my own blog or other peoples’. I’m slowly replying to those on my own blog, but it’s taking me a while. I bet I’ll get used to this blogging and studying thing in, ooooh, June? 😉 Just when I finish my thesis and wrap up the academic year!

Thank you to all my loyal readers, who have stuck with me even when I've been rubbish.
Thank you to all my loyal readers, who have stuck with me even when I’ve been rubbish.

How was 2014 for you?

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Misc.

A Year in Books 2013

2013

I started writing this post with the intention of going through the months, listing what had happened on the blog, but it felt so stale. Instead of a round up of events, posts etc, I just want to talk about 2013. So much has happened this month, that rounding it up feels a bit overwhelming! This will be short and sweet.

It has been such a brilliant year.

Thanks to so many of my wonderful blogger friends, Sci-Fi Month was an astounding success. Over half of my pageviews from the very beginning of my blog are thanks to the event, so I can’t even begin to imagine how many pageviews we pulled all together! I was so touched and pleased to see the enthusiasm for the event, and astounded by the responses – from both those taking part and our readers.

And thanks to Sci-Fi Month, I met so many new bloggers.

It has been such a pleasure getting to know them! Leanne, with her wonderful feature ideas; Kelley, with her brilliant discussions; Paola, with her love for Dragon Age (and fangirling!). Plus I now speak to bloggers that I knew previously more frequently, I’m better at commenting in general (apart from the past two weeks, I blame the holiday season!).

I celebrated my blogoversary this year.

Yep, my blog turned one in August! Next blogoversary I’ll be living in the Netherlands, just about to start my Masters course – so we’ll see how often I can blog then.

And here’s looking forward to another one!

Next year looks to be full of challenges – Kelley and I are holding Re-Read January, plus we have several challenges going on in the bookgroup!

 

What are you looking forward to next year?

Misc.

A Year in Books 2012

This is my own wrap-up post of the past year, pointing out particular favourites, new authors and series, etc. To see all the books I have read this year, click here, or look at the graphic below (good ol’ Goodreads!)

 

I started off the year with reading all but the first book of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, as I had read A Game of Thrones at the end of 2011. Definitely one of my new favourite series and authors! I don’t think I really need to explain what they’re about as I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of the series by now.
 
 
I started the Millennium series, by Stieg Larsson. My parents are fans, and were going to see the English language version of the film in the cinema, and I decided to go with them. I hadn’t read the books, so on the day we were going to watch it I started reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and got about halfway through the book before seeing the film. But Blomkvist and Salander hadn’t even met by that point! I still haven’t read the third book of the series – I started it, but honestly found it rather dull, and from watching the film I know not much happens.
 
 
I won my first Goodreads giveaway – Antauge by Sarah Parker Morris, which I ended up giving a three star rating. You can read my review here. I won many other books after, some of which I still need to review!

 
Mass Effect 3 was released, and I played and finished it – and started reading the books because I just can’t get enough of it. Unfortunately, the books are pretty bad… but that doesn’t stop me from reading them. I have reviewed Mass Effect: Ascension by Drew Karpyshyn and Mass Effect: Homeworlds by Mac Walters; and read but not reviewed Mass Effect: Deception by William C. Dietz and Mass Effect: Evolution by Mac Walters.
 
I also decided to read some more classic sci-fi, so read books such as I Am Legend by Robert Matheson and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. I made sure to read it before I watched Blade Runner – which is one of my dad’s favourite films, and he’d been telling me to watch it for ages. I have to say, I definitely preferred the book! I also read some newer sci-fi, such as House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds (amazing) and Gradisil by Adam Roberts (had so much potential).

  

I read The Hunger Games series, all three books before seeing the film. I absolutely loved them, and this led to me reading more YA books that weren’t quite so good… 

But I also discovered some new favourite series – the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons, The Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett, the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness. I discovered some really enjoyable, underrated books such as The Silver Linings Playbook (which I’m sure is now more popular due to the film). I re-read some older favourites – Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses trilogy, The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, some Bill Bryson.


I finally got round to reading (and really enjoying!) some of the more popular books that I’d been meaning to read – The Passage by Justin Cronin, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.


But I also read a couple of books that I really didn’t enjoy. Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Admitting to not enjoying either of those almost makes me feel blasphemous… but I just didn’t get along with them at all. I think The Scarlet Letter is the only book I’ve ever wanted to throw across the room. I really looked forward to reading Let The Right One In but spent the majority of it feeling rather queasy… I also read the infamously Goodreads-wide hated Save the Pearls: Revealing Eden, which made me feel rather sick for a completely different reason.


I founded this blog at the end of August, which is when I started reading ebooks – I’m still not sure what I think of them. I can see their uses, definitely, but I much, much prefer the feel of a real book in my hands. Since I started this blog, I have made 95 posts (not including this one), 29 of which are book reviews. I’ve gained 220 followers on Google Friend Connect, and over 500 on Twitter, as well as discovered some fantastic fellow book bloggers!


I’m actually finding it really hard to write this post, because there are so many books and aspects of blogging that  I want to write about, but I don’t want to turn this into an essay, and it would also take forever! Overall, I would say that I think it’s been a great year, reading wise. I read a wide range of genres, found some amazing new books/series/authors, and also found ones I know to steer clear of.


I think I’ll also just take the time to send a small shout out to some of my favourite book bloggers – Kelly, Kat, Ara, Aloi and Deneé – I visit your blogs regularly, and try to comment frequently. But there are so many others I love to visit, I would list my whole blogroll on here if I could…