A Blogversary and a Giveaway!



Today is my Blogversary!

Where has the last year gone? I can’t quite believe that 746 books has just turned two!

Another year of my TBR challenge done and where am I? I’m so close to 646 I can taste it! Hopefully by the end of the year I’ll have broken the 100 mark. Reading wise, things have been slow, with only 44 books read out of the 52 I hoped to read. Still, if I keep up with 50 a year, I’ll be done with my challenge in 13 years!

I still haven’t bought myself a book, 24 months on, however in the last year I did review a handful of books from Net Galley and reviewed a book for Tramp Press. I also made much more use of the library this year, so I may be bending the rules slightly, but they’re my rules so…… 😉

I’ve had such a great year on the blog. According to my friends at WordPress, I’ve had over 18,000 views and 8,700 visitors but I have really enjoyed getting to know other bloggers better. You’re a great bunch of people, you know.

Highlights have been the inaugural Reading Ireland Month back in March which generated over 100 posts. Plans are already afoot for 2016, which I will again be co-hosting with my pal Niall of Raging Fluff fame, so if you have any books by Irish authors lurking in your TBR why not save them until March and join in the craic. This year I’ll be focusing on women writers and the short story, but there will be lots of other fun posts and giveaways.

PicMonkey Collage

During Reading Ireland Month, I had the pleasure of interviewing the fantastic Nuala O’Connor and I will be in conversation with Nuala at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast next week talking about her wonderful novel Miss Emily.

nuala emily

20 Books of Summer went down a storm this year, in fact, it was my most viewed post, with 40 other bloggers joining in the fun and I also loved talking part in Poppy Peacock’s Novella November last month and sharing my favourite short books.

I was also completely delighted to make the final of the Irish Blog Awards for Best Arts & Culture blog. I didn’t mind not winning, I was just so pleased to make it that far!


I don’t really do an end of year round up, but if I had to choose my favourite books of my second year, they would be The Woman Who Walked in to Doors by Roddy Doyle, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and Hawthorn & Child by Keith Ridgeway.

However, my absolute favourite book of the year was Tender by Belinda McKeon.  It wasn’t in the 746, but was a library lend and it blew me away. I’ll be reviewing it in March for Reading Ireland Month but in the meantime, I am urging everyone to read it.

I’m really looking forward to 2016. I aim to get well in to the 500s by the end of the year, 50 books should do it and I can manage that, right?! I’m going to spend the rest of the year talking part in Diverse December, celebrating BAME writers and hosted by Naomi at The Writes of Women and I’m looking forward to my first encounter with Virginia Woolf as I take part in Heaven Ali’s Woolfalong in January. As I said, Reading Ireland will return in March and it wouldn’t be summer without my 20 Books and I hope to write some more on Irish Literature throughout the year.

A big thank you to everyone who has viewed, read, liked, commented, tweeted, retweeted, reposted and generally supported me along the way this last year. It has been so great getting to know you all better and feel part of a fantastic bookish community!

Since it wouldn’t be a birthday without presents, I’m hosting a little giveaway to celebrate being two years old! I had the pleasure of going to a reading by the fantastic Donal Ryan yesterday and he was reading from his new book of short stories A Slanting of the Sun, the title story of which just won the short story award at the Irish Book Awards.


I have a lovely signed copy to give away. Just comment below or share this post on Twitter to be in with a chance, I’ll keep the draw open until Monday 14 December at 4pm and will use Random Picker to choose a winner then. Plus I’ll post worldwide!


Good luck and thanks for a great year!


The 746

Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

84 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Hi there, great post! I love Ireland and Irish authors! My fav one is Oscar Wilde, on whom I wrote my Masters thesis. I hope commenting here is enough to have a chance in winning the giveaway as I dont have a Twitter account. Cheers and thanks anyways 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, Cathy! I’ve only been following your blog for a few months but have thoroughly enjoyed catching up with your mission, not to mention in awe at your self-restraint. So pleased to see Tender as your favourite book of the year – gorgeous writing from Ms McKeon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations! I don’t want to be entered for the giveaway, lovely as it is, because the TBR is just too huge. But well done on your blogaversary!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll keep my Irish books for March then – unless they’re utterly irresistible (a few may well be!) Maybe I should hide them til then! And I must read some Roddy Doyle – a shocking gap in my reading. I did notice the other day you were getting close to the 100 mark. I think you’re doing fabulously – my determination wouldn’t have lasted 6 weeks! I love your blog – and the look of that Donal Ryan book! So happy blogoversary, and may there be many more to come! Congratulations Cathy xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Probably lots of crime – there’s some fabulous Irish crime writers around atm, and they’ll probably soon overtake Tartan Noir in number! I’ll make sure I slip a Roddy Doyle in too, though! Very remiss of me not to have read him at this stage in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations, Cathy, And wow – for being nominated. Even if you didn’t win, it’s an honor.
    I love Donal Ryan, so I’d love to win a copy of his book.
    I just read an Agatha Christie I didn’t like much but Then There Were None is one I absolutely loved. I’m really interested in finding out more about Tender.
    Enjoy your day.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations!
    We get LOTS of British books here in the US but not so many Irish- or perhaps they they not as well publicized. So – I hope to win your giveaway to help me read more from the land of my ancestors.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. No need to count me for the prize, I think someone who wants it should win it! But I wanted to say happy Blogoversery! And that I’m excited to hear about the Roddy Doyle, I’ve had it on my shelf for quite some time now and really should just read it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy Blogoversary, Cathy. It’s been a pleasure reading your posts these past 2 years. I’m already putting books aside for Reading Ireland! And you’ve inspired me to commit to a complete book-buying ban for 2016, so that I can focus on my own books. My wallet thanks you in advance! (Now I’m off to see if I can get my hands on a copy of Tender, before the ban goes into effect. 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You really had a great year, Cathy! I’m hoping to join in Ireland month at the right time this year, and I’m also looking forward to Virginia Woolf.
    I was remembering that last year your best book was Art of Fielding, and that I was going to read it this year based on your recommendation. Well, I haven’t read it yet, but I did come across it at a book sale and bought it, so I’m one step further! Now I’m hoping to read Tender and The Woman Who Walked Into Doors.
    Here’s to another great year! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Congratulations, Cathy. I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews over the past year or so. You’ve made great progress on the 746, too…so close to 646. No need to enter my name for the giveaway as I’m also trying to focus on reading the books on my shelves! Wishing you all the best for the year ahead. J

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations on the anniversary! Sounds like you’ve really found your blogger stride and you’ve made a real dent in your TBR pile!
    I definitely have some Irish writers kicking around on the shelves so I might just save them up til March! Definitely do not want to miss out on the craic. ‘Craic’ is such a great word!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Happy Blogversary! I’m really impressed that you’ve been able to keep yourself from buying new books and to read so many of your own for 2 years! Very challenging, I’m sure. I buy new books and take so many books out of the library at a time, that I’m slow to read my own books. :\

    I read Donal Ryan’s The Spinning Heart recently and absolutely loved it. One of my favourite books that I’ve read this year. His books are hard to find in Canada, sadly. I would love to read his new collection.

    Happy holidays! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Cathy, I recently discovered your blog, and I am already in love with it.

    Many congratulations on turning two here. 🙂

    By the way, I loved your novella-list.

    Also, I would love to read Donal Ryan’s book. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oops! Missed this yesterday so happy anniversary & 1 day… am I too late for cake?😆

    You’re one of the first blogs I started to follow when I joined Twitter in September last year & I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your posts & contributions… absolutely deserving the recognition of being a finalist for the award. Congratulations Cathy… as I too am very interested in short stories really look forward to your posts next year too xx

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Huge congratulations to the blogger who ma’s me feel like I only have a molehill of a TBR! I love the varied selection of books you review here and loved your 20 Books of Summer challenge, hopefully next year I’ll read 29. I really, really like the look of A Slanting of the Sun.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Happy Blog Birthday! Look at how much you’ve achieved!!! 😀

    Lending and ARCs don’t count, you’ve shown HUGE restraint. However, without them you’d make more of a dent in that 746, but without them you may also crack and purchase!! 13 YEARS?! At least you have plenty to keep you entertained.

    If you’d like a hand with Read Ireland Month just let me know, I’m sure Trish at Between My Lines would also get involved! R xx

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Congrats on that anniversary Cathy – you’ve achieved a tremendous amount in just a short time. I’m looking forward to joining in with Irish literature month. Molly Keane is waiting for my attention for sure. I’m keeping all fingers and toes crossed I win the Ryan book – I loved his Spinning Heart novel. Does having an Irish ancestry give me any special luck???

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m looking forward to following your year! I have some Irish heritage, and would like to read more to connect to my heritage. I read A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry for a class a few semesters ago and was drawn in. It was written so well and gave me a history lesson, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Oh, I missed the giveaway. I was without connection for nearly a week, and look…

    But I’m still in time for a big
    on turning 2 🙂
    That’s a big achievement, even more so if you count your nomination. I don’t think that’s easy to reach in just two years of blogging.

    What is Reading Ireland? Sounds like something I’d like to do 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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