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.
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.
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!