Saturday 31 December 2011

2011 Stats & Wrap Up!

*  2011  *

I can't believe that it is the 31st December already, this year seems to have flown past. I've had a good year in blogging terms, my follower numbers have bounded up and I am so grateful, I have had more contact with publishers and authors and had a good number of review books both physical books and PDF files (still not a fan of ebooks and they take me twice as long to read but can see the use of them).
I've done some features and Guest Posts as well as hosting some authors for Guest Posts and Participating in Blog tours.

Here are my stats:

Books read (including short stories): 182 (could be one or two more but I didn't mark them down)
Pages read (according to Goodreads): 55,533
Number of blog posts (not counting today): 565
Number of page views: 82,403
Most popular post this year: Midnight Summer Festival (3) Artemis Goddess of the Hunt with 4,423
Review with most comments: Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Book signings attended: 2

I signed up for 5 challenges this year:

  • Off The Shelf Challenge - I read 37/50, not as good as I hoped but not a bad effort.
  • 100+ Reading Challenge - 182/100, COMPLETED!  I updated this on Goodreads to try and read 200 books but just didn't make it.
  • 2011 Support You Local Library Challenge- 77/51, COMPLETED! Thought I'd do even more to be honest.
  • A-Z Reading Challenge - my list is here. 23/26, not bad. I'm hoping to do this again in 2012 and i WILL complete it. 
  • Mini-Challenge 2011 - something old, new,  borrowed, blue. COMPLETED. did this one early on.
So not a bad effort I did 3/5 challenges. I'm signing up to four challenges next year (2012) will post the intro's to them either later tonight or tomorrow.

Books Read
I read more books than I ever thought i would manage in one year, but now think I can beat that in 2012.
Here is a collage of all the books I read this year:


Interesting Facts

- I did my first ever Vlog this year. (have done three now)

- I got a review on the back of an actual printed book (this was one of the best things about this year) See my post on it here 

- I got mentioned in the acknowledgments of another book 'The Peaks' by Martin Chu Shui. He is such a nice author and I'm glad I could help him with his book.

- I took part in NaNoWriMo and WON!!! but only just. I did about 12,000 words on the last day - had like a 7 hour writing marathon and gave myself a splitting headache, but I did it! YES!

- I sent query letters to 6 different publishing companies about my first finished novel, and have so far got 6 rejections! :( Gonna keep trying in the new year, hopefully I will get it out there for the world to see. (If you own/work for or know someone in the publishing business and would be interested in my manuscript - don't be afraid to get in touch. ;D)

- I met Derek Landy for a second time, Steve Feasey, and emailed the awesome Alexander Gordon Smith (author of Furnace) and got replies - I also did an activity with my children's/teen book group based on his books and sent him copies of what they made and he replied - he rocks!

- I made friends with some bloggers and have had loads of fun and read lots of good books. I accepted some self-published books and found some treasures.

So, for now I will leave it there. I will be posting a vlog of my best reads from 2011 within the next couple of days, so look out for that.
I hope you all have a FANTASTIC New Year, and I look forward to another great year, but this time it will be even better! :D

Book Review - Inheritance

Title: Inheritance
Author: Christopher Paolini
Series: Inheritance Cycle (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr)
Publisher: Doubleday Childrens
Release Date: 8 Nov 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0385616492

Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.
Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.
The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaƫsia? And if so, at what cost?

My Review
The wait for this book has been intense, there was a time when I wasn't sure it was ever going to arrive, but now it is here and I am in awe of it's Epicness. I love Christopher Paolini and his work (even if it does take him a while to write) I read Eragon when it first came out and I was enthralled, The cover, the writing, the adventure, the whole experience of the book and that magic has never left. 
Every cover is absolutely gorgeous and this one is no exception, the green is beautiful and the dragon seems so real.
It has been a while since I read the others in the series but with a back log of review books outstanding I couldn't justify re-reading them right now, so I did find it a little bit hard to get into at first. I am hoping once I've cleared my TBR pile a bit that I'll be able to go through and re-read the whole series. However I tried not to let this put me off. There is a summary of the first three books in the front of this one which I found helped a lot in refreshing my memory. This book is a hefty 850 pages but I couldn't get enough.
This book follows on from where the others left off. Roran is in the heart of the battle, he has become a sort of leader and is thrown into battle. Eragon is still trying to find a way to defeat Galbatorix, and has to face many trials and his journeys take him to places he could never have imagined.
This book brings everything and everyone together, the pace is good keeping you hooked and excited but not overwhelmed. Elves, Dwarfs, Urgals, Humans, Werecats and practically any other group you can think of comes together to fight in this war and they each play thier part.
I actually enjoyed the scenes with Roran more exciting in the first half of the book, but as the story went on, I found myself torn between him and Eragon, I felt connected to both and needed to know what would happen.
Angela the herbalist/witch once again features and she is one of my favourite characters, she can kick some serious butt when she needs to,she comes out with quirky one liners that always make me laugh and she is still a mystery.
Arya of course is back and I love her character, she is so strong and confident and willing to fight for her beliefs, but she also has her moments of weakness and when she connects to Eragon it is lovely.
This book is filled with so much and yet, I still want more. The book does come to a conclusion on the storyline but at the same time it has left a window open for a possible future. I really do hope that Paolini comes back to this world in the future as I don't think I'm ready to say goodbye to it just yet.
Overall a thrilling conclusion to an epic masterpiece. WOW!

My Rating
I would give this book 10/10, although started a little bit slow for me, it took me back to a world I love and captured my heart. I am sad it is over but glad it happened. This series to me is similar to Harry Potter, it will always stay in my heart. 

Friday 30 December 2011

FF (50) & TGIF (33)

Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee.

This week's question feature is from
Kate @ Ex Libris

Q: The New Year is here — and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?

My Answer: In the New Year I am hoping to start a new rating system (look out for the post explaining that) I would like to start a feature, I've had a few ideas running round my head for a while. I am hoping to be a bit more regular with posts, my reviews have fallen behind lately so I'm trying to get back into that. And reallyI just want to have fun with it. I don't want Blogging to become a chore, it's always better if you enjoy it. 


This meme is hosted by GReads!

This Friday's Question:
First & Last: What was the first book you read in 2011 
and the last you finished in 2011? How do you feel about these books? 
Would you recommend them to other readers?

My Answer: 

First Book - 'Grave Doubts & Heaven Sent' by Meg Cabot



This was the first book I picked up in the New Year. No particular reason just that it was next on my list. I did enjoy the series and would recommend it to people to read but it's not one of my favourites. 

Last Book - 'Inheritance' by Christopher Paolini


 I haven't completely finished this yet but I only have 150 pages to go and the year isn't over yet so I will finish this before the year ends. (hopefully by tonight)
This is the fourth book in the series (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr) and I adore this series, I am a huge fan. I would definitely recommend it to others (in fact I've got a display up in the library promoting it at the moment)
Such good writing and exciting story lines. Pure magic. :D

Happy Hopping, have a great weekend everyone!!! Happy New Year. :D


Wednesday 28 December 2011

25 Days of Jubilation Giveaway Winner


So the 25 Days of Jubilation has come to an end and I would like to thank all of you who entered.
I had 43 entries, so let's get on with it and announce the winner.
The winners were picked using Random.Org number generator.
          The lucky number picked was: 31
 This means the winner is:

Kulsuma gets the choice of one book from the book depository up to the value of £7

Kulsuma has been emailed and have 3 days to respond. Big Congrats and Thanks go to everyone who entered.
For those of you who didn't win or missed it entirely don't worry there will be another Giveaway soon.
Happy Blogging. :D