Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Monday, 25 March 2013

Second blog anniversary giveaway and thoughts

It's the second anniversary, or blogoversary, of my book blog today! 


Do help yourself to a little birthday bun!
Thank you for visiting, reading, commenting, tweeting, supporting the blog in any way that you might have. I appreciate it very much indeed. It's amazing to think the blog has now been going for two years; two years of putting together posts, mostly reviews, and usually three or four of these per week at least. I have discovered many other wonderful blogs and bloggers during this time, some also quite new, and many which have been established for longer. I'm so glad of the kindness and support that so many within the book blogging community and the wider book/writing community have shown to me. Thank you to all my lovely guest reviewers and to the authors who have been kind enough to be a guest on my blog too.

***Thanks to everyone who has helped me pass the 100,000 page views mark just last week! This has far exceeded my expectations and it is your support that keeps me going!***

I have been thinking a lot about blogging recently. How much I enjoy aspects of it, and how some aspects of it have caused me to worry and almost taken over my life at times, to the detriment of other things. There's been a lot of time spent thinking I must read a certain book by a certain date. I always try and honour my commitments and I feel bad when I miss something. I put a lot into every review I write, in terms of time and thought on the wording, and notes whilst reading the book.



I do love the blog and definitely want to keep blogging and reviewing. I am so grateful for the many books I have had the opportunity to read and/or hear about, that I might not have otherwise. The delight of receiving an envelope addressed to The Little Reader Library, so special. I want to support authors as much as possible. 


Reading is a joy that has helped me at very difficult times. The more books and blogs I've read, the more books and authors I've discovered too. I love reading crime novels, but also literary fiction, and historical novels, and translated fiction, and... sometimes I think if my tastes were narrower it would be easier! I read blogs which are focused on just one genre or area and wonder if I ought to have done that sometimes, but I like to reflect on the blog the fact that I enjoy reading a variety of books.


I also find myself looking at the many books I would dearly love to read for pleasure and not because they have been sent to me as a review request and are coming out on a certain date and I feel I have to. Reading was a relaxation, a pleasure, a support and an escape, and I feel I need to get that feeling back more. I have learned that for my own health I need to say no more, something that when you first start and are excited and if you are prone to wanting to please, isn't always easy to do.


This is something else that I feel I have finally learned, partly through the wise words of fellow bloggers who are stronger and/or more experienced than me. There shouldn't be a feeling that it is like a demand to blog and review in order to please others. Blogging for most of us starts off as an enjoyable hobby and it is a shame when/if it becomes more like a demand and becomes onerous, indeed when reading itself becomes onerous, after all we are not being paid.  


So I hope, and intend, to read more books that I have long been wanting to read and enjoy, as well as reading newer releases, but I would like to be kinder myself and not feel the stress and worry of trying to please others, because I am learning that this isn't fulfilling in any case. I hope this doesn't sound like a big moan, it wasn't my intention at all.  


I would also like to put more time into giving my own writing a try. Lack of confidence stops me; there have been so many occasions when I have aimed to sit down and write and I don't get there because I know how quick I will be to judge myself - this is something I need to conquer. 


Deep breathe, and enough of my thoughts just now. On to the fun part. 



To celebrate the second anniversary of the blog, I am also having a giveaway!

The giveaway prize for the winner is one book of your choice from the following eight reads which I recommend, all of which have been reviewed here on my blog - titles are linked to my reviews:

Defending Jacob by William Landay



Last Will by Liza Marklund

















How to enter:

Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

The giveaway is open worldwide to places the Book Depository delivers free to - see the list here.

I will contact the winner by email as soon as the giveaway is closed, and the winner will need to reply to me within 48 hours. If I don't hear from them I will have to draw another winner, and the initial winner will forfeit their prize.

The giveaway ends on April 1st 2013. The winner will be selected at random.

Thank you again and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

75 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Lindsay! And many more successful blog years.

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    1. Thanks very much Carole, very kind!

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    2. May you be blessed with many years of blogging.
      I may have entered two times in the drawing. I hit something while I was filling out the form and off it went, it was not finished. I filled out another form to be sure I had filled one out right.
      Thank you.

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  2. Happy Blogoversary! *throwing confetti*

    As to my book recommendation - how about "The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap" by Wendy Welch? I loved this memoir!!

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    1. Thanks for the confetti Birgit! I don't know that one so I'll go and look it up, thanks!

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  3. Congrats on your two years, Lindsay, and here's to many many more. It'll take me at least two years to explore all the wonderful stuff on here!

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    1. Thanks Penny, and thank you for your wonderful support! x

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  4. Happy Blogoversary, Lindsay, I love reading your reviews. Tx

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    1. Thanks Treez! I love reading your blog too. x

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  5. Happy two-year anniversary Lindsay, and congratulations on reaching a 6-digit readership - very impressive and definitely very worthwhile and also an achievement to carry with you with pride.

    Thanks for hosting another giveaway - I have in mind the book I'd choose should I be the lucky winner!

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    1. Thanks Joan, that's very kind. Good luck with the giveaway. x

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    1. Thanks very much for commenting Victoria! x

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  7. Happy Blogoversary to you! Thank you so much for the giveaway! So many great book choices!

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    1. Thanks Veronika! Glad you like the selection of books. Good luck!

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  8. Happy Blogoversary Lindsay, here's to many more and to you finding time for your own writing :)

    Kate x

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    1. Thanks very much Kate, and thank you for your support, I appreciate it. x

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  9. Happy Anniversary Lindsay. I really do empathise with some of your comments. It's very difficult to say no sometimes. Your reviews are always great. A x

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    1. Thanks Anne! You highlight so many great books. Thanks for the comments I appreciate them, it's good to know I am not alone in this. x

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  10. Congrats on 2 years of blogging, Lindsay.
    Honoured to count you as one of my blogging friends. You do a great job!

    carol
    DizzyC

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    1. Thanks Carol! I am likewise so glad to have you as a blog friend, your blog was an inspiration to me and I love reading it. x

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  11. Thanks for the blog - I really enjoy reading it and I hope you can get back to reading for pleasure!

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    1. Thanks Rachel! I appreciate your support and enjoy reading your blog too.

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  12. Happy Blogoversary, and thanks for all the book links and reviews - great fun! xx
    Angi

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  13. Happy blogoversary!! Hmmm, a favorite for me from the last year would be Gold by Chris Cleave.

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    1. Thanks Kelly! I really enjoyed that book too, nice to hear you did. Reminds me of happy days at the Olympics!

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  14. Congratulations! Blogging is a big balancing act. I hope you find a method that works for you soon. Keep up the great work!

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    1. Thanks Jackie! That's a good way of describing it. Thanks for your support and encouragement.

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  15. Congratulations Lindsay. Your blog continues to be a source of inspiration - may it go from strength to strength.

    Happy Blogoversary xx

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    1. Thanks Josie and Jaffa! That is very kind of you. I love your blog. x

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  16. Happy anniversary, I don't always comment but I always read and it seems like the two years has shot by! Here's to more freestyle reading from now on and, of course, to the next years of the Little Reader Library. :)

    *raising a glass*

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    1. Thanks for the lovely comment Alex! That's so nice to know. Cheers :)

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  17. Congratulations Lindssay! that's quite a landmark :)
    -Reshama
    www.stackingbooks.com

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  18. Lindsay - Well done on two year's book service to us all! You have a nice blog and your reviews are always worth reading. I'm not entering the free draw as I have plenty of books to read already, and as you know I am reading one for a guest review even now! Make sure that you always enjoy what you are doing, if you don't, pack it in! You are right to take a step backwards and relook at how you are doing things. Good luck x

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    1. Thanks very much for your kind and thoughtful comment, Susan, I appreciate it. x

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  19. Happy Blogversary, Lindsay.
    My recommended book from last year would have to be A Humble Companion.....Laurie Graham, I own this as a review book and a H/B finished copy. How lucky am I !
    Thank you for the chance to win the giveaway, I'd be spoilt for choice should I win. xx

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    1. Thanks for commenting! I had a guest review of that book and I think the reviewer enjoyed it very much, I must read my copy soon. Thanks for entering and good luck!

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  20. Happy Blogaversary! I think your blog is wonderful :)

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    1. Thanks very much Ellie, that's lovely, you've made me smile so much :)

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  21. Happy blogoversary! Lovely to see so many people who started the same time as me still going. And yes, Lindsay, read for yourself! I get a bit overexcited by my review pile at times, so I do forget about the books that have been buried on the TBR for years, but I'm reading those review books because I am excited by them. Not because I think I have to.

    Here's to many more years of enjoyable blogging! x

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    1. Thanks Ellie, much appreciated, thanks for reading the post and for your kind comments. :) x

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  22. Great post. A very happy Blogversary to you! Good luck with the writing :)

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    1. Thanks very much for commenting Pam :) Glad the post came across ok.

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  23. Congratulations, and nice blog!
    I recommend to you, if you haven't read it, "The Diviners" by Libba Bray =) I really enjoyed it!

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    1. Thanks very much, very kind. Good luck with the giveaway. I haven't read that one, I will investigate! :)

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  24. Happy Blogversary! A great giveaway to celebrate :)

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  25. Happy Book Blog Birthday!

    Thanks for the cake ;)

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    1. Thanks for commenting Sarah! You are very welcome :)

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  26. Congratulations on your 2nd Anniversary as a blogger. Wishing you many happy blogging years to come :)

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    1. Thanks very much Jane, and thank you for all your support :)

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  27. Congratulations, Lindsay! And thanks so much for the generous giveaway (open worldwide!!)

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    1. Thanks for commenting Debbie, and good luck in the giveaway! :)

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  28. I would also like it if you'd read for pleasure PLUS review the books you like rather that those sent to you for review. That would be doing us a favor as well.

    I recommend from 2012 BROKEN HARBOR by Tana French. I don't remember if you reviewed that.

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  29. Happy Blogoversary, Lindsay! :)

    I see that you like crime novels, so I'm going to recommend you Lawrence L. Block. I love all his books, but my favorite is his Keller series (I just read Hit Me and it was fantastic)

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  30. Happy 2nd Blogoversary Lins! Yes to saying No :) Less pressure indeed. You have a popular blog because of the interesting posts, including your reviews. You can tell you give a lot of care and attention to the words in your review.

    It's been a pleasure getting to know you and I'm honoured that you're one of my closest blogging friends :) Thank you for being in my life. x x x

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    1. Thank you so much Shaz. Your support is cherished and I am so glad to have your friendship through our blogs xx

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  31. Happy Bogoversary. Lovely blog, and looking forward to following it for another year : )))

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    1. Thanks Amanda and congrats on winning this giveaway!!

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  32. Congratulations on the second Blogoversary Lindsay, you put so much hard work in you deserve every success. Karen (kaydee)x

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    1. Thanks very much for commenting Karen, and for your support, it's appreciated! x

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  33. Happy anyversary!!
    I'm new here buy hope you don't mind I'm joining.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  34. Ohh I just have read the entry in the raffle: Last year I read so many great books. One of them was The princess bride (William Goldamn), which now is my favourite book :)
    I also loved THe secret keeper (Kate Morton) and After River (Donna Milner).

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    1. Thanks for joining in and for the recommendations! I have The Secret Keeper on my to be read.

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  35. Hi, love the wallpaper around your page, thank you for this competition

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    1. Thanks for entering and for your kind words.

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  36. Congratulations Lindsay, in such a relatively short time you have created a wonderful blog that is a pleasure to follow.

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    1. Thank you so mcuh for the kind comment Wendy and for your support, I really appreciate it.

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  37. Hi Lindsay, I'm just catching up on my blog reader and wanted to wish you a belated happy blogoversary as I don't remember if I sent you best wishes over Twitter at the time. I really empathise with a lot of the sentiments expressed in your posts and in fact am having a little break from my own blog for a couple of weeks. Work, life etc were getting in the way and blogging was beginning to feel like a chore. So I'm spending some time just reading and catching up on others' blogs and really enjoying it! I hope you can find some balance and rediscover your enthusiasm for blogging without it feeling too much like hard work. Here's to another year of you adding to my wishlist!

    Marie

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Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment. It's great reading your comments and I really appreciate them :)