Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

I find it hard to believe that twelve months ago my blog was a small and rather unloved thing, followed by a number of my friends, but not really doing what I wanted. I started it in October if 2011, but it was in early February 2012 that I attended a seminar on blogging at my local library run by two established bloggers who happen to live in the area. Jessica who was writing Read React Review at the time and Kristen from Fantasy Cafe shared a load of advice with us and made me realize that I could find a way into the blogging world.

In March I made a major break through when I saw a Twitter advert for the Little Red Reviewer’s Read Along for The Lies of Locke Lamora. Not only did this introduce me to a great author, but also to other bloggers who were interested in the same types of books as me . . . and the whole world of blogging opened up dramatically. This year I have taken part in a grand total of ten Read Alongs and introduced me to two more brilliant authors: Brandon Sanderson and Neil Gaiman. I have recently started a truly epic Read Along that should take me through the entire series of The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson . . . assuming that we have the determination to keep going for the next few years! :D

At the beginning of April I committed myself to A Challenge of Ice and Fire, with the aim of completing Mr Martin’s epic series before the end of the year, and here I am with the last post published earlier today. It took me thirty-eight weeks, but was one of the most enjoyable aspects of my blogging this year. I had been toying with the idea of doing a similar challenge for The Wheel of Time, but the Read Along seems like a better idea. At the same time I signed up for the Once Upon A Time VI Challenge at Stainless Steel Droppings, since then I have completed a second Challenge through Carl’s site and have signed up for another. I think these Challenges are going to be regular fixtures of my blogging year for the foreseeable future. One thing I like about Challenges is that they make me look outside my comfort zone to find new authors and titles to enjoy, which is always a delight. With the New Year approaching I have been signing up for Challenges that I think will encourage me to read new things and take risks in my book selections, as well as getting books off my TBR list and also completing some of the series that I have started.

In June, I took part in the Armchair BEA 2012 event, which was exhausting but led me to lots of new and interesting blogs. I also launched my Sue’s Saturday Suggestions feature, which I have used to highlight posts that I have enjoyed reading and books that sound interesting.

By the end of the year I have received a mention on a SF Signal Podcast and am starting to feel a little less like a complete newbie in the blogosphere. I am a little disappointed that my most heavily read post is my (not very thorough and totally off the cuff) review of The Simon’s Cat Quadrilogy . . . and there is no need to link to it because I am quite sure that it will remain on the top of my ‘Popular Posts’ widget forever! :D

Top Reads of 2012

You can get more details here, but here is my list:

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin – My Favorite
The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
The Gentleman Bastard Series by Scott Lynch
World War Z by Max Brooks
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Most Anticipated Books of 2013

You can get more details here, but here is my list:

Celtic Moon by Jan DeLima – Most Anticpated
Wake Up! by Simon Tofield
Yamada Monogatari: Demon Hunter by Richard Parks
The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
Shattered Pillars by Elizabeth Bear
A Memory of Light by Brandon Sanderson
Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Top Films of 2012

The Hobbit – My Favorite
Django Unchained
The Avengers
The Hunger Games

Most Disappointing Film of 2012

The Dark Knight Rises
Prometheus - Most Disappointing

New Year’s Resolutions

1. This year I posted seventy-two reviews: next year I hope to get closer to a full one hundred.

2. I will get around to writing some blurbs for the BookStore-BookBlogger Connection

3. Reread and review some of my favorites from the Roman Mystery genre: I feel like I have neglected Lindsey Davis and Steven Saylor terribly.

4. I will make a special effort to read SF&F books written by women.


I need to thank my long suffering husband, Ian, for his patience and encouragement this year . . . and for not getting too angry when I spent many hours ignoring him whilst reading, writing or thinking about the blog! I would also like to say a huge “Thank you!” to all of you who have read my posts and encouraged me to join in the fun by commenting on my random musings. I no longer feel as if I am shouting in the dark! :D 


  1. I really enjoyed the Mistborn trilogy and Hunger Games. I am also looking forward to Etiquette & Espionage. Also loved the movies you did, but I didn't see Django Unchained. Great post! Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2013. Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven

  2. Great end of the year post! So great to have you in on the challenges and read-a-longs this year, thank you so much.

    I've seen Range of Ghosts on a couple of other blogs too and I love the cover...gotta check that book out.

    Of course thrilled to see Graveyard Book and Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie on your list. Love both of those books.

    Sorry to see you were disappointed in The Dark Knight Rises. I actually enjoyed it. Not as much as the other two, but I thought it was a nice ending to trilogy. Overall I'm getting pretty tired of superhero films though.

    You had a really great year. I'm happy that you stuck with the blogging and that you've seen growth throughout the year. I hope 2013 is an even better one for you. :)

  3. wow you have posted 72 reviews! I've been blogging for 4- 5 years now and yet I can only review 50+ books per year! That's super great you know! Reading and blogging is a lot of work for me so I can only imagine yours....

    glad to see that you watched The Hobbit... also my favorite.

    btw, thanks for stopping by my blog and im your newest follower!

  4. I too began actually reading the Song of Ice and Fire Series this year and it too is my FAVORITE! I had to stop for a while after ASOS though b/c the Red Wedding and the ending of that book was a total mind fu*k for me. I'm so ready to get started on A Feast For Crows though.

    Looks like you had a very fun and productive year in reading and blogging!

  5. Good luck with A Feast for Crows: I'm sure you'll enjoy it! :)

  6. The problem with the Dark Knight Rises, and Prometheus, was that my expectations were quite high and then the films did not live up to them . . . but I guess topping Heath Ledger's Joker was going to be a difficult task! :)

  7. Django Unchained was hilarious and one of Quentin Tarantino's best films to date.

    Happy New Year to you too! :)

  8. I haven't seen Prometheus yet. I heard so many mixed reviews that I gave it a pass at the theater and the violence I've heard about in it, from friends, means I know my wife won't watch it and so I haven't had a lot of motivation to see it on the small screen. I will sometime this year though.

    I didn't have huge expectations for DKR because, again, I have been getting a little burnt out on superhero films and that is probably why I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Despite that enjoyment I didn't rush out and buy the bluray or anything and don't have any strong desire to see it again anytime soon.


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