Celebrating Consumed By Ink’s First Year!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAExactly one year ago I published my first post. And, I was really nervous. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year, and since that first scary post, I’ve pushed the publish button 126 more times.

To celebrate, I want to look at some stats and re-visit some of the books and posts I have written about over the past year.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to challenge myself to read more Canadian Literature., so for my ‘blirthday’ post I am going to concentrate on the Canadian content of my blog.

In my A-Z CanLit Project, I have only made it to ‘K’, which is not as far along as I thought I would be. But, I didn’t want my challenge to be over so quickly anyway. I’m looking forward to some more great Canadian novels!

# of Canadian books read: 49

% books Canadian: 61%

# of new-to-me Canadian authors: 31

# of new-to-me Canadian authors I had never heard of before: 18

% female authors: 57%

Top 5: (In no particular order) I tried to do this without thinking about it too much. These are the ones that stuck out the most for me as I was reading my list. The Orenda, Sweetland, The Cellist of Sarajevo, Malarky, and The Rise & Fall of Great Powers.

Most pleasant surprise:  The Town That Drowned by Riel Nason. I had no idea what to expect from this book when I read it, and I ended up really enjoying it.

Most disappointing: Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan. This book got a lot of recognition, but I had a hard time caring very much about it.

Funniest: The Woefield Poultry Collective by Susan Juby. This made me laugh out loud the most out of all the ones I read this year.

Biggest Tear-jerker: All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews. No surprise here.

Most original: The Bear by Claire Cameron. From the perspective of a 5-year-old girl whose parents have been killed by a bear.

Scariest: The Troop by Nick Cutter. The only scary book I read, but it was a good one.

Most disturbing: Our Daily Bread  by Lauren B. Davis. This dealt with some tough topics, but I loved it anyway.

Most important message: The Orenda by Joseph Boyden. It won Canada Reads 2013; the one book that could change the nation. Everyone should read this.

Most inspirational: The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway. This one was beautiful.

Most fun: The Rise & Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman. I remember having a lot of fun while reading this book. It was long enough to get into, but not too long.

Most Liked character(s): Moses Sweetland from Sweetland by Michael Crummey. Curmudgeonly, sarcastic, funny, independent, secretly a softie, interesting, loyal, not friendly but companionable, not as tough as he thinks.

Least liked character(s): The protagonist in Cockroach by Rawi Hage. I didn’t like how he unapologetically imagined himself sneaking into other people’s houses. He led a lonely lifestyle, which was sad, but he just creeped me out.

Quirkiest character(s): Philomena, or ‘Our Woman’ in Malarky by Anakana Schofield. She was fantastic. You just never knew what she was going to say or do next.

Best Short Story collection: Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood

Best Memoir: (out of only 2) Naked Imperfection by Gillian Deacon

Most memorable line(s):

“All hell breaking loose, and I decided to make a cake.” – The Cure For Death By Lightning

“…It’s not going to be okay, but it’s going to be beautiful anyway.” – Infidelity

“It’s been a rough day. No sense making it worse with salad.” – The Woefield Poultry Collective

“The best stories, he thought, we’ve known the end from the beginning.” – Caught

“… it was good to sleep in a comfortable bed and have the only wind you ever felt at night be the wind of a good fart in the darkness.” – Ragged Company

“It’s beautiful when it all makes sense, so it is. Occasionally it makes sense, just for a moment.” – Malarky

“People kept their books, she thought, not because they were likely to read them again but because these objects contained the past – the texture of being oneself at a particular place, at a particular time, each volume a piece of one’s intellect, whether the work itself had been loved or despised or had induced a snooze on page forty.” – The Rise & Fall of Great Powers

Top 10 Posts (most visitors/comments):

Sweetland By Michael Crummey

Infidelity by Stacey May Fowles

Swarm by Lauren Carter

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

10 Canadian Book Recommendations

The Wars by Timothy Findley

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

Adventures in Book Buying

The Orenda by Joseph Boyden

Roost by Ali Bryan

When I started this blog, I had no idea what to expect, but, thanks to my followers and the book blogging community (not to mention the books and the writers), it has been nothing but rewarding! I am looking forward to another fun year of reading and blogging!

46 thoughts on “Celebrating Consumed By Ink’s First Year!

    • Naomi says:

      Thanks, Mom! I don’t know yet. I thought about it, but it took me a really long time to do up this post. Maybe for the end of the year, if I have time. It was fun, though!

  1. lauratfrey says:

    Blirthday! I love that. Gonna steal it. Mine’s coming up in February and I’m turning 4!!

    We are so similar in our tastes. You pulled out my fav lines from Malarky, Infidelity, and Caught.

    I really should read Sweetland. He’s coming here next for an event at the University next Wednesday but I have too many meetings and can’t go.

    • Naomi says:

      Oooh… you get all the good writers! Too bad you can’t go. Still waiting to hear about that other event you went to… 🙂

      It took me a long time to go back and find my favourite lines, but I’m glad I did – there were some good ones! We do seem to have similar taste, so far, don’t we?

      I liked Blirthday better than the ones I usually see around. I think, maybe because I don’t like the word ‘blog’. Yes, use it!

  2. Cedar Station says:

    A year already, that’s crazy! Congratulations. You’ve done a lot with just one year under your belt, and I can’t wait to see what comes next. 🙂

  3. ebookclassics says:

    Whoo hoo! Congratulations! I’ve immensely enjoyed getting to know you and chatting about books this year. I don’t doubt next year will be even bigger for your blog. 🙂

  4. Geoff W says:

    Congrats and good luck in the next year! I love that your focus is Canadian. It introduces me to so many other North American authors I wasn’t aware of.

  5. The Paperback Princess says:

    A year already! Congratulations! You’ve made me want to read more CanLit! A massive accomplishment! Although I am SO WITH YOU re: Half Blood Blues. I do really still want to read The Rise and Fall of Great Powers and the quote you posted makes me want to run out and get it right now. Keep up the great work because I think you’re solely responsible for my shift where CanLit is concerned.

  6. tanya (52 books or bust) says:

    Congratulations. Major milestone. And I’m so impressed with your reading of CanLit. You are keeping me on my toes. I love that you read so many lesser-known writers. And for the record, I think Half Blood Blues was one of my major disappointments of the year as well.

  7. Carole Besharah says:

    Congrats Naomi, and thanks for inviting us along for the ride. I am always excited to see one of your book reviews pop up in my reader feed.

    I love this list so much! Especially this: Most Liked character(s): Moses Sweetland ! Yeeeees! My fingers are crossed from Crummey to win the GG next week.


    • Naomi says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Carole. I also look forward to your posts! My fingers are crossed for the same thing (although, I have to admit, I haven’t read any of the others), but I have loved all his books, so I would like to see him win!

  8. Cathy746books says:

    I’m a few days late I know, but Happy Blogversary! I may not be able to read the books you write so well about but I always love to read your posts. Onwards and upwards…..x

  9. buntymcc says:

    Congratulations on a year of blogging and a year of reading. I too had a ‘so what?’ reaction to Half Blood Blues. I have to read your other recommendations; I’m so behind in my Canadian reading.

    • Naomi says:

      Thank you! I was just on your blog enjoying your photos of Quebec City and Halifax. For some reason, I love looking at pictures of the places I’ve been just as much as the ones I haven’t.

  10. whatmeread says:

    Really, Naomi? You’ve only been posting a year? You’ve done very well, then. I have yet to make it to Books on WordPress. I’m still in Books 2. BTW, I just read The Orenda. I picked it up because of your review. Haven’t posted a review yet. The only other book on this page I’ve read yet is Stone Mattress.

    • Naomi says:

      Oh, what did you think of The Orenda? I hope you liked it! (Haha, I don’t even know what you mean by Books on WordPress or Books 2. I’m still obviously lacking on the technical side of things!)

      • whatmeread says:

        Oh, well, after I said that, I wasn’t sure which one you were on. Well, when I started posting, I couldn’t figure out why my posts never turned up under the Books topic on WordPress. It turns out that there are so many people posting on books, I figured out, that if you don’t have enough traffic, you get posted to Books 2. I’ve been there for almost three years now. I don’t know how they figure out which one to put you on, but I assume it has to do with the number of followers. This is just what I figured out myself. If you’re not showing up under Books (which I’m assuming you must be, because otherwise, I’m not sure how I would have seen your posts), then type Books 2 into the Search field to see if you show up there. Now I have you in my Books I Read list, so I can’t tell.

        And yes, I really liked The Orenda!

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