Exactly 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):
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!