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Two years on,  a myriad words, and some pictures too…………

Well, my dear bloggy regular friends, irregular friends, just-dropped-by-on-the off-chancers and even the ‘Help! I’m lost, didn’t mean to be here at all – what IS this place’ accidental landers – today marks the start of year 3, as yes, this is our second anniversary!

Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, 1935 - first 10 paperbacks!

Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, 1935 – first 10 paperbacks!

It feels a bit more like that at the moment than ‘my bloggy birthday’, so I’m afraid that rather than providing a birthday cake I could suggest some PAPER presents we might give/have given to each other, appropriately, (for here in the UK) as this is primarily a bookie review blog, but, curiously the-across-the-ponders have a different ‘which anniversary is it?’ UK does COTTON on the first anniversary, PAPER for this one, but the USA reverses it. (Wiki doesn’t give information about what other countries designate the yearly anniversaries to be – so tell us yours!)

Reading between crisp cotton sheets - one of life's pleasures!

Reading between crisp cotton sheets – one of life’s pleasures!

Not that I’m implying that there is any kind of marriage going on between me and my by-all-accounts 375 odd followers. Nor am I implying that any of you are remotely odd……except, when I come to think of it……………..

But I am aware of the intangible, but definitely THERE sense of community and relationship that exists across the blogosphere. I’ve got used to the regular popper in and outers, and several of us have confessed that we WORRY when regular likers, commenters and waving hallo-ers stop dropping by, we hope they are okay – particularly if we visit them regularly and there have been NO POSTS.

Anyways, anyhows, anywheres, (cue for a song)

thank you very much, from the top and bottom of my TBR pile for your visits, comments, reflections, recommendations and addings to my bookspend, and for preventing me from just spouting off my noisy opinions into thin air over the last 2.

It’s invidious in some ways to single out any of you, as you all brighten my days and, to those who just sneak a quick peek and then rapidly decamp, thank you too for brightening my stats!

But singling out can’t be avoided really. My dear old North of the Border chum has been there from the very start – in fact, blame her for my bloggery at all, as ’twas she who emailed me to say ‘I’m starting a blog’ and encouraged my faint heart to follow suit.

For Fiction Fan.........

For FictionFan………

Actually FictionFan – let’s hear it for FictionFan deserves many more kudos and high fives than mine – she has really taken the art of turning a blog into a thriving and chatting salon, meeting place and community, especially for those devoted to reading, though her interests do spread much wider – men in wet shirts, men in tight shorts, not to mention aliens from outer space, shiver me timbers moments and crime detection, all helped down with chocolate and more chocolate. She is a wonderful promoter of all our blogs, and has certainly introduced me to other bloggers through that promotion. My special wishes to you FF of lots and lots and lots of paper -or at least eInk, from your blogging community. May your TBR reach 4 figures (runs hurriedly away from FFs glare of crossness!)

For FictionFan....

For FictionFan….

And across the pond are the always fascinating postings of the inestimable Jilanne Hoffmann and her blog The Writer’s Shadow Jilanne is also part of a collective of writers The Dogpatch Collective and, whether on her own blog, or as part of the collective is TIRELESS at promoting other writers. She is particularly passionate about not only books for children – but to encourage children to be the creative writers and artists of the future – there’s a real sense of a community extending through time, as well as space. She doesn’t post that often (because she’s clearly busy writing!) but it’s always a pleasure to find one of her posts popping up in my reader. Happy Annie Versary, Jillane!

Divided from the mainland by a smaller body of water is Jersey’s own Cleopatralovesbooks Cleopatra is one of the queens of bookie memes, and a visit to her site will generally give the hapless visitor a choice of 5 or 6 books per post, which she might entice you with. Shopping has never been so easy, though restraint might be needed in order to avoid a TBR increasing by a handful at a time


A couple of other UK bloggers have featured hugely on my radar this last year. Crimeworm unsurprisingly is a fan of books about worms (!) but we discovered we are both extremely fond of spies, or at least, books about spies. So, if you were wondering who might have been lingering around your blog, hidden behind a newspaper, a false moustache and engaged in trying to compose invisible ink messages, it could be her, or it could be me

Now I don’t know whether Jane – aka FleurInHerWorld should be heartily congratulated by me, or whether I should shiver in anxiety when one of her posts pops up in my reader, since she is my new ‘spend Spend SPEND!!!!!!!’ friend of this year (and in fact, the tail end of last, too) not to mention her skilful ability to stack my TBR higher and higher. There seems to be a never-ending list of authors heading my way, many, wonderful women writers from the middle years of the twentieth century, introduced to me by Fleur. We clearly share a delight in the natural world, and many of the books (of all kinds) she seems to point my way are by writers, whatever their genre, who have the ability to engage with the landscape.

And, finally, finally, but by no means at all, leastly, there are a couple of people who have really, really, been most wonderfully supportive and appreciative of my blogging.

Firstly, writer and gardener Stepheny Houghtlin who is incredibly encouraging, and enthusiastic about the books and stuff which get my attention and I hope will get yours, too.

Secondly, Underunner from New Zealand. I can’t link to her blog for you to follow and check out – because I don’t think she has one, or if she has it is very secret (maybe she too has an interest in espionage!) But Underunner has given me a lot of likes over the last 2 years, and its always jolly to see the ‘underunner liked your post……….’ pop up Thank you underunner

Thank you ALL, mentioned or not.

And, now I am TWO (and some of you are TWO WITH ME) I think I can look forward to sharing more books like this with you:

I think NEXT year is leather…….

Meanwhile, before I go getting into training for my third year, a little shameless self-promotion of a couple of my most successful posts, with no idea why, except that I suspect that my most avid readers must be anatomists and rose growers with a deep love of philosophy and a fascination with wolves:

BreninThis review was one of the first I posted, early in April 2013. The Philosopher and The Wolf continues to be my most popular post; clearly, a lot of visitors search the web for pictures of wolves, and come here from a wolfish image search.

Slightly behind in popularity is an even earlier posting, one of the job lot of previous Amazon reviews I posted on my second day as a blogger, to kickstart the site with some content


Soberingly, this very popular post (at least with people paying their first visit) is also a remarkably SHORT review.

C’mon though, you don’t expect those who are only one day old to be talking a lot, do you, whereas toddlers never pipe down, hence my present garrulousness.

Anatomy of A Rose is indeed a great book, but, I would have thought, hardly a best-seller!

WOT?? No CAKE???????????