I can’t quite believe that 2019 is about to be over and we are entering not only another year, but also another decade. It’s a cliche, but it really feels like the years are flying by more quickly the older I get.
This has been one of the best, yet also one of the hardest years of my life. I’m going to focus mostly on the reading and blogging, which has been nothing but incredible. I started my bookstagram page on August 9th, 2018 and this blog a month later. When I did, I thought maybe I’d get 500 followers if I was lucky but was happy with any, as I only started the account to share my love of books and had no ambitions beyond that. In the new year I reached 1,000 followers and am in awe of how my page has grown since, reaching 3,000 earlier this month. I feel incredibly blessed to have made so many wonderful friends and receive so many books from kind authors and publishers. I still feel like a kid at Christmas every time I receive bookmail and know I’ll never take it for granted.
My personal highlights in my blogging life this year:
- Meeting Sara Collins and Elizabeth Macneal in May at their book event in Leeds.
- Meeting one of my book besties, Beth, for the first time in person in July.
- Attending the Women in Literature event at Haworth and introducing my Mum to the delights of book events.
- Attending the VIP launch of The Foundling in September. This was also a highlight as The Familiars is my book of the year and I was thrilled to meet the author as well as many other lovely people.
- Meeting Jessie Burton and Laura Purcell at Jessie’s event in Nottingham in October.
A big change for me this year was beginning to take part in blog tours. I took part in my first one on January 16th for The Illumination of Ursula Flight by Anna-Marie Crowhurst. I didn’t get the chance to take part in any more for a while after that, but I’ve been lucky enough to take part in them regularly since July. The only problem is that I want to say yes to them all but I don’t have time! I have been fortunate to work with some wonderful blog tour organisers and publishers this past year and am excited for more to come in 2020.
In terms of reading, I set a reading goal of 100 and surprised myself by reaching it in August and reading a total of 150 books this year. Needless to say, reading so many books has made choosing my favourites of the year more difficult and I decided to stop trying to make them fit into the traditional mould of ‘top ten’ and instead just see how many favourites I actually had. The answer was twenty. You can read about these in my previous post about my favourite books of the year. As I mentioned earlier, my overall favourite was The Familiars by Stacey Halls, which was also my 100th read.
There is so much I’m excited for in 2020: meeting more book friends and authors, taking part in blog tours and reading the fantastic books coming out (or even some of the ones sitting on my shelves).
I would like to thank every person who has followed my page, the authors and publishers who have taken the time to comment and all the friends I’ve made this year. You have all helped make this a fantastic year and helped this blog become something more than I ever dreamed.
Last but certainly not least, to these fab ladies who have been there for me as more than just blogger friends at the high and low points this year – Beth, Claire, Claire, Janis, Kirsty, Shell, Clare, Jackie, Clare, Eva, Meg, Sonia and Lisa – I appreciate you and your friendship more than you will ever know.
With thanks, Emma xx