30 December, 2013

Let's Say Goodbye With a Smile, Dear...

Last week I wrote a rather melancholy post reviewing my less-than-prestigious year of writing. So I thought I'd end 2013 on a more positive note with a short and cheerful post and a request for recommendations...

I know I've mentioned on here before how much I love statistics. I'm not going to bore you with detailing every fact about this blog over the last year, however. Instead, here is a little list of the most popular posts on this blog in 2013 (I'm only including the posts written this year - the very top post, and number three, were actually written in 2012) - if something catches your eye, then take a peek!

  1. Calling Writers, Poets and Bloggers. My call for volunteers to take part in Team Zodiac - demonstrating the power of social media (thanks to everyone who shared this post!)
  2. Christmas Gifts for Writers and Book Lovers. Christmas might be over but there's always a stream of birthdays to buy for...
  3. Speakeasy. My first post of the year, celebrating first prize in a short story competition. The first line of the post is "How lovely to be able to start 2013 with some good news!". A little poignant to me now.
  4. Cancer by Simon P Clark. One of the Team Zodiac stories, all about a dead crab. Who knew dead crabs were so popular?
  5. Sagittarius by Helen Murray. Another of Team Zodiac and the first in the series. A love story with a twist.

What were the most popular things on your blog this year? Let me know and I'll go and take a look! I shall remain forever grateful to the person who found my blog in 2013 by searching for "really cool writers". Bless you, whoever you are.

Away from the blog, this is the first full year I've kept a reading diary. I've gave 10/10 for enjoyment to three books I read, but before I reveal them I'd like to ask you for your recommendations of great books to read in 2014. I'm especially looking for books you've read recently - perhaps that have been released in the last couple of years - but older and classic recommendations are always a welcome addition to my book list!

So my top reads in 2013:
  • Room - Emma Donoghue
  • One Day - David Nicholls
  • Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

I also gave 9/10 to: The Marriage Plot (Jeffrey Eugenides), Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Salman Rushdie), Life of Pi (Yann Martel), Luka and the Fire of Life (Salman Rushdie), The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follet), The Collection (Agatha Christie), The Horizontal Epistles of Andromeda Veal (Adrian Plass), An Autobiography (Agatha Christie), Me Talk Pretty One Day (David Sedaris) and The Fault in Our Stars (John Green). Have you read any of these?

See you all next year!


  1. Okay, I thought I published my reply, but it's not appearing. So here's trying again. And sorry if this pops up twice now.

    I really need to read Girl Gone. So many people have talked about it. I should move it up on my to read list.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Thank-you! Happy new year to you too.

      I'd heard a lot of people rave about it but only ended up reading it because I was going away and needed to download something on to my Nook so I didn't have to take the hefty book I was reading with me! I'm still not sure whether I liked the ending or not - it was either really clever or a bit disappointing. But the rest of the book was so good it's my "book I wish I'd written".

  2. I'm currently discovering Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy. I thoroughly enjoyed Assassins Apprentice and moved straight onto book two. They're set in a fantasy world that's also a bit medieval (lots of castles and kings and queens, if you want to get somewhere you go on horseback and if you want to fight your enemy you use swords). Fairly light reading, certainly my pick at the moment.


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