A blogoversary, a giveaway and a decision

Today I’m two!

It is exactly two years ago today that made my first foray into the world of book blogging and what a journey it’s been since then. I have have fallen in and out of love with my blog at various points but I love being able to look back and see the record I have made of books I have read, conversations I have had and probably the best thing about it is the friends I have made through doing this – some whom I have been lucky enough to meet in real life and others whom I have loved getting to know via our love of books.

Here are a few stats since my time as The Book Whisperer:

A total of 218,000 hits

Most viewed post of all time is The best 11 BooK Club Reads of all time EVER! followed by my interview with the lovely Kathryn Stocket (author of The Help)

The five most looked at book reviews are: The Snowman by Jo Nesbo, Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson, Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa, Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella and The Legacy by Katherine Webb.

I like looking at the search terms that bring people to my blog too as some of them make me laugh. They are ususally terms along the lines of best book club books etc but I have to wonder how peoole searching for Bali sexy girls and scary forrests ended up on my blog!

  A big thank you

Of course, although I love the fact that this blog is keeping a record of my reading that I can look back on in years to come, I still absoloutely love the fact that you all take the time to stop by and read or comment – it really does make my day when people take the time to comment 🙂

So, as a big thank you for your continuted support I am doing a little giveaway to celebrate my two years running The Book Whisperer:

All you have to do it click on the “reviews” tab on the blue bar at the top of the page, pick any book that I have reviewed here on this blog (there are about 180 to chose from) and post a comment to say which book you would like to win and why. I will then pick a name using random.org and the winner will receive a brand new shiny edition of that book from The Book Depository or Amazon. This competition is internation and you have until midnight (UK time) on Tuesday 13th December to enter and the winner will be informed on here and also by email the next day.

Good luck!


  A decision

Now a confession: Last week I considered giving up my blog. Yep, I did that thing that I think most bloggers do at some point or other – I decided it was too much and that I was going to put The Book Whisperer to bed. Then, a day or so later I got a lovely messgae from someone saying that she had been recommended my blog by a librarian as a great place to look for books to read in book groups and how she loved my blog. I immediately remembered why I love doing this so much again. I think maybe I have been so busy lately with a hugely demanding day job (that rarely turns out to be 9-5pm due to my work load) and when I have some free time sometimes I just want to curl up with my book (or even watch TV!) rather than sit and think carefully about what I want to write in a review. I am currently about 6 books behind in my reviews and that had been stressing me out too. When I got that message it reminded me of all the lovely comments and emails I have had in the past about my blog (and I particularly love it when I review a great book and people post that my review has made them want to read it too!). So….after much deliberation, I have decided to carry on…..

Here’s to the next year! 🙂



67 thoughts on “A blogoversary, a giveaway and a decision

  1. farmlanebooks says:

    I’m so glad you’ve decided to continue blogging. I think we’ve all considered giving up at some point as it is such a big time commitment. I think we are all guilty of just assuming people know we read and love their blog, but never actually tell the person. That leads to them thinking they are doing all that work for nothing. I’m so glad you received that message at the right time. Congratulations on your second blogiversary! I’ve read many books thanks to your recommendations and look forward to getting many more suggestions from you over the coming years 🙂 Keep up the great work 🙂
    I’ll leav your giveaway for someone with less books than me, but thanks for holding such a generous giveaway.


  2. Deni says:

    Please, don’t give up!!!, I love your blog and I too come here for new things to read based on your reviews. I understand that this shouldn’t be a chore, but a pleasure, so just take it easy… we don’t mind you’re six books ‘behind’, we just like reading what you write about books!


  3. Simon T says:

    Happiest of blog birthdays! I can’t believe it’s only been 2 years – it feels like you’ve been around forever. I’m so glad that you got that well-timed email, which made you persevere. We all have moments when blogging feels like too much work, but the rewards are wonderful 🙂

    Meeting you was such fun, ages ago, I hope we meet again sometime.

    And your giveaway idea is fun! I have my eye on The Help….


  4. Leeswammes says:

    Happy blogoversary, Boof. Of course you ‘re not giving up, what a bad idea. But maybe you shouldn’t feel like you have to review each book (unless it’s from a publisher/author). I’ve had books that were just fine but somehow I didn’t feel like reviewing it, so I decided not to. Hey, it’s your blog!

    Just know that lots of people enjoy your blog and the books that you review – often they go on my wishlist.

    I’m going to take things more easy next year and not post every day (it’s been too much).

    I’d love to win a book, but I can’t choose. You know my style, so I’ll let you choose if I won:
    The Snowman Jo Nesbo
    The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
    Love You More by Lisa Gardner

    Happy Christmas and a easy-going new blogging year!


  5. parrish lantern says:

    Nearly forgot as to the giveaway may I be placed in the hat, with my choice being “Blindness” Jose Saramago, already have “Cain” & “Seeing” this would provide them company on the shelf.


  6. Care says:

    Happy Blogiversary! You’ve read a ton of great books. I was going to say I want the Mercer book (cuz it has bedbugs in the title and it would work for the hat’s in a Name Challenge) but then I read your review. Darn. So how about Remarkable Creatures or French’s Faithful Place.


  7. Mary Preston says:

    Don’t be too hasty in your decision. Give it some thought first.

    I would absolutely love: “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” by Anne Bronte, if I am lucky.



  8. Bibliotropic says:

    Happy blogiversary! I know all too well that doing this can be stressful at times, and sometimes putting it to rest seems like the best move, but I’ve found bookblogging to be rewarding and fun and I keep on trucking. It’s awesome that you’ve found renewed motivation, and doubly awesome to have complete strangers recommending your blog! May there be many more years of bookish awesomeness for you!

    As for the giveaway, I think the chance to read Joe Hill’s “Horns” would be great!

    Once again, happy blogiversary!


  9. Carol Thompson says:

    I have read a lot of good reviews of The Life of Pi and know that it has won a number of awards.

    I have been meaning to buy and read it for a long time but have still not got around to it, so this would be an opportunity to get the book at last.

    Thanks for the giveaway and keep on blogging.

    Carol T


  10. Jayme@Beachreader says:

    I understand the feeling of being overwhelmed and wanting to stop blogging. I was going through that myself during November. I’m glad you decided to stay. I really enjoy your blog.

    I would love a copy of Year of Wonders by Gerladine Brooks


  11. gaskella says:

    Happy blogversary Boof!

    You’re right about the ups and downs of blogging – we all go quiet for a bit occasionally, and you mustn’t feel you have to review everything, so don’t give up. Keep calm and carry on blogging.

    The book I’d choose would be Wolf Totem – heard so many good things about this one. Thanks for the giveaway.



  12. Louise says:

    I’m so glad you’ll be carrying on with your blog, I love your reviews and I’ve bought some lovely books based on your recs, so keep them coming 😉 Happy blogoversary, Boof!!

    Thanks for the giveaway, I’d like to be entered for Corrag by Susan Fletcher. I loved you review for this book, and it’s been on my wish list since you reviewed it.


  13. Jaclyn says:

    Happy Blogoversary, Boof! So glad you’ve decided to keep the blog!

    I’d love to win The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino. It’s been on my wish list for a while now. 🙂


  14. Mona says:

    Happy Blogoversary! And thanks for the great giveaway 🙂

    I’m so glad you decided not to give up your blog. You read some awesome books in a variety of genres. Most of your books are already on my TBR list.

    I would like to win FATWA. I’m fascinated by Middle-Eastern literature, both fiction and non-fiction.


  15. diana mack says:

    gladyou are continuing…love your style, your reviews and living in the midwest of the united states your vacations amaze me!
    homeless rats would be my choice…you have raved so much about it and it is hard to find here!
    merry christmas!


  16. Carol M says:

    Congrats on two years of blogging! I’m glad you have decided to continue!

    I would love to have Faithful Place. I’ve heard so many good things about her books and I want to start reading them!

    Thank you for the giveaway and Happy Holidays to you and your family!


  17. Prudence Shortnez Shabalala says:

    I am one of the people who visit this wonderful blog but don’t comment. I just enjoy reading your great reviews and amazing book suggestions that I forget to say Thank you for doing this! You make my reading experience a breeze. Whenever I need a good review, I never stray away from this blog. So Thank you and Happy 2nd blog-birthday. Keep up the great work!


  18. WordsAndPeace says:

    Congrats! thanks for this great giveaway and for deciding to keep blogging! Even if it’s only once a week, it will make your faithful followers happy.
    I have to admit I have not read yet Water For Elephants, so that would be my choice.
    ehc16e at yahoo dot com


  19. Cathleen says:

    Dear Boof,
    Happy anniversary (blogoversary?). I’ve so admired you–wondering how you can work a full day, then keep up a book blog; when I come home from work, I’m lucky if I can cook dinner, let alone maintain a book blog 🙂

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog each time I’ve visited. Thank you! You’ve written about some books and authors I wasn’t familiar with (like Elly Griffiths) and every time I’ve read one of your recommended books or authors, it’s been a total reading pleasure. I also enjoy your posts that aren’t book reviews (Your entry and photo about your favorite reading spot is one of my favorites.)

    Happy holidays to you and yours and many thanks for such a wonderful gift, your blog.


  20. Anbolyn says:

    Congratulations! I’m so glad you’re sticking around – I just started reading a few months ago and would be sad if you packed it in, but I understand about the blogging blues.
    I so very much enjoy reading your honest and thoughtful reviews!
    If I won your awesome giveaway I’d like to receive Corrag by Susan Fletcher.


  21. tnbbc says:

    Happy Blogoversary Bex!! I had no clue we used the same damn stock photo 🙂 hahaha how funny is that?! I saw your tweet today and realized that I missed my own by 4 days (we are pratically blog-sisters!)

    Don’t ever give this up girlie! You’re too important to the community of readers, and see… they love telling you so!!


  22. Cat says:

    Happy Blogoversary and I’m glad you’ve decided to continue. No reason to feel you have to review everything you read – I don’t.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity – my choice would be Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon



  23. Helen says:

    Happy blogoversary! I’m so glad you’re not giving up. Your blog is one of my favourites and even if I don’t always have time to comment I always enjoy reading your posts. If I win the giveaway I think my choice would be Wolf Totem as I remember reading about it on your blog and it sounded wonderful.


  24. Rhian Jessop says:

    NO!!! Don’t stop your lovely Blog… I love to receive an email saying you have a new post. I have found so may new and wonderful books to read through The Book Whisperer, so don’t stop now! Keep them coming!..

    If I was to choose one from your lengthy list of reviewed books, I’d either choose Summer by Edith Wharton. I haven’t read any of her books yet but have been meaning to for some time now, and as our Christmas is in Summer, what better title to choose!

    BryOak – Reading in the Bath


  25. KT says:

    Happy 2nd Blogoversary, Boof! I am so glad to hear that you will continue with your blog. As you know from where I know you from *wink wink, nod nod* I am a huge fan of your blog and it really is inspiration to me (and clearly many, many others out there!!) I can only hope that someday I will get my bum in gear and get my own blog off the ground, and perhaps if I’m lucky have a little bit of your blogging wonder rub off on me 🙂 I have loved sharing thoughts on Tess this year and I totally picked up S.J. Boulton because of YOU 🙂 It’s been fun to gush about MHC who has been one of my favorites for years, and I think you are also partly responsible for my grabbing up some Tana French, too! You are a rock star of the book review world, love, so don’t you ever go into retirement on us, ok? 😛 Here’s a “cheers” from across the pond to celebrate your milestone!!

    Oh, yeah, and of course you know I want to be entered to win a book from you, my lovely (because heaven knows I don’t have enough on Mt. TBR!) You have reviewed so many interesting things and that makes it nearly impossible to pick just one (I had to whittle it down from about a dozen scrumptious choices…and if I didn’t already have all the MHC and Tess books, it would have been like 25!), but if forced at penlight to choose, I would have to go with Love You More by Lisa Gardner. I have several of her books but have yet to read any and I think she’ll be right up my alley 🙂


  26. Elizabeth says:

    I stumbled upon your blog a few days ago (because I googled The help) I’ve been reading it a for a few hours every night. I’m very glad that you have decided to continue your blog! There are sooo many books on here that I’ve never even heard of before. I can’t wait to try out a few of your reviews. The Magus and Behind the scenes at the museum have been added to my list 🙂 Also, I read that you enjoy funny books? Granted I haven’t been able to see you’re entire blog yet (darn slow internet on my phone) but I think you might enjoy Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books! I am currently reading them and LOVE them! Check it out when you have time…. Thank you for the blog 🙂


  27. Karin says:

    I am really happy you are not giving up your blog. I think we all know that it can stress us out from time to time when there is so much else to do but without your blog there would be something missing. Honestly!
    I browsed your review list right now and you have wonderful books in there. I only read your blog for a little over 6 months now so I haven’t read all your reviews.
    !Happy Blog-Brithday to you!
    Right now I am in a Christmassy mood but there is now snow in Austria right now and because of an exam on the 19th of December there really was no chance to go Christmas shopping or attend Christmas parties so when I saw you review about All I Want for Christmas by Amy Silver I added it to my wishlist. Sounds really good.
    Enjoy your Sunday and greetings from Vienna, Austria


  28. Sophie Tick says:

    Happy Blog-aversary! I hope you carry on writing here as I very much enjoy sharing your recommendations and have discovered many new reads here that I would otherwise have missed,

    If you could stick my name in the hat for the draw, I’d pick A Room Swept White By Sophie Hannah, because I’ve enjoyed two of her books and this sounds just as intrigueing!

    Thanks and best wishes Sophie


  29. Aleksandra says:

    Happy Blogoversary!!! Glad you decided not to give up on blogging 😀

    If I’m lucky enough to win, I’d love The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell. Why? Because I’ve heard it’s great & I absolutely love zombie books 😀

    Thanks for the giveaway! Happy Holidays!


  30. Marie K says:

    I can understand how overwhelming it is to work all day and run a blog too. I do some online “work” for free on a website, moderating and making graphics and I work full time too. So, I totally get it.

    But please don’t leave! I enjoy your blog.

    I’d choose Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton because I love classics and I haven’t read that one yet.


  31. kimbofo says:

    I can’t believe you are only two. I thought you had been around much longer than that! Congrats on the anniversary — and relieved to hear you haven’t pulled the pin! My theory is that once you are a blogger you are ALWAYS a blogger, even if you fall out of love with it every now and then.


  32. Aik says:

    I’m so glad you did not choose to abandon this blog. I know that it’s hard to juggle between job, personal life and blogging, but it’s our passion to introduce good books to readers worldwide that has been keeping us going for so long. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors!

    I’d love to read Before I Die by Jenny Downham. This one sounds like a touching story.


  33. DubaiReader says:

    Happy 2nd Birthday!
    Currewntly the ONLY book blog that I follow, so glad you’re staying with us 🙂

    And Merry Christmas!



  34. DubaiReader says:

    Sorry about that typo!

    I’d love to enter for Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan because I’ve got it listed on my BookMooch WL but it keeps coming up in French!

    All the best for 2012 🙂



  35. Delia (Postcards from Asia) says:

    Happy belated blog birthday, Boof! Now that was a mouthful. 🙂
    May you have many many more and don’t worry, thinking about giving up writing on your blog is normal from time to time but one thing I can say: feel free to take a break every now and then. I’ve always admired (and envied) prolific bloggers wondering how they had the time to post so often but then in the end, I realized it’s all about priorities and about what you feel. And if you feel like reading, read, and if you feel like writing, write. Your blog is your passion, it’s not your job, to be done whether you like it or not (or maybe you have a job you really love in which case I apologize).
    I would like to enter the giveaway, Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris sounds intriguing. I’ve never read any of her books but want to.


  36. Virginie M says:

    Joyeux Bloggiversaire Boof !!!
    So glad you decided not to give it up after all, I would have been selfishly devastated because yours is my fave literary blog and all the comments above mine show that I would not have been the only one would I ?
    So many happy returns hey ?

    I would love to enter this lovely giveaway and If I am picked up, i’d love to get Rebecca Frayn’s “Deception”, it sounds real good, thrilling and it is my kind of book…


  37. Crystal @ My Reading Room says:

    Congrats on 2 years and for keeping your blog going! I am glad you are. I have often felt the same way about my blog, then something happens, an email or just a book that spurs me on and I am back feeling like the blog is what I’m meant to do no matter how much time it takes up.

    If I were to win I would want Room by Emma Donoghue. Thanks so much for the giveaway!


  38. Ann Bradley says:

    So pleased you have decided to stay! Since discovering your blog, you have opened up a whole new world of genres for me! (I used to read mainly Crime/thriller) Would love to read ‘Her fearful symmetry’ Audrey Niffenegger,should I be lucky!


  39. Elena says:

    Happy birthday!!

    I’d love Faithful Place by Tana French, everyone keeps telling me that she is a great writer and her books are amazing thrillers but I haven’t bought her books… yet. After all, aren’t pre-owned books much more interesting?


  40. Carol says:

    Congrats on teh Blogoversary! I’m glad you decided to carry on.

    I would love to read the Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths. I read the first in the series and loved it, but haven’t gotten the second yet. Just a comment though, I clicked on the link for it on your review page and it took me to Agent Zigzag instead.

    carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com


  41. Catherine Lowton says:

    Happy 2 years! I love reading your reviews – they are very down to earth and I always finish them and end up adding more books to my wish list!

    I’d love to read Miracle on Regent Street – feeling festive!


  42. bookmonkey says:

    Congrats on your two years!!! 🙂 Great achievement and I’m glad you decided to carry on blogging! We’ve all been there, I’m sure…

    My choice would be Horns by Joe Hill 🙂 Thanks for the competition!



  43. lizzysiddal says:

    Well, Boof, now you’ve reached the terrible twos, I suppose you’re allowed a tantrum here or there! 🙂

    Seriously, blogging burn-out is due to the unnecessary pressures we put on ourselves. So, never forget it is meant to be a pleasure and if it doesn’t feel that way, just take a break.

    I’m your older and wiser blogging sister So listen to me. Then again, you could always ignore me. You’ve got almost as many hits in 2 years as I’ve managed in 5. Congratulations.

    And should that little parcel wing its way to me, I’d love for it to contain Blindness.


  44. sakura says:

    Oh Boof, I’ve been a particularly crap commenter lately and just read this. First of all a bit congratulations on two years of blogging:) It’s been a real pleasure to read your blog. And secondly, I think we all go through periods of fatigue when it comes to blogging, but then just take it slowly. No one expects a new post every day (and sometimes we don’t have time to read them all and comment). Yours is one of my favourite blogs and never fails to send me off with a smile!


  45. Steph VanderMeulen says:

    I understand your consideration to give up your blog, Boof. I can totally empathize. I have two jobs, and neither pays all that well so I have to focus on paid work, and then I want to just relax. Reviewing takes a lot out of me and has become more a personal obligation, something I feel I owe at least the publishers for being so generous. I’ve found myself reluctant to read, because it means I’ll have to do a review. I’ve found myself dragging out finishing a book. I’ve wanted to just do what I want to do without being stressed.

    I feel I can’t give it up now, when I have so many books publishers have sent me and that I haven’t reviewed. I know, too, that there are those who like my blog, and it is also helped me meet so many wonderful bookish people. I would miss it, in the end, if I just let it go. So I know what you mean as well by the warmth you feel about the comments, and deciding to continue.

    I think we just need to set the parameters for ourselves so that this blogging remains something we enjoy doing, so it’s as close to the feeling we had when we first began. I have to allow myself not to do it if I don’t feel like it at the time, too.

    I’ve always liked your blog. Somehow it emanates a very warm, cozy feeling to me when I visit. I’m glad you’re staying for now. Regardless of how often or how little you post, I’ll always be subscribed.

    PS. Did you ever sell your lovely home and if so, where did you move to? I was thinking of you this morning while perusing my Dec. issue of Country Homes & Interiors. (Of course I get Brit mags – the other is Country Living; how else will I keep the dream alive?) 🙂


    • The Book Whisperer says:

      I have felt exactly the same way, Steph, but in 2012 I plan to read more of what I want to read and “my own stuff”. I have so many books on the shelves that I have wanted to read for years and I really must make an effort to read them. I still LOVE getting books from publishers but I need to stop feeling obliged to read so many.

      No, we haven’t sold the house yet – we took it off the market in March but it’s going back on in the new year. Funnily enough we were up in the Yorkshire Dales this weekend, walking and browsing in little villages and we stayed overnight – it was absolutely wonderful. Hope you manage to get back over here one day 🙂


      • Steph VanderMeulen says:

        That’s exactly how my blog started: I was going to make my way through all the books on my shelves I haven’t yet read; there is a sinful amount since I don’t read nearly as much as I used to. (Damn this computer.) But then the first publisher discovered my blog and it was all over after that. To be honest, I have 68 books still to be read from publishers. It’s stressful but when I look at them I get excited, too. They’re all such great books. It’s a bit of a delicate issue, isn’t it? I mean, I love the free books. But I also feel privileged to get them, and I feel that since they’re sending them for review, not to save me money, I should review them. Ah, it’s complicated. I wrote a post on it recently.

        I keep thinking I’m going to see your lovely house in one of my magazines these days, since they feature all these oldies, with inglenook fireplaces, and beams dating back even 600 years. It’s amazing, oh, I love them! My sister and I were talking just yesterday about York at Christmas. I really have to make it there for Christmas. I’m reading Dickens, just to try and create the feeling for me. If I can just find a better-paying job, I can start saving again to come back. And for sure I’ll look you up. We have to at least go for tea. 🙂

        Good luck with the house selling. If I win the lottery (we do play at work!), consider it spoken for.


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