Three…

It’s my birthday!

 

Well, really it’s my blog’s birthday, which is much more important. Three years of books I loved, books I hated, bits of silliness and lots of chit-chat. Three years of desperately scratching my head trying to think up something original to say – or sometimes just something coherent! Three years of struggling to reduce the TBR while watching it grow ever longer. Three years of reading everyone else’s blogs and wondering how on earth you all seem to make it look so effortless! Three years that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed…

So, while I meander on about a few statistics, put your feet up and have a bit of cake…

third

 

* * * * * * *

According to Goodreads, in 2015 I read 122 books – a total of 40338 pages, or an average of 110 pages per day. Down a good bit on 2014 when I averaged 117 pages a day. Hmm… if my reading continues downwards at that rate, I’ll have given up entirely by 2031! I abandoned 7 books at too early a stage to review.

The breakdown of ratings for the year was…

5 stars (I love it)                       54

4 stars (I like it)                        42

3 stars (It’s OK)                       16

2 stars (I don’t like it)                 8

1 star    (I hate it)                       2

ratings chart

A similar pattern to 2014 overall, but slightly down on both 5-star and 1-star reads, and a few more in the middle range. I’m still not nearly as horrible to books as you all think I am, though…

* * * * * * *

The split of genres (bearing in mind that some books fall into more than one category)

genre split

Hmm… I knew I’d probably read less crime, given my distaste for the current trend of misery-fests, but I’m surprised at the reduction in lit-fic. And at the increase in horror! However, overall I’m still pretty happy with the split.

* * * * * * *

There’s a growing divide between what you, my valued regulars, like, and what the great anonymous world out there pops in to view. It continues to baffle me why some unlikely posts go on attracting visitors for years while others sink without trace within days. But sometimes I can make a guess…

Here are the top 5 based on views: –

Thrawn Janet – a Tuesday Terror! post from March 2014 which continues to clock up several views a day on average, despite being a story written mainly in archaic Scots. Baffling! I have to assume it’s on the syllabus of some online literature course or something. For ages I thought people must be searching for something else and ending up on this post by accident, but loads of them click the link to go through to the youtube reading, so it looks like it really is this story they’re interested in…

The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains – from July 2014. I’m pretty sure it’s the pics that bring people in on that one.

DSCN0538

The Terrible Twos! – last year’s birthday post. If you want a lot of views, post a picture of a gorgeous cake and say “Chocolate birthday cake” at least once in your post. There! That should guarantee plenty of views for this post…

The Way Things Were by Aatish Taseer – if the chocolate cake ruse doesn’t work, try being the first person in the world to give a glowing 5-star review to the book of a man whose proud mother is a popular politician in a country with a huge population, and with a massive following on Twitter…

Sherlock Holmes – The Dark Mysteries – nope! Absolutely no idea why this one gets several views a week, but it’s a steady stream…

The_Adventure_of_the_Devil's_Foot_03

 

* * * * * * *

But you, my dear regular visitors, go for entirely different stuff! The one thing you have in common with the search engines is that it’s still not my book reviews that get you ‘liking’ and chatting most. I’m delighted to say what you seem to enjoy are the same ones I do – what for the want of a better word I’ll call silly posts…

Here are a few I most enjoyed doing and then had huge fun all over again reading your comments…

Friday Frippery: If you can’t beat ’em…

Chapter 1 of my blockbuster misery-fest novel. I’m pretty sure some of you weren’t sure whether this one was supposed to be funny… 😉

* * *

Friday Frippery: Darcy by any other name…

Pride and Prejudice in limericks. You excelled yourselves in the comments…

darcy and lizzie gif

* * *

Wednesday Witterings – A triumph of hope over experience…

Oh, how you laughed at my bookish New Year’s Resolutions failures…

* * *

Butchering Books… The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

We all got nicely outraged over the OUP cutting a chapter – proving that ranting is so much fun!

* * *

Based on number of likes and comments, your favourite post was…

The trials of a book-blogger…or How Not to Write a Review of Lolita

Turns out almost nobody actually likes that ‘classic’ after all!

* * *

But my favourite post of the year was…

Wednesday Witterings: A scientific experiment…

I still giggle every time I think of people in four continents all raising and lowering their eyebrows simultaneously! I think we should form a team for the next Olympics…

david tennant

* * * * * * *

So thank you all so much for being part of the blog last year and for giving me so much entertainment!

Here goes for year 4…

100 thoughts on “Three…

  1. Has it really only been three years that we’ve known each other? I feel it must be much, much longer! Happy anniversary – and heaven forbid that I like or read anything other of yours than the most serious book reviews… or news about your cats.

    • I know – it’s amazing how we all end up feeling like friends although we’ve never met. Nice! Thanks, MarinaSofia – haha! I forgot to mention the cats in this post – I’m in so much trouble now…

  2. Happy b-day, I say!! Has it really been three years already? Goodness me.

    *Laughs* You’re reading slower! That’s kinda funny. Plus, there’s more horror, which is a good thing. But not enough 1 star reviews! (Awesome graph, by the way.)

    Darby walks funny.

    • Thanks, Prof! It has indeed – just think how many book reviews you must have read! *chuckles wickedly*

      It’s your fault! Too much time spent on hilarity and on listening to youtube vids! (Which is better fun than books, but don’t tell anyone I said so!) I know – it’s been a disappointing year for rips – I must read more awful books this year – P&P&Z…

      Is this you? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRzGzRqNj58

        • *laughs* Yes, about that, I think! Poor Prof! I should give you a special award!

          Hurrah! Hurrah! I’m having withdrawal symptoms! Is it a super-duper one with lots of incomprehensible features? Oh, I didn’t realise it was out already! Must check the listings…

          *laughs* I used to think Bryan Ferry was gorgeous, you know, you know… lovely eyes…

          • Ooo, what do I get? Though it’s not been any trouble, I’m sure you know. Still, an award sounds spicy!!

            Now to find a song to do… *bangs head on desk* It is! Something about aperture, I think, and lighting and all that… It’s all for Tick to figure out, haha. It is! I’m trying to get mom to see it. But…I think it’s a losing battle.

            You don’t anymore?

            • A complete set of Jane Austen novels! No, no, don’t thank me – you’ve earned them!

              You did promise that one day you’d do Leyenda – just sayin’! (And see? I didn’t even mention Burns…) *laughs* Well, if Tick has any trouble working out the camera, I’ll be happy to advise! It’s not out here yet – later this week. But I was reading some reviews of the book last night, and really can’t bring myself to read it. Might still watch the film though…

              Hmm… you read between the lines well, sir! When I watched the vid, he didn’t seem to have the same appeal as he once had, somehow. Maybe it’s just that vid though…

            • Humph noodles. I’ll take them. Expect bad ripios tho!!

              Ohhhhh….that’s right. But classical guitarists would kill me! I’d mess it up a bit, see. Mom said the book is P&P with zombie bits thrown in that just ruin things. Not a good review at all, haha. The movie is probably better, I’m thinking. More entertaining at least. Then again, I might love the book…

              Nah, you’ve probably just gone off him. *laughs* It happens with you from time to time…haha.

            • Oooh, good! Rip Emma first – she deserves it!

              I’ll bring the Feminists along to fend off the Classical Guitarists – they wouldn’t stand a chance! Hurry up though! *laughs* Yeah, that was pretty much what the Amazon reviewers thought too – I reckon I’d hate it. You should go see the movie first and tell me whether I’d like it…

              *laughs* Who, me? Why, I’m as loyal as… a Labrador!

            • But I’d have to read all million pages of it…that’s not gonna happen, see.

              *laughs* That’s definitely true. Classical guitarists are the most dopiest of persons, I fear. Bad influences on me, they are. Well, see, I’d probably enjoy the movie–maybe–and the book, so…I’d probably recommend it!

              Chocolate or yellow?

            • Good news! Only about 500 pages! You could read it in a week…

              *laughs* I admit most of them do kinda look it – thank goodness you’re unique! Well, make your Mom watch it and then tell me what she thought…

              Yellow! If I was chocolate I might accidentally eat myself…

            • That’s 100 pages a day! Humph to that, I say.

              Gee, thanks. I’m not sure what’s up with them, actually. *shakes head* Okay, she said there’s no way she’s going to see it! The book must’ve been awful.

              Haha. What a rotten way to die.

            • *laughs* The perfect amount! You’re such a wuss…

              Oh, they’re not that bad really! *crosses fingers behind back* Haha! Well, I think I shall follow her shining example! It was very good of her to read the book and warn us all…

              I was once given a beautiful chocolate cat and swore I wouldn’t eat it. And then one night…

            • That is not the perfect amount! *stamps*

              Haha. Yes, they are! Well, I’m the one that got it for her…so I should be congratulated!

              And then…you pigged it in! I know how these things work.

            • Goodness! But how are you ever going to get through your TBR with that attitude? It’s not getting any shorter, you know, you know…

              *laughs* Congratulations! (Thought I’d do it, since I’m guessing your Mom might not feel like it…)

              *gasps* I do not PIG, sir! I… nibble delicately…

            • I thought you cut it in half at least? Hmm…

              Yeah, I’d be quite lucky to get a congrats from mom, I must admit…

              Oh, everyone pigs from time to time. You should try it. It’s fun!

            • Oh, that was ages ago! It’s grown again since then…

              *laughs lots* Poor Prof! Poor Prof’s Mom!

              OK, but if someone turns me into bacon, I shall blame you…

  3. Happy blog birthday!! I’m so glad you’ve had a good year of reading and blogging, and so grateful you’ve shared it with us. I do love your Wednesday Witterings and Friday Frippery, and I simply couldn’t imagine your blog without occasional glimpses of Mr. Darcy. And Andy. And Rafa 😉

    Here’s to more delightful book-related conversation! Thank you for all you do in the blog world, FictionFan.

    • Aw, thank you, Margot! 😀 Haha! Have you noticed the hunks that keep invading my blog then? I don’t know how they get on here…

      Yes, indeed – more book talk, ever bigger TBRs!! The joys of blogging…!!

  4. Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!! I don’t know how you do it! 110 pages a day, FF?! You’re a machine, I’m convinced…

    Thank YOU for your wonderful reviews, infused with your very charming, perceptive, candid and humorous personality! I’m always chuckling aloud reading your comments — especially when you blast the professor!

    Cheers! I’m off to post a picture of a chocolate cake with absolutely no explanation… hahaha

    • I’m attempting to learn how to read and listen to an audiobook at the same time – that way I could get up to 150!!

      Aw, thank you, DD!! Haha! Yes, poor Prof! And he’s such a sweetie pumpkin pie too… when he’s not flirting with those hideous Punchy girls…

      *laughs* It’s amazing to think there’s hordes of people out there every day searching on ‘chocolate birthday cake’! It makes me feel I’m not alone…

  5. Happy Blog Anniversary! And just think — if it hadn’t been for the Professor, we might never have met! Isn’t that worth celebrating?! Oh, and BTW, thanks for the yummy chocolate cake — never can get enough chocolate or cake, you know!

    • Thanks, Debbie! 🙂 Haha! Yes, he has a lot to answer for, that pesky old Prof! But I’m glad he introduced us all – I might even let him have a piece of cake… 😉

  6. Aah very very very very very (three billion very’s later) happy birthday. You have given us all MUCH delight for 3, and we look forward to many more. Did you bake that cake yourself? And, more to the point, is there really going to be enough of it for all your bloggy friends who have come to the party? Do tell me there are more cakes of similar gorgeousness in the cupboard

    I’m sure we will all enjoy celebrating your third enormously, and vie with each other to offer the best virtual gifts over the coming year…………titles to add to your TBR (vile, fiendish cackles)

    You’ve made a great community gathering here, and some stonkingly fine reviews and anarchically wonderful inventions to keep us all coming back

    Let’s hear it for Fiction Fan! Rar! Rar! Rar!

    • Aw, thank you, m’dear!! I particularly enjoyed your lion cub impersonation at the end there! Would I really be so cruel as to offer you all a bit of my home-baking, you wicked woman?? I’ve got the Devonshire Honey Cake in reserve for late-comers…

      Indeed, I love my bloggy community – they can be a strange lot sometimes *looks pointedly at LF* but strange is wonderful! But will I ever be able to top the eyebrow raising post? I fear I may have peaked… *raises quizzical eyebrow*

  7. A very merry blog birthday to you!! I enjoy checking by and seeing what you’ve been up to. And I still say your TBR is laughably small. Truly. You have no idea the size of mine. And I’ll never tell. LOL LOL

    • Aw, thank you! 😀 I’m looking forward to getting to know you better, too – I’m pretty sure your blog is going to introduce me to some great authors I haven’t come across before…

        • Ha! I only review a couple a week on average too – I just bunch them up and take several breaks throughout the year. But it makes it look as if I read at a phenomenal rate! And the rest of the time I just fill the blog up with silliness…

          I hope you enjoy blogging though. Is this the first time you’ve done it?

            • That’s great! I found it took a bit of time to build up a little community but it’s been worth it. And being quite shy (though you might not think so!) I found it quite hard to just jump in and leave comments on the blogs of total strangers but I found most people love new commenters to join in. Good luck with it! 🙂

  8. Congratulations – Happy Anniversary! Even though I’ve only been following your blog for a few months, I’m glad to have discovered you. Here’s to many more years to come. 🙂

  9. Happy Blogoversary, FictionFan. Don’t scratch your head too much; you always come up with totally original things to say. So lots of chocolate cake to you, and here’s to many more years! ( In 2015, I gave 5 stars to exactly 4 books, according to Goodreads. Talk about being a strict rater….)

    • Aw, thanks, TJ! Haha! I usually find inspiration strikes at the very last moment – 2.30 a.m. sometimes! No wonder I need wrinkle cream! (*laughs* You’re a tough audience! What I never understand is why everyone thinks I’m so mean to books… I’m a nice person really… 😉 )

  10. How to give your sister a heart attack – I thought Dr Alzheimer had got me! Happy blog birthday – I look forward to many more.

  11. Happy BB! The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains!!!! oooohhhhhh, gotta LOVE that one. Just read it without illustrations in Gaiman’s collection of stories called “Trigger Warning.” I have heart palpitations each time I think about it. I didn’t recall your review. Maybe I was on summer break or some such thing. The illustrated version is quite intriguing. Other stories in the Trigger Warning collection are not as powerful I’m only halfway through them. Cave is the one that made me decide that I must visit Scotland before I die. I’m raising my eyebrow as I type….

    • Thank you! 😀

      The Truth is the best Gaiman I’ve read, and the illustrations really add to it! I also read it in Trigger Warning – or rather listened to Gaiman’s narration in the audio book version – and while I still loved it, it didn’t hit me quite as hard as the illustrated version. Yeah, I found Trigger Warning a bit disappointing overall – some gems, but some that didn’t do a lot for me. I liked Click Clack the Rattle Bag as a good round-the-campfire type of story, and his narration of it was great! And I enjoyed his Holmes pastiche, and the Doctor Who story, but the rest have kind of faded from my memory now…

    • Thank you! 😀 Ooh, I think we really must be twins – that’s almost exactly the same as me! I know – it sounds like a ridiculous number doesn’t it? A target to aim for this year… 😉

  12. Cool stats. Even though our tastes don’t overlap all that much, I always read your posts, and I’m glad you read mine and comment on them, too. Here’s to the next three years! Oh, I’ve been book blogging for about 10 years and it never gets easier …

    • Thanks, Liz! 😀

      Yes, in truth I actually enjoy reading reviews of books I might not actually want to read – it keeps me informed about all the stuff I’m missing and occasionally prompts me to try something new. F’rinstance, you’ve added Arnaldur Indridason to my TBR… and you never know, Ken might still get on depending on your review when you finish it… 😉

      10 years!! Wow! That’s impressive – you must have covered about a zillion books in that time…

  13. Yayy! There’s cake! 😀 Happy Birthday FictionFan! I love your funny posts and the reviews..especially the ones of the bad books.. 😛 Here’s to a year of reading and writing and eating chocolate cake 😛 😀

    • Can’t have a party without cake!! Aw, thanks, sindhuja! I’ll try to read a few really terrible books this year just for you… 😉 Keep those eyebrows wiggling now…

  14. Happy Third Birthday dear blog la la la… Thank you for including the stats – always my very favourite thing in blog land (and sadly real life!) I’ve found posts where people get to have a fairly free discussion work best – and yours are always so amusing – well done and here is to another year of fun and frippery!

    • Thanks, Cleo! Ha, yes, I’m a stats junkie myself – in fact, if I spent less time playing with stats I could probably read twice as much! 😉 Yes, certainly here it’s not the book reviews that provoke the most chit-chat – except the rips! I should really devote a year to only reading bad books…

  15. Only two weeks late in wishing you very best wishes for a happy bookfull year to come, FF. And much appreciation for your part in helping me to have such a great real and virtual library awaiting me (otherwise known as my TBRs) and also for your guidance with finding some quality gift books.

    I’ve just read A Scots Quair – such rich writing – I was sorry to finish the books and leave Chris’ Scotland. I’d never have found that without your review of Sunset Song; it’s a double pleasure – enjoying your reviews and then sometimes, there are wonderful books to follow.

    • Never too late – thank you! 😀 And I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed some of the books I’ve recommended – it always gives me a real boost to hear that!

      I intend to re-read the other two parts of the Scots Quair soon-ish. It’s been years since I last read them, and though from memory I thought Sunset Song was the best, I remember the whole trilogy as being great! So glad you enjoyed them – I do like to promote Scots authors when I can…

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