Those who know me well would say that I’m very good at starting things, but not so good at keeping them going or finishing them. I have huge initial bursts of enthusiasm until the thrill wears off and then I procrastinate. My blog, however, is an exception to the rule, as my love of writing it has not waned at all, staying rock steady and surviving all attempts to derail it when modern life outside the blogosphere intervenes. It is a haven, somewhere where I go to share thoughts with some wonderful friends, to make new ones too; a community of like-minded souls. Little did I think when I started, that I’d still have the same commitment to it, and today Gaskella is three years old!
Since starting Gaskella, I find I get much more out of reading – how I read has changed. I think about what I’m reading a lot more, especially reflecting on a book after I’ve finished it. I’ve always read and read and read, but adding a veneer of analysis to the experience heightens the pure enjoyment of reading, which I didn’t expect to be honest. I read a wider range of titles than ever before in fiction; although I admit that non-fiction books continue to be an occasional diversion rather than regular feature.
I also want to thank everyone who pops by to visit my blog, everyone who comments, and especially all the wonderful blogging friends I’ve made. THANK YOU!
To celebrate, I’m going to give away three books – one of my books of the year, for each year of my blog (links to my reviews).
To take part in the draw, leave a comment and tell me what is the best book you’ve read so far this year?
The giveaway is open to any country where the Book Depository can send free. (Click here for the list of countries).
The books are:
Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick.
This was possibly the best book I read in 2009. It’s a fictionalisation of the true story of Arthur Ransome’s time in Russia at the time of the Revolution, by one of the best YA authors there is! Blending Russian folklore with adventure, spying and romance, I think it probably has more adult appeal than YA.
Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
This book, which I read last year, was a revelation, and not what I expected at all. It was the novel that set the benchmark for all the dramas and soaps of small town America that followed, and was published in 1956. The writing is fantastic, and it’s gritty, full of big themes – and everyone has a secret. We read it in our book group to universal approval.
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick De Witt
I feel very smug about this one! I read and was blown away by it before it was nominated for the Man Booker Prize – and now it’s made the shortlist. The Blues Brothers meet Deadwood in the California Goldrush in this story of two killers for hire. It helped reinforce my love of westerns, which was sparked by reading Zane Grey’s 1912 classic Riders of the Purple Sage last year. The Sisters Brothers is the best thing I’ve read this year.