2014 in review – blog stats

I love how WordPress does these yearly stats graphs, so I decided to share mine with you. It’s always surprising and a bit exhilarating to see how some posts manage to bring in so much traffic. I specifically remember my surprise when my review of The Picture of Dorian Gray was published. I had scheduled the post to appear during my Berlin trip in May, because I knew I would be busy exploring the city. However, on the way back I logged on to WordPress and was astonished by the huge peak that seemed to have happened overnight. Not that I do this for the stats, but it is always interesting to see what posts attract the attention. Luckily all of the three most viewed review post were all books from my Best of 2014 list!

Moreover – Holy crap, 85 countries! That’s insane!
Click here to see the complete report.

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Bloggiesta!

FallBloggiesta 2014Last minute sign-ups are becoming my trademark for this autumn. A few minutes ago I decided that I would participate in the Fall Bloggiesta – an event that encourages bloggers to fix and improve their blog as well as help each other out. My main reason for participating now is because there are all sorts of bits and bobs that need maintenance and attention in my blog, but also because I’ve lately been too busy to blog properly. And once you fall out of the habit of writing, it’s harder to get back into it.

The event starts today, but I’ll probably do most of the work over the weekend. Warning: things might look a bit wonky for a while. Nevertheless, here is a small list of things that I hope to do during the Bloggiesta weekend:

❏  catch up on unwritten reviews 
❏  update link lists and archive lists 
❏  write one long-planned/requested posts 
❏  clean up tags 
❏  change or fix one thing on your sidebar 
❏  update pages (TBR, About, Review policy) 
❏  change one thing on your layout and/or look 
❏  comment on other Bloggiesta partipants blogs

End comment: Phew. Cleaning up and reorganizing takes a lot of effort, but it is also very rewarding afterwards. I was able to catch up on reviews, write a few almost-finished drafts and schedule a long-planned post for the upcoming week, which I hope you’ll enjoy. I also took the plunge and changed the banner and colours – something that I’ve been very hesitant about since I’ve gotten attached to the old Chinese lanterns. The whole Bloggiesta experience was fun and I’ve discovered many tools and useful sites thanks to other bloggers!

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

very-inspiring-blog-award

Exciting news! I have been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! First, let’s just take a moment to appreciate the beautiful design of this award. I’m very humbled by this award and I just want to thank both of my nominators. I was nominated by Anasylvia from bibliosa and Anastasia from Read & Survive. Both of them have amazing book blogs, so go check them out.

The rules for this award are:

1. Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Share seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
5. Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

7 Facts About Me:

1. I don’t watch much TV nowadays, but when I do, it’s mostly series. Some of my favourite TV series are Gilmore Girls, Pushing Daisies, Bones, Castle.

2. I adore Miyazaki films, my favourite being Spirited Away. Howl’s Moving Castle is a close second.

3. Snakes freak me out. I hate them. It’s irrational, but I just can’t even stand to look at a picture of a snake.

4. One of my dreams is to move and work abroad after graduation. I haven’t planned where I’d go; however, I was quite charmed by Berlin during my last trip.

5. My favourite season is spring. Although I do like the warmth and sunshine that comes with summer, I like spring because it is the season when the nature awakens, plants start growing and there’s more light.

6. I am very much a fan of libraries. Some of you might have noticed that most of the books I review in this blog are from the library. Here in Finland every city and municipality has to have a public library, and to becoming a membership is basically free. There are no limitations on how many books you can borrow, but if you don’t return your books on time, you’ll be fined. I’m a heavy user of this state service mainly because my budget would not support my reading habits and because I’m already running out of shelf space.

7. One of the funniest things I discovered during my exchange in the UK was Berger & Wyse. They do comics about food, and it is hilarious. They do a regular feature on The Guardian.

The 14 Bloggers Who Inspire Me:

There are many blogs and bloggers who inspire me, so it is rather hard to edit it down to just 14. Thus, I decided embrace inspiration by including also a few blogs that are not written in English or that don’t primarily discuss books. This is because inspiration isn’t tied down to specific settings. I could be reading a blog post about a lovely country brunch which it might inspire me to read Mr. Rosenblum’s Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons.

bibliosa – Anasylvia reads a variety of different genres and usually her book reviews feature books that I might have heard of, but don’t really know anything about.

Read & Survive – Amanda is a fellow Finnish book blogger who also writes her reviews in English. I love her ‘survival’ take on book reviews and I find her posts very entertaining.

Turning Pages and Tea – Emma started blogging around the same time as I did and her book reviews always feature interesting points about the book that I might have missed myself. We both love North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, and might be doing a small Gaskell read-along in the future.

Iris on Books – Iris’ book blog was one of the first book blogs that I started following when I joined WordPress. I enjoy her style of writing and have discovered many books through her blog.

Exploring Classics – Fariba was the one who suggested that I join the read-along to read Moby-Dick during the summer, and if it hadn’t been for her, I don’t know if I could have ever picked up that monster of a book. Nevertheless, I’m glad I did. Fariba occasionally blogs about French classics, and has inspired me to broaden my knowledge of French literature.

Eye of Lynx – kainzow is one of the most inspirational readers I know. He reads mostly classics, and really analyzes them in his posts. It’s always a pleasure to read his reviews of books that I’ve also read and compare my thoughts with his.

Sunny Sweet Pea – I first discovered Jenny through her BookTube videos, but I do also adore her blog. We have a slightly similar taste in books, and it’s funny

Cook’s Reviews – I discovered Heather’s blog around the time when she nominated me for Liebster Award, and I love her mix of both book and movie reviews. I’m a bit lazy on the movie front, but her blog has made me add some classic films to my to-be-watched list.

Diverses & Avariées – I discovered Alexandra also through BookTube. Her blog is in French, and although my French is not all that good, I really love reading her blog posts. Similarly to Fariba, Alexandra has also inspired me to read more French fiction.

Luettua – Sanna is a Finnish book blogger whose blog I’ve followed quite a while. She posts regularly about the latest Finnish fiction as well as newest translations. Before discovering Bloglovin’, I used to go through her sidebar to spot new book blogs.

52 books or bust – Tanya’s blog is a rather recent find for me, but I’ve discovered new books through her and her blog has inspired me to read more literary fiction.

Books Speak Volumes – Leah’s blog is very inspiring, and participating in her Jazz-Age January event, I met so many new bloggers as well as got introduced to many new authors.

RonLit – I only recently discovered her Youtube channel but I love her videos and her style of discussing different themes in literature. It has made me wish to take more English literature courses as well as reread some classics.

Les! Lue! – Norwegian literature in Finnish, Finnish literature in Norwegian. This the motto of Reeta, a Finnish expat living in Norway. She posts reads and reviews books in both Norwegian and Finnish, highlighting the best of both countries. I can’t really read Norwegian, but the Finnish posts are interesting and I’ve discovered many new books through her blog.

Note: There’s no pressure to do the tag. Some of you might have already been nominated, and some might not be into doing these tags. No worries. I simply enjoy sharing your blog and the inspiration that I’ve received from you.