2013 in Review

This is my first full year review, since last year’s review was only for the six months or so since I started blogging.  Following on from my new goal to be more personal with the blog, I’ve included a new section, about my year in real life.  If you just care about the bookish numbers, feel free to skip this first bit!

My Year

This year has been a bit of a roller-coaster for me in real life!  I finished my third year at university, which was a chaotic blend of exams, dissertation work and assignments.  It was a lot of work, but mostly of the good kind, and it paid off in the end.  I graduated in the summer with a first in Zoology & Conservation, and took some time off with my other half before he headed back to start his Masters.

I did some work experience at a zoo, which taught me that it’s probably not quite what I want to go into.  It’s a bit disappointing but useful to know, since if I had loved it it wouldn’t really have been worth going on to do a Masters course.

After graduation, I chose to take a gap year to try and earn some money so that I can start my Masters in September 2014, and took a job doing admin at a local university.  It isn’t what I want to do, but it was okay, and it paid off my overdraft.  Unfortunately, that ended just before Christmas, which was a bit of a blow, and so now I’m trying to find something else!

Despite some ups and downs, it’s been a great year. I had a small surgery which has left me feeling much better, and able to eat whatever I want!  Being back at home now that university has finished means I’ve been able to catch up with school friends, which has been a lot of fun.  Matt and I celebrated our five year anniversary, and even when I was feeling down he managed to cheer me up!  I’m still enjoying blogging, and I’m really excited to see what 2014 brings (hopefully more great things!).



My original goal was to read 100 books, but things went really well so I ended up going beyond that!

Books read: 129 (61 more than last year!)
Pages read: 42,058
Average pages per book: 326
Longest book: Blackout (659 pages)

Challenges completed:  16
Challenges not completed:  20


On the blog

Number of Posts:  205
Reviews: 42
Most Popular posts: Too many filofaxes? | Inspired by House Stark | A guide to last minute exam revision
Most popular posts from the archives: Drinking Game: Harry Potter Ring of Fire | Filofax for studying | Recipe: Spicy Rice
Most Popular Review:  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


My bookshelves

Total books gained this year: 281 (!!!)

Freebies/Gifted/Library: 147 (53%)
Books bought: 58 (20%)
Review books: 76 (27%)

2012 in Review

These stats are from around May when I started the blog, so they aren’t quite a full year.  I’ve added as many books as I can remember though, so hopefully the numbers aren’t too off.


Books read: 68
Pages read: 26,666 pages
Longest book: A Feast For Crows (1,060 pages)
Favourite book read: Always & Forever

Challenges completed: 6
Challenges not completed: 3


On the blog

Number of Posts: 168
Reviews: 21
Most Popular posts: Filofax for studying | Inspired by…Animal Print (Snake) | Drinking Game: Harry Potter Ring of Fire
Most Popular Review: The Elephant Whisperer


Best books of 2012


Older books I loved

I know the addition of a Fifty Shades is controversial, but if I’m honest, I found it a great holiday read while away this year!

December Wrap-Up


Books read: 7 (up 2)
Pages read: 2759 (up 664 pages – although at least one book was started in November, so not quite that many)
Average pages per day: 91 (up 21 pages)
Favourite book read: Always & Forever

Challenges completed this month: 4 (European Reader, What’s in a name, Eclectic Reader, Mixing it up)
Total challenges completed: 6/9

Book Haul

Total Books gained (Dec. 3rd – Dec 30th): 21 (Down 6)
Books bought: 1 (down 7!)
Books for review: 7 (down 3)
Freebies/Gifts/Borrowed: 13 (up 4)


On the blog

Number of Posts: 14 (down 9)
Reviews: 3 (up 1 but still poor)
Most Popular posts: Drinking game: Harry Potter ring of fire | Quick & Easy massaman curry | Inspired by Parajunkee: seeking originality
My favourite posts: 2012 survey part 1 & 2| Inspired by Parajunkee: seeking originality
Disappointing post: 250 word review: Always & Forever



Favourite thing I did this month: Just being at home for Christmas in general
Uni Assignments this month: 1
Dissertation progress: 3000 words, 60 References
Things to focus on next month: More reviews | Scheduling | Budgeting
Challenges starting next month: I haven’t decided yet – still looking for my 2013 challenges!

November Wrap-Up


Books read: 5
Pages read: 2095 (+ one 777 page cookbook I haven’t included)
Average pages per day: 70
Favourite book read: The Scorpio Races

Challenges completed this month: 1 (NetGalley challenge)
Total challenges completed: 2/9

Book Haul

Total Books gained (Oct 28th-Dec. 2nd): 27
Books bought: 8
Books for review: 10
Freebies/Gifts/Borrowed: 9


On the blog

Number of Posts: 23
Reviews: 2 (Oops….)
Most Popular posts: Dearly Beloved review | F&F Book Crushes | TTT Books I’d want on a deserted island
My favourite posts: TTT Tips for managing the TBR pile | How to Avoid Christmas Stress
Disappointing post: Catch up on 2012


This was my first month participating in RAK.
Books sent: 1 (The Selection to Becky)
Books received:



Favourite thing I did this month: Went away for the weekend with my other half, ate too much, generally had a nice time.
Uni Assignments this month: 3
Dissertation progress: 2000 words, 45 References
Strange fact: Certain frogs freeze for up to 4 weeks, then go back to normal upon defrosting….but they’re diabetic!
Things to focus on next month: More reviews | Budgeting | CHRISTMAS!
Goals set: 12
Goals completed: 9 (75%)
Challenges starting next month: The Seasonal Reading Challenge

6 month fairytale challenge

I know I should learn to resist, but so many reading challenges are too good to pass up. Here’s the latest commitment!

The 6 month fairytale challenge

“November 1st – May 1st
– Read a book that fit each item below
– To complete the challenge you need to read all items
– In case your reading speed makes it impossible for you to read every item or you cannot find the books suitable for the listed items, you can skip some.
– However, please make sure that you read at least 2 items from each category

Little Red Riding Hood
1. Read a book red cover or cover with a person wearing hoodie
2. Read a book about road trip or traveling long distance (Cross-country, outer space…)
3. Read a paranormal book (vampires, werewolves, aliens…)
4. Read a book about betrayal or cheating
5. Read a book that the character is seriously sick

Jack and the Beanstalk
1. Read a book that main character’s name starts with letter J or B
2. Read a book with trees, flowers, or green cover
3. Read a book about mythical creatures, such as Pegasus, giants, mermaids…
4. Read a book about poverty or character having financial problems
5. Read a book whose main character is having one or no parent

Three Little Pigs
1. Read a book about farmers or cowboys
2. Read a book about bullying
3. Read a book about family drama
4. Read a book with animal on the cover or whose character is a vegetarian
5. Read a dystophian book

Hansel and Gretel
1. Read a fantasy book (magic, time traveling or fallen angels)
2. Read a book with candy, cake or pie on the cover
3. Read a book about abusive relationship, whose character is being neglected or a book from a debut author
4. Read a book whose main character is brainy or nerdy or read a sci-fi book
5. Read a book about people surviving tragedy or in horror genre or a tear jerking book

The Ugly Duckling
1. Read a book with sea, river on the cover or a book with blue cover
2. Read a coming of age book
3. Read a book whose main character is being homeless or a suspense book
4. Read a book whose main character is having low self-esteem or is unattractive
5. Read a book whose main character is being adopted or having step-parent”