Saturday, November 8, 2014

Books Etc. is Turning Four!

Image via The Daily Awe
I cannot believe that it's been four years since I started this blog. Between last year's three year blogaversary and now a lot has happened. So, let's get started!

The day before my third blogaversary was one of the best book events I've ever attended...and I helped plan it! Because I was unemployed, I had some time to work with authors Samantha Stroh Bailey and Lydia Laceby on bringing Book Buzz to Toronto. The event was absolutely amazing and I am so proud of what we put together.

Nine amazing chick lit and women's fiction authors...and me.
Work-wise, the past year has been better than the year before. I started a four month grant-funded job in April and then moved straight into a full time position this past September. Things are still a little rocky and I don't know when I'll stop panicking about money but at least now I can breathe a little easier and attend a few more book events! If you've noticed that I've been slacking in posting lately, it's because of this new job. I have a crazy commute and an early morning so blog writing and reading has fallen by the wayside. I'm hoping I figure out a solution soon!

Speaking of book events, I didn't go to many over the past year. In February, friend and fellow blogger Natalie (of Browsing Bookshelves) and I went to our local library to hear a talk about animals and Jane Austen. I also went to my second Emily Giffin event which I loved mostly for the girls night out vibe than actually meeting the author again. A week later I got to meet Jennifer Weiner at a signing and it was amazing. In early September I went to a signing with four awesome Atria authors (K.A. Tucker, Colleen Hoover, Jamie McGuire, and Abbi Glines) and Tucker recognized my name and Twitter/Instagram avatar. Late September had me traveling to Midland to help sell books with my best friend at two Joseph Boyden events. He's amazing.

One of the best books ever. And the nicest authors ever. 
Once again, because I wasn't working, I had a lot of time to read. Silver lining, right? And I've read a lot of great books in the last year: Gayle Forman's Just One Day and Just One Year, three of K.A. Tucker's (Ten Tiny Breaths, One Tiny Lie, and Burying Water), Just Friends with Benefits by Meredith Schorr, Hard Hats and Doormats by Laura Chapman, and Judy Greer's memoir I Don't Know What You Know Me From, just to name a few.

I finished Allegiant last November (I didn't hate it but I did have a bit of a meltdown after reading it) and watched Divergent on opening night. I finally read The Fault in Our Stars (bawled my eyes out) and watched it on opening night (the theatre was full of sobbing teenagers and the mothers, no lie). All Shailene Woodley, all the time, apparently.

Many tissues were harmed in the reading of this novel.
One of the very best reading decisions of this past year has been rereading the Harry Potter series. There were a bunch of us bloggers who have been wanting to reread the series but hadn't been able to fit it into our reading schedules. We banded together and decided this would be the year we finally reread it (or read it for the first time, in some cases). I will always say that the Harry Potter series is one of my favourites but rereading it reminded me of how amazing it really is.

Two pretty awesome bookish things happened this year. The lovely Lucie Simone contacted me awhile back and asked if I would be willing to read manuscripts for her small press Simon and Fig. Getting a glimpse into the world of an indie publisher has been so cool. The second awesome thing is that I'm now writing book reviews for a real publication! Niagara Life is a magazine published by one of our local newspapers and it comes out every two months. It is a super amazing feeling to be paid for doing what I love - writing about books!

I'm published. Mind. Blown
The very best thing to happen was my trip to Australia. It was a once in a lifetime experience (that I'm really hoping I can have again). I can't even really begin to explain how amazing it was (which is probably why I haven't finished the posts I've been meaning to write for almost six months...) but I can link to the post where I talked about all the bookish parts of my trip. And urge you to visit Australia if you haven't!

Most of the books I read on my trip!
Overall, the last year has been...well, it's been interesting. Some awesome stuff (Australia! Jennifer Weiner! Reviewing for Niagara Life!) and some not so awesome stuff (not having a job for so long). But, I think this year has been more positive than negative. So that's something, right? :) Thank you, so very much, for reading. I think you're awesome, no matter if you've been here from the beginning or are a new follower. I hope I can continue to grow as a blogger and bring you great, honest reviews for many years to come. Here's to another great year!

PS I think it's super cool that I was able to work it that this post is number 600 on Books Etc. I can't even wrap my head around that!


  1. Happy 4th Blog Birthday! It sounds like you had a great year! :)

  2. Happy birthday! This recap was so fun and it sounds like you had a great year book-wise. So happy you are a part of this community. :)

  3. Happy Blogaversary, Kaley!!! So much book awesomeness in one year! Book Buzz Toronto was definitely one of the highlights of my writing life and I cannot wait to meet up again in the future!! All the best to you and Books, Etc!! x


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