Mar 29, 2008

1 Year of Blogging + Buy a Friend a Book Week

It was one year ago today that I posted on this blog for the first time. My very first post is an odd one, I know. I didn’t really take the time to introduce myself, and the reason is the fact that at the time I was not aware that I was going to start posting on this blog regularly. It was through the first Once Upon a Time Challenge that I discovered the world of book blogging. At the time, I didn’t know that my wishlist was going to be multiplied by ten. I didn’t know I was going to go from making sure I never had more than 5 to 10 unread books in the house to the current 80+. I didn’t know I was going to become addicted to reading challenges. AND I BLAME IT ALL ON YOU.

I also didn’t know that I was about to discover a community of sensible, smart, enthusiastic and likeminded people. I didn’t know how much fun I was going to have discussing the books I read with all of you. I didn’t know how many wonderful authors I would be introduced to (Shannon Hale, Charles de Lint, John Connolly and John Bellairs, just to name a few), I didn’t know that my reading horizons would be expanded, that I was going to step out of my comfort zone and try books I probably would never have tried otherwise. I didn’t know that being immersed in a world that constantly celebrates the love of books would make me read even more than in previous years. I didn’t know I was going to make new friends.

It’s been a great year, and, like many of you have, I decided to celebrate by giving back. Because the first week of April is also Buy a Friend a Book Week, I’m going to join the two occasions and give away five books.

I chose the first four because a) I love them and b)I want to spread the love. They’re all books that I think are less well-known than they deserve to be, and I want to do what I can to change that. The 5th is a bonus, but we’ll get to that in good time. The books are:

  • One for Sorrow by Christopher Barzak: I only read this one recently, but I absolutely fell in love with it, and I want to make everyone I know read it. You can read my thoughts on it here. [Edit to add: I had forgotten Becky's lovely review of this one, which can be found here.]

  • Tideland by Mitch Cullin: Both the book and the movie are very underrated, in my opinion. I posted about this one here.

  • I was a Rat! by Philip Pullman: Philip Pullman is well known, of course, but this book is not mentioned all that often, and I think it’s one of his best. Click here to read my thoughts on it. You can also read Debi’s and Valentina’s.

  • The Watermelon King by Daniel Wallace: I truly believe that Daniel Wallace is a genius. Click here for my post on this book.

Finally, the bonus book is Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants. Why? Because it's Neil Gaiman, it's great, and I know that many of you want it. Interested in any (or all) of these books? Here are the rules:
  • You can be entered for all five books if you want, but you can only win one.
  • Help me spread the word by posting about this giveaway and I’ll enter your name twice for the books you're interested in.
  • Leave me a comment saying which book(s) you're interested in by Friday the 4th of April. I'll announce the winners (to be selected through the classic names in a hat method) on the 5th.
  • Good luck!
And thank you everyone. Sharing my love of books with you for the past year has been a pleasure.


  1. Congratulations on a year of blogging! None of us could have realized the importance of this pastime when we began...

    And One for Sorrow would be my choice!

  2. well.. happy one year blog Anniversary!! I'm with you about not thinking I'd ever read as much as I have since I got into this book group!! And like you i've read some out of my comfort zone and totally enjoyed them! (like the 13th tale and Gil's all fright diner) The whole thing still feels unreal ! Here's to the next year being as good as the first!!

    I'd be interested in : I was a Rat and/ Odd and the Frost Giants.

  3. Happy...birthday? I'd love either the Pullman or the Gaiman.

  4. Happy Bloggy Birthday! I'd love to entered for "One For Sorrow". It sounds very good....

  5. Hi Nymeth! Please enter me in this contest for all five, they all look excellent and I'd love to win any of them! Here is where I blogged about this contest:

  6. Wow, Nymeth, I'd love to be entered! I've read the Barzak book, but any of the others look great.

    Now I'm going to check out your site...

  7. I'd love to be entered, I'd be open to any of them! I'm still trying to pick a friend ad a book for BAFAB.

    thanks for blogging for us all!

  8. Congrats on the blogaversary!!!! I could not love your site more.

    I'll be advertising your giveaway come tomorrow's Sunday Salon! I'm most interested in One for Sorrow, Tideland, and the Pullman.

  9. Happy Blogaversary, Nymeth! You definitely have added something special to the blogging community. You are compassionate, insightful and intelligent. It comes through in each of your reviews.

    I would like to put my name in the hat for One for Sorrow, Tideland and The Watermelon King.

    I will be posting a link to your drawing on Tuesday (maybe Monday night before I go to bed if I get too impatient). That's when I'll be announcing my drawing as well. :-)

  10. Happy 1 year blogiversary! Your blog is such a great resource for reading ideas, so I'm glad I came across when I started blogging!

    I would be interested in any of the books you listed, and I'll be sure to post something on my blog. I'll let you know when I do. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  11. Congrats, and what generosity! I've linked to the giveaway, and I'd love to be entered in the drawings for the Gaiman, Barzak, and Cullin. Watermelon King was awesome-I'll be reviewing it very soon. :)

  12. Happy blogiversary to you Nymeth! Your first few paragraphs should be the book blogging motto! Very well said. And this community certainly wouldn't be the same without you. I always look forward to a new post on your I'm glad you decided to start blogging a year ago!

    Awesome book giveaways too. I'd love to be entered for One for Sorrow, Tideland, and I was a Rat! I have the other two. I'll post about it next time I post and let you know!

  13. I would love to enter for ANY of the books! They all look great :D Thanks for the contest!

  14. Happy 1 Year Bloggiversary, Nymeth! I'd love to be entered for all the books 'cos they all sound interesting. But the one I'd love most to win is "I Was A Rat!" 'cos I was influenced by your comment on jenclair's blog :) (even replied to it). I'll be blogging about your contest soon. Thanks!

  15. Happy blogiversary!

    I'd love to enter your draw for any of the books - I haven't read any of them yet, but from your reviews they all sound good.


  16. Happy Blogaversary, Nymeth! I always enjoy reading your reviews; your writing is great!

    I'd love to win a copy of The Watermelon King and Neil Gaiman's book! I'll probably post this onto my blog tomorrow. Thanks! :)

  17. Hi Nymeth! Happy anniversary! A whole year? That's great! I was just posting on my blog about kindness such as this in our "book blogging community" and I think it's wonderful.

    I just started my blog, so right around the time you'll be celebrating your second anniversary, I'll be celebrating my first! Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog, stop by and say hello (because we have a mutual blogging friend) and let you know that I LOVE this idea and I'll definitely post it on my blog!

    I'm not picky and I would love to win any of these books ... If I had a choice it would be "Odd and the Frost Giants" "The Watermelon King" or "One for Sorrow" by your review.

    Thank you for being so generous.

    Your new friend,

  18. Jenclair, thank you :) Got your name for One for Sorrow. And thanks for spreading the word!

    Deslily: It does feel unreal, doesn't it? Got your name for those two!

    Raych, thank you! I have entered you for those two.

    Karin, thanks :) I'll enter you for that one.

    Heatherlo, thanks for posting about it! Got your name for all five.

    Chartroose, I entered you for the other four :) Thanks for stopping by!

    AmazonV, I entered you for all five. Isn't BAFABW great?

    Andi, aww, thank you. I can say the exact same about yours! I got your name for those 3.

    Literary Feline: Aww, you are too kind :) I got your name those those 3. I look forward to your drawing!

    Kim: Thank you :) I'm glad I came across yours too. Got your name for all 5!

    Eva: I'm so happy that you liked it! I can't wait to read your review. I'll enter you for those 3 :)

    Chris: Aww, thank you :) I'm definitely glad I started too. Got your name for those 3!

    Anastasia, you'll be entered for all 5 then :)

    Bunny B: Thanks :) Got your name for all five (but I wish you extra good luck for I was a Rat!)

    Ikkinlala: I'll put your name in the hat for them all.

    Melody, thank you, and I can say the same about you! Got your name for those 2!

    Park Avenue Princess: Thank you for stopping by! I'm going to check out your blog - it's always great to meet the new members of our little virtual community. I'll enter you for all five, and like I told Bunny B, I wish you extra good luck for your favourite 3!

  19. I can't believe that you've only been blogging for a year, Nymeth! It's funny, this whole blogging thing...I feel like I've known you for years. And the fact that you do blog is one of the things I'm very grateful for in my life!

    I'd love to have my name thrown in for One for Sorrow, Tideland, and Odd and the Frost Giants. What an awesome bunch of books you're giving away!

    Happy anniversary, Nymeth and Things Mean A Lot! You both mean a lot to me!

  20. Happy Blogging Birthday Nymeth!

    I'm interested in One for Sorrow and The Watermelon King, so, please, thow my name in the hat. I'll put up a post about your giveaway today or tomorrow, for sure.

  21. Happy blogiversary! Please enter me for all the books except One For Sorrow. (I read that one last fall.)

    I also blogged about the contest.

  22. Congrats!

    I would love a chance to win Odd and the Frost Giants.


  23. wow look at all the folks wanting the books! LOL (no surpise really)

    I came back again... I posted about the giveaway! right here:

  24. Thanks to Jenclair I found your blog.
    I am a reckless reader - and read all types of fiction and non-fiction.!

  25. Congrats on your blog and thanks for allowing us to comment on books.

    Tideland would be my choice.

  26. Congratulations on your anniversary. Thanks for having this book giveaway.

    Please enter me for Tideland and Odd and the Frost Giants.

    I have been meaning to watching the movie Tideland and I didn't realize until now it had slipped my mind to do so.

  27. Happy bloganniversary!!! Mine is coming up soon (june) and I think I'll do the same:D

    I already have I was a rat thanks to you,and also Odd and the frost giants.
    So I'll like to go for the other 3:
    one for sorrow
    the watermelon king

    thanks for doing this and for the wonderful blog:-)

  28. Happy Blog anniversary! May you have lot more!

    I found out about this giveaway from the BAFAB page!

    Do count me in for the Gaiman book!

    I have blogged about your giveaway here!

  29. I just wanted to let you know I posted about the giveaway.

  30. Happy Blog-iversary! And many more :)

    I'm here by way of Andi, and I'd love to win Tideland or One for Sorrow.

    I've added a link on my post today as well. (

  31. Congrats on the year of blogging! All of the books in your giveaway sound great -- I'd like to be entered into all of them. :)

    Thanks for the contest!

  32. Happy Blog-iversary! One year sure does fly doesn't it? I'd love to be entered into the contest for any one of these books - and I blogged about it too :0)

  33. Congrats on a great year and many more to come!

    The Gaiman book sounds great to me!

  34. Happy blogging birthday!

    PLease put me in the draw please for all of them apart from "I was a Rat" as I have it already. The others all look great and I hope to win one of them *fingers crossed* I will post about your give away later.

  35. Many happy returns on your one year blog birthday, Nymeth. You express yourself so well. I feel the same way about blogging. The results have been surprising in terms of friends and the length of my TBR list.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a free book. Please put my name in for
    I Was a Rat
    The Watermelon King
    Odd and the Frost Giants

    Thank-you, Nymeth. Here's to many more years of blogging.

  36. Happy day. Tideland would be first choice, but love to read anything

  37. Debi: It feels like longer, doesn't it? I am grateful that YOU blog and that I got to know you :) I got your name for those 3!

    Christina, thank you! Got your name for those two!

    Becky, thank you! I actually had forgotten your wonderful review of One For Sorrow, which was one of the reasons why I picked it up. Got your name for the remaining four!

    mlecompt, I'll enter you for that one then. Thanks :)

    Deslily, thanks for posting about it! And yeah, if there's one thing we all love, it's free books :P

    Zquilts, thank you so much for stopping by :)

    Lisa, thank you :) I'll enter you for Tideland

    Megan, got you for those two! Tideland the movie is really great, and incredibly faithful to the book.

    Valentina: Thank you! You're in for those 3!

    guatami: You're in for the Neil Gaiman!

    Ravenousreader, you're in for those two. Thanks for posting about it!

    Chelsea, you're in for all of them, and thanks :)

    Mrs S: It really does. You're in for all 5 books!

    Chris, got you for the Gaiman! And thanks :)

    Rhinoa: You're in for those 4!

    booklogged, thank you so much :) Got your name for those 3 books!

  38. This is not a cop out at all, but I'd love to read any of those books. I haven't read any Neil Gaiman yet, so that might be my first choice. But heck, I'd read any of 'em!

  39. Congrats on a year! I'm with you on the strong influence blogging has been on my reading and book-buying habits.

    I just read "I was a Rat" and loved it. Please add my name for a chance at either "One for Sorrow" or "Tideland". Thanks!

  40. I'm embarrassed that I have never heard of any of those authors/books, so I'm up for any of them! It's been a pleasure getting to know your through your blog :) I added a plug for you at

  41. Happy Blogiversary,
    I would love to read any one of them

  42. Happy Bloggster to you. My book of choice would be "One for Sorrow". Very catchy title. Thanks for the giveaway.

  43. Congratulations! Put me down for "One For Sorrow"!

  44. Happy Bloggiversary! And, here's to many more!
    All the books sound great and so please put me down for any one of them :)

  45. All right, Nymeth... I've just posted mine here. :)

    Looks like your list is growing!

  46. Happy anniversary Nymeth! More power to you! I wish that you get all the books you've been meaning to read and encounter more books that will blow your mind away! It's been a pleasure reading your posts.

    So before I go offline for sometime I posted about your giveaway. For selfish reasons. Hahaha! I'd like a chance to win either Tideland, Odd and the Frost Giants, The Watermelon King or One for Sorrow. I think I have Pullman's book already. I have a handful of titles of his that I've yet to open.

    This is such a lovely, lovely idea. Maybe I should start giving away some of my good books too.

  47. happy bloggy anniversary! :)

    those books are fantastic. I put them in my wishlist (which is growing by the way). :)

    i would love to win any of the book. :)

    enter me, pls. ;)


  48. Congratulations on your blog birthday.

    Since it's your blog anniversary, may not I GIVE you a book. If you're up for it, email me your book of choice and the mailing address.

  49. Happy Blogiversary Nymeth! Your reviews are always great and you make me interested in reading books I probably never would've heard about or looked at otherwise!
    For the draw, they all sound good but I'd most love to win 'I was a Rat' or the Gaiman.
    I'll post about your giveaway on my blog tomorrow.

  50. Congratz on 1 year of blogging, may you have many more :) I am interested in "One for Sorrow" and "Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants".

  51. Happy blogging anniversary, Nymeth. I have so enjoyed your blog this year, so I wish you many more years of blogging about reading and books! Definitely put me in your drawing...I'd love to win The Watermelon King!

  52. Trish: You're in for all of them!

    Melanie: Thank you! I added your name for both of those.

    Corinne: No need to be embarrassed! Every day I discover new authors and books through fellow bloggers. You're name's in for all of them.

    Mommy4fve: Thank you, and got your name for the 5 :)

    Royalcheryl: You're in for One for Sorrow! It is a great title indeed.

    Tim mo: Got you for Tideland

    Jaimie: You're down for One for Sorrow

    Iliana: Thank you :) Got your name for all 5!

    Melody: Like Deslily was saying, who doesn't love free books? :P

    Lightheaded: Thank you so much, and likewise :) You're in for those 4!

    Ivan Girl: You're entered for all 5

    Simpkin: Got your name for Tideland

    Dark Orpheus: You're much too kind :) Let me e-mail you

    Tanabata: Thank you :) Got your name for Pullman and Gaiman!

    Rosean: Got your name for those two

    Robin: Thanks so much :) I have enjoyed your blog immensely as well. And I still remember how you were one of the first people to make me feel welcome in the blogging world. Got your name for The Watermelon King!

  53. Happy Blog Anniversary! I know what you mean about the way the book blog world has enriched your reading life --it certainly has mine. I haven't read any of the books that you're giving away, but I would love to be put in the hat for any of them. Thanks!!

  54. Happy blogaversary! I'd like in for all five, if you don't mind :)

  55. Happy aniversary, and a thing to be admired for sure! If you don't mind, I'd definately like in for all 5!

  56. Well...Happy Anniversary! You know it's funny. Cause it feels like I've been reading your blog for a lot longer than a year!! (of course, my blog is only a couple of months older than yours). I love how I've made a whole new set of friends!

    Of course, I would love to win any of the books. But most especially the Neil Gaiman book!! That's the one thing we have in common. Learing about new authors. And Gaiman is now one of my favorites!

  57. Wow. I love your blog. I had seen your comments but not found your blog (hey, I'm a baby still, my blog is only 7 months old!!! I'm happy i've learned how to link!) yet. Thanks to Chris and your comments on mine, I'm here! another fairy tale reader like me!! Hurrah! Plus, as you say, so many other kinds of books, but frankly I've been starved for people who read fantasy (mostly I know people who read mysteries, my other love).....and I see the message board, which I didn't know existed. Yes, you have a lovely blog, and happy 1st birthday. I hope you are enjoying some cake, birthday blog :-) oh...and I already see a book I want to read. Castle Waiting by Linda Medley.
    thanks for leaving your comments on my blog, it's lovely to meet you! Happy Birthday! and....Odd and the Frost Giants!!! I was just saying to another blogger (I think it's Chris at Stuff Dreams are Made of, but can't quite remember,anyway someone who's read it) that I really really want this book (and am kicking myself that I didn't even think of getting my in-laws over in England to get the book for me on Book Day!!) So please put me down for this book. thank you!!

  58. happy bloggy and the book tideland sounds really good youre site is awesome and i have had it bookmarked for awhile and thanks for the giveaway

  59. Lisa, got your name for all five. Thank you!

    Shereadsbooks, you're in for all of them :)

    Chelsea, got your name too. Thanks!

    Stephanie: I love it too. I definitely feel like I've known you for longer. I got your name for all five (but I wish you extra good luck for Odd!)

    Susan, thanks so much! I'm glad you like my blog. I'm happy that I discovered yours too. It looks like we share a lot of interests. Got your name for Odd!

    Kerri69: Thank you :) Got your name for Tideland.

  60. Deslily is sending everyone over here, so of course I had to look. I would love to read the Pullman book. Odd was a nice book day book. I enjoy Gaiman's books.

  61. Congrats on your blogiversary! I'd love to be entered to win One For Sorrow! skrishna1183 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  62. Kucki69 and swapna, got both your names!

  63. I like all of them.


  64. Oh my goodness there are a lot of comments! I'm still playing catch-up from a few days ago so here I am. I am definitely interested in The Watermelon King and Odd and the Frost Giants.

    Anyway, I can only say "ditto" to everything you said in your post. Who would have known such a community existed? I've enjoyed getting to know you through your blog. I hope your next year is even better than the first! :)

  65. Hi, First 'happy blog birthday'!

    Any one of these books would be great, so put me in.

    I ahve 3 books to give away, all Japanese reads

    Will add your blog to my list

  66. Got all your names, everyone. Good luck!

    Trish, thank you. Who'd have known indeed. Getting to know you has been great :)

  67. Happy blogging birthday Nymeth! :-)
    I'd like to put my name down for One for Sorrow. *fingers crossed*

  68. I'd love to win "The Watermelon King". Congratulations!

  69. Congrats on one year of blogging. I haven't even been keeping track of how long I have blogged about books, anyway. I should probably check that out.

    I would be interested in any of those books.

    That is an Amazing idea to give away books to a friend. Don't mind if I snag the idea and use it myself do you???

  70. Happy blog birthday! What a neat idea.

    If I had to choose one it would be "One for Sorrow"

  71. Happy 1 Year Anniversary!! Great giveaway. I am interested in the book, 'One for Sorrow' by Christopher Barzak. Looks like a great read :)

  72. Got all your names, everyone. Thanks for participating!

    Serena, of course I don't mind - I got the idea from other bloggers myself :)

  73. Congrats on the blogiversary! I'd love to read The Watermelon King, but I see that there are tons of other people here so I'll probably get mine from the library. Loved your review of it though and I'm looking forward to reading it.

  74. the Watermelon King sounds the most interesting to me! i loved Big Fish

  75. I love books and love sharing them with friends. Any of them would be a great read!

  76. I'd love to be entered for all of them!

  77. Happy bloggaversary, Nymeth! I don't think I realized that your blog was only here a few weeks before I started mine (mine's coming up in April). Book blogging would definitely not be the same without you (and I know my TBR pile would be much, much smaller). :-)

    Put me down for the Gaiman, if you please - I haven't read that one yet! And thanks.

  78. I'm entering for all books, any win is a special one when it comes to books.

    Happy Anniversary.

    I'll be sure to spread the word.

  79. I wish you many more years of blog anniversaries! Your book choices are all delightful! Please just enter me for any of them. I would be a happy camper with any one of the five books! Thanks much.....Cindi

  80. Thanks for participating, everyone. I think that given the amount of participants what I'll do is give you all numbers and then use one of those online random number generators. Those who posted about the giveaway will of course be given two numbers for each book they want. It's that otherwise I fear I'd be writing names in bits of papers for two days straight :P

  81. Happy Blogiversary! Wonderful site and love your selections. All the books are simply precious. Please enter me for any of them. thanks for this wonderful giveaway.

  82. please enter me for the Watermelon King, that sounds really interesting!

  83. Watermelon King looks cool, but then so does Tideland. And happy anniversary! I've been blogging for about a year and a half (my book blog isn't that old), and I'm so addicted! Isn't it great to find people to talk about books with? No one I know reads like I do. Except for my blog friends!

  84. Happy Blogiversary! I've only recently discovered your blog, but you've got a way of getting me interested in books that I would never even know about let alone be interested in were it not for your reviews. Here's to many more happy years of a blogging!

    Please enter me for all 5 books - they all look so good that I can't pick just one! =)

  85. These books sound like really great reads.Please enter me.

  86. I'd love to win any of them...thanks!

  87. Happy first year anniversary!!! I love reading and am a teacher. I'd love to win any of these books!!

  88. Happy Blogaversary!!!
    Count me in to win
    I would like to win an read One for Sorrow by Christopher Barzak

  89. I'd love to read any of these! Happy 1st year of blogging. I feel much the same way as you do about how blogging has expanded my horizons.

  90. Happy 1st year!

    I'd like to be entered for Odd and the Frost Giants, One for Sorrow, Tideland and The Watermelon King.

  91. I am certainly interested in all BUT the Odd and the Frost Giants and that is only because I have it, adored it, and want someone else to have the pleasure.

    Happy 1 year anniversary! I share my part of the blame for your ever growing bookpiles and will go hang my head in shame. Not! ;)

  92. Please enter me for all 5 books. I know I can win only one but I can't choose.

  93. Happy 1 year of blogging! Please enter me for The Watermelon King. I posted a link for your giveaway on my blog:

  94. Thanks for participating, guys. I've been taking note of all your names. The winners will be announced tomorrow!

    Carl: You share a very big part of the blame, I'd say... I forgive you, though :P

  95. Hey! Congrats on your year of book blogging...yes I sure know what you mean in your post, you never could know what you are getting into!!! it is so fun thoguh!

    Okay, I really would like to be put in the running for all the books! I have tried and tried to figure out which ones I'd like more, but I can't. They all look exceptional!

    Here is to a year of great blogging!!! keep up the great work!

  96. Happy One Year Blogging!!!!

    Congratulations and have fun in your next year. I would be interested in
    One for Sorrow or Tideland, especially after reading your reviews. Thanks for the chance to win a book. :-)

    tekey girl @ g mail dot com

  97. Congrats!

    Any of the five will do just fine. I'm a reader of many.

  98. Happy Bloggerversary!
    Please enter me for One For
    Sorrow and thanks

  99. Happy bloggiversary! I'm already a winner because I found an awesome new blog to read! I love John Bellairs, too. Those books used to creep me out in the most delightful ways when I was little. And he wrote so many of them!

    I would like to be entered for any of them. I guess I'm partial to I Was a Rat, but... !!! so many. Oh man: I totally just guessed what it is a retelling of! Well... Or that! ok. I am going to stop now. Clearly I need to read this book!

    I am also going to shout-out your giveaway in my own giveaway!

    Phew! BAFAB week is exhausting!

  100. Alright everyone, I got the last few names. I'll draw and post the winners later today. Once again, thank you for participating.

  101. I'd love to win the Watermelon King.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.