Monday 9 January 2012

One Whole Year of An Armchair by the Sea!

I am a terrible procrastinator. I am also one of those people who gets wildly excited about a project, and for about a month will live and breathe that project and then totally lose interest. When I first started this blog, that's what everybody (myself included) thought it would be, but it's been a year and I'm still going strong!

I know, my graphic skills are brilliant...

Originally started back in January 2011 as a response to my frustration with never being able to remember what I'd read when people asked me to recommend something brilliant, An Armchair by the Sea (originally entitled The Tangled Web We Weave - what was I thinking?!) has been awesome in so many unexpected ways. Always an avid listmaker, I've discovered reading challenges with a vengeance, and have expanded my reading comfort zone beyond all recognition in 2011! I am hosting my first reading challenge in 2012, and I've learned lots (and still have LOTS to learn) about the babble that is HTML. In a year where I've relocated to a completely new part of the country, started a new job, moved house again, and got married, it's been amazing to have a place that's entirely my own where I can just immerse myself in books and related things and forget about the world for a while. Also, living in a rented flat, we can't paint the walls (a horror to my former self - as a teenager I changed the colour of my room approximately every six months to coincide with my mood!), so I substitute changing my blog design around and it stops me from going white-wall crazy.

By now I hope you can tell that I'm going to make a MASSIVE deal of this whole blogoversary thing. I know it's probably not that exciting to lots of people, but in lots of ways I feel like this blog has helped save me this year. 2011 has been tough in many ways and having a focus has helped immeasurably. I just want to give a shout-out to some awesome people (some of whom will have no idea who I am but hey) who helped inspire the blog and have made me smile a lot this year! Firstly Sam, whose blog, Tiny Library, was the first I ever read I think, and who was the first follower I had who wasn't related to me! Her comments back when I wasn't getting any were a big motivation, so thank you! Also, Hanna, who I think I probably mention too much but oh well. She's pretty much my reading twin - reads all the things I've been wanting to read for years, sends me unexpected presents, writes hilarious reviews, understands the mania of car boot sales, and is generally awesome! Go and read her blog and thank me later :-) Then to the blogs (other than the two already mentioned, of course) which are my favourites. These are the ones I know will inspire me to make my own blog better. They are all brilliantly well written, inspiring, and always manage to make me add to my TBR! A Literary Odyssey, Sophisticated Dorkiness, Amused, Bemused and Confused, A Room of One's Own, Dead White Guys, English Major's Narrative, Estella's Revenge, Musings of a Bookshop Girl, Roof Beam Reader, The Book Ladys Blog, Your Move, Dickens, and a couple of recent additions, Delaisse and Reading Fuelled by Tea.

Just to demonstrate the kind of effect blogging has had on my reading, these are the books I read in the past year because of blogger hype/recommendations from bloggers/RAK/Review Copies:
  1. Of No Consequence by Sonia Rumzi
  2. Olga: A Daughter's Tale by Marie- Therese Browne
  3. The Annotated Peter Pan: The Centennial Edition by J.M Barrie
  4. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  5. The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, & Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  6. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  7. You Are Next by Katia Lief
  8. The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
  9. Coming Up For Air by Patti Callahan Henry
  10. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  11. The Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek
  12. The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagan
  13. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  14. Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll
  15. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
  16. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  17. The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark
  18. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
  19. Bake Sale by Sara Varon
  20. Happily Ever After by John Klima
  21. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  22. Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, Legends in Exile, and Animal Farm by Bill Willingham
  23. The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
  24. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
  25. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  26. Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill
  27. An Autumn Crush by Milly Johnson
  28. The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
  29. Jane Austen Made Me Do It by Laurel Ann Natress
  30. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Out of these books, ten have ended up on my 'best of 2011' list and are up for grabs (I HATE that expression!) in my giveaway!

Now I shall stop, except to say thank you to everybody who reads An Armchair by the Sea, whether you comment or not! You are very much appreciated, as demonstrated by my Blogoversary Giveaway! :-)


  1. Happy blogversay! *raises glass of bubbly* :)

  2. Congratulations!

    I'm so pleased you've made it a full year - you're one of the first (and best) online friends I made, so I hope you keep going for years to come! Honestly, I don't think I'd have kept going if it wasn't for you and a few other people.

    That's a great idea for a list by the way - I might have to do a similar one for my blogoversary in a few months.

  3. Aw, thanks for the mention, Bex. :-) Congrats on your first year! That's awesome!!

  4. Thanks Alex & Jillian! :-)
    And Hanna - that's awesome, I'm so glad you did keep going, you know I love your blog :-) And I will of course be looking out for your list lol

  5. Wow! Congratulations on your year of blogging! :)