Happy birthday, Mary Had a Little Book Blog!



Holy crap, you guys. When I moved to Dallas back in 2012 and started this site, I never didn't think that it would still be around five years later but I also never did think that it would still be around. I guess I just wasn't thinking forward enough. 

The past five years have been full of change, both good and bad. I've moved around some (a lot. Sorry for the rotating addresses, friends & pubs!), got two new jobs including working at my library (for which I am eternally grateful), attended some bomb-ass book events, and even moderated a few. I blurbed my first-ever book, was in the acknowledgements of a handful of books, and my book collection at least doubled its size. I met some of the best people in the world online and IRL. I joined a bookish fantasy football chat that I didn't realize then would become so ingrained in my daily life that I honestly don't know what I'd do without those friends or how I existed before I talked to them every day. In addition to the blog here and Twitter, I added Instagram to the mix and became addicted to bookish candles.

More than all that easily defined stuff, I changed a lot personally. The world at large has changed so much in five years, and the book community has changed to reflect that, both through positive growth and intense struggle. And I have personally changed as my community has. It has not been an easy five years, but I think I can say I'm a better, wiser, more aware person than I was in 2012, and for that I'm grateful.

So what's next? Well, I'm still not super forward-thinking, but... I guess I keep going. For me, it's very important that blogging always feel like it's fun and enjoyable. It takes up a lot of my time so if I ever feel like it's a chore instead of a hobby, an escape, that's not okay with me. Which is why I might take unannounced breaks, but I have no plans to call it quits permanently. Blogging here at Mary Little Had a Book Blog brings me a lot of joy. Not only do I get to share my love of books with all you lovely readers, but I get to express myself through writing, which is something I take pleasure in, even if I'm not so into fictional writing (lol. I've tried. It did not go well). As long as there are books to be read and discussed and as long as the reading and discussing are enjoyable, I'm going to be here, talking up the books I like and making recommendations.

Thank you all so much for reading my little book blog. It has meant the world over the past five years to know that someone's listening. Here's to many more years together! *hugs*

Giveaways!
To celebrate my blogiversary right, I'm hosting a couple giveaways, one for the US & one for international peeps. Scroll to the one that's right for you. I'll also be doing a few others throughout the month so stay tuned for more free books!

US Giveaway
One winner will receive a box of books and a custom 8 oz candle from Flickering Tales. The box will include Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (signed), The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (signed), Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser (signed), Dear Martin by Nic Stone, Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills, and [edited to add] The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (signed). The candle will be designed by the winner with help from Rachael of Flickering Tales. You'll get to pick your own scent combo and the label!

Open to US only. Entrants must be 13+ with parents' permission. Giveaway is open until 12 AM CST January 1. Please enter via Rafflecopter below; winner will be chosen at random, and odds are determined by number of entries. I reserve the right to disqualify any entries that are not in accordance with my giveaway policies as stated in the Review & Site Policies tab at the top of the page. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

INT Giveaway
One winner will receive as many books as $30 (USD) will get you on Book Depository, winner's choice. So you can pick an expensive book or several cheaper ones. Up to you! Open to wherever Book Depository ships for free EXCEPT the US! Entrants must be 13+ with parents' permission. Giveaway is open until 12 AM CST January 1. Please enter via Rafflecopter below; winner will be chosen at random, and odds are determined by number of entries. I reserve the right to disqualify any entries that are not in accordance with my giveaway policies as stated in the Review & Site Policies tab at the top of the page. Good luck!

Edited to add: US peeps, please don't enter this giveaway. I know it sounds tempting, but this is one of the few INT giveaways I've been able to hold. Please let those folks have their chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Seriously, thanks for reading everyone. I hope you have a very happy holiday season and a wonderful new year. And again: stay tuned for more giveaways! I have a bunch planned!

56 comments:

  1. I know it is releasing the end of December but I really liked the uniqueness of Love Letters of Abelard and Lily.

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    Replies
    1. I've heard that one is good. Thanks for the rec!

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  2. One book you need to read before 2017 ends is Greetings from Witness Protection! by Jake Burt. It's a middle grade book that was so much fun to read.

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    Replies
    1. I'm not much of a middle grade reader anymore, but that blurb does sound awesome so I'll give it a try. Thanks for the rec!

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  3. Definitely Warcross, which was my favorite read of the year! But other great ones: Nyxia, This Mortal Coil, Scythe if you haven't read it yet because Thunderhead comes out in January! <3 Thanks for this awesome giveaway! And I agree with bookbunny that Love letters is great as well!

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    Replies
    1. I adore Warcross!!! Nyxia is sitting on my shelf, and I've heard Mortal Coil is awesome. Thanks for the recs, Christina! :*

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  4. You need to read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine before the end of the year. I was surprised how great this novel was.

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    Replies
    1. I haven't heard of this one. I'll check it out!

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  5. Congratulations on 5 years! That is quite an accomplishment. My most recent favorite read was Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills. Loved it so much!

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    Replies
    1. Ohmygosh YES! I read Foolish Hearts last week and LOVED it! I'll be posting as part of the blog tour next week, and my review will come probably a bit later in the month. Emma's books are must reads for me, and I'm dying inside that her next won't release until 2019.

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  6. I feel like you've read all the books I could suggest, maybe a graphic novel? Rat Queens or Locke & Key.

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    Replies
    1. I don't read a ton of graphic novels, but I've been meaning to look into more. Thanks for the recs!

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  7. Definitely read The Hate U Give if you haven't already.

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    Replies
    1. *hides face* I haven't! I keep meaning to read it, but it's been pushed back for about a year.

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  8. Congratulations! 5 years is huge. One of my 5 star reads this year is The Law of Tall Girls by Joanne Macgregor. It's a YA contemporary and is very richly layered.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I myself am a Tall Girl so that sounds great! Thanks for the rec!

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  9. Happy 5 year blogiversary! That was so awesome!! Keep it up! If you haven't read Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, you definitely should. It was such a magnificent book! Thank you :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I ADORE Laini's books, and I have no idea why I haven't read Strange yet except maybe because I'm not sure when Muse will release, and I can't imagine waiting in between books again.

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  10. I really enjoyed reading Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me series!!

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    Replies
    1. I like Shatter Me too (except Ignite Me made me rage-y, but that's a story for another time). I'm really looking forward to Restore Me!

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  11. Whoops! I accindently entered the US giveaway despite being in the UK. Please ignore my entries for that one <3
    As for a book rec - STRANGE THE DREAMER! My fave books of the year <3
    Megan S.

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    Replies
    1. No worries. Thanks for letting me know! And I love Laini's books! I've been meaning to read Strange for months!

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  12. Happiest 5 year blogiversary Mary!

    I recommend Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett. I love the setting and the whole story was mesmerizing :D

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Eileen!! I haven't seen a ton of people talking about Even the Darkest Stars so thanks for recommending something quiet! I'll definitely check it out!

      Delete
  13. Happiest 5 year blogiversary Mary!

    "What is one book I need to read before 2017 ends?"
    I think you should read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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  14. "What is one book I need to read before 2017 ends?" Oh, there are so many! I don't really read "self-published" books much--but in the past year I've found several that are great: "Coinman" by Pawan Mishra, "Monkey Business" by Landon Crutcher, "HOLY CRAP! THE WORLD IS ENDING!" by Anna-Marie Abell.

    I've discovered super-scary graphic novels by Junji Ito. If you dare, read "Uzumaki," a story in which the characters "spiral into terror"! His other books are also great. (Some of it is a bit gross.)

    Or read the kids' sci-fi graphic novels in the "Amulet" series--so much fun!

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  15. All the bright places is one of my favourite so i recomment you to read it before year ends

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  16. Definitely Strange the Dreamer!!

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  17. yay for 5 years! I really liked The Breakdown by B.A. Paris.
    Dianna

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  18. Happy Blogiversary. I'd really love to read Turtles All the Way Down just before the year ends.

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  19. The Language of Thorns is o e book I want to read but haven't yet.

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  20. You should read black moon by Romina Russell

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  21. I know it's already been recommended but I'll second the recommendation for The Hate U Give!

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  22. If you haven't read it yet, please, pick up The Hate U Give. You're not gonna regret it ;) Congratulations on 5 years, Mary!! I wish you many, many more <3 <3 <3

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  23. You should definitely read Turtles all the Way Down by John Green :)

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  24. Congrats on 5 years! You should read Tower of Dawn. I'm currently reading it and I'm loving it so far.

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  25. We're so close to the end of this year, I'm gonna go for a short but sweet rec for you :) Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie. It's just perfect!

    HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY, AND HERE'S TO MANY MORE, MARY!

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  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher!
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29396.Furies_of_Calderon?ac=1&from_search=true

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  28. Congrats on 5 years! I took an unexpected hiatus during 2017 from my blog. I plan on going back to it in 2018. I am trying to finish All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I'm not even halfway done though. One book I would recommend that I read this year is Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Great read for autumn. ;)

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  29. Ooh not sure what rec I could give that you'd be able to finish by tomorrow! My fave read of 2017 though was VE Schwab's A Conjuring of Light, though that's the third in a trilogy!

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  30. Happy Blogoversary! Have you read the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh? I devoured the series this summer. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Ann S

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