Rewind, recap: A look back at 2017


If someone had told me a year ago what a journey blogging would take me on, I’d have called them crazy. I had a rather slow and inauspicious start to my blogging career. Gained a few followers in 2016. Reading a few books now and then. Nothing serious. Nothing too intense.

Now, 365 days later, I am not entirely sure I know what has happened. I still think myself and my blog to be small fry. I have maybe half the followers most other blogs have. I don’t take part in many memes. I don’t have anything original to offer, unless you count my Jaffa Cake question in my relatively infrequent author Q&A posts. I wouldn’t be the most gregarious, outrageous of heavy drinking party animal if you were to meet me out in the wild either. That is sooooo not me.

However … So many things have changed over the past year. For the better. Somehow, and don’t ask me how, I have managed to post every single day in 2017. Every day!!! I can assure you now that this won’t continue into 2018. 2017 was a bit of an experiment. A challenge to myself to see if I could. And I did. Now I could continue to post lost of random things just to keep up momentum, take part in memes etc, but I simply don’t have the time or the steam to keep going at the same pace I did in 2017. This is not a swan song post, it is a slowing down post as I have other things I need/want to achieve in 2018. Other mountains to climb, as it were.


But what is a rewind post without looking back at what I have done or achieved over the past twelve months? Yes, true to my work day self, I’m going stato on you all.

In the past year I have

  • Read 212 books.
  • Read a total of 58000 pages so roughly 158 per day.
  • Posted 500 times across all 365 days.
  • Received over 47,800 views
  • Over 18,000 visitors
  • More than 14,500 likes
  • Taken part in more blog tours than I can count
  • Posted my first (and probably only) ever Vlog review
  • Created trailers and gifs for reviews
  • Got my first ‘Press Pass’ at Bloody Scotland 🙂

My top three viewed reviews of 2017 were:

A Mother’s Confession – Kelly Rimmer 304 Views

Now We Are Dead – Stuart MacBride 250 Views

Safe With Me – KL Slater 250 Views

My top three non-review posts were:

Once upon a time… The Girl Called Jen 279 Views

Book Challenge 2017 and beyond… ‘Read the UK’ 247 Views

A weekend to remember. @Bloodyscotland Roundup 214 Views

I know all of that’s small fry compared to most, but as I started this blog without a clue what I was doing and no idea of where I was going with it, I’m happy. I have also been fortunate enough to attend a few book launches: Su Bristow’s Seal Skin, James Oswald’s Written in Bones, Lilja Sigurdardottir’s Snare, Felicia Yap’s Yesterday, Lloyd Otis’s Dead Lands and Antti Tuomainen’s The Man Who Died (love that book), plus heading over to Liverpool for Stuart MacBride’s A Dark So Deadly book tour. I was able to attend two Orenda Roadshows along with Crime In The Court and a few of the relaunched First Monday Crime events.

As if that wasn’t fabulous enough I have been able to head to some stonking Crime Festivals this year. From Bristol’s Crimefest to Harrogate’s Theakstons Festival, from the brilliant Bloody Scotland, to the slightly smaller but still fabulous CrickLitFest, to the inaugural but equally brilliant Hull Noir, I have been one hell of a lucky blogging bunny. I even got asked to be part of the First Monday Crime official blogging team. Such a great opportunity to be part of publicising some stonkingly brilliant books. Eek.

I got to meet some writing heroes this year. I even managed to find the nerve to actually speak to them too which I see as a move in the right direction. And – the best bit – I get to go to Crimefest, Harrogate and Bloody Scotland all over again this year. Yay. I am probably also going to go to Granite Noir and maybe one or two other events over the coming months too. I cannot wait. 🙂

As a result of all this travel, my signed book collection has gone from a selected few to four crates full, each and every one of them now a prized possession. Again not something I thought I’d ever do, and two years ago I was only just logging into Abe Books and hunting down my first signed first edition, I think either a John Connolly or Stuart MacBride. My plan … buy one a month over a long period of time and see if I could complete the set. Yeah … well … I got bored. Sets are complete. Along with James Oswald, Sarah Hilary, Ragnar Jonasson, Thomas Enger and quite a few others… Whoops

I have named my favourite  books of the year, added a few, shared a little more book love for series and non-crime books and named just some of the fantastic books I am looking forward to in 2018. I am, in all honesty, a very happy and very lucky book blogger.

But the best bit, the bit that I think a number of bloggers can relate to, has been getting to know the rest of you out in the blogosphere. Bloggers, readers, writers – I have met, both virtually and in reality, some very fabulous people this year and hope to meet many more of you as the weeks, months and years pass. There is a small group of Tweet Buddies (they know who they are) who somehow keep me sane on a nearly daily basis. It certainly brings a smile to my face.


And there is an even bigger group of folk, from all walks of life, who make blogging such a wonderful place to be. My fellow bloggers. We may not always see eye to eye, and god knows we all have very very different opinions on many subject matters, but we are all passionate about one thing. Books. I know if often feels like ither people don;t get that, but not everyone needs to. We still spread the #booklove. That’s what makes this blogging journey such a fabulous one.


I have loved every minute of getting to know you bookish folk. It has been a strange old year for me. Two years ago, outside of work the idea of going somewhere on my own, walking into a room full of strangers, would have crippled me. Now I’ve been to several bookish meet ups and had the privilege of meeting some of you in the flesh. I’m still shit at small talk (pardon my language…) and I will still struggle to make the first move, but hopefully those of you who have got to know me will be able to testify that behind the apparent stand-offishness and quiet avoidance of human contact, there is someone who is moderately tolerable, and occasionally interesting to talk to, if only in small doses.


Now I mentioned having other plans this year … Well a few people know what one of those may be, Who knows if it will amount to anything. If nothing else it will keep the fingers nimble and the grey matter a-mattering. I will still be reading and reviewing. I have a number of blog tours planned over the next couple of months. I also have lots of travel lined up so audio books will be devoured as per normal. I may even try to come up with a new weekly or monthly feature just to keep things interesting. I will be doing all as I normally do. Just less frequently.

A girl needs a break from time to time …

Thank you everyone for joining me on my blogging journey this year. It has been absolutely fabulous and all because of you.

Have a wonderfully bookish 2018 folks

Speak soon


17 thoughts on “Rewind, recap: A look back at 2017

    1. Thank you Katherine. It’s been fab getting to meet and know you too. And your blog is fabulous too. Would never have the nerve to interview people like you did at CrimeFest. Here’s to many more meet ups this year.

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  1. Happy New Year, slightly tolerable person 🤣. So glad I “met” you and will always be grateful for you kicking my bum into gear to catch up with The Kim Stone series. Have a stupendously brilliant 2018! xx

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  2. Happy New Year Jen! It’s been a wonderful bookish year hasn’t it? Hoping these plans take off for you & are successful, I’m sure you will be awesome at it. You are more brilliant than you know.
    Thank you for being such a great friend & inspiration this year, I don’t think I’d have made it this year without you xx

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    1. Aww. You’re very welcome Missus. It’s been wonderful getting to know you too. So much great stuff happening this past year with loads more still to come. Bring it on eh?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy New Year Jen! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog over the year. As someone who also struggles with confidence, small talk and also fears they come across as standoffish when really I’m panicking about what the hell to say that won’t make me look weird (like now probably 😂) you’ve been an inspiration. I’ve loved your sense of humour and admired your honesty. I’m going to take a leaf out of your book and do my very best to swallow my nerves and get to some events this year. ❤️ All the best for 2018!

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    1. Happy New Year to you too. You absolutely can do this. It’s scary as hell but one thing I can say is that there are so many fab folk out there, they make it so much easier. What’s the worst that can happen? Apart from ending up with loads of new fabulous books 😉


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