Gaskella is Three! Help me celebrate with a giveaway…

Those who know me well would say that I’m very good at starting things, but not so good at keeping them going or finishing them.  I have huge initial bursts of enthusiasm until the thrill wears off and then I procrastinate. My blog, however, is an exception to the rule, as my love of writing it has not waned at all, staying rock steady and surviving all attempts to derail it when modern life outside the blogosphere intervenes.  It is a haven, somewhere where I go to share thoughts with some wonderful friends, to make new ones too; a community of like-minded souls. Little did I think when I started, that I’d still have the same commitment to it, and today Gaskella is three years old!

Since starting Gaskella, I find I get much more out of reading – how I read has changed. I think about what I’m reading a lot more, especially reflecting on a book after I’ve finished it.  I’ve always read and read and read, but adding a veneer of analysis to the experience heightens the pure enjoyment of reading, which I didn’t expect to be honest.  I read a wider range of titles than ever before in fiction; although I admit that non-fiction books continue to be an occasional diversion rather than regular feature.

I also want to thank everyone who pops by to visit my blog, everyone who comments, and especially all the wonderful blogging friends I’ve made. THANK YOU!

To celebrate, I’m going to give away three books – one of my books of the year, for each year of my blog (links to my reviews).  

To take part in the draw, leave a comment and tell me what is the best book you’ve read so far this year?

The giveaway is open to any country where the Book Depository can send free. (Click here for the list of countries).  

The books are:

Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick.

This was possibly the best book I read in 2009.  It’s a fictionalisation of the true story of Arthur Ransome’s time in Russia at the time of the Revolution, by one of the best YA authors there is!  Blending Russian folklore with adventure, spying and romance, I think it probably has more adult appeal than YA.

Peyton Place by Grace Metalious

This book, which I read last year, was a revelation, and not what I expected at all.  It was the novel that set the benchmark for all the dramas and soaps of small town America that followed, and was published in 1956.  The writing is fantastic, and it’s gritty, full of big themes –  and everyone has a secret. We read it in our book group to universal approval.

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick De Witt

I feel very smug about this one! I read and was blown away by it before it was nominated for the Man Booker Prize – and now it’s made the shortlist.   The Blues Brothers meet Deadwood in the California Goldrush in this story of two killers for hire.  It helped reinforce my love of westerns, which was sparked by reading Zane Grey’s 1912 classic Riders of the Purple Sage last year.  The Sisters Brothers is the best thing I’ve read this year.

Cheers!

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32 thoughts on “Gaskella is Three! Help me celebrate with a giveaway…

  1. Fabulous thank you!!

    The best book I have read so far this year is HEART’S BLOOD by Juliet Marillier.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  2. Happy Blogiversary Gaskella!

    Thanks for the offer but there’s no need to enter me in the draw, Annabel – I already have so many books to read the house is full to bursting! 🙂 I think the best book I’ve read this year is either The Long Song by Andrea Levy, or Blood Harvest by S J Bolton – two very different types of books and I loved them both.

  3. No need to enter me in the drawing, as my bookshelves are overflowing right now. (I fell down recently on my commitment to keep the unreads to one shelf.) But I do want to say congrats on a great three years!

    The best book I’ve read this year is probably Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson.

  4. A very very Happy Blogiversary Gaskella – the source of the book blogging world’s best recommendations! You’ve had a fab three years here.

    My books of the year are the two I read by Edward Hogan – The Hunger Trace and Blackmoor – and like Bees to Honey by Caroline Smailes.

  5. Happy blogoversary! 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    The best book I’ve read this year is The Game of Thrones by George R R Martin.

    mishamary (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. Happy Birthday, Gaskella blog. So difficult to name just one book. So here are my top five 🙂

    Like Juxtabook I loved Edward Hogan’s The Hunger Trace and Blackmoor.

    Dark Anatomy, by Robin Blake. This crime novel set in Georgian England is dripping with atmosphere and period detail. Wonderful

    After really struggling to like her debut novel The Observations Jane Harris’ Gillespie and I was a revelation to me. I could hardly believe it was written by the same author.

    Mostly recently I read Alice Bliss, by Laura Harrington. I think it’s the first time ever a book has moved me to tears.

  7. Happy blogiversary – I’m astonished that Gaskella is “only” 3 years old, always such thoughtful writing here!

    Best book I’ve read this year is still The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, although Room and The Weird Sisters are right up there.

    Thanks for holding the giveaway!

  8. The best books I’ve read this year have been re-reads: Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh and Titus Alone by Mervyn Peake (the latter being one of my all-time favourites). Best new-to-me book? I’m going to cheat there and say American Gods by Neil Gaiman – new because this year I read the 10th anniversary edition which is 12,000 words longer! Almost impossible to choose the best from the three.

    Happy third anniversary – mine snuck past last month without me noticing, but I’d echo everything you say about the experience of blogging – and of being better at starting things than finishing 🙂 Like you, I find it a haven, and a place to meet like-minded people.

    • Belated 3rd blogbirthday to you too then! One day I will read American Gods – it’s been on the shelf for ages – thanks for the recommendation.
      Cheers!

  9. “Lovely to discover your blog too Carola”

    Aaaww … thank you, gaskella. ‘Fraid I’m only a very irregular blogger. I found you via the lovely Juxtabook and look forward to reading more of your posts.

  10. The bst book I have read this year, and it was an unexpected take down from my crowded shelves, was Autobiography by Anthony Trollope. At the end of reading it, I just wanted to give him a big hug as his warmth and humanity came through every word.

    • Elaine – Trollope is a writer I will have to get to grips with … I’ve loved the TV adaptations of Barchester Chronicles and The Way we Live now, but have never read him – where should I start? The Warden???

  11. Happy Blogbirthday, I must have been following your blog since you started. Hard to choose my best book of the year, there have been so many good reads. I’ll go with The Conductor by Sarah Quigley, and honorable mention to Wulf by Hamish Clayton, a wonderful debut.

  12. Congratulations! No need to enter me, because the house is already overrun with books, but I will tell you that my favourite book that I’ve read this year is probably Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles.

  13. Happy blog birthday! I’m very new to blogging and can’t help but wonder if I’ll still be lucky enough to be around in a few years time 🙂
    The Sisters Brothers looks interesting, not something I’d normally read but definitely intrigues me!
    Hmm best book this year? Probably The Alchemist. I thought it was awesome.

  14. Belated Happy Blogbirthday Annabel!
    As another who is very good at starting things and then running out of steam, huge congratulations on the blog being three and I look forward to many more years of it!
    There is no need to add me to the draw because as you know I have read and very much enjoyed Peyton Place and The Sisters Brothers and junior daughter has a copy of Blood Red, Snow White which I am itching to read.
    Favourite books of this year, so far would have to include Appaloosa by Robert B Parker, for the western setting and sheer tension; Night Waking by Sarah Moss, because her depiction of sleep deprived motherhood, made me laugh and wonder how she knew so much about my life with my two eldest (and the parallel story is fascinating too) and Instruments of Darkness by Imogen Robertson, historical crime set in Georgian England with a redoubtable heroine.

    • Thank you. I’ve got Appaloosa in the pile thanks to your prior recommendation Liz. Night Waking is there too. Am going to look up Instruments of Darkness … sounds good.

  15. I am not going to enter in your giveaway since on of my towering TBR stacks literally fell over yesterday and almost crushed our corgi, so I think that’s the universe telling me I need to read my own damn books for a while! But, I did want to say happy third blog birthday and I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for you!

  16. Congratulations Annabel! And it’s refreshing to see how enthusiastic you are and I love visiting your blog:) I’m going to cheat and say my favourite books this year are 1) Great House by Nicole Krauss, 2) Who was Changed and Who was Dead by Barbara Comyns (from Simon T) and 3) The Malazan Books by Steven Erikson (I’ve read 8 so far). Choosing one is just too hard!

    • Good choice 🙂 So delighted that the Comyns was so successful!

      And Annabel – huge birthday congrats! I can’t believe it’s been three years. I think my favourite book this year has been Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, or The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton.

  17. Happy blogversary Gaskella! *toast to blog health!* My two favorites of the year (so far) are Vanity Fair and Master and Commander. Favorite audiobook is The Lies of Lock Lamora.

    • Thanks. I saw your review – I have his first book ‘The rest is noise’ on the shelves which you’ve now reminded me I must read soon.

  18. Pingback: Gaskella’s Blog-Birthday Giveaway update « Gaskella

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