A new blogging year

I wish you a fabulous New Year feast with all the food and friends you like best! Art by Carl Larsson

At the end of my fifth year of blogging here at The Emerald City Book Review, I’d like to express my gratitude to all the readers and bloggers I’ve interacted with over the years. You are too numerous to mention individually, but if you’re reading this, please know how thankful I am for your presence. It’s been great fun to share our mutual love of books, and this activity has even kept me going through some hard times in my life. You are some of the most interesting, thoughtful, and amusing people I’ve never met, and I’m so glad to have this virtual connection with you. Thank you! In 2019, I wish you all a year of wonderful reading and stimulating conversations.

As you may have noticed, I’ve started a new blog, Entering the Enchanted Castle — as if I didn’t have enough to do! — and I’ll be seeing if it works to continue running ECBR in parallel. My feeling is that I’ll bring this blog to a close when my hosting contract is up in July, but who knows? I may change my mind.

Regardless of how many blogs I keep going, I won’t stop writing about books — I just plan to do other kinds of posts as well under my new identity. And if this blog comes to an end, I’d like to put together a “Best of ECBR” volume in both PDF and print form. I would do this just for myself, but could also make it available (with a small fee for the printed version). Let me know if you’re interested.

In other year-end news, I need to check in on my challenges. I’m proud that I have nearly made it through the Les Miserables Chapter-a-Day Readalong. I did not always read just one chapter per day; especially as the year wore on, I tended to skip a few days or a week and then catch up, but I did keep up the pace overall. I’ll share my final thoughts tomorrow.

From my Classics Club list, I started off the year with the monumental, unabridged Don Quixote, Part I, and also enjoyed Herland, The Shuttle, Invisible Man, Uncle Silas, and The Left Hand of Darkness. I hope I can get through DQ Part II in the next year, and I’ll then have just seven more books to complete my target of fifty. It feels like yesterday that I started on this particular adventure — I can’t believe it’s almost over!

Don Quixote Reading by Adolf Schroedter

My progress on Reading All Around the World, on the other hand, was abysmal this year — I only read four books representing three different countries. I really want to do better on this challenge.

And my self-created list of Ten Books I Want to Read in 2018 was a total flop. I didn’t read a single one of them! I still want to, though … so I’ll just carry it over into 2019.

I did do well with my goal of only reading from my TBR pile for the first three months of 2018, and not acquiring or borrowing any new books during this time. I would like to do this again — even though it tends to have a rebound effect as I buy even MORE books once the ban is lifted. Still, it helped me get through some of the backlog.

How has your reading year gone? What are you looking forward to?

23 thoughts on “A new blogging year

  1. It is very good to hear that you have met so many reading goals. Personally I feel bad that I did not read enough books this year. Hopefully 2019 will be a good reading year for everyone. Have a happy New Year’s!


  2. Lory, I am pleased to hear your Les Miserables Chapter-a-Day Readalong and progress on your Classics Club list have gone well this year. And for the new year, I wish you all the best with your reading goals and challenges, and your new blog!
    For me this year, has been another good year of reading with a great selection of fiction, non-fiction, classics, cookbooks and re-reads – I hope to keep this up in 2019! I also started a new list for The Classics Club, which I hope to really get into in the new year too.
    So, Happy reading and a Happy New Year! πŸ˜€


  3. Ohhh I love the idea of creating a permanent record of a blog in PDF/print! I have an old blog series I did (that was by its nature time-limited – blogging a specific trip), and I’ve been wondering what to do when the hosting runs out, I might pinch your idea and save it all to PDF. V impressed with your progress on the Les Mis challenge, too! Here’s to a great reading year in 2019!


  4. Whether Emerald City or Enchanted Castle (or Enlightened Cathedral?) I’d read whatever banner you posted on, Lory—thoughtful, passionate, committed and always considerate, your opinions are always a joy to read. Long may they continue!


    1. Thank you Chris. I value your participation very much. (I hadn’t noticed those parallel initials by the way – trust you to always pay attention to words!)


  5. HOLY SHIT you managed to only read from your existing tbr for THREE ENTIRE MONTHS? I think you may be some sort of god or saint. I can barely make it a week hahahahaha. But I’m working on it. I swear. πŸ™‚ I’ve kind of given up on setting any solid reading goals, and am only doing a few challenges with a “let’s gamify this” sort of attitude. Hoping it makes my reading all the more fun. I like the challenges, but I never, ever, ever finish them. Ha.

    Anyway, happy reading in 2019!!


    1. Well, I did have a few lapses, but I managed it! And my main goal is for all challenges to be fun, not work – if they cease to be rewarding, away they go. I hope your goals can similarly enrich your reading life.


  6. I’m so impressed by your classics reading, Lory! And I look forward to reading your new blog as well as this one (if you keep both going), or just the new one if you close this one down. As Christopher said above, your posts are always thoughtful, eloquent, and compassionate. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you through your book-related posts, and look forward to you sharing more of your interests and opinions.


    1. I can’t say often enough how much I value the relationships I’ve made through this medium. Words truly have power to connect us, and that is a profound comfort to me in this era of divisiveness and conflict. So I will certainly keep going in whatever way I can, and thank you for being with me.


    1. I’m glad Reading Around the World has no target date, because I would definitely miss it. But I loved all the books I read so I really want to get back to this.


  7. I can’t imagine trying to maintain two blogs! Just having one takes up all the time I’m willing to spend on it and I feel like there’s always more I could do. It sounds like you had a great 2018 πŸ™‚


    1. Er, you’re right, what was I thinking? Blog #2 will have to be pretty minimal to start with while I figure out what direction I really want to go in.


  8. I second your love for this bookish community! My family and friends watch TV and binge their favorite shows, whereas I read, so this community has been a treasure to me. I find all my reads from you guys and have someone to flail, scream, cry, and laugh with over books. I met my goodreads challenge and exceeded it, so I doubled it for this year. I’ve also been getting lots more books to review, which is awesome.


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