Sunday, July 24, 2016

From the Archives: A Blogging Retrospective - July 2006

[Post idea stolen borrowed inspired by Kay of Kay's Reading Life's Bookish Nostalgia and Stacy of Stacy's Books' A Look Back features. Thank you, Ladies!]


July 2006 was overcast, stormy and hot. I took advantage of a week long vacation to get in some quality reading time. My husband had a flat tire and the person at the tire repair shop switched out the wrong tire. I am sure there was plenty of cuddle time with my cat, Parker, and dog, Riley.

I'll be honest with you. The reason I decided to set up this blog at this very moment instead of tomorrow or two months from now is because I am avoiding the book I am reading.
With those opening lines, Musings of a Bookish Kitty was born on July 23, 2006. Sixteen posts went up during the final days of July, reviews mostly. I received all of one comment that month by my online book group friend, Linda Sheehan. Boy, did she make my day! I was very active in online book groups at the time, mostly through Yahoo Groups. I had been participating in them for years, enjoying the company of other book lovers who were just as obsessed with reading and books as I was. Although book blogging was not a new concept when I entered into it, the community was much smaller than it is today. In fact, I wasn't aware there was a book blogging community at all initially. I knew a couple of people who had book blogs, but that was it. When I did discover it, I was in awe of other book bloggers and the community itself. Everyone was welcoming and made me feel right at home.

Reviewing books for publishers, publicists and authors may not have been very common in 2006, but it was on the rise. I had been reviewing books for Harper Collins' First Look Program for little a while before starting my blog. There were also websites set up where readers could volunteer to read and review early releases or independently published books on those sites. I would eventually give that a try--but that's getting ahead of myself. One of the books I reviewed on my blog during my first July of blogging was First Look book, Lifeless by Mark Billingham, a crime fiction novel set in London. It was my first book by the author.

In July of 2016, My template for my reviews was more defined in terms of sections, although not much different from what I do now when it comes to content. I posted about my rating system, which I would go on to add numeric value and define a little more clearly the next year. At some point, I went in and added the numeric (1 to 5 paws) ratings in to those early reviews, although I can't tell you exactly when that was. I have since stopped rating books on my blog, although I still rate them on my reading spreadsheet and when I list books I read on sites like Goodreads and LibraryThing.


Although I reviewed 13 books that month, I read 11, which, even today, is a pretty amazing number for me.  I am tempted to copy and paste my July 2006 reading summary post because it describes the books I reviewed in July very well, as if I was traveling through the world--which I was, in a way.  My reading took me across the U.S., into Canada, and through Europe, Asia and Africa. Not to mention taking me all over history, past to present, fantasy, mystery, and more realistic fare. Most were books I owned, although one was a review book and another from a BookCrossing bookring (similar to my postal mail group, where a book is mailed from reader to reader). Just via books.

My July 2006 reviews:

Three of the books I reviewed received my highest rating (LabyrinthThe Alchemist, and Tales From a Child of the Enemy) which must have been a happy surprise at the time. Even then I didn't give Outstanding ratings often. I still think highly of all three books. If I were to pick a favorite from the bunch today, I might be more likely to go with The Birth of Venus or Empire of the Sun, however. But I may have Empire of the Sun muddled in my head with the movie--which I loved. My least favorite definitely remains Christopher Moore's book, I am sad to say, which I liked somewhat, but found disappointing. I have yet to try anything else by the author.

It appears my first month of blogging got off to a great start. I certainly read and reviewed some great books that month.
  • Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think?
  • Do you remember what you were reading 10 years ago? 
  • Do you think your opinion of what you were reading then has changed? 

© 2016, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

13 comments:

  1. I'm not sure what I was reading 10 years ago but I'm thinking that was about the time I started getting into cozy mysteries. I'll have to pull out my reading journal to see. I haven't read any of your 2006 books though The Other Boleyn Girl is on my list - and probably has been since 2006! What a fun look back. I absolutely love your first sentence!

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    1. Katherine - I'm not even sure which book I was reading at the time. Haha

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  2. I started my blog thanks to participating in reading groups on yahoo as well. Then I found reading chAllenges and my world has never been the same. I was so excited to get my first comment as well! Thanks for sharing this and I just want to say how glad I am that you are still here blogging! It is a joy to have become friends with you thanks to book blogging :)

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    1. Samantha - Yay for online reading groups! I think I can credit reading challenges for introducing me to the book blogging community more fully. I feel like that's where my blogging really took off. :-)

      Thank you so much for the kind words. I am glad we are friends too.

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  3. What a fun look-back post! You DID read a lot of books that month. The only one on your list that I've read is The Birth of Venus, and I didn't really like it that much. I doubt I can remember what I was reading 10 years ago...that's kind of why I started blogging in the first place--to help me better keep track of and remember the books I read. :) Congrats on 10 years of great blogging!

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    1. Lark - Thank you! I was surprised how many books I read that month--and posted about. My August of 2006 was much more dismal. Haha

      Blogging has helped me keep better track of what I've read too. I wish I had started journaling about books long before I actually did.

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  4. Hahaha yes, just getting one comment on 1 out of 16 posts is like the most exciting thing ever when you're first starting. And I love your opening lines, by the way lol.

    Ten years ago I was in high school, and I was definitely reading Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. I mean, I did read other books in between, but I didn't keep track of my books back then, and that's what I most remember reading. I tried re-reading Interview with the Vampire a few years back and couldn't get through it though :-/ I haven't read any of the books you mentioned.

    This is such a fun idea for a post though! Looking back on what you were doing this day/week/month however many year ago is always an interesting thing to do. It's like a little time capsule to the past. Congrats again on making it 10 years of blogging!

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    1. Kristen - That's it exactly! I was so thrilled someone was actually reading my blog--and maybe a little petrified too. LOL

      I wonder what I would think of Anne Rice's books now if I read them. I didn't read many of her Vampire Chronicle books, but I read a couple and remembering enjoying them. I was quite smitten with her Witch books more so.

      I like that "like a little time capsule." Very fitting. :-)

      Thank you, Kristen!

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  5. That's a lovely post, Wendy! Reading it has brought me back a lot of wonderful memories, considering we started our blog the same year too. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for your friendship throughout the years; and not to mention also a great blogging friend who continues to visit and comment on my blog all these years. Thanks for everything, Wendy! :)

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    1. Melody - Thank you so much, Melody. That's so nice of you to say. You are one of my oldest blogging friends. I am so lucky to know you.

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  6. Sometimes it surprises me how long ago it was that I read a book! I look back at ten years ago and some books are still so vibrant. Others, however, I have trouble even remembering the characters....

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    1. Jenclair - I know what you mean. Sometimes it feels like it couldn't have been nearly that long ago--and yet others I can hardly remember!

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  7. Has it really been that long?! O my. I think I started reading and book blogging just to talk about poetry because no one I knew read it or wanted to talk about it. Book clubs always focused on fiction. Labyrinth by Kate Mosse is a book that's been recommended to me so many times. I better read it.

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