Happy Blog Birthday to Me!

So, it’s been a whole year since I first started Bundle of Books and I’m so glad that I’ve stuck around! It’s been a fun year and I’ve read some great books! I’ve also enjoyed some interesting bookish discussions with other book bloggers out there and learnt a lot from comments people make on the blog.

I first started Bundle of Books in April last year with a review of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. I was working in a very uncreative and frustrating environment at the time and was desperate for a creative output. Bundle of Books has been great for that. I was also pleasantly surprised with all the other book lover bloggers out there!

At first, I didn’t have many views (only 42 in April 2011 and I’m sure most of those views were by members of my family and don’t really count…)

By June, I was getting more views and had started up my Top 5 posts, had written my first bookshop review of the American Bookstore in Milan and had discovered the wonderful world of Twitter!

Since then, Bundle of Books has done nothing but grow, and although I still don’t have a huge amount of followers, I have more than I ever would have dreamt! I have explored WordPress and Twitter, found new blogs and am loving being part of this book loving and book blogging community!

So, to celebrate and say thank you to my kind followers, I have decided to set up a mini give-away! This isn’t something that I’ve done before, but I would like to give something back to a few lucky bookworms!

I have 5 books to give-away. They are all second hand copies, but in good condition. Due to lack of funds, I’m afraid I will have to limit the delivery to the UK only… Sorry for those further away, it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate you!

To enter to win, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me which book you would like and a couple of sentences to explain why. Please leave your email address so that I can contact you for the delivery address. Towards the end of the month I will choose one person for each book and send it out as soon as I can!

The give-away books are listed below with a summary from the covers. (Click on the title to see my review) GOOD LUCK!:

NOTE: Thanks to all who commented! All the books have now been snapped up and are on their way to new book-loving homes!

The White King by György Dragomán

This book has been won by praguebeats who is looking for a book to get them back into fiction. Congratulations!

Eleven-year-old Djata makes sure he is always home on Sundays. It is the day the State Security came to take his father away, and he believes it will be a Sunday when his father finally comes home.

In the meantime, Djata lives out a life of advenutre, playing war games in flaming wheatfields and watching porn in the back room at the cinema. But lurking beneath his rebel boyhood, pulling at his heartstrings, is the continued absence of his father. When he finally uncovers the truth he risks losing his childhood forever.

The Owl Service by Alan Garner

This book has been won by bibliomouse who wants to relive childhood memories and read it again. Congratulations! 

It all begins with the scratching in the ceiling. From the moment Alison discovers the dinner service in the attic, with its curious pattern of floral owls, a chain of events is set in progress that is to affect everybody’s lives.

Something old and powerful is stirring in the Welsh valley. Alison, Roger and Gwyn can all feel it, but only Huw seems to understand it. Inevitably, forces from the past overwhelm the present. Will any of them be strong enough to forestall the fate that threatens?

The Wild by Esther Freud

This book has been won by afictionhabit who wants to read more female authors. Congratulations! 

Nine-year-old Tess has never seen anything like The Wild. An old bakery, converted into a home, it has a fireplace big enough to sit in, a garden with a badminton net and another one for vegetables. And then there’s William, its owner. Single father of three, he cooks homemade ravioli, cuts trees down with a chainsaw and plays the guitar. When her mother, Francine, rents two rooms from him, Tess can hardly believe her luck. Her brother Jake, however, proves harder to convince. As the two grown-ups begin to fall for each other, Tess struggles to please the adults as well as win Jake round. But she finds that good intentions don’t always bring happiness and that adults are disturbingly capable of making mistakes…

Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

This imaginative book of short stories has been won by RodolfoB! Congratulations! 

Let me tell you a story. No, wait, one’s not enough. I’ll begin again… Let me tell you stories of the month of the year, of ghosts and heartbreak, of dread and desire. Of after-hours drinking and unanswered phones, of good deeds and bad days, of trusting wolves and how to talk to girls.

There are stories within stories, whispered in the quiet of the night, shouted above the roar of the day, and played out between lovers and enemies, strangers and friends. But all, all are fragile things made of just 26 letters arranged and rearranged to form tales and imaginings while will dazzle your senses, haunt your imagination and move you to the very depths of your soul.

Ten Poems about Tea from Candlestick Press

This lovely poetry collection has been claimed by A. J. Jenner to help her with tea room/bookshop ideas! Congratulations! 

Ten Poems about Tea is for all tea-drinkers, be that Earl Grey or English Breakfast, cup or mug.

In her introduction, Sophie Dahl highlights the importance of tea and tea-time in our lives – “For the love and madness and everything that sandwiches in between, a cup of tea can set the world softly back to rights” – while the poet Kenny Knight reminds us of the time when: “…two sugars / was the national average / and the teapot was the centre / of the known universe …”

We hope that these poems will help put the teapot firmly back in the centre where it belongs, and that you will read them with a tea-tray at you elbow and your feet up.

38 thoughts on “Happy Blog Birthday to Me!

  1. Hi, I stumbled onto your blog page from a query posed by me on tea and poems to do with Slightly Foxed bookshop. Anyhow, I found you and viewed your listing of books give away. One of which I have reviewed and I owned at one time but I gave it away impulsively: Ten Poems About Tea by Sophie Dahl. It is a lovely and quaint. I keep a blog on things to do with tea, thus is the interest. Sometimes I include books that have tea mention as having tea etc. It is amazing how tea happenings are in almost most books. Thank you for sharing your reads with the world.


  2. Happy blogiversary! It’s a lovely blog, so well done 🙂 I haven’t read The Owl Service since I was about 12, but I’m always recommending it to others. I’d love to read it again, esp. a pre-loved copy!


    • Great! I wasn’t too keen on this book. I wish I had read it when I was younger because I feel like I have missed out on something. Everyone else I’ve spoken to has loved it! Anyway, congratulations! I will get in touch by email for your address! 😀


  3. I second the idea about the team room bookshop, although it would also need to be a recordshop! Anyway, the books all sound good but I like the the sound of the White King out of all of them and would love a copy of that. I keep swinging between fiction and non-fiction at the moment and I think the time has come to swing back to fiction for a bit!


    • You’ve chosen a great book to get you back into fiction! I can’t understand how people can stay away from it for so long. Having said that, I’ve been trying to read more non-fiction lately. I have to have a novel on the go at the same time though!



    This is a great blog – keep up the good work. I would love to be considered for one of your books – I need a new challenge – something to relax me during the night (I suffer from extreme insomnia) so please nothing that may scare me too much! Thanks.


    • Thanks! There are only two books left – The White King and The Owl Service. Take a look and let me know which you think will be best. The Owl Service might be a little scary but also very magical and folklore-ish. The White King isn’t so scary, but quite disturbing in its own way. Let me know if you are interested in either!


  5. Hi Bundleofbooks,
    What a fabby way to celebrate your birthblogday – I hope I will be celebrating in style like you when I am 1 next year. Enjoying it so far, and fellow bloggers like you make life easier and make me smile. Lovely titles you’ve chosen to give away, and I would be a grateful recipient of one of the books. As I’ve tasked myself with reading more books by women, after realising on International Women’s Day that I read very little female fiction (very bad for a girl!), I would be really interested in the Esther Freud book. It sounds like such a gentle story that might be just perfect for the onset of spring/summer.
    Good luck with the next year of blogging!!


    • Hi! Thanks for the comment. There are some wonderful female authors out there! I think Esther Freud’s The Wild is a good book to start spring/summer with, even if it’s not all happy and smiley.

      Good luck with your blog too! You’ve definitely made a fantastic start (and it’s only been a couple of months!)


  6. Happy Birthday indeed!
    It does feel strange to ask for a book from you, particularly today, but I’m to say Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman, the most intriguing sounding one. I’m imagining it as short stories in letters forming a novel and cannot decide in which shelf I would put it! Email is: rodolfo.barradas@gmail.com


  7. Happy blogoversity! Hope you keep up the good work you’re doing on the blog. More power to you!

    A pity that you can’t send to the Philippines; I would have really liked to read The Owl Service :(. Never mind, though; I’ll just try to track down a copy here :).


  8. What a great idea and Happy Blog Birthday.
    I would like the 10 Poems about Tea, because if I don’t make it as a writer and decide not to go back to the Law, I would love to open up a tea room bookshop and this book would be perfect for it 🙂 My e-mail address is amandajanejenner@gmail.com


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