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It’s been 2 years …. (lets celebrate by give-aways)

2 years ago around this time I started blogging. My book blog was out in the world a day after my birthday, on the 3 January 2009.

Like many new bloggers new to the blogging world, I have no clue what is in store but I just wanted a place to hold my thoughts on the books I have read. I am also aware that I have an incorrigible obsession with books. So with the lack of creativity, I wanted my blog to begin with Biblio or Book something… I was frustrated to discover blog names like Bibliomania, Bookmania, Bookaholic wordpress.com are all taken, first two created by creators who didn’t bother to make use of their blogs and void of a single posting. I put in three other book reviews written before the blog was created and hence the birth of this blog.

I really, really want someone out there to tell me if they had given their blog one name, and wish they could have named it another? Names that are cooler, more poshy or more reflective of what the blog is about, over the years?

To celebrate my arduous and rewarding two years of blogging, I am giving away two books from the six that you could choose from, to two people. Using www.random.org, the first name that appears on the list will get to choose their first book of choice.

Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny ScheinmannRandom Acts of Heroic Love is a semi-autobiographical debut novel by the author and actor Danny Scheinmann. It follows the parallel stories of two unconsciously connected men in two different time eras motivated by the memory of love: Moritz Daniecki, a young Austro-Hungarian soldier captured by the Russians during the First World War and sent to a POW camp in Siberia, who decides to escape in 1917 and walk thousands of miles for the sake of his childhood sweetheart Lotte; and Leo Deakin, who loses his beloved girlfriend Eleni in a bus crash in Ecuador in 1992, and in his despair embarks on his own journey of discovery and self-reconciliation.

The novel is based upon the true story of Scheinmann’s grandfather Moshe, who too was an Austro-Hungarian soldier captured by the Russians, and undertook a three year journey back to Europe to be reunited with his lover, also called Lotte. Leo’s grief and bereavement of Eleni also reflect the author’s personal experiences when he lost his late girlfriend Stella in a similar bus crash in South America in 1992. This is one of the most poignant story about love and loss and is one of my favourites.

Then We Came to An End by Joshua Ferris – Set in a Chicago advertising agency, Ferris’s hugely enjoyable first novel delineates both the absurdities of office life, and the frustration, anger and despair simmering under the surface of his characters’ daily routines. Most of the workers appear to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and when the agency starts to struggle to attract clients and a series of layoffs begins, some of the staff are tipped over the edge. A mix of the comic, the tragic and the surreal, description of the mundane activities of the working week (the meetings, the e-mails, the lunches) will be familiar (perhaps overly so) to anyone who has worked in an office.

Disgrace by J.M. CoetzeeDisgrace (1999) is a Booker Prize-winning novel by South African author J. M. Coetzee who won the Nobel Prize in Literature four years after its publication. In the story, David Lurie is a South African professor of English who loses everything: his reputation, his job, his peace of mind, his good looks, his dreams of artistic success, and finally even his ability to protect his own daughter. His “disgrace” comes when he seduces one of his students and he does nothing to protect himself from its consequences. He is dismissed from his teaching position, after which he takes refuge on his daughter’s farm. Many horrific incidents soon follow which changes his view about his country.

Digging to America by Anne Tyler Digging to America is a story set in Baltimore, Maryland about two very different families’ experiences with adoption and their relationships with each other. Sami and Ziba Yazdan, an Iranian-American family, and Brad and Bitsy Dickinson-Donaldson, an all-American suburban family, meet at the airport on the day their infant daughters arrive from Korea to begin life in America. The two families become friends and begin a tradition of celebrating the arrival of their adopted daughters each year.

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding – ex-library copy. This book doesn’t need any introduction, does it? I’m doing one for the chick-lit lovers.

The BlindingAbsence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun – In 10 July 1971, disaffected student Salim took part in a failed coup to oust King Hassan II of Morocco. With sixty others he was incarcerated in a secret prison complex in the Moroccan desert, Tazmamart; they were to remain there for nearly 20 years. A winner of 2004 IMPAC award, the book is a tragic and awe inspiring account of Salim and inmates in the desert gaol.

To help you make the choice, my favourites are Random Act of Heroic Love, Disgrace and The Blinding Absence of Light. I bought extra copies to give them away. All my reviews for the above titles can be found by searching in this blog (except Random Acts of Heroic Love, which is a favourite in my pre-blogging days)

Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Tell me if you are in or out for the giveaway draw.
  2. Pick one out of the following 4 options (A to D) and offer some advice on what I should do about my blog name; and
  3. Tell me if it ever cross your mind to change the name of your blog (you can be honest!).
  • Option A. Change your domain (URL link) and change your blog name, I won’t forget who you (JoV) are.
  • Option B. Keep your domain (URL Link) and change your blog name. I won’t forget who you are.
  • Option C. Do nothing. Everything is fine as it is.
  • Option D. Oh I don’t care, do whatever you like. I might confuse you with someone else.

The deadline is the last day of 2010, 31 December 2010 (London time). I will do the draw on the 3 January 2011. This is open to everyone internationally, I will ship to Antartica if you give me a valid address, and I would still ship if you have chosen option D too. 😉

Heartfelt thanks for everyone who reads and comments on my blog these past years. Big thanks to those who join in the madness of reading the Midnight’s Children with me, I hope you won’t blame me if you hate the book and can’t wait to throw it out of the window! I hope to receive your reviews about Midnight’s Children soon, even if they are negative ones. I have met so many new friends and grow as a book blogger, thank you for being the source of that.


About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


35 thoughts on “It’s been 2 years …. (lets celebrate by give-aways)

  1. I have been struggling with the same question on whether or not to change my name. My url and my name for my blog don’t match. Url is beachreader48 and my header name is beachreader (beachreader had been taken) then I thought well those that really want to find me will so… I’m staying as I am… I think you should do the same. I know exactly who you are when I get to your blog (Love the gray,black and white)

    please enter me in the giveaway
    jgoffice (at) cox (dot0 net

    Happy Anniversary!!

    Posted by Beachreader | December 12, 2010, 1:43 pm
  2. I am in for the draw.
    I pick C. I don’t think you should do anything about it. I see all is fine and enjoy your blog.
    It has never occurred to me to change the name of my blog. happy anniversary too.

    Posted by Geosi | December 12, 2010, 3:18 pm
  3. Definitely in for the draw!

    I vote for C – because I see nothing wrong with the blog name. But if you hate it, then A. But maybe keep the design?

    Posted by Yvann | December 12, 2010, 9:19 pm
  4. Happy Blogiversary! I’d love to be entered for the giveaway. I’ve never really thought of changing my blog name. It’s been over 3 years now, and I still think it has a nice ring to it and fits my blog. I’m glad, because changing names/URLs seems like a huge hassle. With that in mind, I’d pick C as long as you’re still fairly happy with your name. I like it just fine, and I feel like I’ve heard about other people changing names and URLs and having trouble getting all their followers to follow them to a new location (I’m usually slow on the uptake, but I get there eventually…LOL), so it seems like a pain in the butt to do unless you are really, really unhappy with your blog name such as it is. Good luck with the choice!

    Posted by Megan | December 13, 2010, 1:33 am
  5. As someone who has changed her blog name, I would say the main problem is for the new name to stick. For example, you still refer me as Books of Mee while I’ve changed my site name to Bookie Mee a while back :D. (I purposely changed it only slightly so it wouldn’t confuse people in case they don’t pick up the new name, so it still has the Mee word for example). I think changing site name is a big decision, but changing url is not so much, as many people migrate from blogger to wordpress to own host etc. and it’s not a problem as long as you keep the ‘brand’.

    I would like to enter the giveaway but only if I could get The Blinding Absence of Light lol. Is that okay? I’ve read Disgrace and I have Then We Came to the End on my shelf. The others don’t quite call out to me at the moment. That way I give other people more chance right, right?! 🙂 Happy bloggiversary!

    Posted by mee | December 13, 2010, 2:47 am
    • Mee, really you became Bookie Mee? Since when? LOL 😀
      It doesn’t matter which book titles you choose, if your name came up 1st or 2nd, you get to choose your title! 😉 Thanks for the wishes.

      Posted by JoV | December 13, 2010, 9:14 am
  6. I’m confused…if you started in 2008, isn’t this almost your 3rd blogiversary? Or did you start in 2009? Or am I being a total ditz?

    I’d love to be in the drawing! 🙂 I select C, unless your name is driving you crazy. Then I’d say do B, because you won’t lose subscribers!

    Sometimes I wonder if I could have picked a better name, but I’d never seriously consider changing it. 🙂

    Posted by Eva | December 13, 2010, 5:37 am
    • Eva, LOL you are not a ditz!! (the urban dictionary said that word means: A superficically dumb valley chick, with no common sense what so ever. Usually of white race, rich, and pretty.) LOL.. 😀 I started very late in 2008 (I’d wish I blog earlier, but had some bad experience with blogger!), after Christmas, so the whole of 2008 doesn’t count that much.

      Your name is fine as it is. Anything that begins with an the alphabet “A” as in “A Striped Armchair” shows up first before any other blog names in the list! 😀

      Posted by JoV | December 13, 2010, 9:18 am
    • Oh Eva…I’m the ditz! (except I’m not white, rich nor pretty!) LOL I got the dates wrong, it should be 3 January 2009 (I have changed it). It surely felt like it’s longer than 2 years. Thanks for catching that out!

      Posted by JoV | December 13, 2010, 9:24 am
  7. I think C, but tinker with the template (that always works for me!).

    I would like ‘Disgrace’ – if my name comes up, that is 😉

    Oh, and happy soon-to-be bloggerversary 🙂

    Posted by Tony | December 13, 2010, 5:43 am
  8. I am in for the draw.

    I vote for C. Things are fine as they are, so let them be. That being said, even if you change your domain and/or your name, it wouldn’t make a difference to me because I will hunt you down anyway. Most of us read your blog for the informative reviews that you post, so we will follow you no matter where you blog.

    Posted by Anamika | December 13, 2010, 6:48 am
  9. I would say do not change anything-if you are feeling in need of a change to a new header or some other design change-please count me in for the contest-I am a bit behind schedule on Midnight’s Children but am really glad you motivated me to read it-I will have two more posts done soon-and congratulations on your two year blogaversary

    Posted by Mel u | December 13, 2010, 7:27 am
  10. Oh I forgot please count me in for the contest

    Posted by Mel u | December 13, 2010, 7:28 am
    • Mel, ha ha you have said it twice, but I’ll count you in once for the draw! 🙂 I’m glad that you are motivated to read Midnight’s Children. I am worried to think, like one reader of my blog said, that I have invited you all to madness! Thanks for the wishes. it’s been a rewarding two years, thanks for reading my blog.

      Posted by JoV | December 13, 2010, 9:22 am
  11. I really want to change my blog name but have decided not to. In the big scheme of things I think it probably only matters to me and no one else cares.

    But you should do whatever makes you happy – I will find you whatever you do.

    Don’t enter me in the giveaway thanks anyway. I am trying really hard to say no to all new books at the moment (other than the ones I have pre-ordered and paid for). I simply must get my TBR shelves under some kind of control and not put new stuff on them until I do.

    Posted by bernadetteinoz | December 13, 2010, 10:07 am
    • Thank you so much for your kind words Bernadette. I think your blog name is absolutely find as it is. It is deeply etched in my mind and I can type your link without having to go to my google readers etc… I understand how you feel about the exploding TBR shelves. I have got a new shelf and yet I’m struggling to keep it in control! Sigh, the bane of not living in a mansion. 🙂

      Posted by JoV | December 13, 2010, 9:22 pm
  12. Hey there, I am writing a reply on my wireless phone! First and foremost, many congratulations on your blogging anniversary. You have done well, really well (look at the number of interactive comments in your website!). Please continue to write, to evolve, and to grow.

    And thanks for the midnight children journey. I love it. You will read more in my site, hope some time today or tomorrow.

    As for the draw, so generous of you! If I may choose, I would like a signed copy of your first book (OK if you are already publishing books, the next one perhaps?)


    About your website, you can always pick a new one with a new URL, if you feel like it. Your fans will follow you, regardless. The rest doesn’t matter. Google search engines will find you, regardless. As for me, you know I only have one site, and I use my real name. So no, no change required for me.


    Posted by Wilfrid | December 13, 2010, 10:30 am
    • Aw Don’t mention it Wilfrid. Nice to have you reading along. I don’t think I’m able to publish any time soon. So many great bloggers out there that is worthy to have a book under their names! 😉

      Posted by JoV | December 13, 2010, 9:24 pm
  13. Congratulations on completing two years on the blogosphere, Jo 🙂 As a reader of your blog, I have had a wonderful time reading different posts and commenting on them and having ‘long’ discussions with you on different topics. I hope to continue doing so in the future.

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway – yay 🙂 Please enter me for the giveaway. I like option C. I think your blog’s name is good – I haven’t seen a book blog with the word ‘junkie’ with it – it is unique and says a lot 🙂 On my own blog – I think it is the most uncreative name ever! I thought a lot about changing the name after a while, but then saw that there were so many creative names out there that I would never be able to come up with a name that will be in the same league. So I decided to stick with the original name and I kind of like it now 🙂

    Posted by Vishy | December 13, 2010, 11:56 am
    • Vishy, Hahaha I don’t think your blog name is uncreative at all, I know only ONE Vishy in town and that’s you! 😉 Your blog name sort of grow on you doesn’t it? I am beginning to learn “to accept my blog name”! Any ‘long’ discussion is welcome any day Vishy, you have a very inquisitive mind and it’s a gift! 🙂

      Posted by JoV | December 13, 2010, 9:26 pm
    • Vishy, always wanted to ask this, but why is it that your blog is called Vishy’s blog but your URL is Vishy Knight? I think a book knight sounds like an appealing choice for a blog name! 🙂

      Posted by JoV | December 13, 2010, 9:35 pm
  14. Congratulations on your bloggiversary! I’ve read 5 of your 6 choices and I have to say I have a love/hate relationship with them!! It is weird to see books like Then We Came to an End and Digging to America (books I didn’t like) on the same list as some of my favourites (Random Acts and Disgrace) It is amazing how different out opinons can be on such a short list of books. Anyway I’m really pleased that you are promoting Random Acts – i wish that more people would read it.
    I vote for option C (unless you are planning to upgrade to your own domain name) There is nothing wrong with your blog name and I don’t have a problem remembering it 🙂

    Posted by Jackie (Farm Lane Books) | December 13, 2010, 12:04 pm
    • Jackie, LOL…. I always see bloggers giving away books they no longer want to keep (or books they hate) or extra books given by publishers. So I am doing it this way, half of the books listed are books that I really, really love, and half of it I’m meh about it. I suppose I am the only one who is honest about this! 😉

      Again you have proven to me to be so well read! 🙂 I love “Random Acts” to bits and wonder why it was not featured more in blogosphere.

      Posted by JoV | December 13, 2010, 9:33 pm
      • LOL! I noticed that you preferred the 3 you love, but didn’t realise that you didn’t enjoy the other 3. That is sneaky 😉

        I guess that means you should enter me for the giveaway for The Blinding Absence of Light as I haven’t heard much about it and you are proving our taste in books is very similar.

        PS. I haven’t read Bridget Jones, but I did enjoy the film.

        Posted by Jackie (Farm Lane Books) | December 13, 2010, 10:26 pm
  15. Please enter me for the giveaway. Would love Disgrace or The Blinding Absence of Light.

    I vote for option C. Your blog is just fine and wonderful as is.

    Posted by Kinna | December 13, 2010, 2:02 pm


  1. Pingback: The Results of the Giveaways « Bibliojunkie - January 3, 2011

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
Share book reviews and ratings with JoV, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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