Wednesday, 11 January 2012

A review of 2011

It is rather inappropriate to put up a review of an year, 11 days after it got over and especially in a book reviewing blog. 2011 was a very good year for me, might not have been the best for the entities I support in sports. Rafael Nadal only managed to defend his own fort at Roland Garros and Andy Murray disappointing yet again by not winning a single major. Chelsea, finished second in premier league and they've already been ruled out of the title race for the current season. The only positive thing that happened for a team I support in sports is England Cricket Team becoming the number one side in test cricket.

Talking about all this is nothing but digression in a book reviewing blog and so, I shall restrict my article to books. I started this blog to not lose my interest in writing and this blog has served this purpose well, for the eight months it has existed. 2011 has been the “Year of Books” for me. I'm a slow reader but I've read twenty books this year, and considering the years since 2008(the year when I started reading books), no other year is close to this figure. This was the year when reading became my favourite hobby.

I've reviewed nineteen of the twenty books that I read, with the exception of Artemis Fowl : The Atlantis Complex, ironically, the first book which I read in 2011. I've not reviewed it since I wish to review Artemis Fowl in chronological order and since I read most of the books in AF in 2008, my knowledge is not good enough for a review.

Not all the reviews I wrote this year were good reviews, in fact, I feel that most are bad. I started off by searching in google, “How to write book reviews” and after reading those articles, I started writing reviews and asked a friend of mine to “review my reviews”. Things weren't working out well and so, I decided to follow a particular guide to write book reviews and I reviewed Knots & Crosses by Ian Rankin, based on the guide. Thus, my reviews initially were highly rigid, and readers of my blog would be able to recognise that till the review of  TheTin Princess by Philip Pullman, the reviews that I wrote followed a very definite pattern.  

By this time, I had also read several book reviews by other authors and I had realised that most reviews gave out more details on the reviewer's experience than the plot and ISBN. So, I had decided to stop referring to any guides for my book reviews and thought that I should develop my own style as I didn't want my writing to be an imitation of someone else's style.

So, the first review of mine which was written without using any template was Tooth and Nail by Ian Rankin, and I feel that it is one of the best reviews that I've written and I continued to follow this in my following reviews in South by Java head by Alistair MacLean and Blood Hunt by Ian Rankin. South by Java Head in fact got the first comment for this blog from a person whom I didn't know in real life.

The five reviews that I wrote on 15th October, 2011 were below par, mainly because I was still following a template and moreover, the blog didn't have a single review written during the month of September and so, I became a little desperate to increase the number of reviews, so, I hastily wrote five reviews on the same day. It could be observed that the review of 2 Statesby Chetan Bhagat and Hide and Seek by Ian Rankin are too short and I'd definitely expand them this February and make them a little better.

This blog has received just 1000 views in eight months (400 being my own) which is quite disappointing and moreover, some of the views came through google image search. So, I genuinely might have had only around 400 readers, but that is satisfactory considering that this blog only has nineteen reviews.

On the whole, 2011 has been a very good year for me from the point of view of books, since I've got into this new hobby of book reviewing and blogging this year.

Currently, I'm reading Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler and this blog would soon have its first review of a work which is not fiction and as per my current plan, I think it would have at least 2000 words (the review) and I hope I manage to complete reading the book by the end of February. I didn't want the blog to be empty for the month of January and hence, I decided to write this pointless review.

My targets for 2012

  1. A minimum of 25 book reviews
  2. Find at least one new author for the blog to increase the number of reviews (the ones reading this, by chance, and in case you desire to become an author at Astute, send a mail to
  3. Widen my horizon in reading. Right now, there are too many Ian Rankin books in my shelf and 8 / 19 reviews in the blog are books written by this author. Moreover, although there are 19 reviews, they are books of only seven different authors.
  4. Review all books in the Artemis Fowl series.

I hope I manage to achieve the other three targets, even if I fail to achieve my second target.

Have a nice day,


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