Sunday Salon: Blog Anniversary!

This last week marked the third anniversary of Shelf Love’s first post! Since Teresa and I are currently having a wonderful time together here in the Pacific Northwest, catching up (and talking about books nonstop), we decided to celebrate the anniversary by giving away some of our favorite books to some of our favorite people: our readers.

We went to my local independent bookstore, Auntie’s, and chose three very different books that we both have loved:

  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke, a novel about the workings of magic in an alternate 19th-century Britain.
  • The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, the first in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series of mysteries by Laurie R. King.
  • The Mill on the Floss, George Eliot’s masterpiece focusing on the intelligent and independent Maggie Tulliver and family.

If you’d like to celebrate this momentous event with us by winning one of these books, please leave us a comment telling us which one (or more) of the books you’d like to have. If you’d like, also let us know: if you were giving away three books you love and wish more people would read, which ones would you choose? We will have three drawings, one for each of the books (one winner per book) and will announce the winners on Friday, April 22. We will ship worldwide, so if you live outside the United States, don’t hesitate! We look forward to hearing from you all this week, and to continuing to read and write in your company!


The three winners are the following lucky people:

Gaskella for The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

Mimi for Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

Lisa for The Mill on the Floss

We know you’ll enjoy them! I’ll be emailing you for postal addresses and you’ll be seeing these books soon. Thanks to everyone for all the charming anniversary wishes, and for the delightful visions of the books you’d give away!

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40 Responses to Sunday Salon: Blog Anniversary!

  1. Ashley Chattaway says:

    Oh I would love to have The Beekeepers Apprentice! What a wonderful series that is.

    If I was givIng away 3 books, they would have to be

    The Historian b Elizabeth Kostova
    North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
    Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

  2. Lori says:

    I would love to win either Jonathon Strange and Dr. Norrell or The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. Both are books that I’ve heard a lot about but haven’t got around to reading.

    Two books that I’d definitely give away are A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith and The Stand by Stephen King. These are my favourite books of all time, they are my babies…and you know how a parent wants everyone to love their babies….:)


  3. Oh, count me out—I don’t want to enter, but I do want to celebrate your anniversary! Congratulations, ladies!

  4. Word Lily says:

    I’d love to win The Beekeeper’s Apprentice! Although I’d also be happy with Mill on the Floss …

    Happy blogiversary!

    The other question is tough; I’m not sure how I’d choose!

  5. I’m not interested in one of the books but wanted to say Happy Blogiversary!

  6. rhonda says:

    any of the books would be great,Anna Karenina,the new translation alice Munro short stories both a joy to give.

  7. Amanda says:

    No need to enter me, but I wanted to say happy blogoversary anyway. :)

  8. Frances says:

    Congratulations and every happiness to you both! But leave me out of the contest as these are three favorites of mine as well and I of course already own them. :)

  9. Wonderful – congratulations, many more, etc.

    I would give away The Entail by John Galt, the Selected Poems of Victor Hugo, and Death’s Jest-Book by Thomas Lovell-Beddoes, although that last only to carefully chosen recipients.

    No giveaway books for me, though, thanks.

  10. Karen K. says:

    I like to give away books that I feel don’t get enough attention. If I was going to give away three books, I’d probably choose these three:

    The Old Wives Tale by Arnold Bennett
    The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
    Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

    Of course I could easily come up with lots more!! I love your giveaway idea and I hope you don’t mind if I borrow it for my blogoversary.

    Oh — and I’d loved to be entered into the drawing for The Mill on the Floss. I loved Middlemarch and I’m about to read Daniel Deronda, so I’d love to complete the set! Thanks again for the generous giveaway!

  11. Steph says:

    Happy blog anniversary! I love Shelf Love – your reviews are always so informative and fun. Love that you two do it together and I hope you keep it up for many many years to come! :D

    I am going to refrain from entering because I actually own all three of the books that you’re offering (though I’ve only read the Mary Russell!). Great choices, though, and I know that the three winners will be all the richer for them!

  12. Jenny says:

    Oh, how lovely that you’re together for your anniversary. Happy blogiversary! No need to enter me in the giveaway — I’m starting to panic a little bit about how many books I have, and how little space — but if I were going to do a giveaway of three books everyone should read, they would be (maybe, I’m sure this would vary from day to day) Fire and Hemlock, The Secret History, and Blankets.

  13. She says:

    Happy Anniversary! What a lovely giveaway! I would love to be entered to win The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. :)

    Also, for your other question, I would have to choose :

    The Monk by Mathew Lewis
    History of Adventure by H Rider Haggard
    The Painted Veil by W Somerset Maugham

  14. Amanda W says:

    Congrats! I would love The Beekeeper’s Apprentice or The mill on the floss.

    amandarwest at gmaildotcom

  15. Lisa says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary – and on your excellent blog!

    I’d choose The Mill on the Floss – first because I’ve never read any of George Eliot’s books (though Middlemarch is on the TBR pile), and second because I recently read an essay about Eliot, which said that Eliot is a better writer than Jane Austen. Now I’m intrigued to read Eliot.

    As for books I wish were better known: A Time of Gifts, by Patrick Leigh Fermor; Miss Marjoribanks, by Margaret Oliphant; and Anybody Can Do Anything, by Betty MacDonald (or The Egg & I, or The Plague & I).

  16. diane says:

    Congratulations! (3) years for me in June. I have all (3) of these books on my shelves (unread) and have been meaning to get to them.

  17. Jo M says:

    I have all three of these on my “must read” list, so I’d like to enter for all three!

    In terms of books I would give away, here they are: Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens, because it might be my favorite Dickens, and I just adore Arthur Clennam; To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, because I am firmly convinced that most people who were forced to read it for school need to re-read it; and Rose Daughter, by Robin McKinley, because I am reading it for the first time right now and am in love with it in the best way. Plus, Beauty and the Beast is probably my favorite fairy tale. Sorry this got long…

  18. Jeanne says:

    Happy Blogoversary! I’ve read your three favorites, and own them, so don’t enter me. The one book I always recommend and try to give away, even to my most well-read friends, is Nick Harkaway’s The Gone-Away World. So far no one has disliked it, although one may not have succeeded in reading it yet, and that’s a bit of a black mark, I know. It took me 70 pages to get interested in it the first time.

  19. Dorothy W. says:

    Congrats on the anniversary! I’m very glad you two are blogging!

    I already have the books in the give-away, so I’ll bow out of it this time. But thanks, though!

  20. Bina says:

    Happy blog anniversary you two! Your blog is wonderful :) I’d love Mill on the Floss, I really need to start reading Eliot!

    3 books everyone should read… Ronia, Robber’s Daughter (Astrid Lindgren), The Ladies’ Paradise (Émile Zola) and A Prayer for the Dying (Stewart O’Nan).

  21. Sue says:

    Ooh, I’d like to try the Beekeeper’s Apprentice.

    Three books I love to promote…
    1) Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams (nonfiction but still).
    2) Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
    3) Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

    I guess I’m in a Western mood today. Happy anniversary!

  22. Yvann says:

    I would love the Beekeeper’s Apprentice!

    I would give away Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, because it is marvellous and not enough people know about it; Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, because it is so riveting and thrilling; and Maggie O’Farrell’s The Hand That First Held Mine, because you get to know London so wonderfully through it.

  23. Kinna says:

    Happy blog anniversary. I would love to win Dr Strange… or the Beekeeper’s Apprentice.

    Three books that I would like to promote:
    1. Death in Spring by Merce Rodoreda
    2. Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
    3. The Cry of Winnie Mandela by Njabulo S. Ndebele

  24. pburt says:

    Happy Anniversary – I love Aunties (so sad they had to compress their selections (I loved walking up to the third floor when it housed their used books).

    Perhaps we could meet for coffee sometime?

  25. Christa says:

    I would love to win Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. It’s one of those books I’ve always wanted to read but just never gotten to.

    If I was giving away three books they would probably consist of the following:
    Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
    Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Findley

    Happy Anniversary you guys!

  26. Alex says:

    Would love to have The Beekeeper’s Apprentice!

  27. litlove says:

    Happy happy blogiversary! You know you two are a very special part of the blogworld and fine women whom I’ve come to think of as dear virtual friends. I won’t enter the draw as I, ahem, own all three novels. If I were offering three books (only 3, so hard!) then I might suggest:

    The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
    Cheri – Colette
    Flaubert’s Parrot – Julian Barnes

  28. Kathleen says:

    I’d love to have The Beekeeper’s Apprentice because Sherlock Holmes is one of my all-time favorite characters!

  29. Vasilly says:

    Happy anniversary!

  30. Nicola says:

    Not entering because I have those books already (!) but I just wanted to join in the anniversary celebrations. Love your blog!

  31. Chelsea says:

    Hey Jenny! Hey Teresa! Just wanted to introduce myself and say happy blogoversary! I’ve been a silent reader of your guys’ blog for a while and, as I’m finally setting out to get myself seriously involved with the book blogging world, have come to regard you guys as role models in the sense. I’m not specifically interested in winning any of the books (they should probably go to your more devoted and long standing readers) but just wanted to say hello and thanks for always having such amazing reviews!

  32. Mimi says:

    Happy Anniversary!!! I love your blog and would love to win Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Mainly ’cause I’m a sucker for all things magic and I love the cover art :).

    Hard to pick just three books that I wish more people had the chance to read and love but this is what’s top of the list for now. ( Two of which are series at that.)

    *Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian (wonderfully written, easy to love characters, just great)
    *Spud by John van de Ruit ( I want my first born son to be like Spud. I think that summarizes it all :)
    *Moses by Barbara Kimenye ( A series about boys in an East African boarding school. So funny. Sadly I think they might be going out of print. All the more reason I would love to give them out)

    Happy Anniversary you guys!

  33. Stefanie says:

    Happy three years! No need to put me in a drawing. Just glad your blog is still going strong and hope it continues to do so!

  34. Happy Blogiversary!!!

    I would love to win The Beekeepers Apprentice!! Thanks for the chance to win!

  35. Rachel says:


    I would love to win “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice”! If I were giving away three books, I’d choose three copies of “The Sparrow” by Mary Doria Russell, because you can never have too many people reading that book. It’s fantastic.

  36. softdrink says:

    Happy blogiversary!

  37. sakura says:

    Congratulations! I’ve read and loved both Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and The Bee-Keeper’s Apprentice but am embarrassed to say I haven’t tried any of George Eliott’s novels!

    My three novels I’d choose to give away would be: The Secret History by Donna Tartt, The Night Watch by Sarah Waters and The City & The City by China Mieville.

  38. gaskella says:

    Happy Blogversary to both of you – well done! Please enter me for the Beekeeper’s Apprentice – thanks.

    My 3 novels would be: Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey; All Quiet on the Orient Express by Magnus Mills; and The Juggler by Sebastian Beaumont – a contemporary UK mind-messing novel!

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