A Birthday (and a Giveaway)

yellow-flowersHi! :)

Thanks for stopping by today. It’s my 28th birthday!

Since it’s not a very important number, we’re not doing anything special – just going out for a nice dinner while the kiddo is fawned over by his grandma.

I think it’s interesting that while my friends and family know full well that I read a lot, they almost never get me books as presents, because they say I already buy a ton of them for myself. But this means that I never know what I’m getting, which is awesome because I love (good) surprises! And I love presents.

I think my favourite birthday present was a batch of horse-riding lessons I received from my husband three years ago. It was so cool because we were watching Game of Thrones earlier that day and there was a scene where Catelyn Stark had an argument with someone on horseback and then she rode away in a huff and I said: “I wish I could ride away from an argument like that, wow, so dramatic!” and A. just smiled enigmatically. Anyway, I had my lessons, I loved them, I fully intend to have more at one point or another but I never learned to gallop anywhere! :)

I want to know: What do you usually do for your birthday? What was the best birthday present you ever received?


I’m happy to say my birthday almost coincides with my blog’s first anniversary, which is on May 5 (more on that when the time comes).

To celebrate these two important dates, I’ve decided to host a little giveaway (because as I said, I love presents and I want to give you one, too. I’d give each and every one of you lovely readers a present if I could.). The rules are as follows:

  • One winner will win one (paperback) novel from the list of favourites that I’ve reviewed on my blog this year. You can see the titles here and you can choose from books that have received a 4/5 or higher rating.
  • If you want a first book in a series and I’ve reviewed a third, for example, you can most certainly have it (I won’t make you start the series in the middle, don’t worry).
  • Open internationally, as long as The Book Depository ships to you for free.
  • The winner will be contacted by e-mail and will have 48 hours to respond. If they don’t, another will be chosen.
  • I’ll be checking the winner’s entries… and Twitter accounts used only for giveaways don’t count.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The best of luck to you! :)

  • Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    Happy Happy Birthday! And yes, being able to ride away from an argument on horseback is quite desirable! :) And such a great idea for the giveaway! I love seeing peoples favorite books :)

    • Thanks, Lisa! :)
      Yeah I could have chosen just one title but I like having more than one option – since I don’t read just one genre, it’s difficult to expect my readers will, too.

  • Kaitlyn

    Happy happy birthday! :) I would love to win a copy of Eleanor & Park!

    • Hi, Kaitlyn, thanks!
      Eleanor & Park is a great choice :)

  • Happy birthday, Kaja! I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing day. :)

    • Thanks, Kel! My day was pretty cool!

  • Happy Birthday! I never do much for my birthday either, and I rarely get books for my birthday. I think it’s that I get so many books from the library. And I buy so many, too.

    Horseback riding lessons! What a sweet birthday present.

    • Thanks, Quinn! :)
      Well I’d rather buy/borrow books for myself than get some that I don’t really want to read. Nothing is quite as wasteful as unread books :( I have so many already!

  • Maraia

    Happy birthday! That was such a cool gift from your husband. Not only was he listening to you, but it’s something completely fun, rather than something boring that you “need.”

    I would like a copy of A Darker Shade of Magic, because it’s a book I definitely want to read again and make all my friends read. :)

    • Hey, Maraia, thanks! :)
      Ooh, A Darker Shade of Magic is one of my favourites! Good choice!

      • Maraia

        Isn’t it great? I’m so excited for A Gathering of Shadows, because have you SEEN THAT COVER? I actually slightly preferred the UK cover for book 1, but I am awed by the US cover for book 2.

        • YES I’ve seen the cover! Both of them, actually. I got the UK version of the first one and I agree, it was prettier than the US but for book 2, it’s pretty hard to decide. But I’ll be buying the UK version for myself so I’ll have a matched set :)

  • The happiest of birthdays to you Kaja! As much as my family and loved ones know I read a lot, I almost never get books as gifts either. They probably figure we own all the books we could ever read already (and they’re kind of right LOL) and that we could pick whatever we want better than they could in any case ;D Horseback riding lessons sound pretty sweet to me anyway^^ I hope you have a wonderful day and thanks for the lovely giveaway ♥ I think I’d pick Eleanor & Park :)

    • Thanks, Micheline! :)
      Yeah this seems to be the case with most bookish people – our friends know we’re always buying books so they get us something else :)
      Eleanor & Park is a great choice, I enjoyed it immensely!

  • Happy, Happy Birthday! I hope you have a fantastic birthday. I am a newbie to your blog. Sorry, I didn’t find it sooner. My family knows I love books more than anything and they have never gotten me any kind of presents related to books. I understand if they’re not sure what I like, I would be happy with a Barnes & Noble gift card or something. One can never have to many books. Thank you for including a giveaway in your birthday celebration. Even though we should be the ones getting you gifts. I’d choose Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. I have the first book but I don’t want to start it till I have at least the 2nd one. I hate to be stranded if it ends on a cliffhanger. Thank you so much.

    • Hi, Misti, welcome to my blog! :) It’s only 1 year old so I’m still considered “new”, I think!
      Yeah sometimes I wish for a bookstore gift card, too. That would be a great gift for a book lover!
      Crown of Midnight is a cool choice – and I totally understand not wanting to be stuck with a cliffhanger, that’s the worst! :)

  • Karin Shaim

    i’d choose

    Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell because it sounds interesting

    • Ha, Eleanor & Park seems to be the most popular choice :) It’s a great book, I loved it!

  • Happy birthday! And such a generous way to celebrate, by hosting a giveaway of one of your favorite books :)

    I hope you had a lovely day!


    • Thanks, Mogsy! :)
      It’s lucky that my birthday and my blog’s are so close together!

  • Annie

    Happy Birthday!!! ;) It was so much fun reading your post because I never get books as presents, and nobody is so imaginative to just BUY AN AMAZON GIFT CARD!! -.-” It would be so simple! Anyway, I’d like to read Scarlet, mainly because it’s the only one among the books listed I haven’t read (it seems we have the same great taste!), but it also sound interesting! The best birthday gift I ever received is a tour across Europe with my friends for my 21st birthday! ;)

    Carolina M (on rafflecopter)

    • Oooh, that’s a WONDERFUL gift! I’m assuming you’re American/Canadian? :) What countries/cities did you visit?
      Oh, Scarlet was great! I can’t wait to get my hands on Lady Thief and Lionheart.

      • Annie

        Yeah I’m American ;) I only got to visit the usual places, Spain and Portugal, Italy, France, Germany and also Norway (which was not part of the plan, we just followed a hunch!)…anyway Europe is great, I loved every part of it, you can go in the smallest city in the heart of Italy or Spain and find yourself surrounded by history, and I think it’s great (probably because I’m a history major!)!
        After reading your review on Scarlet I think I’m going to buy it anyway! ;)

        • Ooh, Norway! I’ve never been but I want to go so much! I’ve seen so many photos and they look amazing… Some day soon, I hope! :)
          I love hearing that from readers – that my review of a great book contributed to your decision to read it :)


    Happy birthday!! Hope you had a lovely day!! I would choose a copy of Vicious since I am a huge Victoira fan!! My best present was my ticket to BEA this year woohoo!!

    • HELLO fellow Victoria fan! :) Vicious is *so good*! I enjoyed it very, very much. She has such a way with words!
      And a BEA ticket – that’s awesome! I hope you’ll have a great time.

  • Happy Birthday (I know I’m a few days late saying it, but still I hope you had a good day) what did you get nice this year? I think my favourite present I ever got was a girl to myself of the entire series of Buffy on DVD, but I like every present I get, especially surprise ones, simply because knowing someone had to put some thought into what they’ve bought me is nice, I don’t care how much they missed the mark.

    I’d enter the giveaway, but I’ve read almost all your top rated books it would seem selfish to enter, cool giveaway though :)

    • Thanks, Becky! :) I had a very nice dinner with A. + I got a new wallet (my old one was falling apart), two certificates for a spa (OMG do I need them!) and from my brother something for the blog which I’ll be unveiling when my blog’s anniversary comes around in a week or so! Good stuff, all in all.
      You should enter the giveaway anyway, you’re my AA buddy so I’m sure we’ll figure something out! :)

      • That sounds like a kickass birthday, spa certificates sounds amazing, a good spa day is always good and always well deserved. And I’ll look forward to your blog thing, things like that are always exciting.

        And don’t encourage me, I’m a sucker for giveaways, I know I’ll never win, but I love entering them anyway, the prospect of winning is enough for me :)

  • Happy birthday! Riding lessons are the best kind of present – I love gifts that are activities or experiences, rather than objects.

    I would love to get a hold of A Darker Shade of Magic… it’s been on the TBR pile for way too long!

    • Oh, A Darker Shade of Magic is a wonderful choice. I loved it so much! Have you seen the artwork for The Gathering of Shadows??

      • I just looked it up… I love the design, it’s very striking, beautiful, and creepy all at the same time!

        • YES, what’s with the hands on the US cover?? So scary.

  • Anna Weimer

    The Archived, Vicious or Scarlet are all books I have on my TBR! And since you’ve rated them highly I’d choose one of them!

    • Oh yes, they are all great choices! I’d read Vicious before The Archived if I was you though, I liked it better :)

  • Yay for birthdays! Happy belated. :) What did you end up ordering for your birthday dinner? Presents are the best…I don’t even feel bad saying it! Giving or getting, presents are so much fun. People rarely give me books for my birthday for the same reason you cited, but usually I get flowers (daffodils are my favourite) and a slice of cake. YUM! Great giveaway idea too, by the way!

    • Dim sum :D I know, I know, Chinese sounds lame for a B-day dinner but we don’t have that many good Chinese restaurants in Ljubljana. But this one was really great!
      Daffodils, huh? :) How very Wordsworthian of you. Peonies are my favourite! I even had them in my bridal bouquet.
      JUST ONE SLICE OF CAKE? What. To be fair, I usually bake my own cake…

  • Vania

    I am a sucker for romance and teen fiction soooo i choose Ekeanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, i choose this because we all know that Rainbow Rowell is so a we some.
    i am not sure on what i want as birthday present, but as long as i have my bestfriends to celebrate it together with me, then i am happy! As simple as that.

    • Aw that’s cool :) I like being in the company of my favourite people, too!
      And Eleanor & Park is a great, great story.

  • Christine T

    Happy Birthday!! I think I would love to have a copy of Scarlet maybe? It seems intriguing from what I’ve heard. I think my best birthday gifts were just more books lol, and Oh, a new bookshelf. That was pretty great :D

    • Bookshelves are wonderful gifts for book lovers :) I was so excited when we moved so I could rearrange all our books once again!
      Scarlet is a great choice, I loved it!

  • I usually just spend my birthdays with my family, and my partner if she can make it over. The one year I spent in Belgium with her was a good one: we started the day with a cream cake, she made me Welsh cakes and we ate them fresh from the pan for lunch, and then there was chocolate cake for dinner, haha. I think that was my 22nd? 23rd birthday? I can’t believe I’m turning 26 this August.

    As for which book I’d choose, hmm, I’m thinking Half the World or maybe Scarlet.

    • Well both those books are great!
      What are Welsh cakes? Dessert for all meals of the day sounds like a wonderful plan for a birthday.
      My 20s just rolled past and I have trouble believing I’m slowly nearing 30. To be fair, a great many things have happened in my 20s, so I enjoyed this time a lot, but still. I feel that when I turn 30, I’ll suddenly fit the “middle-aged” label and that’s kind of scary :D

  • Samantha D

    Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas!! I just finished reading Assassin’s Blade and loved it! The best bday prez I ever got was a Fruits Basket messenger bag. :D

    • Ooh, Heir of Fire was one of my favourite reads of the last 6 months!! So good. I haven’t read Assassin’t Blade yet but I can’t wait for Queen of Shadows!

  • Michelle Lee

    I think I would choose Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge or Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee. I’ve heard people talking about the books, so I was interested in what the story was about. Thank you for this amazing chance!
    Happy belated 28th birthday! I hope you had a nice and wonderful celebration! :)

    • I liked Cruel Beauty better! It’s a great Beauty and the Beast retelling. As for Gates of Thread and Stone… I didn’t particularly like the book but I loved the cover :)
      And thank you, I had a lovely day! :)

  • Kelly Peterson

    I’d probably choice either Angelfall or Daughter of Smoke and Bone, because I’m horrible and still haven’t read it!! :( the best birthday present I received… Hmm that’s a tough one. I remember being SO EXCITED when I received my first bike for my birthday many, many years ago. Recently though, it would probably be my Kindle Fire I just got in March for my birthday!!! It’s been the best present since my mom lost my paper white on a plane!! Thank goodness my mom is a reader too!

    • OOH, those are both great choices, I’m sure you’ll love them once you get to read them.
      A bike is a great gift. I got one once for a birthday, too, when I was just starting university, I think, and it’s still the best way to get around town (buses suck here!). And yes, it’s great to have parents who read, too – my mom was the main influence on my reading life when I was a kid and I’m very grateful to her.

  • Emma A

    Happy Birthday!!! What a cool gift, hopefully this years might live up to it. One of the best gifts I got was my car from my parents. I think I would choose A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab.

    • Wow, a car is a great gift! :o
      And A Darker Shade of Magic is a wonderful choice, I loved that book!