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August Wrap-Up

September 1, 2008

August was a slow month for me – I didn’t finish nearly as many books as I was expecting to, and there was a long dry spell in the middle where the confluence of a conference and several loooong books meant that I didn’t finish a single book for a week and a half. Nevertheless, I give you the August monthly wrap-up spectacular! Ye Grande Olde TBR(e) Challenge progress update! Commentors! Search Terms! And so much more! (well, not really that much more, actually)

Ye Grande Olde TBR(e) Challenge update

Well, as probably no one remembers, I started August with 172 unread books laying around my house. And, I ended August with… 192. Oops! How did that happen?

We’ll start with the neutral books – books I read and reviewed that don’t make that number go down, but don’t make it go up either:

Dies the Fire by S. M. Stirling
The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer

Read but not owned
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau
The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne DuPrau
The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrau

And then we have the changes in my actual TBR pile:

Cleared from my TBR pile (huzzah!)
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

Added to, then promptly cleared from my TBR pile (um… huzzah?)
The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy

Added to my TBR pile (shame!)
Priestess of the White by Trudi Canavan
Last of the Wilds by Trudi Canavan
Voice of the Gods by Trudi Canavan
Heir of Autumn by Giles Carwyn and Todd Fahrenstock
Shaman’s Crossing by Robin Hobb
Forest Mage by Robin Hobb
The Magickers by Emily Drake
The Curse of Arkady by Emily Drake
The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller
The Awakened Mage by Karen Miller
Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay
The Alchemist’s Daughter by Katharine McMahon
You Suck: A Love Story by Christopher Moore
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Celtic Lore: The History of the Druids and Their Timeless Traditions by Ward Rutherford
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Gob’s Grief by Chris Adrian
Once Upon a More Enlightened Time: More Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Garner Finn
Headless Males Make Great Lovers: And Other Unusual Natural Histories by Marty Crump

Whew! That giant list is due in large part to two different friends both deciding to purge their bookcases, and me being unable to countenance the idea of letting other people get rid of books that I might possibly want to read. Plus, I have about seventy bazillion BookMooch points, after sending out all of the Forgotten Realms paperbacks, so I’ve been less discriminating with regards to my mooching. But I don’t plan on making a habit out of acquiring 20+ books a month, I swear!

Commenters in August

Many thanks to: Susan from Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books, Gwendolyn, Devourer of Books, Laura, Literate Housewife, Amanda from Life and Times of a New New Yorker, chainletters from A Chain of Letters, Bart of Bart’s Bookshelf, Joan Hamblin, kegsoccer, jacqui, Natasha from Maw Books Blog, Lisa, activeneoteny, Jena from Muse Book Reviews, gyma, Ruth from Bookish Ruth, Anna, Kelly from Bananas for Books, Stephanie from Stephanie’s Written Word, J. Kaye from J. Kaye’s Book Blog, Jessica from The Bluestocking Society, The Story Siren, Confuzzled Books, Ladyting_534 from The Movieholic and Bibliophile’s Blog, Shana at Literarily, kcs_hiker from Of Books and Birds…, Kara from World According to Books, lanymphette from Plus, Le Blog, and andrea!

If you stopped by and don’t see your name here, leave a comment and let me know you’re reading!

Search Terms!

burgess shale walcott quarry hike
Quite a few searches for this or similar terms. The only way you can see the actual Burgess Shale quarry site up close is to go on a guided hike – there’s some official information here. It’s about 21 km round-trip, with some fairly steep elevation gains… the first hour or so was straight up a series of pretty steep switchbacks towards Yoho Lake. The elevation gain over most of the midsection of the hike is pretty easy; you’re always going up but it’s not particularly steep until you get closer to the quarry. The public-use trail goes along the bottom of the protected area, so if you’re with the guided hike the last section up to the quarry is up another series of very steep (and when I was there, snow-covered) switchbacks. The quarry site is nothing particularly spectacular, but they do have a big chest full of nice examples of many of the Burgess Shale organisms. The views along the hike are pretty spectacular, though. On the way up, there are several stops for the guided part of the hike partly so everyone can catch their breath, and partly where the guide talks about the geology and paleontology of the area, and a bit on climate change and geologic time as well. Once you reach the quarry site, you’re on your own for the hike down, and can go at your own pace. I do recommend decent footwear and not race-walking down the mountain as I did; I’m in fairly good shape but climbing up and running down that mountain gave me an annoying case of tendinitis in my right foot. Any other questions about the hike, or if you’re thinking about doing it and want a veteran’s experience, leave a comment!

running stag brooch
Seriously, I get this search term about twice a week. It’s from a description in Outlander, and is a typical part of Jamie’s outfit. Sad to say, I don’t know where you can get authentic or reproduction Scottish highlander brooches, but if you’ve got $1300 to drop, there’s a Roman version here.

I get this one almost as much as the brooch… It was a vocab word from The Paradise War, and when I went searching for a definition, I literally could not find one anywhere on the internet. As best as I’m able to tell, it’s something like hummus.

what does it mean when a dead dragonfly
According to Yahoo Answers, dead dragonflies symbolize that sad news is coming.

stephenie meyer, relationship age issues
Well, in the Twilight series Edward’s something like 110 and Bella’s 17; in The Host Melanie’s in her late teens, Jared’s in his thirties (I think?), and Wanderer is probably over a thousand Earth-years old. But really, age is the least of the relationship issues in Stephenie Meyer’s books.

lds response to the 19th wife
Not being Mormon, I wouldn’t know. I thought it was pretty good, though. Any LDS-ers out there want to help me out?

when is envy by anna godbersen coming out
I started getting this search almost immediately after I posted my review for Rumors, the second book in the Luxe Novels series – which I read the week that it came out. Patience, people! According to Amazon, Envy is coming out on 27 January 2009.

outlander by diana gabaldon. sexy parts
dragonfly in amber sex scene

Yes there were, but I’m not going to re-post them here… I am trying to keep my blog to a PG-13 rating, after all. :)

fyrefly tricks
Hmm…. I was the hula-hoop champion of my grade school for two years running, does that count? And I can probably still do a convincing kartwheel, although I haven’t tried in a while.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2008 1:54 pm

    I love monthly wrap-up posts. Even though this was a supposedly slow month, I’m still impressed! And, I always appreciate your thoughts. I’ll be reading The Triumph of Deborah here soon. Thanks for the review.

  2. September 1, 2008 4:15 pm

    Thanks for the link.

    Fantastic book pile you have got there! :D

    I did my own, search terms wrap up this month, they’re a great deal fun to do, aren’t they?!

  3. September 2, 2008 10:41 am

    Hey, I was a hula hoop champ too! :) I always enjoy these wrap-up posts.

  4. September 2, 2008 12:01 pm

    Those are some hilarious search terms. I get a lot of traffic on my blog from people searching for tattoos. My brother is a tattoo artist and in July of last year I posted a photo of one he did on his friend’s back.

  5. September 2, 2008 1:09 pm

    This post is too hysterical! Such a perfect representation of the love/hate relationship with the TBR pile. Occasionally I do a “search term” post myself and it’s reassuring to see that another blogger is getting just as much … interesting traffic as I do.

  6. September 3, 2008 1:24 pm

    I love it when people post about the search terms – sooo funny. My question is, how do you get that info? Is it just a WordPress thing? I’d love to check it out for my own blog.

  7. September 3, 2008 2:22 pm

    Thanks, all! I’m glad people like the search terms – I think they’re funny, but I know that doesn’t always translate to other people thinking they’re funny as well. The majority of my search traffic is pretty standard, but there’s always a few gems.

    Susan – WordPress collects those kinds of stats for us, yes. I don’t know if Blogspot has something similar, or if there’s some kind of plug-in or program that you can get from a third party.

  8. September 12, 2008 6:06 pm

    Hi, there!

    I love these search term posts! How do you find out what search terms people have used to link to your site?

    Fyrefly, you’re in for a treat with Pillars of the Earth. It is in my top 5 best reads of ’08.

  9. September 12, 2008 11:27 pm

    Shana – WordPress gives us the search terms on the “dashboard” section of our blog, although I bet there’s some third-party application or plug-in that would collect that information for you on a non-wordpress blog.

    I’ve been a little apprehensive about Pillars of the Earth – I’ve heard nothing about good things about it, but it’s just so huge and I’ve mostly been in the mood for short, quick reads lately.

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