Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Recap for July 2012

My blog hits continue to grow. Here in the anniversary month of my blog, I just fell short of 3,000 hits. I know a lot of you will chuckle and think, How cute, but for me, it's an accomplishment.

Onto the recap:

Book Reviews
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling (3/5 stars; humorous memoir)—A writer for The Office (American edition) writes about what brought her to her current status. Has its moments in Kaling's self-deprecating, often ironic humor, but lacks a narrative thread or theme to tie it together.

Ashes and Wine by Taryn Elliott (5/5 stars; romance with tragic elements)—That the author is in my writing group has nothing to do with my high rating. She earned all five of those stars with a heart-wrenching tale of love in a time of loss.

The Ultimate David Sedaris Audio Collection by David Sedaris (4/5 stars; humorous memoir; audio)—I reviewed all of the books within the collection separately, because they're a bit much, taken as a whole. Those individual links are all within the above review. David Sedaris is a gay man with OCD, and he recounts vignettes of his life with a darkly humorous twist. Mostly, the laugh is on him. The entire set can be overwhelming for a newbie like me, but I do recommend the various parts.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman (2/5 stars; magical realism; read as part of Twitter's #1book140)—Self-involved high school student goes to an institute of higher learning devoted to magic. Wastes it. Too bogged down in literary trappings to let the wondrous parts of the story breathe.

Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead (4/5 stars; urban fantasy)—Succubus Georgina Kincaid lives in Seattle, meets her favorite author, longs for a normal relationship, and looks into the deaths of local supernaturals, who aren't supposed to be able to die. Surprisingly deep, and very readable.

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (4/5 stars; feminist literary fiction; audio)—Iris Chase Griffen recounts her early life, in a story within a story with a story framework. Lovely and touching, yet not my favorite Atwood book.

Fighting Gravity by Leah Petersen (3/5 stars; science fiction M/M romance; received a review copy)—This debut novel shows a lot of promise, but leaves too many questions I felt could've been answered, and grammar editing was shoddy. Interested in seeing what's next for this author.

Aesop's Fables (4/5 stars; classic in the Greek sense of the word)—I'd never read all of the fables, so paging through a collection whenever I was between projects was fun. Surprising how relevant some of the lessons still are.

Most Popular Posts in July
Grammar: Hyphen Use continued to draw a lot of people to my blog.

A post on why I read audio books drew a few readers my way.

Grammar Peeves: Filler was about filler words that waste time in the narrative, and apparently a lot of people wanted to know more.

My progress post that discussed my new project had more than a few curious readers.

Grammar Peeves: Homonyms discussed how words that sound alike can trip up any author, and I included a list, as well as a suggestion of how to deal with them.

I'm skipping over a link for my giveaway, because that ended a month ago. All of the winners should've received their books by now.

I posted about how many characters a story may need, and how to deal with a surplus. That was posted in June, but people didn't discover it until July, evidently.

My review of 11/22/63 went up way back in January, but that's still generating interest. Search inquiries ask about "The Murder Place," the yellow card man, or references to It or Christine. I'm glad people are finding my post, because I do mention those things, if not in the review, then in my posts about the readalong I participated in that month.

Editing: Where to Start is the beginning of a sometimes series, and the fact that it did fairly well in hits encourages me to continue.

My post on fanfic did pretty well for itself.

And I told some secrets about how writers research things to make their writing more real, which several of you wanted to know about.

Next month: more posts on editing, some Austen in August posts (event hosted by Roof Beam Reader), and your regularly-scheduled blathering. Hope your August is awesome, pantsters!

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