Category: Uncategorized

Lazy Sundays: Audiobooks

There are many people that love audibooks, some that hate them and many that haven’t ever really tried them.  I fall into the third category.  Although Marc Secchia was kind enough to gift me an audiobook copy of Aranya, I never really had the time to listen to it.  But lately while I’ve been doing housework or even just working out I’ve been giving it a try.  The narrator is articulate and amusing and of course the sheer beauty of Marc Secchia’s writing style lends itself to being read aloud well.  But I still wasn’t sold on audiobooks until I listened to an audiobook of The Carnelian Legacy, which was gifted to me by Cheryl Koevoet a few days ago as a way of thanking me for helping out with the cover reveal.  This one combined with Aranya has me sold on audiobooks: they’re a great way to absorb a story while not having to physically sit down and read.  And some of them are quite elaborate, with sound effects and their own theme music.

I don’t think I’ll ever really buy an audiobook in place of a physical copy or ebook but who knows?  I never thought I’d really read ebooks either.

So what do you guys think of audiobooks?  Do you love ’em, hate ’em or haven’t ever tried ’em?

Lazy Sundays: Winter Sucks

Even though I’ve moved over 400 kilometres (250 miles) south, I find that my new home is much colder.  Which is odd, because you’d think that the further south you live, even if it’s just a couple hundred kilometres, the warmer things would be.  Apparently not.  I find that my new city is colder than it is up north because the wind blows right off the frozen river.  So although the ‘real’ temperature isn’t that low, the windchill quickly makes things unbearable.  At least up north I wasn’t near a river and had trees for shelter.

Or maybe I’m just being more curmudgeony than usual because the windchill has prevented me from going outside much lately.  I’m geting slightly stir-crazy but at the same time I’ve been reading much more than I normally would.  So I guess that’s an upside?

I hope you guys are warmer than I am!  How was your Sunday?

Discussion: Blog Traffic Patterns

One odd thing I’ve noticed over the years is that Mondays are my absolute best traffic days but Fridays are my worst.  This isn’t that odd when you think about it: people love to procrastinate at work on Mondays whereas on Fridays they’re more focused on going out.  But what’s interesting to me is what happens when there’s a holiday in North America (primarily in the United States): traffic goes down.

With everyone at home, you’d think my traffic would go up.  Yet the week of American Thanksgiving always finds virtual tumbleweeds blowing across the expanse of my blog.  What gives?  Do people only visit during work hours to procrastinate or when it’s a holiday do more people spend time with their families instead of on the internet?  It’s an interesting question and I wonder if it’s the same for a lot of other blogs or even larger websites.

Well, what do you guys think?  If you’re a blogger, do you have this happen as well?

The Best and Worst of November 2015

It’s been a rough few months posting-wise but I’ve finally got things back on track.  So let’s take a look at what my stats were like despite hardly posting anything throughout November.

In terms of views, November has been the worst month since July with only 4,114 page views (including 2,942 unique views).  That’s not surprising considering how little I posted throughout the month.  December will definitely be better.

So what were the best posts this month?

1.  How to Read 100 Pages in an Hour

2.  The Hunger Games and Ancient Rome

3.  Why Girls Hate Game of Thrones—A Rebuttal

4.  The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

5.  End of Days by Eric Walters

None of this is really that surprising.  Now that school and university are back in session, lots of students are trying to cram in as much reading in as little time as possible.  My speed-reading article will always remain popular for that reason.  And with the movie Mockingjay Part 2 coming out, it’s not surprising that my Hunger Games article surpassed the usually more popular Game of Thrones article.  I was surprised to see End of Days by Eric Walters up in the top 5 but then again I suspect it’s a popular-ish book for novel studies for middle school students.

Now that we’ve seen the best articles, what were the worst articles this month?

1.  Serenade by Emily Kiebel

2.  The Eagle and the Raven by Pauline Gedge

3.  My New York Trip Day #3: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

4.  Eldest by Christopher Paolini

5.  The Sorceress by Michael Scott

Like with the best posts this month, none of these are particularly surprising.  They’re either dated posts like my New York trip post or they’re older/less popular books that obviously don’t get as much search engine traffic.  As usual they’ll probably disappear from the list next month.

So that was how my November went.  There was sparse posting but December will be much better, especially once I do migrate over to WordPress.org.  How was your November?

 

Lazy Sundays: Greek History

My schedule has been so busy that although I am officially a volunteer at the local museum, I haven’t actually been able to do my training.  So in January I’m finally going to get my training to be a tour guide!  I can’t really articulate how excited I am to be working with both stunning replicas of real ancient Greek sculptures along with real Roman coins, glassware and Egyptian amulets.  I also can’t wait to have an excuse to prattle on about history to people who want to listen.

I’m quite confident in my ability to explain and answer most questions on Egyptian and Roman history but my one weakness in the main eras the museum covers is Greek history.  So I’ve been hitting the books for the cultural aspects and watching The Teaching Company’s ‘The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World’ for the famous events of Greek history.  It’s a lot to remember but I’m confident that over Christmas I’ll at least be able to answer the most basic questions about Greek history from the Archaic to the Classical Period (plus the wars of the Diadochi).

I was studying up on the English Civil War in preparation for an article here but I think that’s going to be put on hold.  However, in December I should finally have that Jon Snow article I keep promising you guys.  It’s to do with Roman history instead of Greek history but I think I can take some time off to write something longer than my usual reviews.

So how has your Sunday been?

Discussion: Reducing the TBR Pile

Like most book bloggers out there, my TBR pile is getting insane.  It includes not only books I’ve agreed to review for authors who contacted me while submissions were open but also books I requested from authors, NetGalley requests and of course my own personal collection (which grows by the month).  I’m starting to think I have a problem with cutting down on books.

However, these past few weeks since I’ve been back blogging I’ve drastically reduced my TBR pile.  I haven’t bought any new books and I’ve been going through my NetGalley dashboard to make sure I read and review all of the books on my shelf before I request any new ones.  Then I’m going to tackle the books I promised to review for authors and publishers, then books I requested from authors personally and finally the books I bought for myself. I have no illusions: I’m never going to actually cut down my TBR pile to zero.  However, I hope to get it down to at least less than 100.  It’s getting a little ridiculous.

So what do your TBR piles look like?  What strategies do you have for cutting them down to a more appropriate size?

Poll: What is your favourite genre?

This is pretty self-explanatory: What is your favourite genre?  For this poll, you can only choose one!  And if you feel like it, why did you choose that particular genre (i.e. Why is it your favourite?)?  Let us know in the comments below!