Quarterly Rewind, Summer 2013 – An Abundance Of Books, Doctor Who, Film Scores, And More!

I would like to thank Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner for the idea for this post. Each month, she does a recap of what happened: books she enjoyed, posts that were popular, songs that she found, and more. It seems like a quick, fun little thing to do so here I am.

I plan to do this in the future as well but as you can tell from the title, it won’t be a monthly occurrence. That seemed a bit excessive, so I would like to do this at the end of each season. Since the first day of fall is tomorrow (and because I have a special post planned), it follows that this post covers the time from June 21st through today.

Image From This Summer

DSCN2973

Taken June 30, 2013, at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Favorite Quote From A Book I Read This Summer

“In this city of splendors, Dany had expected the House of the Undying Ones to be the most splendid of all, but she emerged from her palanquin to behold a grey and ancient ruin. Long and low, without towers or windows, it coiled like a stone serpent through a grove of black-barked trees whose inky blue leaves made the stuff of the sorcerous drink the Quartheen called shade of the evening. No other buildings stood near. Black tiles covered the palace roof, many fallen or broken; the mortar between the stones was dry and crumbling. She understood now why Xaro Xhoan Daxos had called it the Palace of Dust. Even Drogon seemed disquieted by it. The black dragon hissed, smoke seeping out between his sharp teeth.”

 A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

I love the entire chapter that this passage comes from, but quoting the entire thing would have been a bit much. Once in the House of the Undying Ones, Dany sees “sights and sounds of days gone by and days to come and days that never were”. She passes all these rooms with scenes and the descriptions are just so vivid. It was a smart way for the author to sneak in hints about what would happen later, too.

This Summer In One Word

Long.

Most Popular Review This Summer

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell was the only book I reviewed this summer, so it wins by default!

Top Two Books I Read This Summer

  1. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin, for reasons listed above…
  2. I’d gotten Women Making America by Heidi Hemming and Julie Hemming Savage from the library before, but it’s pretty long and I wasn’t able to finish it before it was due. This time I read it all the way through and adored it. The book is about feminism and the history of women from pre-Revolutionary times until the present.

Two Things I’m Looking Forward To This Fall

  1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is in theaters December 13 and I’m planning to go with one of my best friends. We went to the previous one last year and the other day she excitedly asked me when the new one is. I was surprised since I thought she was just tagging along before, but now she has me excited too.
  2. Catching Fire comes out November 22 and I desperately want to go to the midnight premiere simply because I’ve never done that before with a movie. I’m excited to see Johanna, Finnick, Mags, the clock Arena, the Victory Tour, Beetee, Wiress… on and on my list goes.

Three New Obsessions This Summer

  1. I’ve been on a big learning-to-play-The Hunger Games’-film-score-on-the-piano kick lately. I hope my family isn’t too tired of it yet.
  2. It seems weird to list nail polish but hey, I like it. I started messing with it one evening when I was bored and although at first it looked like my nails had been painted by a blind, drunken baby monkey, I think I’ve improved. A bit. It’s so shiny and colorful!
  3. Doctor Who! I sped through the first four series in about a month and now I feel rather lost because everyone in series five is new. When Ten was new, he still had lots of adventures with his previous companions and their families but now no one is familiar and it’s just weird. (Another weird thing is the Doctor’s suspenders – what is it with young dudes on Doctor Who and their suspenders? I have never seen anyone but old guys wear them. My grandpa has some very colorful suspenders.) Even the theme music and the interior of the TARDIS are new. I’m not sure how that makes me feel. Wibbly-wobbly, perhaps.

Most Popular Five Blog Posts Overall This Summer

Note: I removed any popular posts from this list if they were not published this summer. For example, I wrote a post about what Hogwarts house I would be in during August 2011 and it is still my most-viewed post ever.

  1. I Can’t Think Straight was my coming-out post and I want to thank you guys for being awesome. I wondered if there would be negative comments; to the contrary, everyone was very encouraging!
  2. Evidently my readers like memes and Harry Potter, because I Take Veritaserum And Truthfully Answer A Bunch Of “Harry Potter” Questions is the second most-popular post.
  3. I’m rather proud of my suggestions in If I Ruled The World Of Reading… so I’m glad you agreed. (And thanks for the recommendations of LGBTQ+ fiction and good paranormal stories!)
  4. I consider J.K. Rowling And “Robert Galbraith” – A Controversy to be one of the best posts I wrote this summer. In it, I discussed pseudonyms, mysteries, and sexism in publishing.
  5. Writing The Impossible Bucket List as part of The Book Chewers’ link-up made me sad because there are so many parts of books that I want to experience. I never can, though. Sniffle.

That’s a very strange list, if I say so myself. I correctly predicted the first post but for the most part, posts I hoped would be popular because I spent a long time working on them didn’t make the top five.

Five Things That Happened This Summer

  1. I became president of my 4-H club because I’m good at bossing people around leadership. It was very strange to win this office not just because I’ve wanted it for the past few years but also because when I was little, the presidents seemed so mature and smart. I looked up to them, and now here I am with little kids doubtless thinking that I am a Very Motivated, Put-Together Person. Ha. I fly by the seat of my pants in everything, not just presidential matters.
  2. I resumed writing to my penpal after an eight-month break and it is so nice to get letters from her again. We talk about books, geekery, and various bizarre things we’ve done.
  3. I went to Washington, D.C. There I did a number of things including, but not limited to: getting lost, calling my parents frequently to assure them that I hadn’t run out of money, not getting enough sleep, and spilling food on myself whilst others looked on and laughed. But really, it was fun. I wish I could go back – not just to D.C. but back in time to relive that trip, as it was one of the best weeks of my life.
  4. I passed the tests for my driver’s license and have enjoyed the feeling of independence resulting in being able to get myself to and from places. At some point, I also realized just how many activities I do that require transportation. Sometimes it feels like too many because I don’t feel like driving there, but I don’t want to give up anything.
  5. I (why do each of these sentences begin with “I”?) took English 101 at a local college and earned an A because I am real smart. My shining moment came when I wrote a humorous short-response essay about “why Mrs. Lee should buy me a snack from the vending machine” – we were learning how to create an effective argument. I earned those Doritos. Yum yum!

Six Songs That I Listened To Far Too Often This Summer

1. “A Journey in the Dark” (The Fellowship of the Ring) – Howard Shore

Lately I’ve been listening to this film’s score often as I do my schoolwork and I love, love, love this song. 2:00 to 3:00 is my favorite part because it’s so sad yet majestic and it brings to mind the huge, beautiful halls and caverns of Moria. It makes me want to go to Middle-earth.

2. “Rue’s Farewell” (The Hunger Games) – James Newton Howard

I usually listen to the version of this song from the official motion picture soundtrack CD but a few weeks back, I found this interpretation by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. I don’t know enough about violins to know what it is they’re doing differently with theirs, but it’s definitely something different and I love it. It’s neat to hear multiple version of the same song because people have varying ideas as to how it should be played.

3. “The Dark Game of Hobbit Knight Thrones” – Jason Yang

I think the word “brilliant” is overused, but no other word fits this guy as well. He played all the parts separately, then edited them together. What a genius. Musically speaking, I now feel like the stupid kid who sits in the corner eating paste. And better yet, the song combines some of the best pieces of my favorite film scores: The Dark Knight, Game of Thrones, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

4. “Stay” – Rihanna

My roommate in D.C. played this a lot on her iPod and it grew on me.

5. “Hit the Road, Jack!” – Ray Charles

I’ve listened mostly to instrumental songs this summer, one of the few exceptions being Ray Charles’ stuff. This song is pretty, but in a very different way from anything else I’ve obsessed over lately.

6. “The Companion Suite” (Doctor Who At The Proms 2013) – Murray Gold

I didn’t expect Doctor Who to have great music, but its score has become one of my favorite parts of the show. The composer is fantastic because his score fits the characters, places, and moods so well. Consider this compilation of the female companions’ themes, for instance. Rose’s theme is beautifully tragic and matches her mood, for it broke her heart that she couldn’t travel with the Doctor forever. Martha’s is dreamy because she was in love with the Doctor. Donna’s is mischievous, no further explanation needed. Amy’s is gorgeous and yet my least favorite because the other themes are just that good. Funnily enough, this sums up my feelings on Amy herself.

Which of my summer blog posts was your favorite? What did you do during your own summer?

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth, University of Iowa class of 2019. Double majoring in English & Creative Writing and Journalism. Twenty-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, and aspiring writer. Passionate about feminism and lesbian positivity.
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17 Responses to Quarterly Rewind, Summer 2013 – An Abundance Of Books, Doctor Who, Film Scores, And More!

  1. Artgirl says:

    *

    *takes a brief moment to get music fangirling out of the way*
    I think after a while you’ll adjust to the newness of season five. It was very difficult to get used to for me at first, but the new TARDIS/theme has grown on me.
    Amy is also my least favorite companion, though that has less to do with her character and more to do with the writers not giving her a whole lot to do. I feel like I’d like her much more if they let her save the day sometimes instead of just Eleven. Although by the time I got to season 7 she’d definitely grown on me.

    • nevillegirl says:

      I like the theme that plays at the… end? I think? With all the voices? That one’s cool, but I still like the Eccleston version more. (Computer, why won’t you recognize Eccleston as a name? I don’t mean Ecclesiastes!)
      At least Rory’s back now, in the episodes I’m watching. He actually does this, if a bit awkwardly.

    • nevillegirl says:

      If I were a companion, I’d probably be a cross between Donna and Rory. Awkward and a little over the top sometimes, but basically a nice person. Average.
      I’d WANT to be someone who kicks butt like Jack or River but I don’t see that happening. Alas, alas.

      • Artgirl says:

        Yeah, out of all the companions I’m probably the most like Rory with a hint of Donna and maybe a bit of Rose thrown in. But really I only wish I could be like any of them.

  2. I love that picture you took in D.C. 🙂 I would never be able to take anything as good as that! (My photography skills are severely limited to pictures of my adorable dog, who does most of the work for me by looking irresistibly cute).

    Mind if I steal this for my blog? 😉

  3. Boquinha says:

    Fun post – so good to learn more about you. I’ve enjoyed reading yours and TMV’s. 🙂 Eleanor and Park is one of my top 3 favorite reads so far this year – love your review.

  4. Taylor Lynn says:

    Oh my, that quote from A Clash of Kings is absolutely stunning–such elegant prose and vibrant, fresh descriptions! (More and more often now I end up reading as a writer, haha, can you tell? 😉 ) And I’m so glad that your coming out post was met with such positivity and encouragement, huzzah for that! Also, congrats on the A in English 101, and I’m glad you and your pen pal have reconnected–there’s nothing like getting a good letter by snail mail. 🙂 It sounds like you had a wonderful summer, so glad you enjoyed yourself!

    (PS Congrats, too, on making president of your 4-H club! I was actually just elected as secretary for my Interact club and I’m super excited. Look at the two of us, showing such leadership…! 😉 )

    • nevillegirl says:

      I know, right?! When I was little I would read a book and just think, “Oh, that part’s cool.” Now that I’m more serious about writing, I still think the same thing but also, “Wait, how’d they do that?”
      I did! How was yours?
      What’s Interact?

      • Taylor Lynn says:

        Yeah; when I was little I basically either liked a book or I didn’t. Now, I like books to varying degrees, and I pinpoint WHY I liked or didn’t like a book, and WHAT I liked or didn’t like, specifically, within the book, etc. Learning about the craft of writing has made me a much more critical reader, but in a good way, I think!

        My summer was okay. It’s not that it was BAD, really, just that being off of a schedule I got my annual case of the summer doldrums and by the end of the season I realized I’d been slacking in pretty much all areas of my life, haha. I haven’t actually, truly written anything fictional in months! Fall has rejuvenated me, though, and I’m hoping to remedy that soon. 🙂

        Oh, and Interact is like the Rotary International Club, just for teens. (Have you heard of Rotary? I know there are branches all over the place…) We do a lot of community service projects, and some fun activities, too. My sisters and I joined last year, and this year my sister Jordan and I both ran in the officer elections–and we both got the positions we were shooting for, woohoo! (She’s Webmaster.)

    • nevillegirl says:

      Aaaaaaah yes! *is excited because she didn’t know if anyone else felt that way* Same here and not just with books, but with everything. I used to see things as very black and white. Now I can step back, look at a book, and go, “The description/humor/whatever is AWESOME, but so-and-so needed to be more fleshed out. I didn’t feel like I knew much about that character.”

      …I slacked in pretty much everything but writing, so don’t feel too bad. 🙂

      Oh, that sounds like fun! It sounds a little like 4-H actually, but without the major end-of-year projects. Does Webmaster have something to do with a website, or what?

      • Taylor Lynn says:

        Basically same, haha! *thinks we must be internet twins* *or something like that*

        Haha, well, at least you got the writing done! 😉

        Yeah, I think they’re probably rather similar…both sort of community service-ish and about teamwork and leadership, etc. 🙂 Just different names and focuses! Honestly, though, in our club most of the officer titles seem pretty honorary and we don’t have many responsibilities; but as Webmaster Jord’s got ideas for starting online stuff. We’ve only got a Facebook page now, and even that’s updated by one of our advisers!

  5. Sunny Smith says:

    Great idea! This type of post gives a new reader, like myself, a chance to read some older posts:)

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