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
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
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
- A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin, for reasons listed above…
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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
- I became president of my 4-H club because I’m good at
bossing people aroundleadership. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?