It’s hard to believe that winter is finally over, at least technically. Yesterday was the first official day of spring, but did it feel that way here? Noooooo. It snowed. Blergh.
Anyway, that means it’s time for another quarterly rewind. This post covers December twenty-first through March nineteenth. Previous posts like this can be found here and as always, the idea for a quarterly rewind is not mine but the Perpetual Page-Turner’s.
Image From This Winter
Taken in mid-January at my house
Favorite Quote From A Book I Read This Winter
“As always, the blessed relief of starting, a feeling that was like falling into a hole filled with bright light. As always, the glum knowledge that he would not write as well as he wanted to write. As always the terror of not being able to finish, of accelerating into a brick wall. As always, the marvelous joyful nervy feeling of journey begun.”
– Misery by Stephen King
I dreaded reading this book, because I thought it would be boring. Well, it wasn’t. Gory? Oh, certainly. (And that was difficult to handle.) But it was outstanding. I loved the tension and fear, but my favorite parts were the sections when Paul writes. He becomes this macabre Scheherazade. And I love that quote above. I can relate to it because that’s what I do (or try to do) every day. Even though I’m not locked in a house with a psycho fan.
This Winter In One Word
Most Popular Review This Winter
The first of my Two-In-One reviews, a discussion of Harry Potter: Page to Screen and The Hunger Games: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion, was most popular. Both books are about the process of adapting books into movies and I highly recommend them.
Top Two Books I Read This Winter
Malinda Lo’s Ash, a retelling of “Cinderella” with queer girls, is not only my favorite book of the season – it’s one of my favorites, period. I love its elegant writing. I love its bisexual protagonist (I don’t think I’d ever read a book with one before). I love how being queer isn’t a big deal in Ash’s world, because sometimes I tire of reading book after book where homophobia and bullying form a huge part of the plot. Sometimes I just want a happy book. A happy fairy tale like the straight kids get.
- I read a lot of retellings this month, and Cress by Marissa Meyer was no exception. It adapts “Rapunzel” and I love the characters, especially Thorne and Cinder. I can’t wait for the final book in the series!
Two Things I’m Looking Forward To This Spring
- Last year I visited Washington, D.C., through a 4-H trip and I had a ton of fun so about a month ago I applied for a similar trip through another organization. And the acceptance letter came yesterday! I’m so excited! It’s in June.
- In the next few weeks, my mom and I will visit some colleges, including the University of Iowa and Indiana University at Bloomington.
Three New Obsessions This Winter
- I finally watched Sherlock. The first two series, anyway. I’ve been too busy to see the third, but I will at some point. I also analyzed its villain, Moriarty, here.
- Goodreads! I have to keep track of my reading for school but I always lose the paper lists, so I tried this website and it works much better. I’ve read thirty-three books since January, exactly one-third of my 2014 reading goal, plus one book (by Stephen King) in the last few weeks of December. You’re welcome to friend me, although I’m not very interesting there – I don’t post reviews there or participate in any writing groups. I just record stuff.
- I got an iPod for Christmas and it is so cool! I named it River Song because, you know, it holds songs. Around ninety-five percent of the music on my iPod is film scores, and the rest is usually credits songs from the same movies. So basically, it’s all scores right now. Lots of Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and Doctor Who.
Most Popular Five Blog Posts Overall This Winter
- I’m happy to announce that Representation And Disappointment, a long post about LGBTQ+ characters in fiction, was extremely popular. I worked hard on it, and had fun writing the post. There was a lot of good discussion in the comments, too.
- Apparently you guys like it when I do blog memes, because There Is (Never) Too Much Information About Books was just that.
- The reviews of Harry Potter: Page to Screen and The Hunger Games: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion were third-most popular, but I already linked to them above. (I’m glad they were popular – one of my 2014 blogging goals is to write more book reviews.)
- On Valentine’s Day, I fangirled about adorable fictional couples in Together Or Not At All.
- I wrote a stream-of-consciousness post called Sherlocked about, you guessed it, BBC Sherlock.
Five Posts I Loved On Other Blogs This Winter
- I agreed with everything Orphu wrote in J.K. Rowling’s Not My Queen, especially this part: “The real Harry Potter is the Harry Potter in my mind. It’s not quite the same as the books, as much as I tend to assume it is. It’s a reasonable assumption, really, since the world in my mind came from the world in the books, but it somewhere morphed, in a wonderful subtle way, while I wasn’t paying attention. And became my Harry Potter.” This really describes how I feel about Harry Potter now – I still love it, but sometimes I think I love my own ideas about it more than I do what’s actually written.
- Miriam Joy came out in Happy New Queer, a lovely, intelligent post. Also, her new blog design is pretty – I’m jealous of the header. I want my blog title in cursive!
- Charley R’s post A Touch of Sunshine is about feeling melancholy and it’s illustrated with beautiful photos.
- Mime (one-half of the Notebook Sisters) argued, “Why shouldn’t kids have books that really make them think and ponder?” in Don’t Patronize Me.
- Matt’s In Which I Give You Bad Advice About Writing features his usual sarcastic (and hilarious) thoughts.
Five Things That Happened This Winter
I took the SAT.
- I wrote for the Good-Sinful Alliance’s 2014 conference. I LOVED THIS, YOU GUYS.
- I read tons of books with diverse protagonists. Expect a post on this sometime soon. Expect posts on this throughout the year, actually.
- I competed with a team of homeschoolers against other schools in an academic bowl. This is the third time I’ve done that and this year’s topic was “Westward Expansion.” My English team didn’t win anything, but several others (like History) won first place, and overall the entire homeschooled team placed second!
- I wrote five posts for the A B See Photo Challenge. I know, I know, that’s not very many. I’m still proud, though, because that’s more than I had been doing. (And P’s post will arrive soon! It’s extra-special because I don’t often practice portraits.)
Six Songs That I Listened To Far Too Often This Winter
1. “I See Fire” (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) – Ed Sheeran
Yeah, I made fun of this song. But I don’t hate it. Quite the contrary! It’s dorky, yet I love it. It’s a beautiful piece of music and Sheeran’s voice fits the emotions of the song perfectly.
2. “Frost Giant Battle” (Thor) – Patrick Doyle
This is from one of my favorite fantasy scores, and I guess it’s from an action sequence. It certainly sounds that way. It’s intimidating in sections but just beautiful in others. It’s great writing music.
3. “The Tour” (Catching Fire) – James Newton Howard
This is probably my favorite piece from this film’s score. It starts as a reworking of “Rue’s Farewell” from The Hunger Games, then meanders off into two equally lovely themes. This piece made the District 11 scene perfect.
4. “The Grey Havens” (The Return of the King) – Howard Shore
This scene is one of my favorites in the entire trilogy, and its music is just as brilliant. Around 2:16 it gets especially beautiful. Sad and gorgeous Lord of the Rings songs are the best, guys.
5. “Into The West” (The Return of the King) – original by Annie Lennox, cover by Peter Hollens
I love the original version, but I think a male voice makes it even better. It’s a capella – Hollens doesn’t use any instruments, just his voice – and basically it. Is. Amazing. It’s even more beautifully tragic than the original.
6. “Remember Me” (Doctor Who, series seven) – Murray Gold
Of all the songs listed here, “Remember Me” is by far my favorite. It begins with Clara’s theme, my second-favorite companion theme (because Rose has one even more gorgeous). From there it turns into a mellow yet still majestic version of “I Am The Doctor,” and I think I might hear “This Was Gallifrey” somewhere in there, but you know what? Enough with all that technical blathering. Just listen to it. I love it. Series seven’s finale was already one of my favorites (in terms of finales, not episodes) and this piece was the perfect conclusion to it.
It almost even makes me like Clara!
What did you enjoy most on my blog this winter? And what have you done during these past few months?
P.S. The Divergent film adaptation is out today, so I’m going to see it later with some friends! Yay! Are you seeing it too any time soon?