Tag Archives: Weekly Geeks

Weekly Geeks

As I posted the other day, Weekly Geeks has returned. WG 2009-38 is about expanding the readership of your blog. This only sort of applies to me: I enjoy blogging and try to post things that might interest others, but I’ll still post even if no one reads it. And while the majority of my posts are book reviews, I don’t consider myself a book blogger. My only requirement for a blog post is that it must contain at least one link. That’s it. Generally I avoid writing about my day-to-day life, but only because I already have a personal online journal (and it’s not all that interesting to people who don’t know me…or most of the people who do, for that matter). I try to review every book I read or listen to, and I avoid posting more than once a day. I don’t really have any goals for it. Maybe I’m being too casual.

That said, of course I want to appeal to more readers. Unfortunately, the suggestions listed in the WG article don’t really help. According to Google Analytics (which I find less than illuminating at the best of times), the majority of my visitors come from Geocities, presumably on the hunt for writing prompts. Twitter comes in a distant second, which isn’t surprising since I have it set up to automatically tweet whenever I make a new blog post. I just recently eased the search functionality by adding titles and tags to all my old entries, which I suppose counts as progress.

I like to think my blog is easy for new readers to dive into. I almost never post something that would make more sense if you had been reading for a while, I don’t use jargon or inside jokes (that I’m aware of), and I have no rating system to explain. If folks care to continue reading, I’m easy to find: I’m first when Googling “utter randomonium” and third for “melydia” (though the first two hits are also me, and contain links to my homepage as well).  The RSS feed subscription button is also prominently displayed near the top of the page.

So I dunno. I’ve read enough blogs and blogging tips to know more or less what I should be doing to increase my readership, but I’m not sure popularity and visibility is all that important to me. It’s just a blog. It amuses me. Hopefully it amuses others. The end.

P.S. – The phrase is “couldn’t care less.” If you could care less, then you must care at least a little bit. Just sayin’.

Sad News

It is with great sadness that I write that Dewey of The Hidden Side of a Leaf has passed away. I didn’t even know she was ill, but according to her husband she had been suffering for a long time. She was the mastermind behind many delightful projects, including Weekly Geeks, the Bookworms Carnival, and the semi-annual 24-Hour Read-a-thon. I didn’t know her personally, but I checked her blog almost every day. It’s fitting that her last post was about a personal challenge to give away one book every day of the holiday season. She will be greatly missed by the book blogging community. And by me.

Weekly Geeks

WG #24 is fun facts about authors. I’ve decided to choose Christopher Stasheff, not just because he’s a brilliant writer, but also because he and his family are wonderful people and close friends of mine. So here you go.

  1. When he’s not writing, he’s teaching: he used to teach theater at Montclair State University in New Jersey, and now teaches radio and television at Eastern New Mexico University.
  2. He named his four children after kings and queens.
  3. His daughter has done some ghostwriting for him.
  4. He naturally resembles Santa Claus, and has been a mall Santa several times.
  5. His books were popular on the black market in Soviet Russia.
  6. His BA and MA degrees were in Speech and Broadcasting, both from the University of Michigan, but his PhD is in Theater, from the University of Nebraska.
  7. He is a practicing Catholic.
  8. He grew up in Mount Vernon, New York, and Ann Arbor, Michigan; raised his kids in New Jersey and Champaign, Illinois; and now lives in Portales, New Mexico.
  9. He co-wrote the final two Harold Shea novels with L. Sprague de Camp.
  10. Though he appears on a number of author sites and fan sites, Mr. Stasheff has no homepage of his own.

P.S. – If you’re curious: my review of St. Vidicon to the Rescue.

Weekly Geeks

Crikey. This week’s Weekly Geeks is a quiz. The post lists 100 first lines from books and asks how many you can identify. There is some kind of contest about getting all of them but ehh, I’ll just see how well I can do off the top of my head. Here’s the ones I know for sure:

1. Call me Ishmael.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville

2. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

5. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.
Er, duh. Lolita by Vladimir Nobokov

8. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
1984 by George Orwell

9. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (*snore*)

10. I am an invisible man.
The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (not H.G. Wells *grin*)

12. You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

14. You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler.
Gee, I wonder if this could possibly be If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino. ;)

16. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

22. It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
(I can’t technically count this one. After all, I only know it because of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. That is, I only know who wrote it because of that. I first learned it, like most people, from reading Peanuts.)

50. I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. (Great book, BTW.)

53. It was a pleasure to burn.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

65. You better not never tell nobody but God.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker (another excellent book)

66. “To be born again,” sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, “first you have to die.”
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (kind of a meh book)

71. Granted: I am an inmate of a mental hospital; my keeper is watching me, he never lets me out of his sight; there’s a peephole in the door, and my keeper’s eye is the shade of brown that can never see through a blue-eyed type like me.
The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass (a very strange but intriguing book)

83. “When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets,” Papa would say, “she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing.”
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (I loved it, but it’s not for everyone)

So, I was able to identify 15 of the 100. Not bad, considering how few of the books I’ve actually read. I recognized many more, but Googling is cheating, so I’ll leave it at that. I hope subsequent Weekly Geeks are more interesting than the memes that routinely show up on LiveJournal.

Weekly Geeks

I’ve decided to dust off this blog and post some more. It will still be link-centric (as opposed to diary-like), and I’ll still most likely never post more than once a day, but with my recent discovery of Weekly Geeks I may start branching out from my normal subject matter.

So let’s begin, shall we? This is week #20, but it appears to be a continuation of last week’s, so I’ll do that. Weekly Geeks #19: list your top books published in 2008.

I was looking at my list of books read this year so far, and realized that I’ve read only two books this year that were also published this year. I imagine my Reduce My TBR Mountain challenge participation has something to do with it (I pledged to read 30 books off my pre-2008 to-be-read pile, which I completed about a week ago), and the fact that ye olde TBR has become so overwhelming that I also (mostly) stopped signing up for ARC’s.

Unfortunately, as one of the books was not worth reading, I only have one 2008 book to share as my “top”. Fortunately, it was actually a very good book: Nation by Terry Pratchett. I reviewed this fairly recently so I won’t repeat myself, but I will say that it’s definitely worth your while.

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