August Wrap-Up, September Plans

August saw my (triumphant?) return to the book blogging world, posting reviews for the first time in several months. I’m grateful to all of you who stuck with me throughout my extended hiatus, and to the new readers who’ve subscribed in the last few weeks — I know there are a handful of you! I also joined the #Bookstagram world and committed too many hours of my life to taking pictures of books for Instagram, which has been challenging but rewarding. On my main blog, I posted a roundup of my most popular book reviews and photos from the month of August. I thought I’d do the opposite here, and share some of my top posts from my personal blog, so that those who don’t follow both blogs can check them out. I actually spent a substantial amount of time drafting this post a while ago, but it turns out that WordPress hates me and decided to eat the whole thing. Sigh. Guess we’d better start again. 😦

Top 10 Blog Posts @ Miriam Joy Writes in August 2018

1. Loki, Gender and Costume Design in Thor: The Dark World

I wrote this post in 2013, but it still consistently tops my stats, so I guess I’ve just got to resign myself to the fact that this one really detailed analysis of Marvel’s costume design is what I’m known for. I’d probably write it differently if I were writing it today, not least because I have five years’ more experience and a degree in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, but y’know. For a post I wrote when I was seventeen, it’s not bad.

2. Fact-Checking, ‘Vikings’ Style

Since my second most popular post was another pop culture one, this time from 2014, I’m beginning to think I ought to write about pop culture more often. This one’s an analysis of a particular episode of Vikings series 2, and why it was historically implausible. I’m still fairly proud of this one.

3. Part-Time Adulting

Thankfully, #3 is a post from this month, so my past self isn’t entirely winning this popularity contest. In this post I discussed how chronic pain and illness has been affecting my job search.

4. What to Wear to Lectures at Uni

This was from last year, but I shared it this month, and as people gear up for a new academic year, I suppose it’s relevant again. What happens if you wear a three-piece suit to a lecture? Is it acceptable to wear a Moomin onesie to an Old Irish class?

5. General Purpose University Advice

In this post, I shared links to some of my past posts about university (such as #4 on this list), and invited people to ask more questions that I’d try and answer. This is still open, as I haven’t got around to answering those I was sent so far!

6. Telling Nonbinary Stories With My Feet

This was a substantial (1600 word) post about Irish dance, gender, and how the Blas summer school and Breandan de Gallai’s work increased my interest in choreography. I was surprised it got so many views, being super long, but since #1 on this list is over 2k in length, maybe longform posts are my style…

7. The Perfect Novel Synopsis

In the lead-up to Pitch Wars, I wrote a joke synopsis / blurb for my novel and shared it in this post, which has had a mixed response. While a couple of people said it made them want to read the book, one person told me it ‘failed miserably’ to make them like my protagonist Isabel. Ouch.

8. Break Your Characters

This post is from 2014, and honestly, I’m slightly confused by how much traffic it’s getting. It’s a post giving some ideas for ways to be mean to your characters, which is something I’m great at, but I have no idea why it’s suddenly made a resurgence.

9. 20 Questions I’m Asking Myself

Another pre-Pitch Wars post about my writing plans, written in a jokey style. I thought I’d try and keep things a bit more light-hearted and write some shorter posts since I lean towards the long and dense and, frankly, I don’t have the brainpower to do that regularly!

10. Five Things I’ve Learned Line-Editing “Butterfly of Night”

Again, a Pitch Wars preparation post, where I wrote about some of the quirks I’ve noticed in my own writing.
The post on my main blog lists my top 5 reviews, bookstagram photos, and books read in August, so if you’re interested, please check that out! Although they’re in that post, I’ll also share some bookish stats:

In August 2018…

  • I read 17 books
  • of which 3 were audiobooks I listened to while at work
  • and 3 were rereads — 1 of them accidental.
  • I had 1 5* read (apparently only my second this year, though I’ve also reread two earlier 5* reads).
  • I bought 3 secondhand books and pre-ordered 2 books that will come out later this year.

In September 2018…

So, what’s next for September? Well, I’m hoping to maintain the pattern of posting reviews consistently. At the moment I’m posting three a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but I’m considering changing things up a little and swapping one of those days for a book tag or Top 10 post or something. It depends how sustainable I find it to keep posting three reviews per week! I also plan to keep going with bookstagram, though it’s a challenging and time-consuming hobby, but I need to make sure it doesn’t affect my ability to actually, well, read books. My reading this month was somewhat inhibited by starting a new job, and as dance starts up again in September, I’ll have to carve out some time to read. I’m welcoming recommendations for audiobooks I can listen to at work (which is often very repetitive, so they help me concentrate), as well as ideas for Top 10 lists I could compile — and for books in general, obviously. I’m also open to review requests, but please check out my Reviewing Policy first. You can contact me via the contact form on this blog or via miriam [at] miriamjoywrites [dot] com. I’ve got some great reviews coming up in the next few weeks, including some new releases, so I hope you’ll stick around! Which of my August reviews did you enjoy most?

2 thoughts on “August Wrap-Up, September Plans

  1. CG @ Paper Fury says:

    Now that you’ve returned to the blogging/reading world in fierceness, you’re going to LEAVE ME IN THE DUST with the Goodreads challenge, aren’t you!? 😂😂 *cries a little* Actually please keep going with bookstagram, because it’s like the top reason I don’t read enough lmao, and you need to join me in this suffering. It’s so much FUN but also very time-consuming (and frustrating with the stats). But hey congrats on all the posts written this month too and all the books read!

    (Also I think you’ve read Illuminae, right??? But if not, the audios are REALLY cool and dramatised.)


    • Miriam Joy says:

      Last time I looked you were still at least 10 books ahead of me, I think you’re safe for now 😂

      I actually haven’t read Illuminae! Mostly because I really struggle with visual processing (I don’t get on well with graphic novels at all) so the unique formatting just kind of … freaked me out. My library didn’t have it and I didn’t want to take a risk and buy it when I might find it impossible to actually read. Audio would circumvent that, but I haven’t seen that on my library’s (limited) selection of audiobooks, and I’m not ready to pay for my workplace entertainment yet, lol.


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