Thursday, April 5, 2018

March Wrap-Up

I'm linking up with the Wrap-Up Round-Up @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction





March Snapshots



The view from my backyard.






One of the many reasons I'm terrible at Bookstagram. Irritating creatures nap on my backdrop.







Green books for St. Patrick's Day.





1. Another year closer to death. It was my birthday in March! I’m now a 30-something instead of a 20-something. Considering how immature I am, that’s scary. I still laugh when ketchup bottles make fart noises! My birthday was the day after St. Patrick’s Day, so I celebrated by eating lots of green-frosted-everythings. I should probably change the title of this segment to “Ten years closer to death” because who knows what’s in all that green frosting.




Remember the birthday giveaway that I Tweeted about incessantly for a month? It’s over, and there were 740 entries! The winner is from Romania and chose A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I hope they enjoy the book!






2. A mildly noticeable makeover. You’re not going crazy; the blog’s appearance did change slightly in March. I switched from a 3-column layout to a 2-column layout. The header, graphics, and fonts are different too. I hope the changes are tolerable because it took me a day and a half to make all these tiny alterations. Why did I think having a website was a good idea? I have no clue what I’m doing. Thank the deity of your choice for free web design tutorials.









3. So much winning. I have been acquiring a stupid amount of books lately. That’s why I participated in the Take Control of Your TBR Challenge in March. I had big plans for this challenge. I was going to read a middlegrade book every single day and get through the short story collections I had laying around. I was so hyped for March 1st. Then March 1st came, and I read nothing. Yep. I failed at all my big plans on day 1. Go me.




I did end up reading 12 books for the challenge, so I guess I didn’t fail that hard.






4. Stuff that happened on Twitter. I was reading articles about how to be a better blogger, and I came across one that told me I should be tweeting links to new blog content five times a day. I wondered if anyone actually does that. 

Nope. Literally nobody does that.


This happened, too:







5. Don’t gas me, bro! (On a related topic, I hope poison is good for humans.) Six hundred things die in the story I’m about to tell you, but I promise it has a slightly happy ending, so stick with me.

My favorite running path goes through a prairie dog colony. In March, I was out for a run and was getting near the colony when I started smelling something really nasty. It was like Raid bug spray, but extra intense. I slowed down because it was hard to breathe the Raid stuff. Then I noticed that it was eerily silent along the path. There weren’t any prairie dogs barking. When I walked under the bridge and into the main part of the prairie dog colony, there were exterminators gassing all the prairie dogs and flattening their burrows. NOOOO! I like the prairie dogs! The exterminators were killing them all!

I understand why the critters needed to be killed. They carry bubonic plague fleas, and they attract coyotes, which eat children and pets. Nobody wants a coyote to eat their baby. Still, I was sad that 600 prairie dogs got poisoned. That colony had been there for most of my life.

Here’s the somewhat happy part: A few days after the gassing, I ran past the colony and saw survivors! There were stunned prairie dogs wandering through the wasteland. From what I’ve observed, a prairie dog’s life consists of barking, eating, digging, and having tons of sex in public, so the colony will be back!

I realize that a lot of you are probably like, “Cool story, Aj, but what the hell’s a prairie dog?” Behold:













Wayward Googlers




Cait @ Paper Fury sometimes posts the amusing Google searches that led people to her blog. Today, I’m stealing her idea. Here are a few unfortunate souls who ended up on Read All The Things! instead of finding what they were Googling for.



“I speak fluent English.” OMG, me too! I know it’s hard to believe because I butcher the English language about 12 times a day.

“Theatre in weird settings.” You basically described my entire life in one Google search. Well done.

“Hearing loss drug compound.” Hold on. This blog is the last place you want to come for medical advice. If I invented a hearing loss pill, it would probably have terrible side effects. Like spontaneous decapitation or something. That would make your hearing loss worse, not better.

“Read dystopias?” YES. This is the most intelligent thing you’ve said all day.

“Roosevelt Recession.” I’m a book reviewer, not a historian, but I’ll give it my best shot. The Roosevelt Recession occurred between 1937 and 1938 in the US. During the recession, the economy briefly stopped recovering from the Great Depression and started to go belly-up again. The recession ended when Congress got its butt in gear and gave nearly $4 billion to various economic-recovery agencies. #TheMoreYouKnow

“Book Haul Blog.” It’s starting to feel that way around here, isn’t it? I promise there will be fewer hauls in the future. I actually have to read the books instead of just precariously stacking them on a shelf above my bed.

“Homer Simpson dancing.” As you wish:















Books I Read In March


In March, I finished 12 books and gave up on 1.




The Complete Stories of Truman Capote by Truman Capote
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman
Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick
Some Possible Solutions: Stories by Helen Phillips
Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton
Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson
The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder and Memory in an American City by Laura Tillman
Tin Man by Sarah Winman
The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Cheney Neville
. . . And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold
Dome of the Hidden Pavilion: New Poems by James Tate (DNF)

I also made progress on my reading challenges. Click here to see how I’m doing.












Best Books Of March




1. The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
2. Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick
3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon












Most-Viewed March Reviews
















Most-Viewed March Non-Reviews














All The Things!


Distance I’ve sloppily jogged so far in 2018 = 77 miles (123 k)

Number of unread books on my TBR shelf = 54 books

I’m currently reading = Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman








What did you do in March?












44 comments:

  1. I ate a lot of green frosting in March, too! Looks like you read some great books last month - I loved Good Morning, Midnight.

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    1. March is the month of green frosting. I think 90% of my diet in March consisted of green frosting.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. Love the picture of the snow on the tree! You get some pretty good google searches. Love the changes on the site. I thought I noticed it was different!!! Glad you liked Smell of Other People's Houses. I want to read that soon. Have a great April!

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    1. Thanks! I do get some weird Google searches. I have no idea why. Why do people even Google these things?!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. I don't even see what people search for lol!

    You Busy Bee! Nice job!

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  4. I love your photo of Green books for St. Patrick's Day :) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time brings so much nostalgic memories to me! It was the first book I read in English (English is not my native language) and I will always remember it!

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    1. That’s cool! English is my first language, but I don’t remember the first book in Spanish I read. I know it was a picture book because I never progressed beyond those. I was terrible at Spanish.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. Those google searches are VERY funny! LOL

    oh well hello miss 30-something look at you winning all those books! Good for you! MOI? I NEVER win anything LOL and I hear you! Every time I decide to do a "little" makeover " I spent HOURS or DAYS doing it!

    I think I may have contributed to The Butchers review popularity! :) I know I can back to read it MANY times LOL on m nightstand waiting for me to get out of this mini slump I am now :S

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    1. I hope you like The Butcher’s Hook! That review was uncommonly popular for some reason.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. Love those bizarre Google searches! What on earth was the hearing loss connection I wonder?
    And your irritating creature is adorable :-)

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    1. I have no idea. There are around 900 posts on this blog, so I probably said something about hearing loss somewhere. Judging by my Google traffic, I’ve talked about a lot of random stuff.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. I love Prairie Dogs! I was sad to read about the gassing, but I love that there were survivors. It's like a dystopian prairie dog colony. There are some bloggers who tweet the same links incessantly. I think they use a plug-in and schedule it, because I know I am reading the same tweet over and over again (and not just going nuts).

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    1. I’m happy there were survivors, too. I see a lot of the same tweets over and over. I’m never sure if it’s because of Twitter’s stupid algorithms or if people tweet the same things multiple times.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. I would be kind of annoyed if a person I was following tweeted the same blog link five times in one day.

    Keep up the jogging.

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    1. Yeah. If you don’t follow many people, that would be extremely annoying. I think if you follow thousands of people, repetitive tweets might not be as noticeable.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  9. Your Prairie Dog story makes me sad. I agree that nobody want to see their chidren eaten by wolves but....Prairie Dogs! I think it is your dog's job to lay on your backdrop. He is very good at his job :) You had a great month of reading and I hope your April is just as good.

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    1. Haha, ALL my dogs like to lay on whatever I’m doing. It’s very hard to take photos on the floor because the dogs are always in the way.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  10. Lol about ketchup bottles. It's still embarrassing when they make a noise like that if you're in a restaurant, no matter how old you are I think!

    Love the snowy pic too! And that would be so sad about the prairie dogs- although I'm glad to hear there were survivors! Although I didn't know they attracted coyotes which can attack kids? Yikes that's a tough one.

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    1. Yeah, coyotes are dangerous. I always give them lots of space when I see them. They’ve never bothered me, but they do attack small humans and animals. Animal Control doesn’t even bother trapping and relocating them. They just shoot them. That’s sad because I (mostly) like coyotes.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  11. I achieved nothing this month! Well, I slothed nicely and enjoyed doing nothing then got Aussie Flu so that's an action packed month!

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    1. Slothing is a very important part of life. I think it’s necessary to human survival. :)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  12. I enjoyed this post so much. Firstly, the pick you took of your back yard is stunning. Happy Birthday for last month! I love your take on it as "another year closer to death", actually made me lol. I will be turning the big 3-0 next year and I basically still feel like a child in an adult's body so I can't really get my head around it. Some of those articles about 'being a better blogger' are ridiculous. Why spend time tweeting content all day when you could be writing content? I think tweeting your content that incessantly would come across as pretty obnoxious and followers would probably disappear. I like your new layout and blog header, it looks great. And the title of that cake book is spot on; I basically only attend weddings and christenings in the hopes of free cake. I went to a wedding once where they served fruit instead of cake and I felt pretty cheated. Nooooooo, not the prairie dogs! Poor little things. I'm glad you included the picture because I wasn't 100% sure what you were talking about. We don't get them in England and I am very confused by all the burrowing rodents you guys seem to have-prairie dogs, gophers, groundhogs? We basically just have rabbits and a few smaller things like mice, voles and shrews. I am glad some of the prairie dogs survived, they look really cute. The google searches that led to your blog are hilarious! I really should have a look at mine, I am terrible at the analytics side of things. And don't feel bad about the TBR challenge because you read 12 books! You know how many I read in March? 2. Yep, 2.

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    1. Oh man, sorry for the huge wall of text, I forgot to add paragraphs. My bad!

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    2. OMG, I think we’re long-lost relatives. Cake is the only reason I care about weddings. Love is great and everything, but cake! I’m also terrible at analytics. I have no idea what to do with all those graphs it gives me. I mostly just look at the Google search terms. The US does have an impressive amount of burrowing rodents. Where I live, we have prairie dogs, rabbits, mice, voles, marmots, and chipmunks.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  13. Your backyard isss beautiful! I miss having a backyard. I'm also judging all the ways that people found your blog. LoL. I'm happy your SEO Is identifying those English speakers though!

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    1. Haha, I’m also judging the ways people find my blog. Why do people Google these things?!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  14. Awesome Wrap Up. I want to get back to doing wrap up posts! This month will probably be when I start. I stopped because I was in such a reading slump. I only post my reviews 2x a day when i publish them then try to engage with other bloggers on twitter. I need better twitter posts, I just always feel like I don't know who I'm talking to. I love the blog changes too.
    Tori @ In Tori Lex

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    1. I’m looking forward to seeing your wrap-up posts!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  15. Happy belated birthday, AJ. Sounds like a pretty busy month.

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  16. Sounds like you had a pretty great reading month. And happy belated birthday. I am a 30 something too and it feels a little weird to think about being so old. But it is just a number. ;)

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    1. Thirty-something does sound old. I’m immature and terrible at being an adult!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  17. I am pretty bummed about the prairie dogs, not gonna lie. I am glad that some survived though. I mean- nature told them to do all that stuff, so should we really Raid them? Idkkk. Happy birthday, too! It's okay, I think actually feeling like an adult is a myth, so you're good :D Glad you liked Smelly Houses, it's a good one! And I really hope you are liking Thunderhead because hello, it's Thunderhead!!

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    1. I really liked Thunderhead. I need the next book in the series right now! I don’t even know if the next one has a release date yet. I’ll have to Google that.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  18. Oh belated happy birthday, AJ!!! I love the Google search words that led to your blog... those are hilarious!

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  19. That prairie dog story makes me SO sad. When we went on vacation in the Badlands, we saw this huge field FILLED with hundreds of prairie dogs and they were so adorable. It was fun to walk across the field and watch them pop up and down as you got closer to/further from them.

    Oh, and: "I actually have to read the books instead of just precariously stacking them on a shelf above my bed." Are you sure? This has not been my strategy thus far.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I love the prairie dogs. I was so happy when I saw survivors. They give me something to look at when I’m running. They don’t seem to be too bothered by humans, so they’re entertaining.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  20. Oh I love your pictures so much! That's a gorgeous picture of the snow and aren't dogs the best for ALWAYS being right next to us. Even if we don't want them to be for picture purposes. Chelsea and I try and do a challenge on Instagram and on the 20th of this month they have Book + Pet so that would work perfectly if you haven't already used it. ♥

    And "Another year closer to death" *snorts*. Well then I'm joining you tomorrow. Cheers to us and happily belated birthday!

    Annnddd I can't believe there were survivors LOL! I laughed so hard! We have the same problem out here around Lake Tahoe. But it's chipmunks and their fleas carry the bubonic plague. People from out of the area think they're so cute and feed them and have them on their lap and I'm over here freaking out yelling "You're going to get the plague!!!!!" the looks I get.........
    Jen @ Star-Crossed Book Blog

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    1. Happy birthday! I’ve seen people feed the chipmunks around here, too. Chipmunks are cute, but I don’t want them touching me! They’re disease-carrying rodents.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  21. I am actually really curious about trying The Smell of Other People's Houses. I mean, how can I not be when it has that title? Also, I like the new subtle blog changes. I do tweet about 2-3 links to my blog or my booktube every day through automated tweets. My twitter was created for my blog after all :P

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