2016 On My Blog: Top 5 Lists

Another year on the Gregorian calendar has come to a close. I never really feel like a new year has started until spring comes, but since the rest of the world wants to start a new year in the middle of winter I roll with it (though I may still wish you a happy new year on Nisan 1, when the Hebrew calendar’s sacred year begins 14 days before Passover).

Anyway, for the first post of this year I wanted to look back on the top posts from last year. Turns out, only one of my top 5 most visited posts was written in 2016 (which is good, but doesn’t make for a good snap-shot of what I wrote last year). So I’m also doing top 5 lists of the most popular posts written in 2016. And, just for fun and because I was kind of surprised by it, the countries where most of my visitors came from.

2016 On My Blog: Top 5 Lists for marissabaker.wordpress.com

my blog has grown so much since I started it four years ago!

 

Posts With The Most Traffic

Wow — had not realized that in just 6 months the INFJ User Guide become most popular post for the whole year. And I think it’s pretty cool that the INFJ Dark Side post from almost 3 years ago is still in my top 5.

  1. INFJ User Guide (published 6/20/2016)
  2. INFJ Dark Side (published 3/31/2014)
  3. What Is A “Shadow” In Myers-Briggs Theory? (published 3/9/2015)
  4. How To Be Friends With An INFJ (published 10/13/2014)
  5. Finding Your Real Myers-Briggs Type (published 11/2/2015)

Top 2016 Posts – Monday

The second one on this list was 6th overall and I only published it a month ago. And #3 is a guest post, which is pretty cool (I’m hoping to have more of those in 2017).

  1. INFJ User Guide (published 6/20/2016)
  2. The Vanishing INFJ (11/28/2016)
  3. INFJ Overthinking -­ When Our Beautiful Mind Turns Against Us (published 2/8/2016)
  4. The Single INFJ (published 4/18/2016)
  5. These Aren’t My Feelings: Absorbing Emotions as an INFJ (published 8/22/2016)

Top 2016 Posts – Saturday

Jesus is much less popular on my blog than Myers Briggs. But most of these posts did get over a hundred views each (#5 was just 2 shy of a hundred).

  1. Why I Cover My Head In Church (published 7/2/2016)
  2. Rhythms of Worship (published 7/16/2016)
  3. Weightier Matters (published 2/27/2016)
  4. But What If God Scares Me? (published 6/18/2016)
  5. God’s Message Through the Aaronic Blessing (published 1/23/2016)

5 Countries Most of My Visitors Call Home

Not at all surprised by the top 4, but Singapore wasn’t what I expected. And if you take southeast Asia as a whole, they actually passed Australia in number of views. So let me take this opportunity to say “Welcome” to all my international readers — I’m so glad to have you here 🙂

  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Australia
  5. Singapore

 

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The Classics Club

In my never-ending search for new things to write about, I stumbled upon The Classics Club by way of Carissa’s post at Musings of an Introvert. I love classic literature (not really a surprise to most of you — if someone doesn’t like at least some classic literature they probably shouldn’t major in English), so why not come up with a reading list and blog about each title? That will give me topics for 10 of Mondays blog posts for the next five years.

The Classics Club | marissabaker.wordpress.com

The challenge for those who join The Classics Club is to make a list of at least 50 books and read through it in no more than 5 years. I thought 10 books a year would be thoroughly doable (to put this in perspective, I’ve read 45 books so far this year), and so I posted my list and I’m signing up today. Some of them are re-reads, but most of the ones on the list are new to me. The titles on the list may change as I read, but here are the one I’m starting out with (*indicates a re-read):

  1. Adams, Richard: Watership Down*
  2. Anonymous: The Arabian Nights
  3. Austen, Jane: Lady Susan
  4. Beagle, Peter S: The Last Unicorn
  5. Bradbury, Ray: The Martian Chronicles
  6. Bronte, Anne: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  7. Bronte, Charlotte: Villette
  8. Burke, Edmund Burke: Reflections on the Revolution in France
  9. Burnett, Frances Hodgson: A Little Princess*
  10. Burnett, Frances Hodgson: The Secret Garden*
  11. Burney, Frances: Evelina*
  12. Burney, Frances: The Wanderer
  13. Burroughs, Edgar Rice: Tarzan of the Apes*
  14. Cooper, James Fenimore: The Red Rover*
  15. Cooper, James Fenimore: The Water-Witch
  16. Dickens, Charles: Bleak House
  17. Dickens, Charles: Oliver Twist
  18. Dickens, Charles: The Mystery of Edwin Drood
  19. Dostoevsky, Fyodor: The Brothers Karamazov
  20. Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The Hounds of the Baskervilles
  21. Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
  22. Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The Sign of Four
  23. Dumas, Alexandre: The Count of Monte Cristo
  24. Eliot, George: Adam Bede
  25. Eliot, George: Middlemarch
  26. Gaskell, Elizabeth: North and South*
  27. Gaskell, Elizabeth: Wives and Daughters
  28. Hardy, Thomas: Far From the Madding Crowd
  29. Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The House of the Seven Gables
  30. Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet Letter
  31. Homer: The Iliad
  32. Homer: The Odyssey
  33. Keats, John: Poems
  34. Leroux, Gaston: The Phantom of Opera
  35. Malory, Sir Thomas: Le Morte d’Arthur
  36. Montgomery, L.M.: Emily of New Moon
  37. Poe, Edgar Allen: Collected Stories and Poems
  38. Radcliffe, Ann: The Mysteries of Udolpho
  39. Rousseau, Jean-Jaques: Emile
  40. Scott, Sir Walter: Waverly
  41. Shakespeare, William: Henry IV, part 1
  42. Shakespeare, William: Henry IV, part 2
  43. Shakespeare, William: Measure for Measure
  44. Shakespeare, William: Othello
  45. Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein
  46. Stevenson, Robert Louis: The Black Arrow*
  47. Swift, Jonathon: Gulliver’s Travels
  48. Tolstoy, Leo: Anna Karenina
  49. Twain, Mark: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer*
  50. Wells, H.G.: The Invisible Man

A Completely Subjective Book List

Sometimes I like reading posts titled things like “Books Every Family Should Have In Their Library,” “Best YA Books of All Time,” and “Top 100 Fantasy Books Ever.” While I’ll occasionally get an idea for a new book to read, I usually end up checking to see if they’ve “rightly” included any books I like or “wrongly” included books I hate. One thing that always amuses me, at least slightly, is how all these lists propose to be good for every family or include all the best books even though it’s clear all such lists are completely subjective.

For this list, I’m not even going to try to be objective or include all the best books. This is an unabashed list of my favorite books, which I irrationally think everyone should read and enjoy just as much as I do. They aren’t even organized alphabetically — just whichever popped into my head first.

My “Must Read” Books

Mara: Daughter of the Nile

My mother gave me Mara, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, when studying ancient Egypt in elementary school and I’ve read it pretty much every year since. It has everything a book needs — strong characters, good writing, and intriguing plot. On top of the admirable writing is danger, mystery, and romance. Spies! Double agents! Political intrigue! It also features the most romantic (possibly the only romantic) attempted murder in literary history. If I’m forced to choose just one favorite book, this is the one I pick.

Ender’s Game

Moving from one of my oldest favorites to one of the newest. I first read Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card at the end of last year. It’s brilliant. I’ve written about it before, so I won’t spend much more time telling you how wonderful this book is, especially the characters. I cried buckets of tears in the last chapter.

The Blue Sword

Written by Robin McKinley, this may very well be my favorite fantasy book. Like Mara, The Blue Sword features a strong female protagonist and an irresistible hero (let me just say Corlath is the only person who I wouldn’t mind being abducted by [this statement will make sense if you read the book]). McKinley’s world building, characters, and story are excellent. My only quibble with this story is that, like many of her books, it doesn’t really end. It’s as if the author wasn’t sure how to end the story, so she slapped an epilog on and called it the last chapter. Perhaps I should just say that is part of the book’s irresistible charm.

Pride and Prejudice

I know it’s a terribly predictable title to include — couldn’t I have at least chosen one of Jane Austen’s lesser-known works? But I’ve read all six of Austen’s major novels at least once (some two or three times), and Pride and Prejudice remains my favorite. Maybe it’s the fact that people type Lizzie Bennet as an INFJ (which I’m not entirely convinced of, but it would explain why I identify with her so much). Perhaps it’s because Mr. Darcy is my favorite of Austen’s men. Whatever it is, Pride and Prejudice is firmly on my recommended reading list.

Fairy Tales

Not a single book, but it would take to long to list them all separately. I recommend Jack Zipes’ translation of The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, augmented liberally with Hans Christian Anderson and Charles Perrault. The reasons for this have been explored at length in my posts Fairy Tales and Dark Fairy Tales, so I’ll not devote any more time here on describing their merits.

A Gown Of Spanish Lace

Roses for Mama

I read Christian fiction on an irregular basis, usually because I want a easy-to-read book that doesn’t require much thought to digest and might supply some spiritual encouragement (yes, I know that sounds terrible). In spite of my generally low expectations, two books by Janette Oke have made it to my favorites list. A Gown of Spanish Lace has outlaws.  Roses for Mama is simply charming.

Dinotopia

If I was offered the chance to move to any fictional place I wanted, I’d pack up right this minute and relocate to James Gurney’s Dinotopia. Who wouldn’t want to live in world filled with dinosaurs and without any worries about money? Specifically, I want to visit Waterfall City and the coastal towns along Warmwater Bay where you can swim with cryptoclidus. Once you’ve read Gurney’s first book Dinotopia: A Land Apart From Time, I advise moving on to Dinotopia Lost by Alan Dean Foster. I’ve read that one at least four times.