Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy 5th [April Fool's Day] Birthday to Flying Houses

Today is April Fool's Day and also the birthday of Flying Houses.  We turned 5 today.

It is always a good time to consider our achievements over the past year.  Consider this my MD&A.

First of all, we cracked 30,000 all time page views.

Second, we cracked 2,000 monthly page views in March 2013, demolishing the previous month's record by nearly 700.  This may or may not have been a "pop" instituted by Jeffrey Toobin's "retweet" of my review of The Oath.

Among the highlights of the past year, The Bond Project remains most prominent.  More than 25 posts were made on this topic.  Flying Houses will be making our 250th Post very soon and we expect it to be a special one.  But we would not be at this point if not for the hard work of Jay Maronde, who has proven himself to be an expert on James Bond.  With the Die Hard Project currently in progress, I cannot thank Jay enough for his contributions.

I also want to thank Emily Dufton for her excellent review of IQ84 by Haruki Murakami.  This was one of the finest pieces of literary journalism/criticism that I have read in recent years, and I am deeply honored that I was able to present it here.

I also want to thank our most recent contributor, J. Alexander Gibson for his review of The Defining Decade, and not just because I post it in the waning days (16 left to go) of my twenties: I feel that these types of books (non-fiction or sociological theory) are potentially the most rewarding ones to review because real life experience, as opposed to the trait of being "well-read," colors the interpretation of a text in more "useful" or "tangible" ways.

I want to thank the BLS Advocate for allowing me to write my column and also post those columns (in their un-edited form) on this blog.  Those comprise an additional 22 posts or so, and again, without those we would not be knocking on the door of 250.

My hope is that by April 1, 2014, I will be gainfully employed, and will have cracked 300 posts and 75,000 page views.  Those may be ambitious projections, but I believe they are within reach.

Apart from those reviews already linked to above, here are what I consider to be the "greatest hits" of April 1, 2012 - April 1, 2013:

#1: NIED #9: Not in Love (Legally)  (posted 4/4/12) - This is a column about people seeking their spouses in law school.  Notable because some anonymous commenter on BLS Advocate just wrote, "you poor, poor thing," after reading it. (I tend to wonder whether that comment was a legitimate expression of sympathy or a passive-aggressive jab.)

#2: The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon (posted 5/13/12) - This was the first book I was able to review by Thomas Pynchon, and it was an excellent read.  Highly recommended, though it does not quite make the list of the "best books reviewed on Flying Houses list" (which you may find in my Profile).

#3: Discourse on Method by Rene Descartes (posted 6/1/12) - Understandably not the most popular post, but an original one as reviews on Flying Houses of philosophical texts hold the potential for enormous intellectual rewards.

#4: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller (posted 6/27/12) - Important because (a) it is named one of the "best books reviewed on Flying Houses" and (b) it is the first of many reviews of graphic novels that were undertaken over this past year.

#5: Big Sur by Jack Kerouac (posted 8/20/12) - Important because it is one of the last works of literature reviewed before the beginning of my 3L year, which brought great changes.  An entertaining review, and a book worth reading if one is interested at all in Kerouac.

#6: Skyfall (JK); Skyfall (JM) (posted 12/3/12) - Dueling Reviews of the newest Bond, our film criticism at its height.

#7: The Brethren by Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong (posted 12/15/12) - Maybe I didn't do so well in my classes because I was so wrapped up in this book.  Notable as good "background reading" on certain cases in First Amendment law, provided at the end of the review.   Also notable for making the "best books" list.

#8: Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar (posted 1/1/13) - Notable for being such an outstanding work of art in the graphic novel medium.  A personal favorite from the year and an entrant on the "best books" list.

#9:  My Bloody Valentine - m b v (posted 2/16/13) - The album that took 22 years to release created a ton of music journalism--this was my little drop in the bucket.

#10: Die Hard with a Vengeance (JM) (posted 3/20/13) - This movie is an underrated classic and deserves to be seen by more members of the general public.  I include it as #10 as a way to sign off this post, as we are still meandering in the territory of the Die Hard Project and will soon complete it.

Thanks to all of our readers and thanks especially to those that have left comments.  You have helped to make this blog a success.  It may not be the greatest way for me to make money, but I feel that a substantial public interest has been served, and I will continue to do my best in providing excellent content for years to come.

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