Looking Back and Travel and Books

The great big, g-normous,giveaway of travel literature continues. For today’s prize, see the bottom of this post.

Looking Back

I want to share with you the Best of December and of 2009 at A Traveler’s Library. That includes the ten posts that drew the most traffic in 2009, the readers who left more than five comments during the month of December, and the sites that referred readers most frequently in the last month of the year.

What a year it has been. I started blogging in January, and changed platforms and themes in June. I joined the Twitter Nation, and started learning about Stumble Upon. I bonded with new friends who were blogging, twittering and stumbling all over the place (and that was BEFORE cocktail hour). My traffic has been on a slow, steady uptick. I added advertising to the blog and have yet to cash a check–although one is coming in February. Yay!! 

Most Popular Posts

El Capitan, Yosemite National Park

1. Skipping over the Ten Perfect Gifts post and another post that got traffic for all the wrong reasons, The Top 5 American Road Trip Books continues to draw interest daily. Curious? Sure, check it out.

2. Free Day at National Parks and a Mystery Novel might have drawn traffic because of the word “free”, but I hope some of that continuing traffic is because the mysteries written by Nevada Barr about National Parks are worth reading. This one is High Country about Yosemite.

Calcata, Italy, picture by David Farley

3. A Book About a Bizarre Quest in Italy reviewed the book Irreverent Curiosity by David Farley–a very popular read about a strange town with an even stranger religious relic. (And somebody won a copy yesterday.)

4. A guest post, Books Help Children Adjust to Japan, about three children’s books on Japan continues to draw interest. Thank you Christine Gross-Loh, who blogs about her life in Japan with her children at Origami Mommy.

5. Ten Posts from the First 100 is popular, and I think that is great, because I listed ten of my first 100 posts that I liked, whether they were eye-magnets or not.

Upper Peninsula Michigan
Walk in the woods in U.P. Michigan

6. Hiawatha: American Classic Poem for Children–I’m happy to have this American classic on the list, this time in a version for children. And particularly happy that it might be drawing attention to an extremely talented editor and illustrator, Susan Jeffers.

7. Ancient Rome in Literature draws term paper researchers? People looking for a photo of the Roman forum? Who knows? Maybe you, like me, just like Coleen McCullough‘s fictional recreations of ancient Rome, in the Masters of Rome series.

8. Unsworth on a Greek Island–Another classic, this time a Travel Classic, Pascali’s Island by Barry Unsworth. This was part of a series of travel classics that I wrote about, and I would not have bet on this to be the leader.

9. Steinbeck and McMurtry Hit the Road–another post about road trips. You do like road trips, don’t you? This one says why I love John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, and why I don’t love Roads by Larry McMurtry (whose work I otherwise admire).

10. A Book Takes Movie Walks in Paris. Congratulations, Marlys, your husband’s book made the list. I reviewed Paris Movie Walks by Michael Shurman both here and for the Indie Travel PodCast Magazine.

Readers Who Comment (lots)

Letter Writing

The lovely and astute readers who came back often and contributed to our conversations 5 or more times in December:

Jessie Voigts. As I said last month–“Month in and month out, this busy lady drops by and says “Hi” and comments on a post.” 12 times in December!

Alexandra Grabbe shared her thoughts 8 times in December.

Kerry Dexter, Brett Sember, and Stephanie Stiavetti all are back on the list for the 2nd time and Alisa Bowman and Donna Hull joined them in the month of December. Wow! Seven people who commented at least five times each. That’s a lot of discussion.

An amazing number of individuals shared their thoughts this past month. Thanks to all who leave comments, and bloggers, don’t forget that Comment Luv puts a little teaser from your latest blog after your comment, to draw traffic back to you.

Want to see Your name in lights next month? Never too soon to start commenting. And of course this month, you can win prizes when you comment.

Those Who Sent Traffic Our Way

In case you have ever wondered about the usefulness of blog rolls, read on…

The Whole World
The Whole World


Passports With Purpose, the exciting project that built a school in Cambodia. People were checking out my prizes of a stay at the Monteleone Hotel and a Periscope Book Light in a Cover.

My Itchy Travel Feet, the travel blog with gorgeous photos aimed at boomers with soft adventure in mind.


Chez Sven The green Bed and Breakfast on Cape Cod run by Alexandra Grabbe, who was a guest poster in November and an interview subject in December, and who writes intelligent posts about innkeeping and the environment.

Slow Travel I love the way a friend I made on Twitter has become a fan of A Traveler’s Library. (The feeling is mutual about the site, Slow Travel). But here’s what I really love. When Slow Trav forums (Slow Talk) readers come here–they stay around for a really long time. Thanks, pals!

Linked In referred quite a bit of traffic last month for some reason. Christmas shoppers?

So there you have it. The people who make this blog keep on going-and going-and going.


Great Big Giveaway Book Today: The Last Aloha, a revealing historic novel by Gaellen Quin. Take an armchair trip to Hawaii and learn things you never knew about the 50th state. For instance, the member of Hawaii’s royal household painted this picture. See my review here. Leave a comment below naming the book in today’s Giveaway[don’t forget that step], to win this book and be entered in the Grand Prize drawing.To find other things you can do to win, check the dates, etc., check the contest announcement page here.

Remember, a NEW PRIZE Friday, so be sure to come back every day. And if you subscribe by e-mail, you get THREE chances at the grand prize. Good Luck!

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About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, or recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She has written for Reel Life With Jane, Life is a Trip and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

13 thoughts on “Looking Back and Travel and Books

  1. What a great list of posts. I’m honored to see that my post on children’s books was on that list. I look forward to reading more of your great blog this year!
    .-= Christine at Origami Mommy´s last blog ..Pine cone tree craft =-.

  2. Looks like you’ve had a great year and have some wonderfully loyal readers!! Here’s to another one that’s even better.
    .-= Almost Slowfood´s last blog ..Tasty Treat: Molasses Cookies =-.

  3. What a great way to do a year-in-review post. Happy blogaversary!
    .-= Alisa Bowman´s last blog ..How to Accept Defeat, Part 3 =-.

  4. This one’s on my “want to read” list! Yes, enter me please.
    .-= Kris @ Big Island On The Cheap´s last blog ..Military: Stay One Night, Get TWO Free =-.

  5. I would love to win The Last Aloha since I plan on traveling to Hawaii for the first time this year!

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