Books, Mormons, and Statistics

If you like books and statistics, you’ll love LibraryThing. They have 554,277 members who have cataloged 33,647,263 books of which 3,850,295 are unique works not shared by anyone else on the site.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s [Philosopher’s] Stone is owned by more people than anyone else (37,254 copies, 3 of which are mine), although more people have posted reviews of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (704 reviews, with an average rating of 4.43 stars out of 5).

As you might expect, J.K. Rowling is the top author in terms of number of copies of her books owned, but Stephen King is second, even though his top individual book isn’t even in the top 200.

Oh, and one more thing (which is actually the whole point of this post): The Book of Mormon is at the top of a list based on another site-wide statistic. Care to guess what that statistic is?

Know Your Naccle I: Match the Comment to the Commenter

By our reckoning, it’s time for a well-earned break from aggregator politics, Proposition 8, and the finer points of topless-male-missionary-calendar excommunication. Following are nine excerpts from posts and comments–some quite recent, some positively antique–made by nine well-known denizens of the Bloggernacle. Can you identify the blogger who said each of the following? (Hint: each blogger listed is represented by exactly one comment. That is, no blogger on the list appears more–or less–than once.) Read More

Stuffed Animals and the Transmigration of Souls

I have a small stuffed bear by the name of Juliana (named after the dashing Dr. Julian Bashir of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). I got her as a birthday present about ten years ago, and she quickly developed a unique personality. She has a somewhat sad look to her, which has led to much speculation in my family about her possible involvement in a life of crime. It’s a well-known fact among my siblings that Juliana is very interested in money. But does she belong behind bars? When I was studying at a Catholic university a couple of years ago, I maintained that whatever her previous history might have involved, Juliana had now reformed and was planning to become a nun. But this assertion was met with serious skepticism by certain of my sisters. Juliana’s true character remains a source of much dispute. Read More

Renouncing the Philosophies of Women, Mingled With Scripture

We at ZD are pleased to announce that we’ve made a surprising and delightful discovery: our radiant inner femininity is a true blessing to the world, and, in light of this ephiphany, we’ve begun embracing our divine gender roles in earnest. We’ve long felt there was something sadly lacking in our lives, and we’ve found it in the most surpising of places: patriarchal authority. We feel strongly (and the men in our lives concur) that there’s no more reason to worry our pretty little heads over things of the world, so the single among us are moving back in with our fathers where we can hone our skills as full-time homemakers and practice submitting to male jurisdiction, “learn[ing] in silence with all subjection,” while the wives on our site have committed themselves to renewed effort in surrendering to the presiding wills of our husbands. Read More

A Random Survey

Seeing as how our blog has been a bit quiet lately, I thought it would be fun to take a break from our usual discussion of topics like angel mothers and soteriology, and do a completely random survey. All are invited to participate and share their answers to the following deeply profound questions: Read More

A Lectionary of Snarky Politesse

In this Our Lovely Deseret, we place a high premium on niceness, as well we should. There is much to be said in favor of civility, and it’s probably impossible to say too much in its favor in fora such as these, but of course the snarkier, more unfeminine emotions such as irritation and anger are not thereby eradicated, and after a time our stock phrases begin to experience significant and inevitable semantic leakage, following some sort of pattern the sociolinguists among us can, no doubt, identify with far more precision than I. My nominations for my least favorite, most tiresome phrases (both Bloggernacle and offline) follow. Read More

Changing the Words to Hymns

When I put my boys to bed at night, I often sing them hymns. One of their favorites is “There Is a Green Hill Far Away,” probably because it’s one of the few that I know all the verses to and can sing in the dark. But part of this hymn has always struck me as odd. In the first verse, it says that the green hill is “where the dear Lord was crucified.” The dear Lord? That sounds so impersonal. So taking a page from “Upon the Cross of Calvary,” I always sing this line as “where our dear Lord was crucified.”

So are there any hymns that you sing nonstandard words to, or any for which you would like to see the wording changed?

Please Welcome: The Bouncer

We at ZDs are happy to welcome our newest member, the Bouncer. The Bouncer is pursuing a Ph.D. in Auto Body and Creative Negotiations. As a child he received an Iron Sewer Rat for being the first Boy Scout ever to swim a mile through industrial sludge. He applied to law school hoping to become intimately acquainted with torts, but when he discovered no cake was involved, he instead graduated at the top of his class from the renowned perjury program at the University of Cosa Nostra (or so he says). Read More

Mormon Women and Self-Deprecation

A few years ago, I found myself–against my better judgment–sitting in Enrichment Night being enriched on the subject of gardening. At the activity’s conclusion we all gathered around a long cultural-hall table covered with newspaper and began to sponge-paint terra cotta pots two shades of blue. This is the sort of activity at which I do not excel, and–not coincidentally–do not enjoy. However, I was then in the throes of one of my periodic give-church-programs-a-chance spasms. (“If just pray hard enough, God will transform me from a clutzy smart-mouth into a lilting sylph who enjoys HFPE! OK, so it wasn’t very realistic. Show me the human being who hasn’t had similar delusions.) Read More

Joseph Smith Sphinx

When I was in Utah this past month, I visited the Gilgal Garden, which supposedly is on a lot of tourist information for Salt Lake City, but that very few local residents are even aware of. It’s this odd statue garden where a man named Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. handcrafted huge stones into sculptures that represented his beliefs. The garden contains a variety of sculptures, including “The Monument to the Trade” and “The Monument to the Priesthood,” though my two favorites are the “Captain of the Lord’s Host,” which is a carved figure with a big boulder for a head (how can you not like a statue that just has a big boulder for a head?) and the Joseph Smith Sphinx. Read More