Nero Wolfe on Taxes

seems like a good day to post this…

Nero Wolfe Back CoversA man condemning the income tax because of the annoyance it gives him or the expense it puts him to is merely a dog baring its teeth, and he forfeits the privileges of civilized discourse. But it is permissible to criticize it on other and impersonal grounds. A government, like an individual, spends money for any or all of three reasons: because it needs to, because it wants to, or simply because it has it to spend. The last is much the shabbiest. It is arguable, if not manifest, that a substantial proportion of this great spring flood of billions pouring into the Treasury will in effect get spent for that last shabby reason.

–Nero Wolfe
from And Be a Villain

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Saturday Miscellany — 4/13/19

Odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to Occidentally Orthodox (who may not like a lot of what I post, but I hope he comments) and whovinawrites for following the blog this week.

D.E.A.R. Day (Drop Everything And Read)

Today is the 103rd anniversary of Beverly Cleary’s birth, and drawing inspiration from Ramona Quimby some years ago, a group of people started commemorating her birth with a focus on families reading together. Which is just a cool idea. There’s a pretty good website with details and activities here.

I don’t really know if I can get my family to come together and read as a family anymore — but I can at least encourage them all to do it on their own. But for those of you who have younger kids (or more compliant teenagers), take a half-hour today and read together.

If you’re like me, or single, or just not into spending time with your family — it’s still a decent way to spend 30 minutes.

Just Drop Everything And Read

Awkward Moments in Book Blogging

This weekend I received a request to review an indie published book from the author. His name rang a bell, so I assumed I knew him from twitter or had read him before.

Yup. I had read him before. The same book, actually, two years ago. Clearly, record-keeping isn’t his strong suit. But, that’s no big deal. I figured I’d hit him with the URL to my original post, say something jokey in response, and call it a day.

But, I hated the book — gave it 1 1/2 stars. My post on it was sketchy, because to really get into what I thought of the book, I said, “it’d just be mean.”

So, yeah, I think this’ll be one of those emails I forget to reply to…

Saturday Miscellany — 4/6/19

Seriously, if Real Life would just shut up for a minute and let me focus on my blog/prep for my blog, it’d be nice. And I’m not talking about huge, important things like — my kid had life saving surgery, or I was distracted by the tragic events unfolding in [insert important sounding city], or whatever. It’s just been busy and I find myself very tired lately. I really look forward to compiling these weekly posts, and the last few have just seemed . . . empty?

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me — I do like what we have for this week by way of the odds ‘n ends about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

    This Week’s New Releases I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon:

  • Postgraduate by Ian Shane — Recovering from a divorce, a former college DJ reconnects with his roots and maybe finds a path forward. I gushed about it yesterday.
  • You Die Next by Stephanie Marland — To be honest, I groaned when this showed up on my Kindle Thursday because I’d just finalized my reading schedule for the rest of the month and we feeling pretty good about life. I have no idea when I can fit it in, but I really want it to be now. Anyway, this follow up to last year’s My Little Eye is gonna be great.

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to Madam Mim, Sonam Tsering and indianeskitchen for following the blog this week.

March 2019 Report

20 Books, 6258 pages (finished — a few were started earlier, and I’ve never done that page count before, and now I feel tired), an average of 3.8ish (my indecision on a couple of titles is stopping me from having a hard number — but I have to write my way to a conclusion on those). Overall, a decent month here. I hit a couple of hot streaks — there’s a few books here that will be in contention when I do the Best of 2019 lists, but man, there’s a couple I wish I hadn’t read. You take the good, you take the bad, and now you have the same song stuck in my head that I do.

So, here’s what happened here in March.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

My Lovely Wife Slow Horses And Drink I Did
3.5 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Killing State Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Audiobook) Rogue Superheroes
4 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars
Who Killed the Fonz? No Country for Old Gnomes Mama's Gone
4 1/2 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 2 Stars
The First World Problems of Jason Van Otterloo Crossline Lingering
3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles A Local Habitation Postgraduate
3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
or
5 Stars
Fletch’s Fortune (Audiobook) The Fourth Courier Water Week
4 1/2 Stars Still Deciding 3 Stars
Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 1: Anthropology The Prayers of Jesus: Listening to and Learning from Our Savior      
5 Stars 4 Stars      

Still Reading:

Rediscovering the Holy Spirit            

Ratings

I really don’t like being this flaky.

5 Stars 2-3 2 1/2 Stars 0-1
4 1/2 Stars 4-5 2 Stars 1
4 Stars 3 1 1/2 Stars 0
3.5 Stars 5 1 Star 0
3 Stars 3-4
                                             Average = 3.8ish

Reviews Posted:

TBR Pile/Mound/Heap:

Physical Books: 5 Added, 1 Read, 29 Remaining
E-Books: 1 Added, 0 Read, 20 Remaining
Audiobooks: 4 Added, 2 Read, 6 Remaining

Book Challenge Progress:

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. Slow Horses by Mick Herron
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling, Jim Dale (Narrator)
  3. Who Killed the Fonz? by James Boice
  4. Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles by Thomas Lennon, John Hendrix (Illustrations)

While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

  • Didn’t have time to do anything here. (again . . . but things are planned)
  • LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

    #LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

    1. And Drink I Did: One Man’s Story of Growing Through Recovery by Jay Keefe
    2. Killing State by Judith O’Reilly
    3. Rogue Superheroes by Matt Cowper
    4. Mama’s Gone by Leopold Borstinski
    5. The First World Problems of Jason Van Otterloo by James Bailey
    6. Lingering by Melissa Simonson (link forthcoming)
    7. Postgraduate by Ian Shane (link forthcoming)
    2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

    2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

    1. Killing State by Judith O’Reilly
    2. Mama’s Gone by Leopold Borstinski
    3. Slow Horses by Mick Herron
    4. Who Killed the Fonz? by James Boice
    5. My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
    6. Fletch’s Fortune by Gregory McDonald, Dan John Miller (link forthcoming)
    7. The Fourth Courier by Timothy Jay Smith (link forthcoming)
    Humor Reading Challenge 2019

    Humor Reading Challenge 2019

    1. No Country for Old Gnomes by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
    2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    1. Reformed Dogmatics: Anthropology by Geerhardus Vos, Richard B. Gaffin Jr. (Translator) (link forthcoming)

    How was your month?

    Saturday Miscellany — 3/30/19

    Another week of slim pickings . . . odd. Is it just end of month malaise? But there’s some good stuff here nonetheless. The odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

      Book-ish Related Podcast Episodes you might want to give a listen to, both from Hank Garner’s Author Stories:

    • S3E06 Ben Aaronovitch and James Swallow of Book Off! (“A literary podcast with a difference…”)This is the first I’ve heard of this podcast, but it’s a cool concept and I’ll take any excuse to listen to Aaronovitch (and I need to track down Swallow’s series).

      This Week’s New Releases I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon:

    • Not Everyone is Special by Josh Denslow — a short story collection with some fantastic writing — and a couple of good stories. My longer take on it is here.
    • My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing — this tale of a husband and wife serial killer team is fun, and almost as good as I’d hoped. I really did like it, but had a reservation or two.
    • Ruff vs. Fluff by Spencer Quinn — Quinn gets controversially inclusive here by having a cat as one of his protagonists in his new MG series. This is likely pretty cute, and I am curious how he’ll handle a feline lead, but is only a placeholder in my mind until we get a new Chet & Bernie book this summer.
    • Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss by sRajeev Balasubramanyam — I wish I could remember how this ended up on my radar, but it looks like it’ll appeal to the Maria Semple, Fredrick Bachman, etc. side of me. Probably you, too.

    Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to amiiiesbooks for following the blog this week.