The End of The Year Book Tag


This book tag has been floating around the last couple of years, having been started (as far as I can tell) by Ariel Bissett on her vlog. It seemed like a nice pairing with my post on Monday.

bullet Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?
I’ve got two more weeks in my Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 5: Ecclesiology, the Means of Grace, Eschatology by Geerhardus Vos schedule (which will finish off the set), but that’s about it.

bullet Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?
I honestly have never thought of a book in these terms. In the last month or so, it seems like 60% of the blogs I read and at least half of my Twitter feed is talking about Autumn/Fall books. I assume there’s something wrong with me.

bullet Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?
There are four this month alone…Robert B. Parker’s Angel Eyes by Ace Atkins; The Lights Go Out in Lychford by Paul Cornell; You Must Have a Death Wish by Matt Phillips; and The Hero by Lee Child (non-fiction!). There might be one or two in December, too. But I can’t think of them off the top of my head.

bullet What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?
Well, there are those four for starters. But if I don’t finish The Cartel by Don Winslow, Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer, and The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle by Dec. 31, I’ll be really annoyed with myself.

bullet The Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?
A few years ago, my best of the year was something I started on Dec. 28, so, yeah, there’s a strong possibility. The Cartel is the likeliest contender, but the Beagle book could be a dark horse contender.

Dark horse…unicorn…HA! I kill me…

bullet Have you already started making reading plans for 2020?
Still very sketchy at this point, but yeah…I’ve started. Just trying to decide what’s the middle ground between a cake walk and overly-ambitious.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Bookmarks


As I’ve been making a point of trying to do more non-review(ish) posts, I’ve been thinking about trying some of these Top Ten Tuesdays that I’ve seen other bloggers doing. And looking over the upcoming topics, this one piqued my interest — do I even have 10 favorite bookmarks? Can I approach that number? So I had to give it a shot.

Turns out that, yes, I had precisely 10 Bookmarks to use. Phew.

10
This used to be the most common one for me (although #1 has replaced it) — random bits of paper, preferably heavier stock. Movie tickets and coffee (or other) shop punchcards were the best, but whatever receipt/used envelope nearby would do in a pinch.
9 Online bookstore freebie. Love these. Amazon used to send me so many of them, I threw them away or lost track of them (regret that, they were good quality). Thankfully, as they’ve moved past being a “mere” bookstore, there are others out there that haven’t.
8 Better are the ones that authors give away, because, hey — cover art and it’s just good advertising.
7 Not as heavy, and easier to lose — pages out of pocket notebooks are decently sized — and you can write on them. I HATE writing in my books, so this is a major plus.
6 #8, but signed. Who doesn’t like a good autograph? (Anton Strout’s autograph here is blurred, to be nice)
5 Front and back of this one, a nicer take on #6 because I just love the receipt from Atticus’ bookstore being one side of this. (Kevin Hearne’s autograph here is blurred, to be nice)
4 Left over shopping lists (text blurred because I really don’t need you mocking my family’s handwriting), decent sized, room for writing.
3 Yeah, this is technically a repeat of #9. However, these are nicer. I have two of them and use them frequently. WTS bookstore used a nicer paper, heavier than other bookmarks I have, and a little textured. Perfect size. Probably technically the “best” I have.
2 A few years back, my library started using sheets like this for the books on reserve. Minus: it’s a really staticy paper, and super thin, so it’s easy to “lose” the bookmark inside the book. Have wasted too much time hunting for the things. Pluses: Plenty of room for writing (some inks and pencils don’t do well given the paper type); the title is on the sheet, so you can return the book and have an easy time identifying what the notes are about.
1 (I assure you, there is a bookmark imaged there)
My favorite. Get yourself some printer paper that’s perforated (if you’re lazy, or too inaccurate with scissors) into thirds. Plenty of room for taking notes (on both sides), good size (unless you’re reading a mass-market paperback). Not pretty, but ever so handy.

Trying to Plan the Rest of 2019/Cutting Myself Some Slack

I’ve been feeling really under the gun lately—I’ve mentioned (I think) that I over-committed for Sept./Oct. I still have 2 books I told authors I’d read in October (and one other to write about). Plus a few new releases that I meant to read this fall that aren’t so new anymore. I still have one book that I’m committed for this month, and a short one next month (maybe one more in there…I’ll check my calendar later). Plus a handful of things that are on my “I will read this in 2019” list.

For some reason that I have trouble articulating (and I know that some of you get this, and many of you don’t understand), between some of those goals and the 50 days remaining in 2019, I’m feeling a lot of pressure.

All self-imposed, I realize, but that doesn’t change it.

So you know what I did this weekend? I took a look at a few of the things on my “Must Read in 2019” list and put them on the “Probably Get to in 2020” list. Including 5 library books—one habit I fell into (pre-blogging even) is that a library due date trumps just about anything else when it comes to reading. And I don’t take things back to the Library until I’ve read them. These are on their way back, though. I would’ve taken care of them Saturday, but it was too late by the time I decided this.

Fewer books on the “Must Read” list equals fewer books on the “Must Write About” list. Which is good—because that list is still ridiculously long. But I’ll do what I can, I’ll be a little briefer about some things than I want to be (some things), and probably do a few more “Quick Takes” posts.

You know what? I felt so much freer just by giving myself that option. And yeah, I realize that I’m probably not still going to be able to finish everything on my “Must” lists this year, but it seems a little more attainable.

I’m not saying that feeling is going to last, or that I’m not going to find a new way to apply stupid pressure to myself. But for now…I’ll take it.


Right after I scheduled this post (naturally), I saw these tweets from David W at FanFiAddict:

Which tie in nicely to this post on their blog (also, one I didn’t see until after I wrote this). Followers and ARCs aren’t my hangups (well, occasionally that ARC thing, but I get over it pretty easily). It’s the reading and writing pace (as people who’ve been here for a bit know all too well). “Just remember: THIS ISN’T YOUR JOB. You started a blog to share your enjoyment of books with others…Don’t fret over what you can’t do, but be excited about what you can.” That’s exactly what I was trying to tell myself. It was reassuring to see someone else say that about the same time. Thanks, David!

Saturday Miscellany—11/9/19

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:

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

  • Maxine Unleashes Doomsday by Nick Kolakowski—Post-apocalytic heist novel (well, more mid-apocalyptic), is just a blast. I tried to titlesummarize my thoughts about it yesterday.
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Illustrated Edition) by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Elise Hurst—I got this a few days ago, it’s just gorgeous. I don’t need another copy of this fantastic book. But I don’t care. This trailer gives you a feel for the illustrations.
  • The Ninja Daughter by Tori Eldridge—”An action-packed thriller about a Chinese-Norwegian modern-day ninja with family issues who fights the Los Angeles Ukrainian mob, sex traffickers, and her own family to save two desperate women and an innocent child.” How do you say no to that?
  • The Last Dance by Martin L. Shoemaker—An investigation into space mutiny. Looks like a winner.
  • Made Things by Adrian Tchaikovsky—I’ve been wanting to try Tchaikovsky for a while now, this might be the one that gets me.

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to Tom Gamache, proofreadingebooks (the name is making me nervous about my content), Yvonne and Fragilistic for following the blog this week. Don’t be a stranger, and use that comment box, would you?

WWW Wednesday, 6-November-2019

Welcome to WWW Wednesday!

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words — and shown to me by Aurore-Anne-Chehoke at Diary-of-a-black-city-girl.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Easy enough, right?

What are you currently reading?

I’m working through the audiobook of The Right Stuff by Cornelia Funke and Lynn Redgrave (Narrator) and I’m reading Stephen Clark’s Hands Up.

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished The Night Fire by Michael Connelly and Monday I finished Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs and Joe Manganiello (Narrator) on audio.

What do you think you’ll read next?

My next book will be Fallen by Benedict Jacka (5 weeks after its release…what is wrong with me?), my next audiobook will be Undeath and Taxes by Drew Hayes and Kirby Heyborne (Narrator)

Hit me with your Three W’s in the comments! (no, really, do it!)

Saturday Miscellany—11/2/19

This week’s list seems a bit more miscellaneous than usual, but that’s cool. I honestly didn’t think I’d spent enough time online this week to cobble together a post. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Here are 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:

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

  • Shattered Bonds by Faith Hunter—Jane Yellowrock is back in the aftermath of the devastating 12th novel to find that things can always get worse. I rambled on about it this week.
  • Blue Moon by Lee Child—Jack Reacher. ‘Nuff said.
  • Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson—I’m not even sure how to summarize this without reading it. Just click the link.

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to Lee, likeherdingcatsblog, caffeinefocus, intentforcontent, entertainingly nerdy, The Awesome Dad, and juniorgareth42 for following the blog this week (gotta catch my breath for a moment, that was a long list). Don’t be a stranger, and use that comment box, would you?

October 2019 in Retrospect: What I Read/Listened to/Wrote About

30 books down! 9,183 pages! Wow! With an average of 3.7 Stars, too. Man…not much wrong with October, was there?

(At work I’ve been able to listen to a bunch of audiobooks this month, which was a lot of help)

I really don’t have a lot to say at the moment, so let’s just get on with what happened here in October.

System Failure A Bloody Arrogant Power Last Argument of Kings
4 Stars 3 Stars 5 Stars
The Rest of Us Just Live Here Don't Get Involved This is Where I Leave You
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
XYZ The Dead of Winter Theological Retrieval for Evangelicals
3 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
The Dead Dont Sleep Flying Alone Anbatar
3.5 Stars Still Deciding 3.5 Stars
How Not to Die Alone Famous in Cedarville Back of Beyond
4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Because Internet The Abels The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 3 Stars
Open Season Fleishman is in Trouble Side Jobs
4 Stars 2 1/2 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
The Highway Christianity and Liberalism Savage Run
3.5 Stars 5 Stars 3.5 Stars
Shattered Bonds Bearded Too When You Reach Me
4 1/2 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars
The Right Stuff  Maxine Unleashes Doomsday Look Both Ways
4 Stars Still Deciding 3.5 Stars

Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 5:Ecclesiology, the Means of Grace, Eschatology            

5 Stars 2 2 1/2 Stars 1
4 1/2 Stars 4 2 Stars 0
4 Stars 8 1 1/2 Stars 0
3.5 Stars 8 1 Star 0
3 Stars 7
Average = 3.7


Physical Books: 4 Added, 2 Read, 31 Remaining
E-Books: 0 Added, 0 Read, 24 Remaining
Audiobooks: 0 Added, 1 Read, 1 Remaining

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch (link forthcoming)
  2. The Abels by Jeremy Scott, Eric Michael Summerer (link forthcoming)
  3. The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes, Kirby Heyborne (link forthcoming)
  4. Open Season by C. J. Box, David Chandler (link forthcoming)
  5. Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (link forthcoming)
  6. Side Jobs by Jim Butcher, James Marsters
  7. The Highway by C. J. Box, Holter Graham (link forthcoming)
  8. Savage Run by C. J. Box, David Chandler (link forthcoming)
  9. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, Cynthia Holloway (link forthcoming)
  10. Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds (link forthcoming)
  11. Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie, Steven Pacey
  12. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, James Fouhey (link forthcoming)
  13. Back of Beyond by C. J. Box, Holter Graham (link forthcoming)

While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

Nothing this month.

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

#LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

  1. A Bloody Arrogant Power by Malcolm J. Wardlaw
  2. Don’t Get Involved by F J Curlew
  3. The Dead of Winter by A. B. Gibson
  4. XYZ by William Knight
  5. The Dead Don’t Sleep by Steven Max Russo
  6. Flying Alone: A Memoir by (link forthcoming)
  7. Anbatar: Legacy of the Blood Guard by Anne Dolleri
  8. Bearded Too by Jeremy Billups
  9. Maxine Unleashes Doomsday by Nick Kolakowski (link forthcoming)
2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

  1. A Bloody Arrogant Power by Malcolm J. Wardlaw
  2. Don’t Get Involved by F J Curlew
  3. The Dead of Winter by A. B. Gibson
  4. The Dead Don’t Sleep by Steven Max Russo
  5. Open Season by C. J. Box, David Chandler (link forthcoming)
  6. The Highway by C. J. Box, Holter Graham (link forthcoming)
  7. Savage Run by (link forthcoming)
  8. Famous in Cedarville by Erica Wright
  9. Back of Beyond by C. J. Box, Holter Graham (link forthcoming)
Humor Reading Challenge 2019

Humor Reading Challenge 2019

  1. System Failure by Joe Zieja
  2. XYZ by William Knight
2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    Nothing this month.

How was your month?