Saturday Miscellany – 6/22/19

Runnin’ late — been running late all week, really. No time for an intro, really. Go directly to the links, do not pass go, do not collect $200. 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:

  • The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t with Her Mind by Jackson Ford: — A mouthy and fun psychokinetic is on the run for her life — and her friends’, too. I had a blast with this one, as I said here.
  • FKA USA by Reed King — I’ve seen a ton of ads for this one, and the premise/tone intrigue me (go read the link, I’m not going to try to summarize in a sentence). Not sure, I’ll like it, but I’m quite curious.

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

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Saturday Miscellany – 6/15/19

This has been one of those weeks…I seem to have a lot of them, lately. I’ve barely been online — as this short list will demonstrate. Still, some good stuff.

Also, I’ve been trying to adjust to Progressive lenses. Trying being the operative word. I’m spending a lot of time with my new lenses in my pocket, to be honest. Which is not what I spent the money for. My old glasses took up space in my pocket while I read for a lot less money. Any glasses that interfere with my reading are not going to spend a lot of time on my face. Anyone else out there dealt with Progressive lenses? Anyone have better success? Tips to share?

Still, I cobbled together a few 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:

  • Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O’Keefe — I didn’t finish O’Keefe’s last SF series (which really bugs me), this one looks as good — maybe better. As Paul’s Picks said..

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

Saturday Miscellany — 6/8/19

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:

    A Book-ish Related Podcast Episodesyou might want to give a listen to:

  • O&F Podcast, Ep. 196: Patricia BriggsStrout talks to Briggs about a whole host of stuff — I appreciated her talking about grief and what it did to her writing, and the pressures of hitting the NYT Best-Seller List. But just an enjoyable chat overall.

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

  • Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey — a PI is called in by her estranged twin to solve a murder at a Hogwarts-esque private school? Sign me up.

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

May 2019 Report

…also known as that day my wife gets to see what I’ve been up to lately.

21 books for 6094 pages. Not my best, but not a bad month. Especially given the full amount of things going on in Real Life™. But man, I had a lot of fun — and cleared off a good amount of items from TBR (very happy about that). Read some really good stuff this month and it looks like June will be pretty good, too. Hope the same can be said for you.

So, here’s what happened here in May.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

Death at the Dakota Deadly Secrets Grace Defined and Defended
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 3 Stars
Venators: Promises Forged The Liar Late Eclipses (Audiobook)
4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 4 Stars
Storm Cursed Firefly: Big Damn Hero The Killing Joke
4 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
Going Dark Fletch and the Man Who The Controller
4 Stars 5 Stars 3.5 Stars
Killer Thriller Don't Panic Instant Karma
4 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars
Carioca Fletch Josiah's Reformation The Flintstones, Vol. 1
2 1/2 Stars 3.5 Stars 3 Stars
The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t with Her Mind Stumptown, vol 1 How To Kill Friends And Implicate People
4 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars

Still Reading:

Rediscovering the Holy Spirit Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 3: Christology      

Ratings

5 Stars 2 2 1/2 Stars 2
4 1/2 Stars 2 2 Stars
4 Stars 8 1 1/2 Stars
3.5 Stars 4 1 Star
3 Stars 4
                                   Average = 3.79

Reviews Posted:

  • Fletch’s Fortune (Audiobook) by Gregory McDonald, Dan John Miller: Possibly the Most Entertaining Entry in this Great Series
  • Death at the Dakota by M.K. Graff: A pleasant little near-cozy mystery/romance that’s sure to earn some fans
  • Deadly Secrets by OMJ Ryan: A fast, taut thriller that’s sure to please.
  • That Ain’t Witchcraft by Seanan McGuire: Annie at the Crossroads (literally, mystically, metaphorically, and probably a couple of other adverbs, too)
  • The Liar by Steve Cavanagh: Another Fantastic Ride with the Wiliest Lawyer in Print!
  • Fletch and the Widow Bradley (Audiobook) by Gregory McDonald, Dan John Miller: An oddly contemporary-feeling Fletch novel that’s good but not really good.
  • Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs: Goblin Royalty, Coyote, the Strangest Zombies you’ve Run Across Combine and an excess of “Next”s
  • The Killing Joke by Christa Faust, Gary Phillips: The Legendary Graphic Novel Gets the Peter Jackson’s Hobbit Treatment
  • Going Dark by Neil Lancaster: An Action-Packed Thrill Ride, an Interesting Spin on the Hero, and a Dynamite Plot
  • Killer Thriller by Lee Goldberg: The Best-Selling Author/Hapless Hero Ian Ludlow Returns to Save the Day Again
  • The Controller by Matt Brolly: The Good, The Bad and The Iffy
  • Instant Karma by Todd Morr: Nasty, brutish, and short (I mean that as a compliment)
  • The Flintstones, Vol. 1. by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh: A Yabba-Dabba-Doo time awaits the reader.
  • Don’t Panic by Neil Gaiman, David K. Dickson and MJ Simpson: An Indispensable Guide to Douglas Adams and his Work

TBR Pile/Mound/Heap:

Physical Books: 2 Added (ONLY 2?!?), 7 Read, 25 Remaining
E-Books: 4 Added, 5 Read, 21 Remaining
Audiobooks: 3 Added, 3 Read, 4 Remaining

Book Challenge Progress:

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. The Flintstones, Vol. 1. by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh
  2. Stumptown, vol 1: The Case of the Girl Who Took her Shampoo (But Left her Mini) by Greg Rucka, Matthew Southworth (link forthcoming)

While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

✔ A book with a curse word in the title: The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t with Her Mind by Jackson Ford (link forthcoming)

✔ Read a book with “how to” in the title: How To Kill Friends And Implicate People by Jay Stringer (link forthcoming)

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

#LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

  1. Death at the Dakota by M.K. Graff
  2. Deadly Secrets by OMJ Ryan
  3. Venators: Promises Forged by Devri Walls (link forthcoming)
  4. Going Dark by Neil Lancaster
  5. The Controller by Matt Brolly
  6. Instant Karma by Todd Morr
  7. Stumptown, vol 1: The Case of the Girl Who Took her Shampoo (But Left her Mini) by Greg Rucka, Matthew Southworth (link forthcoming)
2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

  1. Death at the Dakota by M.K. Graff
  2. Deadly Secrets by OMJ Ryan
  3. The Liar by Steve Cavanagh
  4. The Killing Joke by Christa Faust, Gary Phillips
  5. Going Dark by Neil Lancaster
  6. Fletch and the Man Who by Gregory McDonald, Dan John Miller(link forthcoming)
  7. The Controller by Matt Brolly
  8. Killer Thriller by Lee Goldberg
  9. Instant Karma by Todd Morr
  10. Carioca Fletch by Gregory McDonald, Dan John Miller(link forthcoming)
  11. Stumptown, vol 1: The Case of the Girl Who Took her Shampoo (But Left her Mini) by Greg Rucka, Matthew Southworth (link forthcoming)
Humor Reading Challenge 2019

Humor Reading Challenge 2019

  1. Killer Thriller by Lee Goldberg
  2. Don’t Panic by Neil Gaiman, David K. Dickson and MJ Simpson
2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

  1. Josiah’s Reformation by Richard Sibbes link forthcoming

How was your month?

Saturday Miscellany — 6/1/19

For a week that contained both a sober Monday holiday (I meant in tone, not in day off alcohol consumption for most) and the last week in the month I have a pretty long list today. Odd. I don’t know if anyone’s picked up on this — over the past 313 weeks I’ve developed general outline that I like to follow with this post, and I try to get a flow going from one idea to another. It’s hard to describe — but for those who fixated on making the perfect mixtapes back in the 90’s, you know the idea. This week defied almost all of my attempts for any of that. It’s not important, and I’m 99.6% certain that I’m the only one who will notice. But I spent too much time last night working on it — oh the silly things we find to obsess over. It’s actually probably almost as much time to write and revise this paragraph than I spent on the effort, in point of fact — but it distracted me for longer than that last night.

Also, it’s just been a strange week around my house — not good or bad, just strange. All said, I’m in a generally amused frame of mind (which led to me counting how many of these I’ve done). Hopefully that comes through…

I think I’ve babbled on long enough — not quite Harry Knowles length yet, but getting there. On with 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 Release I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon:

  • Dead Inside by Noelle Holton — First off, if you’ve ever read crimebookjunkie.co.uk or heard her on Two Crime Writers and a Microphone, you know that Holten knows Crime Fiction. And has a great deal of enthusiasm for it. She brings both to bear in this new book. I read the prologue/first chapter, whatever it’s called yesterday. It was dark. It was creepy. It left me with a deep sense of foreboding and dread. Which is exactly what it’s supposed to do. There’s a rash of abusive husbands being killed, and a probation officer (Holten’s actual profession, by the way) is a very likely suspect. A killer you’re going to sympathize with (at least a bit), an interesting suspect and a smart DC on the case? I can’t wait to get further in.

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to Sesame Limited, devouringbooks2017, theguywiththebook and geekhutdrone for following the blog this week.

Saturday Miscellany — 5/25/19

Happy Towel Day! (in case you missed my earlier posts — yup, three posts on a Saturday this one and this other one). Hope you had fun — the hoopy froods at Re-Pop Gifts in Boise made a nice fuss over the day, and gave out Tea Towels (I now have 2 towels ready to go for next year) — if you’re in the Boise area, you really need to check this store out.

It really doesn’t feel like I spent enough time at my computer this week — as is reflected in my book posts for the week. So when I opened my list o’ links last night to start reviewing them for this post, I was really surprised — I didn’t think I’d taken the time to save anything. I ended up not using everything I considered! It may be hard to believe I didn’t actually end up using everything from CrimeReads that I thought about — only so they don’t sue me. Also, I’m sure to have a little bit of something for next week (which I anticipate will be really slow).

By the way, am I the only one not ready for May to be this over yet?

Enough blathering on, 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:

  • Pimp My Airship by Maurice Broaddus — if people had a hard time with Cherie Priest’s steampunk setting, imagine how they’ll feel about Broaddus’ Indianapolis. Looks good — see Paul’s Picks post about it for more.
  • Deception Cove by Owen Laukkanen — The first non-Stevens and Windemere book from Laukkanen was probably not my thing, but was likely really good. This, on the other hand, is totally my bag — an ex-con, a Marine Vet with PTSD, and a corrupt sheriff fighting over a dog.
  • Starship Repo by Patrick S. Tomlinson — swashbuckling SF adventure, heavy on the humor. Looks so good, I just put the first in the series on hold at the library.

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to TheReadingNook (I use that theme for a different blog myself — her version looks better), Tony Self and Somik Bndopadhyay for following the blog this week.

Towel Day ’19: Some of my favorite Adams lines . . .

(updated 5/25/19)
There’s a great temptation here for me to go crazy. I’ll refrain from that and just list some of his best lines . . .

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

  • Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”
  • This must be Thursday. . . I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”
  • “You’d better be prepared for the jump into hyperspace. It’s unpleasantly like being drunk.”
    “What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?”
    “You ask a glass of water.”
    (I’m not sure why, but this has always made me chuckle, if not actually laugh out loud. It’s just never not funny)
  • He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.
  • In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centuari. And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before . . .
  • “Look,” said Arthur, “would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”
  • The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

  • It is a curious fact, and one to which no one knows quite how much importance to attach, that something like 85 percent of all known worlds in the Galaxy, be they primitive or highly advanced, have invented a drink called jynnan tonnyx, or gee-N-N-T’Nix, or jinond-o-nicks, or any one of a thousand or more variations on the same phonetic theme. The drinks themselves are not the same, and vary between the Sivolvian “chinanto/mnigs” which is ordinary water served at slightly above room temperature, and the Gagrakackan “tzjin-anthony-ks” which kills cows at a hundred paces; and in fact the one common factor between all of them, beyond the fact that the names sound the same, is that they were all invented and named before the worlds concerned made contact with any other worlds.

Life, the Universe, and Everything

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has this to say on the subject of flying.There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying.The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

(It goes on for quite a while after this — and I love every bit of it.)

  • “One of the interesting things about space,” Arthur heard Slartibartfast saying . . . “is how dull it is?””Dull?” . . .”Yes,” said Slartibartfast, “staggeringly dull. Bewilderingly so. You see, there’s so much of it and so little in it.”

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

  • Of course, one never has the slightest notion what size or shape different species are going to turn out to be, but if you were to take the findings of the latest Mid-Galactic Census report as any kind of accurate guide to statistical averages you would probably guess that the craft would hold about six people, and you would be right.You’d probably guessed that anyway. The Census report, like most such surveys, had cost an awful lot of money and told nobody anything they didn’t already know — except that every single person in the Galaxy had 2.4 legs and owned a hyena. Since this was clearly not true the whole thing eventually had to be scrapped.
  • Here was something that Ford felt he could speak about with authority.”Life,” he said, “is like a grapefruit.””Er, how so?”

    Well, it’s sort of orangy-yellow and dimpled on the outside, wet and squidgy the middle. It’s got pips inside, too. Oh, and some people have half a one for breakfast.”

    “Is there anyone else out there I can talk to?”

  • Arthur had a swordfish steak and said it made him angry. He grabbed a passing waitress by the arm and berated her.”Why’s this fish so bloody good?” he demanded, angrily.”Please excuse my friend,” said Fenchurch to the startled waitress. “I think he’s having a nice day at last.”

Mostly Harmless

  • A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

  • If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
  • Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

(I’ve often been tempted to get a tattoo of this)

The Last Chance to See

  • “So what do we do if we get bitten by something deadly?” I asked.He looked at me as if I were stupid.”You die, of course. That’s what deadly means.”
  • I’ve never understood all this fuss people make about the dawn. I’ve seen a few and they’re never as good as the photographs, which have the additional advantage of being things you can look at when you’re in the right frame of mind, which is usually around lunchtime.
  • I have the instinctive reaction of a Western man when confronted with sublimely incomprehensible. I grab my camera and start to photograph it.
  • Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

And a couple of lines I’ve seen in assorted places, articles, books and whatnot

  • I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.
  • A learning experience is one of those things that says, “You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.”
  • The fact is, I don’t know where my ideas come from. Nor does any writer. The only real answer is to drink way too much coffee and buy yourself a desk that doesn’t collapse when you beat your head against it.