Happy July 4th!


Nothing to post today, in celebration of Independence Day in these United (at least officially) States of America. Enjoy some time with your family and friends, take in a parade, enjoy the weather, have some good food and drink, or catch up on your reading (or maybe all of the above).

And, since we’re all about reading here — take a moment and read the document published 242 years ago today.

To people outside this country, happy Wednesday?

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June 2018 Report

I read a decent chunk of things — and rated most of them pretty well. I don’t think I had anything under a 3 — which is the first in a few months (this year, maybe?). The only regret I have is that while the spirit was willing, the flesh was weak and tired, and the writing about what I read just didn’t get done. I’d also planned a few posts that weren’t just reflections on a particular reading experience that didn’t get finished enough to see the light of day. Maybe July will be more productive. Regardless, I’m calling June a winner.

So, here’s what happened here in June.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

The Incredible Ordinary Hero or The Brave Bystander: Burns Rubicon Rescued
3 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars
Any Other Name (Audiobook) Refugees Brief Cases
4 Stars 3 Stars 5 Stars
Cry Fox Jesus and His Enemies Kill the Farm Boy
3.5 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
White Night (Audiobook) Go Home, Afton Assassination
5 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
This Thing of Darkness Superheroes Can’t Save You Dry Bones (Audiobook)
4 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
The Highwayman (Audiobook) The Last Cleric The Wrong Side Of Goodbye
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
The Eyre Affair (Audiobook) Shattered Blades Volume 1: The Glory of Christ
3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars
Marching to Zion The Naming of the Dead The Question of the Dead Mistress
3 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars
All the Nations of the Sky Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Audiobook) Dead in the Water

Still Reading:

Planet Funny Besieged (Audiobook)      

Reviews Posted:

Book Challenge Progress:

Angel's Guilty Pleasures Any Other Name (Audiobook) by Craig Johnson, George Guidall
Dry Bones (Audiobook) by Craig Johnson, George Guidall
The Highwayman (Audiobook) by Craig Johnson, George Guidall
The Eyre Affair (Audiobook) by Jasper Fforde, Susan Duerden
The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Audiobook) by J. K. Rowling, Jim Dale

The Incredible Ordinary Hero or The Brave Bystander: Burn s by Aida Rascanu, Beatrice Magrini (Illustrator)
Jesus and His Enemies by Paul F. Yeulett
Superheroes Can’t Save You: Epic Examples of Historic Heresies by Todd Miles
Dead in the Water by Simon Bower

The Incredible Ordinary Hero or The Brave Bystander: Burns by Aida Rascanu, Beatrice Magrini (Illustrator)

Another month with nothing for this one…not feeling good about it.

How was your month?

May 2018 Report

Despite starting off pretty rough, this ended up being a pretty good month — some fantastic works, a lot of good ones, but yeah, some let-downs, too. Things were fairly productive, too — all in all a good month, and the next month promises to continue that trend (phew!).

So, here’s what happened here in May —

Books/Novels/Novellas/Short Stories Read/Listened to:

Fault Lines Old Black Magic Baby Shower
3 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
The Roaring Twenties Benedict Arnold Theophany
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars
Reluctant Courage Not Talking Italics Gables Court
1 1/2 Stars 5 Stars 1 Star
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone The Gauntlet The Fairies of Sadieville
5 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars
How to Be a Perfect Christian Proven Guilty The Assassin of Oz
4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 3.5 Stars
The TV Decective Trouble is a Friend of Mine Trade Deal
4 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
Flame in the Dark Fleshmarket Alley Trouble Makes a Comeback
4 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars
Sixth Prime Spiraling  The War Outside My Window
2 Stars 3.5 Stars 5 Stars
How it Happened The Ship of the Dead Dreadnought
4 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars

Still Reading:

Volume 1: The Glory of Christ Jesus and His Enemies Rubicon
Any Other Name            

Reviews Posted:

Book Challenge Progress:

Angel's Guilty Pleasures
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Audiobook) by J. K. Rowling, Jim Dale
  • Trouble is a Friend of Mine (Audiobook) by Stephanie Tromly, Kathleen McInerney
  • Fleshmarket Alley by Ian Rankin
  • Trouble Makes a Comeback(Audiobook) by Stephanie Tromly, Kathleen McInerney (link to come)
  • How it Happened by Michael Koryta (link to come)
  • Ship of the Dead (Audiobook) by Rick Riordan, Michael Crouch
  • Sixth Prime by Dan O’Brien
  • Reluctant Courage by Rica Newbery
  • Not Talking Italics by Russell Day
  • Gables Court by Alan S. Kessler
  • The TV Detective by Simon Hall
  • Trouble is a Friend of Mine (Audiobook) by Stephanie Tromly, Kathleen McInerney
  • How to Be a Perfect Christian by The Babylon Bee
  • The Assassin of Oz by Nicky Peacock
  • Sixth Prime by Dan O’Brien
  • The Roaring Twenties: A Time of Movies, Mass Production, and Moonshine by in60Learning
  • Benedict Arnold: From American Hero to British Traitor by in60Learning
  • Reluctant Courage by Rica Newbery
  • Not Talking Italics by Russell Day
  • Gables Court by Alan S. Kessler
  • The TV Detective by Simon Hall
  • I’ve really gotta get going on this one…

    How was your month?

    Towel Day ’18: Do You Know Where Your Towel Is?

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels.

    A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

    More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

    Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.” (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)

    One of my long-delayed goals is to write up a good all-purpose Tribute to Douglas Adams post, and another Towel Day has come without me doing so. Belgium.

    Next year . . . or later.

    Adams is one of those handful of authors that I can’t imagine I’d be the same without having encountered/read/re-read/re-re-re-re-read, and so I do my best to pay a little tribute to him each year, even if it’s just carrying around a towel (I’ve only been able to get one of my sons into Adams, he’s the taller, thinner one in the picture from a couple of years ago below).

    TowelDay.org is the best collection of resources on the day, recently posted this pretty cool video, shot on the ISS by astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.

    Even better — Here’s an appearance by Douglas Adams himself from the old Letterman show — so glad someone preserved this:

    Love the anecdote (Also, I want this tie.)

    April 2018 Report

    Numberwise, April was better than March, worse than February. Neither of which were that stellar — but on the whole, what I read was really strong, so that makes up for it. Still, I’m hoping now that things are slowing down at work, they can pick up here. I still have 2 books I was supposed to read for March, and 2 for April — thankfully, I’ve only committed to 2 for May. I just might catch up by the end of the month (then again, the new Ace Atkins drops tomorrow, so who cares about commitments).

    So, here’s what happened here in April.

    Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

    Christianity at the Crossroads Scourged The Italian Teacher
    4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 3 Stars
    The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh Sir Blunder: A Bedtime Story for Big People Fire Touched
    3 Stars 2 Stars 4 Stars
    The Plea Life Begins When The Kids Leave Home And The Dog Dies Jimbo Yojimbo
    4 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
    Hunter The Bone Keeper A Question of Blood
    3 Stars 4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
    Arrivals Silence Fallen My Man Jeeves
    3 Stars 4 Stars 2 Stars
    The Hike Dark Queen The Founding of Los Angeles: Before the Birth of Hollywood
    3 Stars 5 Stars 3 Stars

    DNF:

     Batman: Nightwalker            

    Still Reading:

    Theophany  The War Outside My Window      

    Books Posted About:

    Book Challenge Progress:

    Angel's Guilty Pleasures The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman
    A Question of Blood by Ian Rankin
    Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs, Lorelei King, George Newbern
    Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu, Will Damron

    Sir Blunder: A Bedtime Story for Big People by Walter Kerr

    Sir Blunder: A Bedtime Story for Big People by Walter Kerr
    The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by Carolyn Arnold

    ✔ Read an audio book with multiple narrators: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs, Lorelei King, George Newbern

    How was your month?

    2018 Independent Bookstore Day

    I didn’t celebrate Independent Bookstore Day in quite the same way I did in 2017. Last year, we went to Rediscovered Books, bought a couple of books and then went elsewhere and adopted a dog. This year, we went to Rediscovered Books — played a game (which got me a Blind Date with a Book) — bought a couple of books and chatted with an author.

    Altogether less expensive, and I didn’t have to talk in a higher-pitched voice — not even once.


    Yeah, I clearly need more practice at taking pics like that. Anyway, I grabbed The Vinyl Detective – Written in Dead Wax by Andrew Cartmell (mostly because Ben Aaronovitch talked a lot about the books on Twitter and whatnot). My Blind Date is with Fonda Lee’s Jade City, described as “Fantasy/Adult” and “The Godfather but with magic” (or words to that effect). And then I also purchased — and got signed — the new version of Devri Wall’s Venators.

    Back in 2016, I read and blogged about Devri Wall’s The Wizard’s Heir and Venators: Through the Arch, and she was nice enough to answer A Few Quick Questions for me. We got to chat about why there’s a new version of the book, when to expect the next in the series, and what not. My wife, who actually thinks about things other than books, suggested getting a picture (ever the rookie, my fingers are covering the title).

    As part of the game at RD, I had to take a couple of pics, I might as well throw them up here. One task was to take a picture of the bookstore — here’s the rare empty spot today (filled up seconds later). Another task was to take a photo of a Non-Fiction book with a great cover. I don’t know that I’ll read Best Before: The Evolution and Future of Processed Food, but that’s just a great cover.
          

    Independent Bookstore Day 2018 – April 28!

    You like books, right? Otherwise, why are you here? You like bookstores, too, right? Nothing against Barnes & Noble or any of the dozens of great online booksellers — but there’s nothing like a good Independent Bookstore. Staff who know their wares; possibly get to know your tastes; care about books, writing, etc.

    (and better for the local economy than chains, too, but that’s out of my wheelhouse to discuss)

    Basically, they’re great resources, community centers, and places to spend your money. To celebrate/promote them, 400 Indie Bookstores around the country are celebrating Independent Bookstore Day this Saturday. Go, check a local store out — see the exclusive items just for the day. If you’re in Southwest Idaho, Rediscovered Books in Boise is the place to go (there are a couple of other decent shops in the area, but not as good, IMHO).