February 2019 Report

Been a crazy month around here, thanks to Fahrenbruary. More than twice the views and visitors over last February. Which ain’t half bad. I have some other thoughts about that part of the month that I’ll probably share soon. But even without that, it’s been a decent month. I’d have liked to have read a couple of more books and written a couple of more posts — but I’m not complaining. The quality of what I read was great on the whole, which is the important thing. Still, looking forward to March, I’ve got some great reads coming up.

Anyway, here’s what happened here in February.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

Baptism: Answers to Common Questions Standing in Another Man's Grave The Barista’s Guide to Espionage
4 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
Circle of the Moon Saving the Reformation: The Pastoral Theology of the Canons of Dort Black Moss
5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars
Rosemary and Rue (Audiobook) Seraphina's Lament Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 1: Theology Proper
4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 5 Stars
Dead is Beautiful The Murder Quadrille August
4 Stars 3.5 Stars 2 1/2 Stars
Broken Dreams Back Door to Hell Blameless (Audiobook)
4 Stars 3 Stars 3.5 Stars
Back Door to Hell Not Everyone is Special The Great Brain (Audiobook)
4 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
The Last Act            
4 Stars            

Still Reading:

Rediscovering the Holy Spirit Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 1: Anthropology Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Audiobook)
My Lovely Wife            

Ratings

5 Stars 4 2 1/2 Stars 1
4 1/2 Stars 1 2 Stars
4 Stars 7 1 1/2 Stars
3.5 Stars 2 1 Star
3 Stars 4
Average = 3.9

Reviews Posted:

TBR Pile/Mound/Heap:

Physical Books: 2 Added, 0 Read, 25 Remaining
E-Books: 3 Added, 8 Read, 19 Remaining
Audiobooks: 4 Added, 1 Read, 3 Remaining

Book Challenge Progress:

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin
  2. Blameless by Gail Carriger, Emily Gray
  3. The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald, Ron McLarty

While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

  • Didn’t have time to do anything here.
  • LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

    #LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

    1. The Barista’s Guide to Espionage by Dave Sinclair
    2. trong>
    3. Seraphina’s Lament by Sarah Chorn
    4. Dead is Beautiful by Jo Perry
    5. The Murder Quadrille by Fidelis Morgan
    6. August by Jim Lusby
    7. Broken Dreams by Nick Quantrill
    8. A Burdizzo For A Prince by Mark Rapacz
    9. Not Everyone is Special by Josh Denslow(link forthcoming)
    10. Back Door to Hell by Paul Gadsby
    2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

    2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

    1. The Barista’s Guide to Espionage by Dave Sinclair
    2. Black Moss by David Nolan
    3. Dead is Beautiful by Jo Perry
    4. The Murder Quadrille by Fidelis Morgan
    5. August by Jim Lusby
    6. Broken Dreams by Nick Quantrill
    7. A Burdizzo For A Prince by Mark Rapacz
    8. Back Door to Hell by Paul Gadsby
    9. Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin
    10. The Last Act by Brad Parks (link forthcoming)
    Humor Reading Challenge 2019

    Humor Reading Challenge 2019

    1. Didn’t get anything this month.
    2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

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

    How was your month?

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    January 2019 Report

    A few things you need to know before I start this: 1. Within the last two weeks, my laptop has stopped giving me warnings when my battery goes below 10%; 2 I am an idiot.

    I started this early, I’ve never done that before. In fact, I had this about 40% done Wednesday night when my laptop battery died. Now, for various and sundry reasons, I use Notepad while I’m building these posts, and I had three different Notepad windows open, and was in a good groove working on this. Now, I hadn’t done a good job using the “Save Draft” button in WordPress and had not saved any of the Notepad windows (see #2 above). So when the battery just died on me, I know I yelled. I didn’t cuss/swear/curse/whatever you want to call it out loud, my kids were around and I try to be a good example. But I assure you, I thought a long blue streak. Between the discouragement from that, and my inability to arrange my thoughts about a novel afterwards, I ended up not posting anything Thursday. January in general has seen more days without a post than I like — this week was pretty typical.

    But February will be busier — guaranteed. Fahrenbruary will be good for that, if nothing else.

    Anyway, here’s what happened here in January. Good books, some decent posts (if I do say so myself). 2019 is off to a good start.

    Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

    Nature’s Case for God: A Brief Biblical Argument Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition The Power of the Dog
    3 Stars 3.5 Stars 5 Stars
    In an Absent Dream Flame in the Dark (Audiobook) Flight of the Fox
    5 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars
    Awakenings Death Valley Superstars Here and Now and Then
    3.5 Stars 3 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
    A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps Slaughterhouse Blues The Reach of Shadows
    3.5 Stars 3 Stars 3.5 Stars
    Immoral Code The Lion's Tail Skin Game (Audiobook)
    4 Stars 3.5 Stars 5 Stars
    The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge Spare Room In Their Own Words
    3 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
    Unstoppable Arsenal Main Bad Guy Confess Fletch
    3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 5 Stars
    The Whistle Blower The Disasters Shattered Illusions
    3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars

    Still Reading:

    Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 1: Theology Proper            

    Ratings

    5 Stars 5 2 1/2 Stars 0
    4 1/2 Stars 2 2 Stars 0
    4 Stars 3 1 1/2 Stars 0
    3.5 Stars 3 1 Star 0
    3 Stars 8
    Average = 3.79

    Reviews Posted:

    TBR Heap:

    Physical Books: 4 Added/5 Read
    E-Books: 2 Added/0 Read
    Audiobooks: 3 Added/3 Read
    …only 1 net addition. Not bad.

    Book Challenge Progress:

    2019 Library Love Challenge

    2019 Library Love Challenge

    1. Awakenings by Edward Lazellari
    2. The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson, Eugene Yelchin(link forthcoming)
    3. The Disasters by M. K. England(link forthcoming)

    While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

    ✔ An essay collection: Death Valley Superstars by Duke Haney
    ✔ A book by an author you’ve never read before: Flight of the Fox by Gray Basnight

    LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

    #LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

    1. Flight of the Fox by Gray Basnight
    2. A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps by Nick Kolakowski
    3. The Reach of Shadows by Tony J. Forder
    4. Slaughterhouse Blues by Nick Kolakowski (link forthcoming)
    5. Lions Tail by Luna Miller (link forthcoming)
    6. Main Bad Guy by Nick Kolakowski (link forthcoming)
    7. Death Valley Superstars by Duke Haney
    8. Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition by Russ Colchamiro
    9. Unstoppable Arsenal by Jeffery H. Haskell (link forthcoming)
    10. Shattered Illusions by J.C. Jackson (link forthcoming)
    2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

    2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

    1. Flight of the Fox by Gray Basnight
    2. A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps by Nick Kolakowski
    3. The Reach of Shadows by Tony J. Forder
    4. Slaughterhouse Blues by Nick Kolakowski (link forthcoming)
    5. Lions Tail by Luna Miller (link forthcoming)
    6. Main Bad Guy by Nick Kolakowski (link forthcoming)
    7. Immoral Code by Lillian Clark
    8. Spare Room by Dreda Say Mitchell
    9. Confess Fletch by Gregory Mcdonald, Dan Jon Miller (link forthcoming)
    Humor Reading Challenge 2019

    Humor Reading Challenge 2019

    1. Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition by Russ Colchamiro
    2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    1. In Their Own Words by David Calhoun (link forthcoming)

    How was your month?

    Looking back at 2018 for Books and the Blog

    As we kick off 2019, I wanted to take a glance back at 2018. 258 books read (plus comics, picture books, short stories, and the like that I don’t know how to count) — I exceeded my goal (nothing like exceeding an arbitrary number to boost the ol’ ego), 380 posts (short of my goal by a couple hundred, and worse — 15 fewer than 2017, which was down from 2016. This is a trend that I need to reverse). I had some strong gains in traffic — views and visitors — actually, strong gains doesn’t quite cut it. Consider my mind boggled. I’m also seeing good growth in followers here and on various social media fronts, which is encouraging as all get out — not just growth in numbers, but I’m actually interacting with people (and vice versa).

    So here’s my breakdown of books by genre, like the one I did last year. Genre labeling is more difficult this year, I read a lot of hybrids, but I tend to go with the overarching genre (for example, Brassley’s The Drifting Lands books are fantasy novels in a SF setting, I went with Fantasy). Mystery/Suspense/Thriller is back to where it should be. Fantasy jumped up a bit, and Urban Fantasy took a dive. It’s been forever since I’ve read a Western, I guess (at least one that wasn’t a hybrid with Urban Fantasy or SF or something) — and I had to add a category for Poetry. Theological books went down in actual numbers, not just percent — but I read some big, technical stuff this year that take a lot of time/energy to read, so I’m not too bothered by that. Still, for someone who doesn’t plan too thoroughly, the percentages stay remarkably the same from year to year — tastes (and series I follow) apparently stay the same.

    Genre 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
    Children’s 11 (4%) 7 (3%) 5 (2%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
    Fantasy 30 (11%) 7 (3%) 31 (13%) 17 (9%) 11 (7%) 15 (8%) 12 (6%)
    General Fiction/ Literature 22 (8%) 29 (10%) 27 (11%) 17 (9%) 7 (4%) 30 (16%) 30 (14%)
    Horror 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (.4%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
    Humor 3 (1%) 1 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (1%) 3 (2%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
    Mystery/ Suspense/ Thriller 107 (38%) 102 (37%) 61 (25%) 64 (34%) 62 (37%) 63 (33%) 73 (35%)
    Non-Fiction 22 (8%) 10 (4%) 11 (5%) 8 (4%) 4 (2%) 2 (1%) 11 (5%)
    Poetry 1 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
    Science Fiction 25 (9%) 27 (10%) 37 (15%) 16 (8%) 17 (10%) 14 (7%) 11 (5%)
    Steampunk 3 (1%) 1 (0%) 2 (1%) 7 (4%) 3 (2%) 3 (2%) 11 (5%)
    Theology/ Christian Living 25 (9%) 30 (11%) 33 (14%) 42 (22%) 42 (25%) 37 (19%) 10 (5%)
    Urban Fantasy 29 (10%) 45 (16%) 36 (15%) 19 (10%) 20 (12%) 26 (14%) 48 (23%)
    Western 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (0%)

    Have a great 2019, hope you find plenty of good things to read!

    December 2018 Report

    So, this is the end of December. The end of 2018. As I said earlier, I started a new job, so my numbers are a little lower — I think this is likely the new normal (at least for a while). Twenty-two books is nothing to sneeze at, really. I think I know I say this too frequently for anyone to take me seriously (including myself), but I really didn’t write as much as I wanted to this month. But I rested a lot. I did like a good amount of what I actually wrote, so there’s that. Anyhow, some of the highs from this year — and a couple of lows, in other words — December was pretty representative.

    So, here’s what happened here in December.

    Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

    Not Famous Mr. Pizza Deep Dirty Truth
    4 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
    Past Tense Grounded in Heaven Murder in the Dark
    3.5 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
    Dog Songs The World Savers The United Smiths of America
    3 Stars 3.5 Stars 1 Star
    Blackwater The Everlasting Story of Nory P Is for Pterodactyl
    4 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
    Godlefe’s Cuckoo Cold Days (Audiobook) The Crescent and the Cross
    3 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
    Hardcore Twenty-Four The Impossible Dead Ross Poldark
    2 1/2 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Audiobook) Geerhardus Vos: Reformed Biblical Theologian, Confessional Presbyterian John Owen vol 4
    5 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars
    Doctor Who: Rose            
    3.5 Stars            

    Still Reading:

    The Power of the Dog            

    Reviews Posted:

    Book Challenge Progress:

    Angel's Guilty Pleasures Past Tense by Lee Child
    The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin
    Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling, Jim Dale

    Mr. Pizza by J. F. Pandolfi
    Murder in the Dark by Betsy Reavley
    The United Smiths of America by Jon Voss
    P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever by Raj Haldar, Chris Carpenter, Maria Beddia
    The Crescent and the Cross by Kurt Scheffler
    Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
    Dog Songs by Mary Oliver, John Burgoyne
    Geerhardus Vos: Reformed Biblical Theologian, Confessional Presbyterian by Danny E. Olinger
    Doctor Who: Rose by Russell T. Davies

    Mr. Pizza by J. F. Pandolfi
    Murder in the Dark by Betsy Reavley
    The World Savers by Matt Cowper
    The United Smiths of America by Jon Voss
    P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever by Raj Haldar, Chris Carpenter, Maria Beddia
    The Crescent and the Cross by Kurt Scheffler

    ✔ Read a book that takes place in one day: The United Smiths of America by Jon Voss
    ✔ Read a collection of poetry: Dog Songs by Mary Oliver, John Burgoyne
    ✔ Read a book you received as a gift: The Crescent and the Cross by Kurt Scheffler
    ✔ Read a book recommended by one of your parents (in-laws count): Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
    ✔ Read a book with your favorite food in the title.: Mr. Pizza by J. F. Pandolfi

    How was your month?

    November 2018 Report

    Well, November happened. Lot’s of pretty cool stuff in my non-blog life, and things related to the blog. Pretty good reading month — almost good writing month. Some less-than-good reads, plenty of great reads. Nothing to complain about, that’s for sure.

    So anyway, here’s what happened here in November.

    Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

    Dark Sacred Night The Green Viper You Had Me at Woof
    4 1/2 Stars 3 Stars 2 1/2 Stars
    The Place You're Supposed to Laugh Be Brave, Little Puffy The Twisted Web
    4 1/2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
    By Faith, Not By Sight: Paul and the Order of Salvation Her Last Move Degrading Orbits
    5 Stars 5 Stars 3 Stars
    Ghost Story The Summer Holidays Survival Guide Know Me from Smoke
    4 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
    Ways to Die in Glasgow Kitties Are Not Good To Eat Rediscovering Humility
    3.5 Stars 3 Stars 3.5 Stars
    The Lord's Supper as the Sign and Meal of the New Covenant Dry Hard The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
    4 Stars 3.5 Stars 2 1/2 Stars
     Small Town Nightmare The Complaints My Sister, the Serial Killer</a
    3 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
    Curse on the Land  They Promised Me the Gun Wasn't Loaded Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse
    4 1/2 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
    Fletch (Audiobook) The Frame-Up Play Dead
    5 Stars Still Deciding 4 Stars
    Them            
    5 Stars            

    Still Reading:

    John Owen vol 4 Grounded in Heaven      

    Reviews Posted:

    Book Challenge Progress:

    Angel's Guilty Pleasures You Had Me at Woof (Audiobook) by Julie Klam, Karen White
    The Complaints by Ian Rankin
    My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
    They Promised Me the Gun Wasn’t Loaded by James Alan Gardner
    Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse by Lee Goldberg, Laura Hicks
    Play Dead by David Rosenfelt, Grover Gardner

    The Green Viper by Rob Sinclair
    The Place You’re Supposed to Laugh by Jenn Stroud Rossmann
    Be Brave, Little Puffy by Arline Cooper
    The Summer Holidays Survival Guide by Jon Rance
    Know Me from Smoke by Matt Phillips
    Kitties Are Not Good To Eat by Cassandra Gelvin
    Dry Hard by Nick Spalding
    Small Town Nightmare by Anna Willett
    You Had Me at Woof (Audiobook) by Julie Klam, Karen White
    My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
    Her Last Move by John Marrs
    Rediscovering Humility: Why the Way Up is Downby Christopher Hutchinson
    The Frame-Up by Meghan Scott Molin

    The Green Viper by Rob Sinclair
    The Place You’re Supposed to Laugh by Jenn Stroud Rossmann
    Be Brave, Little Puffy by Arline Cooper
    The Twisted Web by Rebecca Bradley
    Degrading Orbits by Bradley Horner
    The Summer Holidays Survival Guide by Jon Rance
    Know Me from Smoke by Matt Phillips
    Kitties Are Not Good To Eat by Cassandra Gelvin
    Dry Hard by Nick Spalding
    Small Town Nightmare by Anna Willett

    ✔ Read an audio book with multiple narrators: Ways to die in Glasgow by Heather Wilds, Napoleon Ryan
    ✔ Read a book you chose based on the cover: Know Me from Smoke by Matt Phillips: A heart-wrenching noir love story.

    How was your month?

    Thanksgiving 2018

    Happy Thanksgiving/Turkey Day/Thursday

    (depending on your location/preference)

    When I think about all the great things that have happened around the blog and behind the scenes this year leaves me at a loss for words, let me list a few things I’m thankful for — a very incomplete list, I assure you:

      • The readers of this blog, the authors who’ve corresponded with me/provided books for me to read/encouraged me — even promoted this here project. The messages of support/care/encouragement that we received from you all when my son got his kidney were inexpressibly helpful.
      • The publicists, publishers, book tour hosts, etc. I’ve been working with this year who’ve especially made things great — I typically hesitate to mention any by name, so as to not inadvertently miss anyone and cause offense (and make me feel bad). But I want to mention two by name this year — Lori Hettler of TNBBC Publicity and Emma at damppebbles blog tours. You two have expanded (and pushed) my boundaries this year, exposed me to some great reads I’d have not tried, and put up with my quirks and memory lapses with grace.
      • Books
      • Authors!
      • Books
      • Coffee (and other beverages both caffeinated and adult)
      • Books
      • Time to read
      • Books
      • Easily finding an appropriate image for this post for the second year in a row
      • Books
      • Easily finding an appropriate image for this post for a change
      • Audiobooks and talented narrators
      • The Nampa Public Library (and The LYNX! Consortium) — and their generous grace period
      • Books
      • Rediscovered Books and Libro.fm
      • Books
      • Goodreads, WordPress, NetGalley, BookLikes
      • Books
      • Evernote (but you’re making it harder)
      • Books
      • Organ Transplants (just to get serious for a moment)</li)
      • Authors!
      • Authors!

    My supportive, understanding and encouraging wife and kids who do a pretty decent job pretending to care when their old man drones on and on about what he’s reading or what’s going on with the blog.

    • Again, all of you who read, follow, like, tweet, comment, email, etc. this page — you have no idea how much every little bit is appreciated.

    October 2018 Report

    A lot of highs, a couple of lows — and a decent amount of stuff in between. I’d hoped to get more written — but, I’m not beating myself up over it (or so I keep telling myself). I made some decent progress on the reading challenges I’m tackling. All in all, a pretty good month, I think.

    Here’s what happened here in October.

    Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

    Voyage of the Dogs The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Audiobook) Sourdough (Audiobook)
    3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
    Burning Secrets Lies Sleeping Blood Fued
    4 Stars 5 Stars 3.5 Stars
    Changes (Audiobook) Without Rules Two Kinds of Truth
    5 Stars
    5 Stars
    1 Star 3.5 Stars
    Still Protesting Video Killed the Radio Star The Defense (Audiobook)
    3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 3.5 Stars
    Exit Music Woof (Audiobook) Praying the Bible
    5 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
    Wrecked Changeless (Audiobook) Zero Sum Game
    5 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
    Black Widow: Forever Red The Golden Orphans Time's Up, Afton
    3 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
    So Let It Be Written Dog On It (Audiobook)      
    2 Stars 4 Stars      

    Still Reading:

    John Owen vol 4 By Faith, Not By Sight: Paul and the Order of Salvation Dark Sacred Night

    Reviews Posted:

    Book Challenge Progress:

    Angel's Guilty Pleasures Voyage of the Dogs by Greg van Eekhout
    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Audiobook) by Mark Manson, Roger Wayne
    Sourdough (Audiobook) by Robin Sloan, Therese Plummer
    The Defense by Steve Cavanagh, Adam Sims
    Exit Music by Ian Rankin
    Woof by Spencer Quinn, James Frangione
    Wrecked by Joe Ide
    Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang
    Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl, Julia Whelan
    So Let It Be Written by Mark Eglinton

    Burning Secrets by Ruth Sutton
    The Golden Orphans by Gary Raymond
    Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang
    Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl, Julia Whelan
    So Let It Be Written by Mark Eglinton
    Blood Feud by Mike Lupica
    Without Rules by Andrew Field
    Voyage of the Dogs by Greg van Eekhout
    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Audiobook) by Mark Manson, Roger Wayne

    Burning Secrets by Ruth Sutton
    The Golden Orphans by Gary Raymond
    Time’s Up, Afton by Brent Jones
    Without Rules by Andrew Field
    Video Killed the Radio Star by Duncan MacMaster

    ✔ Read a memoir or biography of a musician you like: So Let It Be Written by Mark Eglinton
    ✔ Read a book with your favorite food in the title.: Sourdough (Audiobook) by Robin Sloan, Therese Plummer

    How was your month?