March 2020 in Retrospect: What I Read/Listened to/Wrote About

It’s hard with work right now, but given COVID-19, Sheltering at Home—and a (no kidding!) Earthquake in Idaho (of all places)—man, I need books to escape to and lose myself in. So I’m pretty glad that despite everything going on in the world and my life, I somehow managed to finish one more book than last month—18—with 4903+ pages (one was an Audible Original, so I have no idea what the page count would be) with an average rating of 3.94. I’m guessing that’s 500 pages less than Feb, even with the higher book count. Still, not too shabby.

So, anyway, here’s what happened here in March.Books Read

False Value The In Between Avenge the Dead
5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 3 Stars
The Starr Sting Scale Everyday Prayer with John Calvin Dead Wrong
3.5 Stars 3 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
The K Team Joker The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
The Awful Truth About the Sushing Prize The Immortal Conquistador Back to Reality
3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
Smoke Bitten The Identity and Attributes of God With All Your Heart
4 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars
Paradise Valley Mortal Stakes Funny, You Don't Look Autistic
3.5 Stars 5 Stars 3.5 Stars

Still Reading

Tom Jones Original Cover Institutes of Christian Religion vol 1 A Bad Day for Sunshine

Ratings

5 Stars 3 2 1/2 Stars 0
4 1/2 Stars 2 2 Stars 0
4 Stars 5 1 1/2 Stars 0
3.5 Stars 6 1 Star 0
3 Stars 2
Average = 3.94

TBR Pile

Mt TBR Mar 20

Breakdowns

“Traditionally” Published: 12
Self-/Independent Published: 6

Genre This Month Year to Date
Children’s 0 (0%) 1 (2%)
Fantasy 0 (0%) 7 (13%)
General Fiction/ Literature 0 (0%) 3 (6%)
Horror 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Humor 0 (0%) 1 (2%)
Mystery/ Suspense/ Thriller 9 (50%) 20 (37%)
Non-Fiction 1 (6%) 3 (6%)
Science Fiction 2 (11%) 5 (9%)
Steampunk 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Theology/ Christian Living 3 (17%) 4 (7%)
Urban Fantasy 3 (17%) 11 (20%)

Review-ish Things Posted

Other Things I Wroteotherwriting

Other than the Saturday Miscellanies (7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th ), I also wrote:

How was your month? I hope you are all safe, healthy and finding solace in something right now.

February 2020 in Retrospect: What I Read/Listened to/Wrote About

The short version: 17 books, 5715 pages, 3.6 Average. The same number of books as January, a thousand (or so) more pages (not sure how that worked), a decent average rating. Things are ramping up at work for a couple of months, and I’ll be stunned if my numbers don’t slim down a little until June. All in all, a pretty decent month (unless you compare what I did to my February Plans post…but we can ignore that, right?)

So, here’s what happened here in February.
Books Read

A Beginning At The End Bloody Acquisitions Burn the Dark
4 1/2 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
House on Fire Academ's Fury QualityLand
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Hi Five Hidden Steel The Gene Wizards
4 Stars 2 Stars 2 Stars
Shadow of the Batgirl Lies Sleeping Every Day Matters
3 Stars 5 Stars 3.5 Stars
Highfire God Save the Child Dark Harvest Magic
4 Stars 5 Stars 3 Stars
Madam Tulip and the Serpent's Tree Venators: Magic Unleashed
4 Stars 4 Stars

Still Reading

Tom Jones Original Cover Institutes of Christian Religion vol 1 The Identity and Attributes of God
The In Between False Value

Ratings

5 Stars 2l 2 1/2 Stars 0
4 1/2 Stars 1 2 Stars 2
4 Stars 6 1 1/2 Stars 0
3.5 Stars 2 1 Star 0
3 Stars 4
Average = 3.6

TBR Pile
Mt TBR January 20

Breakdowns
“Traditionally” Published: 10
Self-/Independent Published: 7

Genre This Month Year to Date
Children’s 0 (0%) 1 (3%)
Fantasy 4 (24%) 7 (19%)
General Fiction/ Literature 0 (0%) 3 (8%)
Horror 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Humor 0 (0%) 1 (3%)
Mystery/ Suspense/ Thriller 5 (29%) 11 (31%)
Non-Fiction 0 (0%) 2 (6%)
Science Fiction 3 (18%) 3 (8%)
Steampunk 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Theology/ Christian Living 1 (6%) 1 (6%)
Urban Fantasy 4 (24%) 8 (22%)

Review-ish Things Posted

Other Things I Wrote
I had a post that I was very excited about, but everytime I tried to write it, it went off in another direction than I wanted and I couldn’t get it back in line. Maybe next month, maybe it’s (another) one for the Trash Heap. On the successful side, other than the Saturday Miscellanies (1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th Sat), I also wrote:

How was your month?

January 2020 in Retrospect: What I Read/Listened to/Wrote About

January in sum: 17 books read, 4,453+ pages (two books—1 audio, 1 e-ARC—don’t have that information available), with an average of 3.8 rating (4 5-star reads!!). I’d have preferred a few more books in general and the ratio between print and audio favors audiobooks more than I’d like, but work’s been so heavy I haven’t been able to read as much (and I can listen while I work most of the time), that trend may continue for the next couple of months. Not going to complain (too much)…probably.

As per usual, I didn’t write quite as many posts as I wanted to, particularly the review-ish kind. But adding a section about non-review-ish posts to this wrap-up makes me feel a lot more productive because I don’t normally think of those posts when I look back at the month. So that’s a cool thing (although most months won’t be as filled with them, I realize).

Anyway, here’s what happened here in the first month of 2020:
Books Read

The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction The Bookish Life of Nina Hill Audiobook Junkyard Cats
5 Stars 5 Stars 3 Stars
Not Dressed The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues Come Tumbling Down
4 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
A Plague of Giants Audiobook Deep Dark Night Wizard Ring
5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 2 Stars
Be Frank With Me Operation Large Scotch: O.L.S. Lost Hills
3.5 Stars 1 Star 4 1/2 Stars
Stone Cold Magic The Godwulf Manuscript The Winter Long Audiobook
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars
The White Man's Guide to White Male Writers of the Western Canon Winterkill
3 Stars 3.5 Stars

Still Reading

Tom Jones Original Cover Institutes of Christian Religion vol 1 The Identity and Attributes of God
A Beginning At The End Bloody Acquisitions

Ratings

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

TBR Pile
Mt TBR January 20

Breakdowns
“Traditionally” Published: 12
Self-/Independent Published: 5

Genre This Month Year to Date
Children’s 1 (5%) 11 (5%)
Fantasy 3 (16%) 3 (16%)
General Fiction/ Literature 3 (16%) 3 (16%)
Horror 1 (0%) 0 (0%)
Humor 1 (5%) 1 (5%)
Mystery/ Suspense/ Thriller 6 (32%) 6 (32%)
Non-Fiction 1 (5%) 1 (5%)
Science Fiction 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Steampunk 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Theology/ Christian Living 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Urban Fantasy 4 (21%) 4 (21%)
Western 0 (0%) 0 (0%)

Review-ish Things Posted

Other Things I Wroteotherwriting
Other than the Saturday Miscellanies (5th, 11th, and 18th), I also posted:

How was your month?

Looking back at 2019 for Books and the Blog

Programming Note: Over the next few days, I’ll be looking back over 2019—but trying to come up with some new material, too. I know a lot of people have already done that, but I’m a stickler—I can’t start doing this kind of thing ’til the year is over (for good reason, I read 3 things that will likely end up on best-of lists after I started seeing “Best of 2019” posts).

As we kick off 2020, as is my custom, I wanted to take a glance back at 2019. 275 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), too; more than 83,000 pages; 378 posts (short of my goal by a couple hundred, but 98 more than last year, so…yay). I had some strong gains in trafficviews and visitorsactually, 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 outnot just growth in numbers, but the level of and amount of interaction is up to the point that my socially awkward self doesn’t really understand it.

So here’s my breakdown of books by genre. Genre labeling is more difficult lately as I’m reading a lot of hybrids (most of us are, they’re being produced more), 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). Basically, everything’s the same, with just a percent or two of adjustment. It’s been forever since I’ve read a Western, although I had one checked out from the Library for a couple of months, but I couldn’t manage to get to it. Theological books went up a tad in actual numbers (thanks to the Vos set). Still, for someone who doesn’t plan too thoroughly, the percentages stay remarkably consistent from year to yeartastes (and series I follow) apparently stay the same.

Genre 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Children’s 7 (3%) 11 (4%) 7 (3%) 5 (2%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Fantasy 28 (10%) 30 (11%) 7 (3%) 31 (13%) 17 (9%) 11 (7%) 15 (8%) 12 (6%)
General Fiction/ Literature 21 (8%) 22 (8%) 29 (10%) 27 (11%) 17 (9%) 7 (4%) 30 (16%) 30 (14%)
Horror 1 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (.4%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Humor 4 (1%) 3 (1%) 1 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (1%) 3 (2%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Mystery/ Suspense/ Thriller 105 (38%) 107 (38%) 102 (37%) 61 (25%) 64 (34%) 62 (37%) 63 (33%) 73 (35%)
Non-Fiction 25 (9%) 22 (8%) 10 (4%) 11 (5%) 8 (4%) 4 (2%) 2 (1%) 11 (5%)
Poetry 0 (0%) 1 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Science Fiction 30 (11%) 25 (9%) 27 (10%) 37 (15%) 16 (8%) 17 (10%) 14 (7%) 11 (5%)
Steampunk 1 (0%) 3 (1%) 1 (0%) 2 (1%) 7 (4%) 3 (2%) 3 (2%) 11 (5%)
Theology/ Christian Living 34 (12%) 25 (9%) 30 (11%) 33 (14%) 42 (22%) 42 (25%) 37 (19%) 10 (5%)
Urban Fantasy 25 (9%) 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%) 0 (0%) 1 (0%)

Have a great 2020, hope you find plenty of good things to read!

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

December was a low(er) month for numbers of 26 books but 7,828 pages (or the equivalent) is nothing to sneeze at, and an average rating of 4 stars is likely my best yet!

I’m trying to not complain about how little I write (something new, I know)—but man…I did a bad job this month. But I really liked a couple of my posts more than I usually do, so there’s that. Still, I’ve got to work on my planning so I can not fall so behind.

But that’s for another day. Here’s what happened here in December.

Zombie Spaceship Wasteland (Audiobook) Thereby Hangs a Tail (Audiobook) Blue Moon
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Friends A Cultural History Skinwalker (Audiobook) What the Dog Knows Young Readers Editionbook6
3 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
The Heart of Christ in Heaven Towards Sinners on Earth Twenty-one Truths About Love Hacked
4 Stars 5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
The Martian (Audiobook) Food: A Love Story When We Were Vikings
5 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars
Grace & Glory 46% Better Than Dave Leo & The Lightning Dragons
5 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
The Last Unicorn The Art of War Circle of the Moon (Audiobook)
3 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars
Find Your Weigh Look Alive Twenty-Five Leviathan Wakes (Audiobook)
3 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
No Sweatbook22 None Greater Dreyer’s English
3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars
The Cartel Furies of Calderon (Audiobook)
5 Stars 4 Stars


Nothing! Wrapped it all up without time to start anything new.

5 Stars 6 2 1/2 Stars 0
4 1/2 Stars 2 2 Stars 0
4 Stars 10 1 1/2 Stars 0
3.5 Stars 2 1 Star 0
3 Stars 6
Average = 4


Physical Books: 2 Added, 7 Read, 27 Remaining
E-Books: 4 Added, 2 Read, 28 Remaining
Audiobooks: 2 Added, 2 Read, 1 Remaining

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. Thereby Hangs a Tail by Spencer Quinn, Jim Frangione (Audiobook)
  2. Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt (Audiobook) —(link forthcoming)
  3. Blue Moon by Lee Child
  4. What the Dog Knows Young Readers Edition by Cat Warren, Patricia J. Wynne
  5. Twenty-one Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
  6. The Martian by Andy Weir, R.C. Bray (Audiobook)
  7. Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan (Audiobook)
  8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey, Jefferson Mays (Audiobook)
  9. No Sweat by Michelle Segar —(link forthcoming)
  10. Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher, Kate Reading (Audiobook)

While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

✔ A classic you’ve been meaning to get to: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
✔ A book mentioned in another book: The Art of War by by Sun Tzu, James Trapp (Translator)

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

#LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

  1. Hacked by Duncan MacMaster
  2. 46% Better Than Dave by Alastair Puddick
  3. Leo & The Lightning Dragons by Gill White, Gilli B
  4. Find Your Weigh by Shellie Bowdoin —(link forthcoming)
  5. The Heart of Christ in Heaven Towards Sinners on Earth by Thomas Goodwin
2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

  1. Hacked by Duncan MacMaster
  2. Thereby Hangs a Tail
  3. Blue Moon by Lee Child
  4. Look Alive Twenty-Five by Janet Evanovich
  5. The Cartel by Don Winslow —(link forthcoming)
Humor Reading Challenge 2019

Humor Reading Challenge 2019

  1. 46% Better Than Dave by Alastair Puddick
  2. Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt —(link forthcoming)
  3. Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan (Audiobook)
2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

  1. The Heart of Christ in Heaven Towards Sinners on Earth by Thomas Goodwin
  2. Grace and Glory by Geerhardus Vos

How was your month?

Festivus 2019: For the Rest of Us

Shunning the commercialization of Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Santaween/Chrismukkah, we’re celebrating Festivus for the rest of us here at The Irresponsible Reader.

Let’s begin our observance!

Festivus PoleHere I am with my Festivus pole. Yeah, it’s a little small, but I’d rather spend money on books than the full aluminum pole. Very high strength to weight ratio, nevertheless.

Note the lack of distracting tinsel. It’s very important.


And now, let the Airing of Grievances begin.

Airing of Grievances
bullet I have a grievance with the It’s 2019, why are we still placing stickers on books? If we have to do that, why hasn’t Science come up with a sticker that doesn’t leave a gummy residue behind? C’mon, Science, if you can’t give us a cure for cancer, a pill so people with Celiac disease can eat bread, or an Oreo that will help me lose weight — at least you can give us stickers that don’t leave gunk on our books!

bullet I have a grievance with Movie/TV covers on books. C’mon people, this is stupid. Sure, it maybe helps sell more copies of the books–but has any book been improved by one of these covers? No! Knock it off!

bullet It’s another year without the next installment from Rothfuss/Butcher/Martin. No, my grievance isn’t with them, it’s with the entitled “fan” of the work, whining at every conceivable moment about how long it’s taking them. Because there’s nothing else around to read? Let ’em get it right and use that energy to support someone whose books could use it.

(still–Martin, Rothfuss…c’mon…Butcher was able to get something ready to go.)

bullet Whether it’s from a mainstream publisher, indie press or a self-pubbed book, we have the technology and (theoretically??) the education that there’s no reason for there to be missing/extra punctuation or misspelled words in books.

bullet I have a grievance with the Book Blogging Community. There are way too many good book bloggers out there to keep up with. Some of you need to write less often! Also, you make the rest of us look bad.

bullet I’ve got a grievance with running out of places to put books and bookshelves that aren’t like a bag of holding or TARDIS and can’t take an increasing number of books. So…physics, I guess. Yeah, that’s right, Laws of the Physics, I’m calling you out. Get your act together!

bullet I’ve got a grievance with how hard it can be to pick the next book to read despite a having piles of books (see above grievance) waiting to be read/multiple files on an e=reader. I know it’s not just me who endures this, so there’s gotta be a conspiracy afoot here.

bullet And what’s more…I lost my train of thought.


Time for Feats of Strength

Feat of StrengthFor my Feat of Strenth, here I hold my entire TBR over my head.

(actual photo)

Let’s see how the rest of you do with your feats.


Happy Festivus

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

I literally finished reading the last book I’d committed to read in October on November 29—of course, I haven’t had a chance to write anything about it, much less send the author the Q’s for him to A. Still, I’m on the verge of catching up. Sort of. That aside, November saw me completing 8,087 pages over 31 books with an average rating of 3.45. That’s pretty positive—I’ve had better months rating-wise, but I’ll take a month of plenty of good books with a couple of highlights any day. I’m still behind on my writing, but not as much as I expected to be. I’m calling this a decent month all things considered.

Anyway, here’s what happened here in November.

 God, You & Sex The Night Fire Dragon Bones
3 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
Hands Up Inkheart Undeath and Taxes
4 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain  You Can Date Boys When You're Forty Fallen
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Redemptive Reversals Dragon Blood Spell or High Water
3.5 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Going Rogue Thieves Storm Cursed
3.5 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
Rivers of London: Action At A Distance Entering God's Rest Hurricane Vacation
3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
An Accidental Death The Lights Go Out in Lychford Angel Eyes
4 Stars 4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Best State Ever Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 5:Ecclesiology, the Means of Grace, Eschatology Badlands
3 Stars 5 Stars 3 Stars
Dawn of Dreams Live Right and Find Happiness The ABCs of Metallica
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars
Artemis Not-So-Common-People The Hero
4 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Wishful Drinking            
3.5 Stars            

Friends A Cultural History Thereby Hangs a Tail      

5 Stars 1 2 1/2 Stars 1
4 1/2 Stars 2 2 Stars 0
4 Stars 6 1 1/2 Stars 0
3.5 Stars 6 1 Star 0
3 Stars 16
Average = 3.45


Physical Books: 7 Added, 8 Read, 36 Remaining (one of those was purchased specifically to be read in 2020, so I actually made progress by 2. Sort of)
E-Books: 4 Added, 2 Read, 26 Remaining
Audiobooks: 3 Added, 3 Read, 1 Remaining

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. Dragon Bones (Audiobook) by Patricia Briggs, Joe Manganiello (link forthcoming)
  2. Inkheart (Audiobook) by Cornelia Funke, Lynn Redgrave (link forthcoming)
  3. Undeath & Taxes (Audiobook) by Drew Hayes, Kirby Heyborne (link forthcoming)
  4. Please Don’t Tell my Parents I’m a Supervillain (Audiobook) by Richard Roberts, Emily Woo Zeller (link forthcoming)
  5. You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About (Audiobook) by Dave Barry (link forthcoming)
  6. Dragon Blood (Audiobook) by Patricia Briggs, Joe Manganiello (link forthcoming)
  7. Storm Cursed (Audiobook) by Patricia Briggs, Lorelei King
  8. Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland (Audiobook) by Dave Barry, Dick Hill (link forthcoming)
  9. The Badlands (Audiobook) by C.J. Box, January LaVoy (link forthcoming)
  10. Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster): Life Lessons and Other Ravings from Dave Barry (Audiobook) by Dave Barry (link forthcoming)
  11. Artemis (Audiobook) by Andy Weir, Rosario Dawson
  12. Wishful Drinking (Audiobook) by Carrie Fisher

While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

✔ A book recommended by someone you trust: An Accidental Death (Audiobook) by Peter Grainger, Gildart Jackson

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

#LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

  1. Going Rogue by Neil Lancaster
  2. Hands Up by Stephen Clark
  3. Thieves by Steven Max Russo
  4. Hurricane Vacation by Heather L. Beal, Jasmine Mills
  5. An Accidental Death (Audiobook) by Peter Grainger, Gildart Jackson
  6. Dawn of Dreams by Bronwyn Leroux
  7. Not So Common People by T Gamache (link forthcoming
2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

  1. Going Rogue by Neil Lancaster
  2. Hands Up by Stephen Clark
  3. Thieves by Steven Max Russo
  4. An Accidental Death (Audiobook) by Peter Grainger, Gildart Jackson
  5. The Badlands (Audiobook) by C.J. Box, January LaVoy (link forthcoming)
  6. The Night Fire by Michael Connelly
  7. Angel Eyes by Ace Atkins
Humor Reading Challenge 2019

Humor Reading Challenge 2019

  1. Wishful Drinking (Audiobook) by Carrie Fisher
  2. You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About (Audiobook) by Dave Barry (link forthcoming)
  3. Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland (Audiobook) by Dave Barry, Dick Hill (link forthcoming)
  4. Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster): Life Lessons and Other Ravings from Dave Barry (Audiobook) by Dave Barry (link forthcoming)
  5. Spell or High Water (Audiobook) by Scott Meyer, Luke Daniels
2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

  1. Reformed Dogmatics: Volume 5: Ecclesiology, the Means of Grace, Eschatology by Geerhardus Vos, Richard B. Gaffin Jr. (Translator) (link forthcoming)

How was your month?