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

August in a Thumbnail: 7294 pages (500 more than July), 24 books (same as July, and given the amount of time Dark Age took I’m happy about that), Average Rating of 3.9—which is not shabby. But 6 5-Star books??!?!? I’m either getting really soft, or I had an incredible month (my reflex is to guess I’m getting soft, but I’d defend every one of those).

Here’s what happened here in August.
Books Read/Listened to

Teen Titans: Raven The Bitterest Pill Not Home Yet
3 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
The Lord's Supper: Answers to Common Questions Chances Are . . . A Dangerous Man
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Heaven on Earth Shady Characters Dark Age
3 Stars 3 Stars 5 Stars
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Life of Christ Black Summer
5 Stars 3 Stars 5 Stars
Kings of the Wyld (Audiobook) Fletch, Too The Swallows
5 Stars 3 Stars r5 Stars
Gilmore Girls: A Cultural History Finding God in the Ordinary Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 4: Soteriology
3.5 Stars 3 Stars 5 Stars
Cause and Effect: Vice Plagues the City Chimes at Midnight A Time Traveler's Theory of Relativity
3 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 3.5 Stars
Son of Fletch Brotherhood of the Worm
3.5 Stars 4 Stars

Still Reading

The Blade Itself The Editor

Ratings

5 Stars 6 2 1/2 Stars 0
4 1/2 Stars 2 2 Stars 0
4 Stars 3 1 1/2 Stars 0
3.5 Stars 4 1 Star 0
3 Stars 8
Average = 3.89

Reviewish things Posted

TBR
Physical Books: 7 Added, 4 Read, 27 Remaining
E-Books: 1 Added, 0 Read, 21 Remaining
Audiobooks: 1 Added, 3 Read, 3 Remaining

2019 Book Challenges

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia, Gabriel Picolo (Illustrator): An Updated Look into the Empath’s Past
  2. Chances Are . . . by Richard Russo: Russo almost writes a Crime Novel, but manages to avoid it.
  3. Shady Characters by Keith Houston: This geeky look at symbols and punctuation is as informative as it is fun.
  4. Dark Age by Pierce Brown: The blood-dimmed tide is loosed… / The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.
  5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling, Jim Dale
While I was Reading Challenge

While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

Nothing this month. I’ve got the rest of the list picked out, just need to find/make the time.

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

#LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

    Finding God in the Ordinary

  1. Cause and Effect: Vice Plagues the City by Pete Adams: It’s some effort, but readers will be amused by this
  2. Brotherhood of the Worm by M. T. Miller (link forthcoming)
2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

  1. Cause and Effect: Vice Plagues the City by Pete Adams: It’s some effort, but readers will be amused by this
  2. A Dangerous Man by Robert Crais: A Routine Errand leads to a Rescue Mission for Joe Pike
  3. Black Summer by M. W. Craven: A Good Detective Faces Off with a Brilliant Criminal for the Second Time
  4. Fletch, Too by Gregory McDonald, Dan John Miller (link forthcoming)
    Bitterest Pill
  5. Son of Fletch by Gregory McDonald, Dan John Miller (link forthcoming)
Humor Reading Challenge 2019

Humor Reading Challenge 2019

    Nada.
2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

  1. Heaven on Earth by Thomas Brooks (link forthcoming)
  2. Life of Christ by J. Gresham Machen
  3. Reformed Dogmatics: Soteriology by Geerhardus Vos, Richard B. Gaffin Jr. (Translator) (link forthcoming)

How was your month?

August 2019

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July 2019 Report

July in a nutshell: 24 books, 6757 pages (roughly 1400 more than June). There were a couple of stinkers here, but mostly really good books, 3.6 average — 3 of them were 5-star!

I’m a bit frustrated with how behind I’m getting, 3-4 book posts a week just isn’t enough. I may have to grab a couple of 800 page books to slow down the pace so I can catch up 🙂

Still, all things considered, it was a good month around here between reading some great stuff, having a lot of fun with #IndieCrimeCrawl, and some great interaction with readers both here and elsewhere on teh IntraWebz.

Anway, here’s what happened here in July.

 Finest Sh*t! The Bookish Life of Nina Hill Bark of Night
3.5 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars
The Butcher Ink to Ashes The Frame-Up (Audiobook)
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Heart of Barkness Gravity The Queen Con
4 Stars Still Deciding 3.5 Stars
In the Eye Worst Case Scenario The Blue Zones Solution (Audiobook)
3 Stars 4 Stars 2 Stars
Riding the Elephant The Rosie Result Base Cowboys
3 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
Time Travel + Brain Stealing = Murderous Appliances and Good Times The Depth of Winter (Audiobook) The Shameless
Still Deciding 3 Stars 5 Stars
Nightfall The Whole Armor of God Thirteen
4 1/2 Stars 3.5 Stars 5 Stars
Laser House on the Prairie Screamcatcher Ashes of Honor (Audiobook)
3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars

Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 4: Soteriology Heaven on Earth The Bitterest Pill

5 Stars 3 2 1/2 Stars 0
4 1/2 Stars 2 2 Stars 2
4 Stars 6 1 1/2 Stars 0
3.5 Stars 7 1 Star 0
3 Stars 4
Average = 3.6


Physical Books: 1 Added, 2 Read, 24 Remaining
E-Books: 2 Added, 5 Read, 20 Remaining
Audiobooks: 3 Added, 2 Read, 6 Remaining

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. The Blue Zones Solution(Audiobook) by Dan Buettner, Joe Barrett
  2. Riding the Elephant by Craig Ferguson
  3. The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion (link forthcoming)
  4. The Depth of Winter (Audiobook) by Craig Johnson, George Guidall
  5. The Shameless by Ace Atkins (link forthcoming)

While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

✔ A memoir or biography of a favorite celebrity: Riding the Elephant by Craig Ferguson
✔ A book written by a comedian: Riding the Elephant by Craig Ferguson
✔ A book with your favorite animal on the cover or in the title: Heart of Barkness by Spencer Quinn

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

#LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

  1. Finest Sh*t!: Deviant Stories by Nick Kolakowski
  2. The Butcher by Nathan Burrows
  3. Ink to Ashes by Russell Day
  4. Gravity by Maggie Lynch (link forthcoming)
  5. In the Eye by Robert Germaux
  6. Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald
  7. Base Cowboys by Mark Farrer
  8. Laser House on the Prairie by David W. Barbee (link forthcoming)
  9. Time Travel + Brain Stealing = Murderous Appliances and Good Times by Richard Steele (link forthcoming)
  10. Nightfall by Matt Cowper (link forthcoming)
  11. Screamcatcher by Christy J. Breedlove (link forthcoming)
2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

  1. Finest Sh*t!: Deviant Stories by Nick Kolakowski
  2. Worst Case Scenario

  3. The Butcher by Nathan Burrows
  4. Ink to Ashes by Russell Day
  5. In the Eye by Robert Germaux
  6. Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald
  7. Base Cowboys by Mark Farrer
  8. The Depth of Winter (Audiobook) by Craig Johnson, George Guidall
  9. The Shameless by Ace Atkins (link forthcoming)
  10. Bark of Night by David Rosenfelt
  11. The Frame-Up (Audiobook) by Meghan Scott Molin, Andrea Emmes
  12. Heart of Barkness by Spencer Quinn
  13. The Queen Con by Meghan Scott Molin (link forthcoming)
  14. Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh
Humor Reading Challenge 2019

Humor Reading Challenge 2019

  1. Riding the Elephant by Craig Ferguson
  2. The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion (link forthcoming)
2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    Nothing this month.

How was your month?

June 2019 Report

Wow, I knew I was distracted this month — but only 18 books? And one was a picture book! Still, 5345 pages finished is nothing to sneeze at. And a 3.8 average is great. So I’m not complaining at all — just noticing. Pretty good month in the end.

So, here’s what happened here in June.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

Dead Inside The World's Greatest Mousetrap State of the Union
5 Stars 3 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
The Big Kahuna Deception Cove Even Dogs in the Wild
1 Star 4 Stars 4 Stars
How Not to Die Rediscovering the Holy Spirit Paper Son
4 1/2 Stars 3 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Null Set One Salt Sea (Audiobook) The October Man
3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 3 Stars
The October Man Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 3: Christology Magic for Liars
4 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars
Fletch Won (Audiobook) Flynn (Audiobook) Marah Chase and the Conqueror's Tomb
4 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars

Still Reading:

 Finest Sh*t! Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 4: Soteriology      

Ratings

5 Stars 2 2 1/2 Stars
4 1/2 Stars 4 2 Stars
4 Stars 6 1 1/2 Stars
3.5 Stars 2 1 Star 1
3 Stars 3
                                   Average = 3.8

Reviews Posted:

TBR Pile/Mound/Heap:

Physical Books: 3 Added, 2 Read, 25 Remaining
E-Books: 4 Added, 1 Read, 23 Remaining
Audiobooks: 4 Added, 3 Read, 5 Remaining

Book Challenge Progress:

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. State of the Union by Nick Hornby
  2. The Big Kahuna by Janet Evanovich, Peter Evanovich
  3. Deception Cove by Owen Laukkanen
  4. How Not to Die by Michael Greger M.D. FACLM, Gene Stone
  5. Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey (link forthcoming)
  6. Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin (link forthcoming)

While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

Nothing this month

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

#LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

  1. Dead Inside by Noelle Holten
  2. The World’s Greatest Mousetrap by B.C.R. Fegan, Fanny Liem (link forthcoming)
  3. Kill for Me by Rebecca Bradley
2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

  1. Dead Inside by Noelle Holten
  2. Kill for Me by Rebecca Bradley
  3. The Big Kahuna by Janet Evanovich, Peter Evanovich
  4. Deception Cove by Owen Laukkanen
  5. Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin (link forthcoming)
  6. Paper Son by S.J. Rozan: Lydia and Bill in their most foreign setting yet — Mississippi
  7. Null Set by SL Huang: Cas Russell — the world’s most violent mathematician — gets proactive fighting crime.
  8. Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey (link forthcoming)
  9. Fletch Won by Gregory McDonald, Dan John Miller (link forthcoming)
  10. Flynn by Gregory McDonald, Donald Corren (link forthcoming)
  11. Marah Chase and the Conqueror’s Tomb by Jay Stringer (link forthcoming)
Humor Reading Challenge 2019

Humor Reading Challenge 2019

  1. The Big Kahuna by Janet Evanovich, Peter Evanovich
2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

  1. Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 3: Christology by Geerhardus Vos (link forthcoming)

How was your month?

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?

Happy Blogiversary to Me!


You can really tell that graphic design isn’t my thing, can’t you?

While looking for something else this weekend, I found my kick-off post from this day in 2013.

2,279 Posts Later, here we are — I’ve already posted almost as many posts this year as I did that first year and had almost 6x the visitors. Guess it’s safe to say that things have grown a bit. My traffic isn’t what I dreamed it might be early on, and likely won’t be — but I’m honestly a little stunned every time I look at my stats. That many people have dropped by????

More important than the numbers — I’ve had a blast doing this. I’ve read so many great things — many, many things I’d never have even heard of without this blog. I’ve corresponded with more great authors than I can think of — and best of all, there’s you readers.

I want to thank all of you for your time, your comments, your encouragement — occasionally, your editing. I assure you that every view, every like, every comment, every retweet, every email is encouraging and I can’t thank you enough. Hopefully, I remember to say sthat more regularly.

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: Do You Know Where Your Towel Is?

(actually updated and slightly revised this 5/25/19!)

           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. (he says for at least the 4th straight year, a work ethic I like to believe Adams would recognize)

Last year, I did a re-read of all of Adams’ (completed) fiction. For reasons beyond my ken (or recollection), I didn’t get around to blogging about the Dirk Gently books, but I did do the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy:


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. Although, I do have the planet logo from the series tattooed on my forearm — so I do carry around a tribute to him constantly. 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.)