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?

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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.)

April 2019 Report

Only 18 books, 5515 pages, this month. Oh, well, on the whole I enjoyed it — and had some health things come up and distract me (and set me back on reading). It’s not my best month, but it’s nothing to sneeze at, I know. It just seems small when I see it on my screen.

Then once I make peace with that, I see the number of book posts I did. I really can’t believe I wrote so few of them. I know I’m behind, but that’s gotta be one of my lowest months (I’m not going to spend the time verifying that). I’m stunned and a little embarrassed (yeah, yeah, I’m the only one who cares, but I really do)

Anyway, a couple of great books, some good ones and one not. Here’s what happened here in April 2019.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

Dispatches from a Tourist Trap A Man Called Ove Fletch and the Widow Bradley (Audiobook)
3.5 Stars 5 Stars 3 Stars
Breaking the Lore The Future of Everything KA-E-RO-U Time to Go Home
4 Stars 3.5 Stars 3 Stars
Death Before Coffee I Want You Gone Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 3 Stars
An Artificial Night Saints of the Shadow Bible Venators: Magic Unleashed
3 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars
You Die Next Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Audiobook) Always Grey in Winter
4 1/2 Stars 4 Stars 1 Star
Work: Its Purpose, Dignity, and Transformation Fletch’s Moxie (Audiobook) That Ain't Witchcraft
2 1/2 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars

Still Reading:

Rediscovering the Holy Spirit Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 3: Christology  Death at the Dakota

Ratings

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

Reviews Posted:

TBR Pile/Mound/Heap:

Physical Books: 3 Added, 3 Read, 29 Remaining
E-Books: 3 Added, 1 Read, 22 Remaining
Audiobooks: 2 Added, 2 Read, 4 Remaining

Book Challenge Progress:

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, Henning Koch (Translator)
  2. Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss by Rajeev Balasubramanyam
  3. Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling, Jim Dale

While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

  • Didn’t have time to do anything here. (again . . . but things are planned)
  • LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

    #LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

    1. Dispatches from a Tourist Trap by James Bailey
    2. Breaking the Lore by Andy Redsmith
    3. KA-E-RO-U Time to Go Home by B. Jeanne Shibahara
    4. Death Before Coffee by Desmond P. Ryan
    5. I Want You Gone by Miranda Rijks
    6. Venators: Magic Unleashed by Devri Walls
    7. You Die Next by Stephanie Marland
    8. Always Grey in Winter by Mark J. Engels
    2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

    2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

    1. Death Before Coffee by Desmond P. Ryan
    2. I Want You Gone by Miranda Rijks
    3. You Die Next by Stephanie Marland
    4. Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin
    5. Fletch and the Widow Bradley by Gregory Mcdonald, Dan John Miller — forthcoming
    6. Fletch’s Moxie by Gregory Mcdonald, Dan John Miller — forthcoming
    Humor Reading Challenge 2019

    Humor Reading Challenge 2019

      whoops. Missed this one this month…
    2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

      Nothing. Drat.

    How was your month?

    Independent Bookstore Day 2019 – April 27!

    You like books, right? Otherwise, why are you here? (which is not to say you’re not welcome regardless) 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 they’re better for the local economy than chains, too, but that’s out of my wheelhouse, so I’m not going to pretend I know what I’m talking about)

    Basically, they’re great resources, community centers, and places to spend your money. To celebrate/promote them, Indie Bookstores all around the country are celebrating Independent Bookstore Day tomorrow. 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 — although Idaho has a few other great options, too. I realize most of you aren’t from Idaho, but I know you can find something near you.

    BookRiot has posted a handy guide: 5 Things You Should Do on Independent Bookstore Day that you should check out.