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?

Thanksgiving 2019

Happy Thanksgiving/Turkey Day/Thursday

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:

          bullet 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.
          bullet 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 a few by name this year—Lola’s Blog Tours, iREAD Book Tours, Bloodhound Books, Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers, Love Books Group, Let’s Talk Promotions, Lori Hettler of TNBBC Publicity and Emma at damppebbles blog tours. You 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.
          bullet Books
          bullet Authors!
          bullet Books
          bullet Coffee (and other beverages both caffeinated and adult)
          bullet Books
          bullet Time to read
          bullet Books
          bullet Easily finding an appropriate image for this post for the third year in a row—actually, two of them! (it was oddly difficult before)
          bullet Books
          bullet Audiobooks and talented narrators
          bullet The Nampa Public Library (and The LYNX! Consortium)—and their generous grace period, which is now late fine free!
          bullet Books
          bullet Rediscovered Bookshop, Rediscovered Bookshop – Caldwell and Libro.fm
          bullet Books
          bullet Goodreads, WordPress, NetGalley, BookLikes
          bullet Books
          bullet Evernote
          bullet Books
          bullet Organ Transplants and the good people at St. Luke’s Lifestyle Medicine (just to get serious for a moment)
          bullet Authors!
          bullet Authors!
          bullet 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.
          bullet 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 2019 in Retrospect: What I Read/Listened to/Wrote About

30 books down! 9,183 pages! Wow! With an average of 3.7 Stars, too. Man…not much wrong with October, was there?

(At work I’ve been able to listen to a bunch of audiobooks this month, which was a lot of help)

I really don’t have a lot to say at the moment, so let’s just get on with what happened here in October.

System Failure A Bloody Arrogant Power Last Argument of Kings
4 Stars 3 Stars 5 Stars
The Rest of Us Just Live Here Don't Get Involved This is Where I Leave You
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
XYZ The Dead of Winter Theological Retrieval for Evangelicals
3 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
The Dead Dont Sleep Flying Alone Anbatar
3.5 Stars Still Deciding 3.5 Stars
How Not to Die Alone Famous in Cedarville Back of Beyond
4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Because Internet The Abels The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 3 Stars
Open Season Fleishman is in Trouble Side Jobs
4 Stars 2 1/2 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
The Highway Christianity and Liberalism Savage Run
3.5 Stars 5 Stars 3.5 Stars
Shattered Bonds Bearded Too When You Reach Me
4 1/2 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars
The Right Stuff  Maxine Unleashes Doomsday Look Both Ways
4 Stars Still Deciding 3.5 Stars

Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 5:Ecclesiology, the Means of Grace, Eschatology            

5 Stars 2 2 1/2 Stars 1
4 1/2 Stars 4 2 Stars 0
4 Stars 8 1 1/2 Stars 0
3.5 Stars 8 1 Star 0
3 Stars 7
Average = 3.7


Physical Books: 4 Added, 2 Read, 31 Remaining
E-Books: 0 Added, 0 Read, 24 Remaining
Audiobooks: 0 Added, 1 Read, 1 Remaining

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch (link forthcoming)
  2. The Abels by Jeremy Scott, Eric Michael Summerer (link forthcoming)
  3. The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes, Kirby Heyborne (link forthcoming)
  4. Open Season by C. J. Box, David Chandler (link forthcoming)
  5. Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (link forthcoming)
  6. Side Jobs by Jim Butcher, James Marsters
  7. The Highway by C. J. Box, Holter Graham (link forthcoming)
  8. Savage Run by C. J. Box, David Chandler (link forthcoming)
  9. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, Cynthia Holloway (link forthcoming)
  10. Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds (link forthcoming)
  11. Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie, Steven Pacey
  12. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, James Fouhey (link forthcoming)
  13. Back of Beyond by C. J. Box, Holter Graham (link forthcoming)

While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

Nothing this month.

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

#LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

  1. A Bloody Arrogant Power by Malcolm J. Wardlaw
  2. Don’t Get Involved by F J Curlew
  3. The Dead of Winter by A. B. Gibson
  4. XYZ by William Knight
  5. The Dead Don’t Sleep by Steven Max Russo
  6. Flying Alone: A Memoir by (link forthcoming)
  7. Anbatar: Legacy of the Blood Guard by Anne Dolleri
  8. Bearded Too by Jeremy Billups
  9. Maxine Unleashes Doomsday by Nick Kolakowski (link forthcoming)
2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

  1. A Bloody Arrogant Power by Malcolm J. Wardlaw
  2. Don’t Get Involved by F J Curlew
  3. The Dead of Winter by A. B. Gibson
  4. The Dead Don’t Sleep by Steven Max Russo
  5. Open Season by C. J. Box, David Chandler (link forthcoming)
  6. The Highway by C. J. Box, Holter Graham (link forthcoming)
  7. Savage Run by (link forthcoming)
  8. Famous in Cedarville by Erica Wright
  9. Back of Beyond by C. J. Box, Holter Graham (link forthcoming)
Humor Reading Challenge 2019

Humor Reading Challenge 2019

  1. System Failure by Joe Zieja
  2. XYZ by William Knight
2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    Nothing this month.

How was your month?

Happy Birthday, Archie!

My annual tribute to one of my favorite fictional characters (if not my all-time favorite). I’ve got to do an overhaul to this soon, but it is slightly updated and tweaed from last year.

On Oct 23 in Chillicothe, Ohio, Archie Goodwin entered this world—no doubt with a smile for the pretty nurses—and American detective literature was never the same.

I’m toasting him in one of the ways I think he’d appreciate most—by raising a glass of milk in his honor.

Who was Archie? Archie summed up his life thusly:

Born in Ohio. Public high school, pretty good at geometry and football, graduated with honor but no honors. Went to college two weeks, decided it was childish, came to New York and got a job guarding a pier, shot and killed two men and was fired, was recommended to Nero Wolfe for a chore he wanted done, did it, was offered a full-time job by Mr. Wolfe, took it, still have it.” (Fourth of July Picnic)

Long may he keep it. Just what was he employed by Wolfe to do? In The Black Mountain he answers the statement, “I thought you was a private eye” with:

I don’t like the way you say it, but I am. Also I am an accountant, an amanuensis, and a cocklebur. Eight to five you never heard the word amanuensis and you never saw a cocklebur.

In The Red Box, he says

I know pretty well what my field is. Aside from my primary function as the thorn in the seat of Wolfe’s chair to keep him from going to sleep and waking up only for meals, I’m chiefly cut out for two things: to jump and grab something before the other guy can get his paws on it, and to collect pieces of the puzzle for Wolfe to work on.

In Black Orchids, he reacts to an insult:

…her cheap crack about me being a ten-cent Clark Gable, which was ridiculous. He simpers, to begin with, and to end with no one can say I resemble a movie actor, and if they did it would be more apt to be Gary Cooper than Clark Gable.

I’m not the only Archie fan out there:

  • A few months back, someone pointed me at this post, The Wit and Wisdom of Archie Goodwin. There’s some really good stuff here that I was tempted to steal, instead, I’ll just point you at it.
  • Robert Crais himself when writing an introduction to a Before Midnight reprint, devoted it to paying tribute to Archie—one of the few pieces of anything written that I can say I agree with jot and tittle.

In case you’re wondering if this post was simply an excuse to go through some collections of Archie Goodwin quotations, you wouldn’t be totally wrong…he’s one of the fictional characters I like spending time with most in this world–he’s the literary equivalent of comfort food. So just a couple more great lines I’ve quoted here before:

I would appreciate it if they would call a halt on all their devoted efforts to find a way to abolish war or eliminate disease or run trains with atoms or extend the span of human life to a couple of centuries, and everybody concentrate for a while on how to wake me up in the morning without my resenting it. It may be that a bevy of beautiful maidens in pure silk yellow very sheer gowns, barefooted, singing “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” and scattering rose petals over me would do the trick, but I’d have to try it.

I looked at the wall clock. It said two minutes to four. I looked at my wrist watch. It said one minute to four. In spite of the discrepancy it seemed safe to conclude that it would soon be four o’clock.

Description:I shook my head. “You’re flattering me, Inspector. I don’t arouse passions like that. It’s my intellect women like. I inspire them to read good books, but I doubt if I could inspire even Lizzie Borden to murder.”

She turned back to me, graceful as a big cat, and stood there straight and proud, not quite smiling, her warm dark eyes as curious as if she had never seen a man before. I knew damn well I ought to say something, but what? The only thing to say was ‘Will you marry me?’ but that wouldn’t do because the idea of her washing dishes or darning socks was preposterous.

“Indeed,” I said. That was Nero Wolfe’s word, and I never used it except in moments of stress, and it severely annoyed me when I caught myself using it, because when I look in a mirror I prefer to see me as is, with no skin grafted from anybody else’s hide, even Nero Wolfe’s.

If you like Anglo-Saxon, I belched. If you fancy Latin, I eructed. No matter which, I had known that Wolfe and Inspector Cramer would have to put up with it that evening, because that is always a part of my reaction to sauerkraut. I don’t glory in it or go for a record, but neither do I fight it back. I want to be liked just for myself.

When a hippopotamus is peevish it’s a lot of peeve.

It was nothing new for Wolfe to take steps, either on his own, or with one or more of the operatives we used, without burdening my mind with it. His stated reason was that I worked better if I thought it all depended on me. His actual reason was that he loved to have a curtain go up revealing him balancing a live seal on his nose.

It helps a lot, with two people as much together as he and I were, if they understand each other. He understood that I was too strong-minded to add another word unless he told me to, and I understood that he was too pigheaded to tell me to.

I always belong wherever I am.