November 2017 Report

I had a pretty good month, it seems. I gave out a whole lot of 4 Stars — which means I read/talked about a whole lot of good books. Good way to spend the penultimate month of 2017.

Here’s what happened here in November.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

Communication Failure The Squirrel on the Train Moshe Comes to Visit
4 Stars 4 Stars 2 1/2 Stars
Righteous Meddling Kids The Freedom Broker
4 Stars 3 Stars 3.5 Stars
Paradox Bound The Rat Tunnels of Isfahan Dead Souls
4 Stars 3 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
The Hidden Face Breaking Bad 101 Artemis
4 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars
Faith. Hope. Love. Shadow of Calvary Blood Rites (Audiobook)
4 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
Deep Blue Trouble All Hands on Pet! Suspect (Audiobook)
4 Stars 3 Stars 5 Stars
Curse of the Coloring Book The Midnight Line A Serpent's Tooth (Audiobook)
3 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars
Red Dog Bedlam      
4 Stars 4 Stars      

Still Reading:

A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament: The Gospel Realized A Plague of Giants Between Wittenberg and Geneva
Talking to the Dead (Audiobook) Briefly Maiden      

Reviews Posted:

How was your month?


Thanksgiving 2017

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 (seriously, Nathaniel Barber and Darrell Drake have done almost as much to advertise my work as I have). There are publicists, publishers, etc. I’ve been working with this year who’ve especially made things great — I’d mention some of you by name, but I’d inadvertently miss one I meant to include and would feel horrible nd cause offense.
  • 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 a change
  • Audiobooks and talented narrators
  • The Nampa Public Library (and The LYNX! Consortium) — and their generous grace period /li>
  • Books
  • Goodreads, WordPress, NetGalley, BookLikes
  • Books
  • Evernote
  • Books
  • 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.

  • 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 2017 Report

October’s been a frustrating month for me, and I’m glad to put it behind me. Almost everything took a day or more longer than I thought it would to read, I had a hard time writing a few posts (don’t ask me why), and like I mentioned yesterday, I got knocked out by a stupid cold for a few days. On the other hand, looking back at this post, I read some pretty cool books — and when I can focus on that, this is a pretty fun hobby. And If I can accomplish most of what I want to in November, this’ll be a much happier post next month.

But enough of that, here’s what happened here in October.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

Reformed Catholicity Workman's Complication How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
The Flying Frog and the Kidnappers Death Masks (Audiobook) The Hanging Garden
2 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Uncensored Bonfire A Long Day in Lychford
3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
The Dark Prophecy Planet Grim Henry: A Polish Swimmer's True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America
3 Stars       4 Stars
The Hanging Tree Ghost Hero Bodacious Creed
4 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars
Grace Alone—-Salvation as a Gift of God All That Is in God As the Crow Flies
4 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars
An Unexpected Afterlife A Die Hard Christmas Y is for Yesterday
3 Stars 5 Stars 3 Stars

DNF:, not the book’s fault — my problem)            

Still Reading:

A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament: The Gospel Realized A Plague of Giants Meddling Kids
Communication Failure            

Reviews Posted:

How was your month?

Happy Birthday, Archie!

My annual tribute to one of my favorite fictional characters (if not my all-time favorite).

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.

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 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.

September 2017 Report

My numbers were a little off — which surprised me, really, I thought I had some busy weeks. But, oh well, I seemed to really like almost everything (average rating of 3.99 this month). Maybe I’m getting soft. Or I’m just reading a lot of good books.

Anyway, here’s what happened here in September.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

The Blue Curtain Black and Blue The Brightest Fell
2 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars
Prayer Hell is Empty The Spirit Mage
4 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
The Song of The Swan Wonder Woman: Warbringer The Western Star
4 Stars 3.5 Stars 5 Stars
A Little Book on the Christian Life IQ All Tucked Inn
4 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
Travels and Travails of Small Minds The Whole Christ Night Broken (Audiobook)
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Flame in the Dark Sourdough The Hunger Angels
Not sure yet, at least
4 Stars
4 1/2 Stars 3.5 Stars

Reviews Posted:

How was your month?

August 2017 Report

The end of the month snuck up on me, I kept wondering why I saw all these August Wrap-Up posts Thursday night, and then I looked at the calendar. So I paused my other post and got this assembled (frankly, that worked out pretty well for me, I just didn’t have the energy to finish the other post). Turns out that August was a pretty good month — I liked everything I read, most things I liked a lot.

Anyway, here’s what happened here in August.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

The Hate U Give (Audiobook) Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith The Dark Horse
5 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars
Dead is Good Whispers Under Ground (Audiobook) The Brothers Three
4 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
Miles Morales Let it Bleed The Driver
3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 4 Stars
Skyfarer Hopcross Jilly Broken Homes
4 1/2 Stars 3 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions Junkyard Dogs The Blinds
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Christ and Covenant Theology The Last Resort Open and Shut
4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 3.5 Stars
Camp Arcanum Summer Knight (Audiobook) Double Lives
3 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
The Shadow of Christ in the Book of Job Wait for Signs Foxglove Summer
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
Salt Creek Jamarr's Promise      
(still deciding) (still deciding)      

Still Reading:

A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament: The Gospel Realized Planet Grim Hell is Empty

Reviews Posted:

How was your month?

July 2017 Report

I didn’t finish nearly as much as I’d intended to this month — every book I’ve read over the last couple of weeks has taken me at least 1 more day than I’d estimated/planned. There are two books I was supposed to read and write about in July that I haven’t started yet — whoops.

Still, I read a lot of pretty good stuff this month, and that’s the important thing, right?

So, here’s what happened here in July.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

Gork, the Teenage Dragon Kindness Goes Unpunished (Audiobook) The Hangman's Sonnet
3 Stars 4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Dark and Stars Grave Peril (Audiobook) Christ Alone
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
In The Still One by One Frost Burned (Audiobook)
4 1/2 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
Saul Henry and the Hidden Treasure Another Man's Moccasins (Audiobook)
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Mortal Causes Tilt-a-Whirl (Audiobook) The Late Show
3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
#Next Level Manners Luck Favors the Prepared The Vanishing American Adult (Audiobook)
            5 Stars
Besieged The Coven Rivers of London: Black Mould
4 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
God Is: A Devotional Guide to the Attributes of God Strife      
5 Stars 4 Stars      

Still Reading:

A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament: The Gospel Realized Christ and Covenant Theology Whispers Under Ground (Audiobook)
The Hate U Give (Audiobook)            

Reviews Posted:

How was your month?