October 2018 Report

A lot of highs, a couple of lows — and a decent amount of stuff in between. I’d hoped to get more written — but, I’m not beating myself up over it (or so I keep telling myself). I made some decent progress on the reading challenges I’m tackling. All in all, a pretty good month, I think.

Here’s what happened here in October.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

Voyage of the Dogs The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Audiobook) Sourdough (Audiobook)
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Burning Secrets Lies Sleeping Blood Fued
4 Stars 5 Stars 3.5 Stars
Changes (Audiobook) Without Rules Two Kinds of Truth
5 Stars
5 Stars
1 Star 3.5 Stars
Still Protesting Video Killed the Radio Star The Defense (Audiobook)
3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 3.5 Stars
Exit Music Woof (Audiobook) Praying the Bible
5 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Wrecked Changeless (Audiobook) Zero Sum Game
5 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
Black Widow: Forever Red The Golden Orphans Time's Up, Afton
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
So Let It Be Written Dog On It (Audiobook)      
2 Stars 4 Stars      

Still Reading:

John Owen vol 4 By Faith, Not By Sight: Paul and the Order of Salvation Dark Sacred Night

Reviews Posted:

Book Challenge Progress:

Angel's Guilty Pleasures Voyage of the Dogs by Greg van Eekhout
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Audiobook) by Mark Manson, Roger Wayne
Sourdough (Audiobook) by Robin Sloan, Therese Plummer
The Defense by Steve Cavanagh, Adam Sims
Exit Music by Ian Rankin
Woof by Spencer Quinn, James Frangione
Wrecked by Joe Ide
Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang
Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl, Julia Whelan
So Let It Be Written by Mark Eglinton

Burning Secrets by Ruth Sutton
The Golden Orphans by Gary Raymond
Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang
Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl, Julia Whelan
So Let It Be Written by Mark Eglinton
Blood Feud by Mike Lupica
Without Rules by Andrew Field
Voyage of the Dogs by Greg van Eekhout
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Audiobook) by Mark Manson, Roger Wayne

Burning Secrets by Ruth Sutton
The Golden Orphans by Gary Raymond
Time’s Up, Afton by Brent Jones
Without Rules by Andrew Field
Video Killed the Radio Star by Duncan MacMaster

✔ Read a memoir or biography of a musician you like: So Let It Be Written by Mark Eglinton
✔ Read a book with your favorite food in the title.: Sourdough (Audiobook) by Robin Sloan, Therese Plummer

How was your month?

Advertisements

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.

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 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 2018 Report

This wasn’t my most productive month — between fatigue, busy-ness associated with mutliple doctor’s appointments for my son, and Lethal White taking a week to finish — I neither read or wrote what I intended to. Still, I like most of what I wrote — and didn’t have a book below 3 Stars (1 was borderline). So, I really can’t complain about much. Anyway, here’s what happened here in September 2018.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

Darkside Earther The Sinners
4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Lost in a Good Book Dead Heat (Audiobook) Night and Silence
3 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
The Tainted Vintage Burn Bright (Audiobook) Deck the Hounds
3 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
Ed's Dead Stoned Love In the Year of Our Lord
3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 4 Stars
Trouble Never Sleeps Nice Try, Afton Turn Coat (Audiobook)
4 1/2 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
The Ten Commandments Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Audiobook)
3 Stars 3 Stars 3.5 Stars
Lethal White Looking for Calvin and Hobbes Soulless (Audiobook)
4 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Depth of Winter The Holy Spirit      
4 Stars 5 Stars      

Still Reading:

Still Protesting            

Reviews Posted:

Book Challenge Progress:

Angel's Guilty Pleasures The Sinners by Ace Atkins
Lost in a Good Book (Audiobook) by Jasper Fforde, Emily Gray
Dead Heat (Audiobook) by Patricia Briggs, Holter Graham
Burn Bright (Audiobook) by Patricia Briggs, Holter Graham
Trouble Never Sleeps by Stephanie Tromly
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Audiobook) by J. K. Rowling, Jim Dale
Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip (Audiobook) by Nevin Martell, Jeremy Arthur

Bearded by Jeremy Billups
The Tainted Vintage by Clare Blanchard
Ed’s Dead by Russel D. McLean
Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping by Cheryl Denise Bannerman
Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip (Audiobook) by Nevin Martell, Jeremy Arthur

Darkside Earther by Bradley Horner
Bearded by Jeremy Billups
The Tainted Vintage by Clare Blanchard
Stoned Love by Ian Patrick
Ed’s Dead by Russel D. McLean
Nice Try, Afton by Brent Jones
Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping by Cheryl Denise Bannerman

How was your month?

When Archie Met Lily

80 years ago today, Archie Goodwin — one of my top 5 All-Time Favorite Characters — met the only woman who could keep his attention for more than a few months, Lily Rowan. Lily shows up several times in the series and threatens to steal every scene she appears in (and frequently succeeds). Check out this post from Today in Mystery Fiction for the details — one of my favorite scenes, from one of my favorite books in possibly my favorite series — (I think I have 3 or 4 copies of it), so I had to say something.

How they met 80 years ago, when Archie’s only in his mid-30’s, is beyond me. But Math was never my strong suit, I’m sure it makes sense, surely Charlie Epps (or Larry or Amita) could explain it to me.

August 2018 Report

As you know (because I can’t seem to shut up about it), August was an eventful month for my family — yet I somehow found time for 23 books (only 2 audiobooks however). They weren’t all fantastic, but I really enjoyed them all, so there’s nothing to complain about on that front. I did read a couple that were simply great, too — which is always nice. I need to do a little better on the writing front, but I’m doing what I can there.

So, anyway, here’s what happened here in August.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

The Blue Kingfisher Dragon Road Anaconda Vice
3.5 Stars 5 Stars 3 Stars
The Life and Theology of Paul Scoundrels Among Us The Vinyl Detective: Written in Dead Wax
3 Stars (still deciding) 4 Stars
Dear Mr. Pop Star The Cleansweep Counterstrike She Rides Shotgun
5 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
Dead Blind Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit Kings of the Wyld
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 5 Stars
See You Soon, Afton Death and Taxes Jade City
3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
The Drifter Constance Verity Saves the World Hostile Takeover
4 1/2 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars
The Burglar Finding Felix Kitty and The Midnight Hour
3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
Twisted Magics The Western Star (Audiobook)      
3 Stars 4 Stars      

Still Reading:

The Holy Spirit In the Year of Our Lord      

Reviews Posted:

Book Challenge Progress:

Angel's Guilty Pleasures The Western Star (Audiobook) by Craig Johnson, George Guidall

Anaconda Vice by James Stansfield
Scoundrels Among Us by Darrin Doyle
Dead Blind by Rebecca Bradley
Death and Taxes by Mark David Zaslove
Hostile Takeover by Cristelle Comby
Twisted Magics by J. C. Jackson
Finding Felix by Jo Platt
Vinyl Detective by Andrew Cartmel
Dear Mr. Pop-Star by Derek Philpott, Dave Philpott
She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
Jade City by Fonda Lee
The Drifter by Nicholas Petrie

The Blue Kingfisher by Erica Wright
Anaconda Vice by James Stansfield
Scoundrels Among Us by Darrin Doyle
The Cleansweep Counterstrike by Chuck Waldron
Dead Blind by Rebecca Bradley
See You Soon, Afton by Brent Jones
Death and Taxes by Mark David Zaslove
Hostile Takeover by Cristelle Comby
Twisted Magics by J. C. Jackson
Dear Mr. Pop-Star by Derek Philpott, Dave Philpott
Finding Felix by Jo Platt

Another month with nothing for this one…but I have a plan.

How was your month?

July 2018 Report: What I Read/Listened to/Wrote About

I’ve had a little time on my hands lately, so I’ve gotten a few more books read than usual — but fewer audiobooks. The downside to a reading burst is that it’s difficult to keep up with the posts about what you read. Oh well . . . worse problems to have.

So, here’s what happened here in July.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

Doctor Who: Christmas Invasion Needle Song My Lady Jane
3.5 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars
Planet Funny The Affectionate Theology of Richard Sibbes Besieged (Audiobook)
3.5 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Marked An Obvious Fact (Audiobook) The Day That A Ran Away
4 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
The Death Pictures Heaven on Earth Small Favor (Audiobook)
3.5 Stars 3 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Nightwolf Arsenal Colorblind
4 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Lessons From Lucy The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet True Fiction
5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Ophelia Immune Ways to Die in Glasgow The Puppet Show
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time Between the Shade and the Shadow A Mint Condition Corpse
3.5 Stars 2 Stars 5 Stars
The Passenger Boise Longpig Hunting Club  Just One Damned Thing After Another
3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars
(maybe more..)
4 Stars
Picket Town Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine      
3 Stars I’m not sure yet      

Still Reading:

The Holy Spirit Dear Mr. Pop Star Scoundrels Among Us
The Life and Theology of Paul            

Reviews Posted:

Book Challenge Progress:

Angel's Guilty Pleasures My Lady Jane (Audiobook) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, Katherine Kellgren
Planet Funny by Ken Jennings
Besieged (Audiobook) by Kevin Hearne, Luke Daniels
An Obvious Fact (Audiobook) by Craig Johnson, George Guidall

Planet Funny by Ken Jennings
Doctor Who: Christmas Invasion by Jenny T. Colgan
Arsenal by Jeffery H. Haskelll
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Ophelia Immune by Beth Mattson
Ways to Die in Glasgow by Jay Stringer (link to come)
The Puppet Show by M. W. Craven (link to come)
Between the Shade and the Shadow by Coleman Alexander
Boise Longpig Hunting Club by Nick Kolakowski (link to come)
Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor (link to come)
Picket Town by Chris von Halle (link to come)
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (link to come)
Nightwolf by Willie Davis

Arsenal by Jeffery H. Haskell
Ophelia Immune by Beth Mattson
Between the Shade and the Shadow by Coleman Alexander
Boise Longpig Hunting Club by Nick Kolakowski (link to come)
Picket Town by Chris von Halle (link to come)
Nightwolf by Willie Davis
Needle Song by Russell Day
A Mint Condition Corpse by Duncan MacMaster (link to come)

Another month with nothing for this one…not feeling good about it.

How was your month?

Happy July 4th!


Nothing to post today, in celebration of Independence Day in these United (at least officially) States of America. Enjoy some time with your family and friends, take in a parade, enjoy the weather, have some good food and drink, or catch up on your reading (or maybe all of the above).

And, since we’re all about reading here — take a moment and read the document published 242 years ago today.

To people outside this country, happy Wednesday?