March 2019 Report

20 Books, 6258 pages (finished — a few were started earlier, and I’ve never done that page count before, and now I feel tired), an average of 3.8ish (my indecision on a couple of titles is stopping me from having a hard number — but I have to write my way to a conclusion on those). Overall, a decent month here. I hit a couple of hot streaks — there’s a few books here that will be in contention when I do the Best of 2019 lists, but man, there’s a couple I wish I hadn’t read. You take the good, you take the bad, and now you have the same song stuck in my head that I do.

So, here’s what happened here in March.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

My Lovely Wife Slow Horses And Drink I Did
3.5 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Killing State Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Audiobook) Rogue Superheroes
4 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars
Who Killed the Fonz? No Country for Old Gnomes Mama's Gone
4 1/2 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 2 Stars
The First World Problems of Jason Van Otterloo Crossline Lingering
3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles A Local Habitation Postgraduate
3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
or
5 Stars
Fletch’s Fortune (Audiobook) The Fourth Courier Water Week
4 1/2 Stars Still Deciding 3 Stars
Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 1: Anthropology The Prayers of Jesus: Listening to and Learning from Our Savior      
5 Stars 4 Stars      

Still Reading:

Rediscovering the Holy Spirit            

Ratings

I really don’t like being this flaky.

5 Stars 2-3 2 1/2 Stars 0-1
4 1/2 Stars 4-5 2 Stars 1
4 Stars 3 1 1/2 Stars 0
3.5 Stars 5 1 Star 0
3 Stars 3-4
                                             Average = 3.8ish

Reviews Posted:

TBR Pile/Mound/Heap:

Physical Books: 5 Added, 1 Read, 29 Remaining
E-Books: 1 Added, 0 Read, 20 Remaining
Audiobooks: 4 Added, 2 Read, 6 Remaining

Book Challenge Progress:

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. Slow Horses by Mick Herron
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling, Jim Dale (Narrator)
  3. Who Killed the Fonz? by James Boice
  4. Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles by Thomas Lennon, John Hendrix (Illustrations)

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. And Drink I Did: One Man’s Story of Growing Through Recovery by Jay Keefe
    2. Killing State by Judith O’Reilly
    3. Rogue Superheroes by Matt Cowper
    4. Mama’s Gone by Leopold Borstinski
    5. The First World Problems of Jason Van Otterloo by James Bailey
    6. Lingering by Melissa Simonson (link forthcoming)
    7. Postgraduate by Ian Shane (link forthcoming)
    2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

    2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

    1. Killing State by Judith O’Reilly
    2. Mama’s Gone by Leopold Borstinski
    3. Slow Horses by Mick Herron
    4. Who Killed the Fonz? by James Boice
    5. My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
    6. Fletch’s Fortune by Gregory McDonald, Dan John Miller (link forthcoming)
    7. The Fourth Courier by Timothy Jay Smith (link forthcoming)
    Humor Reading Challenge 2019

    Humor Reading Challenge 2019

    1. No Country for Old Gnomes by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
    2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    1. Reformed Dogmatics: Anthropology by Geerhardus Vos, Richard B. Gaffin Jr. (Translator) (link forthcoming)

    How was your month?

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    February 2019 Report

    Been a crazy month around here, thanks to Fahrenbruary. More than twice the views and visitors over last February. Which ain’t half bad. I have some other thoughts about that part of the month that I’ll probably share soon. But even without that, it’s been a decent month. I’d have liked to have read a couple of more books and written a couple of more posts — but I’m not complaining. The quality of what I read was great on the whole, which is the important thing. Still, looking forward to March, I’ve got some great reads coming up.

    Anyway, here’s what happened here in February.

    Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

    Baptism: Answers to Common Questions Standing in Another Man's Grave The Barista’s Guide to Espionage
    4 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
    Circle of the Moon Saving the Reformation: The Pastoral Theology of the Canons of Dort Black Moss
    5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars
    Rosemary and Rue (Audiobook) Seraphina's Lament Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 1: Theology Proper
    4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 5 Stars
    Dead is Beautiful The Murder Quadrille August
    4 Stars 3.5 Stars 2 1/2 Stars
    Broken Dreams Back Door to Hell Blameless (Audiobook)
    4 Stars 3 Stars 3.5 Stars
    Back Door to Hell Not Everyone is Special The Great Brain (Audiobook)
    4 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
    The Last Act            
    4 Stars            

    Still Reading:

    Rediscovering the Holy Spirit Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 1: Anthropology Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Audiobook)
    My Lovely Wife            

    Ratings

    5 Stars 4 2 1/2 Stars 1
    4 1/2 Stars 1 2 Stars
    4 Stars 7 1 1/2 Stars
    3.5 Stars 2 1 Star
    3 Stars 4
    Average = 3.9

    Reviews Posted:

    TBR Pile/Mound/Heap:

    Physical Books: 2 Added, 0 Read, 25 Remaining
    E-Books: 3 Added, 8 Read, 19 Remaining
    Audiobooks: 4 Added, 1 Read, 3 Remaining

    Book Challenge Progress:

    2019 Library Love Challenge

    2019 Library Love Challenge

    1. Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin
    2. Blameless by Gail Carriger, Emily Gray
    3. The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald, Ron McLarty

    While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

  • Didn’t have time to do anything here.
  • LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

    #LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

    1. The Barista’s Guide to Espionage by Dave Sinclair
    2. trong>
    3. Seraphina’s Lament by Sarah Chorn
    4. Dead is Beautiful by Jo Perry
    5. The Murder Quadrille by Fidelis Morgan
    6. August by Jim Lusby
    7. Broken Dreams by Nick Quantrill
    8. A Burdizzo For A Prince by Mark Rapacz
    9. Not Everyone is Special by Josh Denslow(link forthcoming)
    10. Back Door to Hell by Paul Gadsby
    2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

    2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

    1. The Barista’s Guide to Espionage by Dave Sinclair
    2. Black Moss by David Nolan
    3. Dead is Beautiful by Jo Perry
    4. The Murder Quadrille by Fidelis Morgan
    5. August by Jim Lusby
    6. Broken Dreams by Nick Quantrill
    7. A Burdizzo For A Prince by Mark Rapacz
    8. Back Door to Hell by Paul Gadsby
    9. Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin
    10. The Last Act by Brad Parks (link forthcoming)
    Humor Reading Challenge 2019

    Humor Reading Challenge 2019

    1. Didn’t get anything this month.
    2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    1. Reformed Dogmatics: Theology Proper by Geerhardus Vos, Richard B. Gaffin Jr. (Translator) (link forthcoming)

    How was your month?

    January 2019 Report

    A few things you need to know before I start this: 1. Within the last two weeks, my laptop has stopped giving me warnings when my battery goes below 10%; 2 I am an idiot.

    I started this early, I’ve never done that before. In fact, I had this about 40% done Wednesday night when my laptop battery died. Now, for various and sundry reasons, I use Notepad while I’m building these posts, and I had three different Notepad windows open, and was in a good groove working on this. Now, I hadn’t done a good job using the “Save Draft” button in WordPress and had not saved any of the Notepad windows (see #2 above). So when the battery just died on me, I know I yelled. I didn’t cuss/swear/curse/whatever you want to call it out loud, my kids were around and I try to be a good example. But I assure you, I thought a long blue streak. Between the discouragement from that, and my inability to arrange my thoughts about a novel afterwards, I ended up not posting anything Thursday. January in general has seen more days without a post than I like — this week was pretty typical.

    But February will be busier — guaranteed. Fahrenbruary will be good for that, if nothing else.

    Anyway, here’s what happened here in January. Good books, some decent posts (if I do say so myself). 2019 is off to a good start.

    Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

    Nature’s Case for God: A Brief Biblical Argument Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition The Power of the Dog
    3 Stars 3.5 Stars 5 Stars
    In an Absent Dream Flame in the Dark (Audiobook) Flight of the Fox
    5 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars
    Awakenings Death Valley Superstars Here and Now and Then
    3.5 Stars 3 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
    A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps Slaughterhouse Blues The Reach of Shadows
    3.5 Stars 3 Stars 3.5 Stars
    Immoral Code The Lion's Tail Skin Game (Audiobook)
    4 Stars 3.5 Stars 5 Stars
    The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge Spare Room In Their Own Words
    3 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
    Unstoppable Arsenal Main Bad Guy Confess Fletch
    3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 5 Stars
    The Whistle Blower The Disasters Shattered Illusions
    3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars

    Still Reading:

    Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 1: Theology Proper            

    Ratings

    5 Stars 5 2 1/2 Stars 0
    4 1/2 Stars 2 2 Stars 0
    4 Stars 3 1 1/2 Stars 0
    3.5 Stars 3 1 Star 0
    3 Stars 8
    Average = 3.79

    Reviews Posted:

    TBR Heap:

    Physical Books: 4 Added/5 Read
    E-Books: 2 Added/0 Read
    Audiobooks: 3 Added/3 Read
    …only 1 net addition. Not bad.

    Book Challenge Progress:

    2019 Library Love Challenge

    2019 Library Love Challenge

    1. Awakenings by Edward Lazellari
    2. The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson, Eugene Yelchin(link forthcoming)
    3. The Disasters by M. K. England(link forthcoming)

    While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

    ✔ An essay collection: Death Valley Superstars by Duke Haney
    ✔ A book by an author you’ve never read before: Flight of the Fox by Gray Basnight

    LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

    #LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

    1. Flight of the Fox by Gray Basnight
    2. A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps by Nick Kolakowski
    3. The Reach of Shadows by Tony J. Forder
    4. Slaughterhouse Blues by Nick Kolakowski (link forthcoming)
    5. Lions Tail by Luna Miller (link forthcoming)
    6. Main Bad Guy by Nick Kolakowski (link forthcoming)
    7. Death Valley Superstars by Duke Haney
    8. Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition by Russ Colchamiro
    9. Unstoppable Arsenal by Jeffery H. Haskell (link forthcoming)
    10. Shattered Illusions by J.C. Jackson (link forthcoming)
    2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

    2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

    1. Flight of the Fox by Gray Basnight
    2. A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps by Nick Kolakowski
    3. The Reach of Shadows by Tony J. Forder
    4. Slaughterhouse Blues by Nick Kolakowski (link forthcoming)
    5. Lions Tail by Luna Miller (link forthcoming)
    6. Main Bad Guy by Nick Kolakowski (link forthcoming)
    7. Immoral Code by Lillian Clark
    8. Spare Room by Dreda Say Mitchell
    9. Confess Fletch by Gregory Mcdonald, Dan Jon Miller (link forthcoming)
    Humor Reading Challenge 2019

    Humor Reading Challenge 2019

    1. Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition by Russ Colchamiro
    2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    1. In Their Own Words by David Calhoun (link forthcoming)

    How was your month?

    Opening Lines – A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps by Nick Kolakowski

    Head & Shoulders used to tell us that, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That’s true for wearing dark shirts, and it’s especially true for books. Sometimes the characters will hook the reader, sometimes the premise, sometimes it’s just knowing the author — but nothing beats a great opening for getting a reader to commit. This is one of the better openings I’ve read recently. Would it make you commit? How can you not?

    Listen.

    At some point, a poor sap will look at you and say, “This is the worst day of my life.”

    But as long as you have breath in your lungs to say those words, you’re not having your worst day. You haven’t even hit rock bottom, much less started to dig. You can still come back from a car wreck, or that terrifying shadow on your lung X-ray, or finding your wife in bed with the well-hung quarterback from the local high school. Sometimes all you need to solve your supposedly world-ending problems is time and care, or some cash, or a shovel and a couple of garbage bags.

    If you see me coming, on the other hand, I guarantee you’re having your worst day. Not to mention your last.

    Let me show you how bad it can get. How deep the hole goes. And the next time your idiot friend says something about worst days, as the two of you stand there watching his house burn down with his pets and one-of-a-kind porn collection inside, you can tell him this story. It might even shut him up.

    Let me tell you about Bill, my last client.

    from A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps by Nick Kolakowski

    December 2018 Report

    So, this is the end of December. The end of 2018. As I said earlier, I started a new job, so my numbers are a little lower — I think this is likely the new normal (at least for a while). Twenty-two books is nothing to sneeze at, really. I think I know I say this too frequently for anyone to take me seriously (including myself), but I really didn’t write as much as I wanted to this month. But I rested a lot. I did like a good amount of what I actually wrote, so there’s that. Anyhow, some of the highs from this year — and a couple of lows, in other words — December was pretty representative.

    So, here’s what happened here in December.

    Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

    Not Famous Mr. Pizza Deep Dirty Truth
    4 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
    Past Tense Grounded in Heaven Murder in the Dark
    3.5 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
    Dog Songs The World Savers The United Smiths of America
    3 Stars 3.5 Stars 1 Star
    Blackwater The Everlasting Story of Nory P Is for Pterodactyl
    4 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
    Godlefe’s Cuckoo Cold Days (Audiobook) The Crescent and the Cross
    3 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
    Hardcore Twenty-Four The Impossible Dead Ross Poldark
    2 1/2 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Audiobook) Geerhardus Vos: Reformed Biblical Theologian, Confessional Presbyterian John Owen vol 4
    5 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars
    Doctor Who: Rose            
    3.5 Stars            

    Still Reading:

    The Power of the Dog            

    Reviews Posted:

    Book Challenge Progress:

    Angel's Guilty Pleasures Past Tense by Lee Child
    The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin
    Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling, Jim Dale

    Mr. Pizza by J. F. Pandolfi
    Murder in the Dark by Betsy Reavley
    The United Smiths of America by Jon Voss
    P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever by Raj Haldar, Chris Carpenter, Maria Beddia
    The Crescent and the Cross by Kurt Scheffler
    Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
    Dog Songs by Mary Oliver, John Burgoyne
    Geerhardus Vos: Reformed Biblical Theologian, Confessional Presbyterian by Danny E. Olinger
    Doctor Who: Rose by Russell T. Davies

    Mr. Pizza by J. F. Pandolfi
    Murder in the Dark by Betsy Reavley
    The World Savers by Matt Cowper
    The United Smiths of America by Jon Voss
    P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever by Raj Haldar, Chris Carpenter, Maria Beddia
    The Crescent and the Cross by Kurt Scheffler

    ✔ Read a book that takes place in one day: The United Smiths of America by Jon Voss
    ✔ Read a collection of poetry: Dog Songs by Mary Oliver, John Burgoyne
    ✔ Read a book you received as a gift: The Crescent and the Cross by Kurt Scheffler
    ✔ Read a book recommended by one of your parents (in-laws count): Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
    ✔ Read a book with your favorite food in the title.: Mr. Pizza by J. F. Pandolfi

    How was your month?

    November 2018 Report

    Well, November happened. Lot’s of pretty cool stuff in my non-blog life, and things related to the blog. Pretty good reading month — almost good writing month. Some less-than-good reads, plenty of great reads. Nothing to complain about, that’s for sure.

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

    Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

    Dark Sacred Night The Green Viper You Had Me at Woof
    4 1/2 Stars 3 Stars 2 1/2 Stars
    The Place You're Supposed to Laugh Be Brave, Little Puffy The Twisted Web
    4 1/2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
    By Faith, Not By Sight: Paul and the Order of Salvation Her Last Move Degrading Orbits
    5 Stars 5 Stars 3 Stars
    Ghost Story The Summer Holidays Survival Guide Know Me from Smoke
    4 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
    Ways to Die in Glasgow Kitties Are Not Good To Eat Rediscovering Humility
    3.5 Stars 3 Stars 3.5 Stars
    The Lord's Supper as the Sign and Meal of the New Covenant Dry Hard The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
    4 Stars 3.5 Stars 2 1/2 Stars
     Small Town Nightmare The Complaints My Sister, the Serial Killer</a
    3 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
    Curse on the Land  They Promised Me the Gun Wasn't Loaded Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse
    4 1/2 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
    Fletch (Audiobook) The Frame-Up Play Dead
    5 Stars Still Deciding 4 Stars
    Them            
    5 Stars            

    Still Reading:

    John Owen vol 4 Grounded in Heaven      

    Reviews Posted:

    Book Challenge Progress:

    Angel's Guilty Pleasures You Had Me at Woof (Audiobook) by Julie Klam, Karen White
    The Complaints by Ian Rankin
    My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
    They Promised Me the Gun Wasn’t Loaded by James Alan Gardner
    Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse by Lee Goldberg, Laura Hicks
    Play Dead by David Rosenfelt, Grover Gardner

    The Green Viper by Rob Sinclair
    The Place You’re Supposed to Laugh by Jenn Stroud Rossmann
    Be Brave, Little Puffy by Arline Cooper
    The Summer Holidays Survival Guide by Jon Rance
    Know Me from Smoke by Matt Phillips
    Kitties Are Not Good To Eat by Cassandra Gelvin
    Dry Hard by Nick Spalding
    Small Town Nightmare by Anna Willett
    You Had Me at Woof (Audiobook) by Julie Klam, Karen White
    My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
    Her Last Move by John Marrs
    Rediscovering Humility: Why the Way Up is Downby Christopher Hutchinson
    The Frame-Up by Meghan Scott Molin

    The Green Viper by Rob Sinclair
    The Place You’re Supposed to Laugh by Jenn Stroud Rossmann
    Be Brave, Little Puffy by Arline Cooper
    The Twisted Web by Rebecca Bradley
    Degrading Orbits by Bradley Horner
    The Summer Holidays Survival Guide by Jon Rance
    Know Me from Smoke by Matt Phillips
    Kitties Are Not Good To Eat by Cassandra Gelvin
    Dry Hard by Nick Spalding
    Small Town Nightmare by Anna Willett

    ✔ Read an audio book with multiple narrators: Ways to die in Glasgow by Heather Wilds, Napoleon Ryan
    ✔ Read a book you chose based on the cover: Know Me from Smoke by Matt Phillips: A heart-wrenching noir love story.

    How was your month?

    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?