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?

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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?

Flashback: Pre-Release Thoughts on Go Set a Watchman

Two years ago, we were all hyped-up about the release of Go Set a Watchman — I just stumbled onto something I wrote just before the release and got to thinking about the book. I was — and remain — very mixed about it. There are some people who’ve refused to read it because of the way it was released — and I sort of wish I was one of those. But my greed for more Harper Lee got the better of me.

Anyway, I was too busy to come up with anything fresh, so I thought I’d take another look at this, see if anyone else had some memories about this (then) much-anticipated release?

Go Set a WatchmanDoing my weekly grocery shopping today, I noticed that some eager-beaver stockperson had put out Go Set a Watchman already. Now, I don’t normally buy food and books at the same place — but, c’mon! A day early, a few bucks off, how could I not?

Well, pretty easily, it turns out. The sales system wouldn’t let me purchase the book. It kept saying, “Do Not Sell.” The clerk tried every trick she knew, the manager who was innocently passing by only to get roped into helping her did, too. I asked, “Is it maybe because the book is being released tomorrow?” Light bulbs went off over their heads — yeah, that was it. Probably. It was as good a guess as any.

So, I thanked them for their efforts and went away with just the food I was supposed to get.

Still, having it in my cart — in my hot little hands got me thinking for a minute. More than a minute, actually. I don’t remember the last time I thought that much about a book before I actually, you know, read it. This was the literary equivalent to being a ticket holder to The Phantom Menace pre-release showing (yup, I had one, and I missed the show — don’t ask, it’s a long, embarrassing story with the punchline of me buying two sets of tickets to that letdown). As formative as the book was for me (and many), there’s just as many ways this could go wrong as…well, The Phantom Menace. Except, this time we’re all braced for it not being that good.

Right? I mean, no one expects another To Kill a Mockingbird, do they? It’s mostly a question of how big a let down is this going to be. Are we going to end up wishing that Lee had been dead for a few decades before this saw the light of day, so she wouldn’t have to witness the backlash? Or is it just going to be mildly disappointing? A “close, but no cigar” kind of thing.

But with it there in my shopping cart, I started to wonder. . . Dare I hope? Is there a chance that it’s actually good? After all of us wishing for decades that she’d put out a body of work as good/almost as good as Mockingbird, but resigned to reality — are we now going to be lamenting anew her small literary output?

I know reviews are starting to come in — I’ve managed to avoid them all so far (but it’s getting harder). I never bother with preview chapters of anything — they’re never enough. So all of this may be moot — I don’t know, and probably won’t until sometime Wednesday at this rate. But, I gotta tell ya, I’m nervous — with just a hint of eager anticipation.

What about you? Are you going to read it? Are you going to jump on it, or take a wait and see approach? Do you expect a big disappointment?

June 2017 Report

Read a lot in June — meant to squeeze in 2 more (at least), but that was close enough. I didn’t get nearly as much written as I tried (particularly last week — the book I spent most of last week reading took out all my mental energy). Most of what I read was really good and entertaining, but man…those that weren’t? Blech. Thankfully, The Force made up for it all.

Anyway, here’s what happened here in June.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

A Monster Calls The Self-Disclosure of Jesus The Black Book
4 1/2 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
The Mask Project Mothership The Fallen
3.5 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament The Cold Dish Exit Strategy
4 Stars 4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Devil in the Countryside Collared Silver Borne (Audiobook)
2 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars
Down Among the Sticks and Bones Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made Death Without Company
4 Stars 3 Stars 3.5 Stars
The Bucket List River Marked (Audiobook) Love, Murder & Mayhem
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 3 Stars
Moon Over Soho (Audiobook) Spellcaster Citizen Kill
3.5 Stars 1 1/2 Stars 3 Stars
Knowing the Trinity The Force Fair Game (Audiobook)
4 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars

Still Reading:

A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament: The Gospel Realized Christ Alone God Is: A Devotional Guide to the Attributes of God
Gork, the Teenage Dragon            

Reviews Posted:

How was your month?

Opening Lines – The Force

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?

The last guy on earth anyone ever expected to end up in the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Park Row was Denny Malone.

You said the mayor, the president of the United States. the pope–people in New York would have laid odds they’d see them behind bars before they saw Detective First Grade Dennis John Malone.

A hero cop.

The son of a hero cop.

A veteran sergeant in the NYPD’s most elite unit.

The Manhattan North Special Task Force.

And, most of all, a guy who knows where all the skeletons are hidden, because he put half of them there himself.

Malone and Russo and Billy O and Big Monty and the rest made these streets their own, and they ruled them like kings. They made them safe and kept them safe for the decent people trying to make lives there, and that was their job and their passion and their love, and if that meant they worked the corners of the plate and put a little something extra on the ball now and then, that’s what they did

The people, they don’t know what it takes sometimes to keep them safe and it’s better that they don’t.

They may think they want to know, they may say they want to know, but they don’t.

from The Force by Don Winslow

I wanted to keep going, but had to force myself to stop there so I didn’t get sued by the publisher.

May 2017 Report

22 books finished — not bad. Looking at this, I’m wondering if I gave out too many 4-Star ratings, but I can’t think of any of those that I’d change, so I guess I just had a really good month.

Anyway, here’s what happened here in May.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

The Defense Startup Strip Jack
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Hour Game Chalk The Glamshack
3 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
Wild Thing The Second Life of Nick Mason The Hammer of Thor
3 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 3 Stars
The Right Side People of the Sun The Astonishing Mistakes of Dahlia Moss
4 1/2 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
The End of Magic Storm Front The Christ of Wisdom
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
The Question of the Absentee Father Fox Hunter On the Line
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Bone Crossed Gather Her Round Fool Moon
4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
No Middle Name            
4 Stars            

Still Reading:

A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament The Self-Disclosure of Jesus      

DNF:

Wrath of an Angry God            

Reviews Posted:

How was your month?