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?

Advertisements

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?

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?

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?