Saturday Miscellany — 2/16/19

Busy, busy, busy week around here…not much time for grabbing links for this. And I’m so far behind on the blogs I follow that I don’t want to think of it. Still, I’ve got a few odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

    This Week’s New Releases I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon, but we’ll start with one I forgot last week – which is really strange because I’d purchased it a couple of hours earlier that day (primarily for my wife, but still…):

  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas — the follow-up to something you probably heard of. The Hate U Give, about a sixteen-year-old would-be rapper. It looks promising — I’m assured by my wife that it’s almost as good as her previous. Works for me.
  • Dead Is Beautiful by Jo Perry — I’d hoped to be finished with this by now, but I’m only about one-third done. It’s really, really good. It involves Charlie, his lousy brother, his brother’s horrible wife, a protected tree and a protected owl. Oh, and another ghost that’s mean to Rose. A whole lotta nastiness in this one, but the book itself is good.
  • Killer Thriller by Lee Goldberg — Ian Ludlow, the thriller writer whose plots became the inspiration for actual terror attacks is in Hong Kong doing research. But the Chinese government believes he’s a spy working to thwart their plans. Hijinks ensue. Looking forward to this.
  • Doctor Who: Scratchman by Tom Baker — yes, Tom Baker. I’m guessing this adventure won’t be focusing on Tennant’s or Whittaker’s Doctor (to pull 2 names at random out of the thirteen possible).

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to Kanwarpal Singh, sara, Tony H, Simon Veith and K. Alice Compeau for following the blog this week (some interesting links attached to those names…).

(from The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

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Saturday Miscellany — 2/9/19

So the lateness today is intentional, I had to take care of Main Bad Guy‘s post (which you should read, not because I think the post is so good, but the book I’m talking about is). Busy week around here — but good, on the whole. Hope yours is as well. Getting our first real snow of the season right now — odd for it to come so late, but I’m glad we finally got some (I’ll be less glad when I have to leave the house in a couple of hours, but . . . )

On with things — here are the odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

    This Week’s New Releases I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon:

  • The Bone Keeper by Luca Veste — yeah, it was published last year, but the U. S. Edition is available for people who don’t like ordering books from the UK. Neat new cover, too. I talked about it here last year.
  • Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond — The true story about what happened to Eleven’s mother. I had this in my hand and put it down today. I’m very curious, but not sure I want to try this. I’m going be looking for reviews on this one. Feel free to point me at some — especially your own!
  • One Fatal Mistake by Tom Hunt — another one that I’m curious about, it could be really good. A mother and son cover up an accidental killing, and then things get out of control…

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to Kara Skinner, Blood Rose Books, libarah and Matilde Mbulo for following the blog this week.

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?

Saturday Miscellany — 2/2/19

No intro today — no time for love, Doctor Jones — so let’s cut to it: Odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

    This Week’s New Releases I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon:

  • Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen — One of my favorite of 2019 (which isn’t saying much, I realize, as early as we are) — I can’t stop talking about this one, here’s how I started talking about it on the blog — and if you’re silly enough to talk to me in Real Life, you’ll hear a lot more about it.

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to editorbtg and lollyrugs for following the blog this week.

Saturday Miscellany — 1/26/19

I almost had this one up in time — but like two other nights this week, I woke up hours after I started a sentence to read utter gibberish on my screen. Maybe next week? (and yes, I’m probably the only one who cares about the time this posts, I realize.)

This week’s list is light on news-y posts and primarily features authors I greatly appreciate sounding off about interesting topics and updates for their fans/readers/etc. Honestly, I prefer weeks like this — a lot of stuff to think about/debate. Some good odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

  • Book clinic: what contemporary literary fiction is uplifting? — on the one hand, I’m not sure I need my literature to be “uplifting” — but I do like the idea of it. Regardless, some interesting looking reads here.
  • The Pressure to Continue the Story After the Story — some good stuff from typical font of good stuff, Harry Connolly
  • I Write Fiction About Border Crime, But Unlike Trump I Tell the Truth. — The political stuff in this piece by Don Winslow is easy to ignore (I’m not suggesting you should ignore it, but for the purposes of this blog, we’re going to focus on other bits).
  • While reading the above, I saw this: If I Hate Violence So Much, Why Do I Love Writing About It? by Adam Sternbergh. I’ve loved his novels — which do feature a lot of violence, so I had to read this (although I could’ve guessed almost everything he said about himself — but still, the “why” is intriguing).
  • Lots of Lee Coming Your Way — some updates from one of the favorites around here, Lee Goldberg.
  • Exciting news to share on publication day! — M. W. Craven, a new favorite since last summer, has a lot of good news to share on the day his The Puppet Show (which featured prominently on my 2018 wrap up posts) came out in paperback (at least in the UK).
  • Ranking Jonathan Tropper’s Novels — Matthew Hanover discusses and ranks Jonathan Tropper’s novels. I could feel Tropper’s influence in Hanover’s work, so this was in my sweet spot (am hoping to do a Tropper re-read later this year, btw). I’d argue about #4’s place on the list, but I think Hanover could convince me to keep it that high. However, he’s dead wrong about #1 and #2 and should flip them after publicly repenting. No sackcloth and ashes required, but . . .

    Somehow no books were published this week that piqued my interest. At least not that I saw. Good. Catch up time.

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to allmyheroesareweirdos, ladolceamara, William J. Fulton, Shawn P. B. Robinson, Davida Chazan, wanderingminds2019 and Elle for following the blog this week (I think this is my biggest week ever — thanks, guys & gals!).

Saturday Miscellany — 1/19/19

Remember when this was posted at about the same time every week? Yeah, me neither. On the other hand, I slept well last night. Even if that started well before I was ready/aware of it.

Oh, btw, the whole “Block Editor” thing that WordPress is trying to get me to use — I don’t see the point and man, there’d better be a whole lotta very accessible help files ready to go when they impose this on us w/o the option to go back to the Classic Editor.

With no further ado or delay, here are the odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

    This Week’s New Releases I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon:

  • Back Door To Hell by Paul Gadsby — a couple of amateurs try to steal from a crime lord to start their lives. Am thinking the title gives a hint about how that goes.
  • Marked by S Andrew Swann– what a fantastic premise — click the link to read it. A detective, magic, time travel and extra-dimensional bad guys.
  • Tear It Down by Nick Petrie — my goal of catching up on the Peter Ash series this year just got 384 pages harder.
  • Night School: A Reader for Grownups by Zsófia Bán — Click the link to read the description, I can’t do it justice. I’ve only heard good things about this and can easily see it living up to the hype.

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to Dalindcy Koolhoven and ailishsinclair for following the blog this week.

Saturday Miscellany — 1/12/19

Just a few odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to Hannah, workwithlapo and salmanalfarisi for following the blog this week.