August 2019 in Retrospect: What I Read/Listened to/Wrote About

August in a Thumbnail: 7294 pages (500 more than July), 24 books (same as July, and given the amount of time Dark Age took I’m happy about that), Average Rating of 3.9—which is not shabby. But 6 5-Star books??!?!? I’m either getting really soft, or I had an incredible month (my reflex is to guess I’m getting soft, but I’d defend every one of those).

Here’s what happened here in August.
Books Read/Listened to

Teen Titans: Raven The Bitterest Pill Not Home Yet
3 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
The Lord's Supper: Answers to Common Questions Chances Are . . . A Dangerous Man
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Heaven on Earth Shady Characters Dark Age
3 Stars 3 Stars 5 Stars
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Life of Christ Black Summer
5 Stars 3 Stars 5 Stars
Kings of the Wyld (Audiobook) Fletch, Too The Swallows
5 Stars 3 Stars r5 Stars
Gilmore Girls: A Cultural History Finding God in the Ordinary Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 4: Soteriology
3.5 Stars 3 Stars 5 Stars
Cause and Effect: Vice Plagues the City Chimes at Midnight A Time Traveler's Theory of Relativity
3 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 3.5 Stars
Son of Fletch Brotherhood of the Worm
3.5 Stars 4 Stars

Still Reading

The Blade Itself The Editor


5 Stars 6 2 1/2 Stars 0
4 1/2 Stars 2 2 Stars 0
4 Stars 3 1 1/2 Stars 0
3.5 Stars 4 1 Star 0
3 Stars 8
Average = 3.89

Reviewish things Posted

Physical Books: 7 Added, 4 Read, 27 Remaining
E-Books: 1 Added, 0 Read, 21 Remaining
Audiobooks: 1 Added, 3 Read, 3 Remaining

2019 Book Challenges

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia, Gabriel Picolo (Illustrator): An Updated Look into the Empath’s Past
  2. Chances Are . . . by Richard Russo: Russo almost writes a Crime Novel, but manages to avoid it.
  3. Shady Characters by Keith Houston: This geeky look at symbols and punctuation is as informative as it is fun.
  4. Dark Age by Pierce Brown: The blood-dimmed tide is loosed… / The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.
  5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling, Jim Dale
While I was Reading Challenge

While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

Nothing this month. I’ve got the rest of the list picked out, just need to find/make the time.

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

#LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

    Finding God in the Ordinary

  1. Cause and Effect: Vice Plagues the City by Pete Adams: It’s some effort, but readers will be amused by this
  2. Brotherhood of the Worm by M. T. Miller (link forthcoming)
2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

  1. Cause and Effect: Vice Plagues the City by Pete Adams: It’s some effort, but readers will be amused by this
  2. A Dangerous Man by Robert Crais: A Routine Errand leads to a Rescue Mission for Joe Pike
  3. Black Summer by M. W. Craven: A Good Detective Faces Off with a Brilliant Criminal for the Second Time
  4. Fletch, Too by Gregory McDonald, Dan John Miller (link forthcoming)
    Bitterest Pill
  5. Son of Fletch by Gregory McDonald, Dan John Miller (link forthcoming)
Humor Reading Challenge 2019

Humor Reading Challenge 2019

2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

  1. Heaven on Earth by Thomas Brooks (link forthcoming)
  2. Life of Christ by J. Gresham Machen
  3. Reformed Dogmatics: Soteriology by Geerhardus Vos, Richard B. Gaffin Jr. (Translator) (link forthcoming)

How was your month?

August 2019


Saturday Miscellany — 5/11/19

It’s been one of those weeks where I can’t just seem to get to the keyboard when I have energy enough to write. Which is frustrating — I have 2 books I can’t wait to talk about (well, 3 after last night), if only I didn’t need to move ideas from my brain to my blog via some sort of mediator (in this case, fingers and keyboard, etc.) — if I could just think them and they’d post, this blog would be busier.

The lack of keyboard time also translates into a short list of odds ‘n ends over the week about books and reading that caught my eye. But I like these, so I’m okay with the length — you’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:

    A Book-ish Related Podcast Episodes you might want to give a listen to:

  • O&F Podcast, Ep. 195: Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne Strout talks to Dawson & Hearne about the Pell books (not enough for me — but I’m not done with the episode yet), their individual works and more.

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

  • Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs — The latest Mercy Thompson book — I finished it yesterday and it’s great.
  • State of the Union: A Marriage in Ten Parts by Nick Hornby — The basis of/based on the new Sundance series (I’m not sure which came first, honestly). But the concept is great (10 conversations between a couple just before they go to their weekly marriage counseling sessions). And well, Hornby, so duh.
  • The Big Kahuna by Janet Evanovich and Peter Evanovich — Fox and O’Hare are back after a 3-hiatus (at least for readers, probably not for the characters). I’m not sure what this series will be like without Goldberg (don’t know if I’d have tried it without him), but I’m curious enough to grab this.

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

GUEST POST – The Open Road Awaits: Your Guide to Literary Road Trips

I’m very happy to have this guest post today — and not just because I need some time to finish a couple of things you won’t see for a few weeks. I love a nicely designed (and informative) infographic and this one hit the sweet spot for me. When I was asked if I’d be interested in posting this, I jumped on it. Give this a read and check this out. Then maybe plan a trip?

Literary Road Trips Across AmericaScott Fitzgerald, Jack Kerouac and Tom Wolfe…

These are a handful of renowned authors responsible for writing some of the most iconic books we know and love. The sources for their inspiration came from their life experiences, including some at the heart of American culture—road trips. From adventures lasting ten to over one hundred hours, these famous works of literature account for the national parks, cities and cultural events each author explored.

For example, On the Road, by Jack Kerouac, follows the story of Sal Paradise and his friends. The crew of young, broke hippies in love with life travel from New York to San Francisco. Through his young characters’ adventures, Kerouac’s work captures the spirit of freedom and the American dream. The narrative draws from Kerouac’s personal experiences traveling across the country.

The experiences of many authors are brought to life through the words crafted in their stories, making it incredibly difficult to put these books down. And each year, thousands of Americans, inspired by wanderlust and words, set out on their own adventures. The freedom of a cross-country road trip, whether on your own or with a group of close friends, never fails to enchant. There’s something intensely clarifying about hitting the open road. You’re suddenly able to disconnect from the routines of everyday life. You become what’s happening in that moment. You are living outside time.

Inspired by the need for adventure and the words of iconic authors, CarRentals created a guide to literary road trips across America. Instead of simply living them through the pages of your favorite novel, you can set off on routes that follow the narrative arc of six iconic books. Create new stories of your own by exploring the paths of these famous American authors. The road awaits!

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?

No . . . just . . . No (or Initial Thoughts on Netflix’s announced adaptation of Atkin’s Wonderland)

According to Variety and Deadline stories today, another actor has been tapped to take on the role of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser: Mark Whalberg. He’ll be starring in Peter Berg’s movie for Netflix, an adaptation of Wonderland — the second novel Ace Atkins wrote about the Boston sleuth — as the potential first in a series.

I’m not Whalberg’s biggest fan, but given the right material, he’s good and he can pull of the physicality needed (and then some, but, whatever). And I have more trust in Peter Berg than most directors (Battleship notwithstanding). And the source material is great.

BUT. . .

From Deadline‘s story:

The movie will differ from the novel, in that it begins with Spenser emerging from a prison stretch, stripped of his private investigator license. Here, he gets pulled back into the underbelly of the Boston crime world when he uncovers the truth about a sensational murder and the twisted conspiracy behind it.

Stripped of his PI license after a prison stretch???? I know that adaptations have to make changes to the character, that’s the whole point of adapting. But this is striking at the core of the character. Spenser a felon? That’s a deal breaker. That makes almost all the changes in The Dresden Files series seem acceptable. It’s like making Edward a werewolf and Jacob a vampire. Or using an animated tiger in Life of Pi à la Bedknobs and Broomsticks. I’m having trouble here, okay? You can get the gist of what I’m saying.

So, I’m happy for the Parker Estate, Ace Atkins and anyone else who made some money off this. I’m happier yet for anyone who discovers Parker/Atkins/Spenser because of this.

But…nope. Just flat-out no. Count me out.*

*(which everyone knows is a giant lie, I’m totally going to watch this because I’m weak, I’m a sucker, and a Spenser-addict)

Something had to give…

Yeah, nothing for a couple of days here — just how I want to follow-up one of the best weeks I’ve had traffic/share/etc.-wise. I’ve got a couple of posts ready to go for Friday, and I’ve finished 5 books already this week, so it’s not like I’m hurting for material. Just hurting on time and energy.

There’s a good reason for this — and I’ll talk about it sometime. In the meantime, come back Friday.

Saturday Miscellany – 8/19/17

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 welcome to Shaun Hume, dreamnoiseblog, Alice @ Arctic Books and thrillersuspense for following the blog this week.