The End of The Year Book Tag


This book tag has been floating around the last couple of years, having been started (as far as I can tell) by Ariel Bissett on her vlog. It seemed like a nice pairing with my post on Monday.

bullet Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?
I’ve got two more weeks in my Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 5: Ecclesiology, the Means of Grace, Eschatology by Geerhardus Vos schedule (which will finish off the set), but that’s about it.

bullet Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?
I honestly have never thought of a book in these terms. In the last month or so, it seems like 60% of the blogs I read and at least half of my Twitter feed is talking about Autumn/Fall books. I assume there’s something wrong with me.

bullet Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?
There are four this month alone…Robert B. Parker’s Angel Eyes by Ace Atkins; The Lights Go Out in Lychford by Paul Cornell; You Must Have a Death Wish by Matt Phillips; and The Hero by Lee Child (non-fiction!). There might be one or two in December, too. But I can’t think of them off the top of my head.

bullet What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?
Well, there are those four for starters. But if I don’t finish The Cartel by Don Winslow, Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer, and The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle by Dec. 31, I’ll be really annoyed with myself.

bullet The Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?
A few years ago, my best of the year was something I started on Dec. 28, so, yeah, there’s a strong possibility. The Cartel is the likeliest contender, but the Beagle book could be a dark horse contender.

Dark horse…unicorn…HA! I kill me…

bullet Have you already started making reading plans for 2020?
Still very sketchy at this point, but yeah…I’ve started. Just trying to decide what’s the middle ground between a cake walk and overly-ambitious.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Bookmarks


As I’ve been making a point of trying to do more non-review(ish) posts, I’ve been thinking about trying some of these Top Ten Tuesdays that I’ve seen other bloggers doing. And looking over the upcoming topics, this one piqued my interest — do I even have 10 favorite bookmarks? Can I approach that number? So I had to give it a shot.

Turns out that, yes, I had precisely 10 Bookmarks to use. Phew.

10
This used to be the most common one for me (although #1 has replaced it) — random bits of paper, preferably heavier stock. Movie tickets and coffee (or other) shop punchcards were the best, but whatever receipt/used envelope nearby would do in a pinch.
9 Online bookstore freebie. Love these. Amazon used to send me so many of them, I threw them away or lost track of them (regret that, they were good quality). Thankfully, as they’ve moved past being a “mere” bookstore, there are others out there that haven’t.
8 Better are the ones that authors give away, because, hey — cover art and it’s just good advertising.
7 Not as heavy, and easier to lose — pages out of pocket notebooks are decently sized — and you can write on them. I HATE writing in my books, so this is a major plus.
6 #8, but signed. Who doesn’t like a good autograph? (Anton Strout’s autograph here is blurred, to be nice)
5 Front and back of this one, a nicer take on #6 because I just love the receipt from Atticus’ bookstore being one side of this. (Kevin Hearne’s autograph here is blurred, to be nice)
4 Left over shopping lists (text blurred because I really don’t need you mocking my family’s handwriting), decent sized, room for writing.
3 Yeah, this is technically a repeat of #9. However, these are nicer. I have two of them and use them frequently. WTS bookstore used a nicer paper, heavier than other bookmarks I have, and a little textured. Perfect size. Probably technically the “best” I have.
2 A few years back, my library started using sheets like this for the books on reserve. Minus: it’s a really staticy paper, and super thin, so it’s easy to “lose” the bookmark inside the book. Have wasted too much time hunting for the things. Pluses: Plenty of room for writing (some inks and pencils don’t do well given the paper type); the title is on the sheet, so you can return the book and have an easy time identifying what the notes are about.
1 (I assure you, there is a bookmark imaged there)
My favorite. Get yourself some printer paper that’s perforated (if you’re lazy, or too inaccurate with scissors) into thirds. Plenty of room for taking notes (on both sides), good size (unless you’re reading a mass-market paperback). Not pretty, but ever so handy.

Trying to Plan the Rest of 2019/Cutting Myself Some Slack

I’ve been feeling really under the gun lately—I’ve mentioned (I think) that I over-committed for Sept./Oct. I still have 2 books I told authors I’d read in October (and one other to write about). Plus a few new releases that I meant to read this fall that aren’t so new anymore. I still have one book that I’m committed for this month, and a short one next month (maybe one more in there…I’ll check my calendar later). Plus a handful of things that are on my “I will read this in 2019” list.

For some reason that I have trouble articulating (and I know that some of you get this, and many of you don’t understand), between some of those goals and the 50 days remaining in 2019, I’m feeling a lot of pressure.

All self-imposed, I realize, but that doesn’t change it.

So you know what I did this weekend? I took a look at a few of the things on my “Must Read in 2019” list and put them on the “Probably Get to in 2020” list. Including 5 library books—one habit I fell into (pre-blogging even) is that a library due date trumps just about anything else when it comes to reading. And I don’t take things back to the Library until I’ve read them. These are on their way back, though. I would’ve taken care of them Saturday, but it was too late by the time I decided this.

Fewer books on the “Must Read” list equals fewer books on the “Must Write About” list. Which is good—because that list is still ridiculously long. But I’ll do what I can, I’ll be a little briefer about some things than I want to be (some things), and probably do a few more “Quick Takes” posts.

You know what? I felt so much freer just by giving myself that option. And yeah, I realize that I’m probably not still going to be able to finish everything on my “Must” lists this year, but it seems a little more attainable.

I’m not saying that feeling is going to last, or that I’m not going to find a new way to apply stupid pressure to myself. But for now…I’ll take it.


Right after I scheduled this post (naturally), I saw these tweets from David W at FanFiAddict:

Which tie in nicely to this post on their blog (also, one I didn’t see until after I wrote this). Followers and ARCs aren’t my hangups (well, occasionally that ARC thing, but I get over it pretty easily). It’s the reading and writing pace (as people who’ve been here for a bit know all too well). “Just remember: THIS ISN’T YOUR JOB. You started a blog to share your enjoyment of books with others…Don’t fret over what you can’t do, but be excited about what you can.” That’s exactly what I was trying to tell myself. It was reassuring to see someone else say that about the same time. Thanks, David!

Finally Fall Book Tag


While reading these posts on Bookidote, beforewegoblog, and The Witty & Sarcastic Bookclub, I noticed myself mentally composing this list—so I figure I had to join in the fun. I’d have posted this last week, but my free laborer realized how little he was getting paid and decided to play video games instead of generating my graphic.

Naturally, I only paid half of his fee.

Enough of that, bring on the Autumn! (even if it feels like Winter here in Idaho):

In Fall, the air is crisp and clear. Name a book with a vivid setting.

The Last of the Really Great WhangdoodlesThe Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Edwards

I had a hard time coming up with something for this one, honestly. But Whangdoodleland was so vivid that I can still picture parts of it, despite having read it only once in the last 30+ years.


Nature is beautiful…but also dying. Name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic, like loss or grief.

A Monster CallsA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

When I posted about it, I said, “I’m not convinced that this is really all that well-written, technically speaking. But it packs such an emotional wallop, it grabs you, reaches down your throat and seizes your heart and does whatever it wants to with it—so who cares how technically well it’s written? (and, yeah, I do think the two don’t necessarily go together). A couple of weeks from now, I may not look back on this as fondly—but tonight, in the afterglow? Loved this.” I still look back on it as fondly, for the record.


Fall is Back to School Season. Name a Nonfiction Book that Taught You Something.

TimekeepersTimekeepers: How the World Became Obsessed With Time by Simon Garfield

If I’m going to read a non-fiction book, it had better teach me something or I’ll end up ranting about it for days/weeks/months! This one popped to mind, though. In my post about the book, I said: “Did I learn something from the book? Much more than I expected to. The chapter on the French experiments alone probably taught me enough to justify the whole book. I didn’t/couldn’t stick with the details of watch-making (I have a hard time visualizing that kind of detail), but even that was fascinating and informative on the surface. Most topics broadened my understanding and taught me something. Also, the sheer amount of trivia that I picked up was great (the amount of time spent recording the first Beatles LP, why pop music tends to be about 3 minutes long, etc., etc.).”


In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love. Name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d love to be a part of.

Nero Wolfe trioThe Household of Nero Wolfe from the books by Rex Stout

(yeah, that picture is from the A&E TV show, not exactly the books—but in that image in particular, they look just about perfect)

There were many families/groups/households that I could’ve picked for this, but that Brownstone on West 35th Street is near the Platonic ideal for a place to live—I’d love to spend time with Mr. Wolfe, Archie and Fritz (not to mention Saul, Fred, Orrie, Lily, Lon . . .)


The colorful leaves are piling up on the ground. Show us a pile of Autumn-colored spines.


(I thought this was going to be hard, but in the end, I had to not make the pile bigger!)

Also…wow, clearly, I’m not a photographer. It’s a shame I don’t live closer to my pal, Micah Burke, things around here would look much spiffier.


Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside. Share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.

A Plague of GiantsA Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne

That’s really 90% of the book—a bard telling stories. How he pulls this off, really impressed me.

(Hammered by Kevin Hearne would also qualify, but I liked the storytelling in this one better)


The nights are getting darker. Share a dark, creepy read.

Darkness Take My HandDarkness Take My Hand by Dennis Lehane

This one disturbs me every time I read it (4-6 I think), I still remember having to sleep with the lights on after I stayed up reading it until 2-3 in the morning the first time—I doubt I was a very good employee the next day. (Sacred maybe is creepier, but this is the better book by Lehane)


The days are getting colder. Name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

WonderWonder by R. J. Palacio

The “short” in the category is the sticky wicket. But this is a quick read (even if the page number is higher than I’d count as “short.” Formulaic? Yup. Predictable? You betcha. Effective? Abso-smurfly. Textbook example of heartwarming.


Fall returns every year. Name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon.

Magic Kingdom for Sale — SOLD!Magic Kingdom for Sale — SOLD! by Terry Brooks

Ive been thinking about this book a lot since Bookstooge’s Quick Fire Fantasy post. Gotta work this into the 2020 reading schedule.

I’m tagging any blogger who reads this. Play along.

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

30 books down! 9,183 pages! Wow! With an average of 3.7 Stars, too. Man…not much wrong with October, was there?

(At work I’ve been able to listen to a bunch of audiobooks this month, which was a lot of help)

I really don’t have a lot to say at the moment, so let’s just get on with what happened here in October.

System Failure A Bloody Arrogant Power Last Argument of Kings
4 Stars 3 Stars 5 Stars
The Rest of Us Just Live Here Don't Get Involved This is Where I Leave You
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
XYZ The Dead of Winter Theological Retrieval for Evangelicals
3 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
The Dead Dont Sleep Flying Alone Anbatar
3.5 Stars Still Deciding 3.5 Stars
How Not to Die Alone Famous in Cedarville Back of Beyond
4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Because Internet The Abels The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant
3 Stars 3.5 Stars 3 Stars
Open Season Fleishman is in Trouble Side Jobs
4 Stars 2 1/2 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
The Highway Christianity and Liberalism Savage Run
3.5 Stars 5 Stars 3.5 Stars
Shattered Bonds Bearded Too When You Reach Me
4 1/2 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars
The Right Stuff  Maxine Unleashes Doomsday Look Both Ways
4 Stars Still Deciding 3.5 Stars

Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 5:Ecclesiology, the Means of Grace, Eschatology            

5 Stars 2 2 1/2 Stars 1
4 1/2 Stars 4 2 Stars 0
4 Stars 8 1 1/2 Stars 0
3.5 Stars 8 1 Star 0
3 Stars 7
Average = 3.7


Physical Books: 4 Added, 2 Read, 31 Remaining
E-Books: 0 Added, 0 Read, 24 Remaining
Audiobooks: 0 Added, 1 Read, 1 Remaining

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch (link forthcoming)
  2. The Abels by Jeremy Scott, Eric Michael Summerer (link forthcoming)
  3. The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes, Kirby Heyborne (link forthcoming)
  4. Open Season by C. J. Box, David Chandler (link forthcoming)
  5. Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (link forthcoming)
  6. Side Jobs by Jim Butcher, James Marsters
  7. The Highway by C. J. Box, Holter Graham (link forthcoming)
  8. Savage Run by C. J. Box, David Chandler (link forthcoming)
  9. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, Cynthia Holloway (link forthcoming)
  10. Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds (link forthcoming)
  11. Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie, Steven Pacey
  12. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, James Fouhey (link forthcoming)
  13. Back of Beyond by C. J. Box, Holter Graham (link forthcoming)

While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

Nothing this month.

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

#LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

  1. A Bloody Arrogant Power by Malcolm J. Wardlaw
  2. Don’t Get Involved by F J Curlew
  3. The Dead of Winter by A. B. Gibson
  4. XYZ by William Knight
  5. The Dead Don’t Sleep by Steven Max Russo
  6. Flying Alone: A Memoir by (link forthcoming)
  7. Anbatar: Legacy of the Blood Guard by Anne Dolleri
  8. Bearded Too by Jeremy Billups
  9. Maxine Unleashes Doomsday by Nick Kolakowski (link forthcoming)
2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

  1. A Bloody Arrogant Power by Malcolm J. Wardlaw
  2. Don’t Get Involved by F J Curlew
  3. The Dead of Winter by A. B. Gibson
  4. The Dead Don’t Sleep by Steven Max Russo
  5. Open Season by C. J. Box, David Chandler (link forthcoming)
  6. The Highway by C. J. Box, Holter Graham (link forthcoming)
  7. Savage Run by (link forthcoming)
  8. Famous in Cedarville by Erica Wright
  9. Back of Beyond by C. J. Box, Holter Graham (link forthcoming)
Humor Reading Challenge 2019

Humor Reading Challenge 2019

  1. System Failure by Joe Zieja
  2. XYZ by William Knight
2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    Nothing this month.

How was your month?

Quick Fire Fantasy Book Tag


I saw this over at Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road, and it seemed like a fun way to revisit some Fantasy Favorites, and indulge in a bit of nostalgia while I was at it.

Play along, will ya?

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
  • Link to the creator’s blog (thebookwormdreamer.wordpress.com) in your post
  • Answer the prompts below – all fantasy books!
  • Tag 5 others to take part
  • Enjoy!

 

5 star book

The Lies of Locke LamoraThe Lies of Locke Lamora
I’ve read this at least 4 times and love it more each time. A Con Novel, a Heist Novel, a story of Found Family and vengence gone wrong (and, right, if you think that’s possible). I can’t get enough of Book I of the Gentleman Bastard Sequence. It’s fun, it’s suspenseful, good fight scenes, and characters you want to spend more time with.

Oh, and the fantasy world is pretty cool, too 🙂

(I have a very short post about it here)


Always going to recommend

The Chronicles of PrydainThe Chronicles of Prydain

The Chronicles of Narnia made me a Lewis fan. The Chronicls of Prydain turned me into a Fantasy fan (which is why I had to use the covers I owned as a kid). Yeah, it’s written for what we’d call today a Middle Grade audience, but when I listened to the audiobooks a year or two ago (or when I read them to my kids a decade ago), I thought it was just about as effective as you could hope. A little bit of fun, a dash of romance, a hero quest straight out of Campbell, a decent amount of magic (but not too much), a good mythic basis—and a oracular pig! It’s also probably the series that taught me that you’ll end up having emotional attachments to characters to the extent you may get teary about when they die and/or say good-bye to each other (and, yeah, did as an adult).

(my posts about the audiobook series)


Own it but haven’t read it yet

Bloody RoseBloody Rose

I tried to read this last year, and failed. I’m hoping to read it this year, and am likely to fail. I less-than-three’d Kings of the Wyld (in print and audio) so much, I don’t know why I haven’t made the time for the sequel.


Would read again

The Brothers ThreeThe Brothers Three

The first of The Blackwood Saga is everything I loved about portal fantasies as a kid—but it’s written for adults. Some good characters, a good amount of growth (especially in the later books in the series), good fight scenes and a pretty cool world to explore. This worked for me in ways I didn’t expect—and the sequels have done a good job building on this one. I’ve yet to read the newest in the series, but this one feels like a good comfort-read if I needed one.

(my post about this one)


In another world

The Warlock in Spite of HimselfThe Warlock in Spite of Himself

(I probably would’ve gone with Brooks’ The Magic Kingdom for Sale, but Bookstooge beat me to it in his post).

I honestly remember very little about this novel, despite having read it several times. But the last time was probably in 1990-91. I was able to find a couple of the later novels in the series, too—just not enough for me at the time (I probably could now—yay, Internet). Still, somehow this is what sprang to mind when I thought of a fantasy on another world. A cool combination of SF and fantasy, as I recall.


Back on Earth

The Hum and the ShiverThe Hum and the Shiver

(and the rest of the series, too, but this is good enough—as good as many series hope to be in itself)

A magical people with amazing musical talent in the Smoky Mountains, dealing with modernization, an Iraqi war vet, and a feud going back generations. I’m not a believer in magic, but Bledsoe makes me want to with these books—this is the best of a great series, and thinking about it now has got me thinking it might be time for read #4 of this one.


As for the tagging . . . nah, I’ll just leave this open to all my readers, I’d love to see what you all would put here. (W&S Book Club, here’s another chance to talk about The Dragonlance Chronicles—you’re welcome)

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

7,577 pages over 25 books, most of those good books, too—not counting the ones I haven’t decided on, I’m looking at a 3.63 average, can’t complain about that. Sure, there was a 2-star, but it only took me a day to get through, so it wasn’t that bad. Also, this was a month of small additions (and smaller subtractions) to Mount TBR. Yay for restraint? It was a pretty good month, basically. I felt like I was behind most of the month, but I don’t think that was really the case. I’ve got big plans for October, hopefully in a month, I’m feeling as bullish about it as I feel about this month.

So, here’s what happened here in September.

https://wordpress.com/stats/irresponsiblereader.com

Faith vs Faithfulness: A Primer On Rest The Editor Dachshund Through the Snow
3 Stars 4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
Bloodline The Blade Itself Gluten Is My Bitch
3 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Irony in the Soul Fletch Reflected The Unkindest Tide
3 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars
Have You Eaten Grandma? Sea This and Sea That Appetite for Risk
4 Stars 3.5 Stars 3 Stars
The Chain Before They are Hanged Relief by Execution
4 1/2 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
The Princess Beard I'm Sorry...Love, Your Husband Hire Idiots
3.5 Stars 2 Stars 3.5 Stars
Land of Wolves Cradle to Grave My Plain Jane
4 1/2 Stars Still Deciding 3 Stars
 Grace Worth Fighting For Beyond Authority and Submission: Women and Men in Marriage, Church, and Society Justice Gone
5 Stars 4 Stars Still Deciding
Ghosts of You
Still Deciding

Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 5:Ecclesiology, the Means of Grace, Eschatology Last Argument of Kings

5 Stars 1 2 1/2 Stars 0
4 1/2 Stars 3 2 Stars 1
4 Stars 7 1 1/2 Stars 0
3.5 Stars 3 1 Star 0
3 Stars 7
Average = 3.63


Physical Books: 4 Added, 2 Read, 29 Remaining
E-Books: 0 Added, 0 Read, 24 Remaining
Audiobooks: 0 Added, 1 Read, 2 Remaining

2019 Library Love Challenge

2019 Library Love Challenge

  1. The Chain by Adrian McKinty
  2. Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson
  3. I’m Sorry…Love, Your Husband (Audiobook) by Clint Edwards, Joe Hempel
  4. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie, Steven Pacey
  5. Gluten Is My Bitch: Rants, Recipes, and Ridiculousness for the Gluten-Free (Audiobook) by April Peveteaux
  6. Have You Eaten Grandma?: Or, the Life-Saving Importance of Correct Punctuation, Grammar, and Good English by Gyles Brandreth (link forthcoming
  7. Before They are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie, Steven Pacey
  8. My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, Fiona Hardingham (link forthcoming

While I Was Reading 2019 Challenge

Nothing this month.

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

#LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge

  1. Hire Idiots by Professor I.M. Nemo
  2. The Editor by Simon Hall
  3. Bloodline by Pamela Murray
  4. Irony in the Soul: Nobody Listens Like the Dying by Pete Adams
  5. Appetite for Risk by Jack Leavers
  6. Cradle to Grave by Rachel Amphlett (link forthcoming
  7. Ghosts of You by Cathy Ulrich (link forthcoming
  8. Justice Gone by N. Lombardi, Jr. (link forthcoming
  9. Faith vs Faithfulness: A Primer On Rest
  10. Relief by Execution by Gint Aras
  11. Sea This and Sea That by Jeremy Billups
2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

  1. Hire Idiots by Professor I.M. Nemo
  2. The Editor by Simon Hall
  3. Dachshund Through the Snow by David Rosenfelt
  4. Bloodline by Pamela Murray
  5. Irony in the Soul: Nobody Listens Like the Dying by Pete Adams
  6. Fletch Reflected by Gregory McDonald, Dan John Miller(link forthcoming
  7. Appetite for Risk by Jack Leavers
  8. The Chain by Adrian McKinty
  9. Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson
  10. Cradle to Grave by Rachel Amphlett (link forthcoming
  11. Ghosts of You by Cathy Ulrich (link forthcoming
  12. Justice Gone by N. Lombardi, Jr. (link forthcoming
Humor Reading Challenge 2019

Humor Reading Challenge 2019

  1. The Princess Beard by Kevin Hearne, Delilah S. Dawson
  2. I’m Sorry…Love, Your Husband (Audiobook) by Clint Edwards, Joe Hempel
  3. Hire Idiots by Professor I.M. Nemo
2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

2019 Cloud of Witnesses Reading Challenge

    Nothing this month.

How was your month?