I’m Curious: Recommending books in a long series

So here we are with me out of energy and too many books to write about, so I’ll tell a little story and ask a couple of questions instead.

A couple of days ago, I was chatting with some guys, and as frequently happens, one asks, “What’s the best book you’ve read recently?”

It took me about .5 seconds of thought to reply, “Bound by Benedict Jacka.” As you readers all know, from the really long post that I haven’t written yet about it.

Anyway, a moment or two later, I followed that up with, “Of course, that’s actually a recommendation for 8 books, because you need the set to get the impact of Bound. So, the best stand-alone recently is Deep Down Dead . . .” and went out to give them a summary of my blog post on that book (yes, I actually wrote that one).

So, here’s my question: how do you handle recommending an installment in a long-running series? Or, how do you take recommendations for the latest book in a series that’s been going on awhile?

March 2017 Report

All in all, March was a pretty good month — 29 books finished, nearly not enough written (I’m very tired lately, too tired to write, anyway). A good mix of good books and iffy — with a couple of really good ones thrown in. Which is a pretty decent way to spend a hobby/obsession, no?

So, anyway, here’s what happened here in March.

Books/Novels/Novellas Read/Listened to:

Hack Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 Playing with Fire
4 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Ignite Hide and Seek HER: The 1st Victor Locke Story
3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Snotgirl, Vol 1 Cold Reign The Book of Three
4 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 4 Stars
Silence Fallen The Faceless Ones Not a Drill
4 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars
Pipeliner The Black Cauldron Little White Lies
2 1/2 Stars 3 Stars 4 1/2 Stars
High Heat The Last Adam The Person of Jesus
3.5 Stars 4 1/2 Stars 5 Stars
The Castle of Llyr Magic For Nothing The Magician’s Workshop, Volume One
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 2 1/2 Stars
No Uncertain Sound The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag The Forgotten Girls
4 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars
Taran Wanderer The Collapsing Empire Nearly Nero
3.5 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars
The Accidental Detective The High King      
3.5 Stars 4 Stars      

Still Reading:

A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament Popo Gigi: the Earlier Years: London to Bollywood

Reviews Posted:

How was your month?

This was a little disappointing

I succumbed to one of those things going around Facebook, and rambled enough that I figured it qualified as a short blog post, so . . .

It’s National Book Week (in the U.S.) [And, no, it’s not, but that’s what the silly FB thing says] The rules are, Grab the closest book to you, turn to pg. 56, and post the 5th sentence as your Status.
Don’t mention the title.
Copy the Rules as part of your post:
Here is mine…
“We can’t risk another event like that.”

That seemed boring, so I grabbed the book that one was stacked on top of (making it almost as close) and got: “Every now and then, Warren reached over and leaned on the horn.” Which is only moderately more interesting.

Both books — both pages, really — contain far more interesting sentences, but them’s the rules.

I’m Curious: What Was the First Book That . . .

I am just having one of those weeks — seriously, it’s like my week is manifestation of Murphy’s Law, and the idea of me writing something new is laughable. So here’s a variation of a post I did a year ago — we’ve got some new regulars in the comments, and I’d like to hear what you all say.

Anyway. . .

This was asked awhile ago on some Facebook group I belong to and I thought the answers were interesting enough, I’d ask you:

If you can remember, what was the first book that destroyed you? (that is, which book left you an emotional wreck?)

For me, it was either: Where the Red Fern Grows (which I read most of several times, and all of a couple of times); The High King by Lloyd Alexander between the deaths and goodbyes, I still can’t do it dry-eyed; or Bridge to Terabithia — I can’t tell you anything about the plot (there were 2 kids, 1 girl and 1 boy, right?), the characters or anything, and I read it 2-4 times — all I can remember is emotional devastation.

Looking forward to hearing from you. Share the emotional scars we all know you have. 🙂

Update for week of 1/24

Haven’t abandoned the blog — have 1 post 80% done, 3 more in progress (sadly, have barely read anything this week) — and 1 kid in the hospital.

That last one trumps even you guys 🙂 It’s nothing serious (probably), just people with many initials after their names and the cool white coats being cautious. Still, it takes something out of a guy.

Regular programming will resume shortly, DV.

Looking back at 2016 for Books and the Blog

As we kick off 2017, I wanted to take a glance back at 2016. 241 books read — I exceeded my goal (I don’t remember what it was at the beginning, but I revised it a couple of times and still beat it by 6), 444 posts (short of my goal by a couple hundred), I had some good gains in traffic — views and visitors (not as much as the previous couple of years, but that’s better than a loss). I’m also seeing good growth in followers here and on various social media fronts, which is encouraging as all get out.

So here’s my breakdown of books by genre, like the one I did last year. Mystery/Suspense took a hit this year percentage-wise, but not as much as I thought it did. SF and Fantasy jumped up to make up for that. it’s been forever since I’ve read a Western, I guess (at least one that wasn’t a hybrid with Urban Fantasy or SF or something). Theological books went down in actual numbers, not just percent — but I read some big, technical stuff this year that took a lot more time/energy to read, so I’m not too bothered by that. Still, for someone who doesn’t plan too thoroughly, the percentages stay remarkably the same from year to year — tastes (and series I follow) apparently stay the same.

Genre 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2012-16
Children’s 5 (2%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)

5 (0%)
Fantasy 31 (13%) 17 (9%) 11 (7%) 15 (8%) 12 (6%) 86 (9%)
General Fiction/Literature 27 (11%) 17 (9%) 7 (4%) 30 (16%) 30 (14%) 111 (11%)
Horror 1 (.4%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%0 0 (0%) 1 (0%)
Humor 0 (0%) 1 (1%) 3 (2%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (0%)
Mystery/Suspense 61 (25%) 64 (34%) 62 (37%) 63 (33%) 73 (35%) 323 (32%)
Non-Fiction 11 (5%) 8 (4%) 4 (2%) 2 (1%) 11 (5%) 36 (4%)
Science Fiction 37 (15%) 16 (8%) 17 (10%) 14 (7%) 11 (5%) 95 (9%)
Steampunk 2 (1%) 7 (4%) 3 (2%) 3 (2%) 11 (5%) 26 (3%)
Theology/Christian Living 33 (14%) 42 (22%) 42 (25%) 37 (19%) 10 (5%) 164 (16%)
Urban Fantasy 36 (15%) 19 (10%) 20 (12%) 26 (14%) 48 (23%) 149 (15%)
Western 0 (0%)

0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (0%) 1 (0%)