Saturday Miscellany—4/4/20

Update: Naturally, I opened up my Kindle and found something that downloaded yesterday (I’d ordered it so many months ago, that I’d forgotten it was coming), so updated the New Release bit.

Yesterday, I talked about being wiped out lately, and I set out to prove it apparently. I’m not sure what time I fell asleep last night, but it was a few hours earlier than I expected. Anyway, I woke up about 3 am and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I figured I’d read for a couple of minutes and drift off. I ended up reading for about 90 minutes, finishing a great read. I don’t remember the last time I did that–no interruptions (welcome or otherwise), no taking a quick peek at some social media, no anything. Just me and a book. It was so nice. Probably did more for my psyche than anything else in the last couple of weeks. Hope you’re able to find something like that yourself.

Also, while compiling this post, I’ve been listening to Joe Pug’s second concert from his Social Distancing Tour. I’m wagering that most of you haven’t heard of Pug before, take this opportunity to address that lacuna (loved the whole thing, but my favorite song from this group is around the hour and 10-minute mark although I almost revised that with the next song).

Enough of that, on with the post:

Odds n ends about books and reading that caught my eye this week. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:
          bullet Bookstores Can Be Saved—Dave Eggers provides the rare serious McSweeney’s post
          bullet Get Shorty at 30: Dennis Lehane on Elmore Leonard’s Hollywood satire—Doesn’t get much better than Lehane, unless it’s Leonard. The former writing about Leonard, much less about Get Shorty? I could end this post right here and be satisfied.
          bullet The best $193 I ever spent: A mountain of detective fiction when my wife was pregnant—although this is almost just as good
          bullet Crime writer Don Winslow leaves Trump behind, mostly, for the California cool of novella collection Broken
          bullet New Ways to Organize Your Bookshelves
          bullet 100 Fairy Books That You Should Read Before You Die
          bullet Sci-Fi & Fantasy Authors Share Their 2020 TBRs—some good looking stuff here
          bullet Reading comprehension, reviews, and jerks—I stumbled onto this again this week, still fun (but man, so glad I don’t have to read people saying things like this about my work)
          bullet Take this (weirdly precise!) quiz to find out which fictional character’s personality matches yours.—a fun little time-killer
          bullet Bearded by J. Billups Book Report—a very cool video version of Billups’ Bearded (and, yes, I’m envious of the beard).
          bullet How I Became A Book Blogger—who doesn’t enjoy a good origin story?
          bullet What Makes a Book Blog Readable?

A Book-ish Related PodcastEpisode (or two) you might want to give a listen to:
          bullet Blood BrothersEpisode 2 Featuring Noelle Holten—a few crime authors being very silly (and some good book talk, too). The first episode is worth your time, too.

This Week's New Releasesthat I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon:
          bullet Curse the Day by Judith O’Reilly—the first, Michael North thriller, Killing State just rocked, can’t wait to find time to read this one. A conspiracy thriller featuring an AI and a great former-assassin protagonist.

LastlyI’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome tosandomina, LDW, and just_tommye for following the blog this week. Don’t be a stranger, and use that comment box, would you?

Saturday Miscellany—3/28/20


I wanted to start with that, because…man, that’s exactly where I am. (although I know not all of us book nerds can do that, I’m so sorry for them that their typical escape isn’t working–hope that passes than the crisis does).

Odds n ends about books and reading that caught my eye this week. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:
          bullet 8 Ways To Support Your Local Bookstore While Quarantining—3rd straight week that I’ve started with something like this, but at least this week it’s from a different source (and I’m not planning on stopping this streak…)
          bullet When Libraries Close, It Feels Like the End of the World
          bullet Digital Library Cards—My local library has started this, which is a great idea. Have yours been doing something similar? Or equally helpful?
          bullet How to Catalog Your Book Collection—I know at least one person who’s taken the opportunity of sheltering to tackle this project.
          bullet Quarantine Book Club: It’s been impossible for me to read lately. Then I got in the bathtub
          bullet The Guardian has some handy posts this week: Tackle that to-be-read pile: the books to try if you’re self-isolating: From Nora Ephron to Thomas Mann, here are 12 books to entertain, challenge and inspire if you’re confined at home due to Covid-19; Got 150 hours? Great audiobooks to listen to on lockdown; and Let’s move to Mars: the best books about our future in space (for those ready to get off this crazy planet)
          bullet As does Read it Forward: 9 Books to Escape Into While You’re Stuck at Home: As you’re practicing social distancing, we’ve got your quarantine reading list right here.
          bullet Reading YA Books May Increase Empathy and Integrity—I’ve read (and linked to) this claim for reading in general before, but this is the first time I’ve seen it focused on one type of reading.
          bullet Sorry, but “you read too much YA” isn’t an insult
          bullet How Do You Define Genres : SciFi, YA, Fantasy, etc.—Nunc hoc in marmore non est incisum
          bullet 6 books I had to be talked into reading (that I’m so very glad I read).
          bullet Hyped Books I’ll Never Read – Spring Cleaning My TBR
          bullet Congratulations, You’re Moving In With A Reader!—closing things off with a little bit of levity (like anyone’s moving in with anyone right now…)

This Week's New Releases that I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon:
          bullet The K Team by David Rosenfelt—the Andy Carptenter series has spun-off a promising new PI series I blogged about it last week.
          bullet The Last Human by Zack Jordan—a space opera about the last member of a species that the rest of the universe decided was too dangerous to be left alone.

Lastly I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to J.R.Spiker, Caffeinated Reviewer (my first non-p0rnbot follow from Bloglovin’ in months!!), Odah Ebubechukwu Nelson, ontheshelfbookblog, and Rajesh khanna for following the blog (in one format or another) this week. Don’t be a stranger, and use that comment box, would you?

Saturday Miscellany—3/14/20

I crashed hard last night minutes before I was supposed to write my Fridays with the Foundling post (which means I didn’t do the reading for next week’s, either). But apparently, I needed it.

Odds n ends about books and reading that caught my eye this week. You’ve probably seen some/most/all of them, but just in case:
          bullet 9 Ways to Support Your Independent Bookstore During Coronavirus—Yeah, I agree, many of the ways Americans are reacting to this are silly. But small businesses (and those who work for them) are getting hit hard. If I talked about things other than books, I’d talk about helping them. But I don’t. So, here, go help a bookstore.
          bullet Need cheering up right now? Try reading a romance novel: Bestseller Milly Johnson calls the genre ‘aloe vera on anxious lives’ – and it has kept me going sometimes. Here are my favourites to swoon over—I won’t be doing this, but I appreciate the approach.
          bullet How Flawed is Acceptable?—I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t get the same result as this Book Riot piece does, but it’s a good thing for people to talk about
          bullet When Not to DNF—This Book Riot piece, on the other hand, I think is a pretty good approach.
          bullet Why Slow Reading Is Perfectly Okay: The author of Do Nothing calls for enjoying words as a luxurious meal, rather than a hurried buffet.—Sure, as someone who can’t stop obsessing about how much/little I read in a month, this may seem hypocritical, but Headlee is on to something here. I should probably try her book…
          bullet Jeremy Billups—I’ve talked about his children’s books (click here), and now you can read them for free (before buying them and helping the guy out, is what I’d recommend).
          bullet Did I miss the announcement that this is Historical Fiction Week? I kept stumbling across things about it, like: Adventures in Historical Fiction: History is Everywhere (And Full of Surprises)
          bullet And: How historically accurate does historical fiction have to be?—Personally, I like extremely accurate, or not at all. The stuff in the middle annoys me.
          bullet And again (sure, same blogger, but…) Some Fun Alternative History I Actually Like
          bullet BOOK TROPES—A Fangirl gives her Personal Opinions…most of which I agree (especially the Miscommunication bit…). However, when done really, really well, I won’t complain about any of these.
          bullet Where I’ve Been—the Tattooed Book Geek took a breather recently and talks about it here.

A Book-ish Related Podcast Episode (or two) you might want to give a listen to:
          bullet The Guardian’s books podcast featured Ben Aaronovitch on Rivers of London—great interview

This Week's New Releases That I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon:
          bullet Dead Wrong by Noelle Holten—Her arrest led to his conviction and imprisonment already, so why are his victims dying now? I blogged about it yesterday
          bullet Madam Tulip and the Serpent’s Tree by David Ahren—Derry and Madam Tulip dip their toes into a pop musician’s life and find a whole lotta trouble. I blogged about it Monday
          bullet The Starr Sting Scale by C.S. O’Cinneide—A retired(?) hitwoman helps the police. I talked about it on Tuesday.
          bullet Sixteenth Watch by Myke Cole—”The Coast Guard must prevent the first lunar war in history”. Cole brings his real-world experience in the Guard to SF in what looks to be a great read. I couldn’t even to begin to guess when I’ll talk about this.

Lastly I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to imyril, KetoJENic Vibe, Shreya Roychoudhury, tiffosaur, *Flora*, posssumpapaya, and Shayleene MacReynolds for following the blog this week. Don’t be a stranger, and use that comment box, would you?

Saturday Miscellany—3/7/20

I knew this week was a busy one and that I hadn’t had a lot of downtime for goofing around/finding stuff for this post (yeah, the two go hand in hand). But I was pretty surprised when I pulled up the list of things I saved to My Pocket this morning. This is going to be a tiny post. Also, today ended up mirroring the week in the way I couldn’t actually do anything beyond look at that list until now. I now realize that this is on the verge of becoming one of those rambling intros a food blogger puts before they cough up the recipe.

So, without further ado (and I had a bit in mind), 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:

    I didn’t see any New Releases this week that I’m Excited About and/or You’ll Probably See Here Soon—w00t! A chance to make progress on the old lists!

Saturday Miscellany—2/29/20

I had high hopes for output this week, but didn’t get to them all. Nor did I get to surf around as much as I’d expected. C’est la vie—but I got extra sleep this week (that I apparently needed, about a bonus night’s worth). Still, we’ve got 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:

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

  • False Value by Ben Aaronovitch—I’m about 1/3 of the way into the new Rivers of London novel and it’s a doozy! Good jumping on point for those wanting to check out this series.
  • Imaginary Numbers by Seanan McGuire—the latest InCryptid novel is 1. the thickest so far, 2. features Sarah (who we haven’t seen enough of for…years, I guess), making it 3. a sure-fire win.
  • The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold—” A former soldier turned PI tries to help the fantasy creatures whose lives he ruined in a world that’s lost its magic.” ‘Nuff said. (for me, anway, if you want a bit more, check out this post from The Witty & Sarcastic Book Club)
  • Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore—a young woman starts experiencing her life at random ages.
  • Finna by Nino Cipri—a couple of minium-wage employees on an adventure across the multi-verse.
  • Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold—a promising looking modern Red Riding Hood retelling.
  • For many not in the US Fifty-Fifty by Steve Cavanagh came out this week. But because I’m envious of them, I’m not going to provide a link to it. It’s a childish and useless gesture, I realize. But if I have to wait a year+ for this book, they’ll have to wait that long to get a link from me.


Saturday Miscellany—2/22/20

Running late today, my normal time for assembling this post was taken up by a valiant attempt at a little DYI around the house. The results speak loudly about my fitness to spend my time reading and talking about books and far away from tools.

But from the better late than never department, 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:

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

  • Author Stories Podcast Episode 810 | Roxanna Elden Interview—I read a little about this book a few months ago (as I recall), but had forgotten about it until this great chat with Garner. I really appreciated her take on the audiobook narrator.

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

  • A Deeper Song by Rebecca Bradley—the newest DI Hanna Robbins, the last two in this series have been among the best procedurals I’ve read in the last couple of years, I expect this will join the list. Bradley’s last novel is still collecting virtual dust on my Kindle, but I might read this one first.

Lastly, I’d like to say hi and extend a warm welcome to Wednesday Reads, Eamon, Graphic Design Eye and ARJung for following the blog in some format this week. Don’t be a stranger, and use that comment box, would you?

Saturday Miscellany—2/15/20

Not much to say, I’m 604 miles away from home this weekend and haven’t been able to write more than three sentences so far, which is about two posts under my goal (have read more than a few, however). Thankfully, this post doesn’t require a lot of writing. It’s probably the elevation, because that’s a thing, right? (or maybe it’s just spending time with my wife and daughter…)

Anyway…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:

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

  • The Once & Future Podcast, Ep. 204: Jeanine Cummins—Anton Strout talks to his old friend about American Dirt in an interview recorded before the controversy about the book (and promotion of it) got as big as it has. I had a suspicion that many of her critics didn’t know that much about Cummins/her work before I listened to this. Now I’m convinced.

    I’m sure I missed some, but there weren’t any New Releases that caught my eye this week.