Blogroll

For the first time in 5+ years, I’ve updated the Blogroll. If not for your use, mine (but you might find it useful). Finally, all the links I’ve kept in 3-4 different places on my phone and laptop are in one handy-dandy location (over there on the right).

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Awkward Moments in Book Blogging

This weekend I received a request to review an indie published book from the author. His name rang a bell, so I assumed I knew him from twitter or had read him before.

Yup. I had read him before. The same book, actually, two years ago. Clearly, record-keeping isn’t his strong suit. But, that’s no big deal. I figured I’d hit him with the URL to my original post, say something jokey in response, and call it a day.

But, I hated the book — gave it 1 1/2 stars. My post on it was sketchy, because to really get into what I thought of the book, I said, “it’d just be mean.”

So, yeah, I think this’ll be one of those emails I forget to reply to…

Coming Attractions (I hope…)

The last three nights I’ve sat down to write my next post and have promptly fallen asleep before finishing a paragraph. Which is quite annoying, because I’m not more tired than normal (I don’t think) and I am very excited about these three books.

So in lieu of an actual post, given largely as proof of life, here’s a quick glance at what’s coming down the pike. Hopefully starting in 24 hours.

Who Killed the Fonz?Who Killed the Fonz?

by James Boice

This is funny, heartfelt, a goofy idea, and a far better book than it has any right to be.

Rogue SuperheroesRogue Superheroes

by Matt Cowper

This takes everything he did right in The World Savers and improves on it (at least a little) while continuing the story.

No Country for Old GnomesNo Country for Old Gnomes

by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne

Set in the same kingdom as Kill the Farmboy, and features (at least for a couple of pages) the same characters, but focuses on a new cast. I figured this was going to be almost as good as its predecessor, but it’s better in every way — better characters, better story, and more laughs. None of which I’d have thought likely.

Looking back at 2018 for Books and the Blog

As we kick off 2019, I wanted to take a glance back at 2018. 258 books read (plus comics, picture books, short stories, and the like that I don’t know how to count) — I exceeded my goal (nothing like exceeding an arbitrary number to boost the ol’ ego), 380 posts (short of my goal by a couple hundred, and worse — 15 fewer than 2017, which was down from 2016. This is a trend that I need to reverse). I had some strong gains in traffic — views and visitors — actually, strong gains doesn’t quite cut it. Consider my mind boggled. I’m also seeing good growth in followers here and on various social media fronts, which is encouraging as all get out — not just growth in numbers, but I’m actually interacting with people (and vice versa).

So here’s my breakdown of books by genre, like the one I did last year. Genre labeling is more difficult this year, I read a lot of hybrids, but I tend to go with the overarching genre (for example, Brassley’s The Drifting Lands books are fantasy novels in a SF setting, I went with Fantasy). Mystery/Suspense/Thriller is back to where it should be. Fantasy jumped up a bit, and Urban Fantasy took a dive. 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) — and I had to add a category for Poetry. Theological books went down in actual numbers, not just percent — but I read some big, technical stuff this year that take a lot of 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 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Children’s 11 (4%) 7 (3%) 5 (2%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Fantasy 30 (11%) 7 (3%) 31 (13%) 17 (9%) 11 (7%) 15 (8%) 12 (6%)
General Fiction/ Literature 22 (8%) 29 (10%) 27 (11%) 17 (9%) 7 (4%) 30 (16%) 30 (14%)
Horror 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (.4%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Humor 3 (1%) 1 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (1%) 3 (2%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Mystery/ Suspense/ Thriller 107 (38%) 102 (37%) 61 (25%) 64 (34%) 62 (37%) 63 (33%) 73 (35%)
Non-Fiction 22 (8%) 10 (4%) 11 (5%) 8 (4%) 4 (2%) 2 (1%) 11 (5%)
Poetry 1 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Science Fiction 25 (9%) 27 (10%) 37 (15%) 16 (8%) 17 (10%) 14 (7%) 11 (5%)
Steampunk 3 (1%) 1 (0%) 2 (1%) 7 (4%) 3 (2%) 3 (2%) 11 (5%)
Theology/ Christian Living 25 (9%) 30 (11%) 33 (14%) 42 (22%) 42 (25%) 37 (19%) 10 (5%)
Urban Fantasy 29 (10%) 45 (16%) 36 (15%) 19 (10%) 20 (12%) 26 (14%) 48 (23%)
Western 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (0%)

Have a great 2019, hope you find plenty of good things to read!

Why So Silent?

I guess it’s only been a couple of days without a post about a book, but it feels longer to me. I’ve spent a few hours on one post and I just can’t get it done — I am maybe over-thinking things, or just stressing myself out over this particular post. I don’t know why.

Naturally, it’s for a book I flipped out over. I just loved it, and now I can’t finish the stupid post — most of what I’ve written I don’t like, which just makes everything worse.

I’ve got such a backlog, I really can’t afford to be doing this. So, I’m putting that one aside. No, I’m pushing — shoving, really — it aside and will try for something else tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s a bunch of pictures of dogs reading, because what’s better than that?

Misc. Notes 4/19/18 (a.k.a. Real Life(™) is Interfering with Blogging)

There are 3 books that I really wanted to talk about this week — and so far, I haven’t. I’ve got 1/3 (maybe less) of a post about Steve Cavanagh’s The Plea written, but I just don’t have time to finish it in time to post; I think sleep deprivation might be the best way to write about the insane (and insanely froody) Jimbo Yojimbo by David W. Barbee — but that’ll have to wait (alas); and lastly Life Begins When The Kids Leave Home And The Dog Dies by Barb Taub is going to be fun to talk about.

I got Noirville, the short story collection in the mail today from Fahrenheit Press — it looks great. I’m sure the stories are as nifty as the book they’re printed in.

I was reminded yesterday that I hadn’t started, much less posted about, a particular book this month. I’d totally forgotten I’d agreed to it. Which makes 3 more books I have to read this month (plus three from March I ran out of time for). If only I wasn’t in the middle of the busiest month of the year at work. I have to learn how to say no . . . but there’s so many good-looking books out there, it’s so hard to say anything but “yes.”

Lastly, Luca Veste’s The Bone Keeper is chillingly cool. I’m hoping to get to post about it next week (and hoping to finish reading it …well, probably about the time this posts).

Looking back at 2017 for Books and the Blog

As we kick off 2018, I wanted to take a glance back at 2017. 260 books read — I exceeded my goal (nothing like exceeding an arbitrary number to boost the ol’ ego), 395 posts (short of my goal by a couple hundred, and worse — almost 50 fewer than 2015!). I had some strong gains in traffic — views and visitors — and 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. Genre labeling is more difficult this year, I read a lot of hybrids, but I tend to go with the overarching genre (for example, Artemis is a SF and Crime hybrid, I went with SF). Mystery/Suspense/Thriller is back to where it should be. SF and Fantasy took the hit 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 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Children’s 7 (3%) 5 (2%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Fantasy 7 (3%) 31 (13%) 17 (9%) 11 (7%) 15 (8%) 12 (6%)
General Fiction/
Literature
29 (10%) 27 (11%) 17 (9%) 7 (4%) 30 (16%) 30 (14%)
Horror 0 (0%) 1 (.4%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Humor 1 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (1%) 3 (2%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Mystery/
Suspense/
Thriller
102 (37%) 61 (25%) 64 (34%) 62 (37%) 63 (33%) 73 (35%)
Non-Fiction 10 (4%) 11 (5%) 8 (4%) 4 (2%) 2 (1%) 11 (5%)
Science Fiction 27 (10%) 37 (15%) 16 (8%) 17 (10%) 14 (7%) 11 (5%)
Steampunk 1 (0%) 2 (1%) 7 (4%) 3 (2%) 3 (2%) 11 (5%)
Theology/
Christian Living
30 (11%) 33 (14%) 42 (22%) 42 (25%) 37 (19%) 10 (5%)
Urban Fantasy 45 (16%) 36 (15%) 19 (10%) 20 (12%) 26 (14%) 48 (23%)
Western 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (0%)

Have a great 2018, hope you find plenty of good things to read!