Bookstooge Reviews 2019





Annual Blog Stats:

Total Posts: 225

Total Words Written: 125.2K

Total Views: 17.9K

Total Visitors: 7.2K

Followers: 275’ish


Book Stats:

Books Read:  135

Pages Read: 45,814

Average Rating:  3.28



General Thoughts:



I’ve changed my presence here on WP due to the new job change back in October.  Not following nearly so many people and not reading or reviewing as much.  Considering that some of the main people I used to follow have also dropped off the radar or severely curtailed their own online presence, it seems that I am caught up in one of the waves. It has also made me really appreciate those bloggers who have kept on blogging on a regular schedule. While I am affected by those coming and going, I don’t want to take for granted those who just keep on going. More power to you!




Blogger is simply a backup in case of some catastrophic event. I don’t really even take it into account any more.




Librarything just rattled along this year. I interact with 2-3 people on a regular basis there and that is about it. LT has been touting some changes coming in 2020 but I don’t use the site enough for it to matter to me.




Best Book(s) of the Year:

There was some severely stiff competition for this title this year, so I gave up and I’ll list the top 3.

  1. The Black Pearl by Scott O’Dell
  2. Death Wish by Brian Garfield
  3. The Burning White by Brent Weeks


Worst Book(s) of the Year:

Once again, I read some stinkers, so I’ll post the top 3.

  1. Torchship Captain by Karl Gallagher
  2. Valor by John Gwynne
  3. The Crippled God by Steven Erikson



Plans for 2020:

The only “change” is that I am going to start including a word count for the books I read. I’ve been using Page Numbers as an additional metric besides just straight up number of books, but I am finding huge variations even with using the same format (ebook to ebook for example) depending on WHO I get my info from.  I am going to start using (a book seller) which has both page and word count for books. Accurate data just makes my metrics that much more relevant the longer I read.

I do plan on keep doing the Give-Aways, #6 Degree series and Survival Saturday’s when I can and a movie a month. Beyond doing a re-read of the Wheel of Time, I have almost no plans for 2020. I’ll be satisfied if I can do a post every other day on a consistent basis.



The job change has really buggered my non-work life up. My reading has dropped over 50% and my overall life satisfaction is much lower. This is not what I was expecting. The problem is if I had stayed where I was, I might be happier but I’d be so much poorer that it would bring about its own set of worries and stress. So since I have to stress, I’ll take this.  But I don’t have to like it! And in all fairness, I am getting exactly what I asked for (office experience and full time help in the field). I also talked to a relative who works in HR for another company and she said that 6 months is how long it takes to fully integrate into a new job. So while it annoys me that I’ve still got 3 months to go, it also encourages me that maybe I don’t hate the new job so much as I think, I just hate the change 😀

Thankfully, almost every other part of life IS going well.  I am thankful for that.



Here are the top 5 viewed posts in each of the various categories. It isn’t quite equal, as posts from November and December just don’t have the time to accumulate the views.


Book Review Posts

The Hobbit

The Scarlet Letter

The Hatching

Fellowship of the Ring

The Silmarillion



Non-Review Posts

Book Blogger Insider Tag

PSA: The Etiquette of Commenting on Comments

Ratings as Sandwiches

Rage Against the Whiny Pants Momma’s Babies!

Seven Deadly Sins Tag


Commentors + Runner Up

Nicole Bookwyrm


Ola G

Savage Dave

Orangutan Librarian




Despicable Me


John Hobo






bookstooge (Custom)


41 thoughts on “Bookstooge Reviews 2019

  1. Congrats!!! It’s been a rough year, and a lot happened, so I am very glad you’re still here, still posting and commenting and generally present! 😀
    Thanks for the mention 😊 I promise I’ll try to revisit the posts I missed the last couple of weeks – once I get back, that is! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I don’t take still being around blogging for granted, not when I’ve seen so many other people go away.

      And don’t worry about re-visiting posts. Once you get behind a certain amount, for me at least, it is simpler to just start in the present and move forward 😀

      Safe travels…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy New Year! I hope 2020 is better hahah. I started keeping track of the word count in books too and I found it much more encouraging. I hope you settle into your job well. Change is so bloody hard especially when it forces you to sacrifice time doing stuff you love.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I just search “title of book” followed by “word count” and then use whichever links Google provides. They’re often just estimates based on the audiobook though. The main one I use is called readinglists or something like that.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Here we are 2020! You have been one of the few constant people to grace my posts since the start. Thank you for that my friend. Hope that the next three months of integrating will go smooth for you. Thank you for the mention. Cheers🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy New Year, Bookstoge!
    Life changes take indeed some time to adapt to, and when those changes affect the activities we enjoy (and that keep us sane, I would like to add…) it’s hard not to feel the… bars of cage closing in. But humans are nothing if not adaptable, and I’m certain you will find a new balance soon! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really hope that you can settle into your new job this year and start enjoying it. It sounds like there was going to be stress whatever you chose to do but I hope it gets better. I’m hoping for better reading this year. I’m happy about reaching my targets but some of the books were more meh than I expected!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Chuckles.

      Yeah, stress was going to be involved no matter what, so it was kind of a “pick your poison” situation. At least this way I get to choose, if that makes any sense 🙂

      Do you think you’ll be able to weed out the more “meh” books for ’20 that you have on your tbr or is it just something you’ve come to accept with how much you read?


    1. Sorry Icky. I feel like I ran that idea into the ground and just lost interest in it. I tend to run a series of posts for about a year before I lose inspiration. Some ideas last longer, some shorter.

      And honestly, this year I’m not feeling very “inspired” about anything. Sometimes at years end my brain is popping with ideas. Not this year 😦 and I fully blame work. Maybe once I settle down and get into the groove I’ll feel more creative.

      Thanks for hanging around anyway 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy New Year! I hope things start getting better soon with the new job, even sooner than 3 more months.:)

    A few years ago I had considered tracking word counts, and I even added a field for it into my database and filled it in for a few books. I gave up on it because I had trouble finding an accurate and consistent source (short of illegally stripping DRM and getting it myself from Word, which bugs my conscience too much even if the odds of my ever getting in trouble for it are non-existent) but I don’t think I tried Kobo.

    That would be great if it works out! It would definitely be more accurate. I typically just use the page counts reported by Amazon on the Kindle edition since that’s where most of my books come from, but I’ve been skeptical about them many times. How will you handle it if you read a book that’s not available on Kobo and/or doesn’t have a word count? Use some sort of average words per page metric so your numbers aren’t understated by an entire book?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Quite an impressive year, again 🙂 Both in blogging and reading, I barely passed the 30K page count… good luck this year, and may the need to earn money don’t interfere with your reading and writing too much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m turning 42 this year (the answer to everything, right? 😉 ) and I’m beginning to realize that the Future isn’t actually that far off, so it’s time to buckle down and get serious about things like saving up for retirement, etc.

      Thanks. I’m wondering how this year will go in terms of numbers, both reading and blog. I know that my interaction time has dropped, which has led to other bloggers dropping me. But considering that I’ve dropped a lot of people this year, it doesn’t surprise me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m a tiny bit younger, but the life’s serious requirements are also catching up… I’ll try to always have some time for blogging, and interacting with other bloggers, and I think I managed in 2019… you are still way more prolific, and I just hope we’ll continue to get a steady supply of food for thought from you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I feel like just knowing about the whole “6 months to fully integrate” was a real turning point for me. Almost like I was more worried about why I hadn’t already slotted in than not actually slotting in, if you can follow that logic 🙂

    DRM stripping is something I feel very strongly about (I’m very much on the opposite side of the fence from you) but I also realize that not everyone shares my views. So I don’t tend to rant and rave about it here on my blog like I would have even a couple of years ago. I guess part of growing up is letting other people do their thing without worrying about it 😀 😀 😀

    I’ve already encountered some issues for wordcount and kobo and I’m looking for ideal solutions. I might have to do the whole “import into OpenOffice” thing for some of the old books I read. I’m also looking online for any places that have reliable data. Thankfully google is full of data, I just have to find it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m thinking this reply was actually meant for me, so I’m going to pretend it was and answer it. 🙂

      Yep, that logic makes sense to me! Expectations play a big role.

      I had pulled word counts for a few of my DRM-free e-books and compared them with various online sources and I didn’t think any of them were consistently accurate. They would be accurate on some books, but not others. This was a few years ago, so maybe there are better online sources now.

      Since you’re fine with DRM stripping, getting accurate word counts will be easier for you, at least! 🙂 Had I been on that side of the DRM fence, I probably would have done it that way even if I’d found mostly-reliable online sources. A big advantage is that you can make sure you’re only counting the words you want, like choosing to exclude the Table of Contents and other front matter, and exclude previews for other books.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Huh, that is weird, it WAS meant as a reply to yours. I’m not sure why this happened. Oh well 🙂

        My only issue with importing into openoffice and the like is that it is “work” instead of just googling the info. I want my info to be easy 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy 2020! I will say, keeping Blogger for back-up is an excellent idea. You probably haven’t been on my food blog for awhile and if you did try, you wouldn’t have been able to find it. Do you know why? My hosting company deleted it!! Idiots! I had part of it on and it should be backed up on my Dropbox (I’m scared to look). But it’s all the time and work to get it back that intimidates me and I haven’t even started working on it yet.

    Not that I’m so clever, or anything, but I thought that might happen with your job. Living in the city, I see it often. Perhaps you can get financially comfortable with something tucked away and then find a job that’s less demanding. It seems that sacrifice is always required in some area. It’s very difficult to get a balance in life.

    Hmmmm …. it seems like people like Tolkien. Congratulations on all the books you read and I applaud you for your blog consistency which is an inspiration. Happy reading in 2020 and prayers for peace and happiness!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not visited your food blog. With my decrease in time availability I have had to prioritize where I go online. Stories like yours are why I’m still hesitant to branch out on my own. If I ever do go dotcom, I’ll probably still use as my host to minimize problems. Good luck trying to figure out your food blog. Would it be easier to just start over?

      Blogger is good for a book review backup, as my reviews don’t use big pictures. I actually don’t know what my limit is on blogger 🙂

      I figure I just need to hang in there at the current job for maybe 5 years and then I can change again. I’m trying to not think that far in advance though, as things can change in an instant and if I’m stuck on one particular thing happening, I won’t be able to react when life does its own changes 😀

      Thank you. My goal this year is to get about 15 posts a month. We’ll see what happens though!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Nothing like a new job to really throw off your rhythm! I experienced something similar this April when I started a new gig, and it’s been a struggle to read as much and review as much. I started relying more on audiobooks though, which helped me keep “reading” almost just as much, but I do struggle a lot more these days when it comes to managing my time, since I have a lot less of it now. I love your positive attitude though! Sometimes it really is the change that needs to be overcome and hopefully the next few months will help you further ease into the new schedule. Sounds like you’re getting the work experience you need too, so that will open you up to a lot more options if you ever need them, which is always good.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yeah, the work thing really can mess with you–but I think you’re right, the stress with more money is better than the alternative. You’ll find your groove again. It’ll be different, but apparently we’re supposed to embrace change? (I’m not so good at it, but I know that’s what we’re supposed to do).

    Good year, looking forward to 2020

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Happy New Year to you, good sir. It has been another fantastic year of blogging and I’m honestly glad to have known you through blogging and successfully maintained our interactions throughout the year. I don’t know anyone in real-life who has given me as much reading experience than you did over the past years. I’ve sharpened my taste and have quickly learned how awesome SFF actually is, and you are definitely a reason for this realization.

    It’s nice to see The Burning White make top 3 while Crippling God made bottom 3. I look forward to both though hahaha After all, I know the reasons why you had to give the latter what you gave it! 😀

    I’m sorry to hear that you enjoyment of this big change in your personal life (job) isn’t what you wish it was. I think it’s something that is often shared and divulged by everyone that to be financially-happy, you will have to sacrifice some happiness. After all, one of the biggest decisions that is often pointed the moment you complete high school is that you either do what you love or do what you need to survive in this world. To be able to do both is often said to be a luxury, or just a rarity. I do hope that within the next 3 months you’ll get used to the change and know what you want for you and your family. Good luck with this, good sir!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lashaan, thank you for all your kind words over the past year. As a “words” person it has meant a lot to me. Especially when I come over on your blog and go off about a book/movie that you enjoyed and I detested (Watchmen comes to mind). Your forbearance is greatly appreciated 😀

      Glad I could help you on your SFF journey. It is always rewarding to see people grow in a genre.

      As much as I went off on the Crippled God, I do hope you enjoy your Malazan stint. It is an ambitious series of books that is worthy of a read. And yes, you’ve been very good at sussing out the why’s of my high and low ratings and determining if that applies to you or not. Almost like you study things for a living 😉

      As for the job, I just needed to vent. I also think that I am “forgetting” some of the crap I dealt with at my last job and that only Mrs B heard about 😀 Another couple of months and I’ll just be doing the regular complaining 🙂

      Happy (belated) New years!

      Liked by 1 person

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