2015 in Book Review

I read 183 books. Below is a picture encapsulating the year in little tiny pictures.

 

230a4e679836315cc3c8929f541fb63c

 

 

And then, because I like stats, a picture graph representing each month.

 

 

 

 

62672 pages read. That makes my average book 342 pages long. When I first saw that average I was kind of wondering if I had been slacking, as I knocked off some rather large books this year. Then I realized that I also read a ton of Mack Bolan: The Executioner books and those average around 150 or less, so that explained it.

The page number is suspect because of the database here at Booklikes not exactly being in top form. I was able to edit most of my books since I was a librarian for a good bit of the year and then once I wasn’t, other librarians have done an excellent job of turning about those edit requests, so I’m pretty sure of that number but wouldn’t hold it hard.

 

 

 

And now on to more Booklikes specific things, since that is where I am at these days.

Been here just over 2 years. Complaints are pretty much the same as ever [ie, the horrible way the Re-blog function works here] and the Praises are pretty much the same [no censorship!!!].

 

One thing this year has shown me is that I am not a “group” person. My interactions tend to be one on one for specific posts. I have found that I react 1 of 2 ways in a group. I either get overwhelmed and leave, or I feel like I am the only one there, hence unappreciated, and leave. So to avoid frustration, and then lashing out at some poor schlub who has no idea what is going on, I stay away from the groups. Even the ones I like, like the Classic Clubs and Follow a Bookliker one.

 

 

One bug, the Likes&Attributions bug, has not been fixed. Since I reported it twice, it has occurred in my notifications on 4 separate occasions in December alone. That led me to not put up my reviews here at Booklikes since the end of November and simply put a couple of sentences in a 100% update as a mini review. I’ve got almost 30 drafts of reviews saved. Not a big fan of that, so I need to do something else for 2016 because that is a bug that does affect me and I need to respond somehow. I will be posting those reviews today and I apologize ahead of time if they’re all timed for “now” and flood your feed.

I was talking with Musings about this because he does a partial review and then a link to his blog, because of the Reblog issue. My reviews aren’t long enough to do that [my average is under 300 words, and that includes the little GPL schpeil and info about the book] but I liked the idea. I do have a facebook group where I post my reviews and I just put up a 1 sentence teaser for my review and then the link so if someone likes my sentence or wants to see more about the book, all they have to do is click.

I think I will be doing that here at Booklikes until the aforementioned bug is gone. I just don’t know what else to do. I can’t ignore it, like I can the reblog issue, because the bug does affect me on a week to week basis.

 

 

 

Thankfully, that sentence doesn’t apply this year. I had a tremendously good year overall, even with one month being a total stinker where I hated almost everything I read [I believe it was August, btw].

 

Three books stood out this year as Potential Number One Book of 2015

 

1) His Sombre Rivals by Edward Payson Roe

 

2) The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

 

3) Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

 

Honestly, looking at things, I think that His Sombre Rivals and Flowers for Algernon are tied for Number One. They both just stood out above everything else.

And that is why 2015 was an unqualified success for me. How can it not be a good year when you can’t even choose between TWO books for Best Book of the Year?

 

 

 

In the beginning of December, I wrote about Goals for 2016. Upon reflection, this year I am going to set some very easy goals for me that I’m sure I can accomplish.

 

1) Read 150 Books in 2016

 

2) Read 2 Non-fiction books.

 

3) Re-read 1 book each month that I want to.

 

1 shouldn’t be a problem unless life throws me a drastic curve, in which case reading a certain number of books will be last on my list of “Things I Care About”.

2 is because Nothing Better inspired me with her goals for non-fiction. Of course, she went off the rails and was talking crazy huge numbers, like 1 non-fiction a MONTH but since my goal for the last couple of years has been 1 a year, I figure I can double that without to much of a hassle.

3 is because I was contemplating a Re-Read Year but that just wasn’t feasible. Too many new books coming out that I want to read and the real possibility of hating a book that I used to love. I’ve got some books though that I KNOW I’ll love so I’ll just stick to them, even if it is my 4th or 5th time with them 🙂

 

 

 

 

Ha. My continuing People escapades continue just like they did in 2014 and I suspect they will be the same in 2016. So don’t take it personally if I stop following you because 3 gets you 5 that I’ll re-follow you in a couple of months.

In Ending. Read all the Books in 2016 . Even the ones I’ll trash you for for reading. Because Reading isn’t about what I think of the book you read but about what you think of the book you read.

 

December ’15 Roundup

 

I’ll be doing a Year in Review tomorrow, since I have the day off and can concentrate on the whole year.

December is all I can deal with tonight. It was a huge month book wise. I read 29 books. Almost twice my normal [for this year] amount. Most of that was due to my coworker leaving because of surgery. I started reading at lunchtimes again and stopped messing around with M:TG cards in the evening and that gave me a ton of time to read, which I put to good use.

I read some real crappers but I since I was basically reading a book a day I’d just start on the next book and not give it much thought. I also read Flowers for Algernon and that just made up for so much stuff that I can’t begin to weigh the balances. I did have 3 one stars but I also had 6 four and above stars. I’m pretty ok with that ratio.

On a side note, I read enough that I couldn’t fit all the covers into a collage on iPiccy.com and still have room to put in text. So I just filled it all up with covers. I rather liked that.

Solomon (Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin #10) (Manga)

 7ad3ec70dabe9685cdac65a8dcd96ee2This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Solomon

Series: Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin

Author & Artist: Yoshikazu Yasuhiko

Rating:  4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Manga

Pages: 480

 

Synopsis:

The Feds make a major attack on the Zeon base of Solomon. Dozzle ends up dying in its defense while his siblings play political games to take the power from their father.

Char continues his downward spiral into megalomania and Lalah is caught between him and Amuro.

 

My Thoughts:

Once again, color me impressed. The Fed sun-weapon was really neat and Zeon’s escalation of said weapon was scary. But considering that Zeon crashed a space habitat on Earth directly, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’d turn a habitat into a sun weapon.

Dozzle dying wasn’t a big surprise and it was actually kind of sad. He seemed like the most grounded of the children and was concerned for the well being of his soldiers and the citizens of Zeon. Someone like that, with his siblings more concerned about power, is almost destined to be killed off.

One surprise is that it would almost appear that Char is NOT a newtype but just an excellent soldier. Amuro had some sort of connection when he met Lalah because they were both Newtypes and that connection is missing with Char. Not sure what to make of that. Something to either be answered in the last 2 volumes or upon a re-read.

Firefight (The Reckoners #2)

 ba199fdffcf6b866c48355da0bf873c8This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

Title: Firefight

Series: The Reckoners

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 3 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SFF

Pages: 427

Format: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

David is convinced that Firefight isn’t actually the traitor she appears to be. So he heads to Manhattan to take out an Epic that has been throwing smaller epics at Newcago and so he can find Firefight and convince everyone just how innocent and perfect she is.

We find out lots of info about Epics and surprise, surprise, David’s hormones, instead of his brain, are right and Firefight is all sweetness and light.

 

My Thoughts:

I am done with this series. I did not really enjoy Steelheart and I found Mitosis to be yawn worthy.

It isn’t that it is badly written, or telling a poor story. I simply cannot stand David the main character. I was a 19 year old young man at one time. I KNOW what it is like to have hormones practically controlling you. I also know that you can overcome that and use your brain to at least put the brakes on things, if not do the right thing, ie, don’t endanger your whole crew to run after a girl.

I also know that hormones don’t tell you the truth and in fact they confuse you so much that you can barely tell left from right sometimes. So to have David be right because he “felt” it just made me annoyed to the point of illness. If I am going to read about young adults, I need someone like Rigg from the Pathfinder trilogy by Orson Scott Card.

Problem is, most young adults don’t control themselves and hence David would fit right in with them. Which is probably why I can’t stand him. So my first series of Sanderson’s that I’m leaving. Depending on how his Stormlight Archives series goes, that might be the second.

Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules

 672f90bad03b736e4f721c539774bf5aThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rules

Series: —–

Editor: Del Laugel, Tim Aten

Rating: 5 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: Non-fiction

Pages: 209

Format: Kindle

 

 

Synopsis:

As the title suggests, this is a set of comprehensive rules for the game Magic: The Gathering.

This rule set was created in March of 2015 and as such is already out of date.

Updated, downloadable versions can be found at:

Magic: The Gathering Comprehensive Rule Set

 

My Thoughts:

The 5 Battle Axes are not because I thought this was the bestest book EVAH, but because it accomplished what it was created to do, ie, explain all the rules, to date, about the game.

Let me tell you, those rules are comprehensive indeed and exhausting to read. But even with those rules, the whole Judge thing is still needed, with varying levels of Judges to interpret and adjudicate at tournaments.

I play M:TG very casually and recently have even moved away from playing with actual cards to the computer game version on Steam. Mainly because I don’t like going to my local game shop and playing the people there. The fun of playing is outweighed by having to interact with people. I have also realized that most of the people there only play the new sets and as such their knowledge about how older cards work is flawed. I’ve lost several games because they said the rules meant “Y” but when I investigated further, the rules actually meant “X” and that would have changed the game. I’m just not confident enough of a player to force confrontation in the moment.

While I’m glad I read this, I don’t think I’d use it much when playing. If my question is difficult enough for me to have to look it up, I’ll just call my local store [Myriad Games for the record] and ask the guy there. They have some very knowledgeable people on staff.

The Seven Towers

a1385389a6d397ed4372097915f47da1This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

Title: The Seven Towers

Series: —–

Author: Patricia Wrede

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SFF

Pages: 340

Format: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

The Seven Kingdoms are about to be invaded by the horde of barbarians from the South. Politics, romance and magic both new and very old, come into play.

Nothing is quite as it seems and the barbarians aren’t invading, but fleeing. Can a rag tag group of people work together to prevent a massacre, stop a rogue dark wizard and put an end to a virulent magical plague, all at the same time.

 

My Thoughts:

I don’t have a middle grade shelf/tag and tend to use either young adult or children. But this book would definitely fall into that category.

Characters are given just enough of a brush to make them unique without actual characterization, the plot is “vast” if you are new to this kind of thing and things just happen.

Now all of that can be a problem sometimes.But for this book, none of that bothered me at all. Just goes to show, sometimes you really do have to be in the right mood. I enjoyed my time reading this.

I do wonder, however, how much of that is because I already like Wrede’s writing and hence let my foreknowledge affect things. An interesting conundrum if you’re into that kind of thing.

Path of the Assassin (Scot Harvath #2)

 dfefdca15e656dbec2c4b4f74fb6e30fThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Path of the Assassin

Series: Scot Harvath

Author: Brad Thor

Rating: 2.5 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: Thriller

Pages: 496

Format: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

Scot breaks up with the woman from the previous book because of Reasons.

He then gets involved with the CIA in bringing down a terrorist who is trying to start WWIII in the Middle East. But only Scot knows Reasons and everyone else is an idiot so it is up to Scot to save the world.

And he meets Woman 2.

 

My Thoughts:

Let’s start off with 2 quotes from early on in the book:

 

Religions were supposed to represent tolerance.

pg 39

 

“To tell you the truth, Father, I don’t think God has a favorite football team, or a favorite religion”

pg 40

 

Now, what kind of idiot is Brad Thor? I couldn’t tell if he was being deliberately obtuse or just shockingly ignorant and letting his ignorance hang out there for all to see.

So that was not a good start to the book.

 

Then him breaking up with Swiss Lawyer lady because of their work situations.  Well duh! You have to make choices that put the relationship first and if you are in a work situation where you can’t do that, or choose not to do that, then it won’t last. And that idea was, surprisingly, given lip service. But then 2 weeks later he falls for President of Her Own Company Lady and NO thought is given that maybe this will follow the same path? Scot Harvath is having Emotional one night stands. The women so far might as well be emotional whores and Scot is their John. I’d toss him in jail so fast…

With all of that being said, this sunk below the 2 star mark and I was ready to just put this down. But, because it is a thriller, the action ramped up from 0-160 in the blink of an eye. Terrorist attacks, planes & hostages, gun battles from fast cars in a hurricane, speedboat chases, Special Ops attack on a terrorist camp. You name it, it probably happened.

And all that action is the only reason I continued this and am going to read the next book. For the record, that is NOT a good footing to be on.