Site Update

under-construction

I have decided that it is time to clean this dump up. While my book reviews number in the 1000’s (currently just under 3000), they aren’t all nicely posted one book to a post. From 2000 until 2009 I did monthly posts where I just lumped them all together. It makes searching here on WordPress a nightmare and linking to previous reads or mentions of older books? Forget about it!!!  Matt’s Post about him working on his blog inspired me to get my backside in gear and to begin making this place workable.

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I’ve got two main phases of construction that need to happen.

 

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First, posts from Mid-2012 through the present need to be cleaned of all links to my old GR account that no longer exists or has covers & links to Booklikes, which I can’t count on staying alive much longer. I then need to add updated data. This includes covers, series information, maybe links and appropriate tags.  This is the easiest as each book is still its own post. For the most part, this level of work won’t affect what you see here at all, even if you are email subscribed, unless I come across a discrepancy between wordpress and Calibre. I’m hoping this should be all taken care of by the end of this year.

The second phase is going to be the most intensive and will affect anyone who subscribes to “new” posts by email. I’ll have to go through each monthly post from 2000 through 2012 and write a separate post for each entry in the monthly post. So anywhere from 10-20+ new posts for each month. That is a phracking lot of writing. I’m guessing this phase of construction is going to take years. I won’t be bothering with adding covers to those posts, but there will still be all the prerequisite data that needs to be entered. So once again, series, rating, tags, links, etc.  This is the main reason for this post. Any of you who subscribe by email will be getting inundated with emails once this starts up. Obviously, that time is a ways off, but if you have it in the back of your mind, it won’t come as a complete surprise.

I’ve been working on Phase 1 for about 2 weeks now.  I can do a couple of months worth of the Phase 1 work each weekend.  I pushed it last weekend and did almost 9 months worth of data. That caused me to just be completely “worded” out.  This weekend I’m limiting myself to a month each evening, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Seems to be working out ok without burning me out.

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Bookstooge Reviews 2017

 

 

 

LONG POST AHEAD  – NOT KIDDING – NO REALLY – VERY LONG!!!

 

2017 was quite a different year from 2016 for me, not bad, just very different. Before I run down the differences, I’ll do some quick stats, as I LOVE stats. These stats are only for 2017 unless otherwise stated.

 

Blog  Stats:

Total Posts: 321

Total Views: 15.8K  +/-

Followers: 166 (subject to culling)

 

Book Stats:

Books Read:  194

Pages Read: 67,400 +/-

 

Star Stats: 

 

 

Average Rating –  3.47

 

 

 

General Thoughts’ish:

Here’s my 2016 In Review from last year.  My overall Book and Pages numbers are down but my average rating went up almost 1/4 of a star from 3.25 to 3.47.  Probably because I did a lot of re-reading of excellent books.

 

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Stopped being active on Booklikes in April. Wrote my Final Booklikes Post then and haven’t looked back since.

 

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Made the move to WordPress fulltime. That led to me perusing WP a lot more and hence cut into my reading time. I follow about 60 people and most of them are pretty constant posters. So I’ve spent a lot more time reading blogs than in previous years and that’s ok. People are worth investing in. Plus, now I don’t have to read all those books because I’ve already read the reviews 😉

 

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Using Librarything as my catalogue site and while I post reviews and try to be somewhat active on the forums, I find that the forum format is limiting to how I like to communicate. I can be found at  Bookstooge on LT.

 

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I’ve also fully moved over to Calibre for keeping track of my reviews offline. While it is actually an ebook manager, it works just as well for managing my reviews. Just like a spreadsheet in terms of data but with pretty covers so I can make it a visual experience! That and I can copy it, back it up and not have to worry about losing 17-18 years worth of data.

 

I’ve started doing some varied series of posts.  Some of My Favorite Things came to an end. It was a good time of listing off all of my favorite books and authors. Of course, I then went in the other direction and started the Surviving a Bad Book series which allows me to vent about some of the really bad stuff I’ve read. I’ll continue that this year for sure.  Survival Saturday took me into the dangerous world of food. It also led to a lot of followers who are willing to follow me for just one post a month. Kudos to you, kind folk!

I’ve also created the Movie Category as I’ve found that reviewing a movie here and there allows me cleanse my mind since most movies now are almost all brainless fluff. Action’y, explosion’y fluff mind you, but fluff nonetheless.

My manga reading went well and I loved my time with Eyeshield 21. That was a great sports manga. Now I’m diving into the RomCom Oh My Goddess! and that is a big series that I actually own. Time to make a large dent in it this year!

 

THE BOOKS

Best book of the Year:

This actually is going to get split into 2 categories, as I did a lot of re-reading this year and most of those re-reads were really good books to begin with.

Deadhouse Landing Dancer’s Lament tied for Best New Book. Nothing deep, nothing of real substance but so much fun and worth buying in hardcover.

Gardens of the Moon definitely took the spot for Best Re-read. However, that wasn’t an easy choice for me to make, as I had some seriously other enjoyable books that I Re-Read.

But the world of Malaz took my reading by storm this year.

 

Worst Book of the Year:

I didn’t start using this tag until October, so I just perused my 1/2 star and 1 star books in Calibre. Most of my half-star books this year were because of (im)Moral Content and not necessarily because I hated the book.

The Midden gets this dubious honor. It just left me in a bad mood for 24hrs after I was done. Books have to be extremely bad to do that to me.

A VERY close contender was Light. That piece of excrescence was a boil on my literary butt. Disgusting.

Night Parade is the runner up because it was just so trashy. Poorly written book that gives the Forgotten Realms series the bad rap that it has.

 

Plans for 2018

Not a lot actually. I’ll keep on with the couple of series of posts that I mentioned above.

I want to do a Robin Read in January. Basically, I have 4 Graphic Novels dealing with various Robins [Batman’s sidekick] that I want to read. Lashaan spurred me on in this endeavor when he reviewed Under the Red Hood I plan on reading A Death in the Family, A Hero Reborn, Tragedy & Triumph and finally Under the Red Hood. 

I also plan on reading, and watching Murder on the Orient Express and doing some sort of Buddy Read/Watch with Read, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. A month or so after the dvd for the latest movie comes out. If any of you want to do a Buddy Read at some point, shoot me an email and we can work out details.

Also, since I’m pretty much making WP my home on the web now, I’ll be creating individual posts for all of my old reviews, since I only have them in monthly clumps. So if you follow by email, I apologize ahead of time. Just going to try to work on entries that I’m re-reading though. Not like I’m going to go through and do all 3000+.

I have to admit, my main “selfish” goal is to have that first post that breaks the 100 view mark. I’ve got a couple that are pretty close, but I’m hoping that something I post in 2018 will be the first. That is about the limit of my personal ambition 😀

 

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Other than that, I’ll continue on with my regular reading schedule. Here’s what that looks like as of now:

Books by Patricia McKillip

Shadows of the Apt

Sacketts

High Priority (currently 5 books in this collection)

Books by Charles Dickens

Warhammer: Thanquol & Boneripper

Polity

Omega Force

Wayward Pines

Brother Cadfael

Dread Empire

Dread Empire’s Fall (not related to the above series AT ALL)

The Complete Shakespeare

Malaz Empire

Monstrumologist

Bookburners

Misc (currently 6 books in this collection)

Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein

Thraxas

Maradaine

Malazan Book of the Fallen

Forgotten Realms: Year of Rogue Dragons

Dune Chronicles

Culture Novels

As I finish one series, I’ll roll another one in from my Calibre Library.

 

Personal: 

Life continues. We got a new pastor in March. His focus appears to be on the churches that he’s in charge of (all 4 of them) and not on climbing up the corporate ladder of the SDA business side of things. That has meant that both me and Mrs B. have spent more time at church doing stuff as we feel that our contributions are actually wanted.

I don’t have any grand plans to expand my blog or to try to grow it any more. I feel comfortable with the number of people I follow and while I’m always glad to welcome new followers (and hopefully new commentors!) I have no desire to become the next rival to Emily May on Goodreads (may she rot for betraying Leafmarks!). I actually stopped posting on Tumblr so I’m back to crossposting just on WordPress, Blogspot and Librarything. I’m finding that is just about the right size of community for me.

I’d really like to thank all of you who follow me and who do like and comment. For all my protestations of blogging for myself and not caring what others think, that’s only somewhat true.  Being an inveterate introvert, I still find myself beset by that weakness of humanity, the need for others. So thank you all for putting up with my rants, my silliness, my stomping around like a 2 year old.  I know none of you has to stick around but you still are here, so thanks for that. At the same time I hope no one ever sticks around if they don’t feel comfortable with any of my content. Don’t be a guilt-ridden follower, please!

I have updated my About Me post and I recommend any relatively new people check it out. Always good to know who you are following.

 

 

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TOP 5’s:

 

– Book Review Posts –

Night of Knives

Moon Over Soho

Way of Shadows

Dune

The Kantovan Vault

These reviews really surprised me. I know part of it is that by the end of the year those reviews got more views because of a bigger audience, but still, Night of Knives? That went up in March and stayed on top all year. Weird…

 

– Non-Review Posts – 

Mr Mercedes – I’ve Read 3%

A Milestone

Survival Saturday – The Intro Post

I Will Make Them Cry

Bookstooge & the Invisible Reader

Mr Mercedes  post got top billing because of the smiley face picture I used, I think. Turns up in a lot of google searches. If it isn’t that, then I’m super confused. The Invisible Reader post rocketed up the rankings making it into the top 5 in less than a week.  Either my whining was super annoying effective or it resonated with a lot of readers.

 

– Commentors – + Bonus Commentors

OrangutanLibrarian

Lashaan

Manuel

Space and Sorcery

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Mr and Mrs NW

DragonsandZombies

While I do bite peoples’ heads off when the occasion calls for it,  I do try to be nice to first time commentors; unless you are a troll/sjw, an author peddling your book or some random blogger trying to guilt me into following you. Other than that, you’re more than welcome to comment away. And as the above people prove, you can comment on multiple posts and live to tell your grandchildren about it! Well, except that one guy. But I buried him pretty deep and am sure no one will ever find the body. See, you’re totally safe here!

 

– Movies –

Since I reviewed less than 10 movies this year, and the Death Note franchise took up 4 of those places, I’m going to wait until  next year to list a Top 5 for these. That being said,  I will list my top 2. Cause you have to have more than one to truly have “A List”, right?

Doctor Strange

John Wick 2

 

 

I think that wraps up the year. Whether it actually does or not, I’m plumb out of words, so there’s the end.

Hope you all as good a 2017 as I’ve had and I hope that 2018 will be even better!

 

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Double Digit Victory!

Ever since Leafmarks folded in 2016, I have been working on my own personal, offline library of reviews using a free program called Calibre.  I started with roughly 2400 entries and by May of this year had whittled that down to Triple Digits. Victory was within my Grasp!

Today, I am proud to announce that I have succeeded into whittling that number down into the double digits!!!! I’ve been lazy but the last couple of weeks Booklikes, where I have all my reviews as separate entries, has been giving me a lot of 502’s. I’m really hoping to get this job done by years end. It’s my unofficial book project.

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I’ve included a couple more screen captures from Calibre in hopes of enticing at least one of you to start using it for your offline data keeping. Well, ok, it’s more about me showing off my numbers. I admit, I’m vain about it.

 

 

 

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Info, info everywhere! Sortable, exportable, backupable.

 

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Having the option for half stars within Calibre is great.

 

I realize that most of you won’t care or need this level of personal data entry.  But since I use Calibre already to manage my ebooks, and it has all these great capabilities, why not make the most of it? It’s free, constantly being updated and has a whole forum of people who want to help others use it.  It fits my needs.

Of course, once this project is done, I have to pick another. I have NO idea what I’ll do for that. Maybe undertake the gargantuan task of putting all my reviews into separate entries here at wordpress? I don’t know if I can do that, as I did that at Booklikes, then Leafmarks and now in Calibre.  It would be nice to have a fully functioning, fully searchable and fully linkable site, but honestly, I’ve got a small enough audience (no offense to any of you!) and no plans to “go big”, so why bother? We’ll see though. I might do it just for something book related to do!

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As an aside, I’m going to be working in a remote location monday, with no wifi. Going to be on small island quite a ways away from the office, so my coworker and I will be spending the night there. So after Sunday night, I’ll be gone until Tuesday night. See you all then.

 

My Last Booklikes Post

I just posted my final post over at Booklikes.  Been a good run over the last 3 1/2 years but it is apparent that the place has changed and not for the better.

 

I can be found at the following sites other than Booklikes:

 

WordPress – https://bookstooge.wordpress.com/

Librarything – https://www.librarything.com/profile/BookstoogeLT

Blogger – http://bookstooge.blogspot.com/

 

I am most social on WordPress, with non-review posts, etc. Librarything is for cataloguing and I am a member of the Green Dragon where I have a thread devoted to all things Bookstooge. Blogger is more of just a list of all books read and reviewed; without a “like” button I don’t spend much time there.

If you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to have a backup site for all your reviews. Because you never know when….[you fill in the blank]

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I’ve been putting this off for months, as things looked like they might turn around in January, but it has become evident that it is the same old, same old.  Time to cut the cord. It is midnight now, I’m tired and had a run in with someone over there about politics, which all contributed to this (perceived) abrupt leaving.  But I’ve been saying I’m going to leave for months and just haven’t. So today is the day, now is the time.

Shouldn’t see much of a change at all here at WordPress.   Bookstooge out.

 

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A Milestone

100

I’d obviously be lying if I said that this doesn’t mean anything to me.  I would also be lying if I said that all 100 of those followers were actually following me. Some are spam’y type accounts, some seem to be the “I’ll follow you in hopes you follow me” type, others I have NO idea why they followed me and then there are the ones like you who are reading this.

 

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Now that I am a certified “Power to Contend With”,  I figure it is time to unveil my Secret Agenda (no, not taking over the world, I blew the cover on that idea with that Disgusting Popcorn post). Of course, that would entail actually HAVING a secret agenda.  It sounds like a lot of work and hassle. If any of you have good ideas for Secret Agenda’s, feel free to leave them in the comments. I promise you though, if I do get a Secret Agenda, you all will be the first ones to know it. Let’s face it, a Secret Agenda is just pointless if you can’t share it with people who can marvel at your cleverness, right?

On a more serious side, I’m pretty happy with my numbers. Numbers of likes, numbers of comments, number of followers, number of people I follow. I have an interaction rate that is above 10% and my time at Booklikes taught me that anything above 5% is doing well. I am content with the people I interact with. You provide me with much mind fodder and enough comments to keep my tiny little “social” tank filled.  WordPress leaves me alone, so it doesn’t get much better.

I started using WordPress back in October full time because Booklikes was apparently on the skids.  I have found interesting people here, have great conversations back and forth and am happy with how things are turning out.

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Bookstooge Reviews 2016

2016 was on the whole a very good year for me. There will be lots of pictures and links in this post and the wordcount is the highest so far this year, so lets get cracking!

The Year in Visual Review. I continue to use Ipiccy.com for my collages, as their 25picture box works very well with the number of books I read each month and their iphone4 setting keeps all the squares pretty close to the cover sizes so the covers don’t get chopped off. I am sure there is a lot more I could be doing, but a monthly roundup is about the limit of my artsy-fartsy’ness.

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I read 228 books this year. This was up from last years 183. Much of that is due to starting up Manga Monday again.

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My pages read went up as well. From just under 63000 to just over 77000. Even though, in all fairness that includes the full number of pages for books that I DNF’d and abandoned. So take that number with a pinch or two of salt.

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Each month stayed pretty steady in terms of overall books read with only 3 months dipping below the 18book mark. Even in August when I had to take some emergency time off to go move my parents when they unexpectedly sold their house in 2 weeks instead of the 3 months everyone was planning on. Which just means that I’ve made reading my main hobby this year and put most of my time and attention into it.

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The Stars shall speak

13   star50-custom-custom

  star45full-custom

58  star40full-custom

53  star35full-custom

49  star30full-custom

13  star25full-custom

12  star20full-custom

1    star15full-custom

14  star10full-custom

4    star05full-custom

3    star00full-custom

That makes my average for the year right around 3.25. Considering that a 3 is a good and completely average read, 3.25 means I pulled ahead of just plain good. I am more than satisfied with that.

 

On to the Books themselves!

Venetia was probably the best 1Star of the Year. It was fun to do a buddy read outside of my genre. It did reinforce my thoughts on the Romance genre however.

Worst 1Star was a tossup between Obsidian Worlds and The Store. Both got my stomach churning with disgust and outrage.

Best Non-Fiction wasn’t that hard because it was the only real N0n-fiction I read AND it was a 5Star’r. The Many Faces of Evil. It was just what I needed this year with my friend Amy losing her preemie twins and dealing with stage 4 cancer, all at the same time.

Best 5Star was once again a tossup. This time it was between 2 Re-reads, Dune & Way-farer. If I had to pick a new book, I’d go with Heirs of Empire, as it just hit me right at the right time.

Weirdest book of the year was definitely Gregor Xane‘s TaboogasmIt just doesn’t get any weirder than that. If it does, I don’t want to know about it 😀

 

Project ReRead

This was a complete success. 11 books that I had read before being read again with the aim of comparing how my tastes had changed and how that was reflected in my enjoyment and rating of said books. I still enjoyed every single book. However, I was able to determine that this was the last time I would read some of them.

I cherry picked specific books just so I wouldn’t bog down. That did lead to me realizing that some of these books are going to be favorites of mine for quite some time.  It also lead to the realization that while I’ve matured as a reader and can articulate the why’s and wherefores better, at heart, I’m still just a big geek/nerd.

Because it was such a success, I decided to expand upon the whole idea in a big way for ’17 and quite possibly into ’18. I’ve got a whole bunch of SERIES that I’m going to be rereading. They are:

I) Malazan books of the Fallen by Steven Erikson

II) Dune Chronicles by Frank Herbert

III) Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede

IV) Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks

V) Patricia McKillip’s books

VI) Space trilogy by C.S. Lewis

VII) Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky

VIII) The Malaz Empire novels by Iain Esslemont

IX) Swan’s War trilogy by Sean Russell

X) Polity books by Neal Asher

So be prepared for a lot of whining and angst from me as I rip into these. I did choose books that I think will stand up to my high standards, hahhaaha.

For my other plans for 2017, please feel free to read them HERE.

 

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2016 is the year that Booklikes crashed. Crashed and Burned. Staff literally disappeared, the site kept breaking in new and varied ways, people left, people couldn’t join up. Some of the more patient and determined members made a supreme effort to stick around, figure out ways to work around the broken bits and keep members from totally hemorrhaging away. One staff member has returned at the end of the year but the site still crawls or doesn’t load right for long stretches at a time.

I am staying at Booklikes but it is no longer my primary social booksite. When it takes me 3 tries and 5minutes to just comment, that pretty much kills my desire to be there. You can find me there at: Bookstooge.booklikes.com

To anyone who I have followed at wordpress who also is on booklikes, just let me know which site you prefer interaction at. I unfollowed a lot of people at Booklikes who started up blogs at WP but I know not everyone will make the move to WP and I don’t want to lose interaction if I can help it 😀

 

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I joined Librarything with a free lifetime membership, thanks to some other Bookliker’s. I am using it as a backup catalogue site since I can’t export from Booklikes and I don’t know how long BL will last.

It is VERY different from what I am used to and you’re going to hear me complain about those differences, a lot! That doesn’t mean I will stop using it or that I hate the site. It just means that I am set in my ways and learning a new way brings out my inner cranky. You can find me there at: librarything.com/profile/BookstoogeLT

 

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I’ve been on WP.com since ’13, but more as a backup than as anything serious. As BL kept pushing me away, I started looking around at other booksites to find an alternative. I tried a lot of places but one thing or another just made them unpalatable. So finally I started making a serious effort to find new people here on WordPress and connect with fellow Booklikers who also had backup blogs here.

I’d like to thank you all who I follow for writing such fun things and I’d like to thank all of you who have chosen to follow me. It is nice to know that I am not screaming into the void. I plan on find another handful of bloggers to follow and to refine those I already do, as I see who posts regularly and who does it sporadically.

 

 

AND I think that about wraps it up. I’m plum out of words anyway, so that forces the issue. So onward to 2017 and a lot of Good Books!

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“What is Wrong with People?” Rant

A website that I’ve been having issues with  has recently started trying to turn things around. Not sure if it will work or be permanent, but after a year of nothing, anything is good. They put up a post about Christmas books and reviews and you know what the bulk of the comments were?

“Not everyone celebrates Christmas, why aren’t you being more inclusive?” blah, blah, blah.

Not being grateful that someone was actually posting again, not being thankful for links to reviews and other reviewers, not glad to see some actual forward progress. Nope, nothing but whines and complaints. I’m sure that made the poster really glad they took all that time to create the post. It was like watching a spoiled brat kick an old person who had fallen down on the ice and was trying to get back up.

Just had to get that off my chest. Now I can have a nice weekend. Hope yours is full of good books.

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