October ’18 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

17 Books

5773 Pages

2.97 Average Rating

 

The Bad:

Dust of Dreams (existential excrement by the boatload) – 1.5 Stars

Fail Harder (irresponsible jackasses who should die) – 1.5 Stars

Wizard’s First Rule (clunky writing that destroyed my memories) – 2 Stars

 

The Good:

A Thousand Words for Stranger (Telepathic Jane Austen in Space!) – 4 Stars

 

Manga:

Tore through four volumes of Shaman King. Now that the setup is pretty much done, it’s shonen battles, which means some long slugging matches are coming up. Might end up slowing down my pace just a tad.

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

While I read a bit more this month, it was ALL crap. My average was below 3stars for goodness sake. I am thankful for at least one 4star book.

Got Sick and kind of whimpered on for the last 10 days of the month. Didn’t read anyones posts, didn’t even reply to comments. Thankfully, that seems to be passing and I’m hoping to spring back into pure unadulterated Bookstooge Action this weekend with a Survival Saturday Post.

Did a Tag and a 6Degrees post. It was good to write some non-review stuff. Especially considering all the crap books I plowed through and then had to write about.

Surviving a Bad Book got some good numbers since I mentioned a book that a lot of people know. Always helps to stir the pot if everyone already has an opinion.

Other than that, this was a rainy blah month that crept along like a whipped cur and then threw up in my shoes. I am so thankful October is OVER WITH.

 

Cover Love

Once again, just like last month, no cover grabbed me and said “Worship me!”. I am including the Harpist in the Wind cover because I feel it really shows Darrell K. Sweet’s style. He did so many covers over the years and once you learn what his stuff looks like, you simply can’t miss it.

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September ’18 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

15 Books

4677 Pages

3.27 Average Rating

 

The Bad:

Ghostly Echoes – ½ Star (Blatant Social Justice lies denying Biological Fact)

The Deaths of Tao – 2 Stars (Didn’t like Main Characters)

Empire – Unrated (definitely all me. Just didn’t care about the Warhammer Universe any more)

 

The Good:

The Pickwick Papers – 6 Stars (Perfect in Every Way)

Revelation Space – 4 Stars (Great Space Opera)

Hilldiggers – 4 Stars (Polity just keeps getting better and better)

 

Graphic Novels and Manga:

Started in on the Shaman King manga and read the first 2 volumes. I REALLY enjoyed them and am having to consider how much I want to read next month. Do I stick with 2 volumes and kind of ration my enjoyment or do I just dive on in and read a volume every week? I enjoyed it enough that a volume a week would not be a problem. It feels good to feel good about reading manga again 🙂

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

This month FELT wicked busy even though every single blog number says otherwise. My book numbers were the same as last month, my page numbers were actually down almost 150 pages, my post numbers were about the same, the comments section was down and a couple of the more active people I follow were either MIA or on a much reduced schedule.

The reason it felt so busy is because of work and real life. During the first week of this month my coworker gave his notice on Monday and was gone by Friday. This has left me as the sole full time Field Tech. It means I’m working by myself a LOT more and that means a lot more walking and not being nearly as efficient as a two man crew. I come home exhausted. I’ve also noticed some white in my goatee this month. I suspect the old salt-n-pepper look is only a year or so away.

The scheduling thing continues just fine but one unlooked for side effect is that it has effectively killed my desire for spontaneous writing. I used to write my reviews when I needed a post and if I needed a post or had verbal diarrhea, out came a non-review post. Now that I type on command for the book reviews, I just don’t feel like writing for fun. Kind of like jogging for a hobby versus training for a marathon. I’m going to give it to the end of the year and if it makes me continue feeling like blogging is work, then I’m going to ditch the scheduling and go back to the hodge podge of whenever I feel the heck like it. While scheduling is great, I prefer to fill my writing needs so it feels fun. I’ll just have to wait and see.

Ok, onto some of the posts. PSA: DNF was a decent one and I’m glad I got it out there. It also had the decency to generate a bunch of comments and I found out more about you all than I was expecting. It also was the top viewed post of the month (no surprise there!).

My 100 Book List post helped me continue my work on this blog and to be a good counterpart to my About Me section. I’ve stickied it to the side of my homepage so new people can easily find it when deciding to follow me or not. Preferably “not” so I don’t have to argue with them and show them how they are pretty much wrong about everything. It’s really tough being Mr Right.

And speaking of Mr Right, I’ve been Mr Right for 10 years this month. Mrs B and I celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary and we think we’ve got this whole marriage thing licked. Hahahahaa. Now that I’ve said that, watch, the next 10 years will be unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before.

Not much else really. Didn’t have the urge to write beyond what I had to. Really hoping I can be more engaging in October, here and on others blogs.

 

Cover Love

None of this months crop really appealed to me. I think from a purely visual standpoint, A Shaman in Tokyo was the most striking, just like a manga should be.

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August ’18 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

14 Books

4828 Pages

3.25 Average Rating

 

The Bad:

A Path to Coldness of Heart – 2 Stars (for the Pedophile wizard)

Critical Failures – 2 Stars (profanity and not one likeable character)

The Dead Town – 2 Stars (zero tension and not much plot)

 

The Good:

War Masters Gate – 5 Stars

Play the Man – 4 Stars (non-fiction. First one of the year!)

Heir of Sea and Fire – 4 Stars (Mckillip. ’nuff said)

Queen Bitch – 4 Stars (pure fun despite the rather appalling title)

 

Graphic Novels and Manga:

Path of Doom was the only visual medium for this month. While I enjoyed reading about a Superman who was a real Super Man, this graphic novel also drove home that my comic times are mostly behind me. I don’t plan on buying any more comics and any reading of my own will probably have some other purpose. For example, I am planning on re-reading Frank Miller’s Daredevil: Man Without Fear next month and try to get a VERSUS post out of it the month after that.

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

Oh man, where to start. Let’s get the bad out of the way I guess. My boss’s son passed away in July so my boss was MIA for all of July but started the recovery process in August. Unfortunately, he was still pretty out of it (as you can imagine) and this led to some pretty big math errors in the office, which had real world results, which were bad. I was caught in the middle, as I was the guy the contractors saw doing the work. Having to go back to a site and change things which put off their schedule by a week and a lot of money was not fun. Plus it was a bloody hot August so 3-4 liters of water a day while at work was just normal. It made for long days where I’d just come home, clean up, sack out and be in bed by 9pm.  I think we’re on the other side of that whole situation though and I think it was a wake up call to my boss about how he’s still being affected so now he just won’t brush it off.

Only wrote a couple of non-review posts but I have to admit, I was proud of the reception that my Honesty & Book Reviewing post received. It led to almost 100 comments (Whoo!!!) and gave me the perfect setup for another in September about DNF’s. It is also now my second most “liked” post, tied with A History of…Reading and only beat out by my rant on that execrable piece of trash, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I guess honesty  still pays dividends in the  book world!

While I gave up on Culling those who follow me, I had to stop following a couple of people who hadn’t posted in over a month. That is my cutoff point. If someone just disappears without warning for a month, best of luck but I won’t be sticking around to see what happened. Now, on the other hand, if you let your followers know you’re going to be MIA, then heck,  I’ll gladly stick around. But I just hate having my chain yanked all over. You are not the center of the Universe.

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Because that would be ME!

 

I managed to write about another trilogy of books that I loved in Thriving on a Good Book – Grimnoir Chronicles.  It really shouldn’t be so difficult to write about the books I love but talking about them years after the fact is surprisingly not easy.  I need to keep practicing so I get better at it.

My Side Project is done. I’m hoping to put the results, 50 books I have hated and 50 books I have loved, up tomorrow in a single post.

 

Cover Love

If the book Fortress in Orion  had been half as awesome as this cover suggests, it would have been fantastic.  At least I got an awesome picture out of it.

Fortress in Orion

Robert J. Sawyer is a liar!!!

 

 

 

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July ’18 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

12 Books

4008 Pages

3.5 Average Rating

 

The Bad:

The Return2 Stars

 

The Good:

Nicholas Nickleby5 Stars

Prador Moon 4 Stars

The Man with One Name4 Stars

 

Graphic Novels and Manga:

Nada, zilch, zero, none. I’ve got a Superman graphic novel on tap for August though and I’m hoping to get back into a manga series in September. I’m thinking either Kare Kano (His & Her Circumstances) or W Juliet. I own both and have read them both so I’m hoping which ever I read turns out better than that horrible experience with Oh My Goddess! If you have thoughts or opinions on either series, feel free to weigh in. I’m pretty undecided at the moment.

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

Started the month off with a mid-year Roundup Report. I like all those numbers and not having to wait until the end of the year to roll around in them, like a pig wallowing in mud, was great. Also, since I’m not part of Goodreads or Booklikes, that have “goals” with banners and everything, this helped keep me on track for my unofficial goals.

Started the Thriving on a Good Book series but we’ll see how long it lasts. It is surprisingly hard to write a lot about the books I like, unlike how the words flow like a veritable river when I have had a bad experience.

VERSUS went right along with the Mano A Mano post I did. Testosterone was flowing like blood in a Tarantino film this month. Of course, neither of them was as ridiculous(ly fun to write) as the Saint Bookstooge Gives Answer post where I answered your questions. My goodness, the questions I got were so much fun that I just HAD to give vent to complete silliness.

Survival Saturday. The foods I’ve got are all boil in water stuff, so obviously they’re hot foods. I refuse to make hot stuff like that when it is 90degrees out. Considering that August is usually the hottest month of the year for us, I suspect next month I’ll let this pass as well. I just can’t muster up the courage to face this stuff when I’m dying from the heat.

In the background, I’ve been continuing to update all my semi-recent (2012 and up) reviews and am currently in late 2014. Also in the background, but much bigger for me, is that I’ve started scheduling things 2-3 weeks out now. After having a talk with Professor Dickieson on his blog and getting some good encouragement, I took the last week of June and the first week of July to really pile on the reading and just bank the reviews. That has allowed me to get about 3 weeks ahead in reviews. I’ve heard of people doing this ever since I’ve been blogging but it just never seemed to work for me. But now was the time and I do plan on trying to keep that up with at least my regular reviews and series posts. The really silly stuff is almost always spontaneous though, so I’m not totally going scheduled.

Church has been going well and Pastor Mike has started a series where he is going to synopsize each book of the Bible for a sermon for the whole Bible. He calculated that will take until the end of 2019. That is the kind of planning I LIKE! And considering he was able to have a sermon on Leviticus and Numbers where I came away feeling better, that says something pretty good too.

 

Cover Love

In keeping with the testosterone that I flung around, this months cover love winner was pretty easy. Conan: Red Nails nailed it. While the cover was cool, the full picture was just awesome. I’ve included that instead of a high res cover.

conancover

Mrs B says “He’s ugly”. I remain unaffected because Conan cut off that man’s head with a DAGGER!

 

 

 

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June ’18 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

12 Books

4575 Pages

3.13 Average Star Rating

 

The Bad:

Toll the Hounds – 1 Star

 

The Good:

Mere Christianity – 5 Stars

 

Graphic Novels & Manga:

Read a couple more Silver Sable comics and realized that my time with this medium is pretty much done.

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

Bailed on Survival Saturday. Work has been exhausting this month and experimenting with some food was just more than I could handle on my day off.  Thankfully, W.C. Bombfunk is making me some chicken potpie later today, so I’m still getting some kind of food!

Surviving a Bad Book went well. I announced I’m putting it on  a break since I’m going to start a new series about the Good books I’ve read.

Didn’t do to many more non-review posts. Did a VERSUS post and ended the month with a Confessional, where I admitted I was open to questions that I would answer next week.

Tomorrow I’ve got a Mid-Year Roundup scheduled, so that should have lots of numbers as well.

 

Cover Love:

Princess of Blood wins the cover love award this time. Whoever Tom Lloyd got to do these covers, he really hit a home run.

I just did some google’ing and it turns out the guy’s name is Jon McCoy.

princess_of_blood_tom_lloyd_gollancz_cover-628x977

 

 

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May ’18 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

13 Books

3761 Pages

3.38 Average Star Rating

 

The Bad:

Sandworms of Dune – 1 Star

 

The Good:

Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. 1 – 5 Stars

Orbus – 4.5 Stars

 

Graphic Novels & Manga:

In place of any graphic novels, I started reading some old Silver Sable individual comics I bought back in the early 90’s and still have kicking around.

I had to bite the bullet in regards to the Oh My Goddess manga and just accept that I had moved on and it simply wasn’t palatable to me anymore. Going to be taking a break before diving into another manga series. Now I’m a bit gun-shy.

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

Survival Saturday was more enjoyable this time around because I dragged my bro, W.C. Bombfunk, into the whole thing. It’s always more fun when you can share a bad experience with others. Creamy a la King was anything but King of the food. It’s getting pushed to the back of the food line or maybe I’ll trade it to unsuspecting saps for some jerked venison when the apocalypse arrives.

Surviving a Bad Book hit its 9th installment. I’m thinking of ending the series next month with a 10th post and then start an opposite kind themed post more in the vein of my “Favorite Things”  but focused on just one book. I could also use a break from reminding myself of some the absolute crap books/situations I’ve dealt with.

Started the month with a timely warning for you all, About Narcissism.  I felt like I kind of fell off the Book Review wagon because I actually did 2 Tag Posts this month.

“Hello, my name is Bookstooge and I’m not really a book reviewer….”

“Hi Bookstooge!”

I’m pretty ashamed but I’ll try to do better next month, honest!

I also did a movie review for Thor:Ragnarok. I was looking and I hadn’t done an actual movie review since December so that was a nice change up. I also gave an update on some of the long range Plans I have for this Site. Finished off the month with A History of ….. Reading.

 

Cover Love:

As much as it pains me, Stands a Shadow wins this month’s cover love. While the book was magicless fantasy and not engaging enough to keep me in the series, look at that cover! It’s Gorgeous!

Stands A Shadow

 

 

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April Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

12 Books

4046 Pages

2.88 Average Star Rating (Ouch!)

 

The Bad:

The Last Town  1/2 Star book that I DNF’ddishonor1

 

Gods of the Mountain 1 1/2 Star novel where the author asked for a bad review .  He got it.  dishonor

 

 

 

The Good:

Assail  4 Stars and the longest book at just under 800 pages this month

Thank You, Jeeves  4 Stars and the humor is what upped this.

 

Graphic Novels & Manga

Finished up the Robinverse series of graphic novels I was reading with Under the Red Hood. This burned me out on graphic novels for a bit, so I don’t know when I’ll read another.

Oh My Goddess! plateaued as I was only able to read one volume this month. I just couldn’t bring myself to try a second. This does not bode well for the series as a whole. If I didn’t already own the whole dang thing, I’d definitely be tossing this for something more interesting.

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

Survival Saturday was more comfort than survival this month. Breakfast Burritos bigger than my fist, yes please!

Surviving a Bad Book allowed the readers a quick glimpse into what helped turn Bookstooge into the battered and psychologically scarred creature of vengeance that he is today. Luckily for the world at large, he’s not a billionaire, so you should be safe.

The month started well with Resurrection Day, then quickly devolved with some twit being an Idiot on Twitter and ended up just being Plain Silly.

Most of the reason for the smaller numbers this month was that I was heavily invested, timewise that is, in the newest Magic the Gathering release entitled Dominaria. It sucked me in and I ended up creating a personalized Commander / EDH deck that is white and black and based on the Knight type. Just creating the Deck List and then Trimming it Down was quite the chore! I found out that I had some rewards from Amazon through our credit card, so I was able to get most of the more expensive cards all in one fell swoop instead of having to scrimp all year long.  I’m hoping this will allow me to play it by June, July at the latest.

On the blogside of personal things, I ended up doing some culling of people I used to follow but for one reason or another have fallen by the wayside.  I have tried to follow a couple of new people by using the WordPress Search for some of my favorite authors. I did follow 2 new people, but neither has updated in over 2 weeks. That doesn’t bode well. If any of you are just itching to suggest anyone, feel free. My main caveats are that they must post at least once a week, have very few YA reviews and finally, they must actually do reviews. When I was looking for book bloggers, I was amazed at how many bloggers participate more in some “Meme Theme” than in actually reviewing.  If someone doesn’t have a minimum 1 to 1 ratio for Reviews and Non-Review posts, I probably won’t follow them long term.  Ok, enough Grumpy Old Man’ing from me.

 

Cover Love:

Jackaby takes it this month. A YA book that didn’t make me throw up and I’ll be continuing the series. I’m as surprised as anyone about that!

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In the words of the immortal alien, Dick Solomon: “I’m Gorgeous!!!”

 

 

 

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