PSA: DNF – The Divisive Issue of Our Day

PSA

 

 

Last month I spoke up about Book Reviewers and the lack of integrity and honesty I found and how I thought most reviewers were crooks, swindlers, liars, cheaters and general all around ne’erdowells. I obviously didn’t include myself when thinking of those terms, as I am a Paragon of Virtue and the Rock upon which this Blog stands.

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Virtue doesn’t desert me because I tied it to a chair in my living room!

 

 

This month, I feel like discussing something with a little more nuance, something not so cut and dried. Did Not Finish.

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This subject is so open for discussion that I am getting primed just thinking about it. DNF’ing is the working out of each person’s philosophy behind their book reading. While not everyone is going to dive into the nitty gritty of all the why’s and wherefores, everyone at leasts thinks about DNF’ing and if it is for them or not. Once you’ve made the right choice and do DNF a book, then so many factors come into play that it is a veritable paradise of reasonings. I love complicated subjects like this because it shows the inside of a person on so many levels. On to the Bookstooge Philosophy of DNF’ing a book.

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What generally happens when I score a point in any debate

 

Now, my general Rule of Thumb is the Nancy Pearl Rule of 50 Pages or 10%. She summarizes it as such:

I live by what I call ‘the rule of fifty,’ which acknowledges that time is short and the world of books is immense. If you’re fifty years old or younger, give every book about fifty pages before you decide to commit yourself to reading it, or give it up. If you’re over fifty, which is when time gets even shorter, subtract your age from 100. The result is the number of pages you should read before deciding.

As a “rule of thumb”, that works out pretty well. However, I don’t subscribe to it as a “Law”. While there might be the Laws of Thermodynamics, there is no Law of 50. For good reason.

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Spongebob and I are in complete agreement on this issue. There is no Law of 50. 

Triggers, or the suchlike, are another good reason to DNF a book. Triggers can run the gamut from the emotional to the intellectual. Something that you’ve experienced in the past and can absolutely destroy you when reading about a like instance in a book, like rape for instance, is an emotional response that causes you do stop reading that book. Or perhaps the author starts espousing views about Aliens and Humans, ala Scientology and suddenly, nothing else they can say matters as your mind can’t accept such thinking (by the by, I’d dismiss any non-fiction author who started down that particular path). But the thing is, everyone has something that they hold inviolate, even if they don’t think long and hard about it.

For me, I’ve definitely got some DNF triggers that cause me to pull the plug like that

* snaps fingers *

  1. Blasphemy is top of the list. Similarly, the denial of Christ’s divinity (ie, His Godhood).

  2. Another one is the inclusion of sexual perversions. In this day and in our culture, that tends to be the one I have to deal with the most. It’s like a minefield now.

  3. Another one is rape or gruesome violence against women and/or children. My soul revolts against such a thing and I won’t tolerate it in my entertainment.

Those tend to be The Big Three for me.

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Other reason I have for DNF’ing a book can be summed up like this:

  • I hate every single character and wish they were dead. They have to be REALLY bad though for me to DNF because of that. Most likely I just won’t read any more by the author.

  • I’m bored. If I go into a book expecting to be entertained and I’m not, forget it. I read for fun and my reading time is as precious as gold to me. If an author wastes that, I’ll cut them off at the knees and enjoy doing it. But again, I have to be REALLY bored.

  • Social Justice bullshit. I have very little tolerance for that nonsense. The people who think that way and participate in such things are fools and I want nothing to do with them or their silly ideas. Mainly because there is no thinking involved and when you can’t even talk rationally to someone, there is no point in talking. Proverbs 23 says this: Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.

And really, I think those additional 3 items wrap it up. I don’t DNF very much, even if I will rate a book extremely low and rake it over the coals.

Now, on to the part I’ve actually wanted to write. I don’t usually ASK for your opinions, as I’m almost always telling you MY opinions, but in this case, I actually DO want to know your thoughts on this issue. A lot. Write a comment, please. A short one, a long one, a post length one, a post with a linkback. Just something. If you don’t normally comment, take this time to carefully considering commenting for the first time. Do you DNF? If so, what causes that? There are as many permutations for DNF’ing as there are readers and I want to hear about them.

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Bookstooge in 100 Books

(I got the idea for a 100 Book List from The Book Jotter. If you read her post, you’ll see that I’ve changed things a tiny bit)

 

The following list of books are ones that have affected me through the years. Good and bad. While my About page is a good look at me as a man, this is a good look at me as a reader. These aren’t organized in any particular order nor is this list in any way a comprehensive list of all the books I’ve read. If you see a majority of books that I hate and you love, or that you hate and I loved, think long and hard about following me.

 

 

Books I have Hated: 50

Toll the Hounds

Catch-22

Earthman Jack vs the Ghost Planet

Light

The Midden

Obsidian Worlds

Venetia

The Night of the Swarm

Feeling Lucky

Walden & Civil Disobediance

Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Think and Grow Rich

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

The Monk

Sullivan’s Sting

The Last Town

Free Ware

The Dracula Caper

The Boy and the Peddler of Death

Cadman’s Gambit/Sword of the Archon

Curse of the Wendigo

Threshold

We are Legion (We are Bob)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

The Store

The Punch Escrow

The Wizard

Badland

Beyond Varallan

A Quest of Heroes

Sandworms of Dune

The Daylight War

Superman: Doomed

Inkheart

The Fog

The Singer’s Crown

The Last Day

Wolf Hunting

Curse of the Mistwraith

Demon Deathchase

New Moon

Empire of Ivory

The Omen Machine

Superman: True Brit

Germline

The Darkness that Comes Before

Tehanu

The Way of Kings

Flight of the Night Hawks

The Great Gatsby

 

Books I have Loved: 50

The Bible

What Adventists Believe

Way-Farer

Dune

Sentenced to Prism

Galactic Odyssey

The Sublimity of Faith

Mere Christianity

Science Fiction Hall of Fame Vol 1

The Phantom Tollbooth

The One Kingdom

Empire in Black and Gold

Gardens of the Moon

Icerigger

The Many Faces of Evil

Nicholas Nickleby

Ready, Set, Hut (Eyeshield 21 #37)

Song for the Basilisk

Bridge of Birds

Flowers for Algernon

His Sombre Rivals

The Art of War

Persuasion

Oblomov

Across Five Aprils

Crime and Punishment

Talion: Revenant

Akira 1

The Death of Superman

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

A Memory of Light

Dealing with Dragons

Hogfather

Bridge to Terebithia

Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000

Count of Monte Cristo (abridged)

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Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians

Anne of Green Gables

I, Joker

Furies of Calderon

Wizard’s First Rule

Through Wolf’s Eyes

The Eye of the World

The Warded Man

A Wizard of Earthsea

The Hobbit

Revenge of the Sith

Magician: Apprentice & Master

The Dragonbone Chair

 

 

A Side Project

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Back in April I ran across this post about 100 Books. I’ve finally started working on my own version, which I’ve divided into books I hate and books I love. I’ll be linking each title to it’s review here on wordpress.  As such, I’ll be having to create whole new posts for about half the books as they were simply in my monthly posts from years ago.

What this means is that those of you who are subscribed to get an email every time I put up a new post will be getting a small flood of emails over the next few weeks. You might have experienced it already this past weekend.  Thankfully, this still advances my overall Site Update plans, so I don’t feel this is taking away from that project. That is already going slow enough, sigh.

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Just wanted to give you all the heads up. Once the Project is done, I plan on making the list one of the static pages here on WP, along with “About”, “Star Ratings” and “Review Policy”.

 

Carry on.

 

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Shooter VERSUS Point of Impact

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Shooter is a 2007 movie starring Mark Wahlberg about a sniper hired by the United States Government to prevent any chance of an attack by another sniper on a meeting between some politician and a religious figure.  He is actually used to plan the attack and double crossed and blamed. He goes on the run, hooks up with a dead marine’s wife who helps him out and turns the tables on the slimeball politician who set the whole thing up.

 

 

 

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Point of Impact is the first book in the Bob Lee Swagger book series by Stephen Hunter. Bob Lee is a sniper, hired to prevent the assassination of the president or vice president, double crossed, runs all over the country and eventually proves his innocence.

 

 

 

 

 

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I actually saw the movie before I was even aware of the book series. I saw it on an airplane either on my to California or on my way back from California. I don’t think I watched the whole thing, but I watched enough to know that I enjoyed it. I got it from the library and watched the whole thing and really did enjoy it. It wasn’t until ’13 that I actually got around to reading the book and comparing the two.

If it is JUST the book versus the movie, I like the book more but the movie had more action. However, the series of books devolved and I ended up stopping several books in and wished I’d just stuck with the first. The later books kind of ruined the first book for me, to the point where I’d rather own the movie instead of the book.

I found the book deeper, better plotted and much more interesting in terms of character in Bob Lee Swagger. He’s a Vietnam sniper who is just about the only guy in the world who can shoot “X” number of yards with some sort of rifle. He’s a gimp, in his mid 50’s or so and lives alone in the Appalachian Mountains.  He’s very smart and is smart enough to know when to get the help of people who know more about something than him. Such as a lawyer. Some big wig lawyer who knew his daddy also plays a big part and watching everything come together to prove Bob Lee’s innocence is a great thing.  The book is almost as much a legal thriller as anything else.

That being said, he’s not running around shooting off machine guns or hiding in the Antarctic or blowing up scumbag politicians’ houses. That is where the movie kicks butt. It is an action movie and makes no bones about being one. Mark Wahlberg does a great job of portraying a modern Vet with modern tools at his command.  The romance in the movie is upped quite a bit from the book and the character in the movie is almost portrayed as white trailer trash, where as in the book she’s a pretty upper crust woman. I think that was my only real bone of contention for story/plot change.

Honestly, it’s a tossup which is better in my opinion. I think it comes down to what you are looking for.

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Culling – An Exercise in Futility

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The Cull Master is Tired

 

I have been in the habit of culling, on a regular basis, all the “people” who follow me here on WordPress.  It’s a habit I’ve had to get rid of all the dead wood and scum bags that accumulate. Recently, I’ve been getting flippity flopping tired of it.  I am especially tired of dirtbag writers who follow me but who have nothing in common with my blog. And when I remove them and they follow me AGAIN within 24hrs, well, that tells me they’re just looking for attention because of what awful people they are.

And don’t even get me started on those “companies”, like Hastings Services. I removed those miserable sad sacks 15 times before they stopped trying.

But I’m done with that now. It is like counting the sands on a beach, never ending. So follow away you pieces of algorithms, you attention whores, you scammers. I simply don’t care any more.

 

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PSA: Honesty and Book Reviewing

PSA

I was browsing WordPress the other day and one of the blogs featured had a Tag, so I figured I’d read through it to see if there was any questions I liked that I could twist for my own fun.

Well, one of the questions was “What was your last 1star book” and the young lady answering it wrote something like “Oh, probably never. If a book is that bad, I just DNF it”, with the assumption being that it doesn’t get rated and I’m guessing, not reviewed. BVT also recently did a post where she talks about Negative Reviews and how she appreciates them.

This led me to think about this whole subject beyond my little comment on BVT’s post. It still comes down to Trust so while I’ll be talking about that, I’d like to talk about some of the other components too.

So, Trust first.

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If a book reviewer deliberately with-holds a review because it doesn’t get a particular rating, that is dishonest. Lying by omission is still lying.  A blogger might write completely honest reviews about all the fantastic books they read  but if they don’t publish the reviews about the crappy books, that is like someone doing their checkbook and showing only the credits  and not the debits. It’s honest, but it’s not the real picture. Just ask your bank.

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Another reason that I won’t follow people who state they won’t do negative reviews is because it shows a paucity of character and a lack of integrity. If you don’t believe me, this picture from the INTERNET will show you the truth!

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Now, there is a difference between being a dick online and calling a piece of garbage a piece of garbage. Exactly where that line is though, that’s a very tough question.  It’s also tangential to this discussion so I won’t discuss it further.

Another reason to write negative reviews is to help out other readers.  For the record, I want to state that reviews are NEVER for the author. N-E-V-E-R!!!!! They might get something out of them but it was never meant to be for them. Reviews are for other readers. If you are going review books, it is your duty to not only steer your followers towards the books you love, but to also steer them clear from the disasters, the broken bridges and the just plain bad books.  If you drive off that bridge, put up a freaking warning sign.  Its pure negligence if you don’t. Friends don’t let friends read bad books without warning them.

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Another reason that negative reviews are a reviewers duty is that unlike in Magic the Gathering, you don’t get extra turns in your reading life. You read that bad book, that time is GONE! Don’t let others repeat your mistakes. Let them learn from you.

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Finally, a book blogger may feel virtuous for not having any negative content on their blog. That shows a lack of understanding of what is virtuous, what is right and is a paving stone far along the path to hell. Yeah, I’m not going to pull any punches here and nothing funny like the ending of the PSA post from last month. I don’t want to follow someone with that lack of understanding, it is just plain dangerous to be around them.

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This fairy is about to burn up in the fire. Good intentions not withstanding.

 

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Bookstooge brings the FIRE!

 

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.

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

 

 

 

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