June ’19 Roundup & Ramblings

06June

 

Raw Data:

15 Books

5099 Pages

Average Rating: 3.30

 

The Bad:

Valor – 1 Star DNF

The Hyena and the Hawk – 2 Star disappointment from one of my favorite authors

 

The Good:

Target Rich Environment – 5 Stars all the way!

The Hobbit – 5 Stars and the good times are rolling!

Our Mutual Friend – 4 1/2 stars kept the party going!

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

I only did TWO non-review posts this month. One was a Currently Reading (which I liked doing and I might try to do those a bit more often) and the other was the Fall from Grace about Star Wars and Bookstooge. A truly masterful yet tragically poignant post.

However, when I have two 5star reads AND a 4 1/2star read, well, you know it was a good month of reading. I deliberately wrote a review almost every other day and cut out almost all tv watching this month so I could read a couple of extra books. Of course, with Our Mutual Friend my page count went pretty high too. So another statistic that went swimmingly. My average rating was down from last month, but with a lot of middle of the road books you can’t expect anything else. Plus, 1star books totally destroy a month’s rating; they’re worse than the titanic!

Yet I didn’t read one single volume of Shaman King nor did I really want to.  I found that alarming because I started the series so strong and I really want to finish it. so I’ve decided to finish off the series in July. I know I’ll burn myself out on the series and on manga in general, but I’ve been approaching that point anyway so might as well go for the gusto, as one little boy named Calvin would say. This does mean that your feed is going to be packed with manga. I’ll try to post a couple of other type posts throughout July but you are getting your warning here and now. I do expect my numbers to plummet so I’ve prepared my mind for the onslaught of not being so famous for a month. It will be a real trial for me but I guess being humble is something we all need once in a while.

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Cover Love:

As much as I despised the book, Valor had the best looking cover. It is pure awesome sauce from a visual standpoint!

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May ’19 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

12 Books

3428 Pages

3.38 Average Rating

 

The Bad:

The Wrecking Crew – 1.5 stars

 

The Good:

Kellanved’s Reach – 4 stars

 

Movie:

Didn’t do a real movie review,  just reviewed a fake movie that I made up in my head. Sometimes those are the best kind of movies, and sometimes, like John Hobo, they’re the worst kind!

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

Man, this month was something. Readingwise, it was middle of the road land the whole month. My average was up but that was because I didn’t read more than one stinker this month. I’d prefer my average to go up because I read so many SUPER books.

The car situation has been rectified. We went down to 1 car for a couple of weeks and I did double duty driving Mrs B to work and picking her up as well as taking myself to and from work. Very thankful we got another car and that it passed inspection with no issues.

Non-review writing, I feel like I wrote up a storm, even while the reality is that I just changed from doing scheduled things to whatever crossed my mind. I did a Currently Reading post to show you all the list of what I rotate through,  revealed My Secret Identity,  talked about Chainsaws & Guns (from a real perspective, not a psycho mass murdering perspective), posted how Mrs B saved me from a Life of Crime, did a Book Catch and then had a good talk/discussion PSA post about Commenting on Other’s Comments.

I enjoyed writing this month and I have a feeling I’ll be stopping any monthly type of non-review post.  Not sure if that means I’ll be writing less or not though. Working on my backlog of old reviews takes a lot out of me, even when I don’t have to type very much at all. Just writing those little bits is enough to dry up the well of my writing desire. Of course, the alternative is to have posts like John Hobo every week. Nobody deserves that!

WBCI: (World Book Czar Initiative)

Didn’t write one up this month but I do plan on having Quickbeam the Ent on for June. Please look forward to it.

 

Cover Love:

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Reusing the pix from my Book catch post but I really liked the cover to Kellanved’s Reach. Best book of the month and best looking cover. Given all the middle of the road stuff, I guess I’m ok with this.

 

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April ’19 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

Books – 12

Pages – 3732

Average Rating – 3.21

 

The Bad:

The Hatching – 1/2 Star

Malice – 2 1/2 Stars

 

The Good:

In the Forests of Serre – 5 Stars

Hard Times – 4 1/2 Stars

 

Movie:

Elektra was bad, but in the “so bad it’s fun to watch and make fun of” vein of badness. With movies like this though, it is a wonder that Super Hero movies ever made it off the ground.

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

Let’s see, what did I do this month? A bunch of crap, that is what. A 6Degrees Post, wished everyone a Happy Resurrection Day and then posted about my latest endeavor in the world of Magic the Gathering.

I have to admit, this month I pretty much mailed it in, as I just didn’t feel like writing and let my 3 week buffer disappear down to zero. I’m writing this post the night before instead of like 10 days.  That lack of desire to write is why I’m not going to be doing my usual weekend routine posts in May. I need a break from a schedule and I’m going to try to break out of this writing blahh’ness by just writing spur of the moment and see what happens.  I’ve been averaging about 2 posts every 3 days for the last several months and I think I need to bust loose and pretend to be creative again for a bit. Even if I completely fall on my face, I’ll be fine with that. I just need to do something different, as I’m falling into a routine and getting sick of it. Who knows, maybe I’ll go REALLY wild and post a review ON THE WEEKEND! I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Or am I? *scary ghost noises*  See, that is what I need to be writing like instead of stifling my soul with corporate posts like political World Book Czar posts and stuff. I gotta be free!

On a personal note, one of our cars unexpectedly didn’t pass inspection and so we’ve spent all of April looking for another. No luck and we might end up just eating the repair cost to get the car fixed and passed for another year. Unfortunately, every car we’ve checked out this month has fallen through in one way or another. Blah! One of the things both Mrs B and I feel strongly about is not going into debt, with a few exceptions. Car payments on a new car is not one of those exceptions. So the next 2 years are going to be interesting (as we already know that our other car isn’t going to pass next year. It barely passed this year and by next year will be really rusted out and not road worthy)

 

WBCI: (World Book Czar Initiative)

Ildico gave us good reason to fear the Great Unknown reaches of space. If Attila the Hun isn’t safe, NOBODY is.  Thankfully, Ildico promises a free tinfoil hat to everyone when she becomes World Book Czar.  Now there’s a woman you can feel confident voting for!

 

Cover Love:

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While I posted this in the review, In the Forests of Serre,  I still find it absolutely amazing. Beauty feeds the soul indeed. Sadly, feeding the soul doesn’t help with a writing slump.

 

 

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March ’19 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

15 Books

4732 Pages

Average Rating – 3.17

 

The Bad:

The Scarlet Letter – 1 Star

Pacific Rim: Uprising: Ascension  – 2.5 Stars

 

The Good:

Carry On Jeeves – 4 Stars

The Engineer Reconditioned – 4 Stars

 

Movie:

Penelope was a big surprise in that I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought based on the fairytale’ish premise.  For April I have to go count the votes to see which of the bad pre-mcu superhero movies I have to fall on my sword for.

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

This month was a lot better for reading than February but personally it sucked.  Kind of the exact opposite of February in fact, I was lucky to get 2 days a week of work and when things should have been picking up by the end, what with temps climbing and the snow disappearing, they didn’t. I did a lot of sitting around the house and that just isn’t good for me.  It affected my desire to write and by the end of the month the last thing I wanted to do was write, online, in my journal, anywhere.  I was definitely “Moody” all month.

Part of it is that I read double the amount of books I did in February and hence had to write twice as much. I think I’d gotten out of practice with all my youtube watching then. See, a bad habit already coming back and biting me in the butt.

Thankfully, Attack of the Ninjabread Men was pix heavy and allowed me to write very little. That’s the other thing. I have been so mean in spirit that I have deleted over half the comments I’ve made on everyone’s blogs. Probably would have alienated just about everyone and not a single one of us needs that kind of thing going on. Thank goodness for the delete button.

 

WBCI: (World Book Czar Initiative)

Lex Luthor was kind enough to to allow an interview and while “someone” let Superman know where he was going to be and at what time, leading to his arrest, Lex seemed like he really wanted to be the World Book Czar. I was pretty intrigued by his ideas for a Bookinator 800. What could go wrong with preventing all the bad books, right?

Next month I’ll be talking to Ildico, better known as Mrs Attila the Hun. Feel free to leave any questions here or on Lex’s interview.

 

Cover Love:

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I think that Vampire of the Mists is going to take this one. All the other covers just seemed to say “eh” to me and at least this had the old timey Bella Lugosi vibe going on. Nothing like the classics to attract my attention.

 

 

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February ’19 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

8 Books

2815’ish  Pages

Average Rating – 2.06

 

The Bad:

Everything?

 

The Good:

The Black Pearl – 5 Stars

The Tiger and the Wolf – 4 Stars

 

Movie:

RED was a great movie.  But with a cast starring Willis, Freeman, Mirren and Malkovich (and some others), it would be hard for this movie to have gone wrong.

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

Well, no manga this month. The Crippled God kicked my legs out from under me, which I knew it was going to do. What I didn’t expect was that the next several books would then proceed to kick me in the ribs while I was down and stomp on my fingers. I just couldn’t bring myself to go read manga in that condition. Thankfully, the month started well and ended well. It was just a pig excrement sandwich in the middle.

That did lead me to writing up a storm but it was just drivel. What else can you call 25 years worth of Star Wars Covers?

Did a Tag of Rage and then calmed down with a nice #6degrees post.

While the month just stank for reading,  on a personal level things went swimmingly. Had enough work, had enough fun and had enough good food. Oh, speaking of food, did the  Survival Saturday post. Sadly, not a very good time.

I was totally attacked by spam comments this month  60-100 “doxycycline” spam comments almost every day. Considering that every single one was aimed at the World Book Czar Intro post, I am wondering if I’ve stirred up a hornets nest among the Powers that Be. I wouldn’t put it past them to hound me with their pet spambots! #thetruthisoutthere #tinfoilhatswork

 

WBCI: (World Book Czar Initiative)

Had the first successful interview with potential World Book Czars. Czar Nicholas II was very friendly and genial but by the end seemed to lack a certain something that a World Book Czar needs, namely, a complete skull without any bullet holes in it! Poor Nicky…

Just remember, in March I’ll be interviewing Lex Luthor, so ask those questions you’ve always had!

 

EMAIL ALERT:

For those of you who follow me through email, I am starting the process of creating all new posts for my old reviews that were lumped together in monthly or yearly posts. I’m starting in 2000 and working my way forward. Please be aware this is happening and take appropriate steps. That is all.

 

 

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January ’19 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

14 Books

4429 Pages

Average Rating  – 3.68

 

The Bad:

Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn – 2 Stars

 

The Good:

The Gabble and Other Stories – 5 Stars

 

Movie:

I not only watched a movie this month, I reviewed it as well. Despicable Me was a lot of fun and I hope that future movie posts can go as well. I’m still trying to decide if I want a formula for my movie posts or if the “whatever strikes my fancy” kind of posts are going to prevail.

 

Miscellaneous And Personal:

My Shaman King manga reads went very well this month but even though it finished on a high note, I have to admit that I have almost no desire to dive into some manga at the moment. We’ll see how I’m feeling in a week or two.

I did the Insider Book Blog tag where I revealed so much about myself.  With tags like this, it’s a wonder that I’m not mobbed on the streets more often by adoring fans. I mean, how can anyone resist such a charming rogue with a heart of gold like me? Of course, with my awesome psychic abilities, as shown in Bookstoogedamus Predicts the Future, I guess I’m not surprised that people are so intimidated by me. Ahh, it’s tough being me, so lovable and yet so fearsome.

I also Reviewed 2018 in one post. Probably the longest post I’ll write this year. Figured it was a good thing to get all that long-windedness out the way.

 

WBCI: (World Book Czar Initiative)

Since I’ve been thinking about the whole #worldbookczar thing for quite some time, I decided that this was the year to actually do something about it. As such, my journey to find Our Great Leader has commenced. I hope I am up to the task and I trust others will ask the hard questions too. I’m already doubting whether my skin is tough enough to deal with some of the folks I have lined up to interview!

And just remember, if there are questions you want asked, please put them in the comments of the WBCI posts and I’ll see to it they get asked.

 

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Bookstooge Reviews 2018

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Collage created at Ipiccy.com.  I used the Gunmetal Font and the text color hex code is E4B678. 

2018 was a very different year from 2017. Here’s my 2017 in Review post.

 

THE STATS

 

Annual Blog Stats:

Total Posts – 248’ish

Total Views –  20K

Followers – 360+/- [fluctuation due to spam accounts getting deleted by WP]

 

Book Stats:

Books Read – 172

Pages Read – 59,371

Average Rating – 3.31

 

Graph Stats:

As you can see, the majority of what I read is in the 3-4 star rating range. I explain my rating system Here.

 

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Almost 27% of my books were re-reads and STILL my average is under 3.5. To put things in perspective though, anything over 3.1 is a good year for me. I just feel like grumping about something!

 

General Thoughts

2018 was a year of digging into blogging at wordpress and realizing that the ebb and flow of people I follow and the people who follow me, is normal. I’ve fully instituted my “I don’t follow someone who doesn’t post at least once a month” rule for new potentials and unless someone I follow lets their followers know they’re going to be gone, the same applies to people I already follow. I’ve probably stopped following quite a few sporadic bloggers this year, which has made my feed and interactions with others a bit more stable. It is also nice when people I do follow DO let their followers know that Life is getting in the way and they won’t be around for a bit. What has saddened me though is watching people disappear. While it is completely understandable, it has been a bit tough to see Life, Health or Interest make people just go “poof”. But I’m realizing this is normal and I’m hoping that in 2019 I’ll be a little more inured to such things. I hope so anyway because it is a really sucky feeling to see someone “take a health break” and then never come back.

Ok, enough of THAT!

 

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WordPress is now completely my blogging home. Anything I feel like writing, it roosts here. From the good to the bad, from the happy to the sorrowful, it gets written and posted here.

My post count was almost 100 posts lower than in ’17 but since I wrote a post almost every day that year, I’m not surprised. I can’t keep that level of creativity going. It also came down to me starting to schedule my reviews 2-3 weeks in advance. It has made my review writing much more disciplined but that very same discipline has impacted my writing on the spur of the moment, which is when a lot of non-review posts get written.

On a daily basis that lack of creativity did affect my numbers (ie, views, visits, likes, comments) but on the annual side of things, my numbers are stronger than in ’17. So with less posts I’ve gotten more. I think part of it is that not writing everyday gives people a chance to actually read what I post. If you’re only a weekly blogger and then visit me, 4 posts is a lot more handle-able (my goodness, that’s not even a real word!) than 7 or 8. Whatever the reason, 2018 was a good year for all my numbers and I’m very satisfied with them.

Speaking of satisfaction… (Sing it!)

I feel like I have settled into a good routine. I’m following people who are constant posters. My reading and reviewing schedule has fallen right into line with my whole reading rotation. My followers go up and down, but that is an aspect of what I alluded to in the opening paragraph. It does mean that I am always on the lookout for a new blogger to follow every 4-5 months, which is good for me so I don’t completely get set in my ways.

Overall, 2018 was everything I wanted from a free book blog. I reviewed, I ranted, I had fun. I also updated my little avatar,

From This:

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To This:

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I’m obviously moving up in the world!

 

 

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Blogger is now my backup blog for just my reviews. I started out ’18 trying to mirror some non-review posts but gave it up pretty quickly. It’s a good blog if you like my reviews but don’t like anything else I write. It’s just as disorganized as my wordpress blog but I’m not trying to retro-actively clean it up. I also don’t like how the comment notification works so I’m not really incentivized to make it work.

 

 

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Had a bit of a dustup in a group because I talked about killing communists & hippies in one of my reviews, so Librarything has pretty much reverted to being the place where I keep track of what I’m currently reading and where I get info and cover data from. I put my reviews there as well, but since there isn’t much of a social thing outside of groups, I’m not very active there. Me and groups, we just don’t get along, sigh.

 

 

THE BOOKS

 

Best Book of the Year:

Ok, I have to admit, I am beyond stingy when it comes to this particular tag. I am also super miserly with 5star ratings. I only had two instances of this tag and only 9 5star reads. Only 3 of ANY of those was a new to me book. Books these days, they’re just not what they used to be…*sigh*

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. 1, takes this category.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a strong runner up.

 

Worst Book of the Year:

This category is a little easier for me to write about, as I did read some atrocious books this year. The book that takes this category however, gets this “honor” because while it probably wasn’t actually the most un-enjoyable book I read, the interactions with its author went downhill very quickly; let me tell you, some severe comment deletion went on. That reaffirmed my faith in not thinking of Writers as People. Most people are jackasses. Most writers, surprisingly, are people. Which means that most writers are jackasses. Goodness, don’t you just love Logic?

Ok, now that I’m done being all clever, here’s the loser.

Gods of the Mountain

Sandworms of Dune almost beat it, but at least the authors didn’t whine at me and expect me to be their personal editor.

 

 

Plans for 2019

Not much. Last year, I was brimming with ideas. Then Life happened and stuff. This year, all I really want is to get my blog fully organized. I’m closing in on getting all my recent reviews fully tagged and categorized (recent being 2013 to Present). Once that gets done, then the BIG job of going backwards in time can begin. 2012 back to 2000. But I’m being super casual and laid back about it, so it’ll happen when it happens.

I did have a goal of breaking the 100 view mark for a post for 2018 and not only did that happen, it happened 10 times. Now, quite a few more posts have also passed the 100 view mark, but they are older posts that either I reference or get picked up in a google search. I’d be happy with the same results for 2019.

Actually, I JUST thought of a goal while writing this post. I’ve mentioned before that I think that the world NEEDS a World Book Czar and that I think I’m pretty qualified. So 2019 is the year I get serious about running for office. And by running for office I mean getting rid of all of the competition so you all have a choice of One. Me. I look forward to discussing the issues with my fellow candidates!

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“Discussions”, yes….

 

 

Personal

Where to even start? I guess church stuff. January and February were pretty bad and led to us leaving the church that we’d been attending for a decade and begin looking for another. While we have found another, you don’t make changes like that without upheaval and inner consequences. We’ll see how we do in ’19.

Health has been all over the place for both of us. Between a hospital stay for Mrs B and several crohn’s related incidents and my diabetes and then gastroenteritis and flu at the end of the year, we became pretty well acquainted with our hospital bills.

I’ve been working by myself at work since July and it is wearing me out. Things need to change by Spring or I’ll have to make some changes myself. I’m just not thinking about that to be honest.

I did finish up my Bookstooge in 100 Books and pinned it to the side of my blog. That was a lot of fun to write and think about. I should probably also go over my About page and see if anything needs updating. Thankfully, both of those posts tend to be rather static and a once a year check is good enough.

This year I did get into Magic the Gathering a bit more. Probably played a little less, but have started on constructing my own Commander decks, which takes a lot of time, thought, creativity and if one is so inclined, money. I am also dabbling with the idea of getting into the digital version of MTG, called Arena. We’ll see, as me and computer games just don’t really click that well.

I would categorize 2018 as a tough year but Mrs B and me are still doing ok, praise God.

 

 

top5

Here are the top 5 viewed posts in each of the various categories.

 

Book Review Posts

Algorithm of Power (negative review with a good writer interaction)

Gods of the Mountain (negative review with a negative writer interaction)

Lord of Light

Toll the Hounds

We are Legion(We are Bob)

 

Hmmmm, I’m sensing a trend with the ratings and viewership there….

 

Non-review Posts

Honesty and Book Reviewing

DNF – The Divisive Issue of Our Day

Why I Re-Read

Too Big to Comment

Saint Bookstooge Gives Answer

 

Ranting does seem to get some good views!

 

Commentors + Runner Up

Lashaan

Orangutan Librarian

SavageDDT (Dave)

Ola G (NOT Olag, like I originally thought)

Nicole

+ Maddalena

I live for comments, so I am glad that WordPress gives me this kind of info. I’d also like to thank everyone (well, except for that writer who got butt hurt that I did exactly what he asked me to, ie, write an honest review of his book) who commented this year. Written interactions on my blog make it so much more fun.

I’ve had more visitors and more comments than last year, so I’m hoping to keep that trend going. I’ve had some wonderful new followers this year who seem to like commenting as much as I do and I’m thankful for that. With almost 5,800 comments this year (to be honest half of them are me), that feeds my soul like you wouldn’t believe.

Who knows, maybe next’s years list of commentors will be completely different people. Come on, you know you want to edge Lashaan out of the top spot!

 

Movies

Once again, my movie list is less than 10, so a top 5 would pretty much include them all. Here’s the Top 2, just like last year.

Thor: Ragnarok (man, what a FUN movie)

Boondock Saints vs John Wick (a comparison post)

It’s not so much that I don’t watch ANY movies, but I just don’t review them. It doesn’t come nearly as easy as the book reviews. As much as I’d like to say there will be more movie reviews in 2019, we all know I’d be lying. So folks, there will be MORE movie reviews in 2019 😀

 

 

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Ok, while this post is shorter than last years Review, it’s still monstrously long by my standards (anything over 1K is monstrous in my opinion). I look forward to reading all of your various yearly posts, if you’re so inclined that way, and I hope to see you around in 2019. Unless you’re a communist, because then I will shoot you.

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My Personal ACD (anti-communist device)

 

 

 

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