Bookstooge Reviews 2020

THE STATS:

Annual WordPress Blog Stats

Posts – 290 (↑65)
Words Written – 197K (↑72K)
Views – 25K (↑7K)
Visitors – 10K (↑3K)
Followers – 378 (↑100+)

Book Stats

Books read – 156 (↑21)
Pages read – 56,855 (↑11K)
Words read – 16,950K (almost 17million words!)
Average Rating – 3.53 (↑0.25)

GENERAL THOUGHTS:

General Bookish Thoughts in General:

My book’ish numbers were up from last year across the board. My manga numbers are about the same so it means the books ARE actually up. This is confirmed by the Page Count being up as well. While 0.25 might not seem a lot, it is a significant boost in the Ratings. Overall, I’m happy with how my reading for 2020 went.

I stopped pruning my followers part way through the year and that is the real reason for the bump in followers. I wrote a lot more too and more posts tend to translate into more of everything else. Including the damnable Spanish Spam Bots! Thankfully, that particular issue has been dealt with, even while not being solved.

Right now, I am happy with all of my numbers. If I can stay here and not get any bigger, that would be good. I like this level of activity and it is quite reasonable to handle as a hobby. Any bigger and things would start getting stressful for me. I also know myself and if I were to get any bigger I’d start really obsessing about “stats” and all the other stuff that is beyond my control as a blogger. I don’t need or want that. I’m an airplane and I’m at cruising altitude! Slip those sunshades on, turn on the autopilot, sit back and enjoy the ride.

What a year it’s been here at WordPress.com. Can I just take a minute as we all swear, profusely and at length, about the Block Editor?
* clenches fists and swears for 5 minutes *

Ok. Now that that is out of the way, I can talk calmly and rationally about the huge gigantic fuster cluck that the Block Editor was and continues to be. While I am now inured to it and have my routine down (so it doesn’t take me forever to do something like it used to), I have seen bloggers leave because of it. When bloggers leave, you know something isn’t right. WordPress has definitely taken a direction into the “pay for websites” side of things instead of using casual bloggers to increase their reach. The block editor still doesn’t work right all the time, has less capability than the previous editor (where’s my scheduling calendar you flaming jackasses!?!?) and simply isn’t meant for writing. Which makes using it a continually frustrating experience as things seem to break on a weekly basis for no apparent reason. If I hadn’t already sunk in so much time with my Under Construction Project here at WP, I’d have left too. At this point though, I’ve invested enough sweat equity that I don’t see myself leaving WP for anything less than leaving blogging in general.

On the positive side of things. This year has been the best I’ve had at WP since I started full time in December of ’16. My numbers started growing in March and slowly but steadily grew all year. I’m sure Covid19 played a big part, but even with my rather outspoken Christian views on several controversial social issues, the views haven’t gone down. While I wish I could take credit, I didn’t really do anything different, that I’m aware of, than I have in previous years. I’ve just been me. That means the blame is squarely on you. It’s all your fault I had a great year and I hold YOU directly responsible.

Keeping track of my Word Count has been beneficial in that it’s another metric to measure my monthly stats. This is the first Year in Review where I include that data so I don’t have anything to compare it too, yet.

Of course, the Churn has continued to happen. People stop blogging (and not just because of the hated block editor) and I’m continually on the lookout for new people to follow. I change, other bloggers change. It is not a static environment and I think this year I’ve finally come to an acceptance of that. I will enjoy your company for as long as you choose to hang around but I refuse to be anxious in anticipation of you leaving.

Another year on blogger. They changed their editor at the exact same time that WordPress did, so what should have been an easy transition turned into a bloody nightmare because of all the stress caused by WordPress. I’ve got it all settled now and simply put my reviews there. No social posts, no fun post, nothing but the reviews. I consider blogger my blogging backup. I learned, from a young age, not to put all my money in one bank and, when I got older, not to put all my data only on one site. Blogger is my cash hidden under the mattress.

LibraryThing. What to say? They ALSO changed their site near the end of the year. Thankfully, since I’m not invested very heavily, the changes didn’t really affect me beyond some cosmetic look&feel type things. I am still a member of the Green Dragon, but to keep within the guidelines of not discussing Religion or Politics, I simply put links to WordPress in my thread. Not ideal and I’m wondering if it will last through ’21 or not. I only interact with a literal handful of people and after sounding them out, most of them get my WP posts emailed to them anyway. Librarything is a fourth line of backup defense.

Every time that I try to interact in a bigger group, it just falls flat on its face and I get pissed off to no end. Telling people that what they said was idiotically stupid and dumb and just plain wrong doesn’t go over very well I have found. Weird, huh?

I tried Devilreads again to see if the pretty pictures and stats you can get at the end of the year were worth the hassle of using yet another book site, and one that I hate at that. Verdict? Totally not worth it. Will not be trying this experiment in 2021. So long devilreads, don’t let the pitchfork spit you where the Good Lord split you. If it weren’t for the fact that I know so many people who happily use devilreads, I’d gladly wish a hacker death to the site.

Bookhype was just a disappointment. I tried it because a former wordpress blogger (who the bleeding block editor drove away by the way) was trying it out and I wanted to keep in touch. That did not happen. Because bookhype isn’t about the social side of things at all. So I’m abandoning that too.

I have talked about Calibre Here. As I continue work on the blog I tweak the reviews in Calibre so everything matches up. But basically, my Calibre database is up to snuff and it’s more about the day to day reviews now. There have been several major upgrades to Calibre this year (a pretty big jump from 3.X to 4 and then a massive upgrade to 5.X) but I’m holding steady at 4.23 until the de-drm plugin is updated. If none of that made any sense, don’t worry, it only should if you’re vested in using Calibre already.

THE BOOKS:

Best Book of the Year:

Great Expectations
This was the Year of Dickens and it was a wicked close thing between this and Little Dorrit. Great Expectations won by a whisker though.

Worst Book of the Year:

Kingdom Come
I didn’t have a single book this year that I could turn to and easily say “This was the worst book of the year.” I had no half star books and even the 1stars tended to be more “DNF on Principle” than because I hated them. I chose Kingdom Come because it was the one book (besides Rosemary and Rue) that got a real rise out of me.

PLANS FOR 2021:

I actually don’t have any. Survival Saturday didn’t last very long into ’20 and it wouldn’t surprise me if the #6Degrees series follows that trajectory. I seem to have this built-in limiter for how long a specific blog series can run before I just stop it. That does mean that I need to start thinking of something to fill up a Sunday slot or two each month. Any ideas?

Of course, once having written that I don’t have any ideas, they immediately started creeping in. Doesn’t that just figure. 🤷‍♂️ (And you all can thank SDMcKinley for any and all use of emoji’s I use from now on. He has unleashed the Beast)

My Beloved Dickens reading journey is coming to an end. As I’d like to keep the classics rolling, I’ll be adding a Complete Works of G.K Chesterton and the Complete Works of the Bronte Sisters. They’re no Dickens but they’re better than Susanna Clarke! (boo, hiss)

I am going to “try”, really hard, to do less re-reading this year. I re-read 45 books last year. That is almost 30% of my total reading. I’m not looking to make a huge change, but if I can swing that number to below 25% and closer to 20%, I’ll be happy. There are SO MANY new books and some have been sitting on my tbr for over 2 years now. So I’m going to make concerted effort to only add re-reads that are essential.

For movies, I am thinking of taking the advice of someone from Librarything and making this a Muppet Movie themed year. Whether actual movies or the 1970’s variety show, it just sounds appealing to me. To bootstrap myself, I’ve bought 3 of the movies (the original Muppets, The Great Muppet Caper and Muppet Treasure Island) and the first season of the tv show from the 70’s. Singing, dancing, disco-balls, 2021 is the Year that Bookstoogevolta (me, anti-carnating as John Travolta) brings back Disco!

I have added a Statcounter to my page so I’m hoping to get even more Numb3rs for next year’s Year in Review. It’s free so it only holds so much data but I figure if I add a section to my Monthly Roundup’s I can get a good cross section for the year. I used it in December and it is quite different from the WP stats, so I’m not sure it will be truly helpful until I have several years of data to compare against but considering how I like that kind of thing, I can wait until I have it 😀

PERSONAL:

This year. What can I say? It was obviously dominated by Covid19 and yet for Mrs B and I, outside of a few church related activities, it didn’t change OUR routine. It changed everyone around us and thus change was forced on us that way. The stress of it all definitely got to us though. Between people turning into Mask Nazi’s and the inability to interact normally, even I was finding myself snappish by years end.

Work slowed down right at the beginning of covid, but after that, we were gangbusters all year long. I learned that I don’t want anything to do with the office or being inside and I am sure my time is limited before I leave because of general conditions even out in the field. Not worrying about that yet though. I have to survive yet another New England winter and that is about all I’m going to mentally deal with at the moment. Mrs B started working nights around Halloween and next week should be the end of that. I’m probably looking forward to it ending more than she is.

I survived the heat of Georgia for 10 days on Our Vacation. It was sorely needed but a mere month after returning it was like it had never happened. I think we could use a year long vacation!

Our church is still open, our cars are still working, our bills are being paid off and we’re getting fat because we have so much food. And we have more books and movies than we have time to consume. I think that qualifies as a good thing.

TOP 5:

Here are the top 5 viewed posts in each of the various categories. It isn’t quite equal, as posts from November and December just don’t have the time to accumulate the views.

Book Review Posts:

What an eclectic mix. On a “just because” note, I started writing this post at the beginning of December and included the top 5 from then. In the four weeks since, this list has changed twice. The Great Divorce and The Most Dangerous Game were narrowly bumped off, which is why I’m giving them an honorary mention here.

Non-Review Posts:

Anytime I wrote about the block editor I got a flood of views, so I chose the top one to allow some of the other posts to shine. Obviously though, the wordpress community did not, and does not, like the block editor. Personally, I hope wordpress chokes to death on it. Outside of the Vacation post, most were of the more introspective and navel gazing variety of post. I’m perfectly fine with that, as long as you’re gazing at your own navel and not trying to peek at mine.

Honorary mentions go to A History of ….. Magic the Gathering and Need More Space? History was bittersweet for me while Space gave me options for the future if I ever run into storage limits here at WP.

Commentors + Runner Up:

I think this section is pretty self-explanatory. I am wondering if WP is somehow messing with me in what I think are my top commentors. Without digging around though, with very blunt and almost useless tools provided to this lowly peon by my Lizard Overlords at WP, I am going to have to go with what they supply me.

Movies:

Movies weren’t high on my list this year and I ended up watching more seasons of anime than anything. I did want to include the recent Muppets Christmas Carol, but with only a week under its belt, it just doesn’t have the numbers to go against the Big Boys that have been around all year. Better luck next year, Michael Caine!

Turns out the Muppets struck a viewing chord. It rocketed past such “gems” as Karas: The Prophecy, the Revelation. You go Michael Caine! You da man…

Happy New Years!

December ’20 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 15

Pages – 4380

Words – 1473.5K

Average Rating – 3.77

The Bad:

Light – 2.5 Stars

Darkwalker on Moonshae – 1star DNF

The Good:

A Tale of Two Cities – 5 stars for the penultimate book in my Dicken’s journey

Message for the Dead – 4.5 stars for the Star Wars that should have been

Movie:

The Muppets Christmas Carol was great! I am really glad I ended up buying it.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

Work for me and Mrs B went as well as could be expected. I’m really ready for her to stop working the night shift though. Thankfully, that’ll happen next week. I can handle one more week. My work show NO inclination to slow down even though we now have a foot of snow on the ground. It’s going to be a slog of a winter, sigh.

The words absolutely spewed out of my fingers this month as I had a post almost every day. I keep saying I don’t know how I’ll keep up that kind of output and then I keep on keeping up. It definitely helped my stats for the month! I plan on talking about the blog stats a bit more in my Year in Review post tomorrow, but this December is the Best Month I’ve ever had here at WordPress. I guess I have you all to thank for that 😉

Just want to put in a plug for AAA if you’re in the United States. Had to have the subaru towed once and then I locked my keys in it and they had to come unlock it. Between those 2 things, my annual membership was more than paid for. Totally worth it if you regularly buy used cars like we do.

Cover Love:

Blood Relation by Dan Willis. If my chin looked like that, I’d be breaking concrete blocks with it just because I could. I do see a lack of suspenders though. Vests might look good, but when they cover up your awesome suspenders, well, your priorities are obviously all wrong.

Plans for Next Month:

I think I need to get through the Year in Review before I even think of plans for January. ♪Tomorrow is ♪only a sleep away♪

PSA: Blogging Jealousy

Here I sit. On my comfortable couch. In my nice warm condo. With Mrs B sleeping away in the other room. Having just devoured a Wild Mike’s Ultimate Pepperoni Pizza. And a Rockstar Pure Zero coursing through my veins. With November being the best blog month I have EVER had. And you know what is going through my head? How jealous I was of another blogger, 2 1/2 years ago.

I was reading some old posts and saw one of their comments and it all came rushing back. They’d been online less than a year, had more followers than me, were more popular, got more comments while having less than a 1/10th of the book foundation that I had or blogging experience. What makes it particularly ironic is that I really liked them as a blogger. I was happy for them and their success and yet, not that far down, I was really jealous. I couldn’t even think about it at the time because I knew if I dwelt on it that it would sour things on my end and I did NOT want that.

Now that time has passed, I can look a little bit more dispassionately at it and analyze it a bit more, disinterestedly? I actually started this post out as a joke entitled “Po’ Lil’ Me” where I bewailed what a wretched lot I had in life.

Once I started typing though, I realized just how deep this had run back then and it got me thinking. I intellectually know that other bloggers have felt the same towards another blogger. But I have to admit, I’ve never seen it in action. How does blogging jealousy even manifest itself? For me, it was nothing more than an internal feeling that was suppressed so as to not allow outward actions.

Thinking about it, I saw myself as this:

What this other blogger did was make me realize the reality was much more like this:

I suspect they would have been horrified if they had realized what I was feeling. Hence why I kept quiet. I was jealous because I wanted their success, their ease of getting along with others and that indefinable something they had that attracted other bloggers to them almost effortlessly. Part of it was also me not having the confidence here on WordPress that I currently have. I also hadn’t settled completely in my mind just what my goal for blogging was.

On the positive side, being jealous really made me think what I wanted from my blogging experience. Did I want a big audience? Did I want lots of like or comments? Did I want other people to indenture their children until the age of 25 so they could carry my glorious name? (I mean, that’s a given, but still….). Once I sat down and put into concrete form what I wanted intellectually, emotionally and in terms of entertainment that allowed me to focus on a goal instead of on what someone else had.

Of course, there are times when I see “someone” get 100 likes for putting up something “relatable” and for about 30seconds I am jealous again. Then I just shrug it off. I am not that person. I am me. I have strong opinions on many things that run counter to most popular or even generally accepted, culture. I am not a group person trying to please others. In the last 3 years I have grown emotionally in that I have truly accepted my boundaries and decided to work with them instead of bemoaning them. It also helps that Psychic Grandma showed up and began toughening me up, like a piece of leather, hahahahaaha.

And I think that does it for me and this Public Service Announcement. What about you? Have you been jealous of another blogger? What did you do about it? Have you seen blogger jealousy in action? If so, tell me about it. Tell ol’ Uncle Bookstooge, he’s got a sympathetic ear …..

November ’20 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 16

Pages – 5964

Words – 2117.5K (2.1million)

Average Rating – 3.37

The Bad:

Rosemary & Rue – 1Star

Blackwing – 1Star

The Good:

The Private Life of Elder Things – 4Stars

King John – 4Stars

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

This month was all over the place. Blogwise, stats were fantastic. This was the best month I’ve ever had in terms of views, likes, comments, etc.

Of course, WordPress ruins it by forcing me to double dip in terms of liking people’s comments. Then today I just started having issues with controlling my spam comments. I had one phrase that would throw any comment straight into the trash. Well, WP deleted that and now whenever I try to add it back, my settings won’t save. I’ve cleared my cache and tried Chrome, Edge AND firefox. Since I’m still banned on the forums, I can’t ask for help. I swear, I’m this close to calling it quits, good numbers or not!

Then you had the real life side of things. From bad work weeks to all the political crap flooding everything to escalation of the covid scare, it felt like this month was all about “killing, stealing and destroying”. That was overwhelming.

Cover Love:

I have to admit, when I saw the cover for the Copper Assassin, I was sure that was going to be the Cover Love choice of the month. And I was NOT wrong! Yum, yum, yum!

Plans for Next Month:

Having skipped the movie review for this month, I want to make sure to get one in for December. I’m about 99% sure it will be The Muppets Christmas Carol. That seems about the level of “Movieocracy” that I can take right now.

Other than that, it should be business as usual. I suspect a lot of my time in December will be spent planning and writing up stuff for the Year in Review post and seeing what I want to do for 2021.

October ’20 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 12

Pages – 3662

Words – 1125K

Average Rating – 3.75

The Bad:

Cold Fire – 1 Star

The Master and Margarita – 1.5 stars

The Good:

Dombey and Son – 5 Stars

Yotsuba Vol’s 1 & 2 – 5 stars

Movie:

Howl’s Moving Castle was a good movie without any scariness to bother me. I don’t care if it’s Halloween this month, no scariness for me!

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

This was a pretty good month overall. Reading wise, another out of the ballpark average! Unbelievable!!! Helps that Yotsuba is just about guaranteed to be 5 stars each read. Plus I had several other 5 star reads. The end of year has been pretty generous to me with all the 5stars I’ve been reading recently. Thankfully, the lower rated books have pretty much slid off my back like water and it’s not bothered me one bit. Used to be, a 1 star book would get me into the doldrums or downright depressed. With these, eh, whatever. I rather like that to be honest.

Of course, that week in the middle of the month with sickness, car problems and everything sucked the joy out of the month but both Mrs B and me are at the stage of life where we just put our heads down and keep on trucking, knowing things will get better. Or we’ll die, which is the best case scenario we could ask for!

The best performing post this month was the “When Do You Stop Following” post. That got a LOT of comments and warmed the cockles of my heart. The one I had the most fun writing was “Psychic Grandma & the T200”. I just let all the silly loose and it felt like the old days of blogging, back in my 20’s. You know, when I had a full head of hair, boundless energy and dreams of becoming the Emperor of Mars? Of course you don’t know that, none you read my blogs back then. And you can’t now either, because I’ve deleted them over the years, hahahahaa! I wouldn’t be the Mysterious Doctor Lord Bookstooge now would I?

Plans for Next Month:

Besides the usual #6degrees and movie, I’m hoping to do another crossover post with Masters of Ironing, to truly promote the art of Ironing. A true Master of Ironing doesn’t need an iron OR even know how to iron. Remember, There Is No Iron, Neo.

Also going to try to do some Currently Reading & Quote posts to talk about the books I’m reading in a non-review way. Sometimes it’s fun to just talk about a book WHILE you’re reading it.

Oh, I will probably start thinking about End of Year stuff. That stuff always takes me forever to get together and the sooner I start, the less I’ll have to deal with as New Years approaches.

Other than that, I’ll try to keep things unstructured so if I feel like writing something out of the blue, I can. Us creative types needs our space. So BACK OFF buster, and let me be creative! Or I’ll cry, I swear, I will. I’m warning you right now….

September ’20 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 17

Pages – 5087

Words – 1708K

Average Rating – 3.82!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Bad:

Awakenings – 1 Star DNF

Breakout – 2.5 Stars of Utter Mediocrity

The Good:

Howl’s Moving Castle – 5 Stars of Awesomesauce

Little Dorrit – 5 Stars of Dickens’ Awesomesauce

Movie:

Voices of a Distant Star was a great anime, for a teenager and angsty 20something. Not for me anymore :-/

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

Wow! What a great month of reading! I had FIVE 5star reads and FIVE 4star reads. I think this is my highest average monthly rating, ever? I would kill for more months of reading like this.

It was also a high point for all my blog stats. Best views ever since I started in ’13. I guess posting every day pays dividends.

Of course, the stress of using the new editor while blogger was also introducing a new editor got to me and just created some constant, low level stress for the whole month. Playing around with various photo storage/hosting options didn’t help either. I did decide to go back to using wordpress to host my pix until I get close to that 3bg limit. I have options with Dropbox, so I feel ok.

Also had stress due to seeing a couple of people leave either wordpress or blogger due to editor issues. Throw in some sleep and caffeine issues and spam comments and low level stress was the name of the game for the whole month. It really began to affect me mid-month and honestly, I’m not convinced I’m out of the bushes yet. And that infernal Akismet telling me my comments going into the spam folder is my fault, not theirs, didn’t help my blood pressure any either. Thankfully, it was resolved, but still, stress.

So, hobby stress. It’s a thing, as odd as it sounds. Other than that though, the month was good.

Plans for Next Month:

Manga Monday’s are coming back, so be warned. I’m also warning myself, as the numbers show.

Going to do my usual Movie and a #6degree post, which leaves me with 2 Sundays open. At the moment, I have no idea what I’ll fill them with.

I won’t be reading as much so I don’t think I’ll be posting as much. This month was just chockful and I can’t keep that kind of posting pace up. Of course, I’ve said that in years/months past and then wrote so much that I was appalled at myself. So while plans are nice, they’re more like “guidelines” 😉

Going to do my best to kick the stress to the curb though and not let it affect me in October. New month, new Bookstooge, new Ideas and whole new levels of silliness. I’ve already had 2 ideas while typing this post up. That’s usually a bad sign 😀

August ’20 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 16

Pages – 3968

Words – 895.5K

Average Rating – 3.0 Stars

The Bad:

The Big O Manga: The Whole Series

The Good:

The Fires of Heaven – 5 Stars

The Screwtape Letters – 4.5 stars

Movie:

Spriggan was a more successful foray into my anime collection. Next month will either be Place Promised in Our Early Days or Voices of a Distant Star. More anime, but of such a different tone from Spriggan that you might as well call John Wick the same as Casablanca because they’re both “movies”.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Didn’t write nearly as much as I thought I would.

Personal:

While the title of my Vacation post might have led some to believe that there would be other King & Queen posts to follow, I was just too lazy. The vacation went as perfectly as I could have asked for. I didn’t blog or work on my blog or do anything, as much as I thought I would. I spent a lot of time simply sitting and doing nothing, barely thinking. I didn’t even realize I needed that until I found myself at my sister’s pool one day looking at the sky for about an hour without having thought a thing. Of course, I had to get back to reality once we got home, but that is the darkside of Vacations that we all know about but don’t discuss. Both of us survived the weather just fine, so a possible move in the future isn’t out of the question any more. Pretty much spent the rest of the month wishing we were back on vacation. Sad but true.

Took a short break from interacting online near the end of the month. Sensory overload was just too much. Thankfully, pizza and books helped me cope and Mrs B and I had some more good “connection” times. During that week I did a lot of work on the blog and got a lot of old reviews posted.

Plans for Next Month:

Tomorrow I plan to blog about how this month of using the block editor went. #Blockeditorsucks ! (hint, it isn’t good)

Read BETTER books! I can’t believe my average for this month was a paltry 3 stars. The blame is squarely all on Big O but that DNF for The Well at World’s End didn’t help either, sigh.

I feel kind of overdosed on manga, as Big O was just such a disappointment. As such, I’m going to start the Yotsuba&! series. I’m going to take a break from manga in September though and start it back up in October.

I’m going to try to bulk up my numbers in terms of books read, so be prepared for a few extra book reviews and a few less non-review posts. End of the year is fast approaching.

See you tomorrow.

July ’20 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 12

Pages – 4658

Words – 1673K

Average Rating – 3.13 Stars

The Bad:

Kingdom Come – 1 Star Graphic Novel

The Kingdom – 1 Star Graphic Novel

The Good:

The Jupiter War – 5 Stars of Ultra- (Space) -Violence, In Space!

David Copperfield – 5 Stars of Dickens.

Movie:

Instead of watching one movie, I decided to watch four anime series. I won’t be doing that again. With each series being 5-6hrs long, it simply required too much of my time. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part I enjoyed myself, but that was seriously dedicated time that I’d rather be able to spend on other things, even if it’s nothing but goofing off.

This month I watched:
1) Big O, Season 1
2) Tenchi Muyo, OVA
3) Big O, Season 2
4) Record of Lodoss War OVA

Miscellaneous Posts:

With all of my anime posts, I didn’t write nearly so many non-review posts this month. Here’s the short list:

Personal:

While my average rating was way down and I had three sub-2 star reads, I actually felt like I enjoyed my reading just as much as the previous month. No idea why, but I’m thankful for that because sometimes 1stars can just suck the very life out of one’s bookish existence.

Most of the month I was focused on getting ready for our vacation. It is amazing what you can plan even with lots of things being restricted. Throw in the fact that I haven’t gone on a week long vacation in I don’t know how many years and there is a lot of shopping that needed to be done.

Cover Love:

Come on, we all knew this was coming. Even with a McKillip/Craft in the running, Lime Light, another Arcane Casebook entry, takes this hands down. Whatever money Dan Willis spent to hire Mihaela Voicu has been totally worth it in my opinion!

Plans for August: (LOTS)

I am hoping to read the Big O manga. Fill up those Manga Monday slots and possibly some extra as there are 6 volumes.

Watch ONE anime movie. Movie, not a series. I need a break from that much screen time.

Do two #6Degree posts. The one I missed in July and then the one for August.

Some Vacation Pictures and probably a Vacation Post or two.

Master the Insidious Block Editor and write every post for the month using it. And blog about it. What’s the point if I can’t complain like a baby?

Work on the blog. So if you get posts emailed to you, expect a potential flood of incoming old reviews. You have been warned.

June ’20 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

Books – 11

Pages – 4912

Words – 1337.5K

Average Rating – 3.64

 

The Less Good:

In all honesty, I can’t even call these mediocre, because they weren’t. They just weren’t as good as the rest of the books I read this month.  Which is a fantastic problem to have!

Harrigan – 3 Stars

Sabbat Martyr – 3 Stars

 

The Good:

Princeps’ Fury – 5 Stars

Gulag Archipelago – 4 Stars

 

Movie:

Karas left me reeling like an amnesiac drunk in a hurricane. I simply had no clue what was going on in that anime and had to wonder why I ever picked it up back in the day.  Not a good experience.

 

Miscellaneous Posts:

Once again, I’ll just bullet point these if you happened to miss any during the month.

 

Personal:

Summer is here.  Which means it has been getting into the 90’s. All I can say is thank goodness for central air and air conditioning!

Church is back open but I’d estimate about half the people aren’t comfortable coming back yet and so have still been watching on facebook livestream.

Our bluray player got stuck in an on/off cycle that put the kibosh on using it. Thankfully, it was cheap enough to pick up another one at Target, so my anime watching plans didn’t go off the rails.

WordPress has pulled back from forcing everyone to switch to the new block editor until at least 2021.  I remain pessimistic though 😦

 

Plans for Next Month:

Hoping to take a vacation at the end of July, beginning of August,  so not exactly sure how that will impact the blog.  Probably hardly at all for July. I suspect August will be where things might get off the rails. Or I end up doing such an excellent job of scheduling things that nobody ever notices. But who believes in best case scenarios?

I am planning on making Sundays all about anime that I really hope turn out better than Karas. If it works out well for me, I might try to do more in future months. Problem is, anime series are just that, series. Consisting of 6-26 episodes, they are much more of a time commitment than a single movie. So I guess July will be another experiment on my part. If it ends up impinging on my reading time, then forget about it. But if I can fit it in where I would normally watch amazon prime or something, then sure.

See you all tomorrow!

 

bookstooge (Custom)

May ’20 Roundup & Ramblings

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Raw Data:

Books — 11

Pages — 4505

Words — 1215K

Average Rating — 3.55 Stars

The Mediocre:

Pericles, Prince of Tyre — 3 Stars

The Sword-Edged Blonde — 3 Stars

 

The Good:

Captain’s Fury — 5 Stars

Kingfisher — 4 1/2 stars

 

Movie:

The 10th Kingdom ended on a rather meh note and I know I won’t be watching it again any time soon. June’s options are either Karas or The Returner. So far, Karas has all the votes.

 

Miscellaneous Posts:

This was a very wordy month and while I didn’t write a post every day,  my total (including this one) was 26. With 11 reviews, that means I pushed out 15 non-review posts.  Never felt burnt out even while some of the posts bordered on the simply ridiculous.

So without further ado, here’s the bullet list:

 

Personal:

Work has gone back to a regular 5 days now, so I was a bit too busy to let small things get any notice.  Work is fine, cars are fine, condo is fine, so it’s all fine.  Not going to complain about that!

 

Plans for Next Month:

With work going back to a normal schedule, I suspect my reading numbers will drop back into the single digits and that my output of non-review posts be less numerous as well. I am planning to read & review some manga and to have some more Gulag quotes, as well as the old standbyes of movie &  #6degree. Trying to scrounge up some tag post material as well. Might be another rant post about the calendar/scheduling if that continues to annoy me.

 

bookstooge (Custom)