Mid-Year 2018 Roundup

midyear-report-graphic

I know I just did the Monthly Roundup & Rambling yesterday but I’ve seen the Mid-Year Freak Out tag going on all through June and I like the idea of a Mid-Year look at how things are proceeding

Now that the year is ACTUALLY half way over (yes, that is a jab), let’s look at some numbers shall we?

 

Books Read:

98 – On track for passing 150, check!

 

Pages Read:

31,190 – On track for 50K, which is my unofficial goal each year now.

 

Average Star Rating:

3.25

 

Most Viewed Post so far:

Algorithm of Power is so far ahead, almost triple the views of any other post, that I doubt anything I write for the rest of the year is going to surpass that.

 

Most Liked Post of so far: 

I can’t figure out how to see this data. I can see Top Liked overall using the sidebar widget, but can’t seem to drill down on just 2018 stuff. If you know how, would you let me know?

 

General Info:

3300+ visitors

3000+ comments – to be accurate, half of those are me 🙂

130 Posts

78K words written -that’s a 300 page novel! (Just call me the next Brandon Sanderson, hahhaaha)

 

Best Book so far:

I have given no book the coveted “Best Book of the Year” tag yet. I guess I better get cracking! Or I’ll have to ret-con some of my high rated, favorite books. I suspect that is what is going to happen.

 

Worst Book so far:

Gods of the Mountain. Not that the book is actually the worst, but the author’s demanding attitude where he began acting like he paid me to be his editor, definitely rubbed me the wrong way.

Sandworms of Dune was horrible in the worst of ways by being so mediocre that vanilla pudding was exciting in comparison and Curse of the Wendigo had some horrible moral content.

 

Cover Love:

I am torn between Jackaby and Stranger of Tempest. They are very different from each other and so trying to choose between is rather hard. So I’m going with both!

cover

 

 

stranger-of-tempest-final

Advertisements

PSA: Too Big To Comment

tobigtofail.jpg

If you’ve been alive for the past decade, you’ve heard all the “Too Big to Fail” jokes. Whether actually funny, ironic or just plain bitter.

But, that phrase got me to thinking. I like to comment on other peoples posts. Not ALL the time, but probably about 90%.  Some of the people I comment on can get a lot of comments on their posts, like Orangutan Librarian or Drew the Tattooed Book Geek.  That post of Drew’s I link to? It has 110 comments. 110. Now, if I “know” someone, that number wouldn’t be a deterrent at all, as I would expect them to to pay attention to me, the Great Bookstooge, who deigned to come to their blog and grace them with a comment. But for those I don’t know, who don’t know the greatness that is me, I have to admit, any post with over 15 comments by others, I’ll probably not comment on.

And this is where the “thinking” began.  Specifically, where is YOUR comment cut off limit? Do you comment differently, like I do, depending on the blog? Are you likely to comment on a blog no matter what? Or do you see a Certain Number and just wave off? Commenting in general has come up in previous posts, but this time around I’m interested in a particular data set. I plan on writing a data mining book and use this data to become fabulously wealthy.

Lets-get-to-work-meme.jpg
Get cracking folks, I won’t get very wealthy if you’re not doing the work for me!

 

 

My average Comment to Post ratio, according to the wordpress stats, is 20. Now, half of those are me, so call that 10 comments per post on average. Of course, book reviews of graphic novels and manga tend to have a lot fewer comments, and my non-review posts tend to bloat up pretty big. Mostly because I reply to every comment that people leave. At what number do you just think “nope, not commenting”?

I hope you feel comfortable leaving comments here. I try to treat each one as a conversation between you and me and while I know I don’t always succeed at that, that is what I aim for.

shrink.jpg
Dr Bookstooge is here for you!

 

 

 

And just in case you think I don’t work hard and totally deserve all your money that you’ve earned, here’s a snowy picture of a steep hill in the woods.

IMG_20180307_085511763.jpg
This picture is pretty self-explanatory as to why I deserve your money…

 

 

 

bookstooge

 

Bookstooge Reviews 2017

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

Blog  Stats:

Total Posts: 321

Total Views: 15.8K  +/-

Followers: 166 (subject to culling)

 

Book Stats:

Books Read:  194

Pages Read: 67,400 +/-

 

Star Stats: 

 

 

Average Rating –  3.47

 

 

 

General Thoughts’ish:

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

 

booklikeslogo

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

 

wp_logo

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

 

logo4_medium

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

 

calibre

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

 

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

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

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

 

THE BOOKS

Best book of the Year:

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

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

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

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

 

Worst Book of the Year:

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

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

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

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

 

Plans for 2018

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

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

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

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

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

 

readinglist

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

Books by Patricia McKillip

Shadows of the Apt

Sacketts

High Priority (currently 5 books in this collection)

Books by Charles Dickens

Warhammer: Thanquol & Boneripper

Polity

Omega Force

Wayward Pines

Brother Cadfael

Dread Empire

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

The Complete Shakespeare

Malaz Empire

Monstrumologist

Bookburners

Misc (currently 6 books in this collection)

Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein

Thraxas

Maradaine

Malazan Book of the Fallen

Forgotten Realms: Year of Rogue Dragons

Dune Chronicles

Culture Novels

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

 

Personal: 

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

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

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

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

 

 

top5

TOP 5’s:

 

– Book Review Posts –

Night of Knives

Moon Over Soho

Way of Shadows

Dune

The Kantovan Vault

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

 

– Non-Review Posts – 

Mr Mercedes – I’ve Read 3%

A Milestone

Survival Saturday – The Intro Post

I Will Make Them Cry

Bookstooge & the Invisible Reader

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

 

– Commentors – + Bonus Commentors

OrangutanLibrarian

Lashaan

Manuel

Space and Sorcery

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Mr and Mrs NW

DragonsandZombies

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

 

– Movies –

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

Doctor Strange

John Wick 2

 

 

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

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

 

bookstooge