A Side Project

side project

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.


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.


bookstooge (Custom)



Site Update


I have decided that it is time to clean this dump up. While my book reviews number in the 1000’s (currently just under 3000), they aren’t all nicely posted one book to a post. From 2000 until 2009 I did monthly posts where I just lumped them all together. It makes searching here on WordPress a nightmare and linking to previous reads or mentions of older books? Forget about it!!!  Matt’s Post about him working on his blog inspired me to get my backside in gear and to begin making this place workable.



I’ve got two main phases of construction that need to happen.



First, posts from Mid-2012 through the present need to be cleaned of all links to my old GR account that no longer exists or has covers & links to Booklikes, which I can’t count on staying alive much longer. I then need to add updated data. This includes covers, series information, maybe links and appropriate tags.  This is the easiest as each book is still its own post. For the most part, this level of work won’t affect what you see here at all, even if you are email subscribed, unless I come across a discrepancy between wordpress and Calibre. I’m hoping this should be all taken care of by the end of this year.

The second phase is going to be the most intensive and will affect anyone who subscribes to “new” posts by email. I’ll have to go through each monthly post from 2000 through 2012 and write a separate post for each entry in the monthly post. So anywhere from 10-20+ new posts for each month. That is a phracking lot of writing. I’m guessing this phase of construction is going to take years. I won’t be bothering with adding covers to those posts, but there will still be all the prerequisite data that needs to be entered. So once again, series, rating, tags, links, etc.  This is the main reason for this post. Any of you who subscribe by email will be getting inundated with emails once this starts up. Obviously, that time is a ways off, but if you have it in the back of your mind, it won’t come as a complete surprise.

I’ve been working on Phase 1 for about 2 weeks now.  I can do a couple of months worth of the Phase 1 work each weekend.  I pushed it last weekend and did almost 9 months worth of data. That caused me to just be completely “worded” out.  This weekend I’m limiting myself to a month each evening, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Seems to be working out ok without burning me out.




bookstooge (Custom)

This Week in Review

Man, what a load of a week. It just started bad and never really recovered. Hence my lack of posts for most of the week. Prepare for some whining!


whah, whah, whah!


Monday. Working in the road, setting the new centerline for the Town, so they could begin construction. Almost got run over by some jerk in a large utility van/truck. I had a can of spraypaint in my hand and let off a jet. THAT got him to stop. Then had a verbal altercation with him as he was justifying himself about not giving a damn about me actually being in the road. Had a talk with my boss, as almost tagging vehicles is NOT company approved action. I knew that was coming though, and agreed, so it was ok. But still, getting talked to by your boss, no matter how necessary, is never “fun”.

Wednesday I was working sick, as was Mrs Bookstooge. We were a real matched pair that day.


Not quite that old, but I’m definitely that grumpy looking!


Thursday I found an embedded, partially engorged deer tick on my thigh. When I removed it, it didn’t look like the head came out, so I had to head to Urgent Care to get that taken care. They put me on doxycycline and that’s been making my stomach upset.


Disgusting, disgusting, disgusting!


Then, on top of all that, I’ve been dealing with hardware and software issues at work. Some of our survey equipment is pushing 12years and so it’s starting to fail. I bought a new to us data collector and getting it updated, connected, configured, etc, etc has been a real process. I’m still not done and will have to come into the office after Sundown tomorrow to finish things up.



And after writing 18-19 posts in the last 3 weeks, I was feeling some word burnout. Not bad, but definitely didn’t want to just sit down and start typing stuff up, like this post  *grin*

Saturday is going to be church, then the above mentioned work after Sabbath. Sunday I’m climbing a local mountain with some guys from church. That’ll be fun, if it doesn’t kill us. 40degrees is going to be the high temperature and once we get above the treeline I suspect the windchill will be well below freezing. I’m no Idris Elba, but I’ll give him a run for his money!





Mr Mercedes Buddy Read – 95%

mrmercedesWell, the story part of the book is done. So don’t read further if you are against spoilers and all that jazz. I’m going to be spoilering the heck right out of the ballpark.



King sucked me right back in with this last 20%. I was right back to caring about the characters like they were real people again. Thankfully King didn’t gut me.  The suspense of whether Brady would commit the mass murder or not was kept taut right up until it is decided. I felt like I was on the edge of my seat right up until that moment. Then I was able to relax.

Things wrap up pretty happily. Jerome seems to be ok, Holly [Janey’s nutcase cousin] is on the road to being a semi-normal, take care of herself kind of person and Hodges can sit back and do some sidework to keep him active.  Brady ends up in a hospital with his head bashed in and in a coma. But of course, he wakes up right at the end of the book. Not sure if King is going to re-use him as a villain in the next Hodges book or if it is one of those throw away “will they/won’t” they kind of things. Either way, Brady should have died.

Brady also waxes philosophical on what death means and gives a decent description of oblivion and nihilism. My only thought during this was “Boy, is he going to be surprised when he wakes up and faces judgement before God”.  Couldn’t tell if that is King’s personal belief or just one he inculcated into Brady to make him a real character.

No supernatural. Not one tiny bit. That was the biggest disappointment for me.

I still have to read the Afterwards by King and hope to do a proper review this coming weekend. Don’t be surprised though if I just recycle bits from these updates. They really sum up how this book worked, or not, for me.



Bookstooge’s Mr Mercedes Posts

BookCupidity’s Mr Mercedes Posts

Mr Mercedes Buddy Read – 75%

mrmercedesWell, I went into this knowing how it had affected me so far. A couple of things were different from other times, so bear with me.

First, Mrs Bookstooge and I went to a small chinese sda church outside of Boston today where we witnessed the baptism of 14 people. 2 of them were little girls of some people we knew from our home church. The age range was from single digits up to the 70’s. Nothing is more encouraging than seeing someone take that intelligent choice to follow Jesus. It reminds you that there is Hope, that “you” are not alone and that “you” are not the last bastion of hope for all of Christendom. Sometimes we Christians forget that God is actually in charge. So that was one big factor.

Secondly, I deliberately turned off my “feelings” when going into this. I didn’t allow myself to picture these fictional characters as real people, I disconnected myself from the story.

Those together allowed me to power through another 25% in one sitting.

So spoilers ahead!

I KNEW somebody had to die, I just wasn’t sure who. Jerome or Janey? Well, King answered that question quite decisively. After I started this book I realized from talking with Tyson Adams about Book 2, that this was a trilogy and most love interests don’t last for a whole trilogy, especially not in horror books. So I should have seen this coming from a mile away, but I just didn’t want to think to hard about it.

Brady’s plan for the concert seems to have kicked into high gear and he’s not concentrating on Hodges anymore. I know nothing about plastic explosives so I still wonder how much damage a wheelchair full of the stuff could cause. I’m not interested enough to search it out on the internet either. I know the NSA is spying on me, right? And considering that I haven’t even had a chance to do a Survival Saturday post yet, I’m just too young to be locked away in a black room and have my brains picked.


A sneak peak at next week’s choice. Yummy!?!? Right…..


I get that things are now personal for Hodges and he wants to do this on his own, and I’m really glad he’s picked a time to give up and hand it in to the police. But now that Janey is no longer a driving factor, why is he staying involved? Hodges has already thought that he’s not going to kill Mr Mercedes, just apprehend him and beat him up. What is the point? If you are going to take the Law into your own hands, do it fully. That means, Judge, Jury AND Executioner. Or let the proper law enforcement officers do their job. Half measure piss me off.

I ended my reading with Hodges and Co [Jerome and Janey’s cousin who is a basketcase] realizing that Bradley was also the icecream man. Not sure how that helps them any beyond showing how he kept tabs on people and stuff.  I guess that is why I’m reading books and not writing them.



Bookstooge’s Mr Mercedes Posts

BookCupidity’s Mr Mercedes Posts

Mr Mercedes Buddy Read – 50%

mrmercedesThis is one messed up book so far. It is making me consider reading any more King at all in the coming years.


Brady the killer. This guy is a loose cannon. He’s not Dexter, he doesn’t know enough and while intelligent, can’t seem to focus that intelligence.  In other words, he’s almost like every other serial murderer.  As soon as he bought the gopher poison and brought it home, I KNEW what was going to happen. Also, the whole incest thing, not so oblique. So her offing herself by accident didn’t leave me feeling bad or sympathetic. I just wished she’d put it in lasagna or something and they both ate it and died and then Brady comes back possessed by a demon or something. If there is nothing supernatural about this storyline, I’ll be extremely disappointed.

Bill Hodges, the fat old retired cop. Getting it on with the dead woman’s younger sister. While not erotica level of graphicness, it was more than I wanted to read.  As a cop, he seems to be in complete control of the situation. He’s leading Brady along by the nose, making him react, setting things up, being the controller. Waiting for him to fall spectacularly.

Jerome, the highly intelligent neighbor boy. He’s playing way too big a part of the story so far to not get involved. My only thought is is he going to die or be broken? He’s got a little sister, so it’s a real toss up.

Janey. Getting involved with Bill the cop. Being warned to be aware. She has GOT to die.

By the 50% mark I was expecting something to have happened. But it is going really slow. Definitely a slow burn though. You can see Brady gradually losing it bit by bit.

The whole Boy Band, packed stadium thing that Brady is now fixated on. How much damage does he think he could do with a bomb vest? If the stadium can hold 3000 people, you need something vehicular sized to do some serious damage, not a bloody suicide vest with ball bearings. I keep getting told that Brady is intelligent, but there are so many instances of him doing something unintelligent that I’m beginning to shake my head. He might be smarter than the guy working at McDonalds but that does not make him intelligent. *sigh*

I asked BookCupidity if I could take an extra week to do this Buddy Read and she agreed. I’m glad I asked. I’m not going to be reading this all week. I’ll read another bit next weekend and post again. As engrossing as it is, I feel like I’m being dirtied from the inside out. Like someone dipped their hands in used car oil and is now using my brain to wipe them off. Bleh!



Bookstooge’s Mr Mercedes Posts

BookCupidity’s Mr Mercedes Posts

Mr Mercedes Buddy Read – 27%

mrmercedes At the 3% mark this past Sunday I had put this aside for a bit.

This week my brother and sisternlaw bought a house and I’ve spent some evenings over there after work helping with painting. Monday was up in the air, so I headed over to a local Barnes&Noble’s and read and took notes and drank a wonderfully delicious chai tea latte. By the 15% mark I had taken 2 pages of notes, so I decided to stop taking them, but kept on reading.



chai (Mobile)Yummy Chai!

Since I have a beard, I can say that in a “manly voice”. That makes it awesome and not at all girly.


You know, Stephen King is just one messed up fellow. Every year I am blown away by his writing and I wonder to myself “Maybe I’ll read more than one this year”. Then I come across something and I’m like “Oh yeaahhhh, THIS is why I only read one of his a year”.

The protagonist, Bill Hodges, is a great character. A retired cop with nothing to do but watch tv and drink beer and fondle his gun [literally, not the euphemistic way] and wonder if he should blow his brains out.  Then he gets a letter from Mr Mercedes and suddenly, he’s got life again. He’s got a purpose, someone to hunt down.

I was all set for a mystery thriller.

Then we meet Mr Mercedes. Some geek named Brady Hartsfield. There went my idea of “Mr Mercedes” identity being part of the mystery. And my goodness, Brady is where I had my “Oh yeaaahhh” moment. The guy lives with his alcoholic mom and there is definitely incest going on.  It is bad enough that there are messed up people like this in the real world. But it is even worse, in my opinion, that someone else, namely King, can get inside their head and bring them to life on paper. I DO NOT want to know what goes on inside King’s head.

The chapters can be short and rather herky-jerky. I never felt whiplash’y but more thought about it because I was taking notes. Part of the 2+ pages was because some of those chapters were only a couple of paragraphs. It was pretty seamlessly woven together though.

There have also been several references to some of King’s other works. At first I was thinking it was cool, but then I sat back and thought about how’d I feel if it was another author doing this. I’d call another author doing this a self-serving douchebag. So depending on whether I’m feeling grumpy or not, King is cool or a douchebag. Take your pick!

This is shaping up to be a battle of wits between Brady and Hodges. I don’t see it ending happily for anyone and I’m wondering when the supernatural part will come into play. Is Brady going to be possessed? That is my guess.

To end. My goodness, King can write. He’s drawing me in, against my will and while I’m hating him, I’m also loving what he is doing. Now that is an artist’s touch.




Bookstooge’s Mr Mercedes Posts

BookCupidity’s Mr Mercedes Posts