Currently Reading: Valor (and it’s not looking good)

valor (Custom)Even after my abysmal start with John Gwynne and his arrogant debut with Malice, I was the bigger man and decided to give the rat a second chance. The book hadn’t even started and the (what can I use as a pejorative that isn’t a profanity? I need a word that adequately describes my dislike of the man, the author, the style and in fact, every single thing about him) son of a ghuhn was already rubbing my face in his sickening, overwheening pride. The Cast of Characters was right at the beginning of the book and if you remember (and if you don’t I’m going to remind you), my first big complaint was that Gwynne debuted a first book in a series with over 45 named characters. Well, that rat ghuhn listed 94 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) (I know, because I counted them) characters in his cast of characters. I stuck my tongue into the corner of my mouth, calmly closed my kindle Oasis and didn’t read another word for over 24hrs.

I had to think. So I turned to the series of books that I consider to be the most dense, the most depressing, the best written and the most awesome of storylines, the Malazan Books of the Fallen. In Reaper’s Gale the Cast of Characters is 153. However, that was Book 7 of a series of 10, where each book was actually a double novel. So I checked out the second book, Deadhouse Gates and it clocks in at around 84 characters.

Honestly, I can’t figure out why I have such problems with Gwynne doing this when I’ve seen it done already. Maybe because I now associate Malazan and Erikson with 1000 page nihilistic existentialism soap box preaching and complete and utter authorial disregard for actually telling a story? And I’m concerned Gwynne is going to go down that road? I already know this is grim stuff, so that strikes against it but I can’t figure it out. That bugs the living daylights out of me. 

Right now, the following is ME and what you can’t see is John Gwynne prostrate at my feet as I decide if I’ll swing the axe or not.

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I started reading again last night and I’m still on the fence. If you don’t see a review of this next week you’ll know I stuck to it.

 

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ps,

I found the perfect term. Dirty Louse.

To My Email Followers…

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While I mentioned this in passing in my last Roundup&Ramblings post, I figured I’d better do a separate post so there wasn’t any confusion.

In January I completed Phase One of my Blog Construction Plans.  As such, now I am moving into Phase Two, which is a much bigger undertaking and more intrusive, IF you happen to get emails from me. As I will be creating new posts for each review that I formerly lumped together in monthly posts, even though they are backdated, WordPress still considers them new posts and sends them to everyone on the email list.

This is just a fair warning post to let you know that while I’ve toyed around with this Phase Two, I am hoping to really start things in earnest next month. So be advised you could be getting an additional 5-20 posts emailed to you each month.

That is all.

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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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Site Update

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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.

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

 

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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Bookstooge’s Mr Mercedes Posts

BookCupidity’s Mr Mercedes Posts