October 2012 Month in Review

This is going to be really short, in fact, the only reason that it’s even here is so that I can keep up my form of having done this every month.

I finished 3 books this month, oddly enough the first 3 Wheel of Time books that I spent the whole month talking about.  It doesn’t sound like much, but they total 1941 pages, which actually beats last months total for 5 books.  Also, for the first three books I was reading my shiny new trade paperback editions (the ones that have the ebook covers) and since the pages are larger, there are fewer of them.  For example, The Eye of the World paperback has 782 pages, the trade paperback has 722, so over the three books I probably lowered my page count by about 200 because of the version of the books that I chose to read.  But it’s back to the regular paperbacks for the rest of the series until book 11, which is the first one that I bought in hardcover.  I’ll probably buy a hardcover edition of all the books eventually, and I know I’m going to get the trade paperbacks of each book (the new covers are fantastic), so I should probably go ahead and buy the paperback versions of each book as well, just so I have 3 full sets, but that’s a ways off before I get them all.

Anyway, I’m not going to list all the books, I’m just going to link to my Wheel of Time homepage for everything I read this month.  And now, I’m off to read more of The Wheel of Time.

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September 2012 Month in Review

We come to the end of another month, and while August was a down month for me reading, September was downright abysmal.  I read a total of 5 books this past month, coming in at just a little over 1600 pages for the month, which easily makes September my poorest effort for reading for the year thus far.  In my defense I’m still getting used to my new job and trying to find time to read with that, and then all of my bowling leagues started this month as well.  This means that along with being at work during the day, I’m also bowling 3 or 4 nights a week (one of my leagues only bowls every other week).

So enough of my rambling and complaining, what did I actually read this month?  Here’s the admittedly short list:

One of the biggest things that occurred around here this past month was being asked to read a novel by someone who follows my blog.  Kasia James asked me to read her novel, and for those who think they would enjoy a light SciFi novel with a leaning towards literary fiction I would strongly suggest you go check out her book (there’s a link where you can buy the book in my original post reviewing the book).

So while it was a down month for reading, otherwise I don’t have a whole lot to complain about.  I’ve got a couple of things to mention about what’s going to be happening with my blog in the upcoming months, but we’ll save that for a separate post tomorrow.

August 2012 Month in Review

Another month has come and gone, and now I get to do another post about what books I read this past month.  Sadly, for the second time in 3 months I didn’t hit 3,000 pages.  There were two main problems with trying to hit 3,000 pages this month, the first was that The Hero with a Thousand Faces took me  about a week to read, and the second and more important reason is that I got a full-time job a couple of weeks ago.  I’m still reading as much as I can, but my reading is mostly left to my lunch breaks at work, a little time once I get home, and then weekends.

My semi-stated reading goal for the year was to average about 100 pages a day during the course of the year.  Thus far I’m up to about 27,000 pages for the year, which puts me well ahead of the 100 page a day average, and gives me a lot of buffer for the upcoming months where I’ll be working and bowling a lot more for the rest of the year.

So anyway, on to the books I read this month:

So for the second time in the history of my blog, I have a book that I didn’t fit into the standard rating system.  I didn’t want to give God’s Debris a simple number score like I did with the rest of the books I’ve reviewed, so I’m leaving it as an N/A for the rating.

I’m reading On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony right now, and I’ve got about 75 pages left in the book, so expect a review for it tomorrow.  Otherwise, I was at work all day and then bowling tonight, so I’m going to bed.

July 2012 Month in Review

And thusly we come to the end of another month.  Last month I lamented because I for the first time all year I didn’t reach 3,000 pages for the month.  Well, this month I definitely made up for it by reading 12 books which came in at 4,369 pages.  That brings my total for the year up to a little over 24,000 in 7 months, so I’m well above my set goal of averaging 100 pages a day for the year.

As for the actual books that I read this month, I had a variety of different books, but they pretty much completely fell into the SciFi/Fantasy category.  I also had a bit of variety with the scores that I gave the books this month, with ratings ranging from the first 10/10 I’ve given a book in two months as well as the first 1/10 I’ve ever given a book.  So let’s stop rambling for a moment and list the books that I read this month.

This month also saw the group read for The Well of Ascension (Mistborn book 2) for which we used a different style of group read.  Instead of asking questions and having everyone post about them, we just had one person post some ideas about the sections and have everyone discuss them in the one topic.  For next month we’re doing the same thing with The Hero of Ages (book 3), which is going to be a lot of fun.

I’m making some headway on my TBR pile, which is always good.  But one thing that might throw a wrench in that was me stumbling upon NPR’s book poll where they’re asking people for their favorite Teen Novels, from which they’ll compile their list of the top 100 Teen Novels (much like they did last year with their top 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy novels last year),  I enjoy a lot of YA books, so I’ll probably check out some books from that list, and if nothing else some of the comments on my post about the NPR poll had a bunch of suggestions for books to look into.  Plus I’ve also got my Wheel of Time re-read coming up fairly soon in anticipation of A Memory of Light coming out next January.

Should be a lot of fun in the upcoming months.  As always I’d love any suggestions for books to look into in the future, and I think I’ll once again ask what books currently on my TBR list that you’d like to see reviews for.

June 2012 Month in Review

So last month I talked about how the weather in Ohio was staring to get a little nicer, now I can talk about how the past several days have been really hot.  That’s the problem with Ohio weather, you have about 5 nice days a year, 3 in the Spring and another 2 in the Fall.  Other than that it’s just kind of crappy all year.

Anyway, on to the books I read this month.  Although I read 9 books this month, I’m a little upset that I didn’t break 3,000 pages, I hit 2,972.  Although part of that was from reading The Malloreon by Eddings.  I bought the series in the two volume collection, and the books are trade paperback size which means that overall there are less pages per book.  For example, in my edition, the first book – Guardians of the West, was 273 pages.  Amazon lists the hardcover edition of that book at 454 pages and the mass market paperback at 448 pages.  So if I adjusted my page count for the year to go by those editions, it would probably put me up to about 3,700 pages this month.  But I’m not going to do that, so we’ll leave it as it is.

(That was actually a really good guess.  Being kind of obsessive about this sort of thing, I checked the paperback page counts against my page counts.  The paperback copies would have added 734 pages, which would have put me at 3,706.)

So anyway, on with the recap of books I reviewed this month:

When I order the books with links for these posts, I put them in alphabetical order by author’s last name, and then for a series I list the books in the order of the series.  Oddly enough, that’s the order that I read the books in this month.  Strange coincidence I suppose.

So at the end of these posts I’ve typically been asking a question of those who read it, but this time I’m going to put in a little bit of blog news.  Probably 2/3 of my posts in this blog have been book reviews.  And while that is still going to be the primary purpose of my blog, I’m going to expand the scope of my media discussions a little bit.  I’m going to start going through some more movies and TV shows and discussing those on my blog as well.  I just recently started watching Joss Whedon’s Firefly and thus far I love it.  I started writing down my thoughts after each episode and in the coming weeks I’ll be doing a series of posts where I talk about the show.  After I finish up with Firefly (and Serenity) I’ll pick another show and go from there, it should be fun.

On that note, I’m off to start reading The Fall of Hyperion.

May 2012 Month in Review

And so we come to the close of the fifth month of the year.  We’re finally starting to get some nicer weather up here in Ohio, which means I actually spent some time in the past couple of days reading outdoors.  I know, it’s insanity.

Anyway, I was actually a little surprised with how much reading I was able to get done this month.  I was out of town 5/12-5/15 because I was in Baton Rouge Louisiana for the USBC Open (national bowling tournament).  I brought a couple of books with me, but I only had time to read a couple of chapters while I was down there.  Last Thursday (5/25) was also a wash for me as I spent the day up at Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio.  Despite having about a week where I wasn’t reading at all, I managed to finish 9 books this month which clocked in at 3165 pages.  So we’re 152 days into the year and I’m up to 17,897 pages for the year, which puts me at an average of just over 117 pages a day, not too bad.

And now we get to the books that I finished this past month:

All told it was a good month of reading.  Although any time that you go through 4 Christopher Moore books in a month it’s going to be good.  I also got back into a little bit of non-fiction this month with the books by Foer and Larson.

And now for the fun part.  In the next couple of weeks I should get my check for cashing in the Ohio State Bowling Tournament.  Ryan and I cashed 10th in doubles, and I should also cash for team, singles, and all events.  All this means I should be getting a pretty nice check for bowling, which means I get to buy books!  I’ve also been slowly working my way through my TBR pile, which means it’s down to about 15 or so books and I’d love some suggestions for more books to look into in the upcoming months.

April 2012 Month in Review

Ah April, a month that is supposed to herald the coming warmer weather that we’re going to be enjoying for the next few months.  Unless of course you live in Ohio, where the weather in March was beautiful and the weather in April was really cold and otherwise crappy.

But we’re not here to talk about weather, we’re here to talk about books!  I finished 9 books throughout the month of April, and I’m halfway through The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber at the moment.  I’ve got some stuff to talk about, but that’s going to come after we look at the books I read this month.

So 7 out of the 9 books that I read this month rated a 7 or higher, which by my rating means they’re books that I’d readily suggest to other people.  Along with that, one of the books that rated lower was in a series, and a 6 for a book in a series is something that I’d suggest to other people.  So it was a good month for books

So what’s my big concern that came to mind sometime in the past month or so.  Well, it involves looking at my rating system, my ratings from last year, and my ratings thus far this year.  Last year I gave 17 books a 10/10 rating, which is pretty good overall and especially concerning that those ratings came from 100 total books.  This year I’m up to 5 books with a 10/10 rating, which leaves me on course for about the same number that I had last year.  But when I looked at the excel file where I keep track of my books I quickly notice something about the books that I’ve rated 10/10 this year, they’re all books that I’ve read before.  (And Then There Were None, the Mistborn Trilogy, and I Don’t Want to Kill You.)

So what’s the big deal about that, is it even something that’s worth noticing?  Well, I don’t know.  I have noticed that reviewing each book that I read has over time changed how I look at them.  I’m able to pay more attention to some of the smaller details that really affect a book (viewpoint, pacing, character development, etc) in a way that I wasn’t able to do easily before I started reviewing every book.  I like to think that the quality of my reviews has gotten better over the past year because I’ve gotten better at explaining why I like or dislike a book as opposed to simply saying the book was good or bad.

So is it a bad thing that I’m becoming more critical in my reviews, I don’t think so.  Looking back over some of my 10/10 reviews from last year quickly shows that 4 of them were non-fiction books, which leaves me with 13 works of fiction that I rated 10/10.

So the last few months I’ve been ending these Month in Review posts with a question for those who read them.  I don’t really have on right now, so we’ll just end the post by saying thanks again for stopping by.

March 2012 Month in Review

So we’ve reached the end of another month, and I’ve gotten through another pile of books.  Time for another end of the month wrap up, complete with my standard ramblings about whatever else is crossing my mind at the moment.

One of the most common themes in book blogs that I noticed towards the end of last year was everyone deciding how many books they’re going to read in the next year.  I have one big problem with that, the page lengths of books varies greatly.  Looking back at my list of books I’ve read this year, I’ve got books that are all over the place in page count, from as short as 107 pages (The Tales of Beedle the Bard) to as long as 760 pages (Red Seas Under Red Skies).  The average page length for books I’ve read this year is just under 400.  So what really constitutes as a full book?  I mean, if I wanted to read 200 books this year, I probably could, the collected works of Dr. Seuss would take me about 2 days and amounts to about 60 books.

So what’s a busy reader to do?  I don’t have a perfect total for last year because I started my blog in March, but I do know that I hit my 100th book review just before Christmas, so I would guess that my total number of books for last year was somewhere around 110-115.  Would I like to hit 100 books again this year?  Absolutely, am I on pace to?  Yes, I’m up to 26 books through the first three months of the year.  But I know that I’m going to have to get a big lead on the 8 book a month pace to hit 100 because I have my Wheel of Time reread starting up in October.  Now, having said all that, 100 books this year isn’t really my goal.  I don’t have it written in stone anywhere, although I suppose that writing it on here is as close to stone as I’m going to get with it.  My goal for the year is to average about 100 pages read per day.

So how am I doing so far towards that?  Pretty well actually.  Including today there have been 91 days so far this year, and I’m at 10,136 pages read for the year, which puts me at about 111 per day.  Anyway, I’m done rambling on about how much I’d like to read for now, and now I’m going to go ahead and do the monthly wrap up.

I finished 9 books this month, nothing rated lower than a 5, and I also had three 8’s and a 9 come out of the month, so we’re going to call it a good month.

So there is the list from March of 2012.  Two final things before I finish the post.  The first is that this post is going to be a decent test of my very limited tech skills.  This weekend I’m actually in Toledo Ohio for the state bowling tournament, so hopefully my setting this up to publish at the right time will work.  So because I’m out of town I won’t have access to my blog, any comments will have to wait until I get back late Sunday night.  So I swear I’m not ignoring you, I’m just out of town.

And finally, last month I asked if there were any specific books off of my book list that you were interested in seeing reviews for.  I went through several of the books you asked for, as well as several others on my list.  So what’s all this mean?  Well, primarily it means that my TBR stack is getting just a little shorter and that I need to go buy more books.  Last month I asked what you wanted to see from books that I already had, this month I’m asking for open suggestions for books.  If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time you know that I’ll read just about anything, so bring on the suggestions.  I will say that it’s been a while since I’ve read some non-fiction books, so I’d be open to some suggestions for some good non-fiction as well as good fiction.

As always thank you all for stopping by and encouraging my bibliophilic tendencies.

February 2012 Month in Review

Time for another month in review post.  I was a little slow posting this month, but that’s in large part because I was reading some larger books.  I only read 7 books this past month (as opposed to 10 in January plus 2 from Christmas to the end of December which were included in last month’s wrap up) but I actually read more in terms of pages this month than last.

January’s page count ended up being 3029, whereas February I ended up with 3262 (and that’s not counting the 300+ pages of The Child Thief that I’ve gotten through after starting the book yesterday, I should finish it tomorrow which means I’ll put it into the March wrapup).

Overall, this month wasn’t quite as good as January,  only one book that I rated a 9 and one other book that I rated an 8.  I still enjoyed the majority of the books that I read this month, but I also ended up giving my first 3/10 and 4/10 ratings for the year.  Anyway on to the full list of books that I finished this past month.

I’m also going to try something a little different for this next month and ask if there are any books that you’d like to see reviews for.  I’m reading The Child Thief now and the next book I’m going to read is Partials by Dan Wells, after that, I think I’ll take a vote for what I should read next off of My Book List.

January 2012 Month in Review

I enjoyed doing my end of the year wrap up that I posted on Christmas, and I thought it would be fun to do a month by month wrap up of the books that I read.  I also think this will help to keep me posting at least a little more regularly on my blog so that I don’t have stretches where I go 5-6 days without posting.  So anyway, I’ll be doing a short post like this at the end of each month so I have another excuse to talk about even more books.

Anyway, since Christmas of last year, I’ve finished 11 books.  The list was a little different than from most months that I’ve had my blog because I actually re-read 4 books this month.  3 of the 4 books I’d first read before I started my blog, so they didn’t have reviews up.

All in all it was a pretty good month for the books that I read.  Of the 11 books, I ended up giving two of them a 10/10 rating, with another three getting a 9/10.  While there were a lot of highly rated books, there weren’t any books that I rated lower than a 5 either.  All in all, I’d call it a good month.

Anyway, here’s the full list of books that I finished this past month:

Otherwise, I should finish reading The Scarlet Letter either today or tomorrow, so look for my review in the next couple days.