November ’22 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Novels – 12 ↓

Graphic Novels – 4 ↓

Average Rating – 3.09 ↑

Pages – 3141 ↓

Words – 1088K ↓

The Bad:

Predator: Eyes of the Demon – 1.5stars of woke stories about pregnant predators and such.

Jackal of the Mind – 1star DNF for the usual reasons in fiction nowadays.

The Good:

Galactic Odyssey – 5stars of perennial favoriteness that I think I’m done with now.

Hidden Voices – 4stars as the newest entry in the Arcane Casebook series.

Movie:

Didn’t review any movies this month. I am sure you all were as devastated as I was about that 😉

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

The last week of October and the first 2 weeks of November were sunny, warm and work was great. Weeks like these are why I put up with the winters of New England. I was soaking in the sunshine and humming to myself and life was good. Of course, by the end of the month I was wearing my thermal underwear and mountaineering socks, so winter came in fast.

The Author Index is going along quite swimmingly. I’m working my way backwards from Z to A and I’m working on the S’s already. It is already paying dividends as I found another book I hadn’t reviewed on the blog and so added it. I did have to change how the page behaved, as I realized I had over 900 authors and one single page with 900 links was going to be so unwieldy as to be useless. So each letter now opens up to its own page and associated authors. Not what I wanted but I suspect long term it will work out better.

I wrote what felt like was a lot of non-review posts and I HAD SO MUCH FUN AGAIN. Not posting on Tuesdays did mean I had to double up posts on other random days, but it worked for me. I do have to ask, how do you all feel about? Do you care if a blogger has multiple posts in a day or would you rather they were spread out completely? If you have never thought about this subject, I think you should. Being a wiser, discerning blog reader is important and besides, I want to raise the tone here on my blog. So raise that left pinky when leaving a comment please.

Life has been changing, in small ways but more than I was expecting. Upgrading my avatar, buying a new computer, going Dot Blog, the disastrous new theme that didn’t work out, Mrs B becoming a contributor to the blog, all little things in and of themselves, but for someone like me, that’s a veritable avalanche of changes. Last month I joked about reading my old journals being my midlife crisis, but in all seriousness, this much changing in such a short time is not like me at all. But I am enjoying it instead of worrying about it, hahahhaaa. In the words of the Immortal Bill & Ted, Party on Dudes!

Cover Love:

Hidden Voices, book 9 in the series, does not fail to once again deliver a stunning cover. I LOVE these!

Plans for Next Month:

Well, pretty much the same as this month I think. 12 books a month seems to work out well for me in terms of reviewing without burning out and adding 4 comics on top of that was not too much. I’m still not going to be reading any manga though. That’s going to have to wait until January.

I am going to be watching and reviewing Event Horizon for my movie. Starting next year I’m going to have to figure out something as watching and reviewing random movies really doesn’t work for me. The Muppet journey was perfect and if I could find something akin to that, it would be great. I doubt I’ll be able to though. I might even give the whole one movie a month thing the toss.

Got a bunch of non-review nonsense posts queued up. Just need to actually write them. That’s the biggest problem with blogging I have found. I have some great ideas but then I actually have to work and write it out. Totally bogus.

Survive the holidays. Thanksgiving wasn’t nearly as bad as I was afraid it might be, but we’ll see what happens with Christmas and New Years. Speaking of Christmas, tomorrow I’ll be reviewing A Christmas Carol as read by Patrick Stewart. Please look forward to it!

Galactic Odyssey ★★★★★

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress & Blogspot by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Galactic Odyssey
Series: ———-
Author: Keith Laumer
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 129
Words: 37K

This, along with Sentenced to Prism, is one of my most read books. This is the fourth time I’ve read it since 2000 and I know I read it at least 3 times between 1990 and 2000, quite possibly 4 or 5 times. However, my recent re-read of Sentenced and my reaction to it, helped prepare me for this re-read. I had almost the same reaction, ie, a wistful disappointment but because I was expecting it, it didn’t change how I viewed the book like it did for Sentenced.

At under 150 pages, this is a very short story and so much happens, that its serial roots are quite obvious this time around. I hadn’t noticed it in previous reads, but this time around it was rather glaring.

While I still enjoyed this, I think, that just like with Sentenced, the time of re-reading this particular story is over. I’ve changed enough that this doesn’t engage the same way on the emotional level like it has in decades past. Sometimes getting older and changing isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be :-/

★★★★★

Thanksgiving Pumpkin

Forget pumpkin pie, look at this guy!

Once upon a time, there was a pumpkin. It sat next to a bunch of spider plants that were grown to look like hair on the flower pots shaped like people. I can almost imagine the plants encouraging the lonely pumpkin, saying “I’m rooting for you!”.

This little pumpkin went to the market place AND this little pumpkin went home!

The little pumpkin sat quietly in November and was behaving itself instead of turning bad. It was the only one left on the shelf and I decided to shelter the little guy.

Shank you very much!

Lil Pumpkin sat quietly on the counter for awhile, until I decided it was time to decorate for Thanksgiving. Time to slim up and go under the knife!

Guts and Glory!

The Pumpkin wasn’t very nice and puked up its guts everywhere.

Fits like a glove!

Lil pumpkin was a fighter. It didn’t want to give up, but I liked how it looked and overcame all objections!

You glow, pumpkin!

Thankfully, when the pumpkin was done, I decided it had a beautiful heart. It practically got glowing reviews from me!

In the end, the little pumpkin didn’t quite make it until Thanksgiving before going dark, but it’s still a bright little memory for me!

The Collected Stories (The Russians) ★★☆☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress & Blogspot by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Collected Stories
Series: (The Russians)
Author: Nikolai Gogol
Translator: Unknown
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 575
Words: 166K

If peasants getting drunk and doing stupid things amuses you, if the devil being outfoxed by said peasants sounds interesting and if constantly worrying about your class status is something you do, then these short stories are probably for you.

They were not for me. Thankfully, this was the last of Gogol. There are some plays left, but I’m not going to bother.

★★☆☆☆

Thanksgiving 2022

Today is the day that Americans are supposed to give Thanks to God for the many blessings they have received over the past year, whether they deserved them or not. In this day and age of Commercialism, Covid19, Uncertainty and Fear, it is all the more important.

If you haven’t figured it out yet (or read my About page), I’m a committed Christian. In this context, it means that I’m specifically giving thanks to Jehovah God and not just some idea of a greater power.

Without Further Ado, I am thankful for:

Mrs B once again tops the list. Without her, my life would be radically different and none of it for the better.

I am thankful for my work. I am also thankful for Mrs B’s work. Not only does it provide the money that we need to live, but it keeps me occupied (idle hands are the devil’s tools after all). I also enjoy my work. Being outside with only 1 other person and not having to deal with office politics, etc, etc is a real blessing. It also gives me a chance to meet people I normally never would. And one thing that has been brought to the fore of my mind this year is that we can use our finances to bless others.

Church. The fellowship that I have with other Christians at church is priceless to me. The fact that there are also weekly Small Group meetings has been an immense blessing this year. Getting to know individuals is one of the greatest gifts I have been given. I also get to watch kids turn into teenagers, teenagers turn into young adults and young adults turn into adults. I also feel blessed that the Bible is taught every single week. The Word of God is the Word of Life.

I am thankful for my journal. I started the one pictured above in April (I talk about it HERE) and just finished it up this past month, so I’m already on a new one. Haven’t decided if I’ll post anything about the newest one, but chances are better than not as I just Like Journaling. Being able to articulate what I feel and why in total privacy with no one being able to judge me or even “suggest” anything feeds my soul.

Finally, I am thankful for eggnog. Life is made up of big and little things and having eggnog available from Thanksgiving to Christmas is a little delight that I revel in.

I think that is enough for now. God bless you all and may you find Peace in Christ Jesus.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #11 ★★✬☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress & Blogspot by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #11
Authors: Peter Laird & Kevin Eastman
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 41
Words: 2K

So after the last issue where Shredder is shown to be alive and attacks the group and they barely escape, this issue is all from April’s perspective and takes the form of her writing in her journal while the group recovers at an old farmhouse that belonged to Casey’s grandmother.

April has nightmares about losing everything, each of the boys is hurt and trying to recover in their own way and through the winter they all do their separate activities, with varying degrees of success. Finally Splinter gets involved and starts them on the healing path as a group.

April journaling was definitely something I can identify with. The act of writing (not typing mind you, but writing, not that that was readily available in 1987 in abandoned farmhouses in new england!) can be therapeutic and can act as a release valve. For me, there are lots of things I think and feel that I can’t say to others, for a variety of reasons. But they are still inside of me, churning around and bubbling like a cauldron. Writing those thoughts down allows me to stop thinking about them and prevents them from festering in my mind and becoming something worse. It is also a calming exercise as I am totally focused on the act of writing and can ignore the world around me for that time. Obviously, that is me bringing my own thoughts on journaling to the comic, but from what April writes and how she writes, it seems like she uses it the same way.

I downgraded this a full star though because near the end Splinter and the boys are having a kum bai ya moment and it is so full of 80’s Eastern Mysticism Cant that I literally rolled my eyes. Thankfully, the issue does end with spring coming and everyone getting back on track to be the group they were meant to. So I’ll keep on reading 🙂

★★✬☆☆

Sentenced to Prism (HumanX Commonwealth) ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress & Blogspot by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Sentenced to Prism
Series: HumanX Commonwealth
Author: Alan Dean Foster
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 212
Words: 82K

Yeah, really should have left this one alone for another couple of years. 2018 isn’t long enough ago for me. I downgraded this favorite of mine down to 4stars because it is just such a simplistic story. Sometimes that really works for me but this time, it was a detriment and not a positive. I’ll definitely be re-reading this again sometime in the future, but I’m guessing it will be another decade instead of 4-5 years.

That is all. Carry on with your normal daily business, citizens of Planet Earth, no need to be alarmed. All Your Cinema Are Belong To Us!

★★★★☆

The Thanksgiving Wars: Fakesgiving Versus Yanksgiving

In the days before recorded history, a time of mystery, of barbarians roaming wild landscapes, surviving as best they could without the internet or able to even write on simple blogs, of derring-do and deeds that modern man cannot even fathom as possible, there arose 2 great tribes. Both the Canucks and the Yanks were descended from a much older people, people that time had forgotten except in the myths and legends of their breakfast cereals (All Hail the Lucky Charms!). The Canucks were docile servants of the savage Elder Race and came to serve them as many others had throughout the ages. The Yanks, on the other hand, were hardy warriors who bowed the knee to no man and defied all would-be conquerors.

As these tribal brothers grew and expanded, their traditions began their own separate paths. One such tradition was Thanksgiving, a day given over to thanking God for the blessings of the previous year. One of the tribes tried to outdo the other tribe by celebrating their Thanksgiving early.

This became known as Fakesgiving, a day that only fakers observed and that no civilized person wanted anything to do with. Sadly the Canucks, easily deluded and led astray by their politeness, began celebrating Fakesgiving like it was a real holiday. Tofurkey became the food of choice and tears were wept the world over. Like a blind beggar holding onto his last scrap of filthy, lice-ridden clothing, so do the Canucks of today hold onto Fakesgiving.

In opposition to such a sickening display of fakery, the Yanks tribe began their own tradition. Better known as Yanksgiving, this holiday celebrated just how cheap they could be. Take an old boot, throw it in the oven with some gravy and after a couple of hours no one could tell it isn’t a turkey! That’s how you celebrate Yanksgiving! Even today, awesome feats of mastication are to be seen at such gatherings, where cheapness abounds like the dew on the grass (because dew is free after all)

And that is how the Eternal War between Dark and Light, Evil and Good, Fakesgiving and Yanksgiving began. A hidden war in the shadows between two eternally opposed forces. A monumental tide ripping unseen through humanity itself.

So choose today, which will you serve. As for me and my house, we will serve Yanksgiving!