Bookstooge Reviews 2018

Collage created at  I used the Gunmetal Font and the text color hex code is E4B678. 

2018 was a very different year from 2017. Here’s my 2017 in Review post.


Annual Blog Stats:

Total Posts – 248’ish

Total Views –  20K

Followers – 360+/- [fluctuation due to spam accounts getting deleted by WP]

Book Stats:

Books Read – 172

Pages Read – 59,371

Average Rating – 3.31

Graph Stats:


As you can see, the majority of what I read is in the 3-4 star rating range. I explain my rating system Here.

graph (1)

Almost 27% of my books were re-reads and STILL my average is under 3.5. To put things in perspective though, anything over 3.1 is a good year for me. I just feel like grumping about something!

General Thoughts

2018 was a year of digging into blogging at wordpress and realizing that the ebb and flow of people I follow and the people who follow me, is normal. I’ve fully instituted my “I don’t follow someone who doesn’t post at least once a month” rule for new potentials and unless someone I follow lets their followers know they’re going to be gone, the same applies to people I already follow. I’ve probably stopped following quite a few sporadic bloggers this year, which has made my feed and interactions with others a bit more stable. It is also nice when people I do follow DO let their followers know that Life is getting in the way and they won’t be around for a bit. What has saddened me though is watching people disappear. While it is completely understandable, it has been a bit tough to see Life, Health or Interest make people just go “poof”. But I’m realizing this is normal and I’m hoping that in 2019 I’ll be a little more inured to such things. I hope so anyway because it is a really sucky feeling to see someone “take a health break” and then never come back.

Ok, enough of THAT!


WordPress is now completely my blogging home. Anything I feel like writing, it roosts here. From the good to the bad, from the happy to the sorrowful, it gets written and posted here.

My post count was almost 100 posts lower than in ’17 but since I wrote a post almost every day that year, I’m not surprised. I can’t keep that level of creativity going. It also came down to me starting to schedule my reviews 2-3 weeks in advance. It has made my review writing much more disciplined but that very same discipline has impacted my writing on the spur of the moment, which is when a lot of non-review posts get written.

On a daily basis that lack of creativity did affect my numbers (ie, views, visits, likes, comments) but on the annual side of things, my numbers are stronger than in ’17. So with less posts I’ve gotten more. I think part of it is that not writing everyday gives people a chance to actually read what I post. If you’re only a weekly blogger and then visit me, 4 posts is a lot more handle-able (my goodness, that’s not even a real word!) than 7 or 8. Whatever the reason, 2018 was a good year for all my numbers and I’m very satisfied with them.

Speaking of satisfaction… (Sing it!)

I feel like I have settled into a good routine. I’m following people who are constant posters. My reading and reviewing schedule has fallen right into line with my whole reading rotation. My followers go up and down, but that is an aspect of what I alluded to in the opening paragraph. It does mean that I am always on the lookout for a new blogger to follow every 4-5 months, which is good for me so I don’t completely get set in my ways.

Overall, 2018 was everything I wanted from a free book blog. I reviewed, I ranted, I had fun. I also updated my little avatar,

From This:


To This:

bookstooge (Custom)

I’m obviously moving up in the world!


Blogger is now my backup blog for just my reviews. I started out ’18 trying to mirror some non-review posts but gave it up pretty quickly. It’s a good blog if you like my reviews but don’t like anything else I write. It’s just as disorganized as my wordpress blog but I’m not trying to retro-actively clean it up. I also don’t like how the comment notification works so I’m not really incentivized to make it work.


Had a bit of a dustup in a group because I talked about killing communists & hippies in one of my reviews, so Librarything has pretty much reverted to being the place where I keep track of what I’m currently reading and where I get info and cover data from. I put my reviews there as well, but since there isn’t much of a social thing outside of groups, I’m not very active there. Me and groups, we just don’t get along, sigh.


Best Book of the Year:

Ok, I have to admit, I am beyond stingy when it comes to this particular tag. I am also super miserly with 5star ratings. I only had two instances of this tag and only 9 5star reads. Only 3 of ANY of those was a new to me book. Books these days, they’re just not what they used to be…*sigh*

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. 1, takes this category.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a strong runner up.

Worst Book of the Year:

This category is a little easier for me to write about, as I did read some atrocious books this year. The book that takes this category however, gets this “honor” because while it probably wasn’t actually the most un-enjoyable book I read, the interactions with its author went downhill very quickly; let me tell you, some severe comment deletion went on. That reaffirmed my faith in not thinking of Writers as People. Most people are jackasses. Most writers, surprisingly, are people. Which means that most writers are jackasses. Goodness, don’t you just love Logic?

Ok, now that I’m done being all clever, here’s the loser.

Gods of the Mountain

Sandworms of Dune almost beat it, but at least the authors didn’t whine at me and expect me to be their personal editor.

Plans for 2019

Not much. Last year, I was brimming with ideas. Then Life happened and stuff. This year, all I really want is to get my blog fully organized. I’m closing in on getting all my recent reviews fully tagged and categorized (recent being 2013 to Present). Once that gets done, then the BIG job of going backwards in time can begin. 2012 back to 2000. But I’m being super casual and laid back about it, so it’ll happen when it happens.

I did have a goal of breaking the 100 view mark for a post for 2018 and not only did that happen, it happened 10 times. Now, quite a few more posts have also passed the 100 view mark, but they are older posts that either I reference or get picked up in a google search. I’d be happy with the same results for 2019.

Actually, I JUST thought of a goal while writing this post. I’ve mentioned before that I think that the world NEEDS a World Book Czar and that I think I’m pretty qualified. So 2019 is the year I get serious about running for office. And by running for office I mean getting rid of all of the competition so you all have a choice of One. Me. I look forward to discussing the issues with my fellow candidates!

“Discussions”, yes….


Where to even start? I guess church stuff. January and February were pretty bad and led to us leaving the church that we’d been attending for a decade and begin looking for another. While we have found another, you don’t make changes like that without upheaval and inner consequences. We’ll see how we do in ’19.

Health has been all over the place for both of us. Between a hospital stay for Mrs B and several crohn’s related incidents and my diabetes and then gastroenteritis and flu at the end of the year, we became pretty well acquainted with our hospital bills.

I’ve been working by myself at work since July and it is wearing me out. Things need to change by Spring or I’ll have to make some changes myself. I’m just not thinking about that to be honest.

I did finish up my Bookstooge in 100 Books and pinned it to the side of my blog. That was a lot of fun to write and think about. I should probably also go over my About page and see if anything needs updating. Thankfully, both of those posts tend to be rather static and a once a year check is good enough.

This year I did get into Magic the Gathering a bit more. Probably played a little less, but have started on constructing my own Commander decks, which takes a lot of time, thought, creativity and if one is so inclined, money. I am also dabbling with the idea of getting into the digital version of MTG, called Arena. We’ll see, as me and computer games just don’t really click that well.

I would categorize 2018 as a tough year but Mrs B and me are still doing ok, praise God.


Here are the top 5 viewed posts in each of the various categories.

Book Review Posts

Algorithm of Power (negative review with a good writer interaction)

Gods of the Mountain (negative review with a negative writer interaction)

Lord of Light

Toll the Hounds

We are Legion(We are Bob)

Hmmmm, I’m sensing a trend with the ratings and viewership there….

Non-review Posts

Honesty and Book Reviewing

DNF – The Divisive Issue of Our Day

Why I Re-Read

Too Big to Comment

Saint Bookstooge Gives Answer

Ranting does seem to get some good views!

Commentors + Runner Up


Orangutan Librarian

SavageDDT (Dave)

Ola G (NOT Olag, like I originally thought)


+ Maddalena

I live for comments, so I am glad that WordPress gives me this kind of info. I’d also like to thank everyone (well, except for that writer who got butt hurt that I did exactly what he asked me to, ie, write an honest review of his book) who commented this year. Written interactions on my blog make it so much more fun.

I’ve had more visitors and more comments than last year, so I’m hoping to keep that trend going. I’ve had some wonderful new followers this year who seem to like commenting as much as I do and I’m thankful for that. With almost 5,800 comments this year (to be honest half of them are me), that feeds my soul like you wouldn’t believe.

Who knows, maybe next’s years list of commentors will be completely different people. Come on, you know you want to edge Lashaan out of the top spot!


Once again, my movie list is less than 10, so a top 5 would pretty much include them all. Here’s the Top 2, just like last year.

Thor: Ragnarok (man, what a FUN movie)

Boondock Saints vs John Wick (a comparison post)

It’s not so much that I don’t watch ANY movies, but I just don’t review them. It doesn’t come nearly as easy as the book reviews. As much as I’d like to say there will be more movie reviews in 2019, we all know I’d be lying. So folks, there will be MORE movie reviews in 2019 😀


Ok, while this post is shorter than last years Review, it’s still monstrously long by my standards (anything over 1K is monstrous in my opinion). I look forward to reading all of your various yearly posts, if you’re so inclined that way, and I hope to see you around in 2019. Unless you’re a communist, because then I will shoot you.

My Personal ACD (anti-communist device)

bookstooge (Custom)

50 thoughts on “Bookstooge Reviews 2018

  1. Hah! I have a chance to have a first comment, what a good place New Zealand is, with the time difference! 😛
    Those are enviable stats, congratulations! And keep up the good job, I really need some fun posts to read 😉
    Thanks for the mention, and yes, I’m definitely female and not some lumberjack from Russia…
    And, finally, a Happy New Year to you and Mrs B!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Average Rating – 3.31”. You’re even worse than me at book rating (3.33 for me)…

    Where do I vote to name you the Book Czar? I can picture you holding a baton and bashing people’s heads when our book numbers (number of reviews, number of books read, etc.) are not up to par…

    I’m glad someone is also thibnking of publishing retro-reviews. I found out a lot of stuff about myself I wouldn’t have done otherwise. I’m curious about the stuff you wrote when you were still an “infant” book-reviewing-wise…

    Have a wonderful 2019.

    NB: I’m not a communist. So I’m safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was realizing, as I went through my various averages, that I am just plain strict with my ratings. Something has to be amazing for me to give it 4.5 or higher. maybe I’m just getting to cynical now.

      The logistics of the Book Czar haven’t been fully worked out. I’m thinking about doing some posts on the idea and will probably get things taken care of during those times. I’ve already reached out to several other candidates and am looking forward to putting up our responses as posts. Very enlightening time.

      I’m already in March of 2016 for reviews, and I think I started using the series tags in 17 sometime? Once I get caught up to that, then I can go backwards. All the posts are there, just in gigantic monthly or even annual posts. Makings searching a nightmare!

      And a happy new year to you too! Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re a giant, of reading and blogging alike 🙂 And a harsh reviewer, I’ve been selecting my readings very carefully in 2018 which resulted in 4.4 average… too much, I’ll take more risks this year.
    Your blog is definitely a hub of interesting interactions, but 5800 comments… just, wow!
    I’ll be looking forward to seeing more movie reviews, we’re probably going to have a few on Re-E as well 🙂

    Once more, happy 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A very harsh reviewer and I think that is probably why my average is so low. Something I’ll just have to learn to live with I guess 🙂

      Comments are my goal, which is why I try to comment so much elsewhere. I figure reciprocity kicks in 🙂

      We’ll see how the movie thing works out. I watch whatever is available on Prime, or that I own, so I figure it’ll be quite an eclectic bunch of posts 🙂

      And happy new years to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome stats! I’d say you had an amazing year. I absolutely fell in love with your graphs too. I never even thought to do that with ratings. So fun. Also re-reviewing is something I’ve been thinking about.

    Thor Ragnarok is a fave! We just watched it again a few days ago. ♥️

    Sorry to hear about your health, but wishing you the best health, happiness and great reads in 2019! 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Last year I did the graphs using excell but someone put me onto the free graph site this year and so it was much easier! I’ve got it bookmarked for the future 🙂

      If more movies tickled my fancy like Thor:R, I’d probably switch over to movies. Too bad that just isn’t going to be!

      Thank you. We each have our own trials to bear and this type of thing is ours. Thank God for grace…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad that you and Mrs B are doing ok after all those health issues. Hopefully you’ll both avoid any more issues for a while. Nice boo reading stats! Hopefully there will be a lot of good books for you this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This has probably been the worst year, healthwise, since ’11 or ’12. So hopefully we’ll get a healthy stretch now 🙂

      I have to figure out what I can do to help boost my average rating. It just shouldn’t be that low…


  6. What a cool round up!

    I had the same feeling when i saw some people disappear. Like, i don’t even really know these people, but i’m just hoping they are ok. This is a weird thing.

    Also, 172 books!! Niiice 🙂

    Wish you and Mrs B a wonderful new year, health & happiness ❤ Hope work gets sorted too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I like annual reviews, as it helps put everything in perspective.

      This was a real year for people up and disappearing. Some were because of health but then others just simply stopped. Sometimes I felt like I was walking across quicksand and never knew if someone else was going to just go “poof” and never post again. Definitely makes it harder to invest in other people if I never know if they’re going to still be around.

      Thank you. I trust that ’19 is good year for you too.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I hope health improves – chronic stuff can wear one out without realizing it as it becomes ‘just something you learn to live with’. Take care, keep reading!

    Btw, I wish I’ve had the stamina to keep up with Magic The Gathering, but it’s just too time & resource consuming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the older I’m getting the more this diabetes is causing issues. I knew this would happen, but always thought it would be “later”, you know? Sigh.

      As for magic, I only play commander, very casually, maybe 3-4 times a month? So if I construct, or upgrade a precon deck, twice a year, I can keep up with that. That is a big reason I don’t deal with Standard, too much money and I hate stuff rotating out…


  8. That is a LOT of reading! At least from my perspective with about 20,000 pages less. 🙂 I like the graphs.

    I’m also glad you’re feeling pretty settled here at WordPress after all the tumult of recent years. Did the LT dustup happen in private messages? I was aware from your comments that something happened, but didn’t know exactly what until now.

    Happy new year! I hope 2019 is a better year all around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Page numbers are becoming my “realistic” metric, as I find them a bit more honest than just book numbers.

      The dustup did occur in pm’s on LT. The person who complained about my review did everything right and I had zero problem with her. We talked back and forth and just wanted to make sure we both were doing things correctly. My issue was when a mod started lecturing me about how killing people had no place in the group or on LT, etc, etc. I didn’t mention that 6million jews or 100million russians, would disagree with her. I just said fine and left. Since nobody saw that, it looked the person who initially complained. I felt really bad for her and sent her a detailed pm so she wouldn’t think it was about her. It was not a good time and it put me off group activities for the foreseeable future 😦

      Hoping that ’19 is better indeed. I think that going solo here on WP is just the best way for me to go. That’ll keep me happy and not quite so grouchy and grumpy 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  9. It’s important to always keep your head on a swivel for the Red Menace.

    Now I’m wishing I had split out my top review posts of the year. But considering my post is going live in 6 minutes, it is a bit too late.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, it is already too late. NH passed a Constitutional Carry and made it part of the state constitution. But in ’19 the damned state dems are already planning legislation to undue that. It’s enough to make me want to assassinate some of them with tootsie rolls just to see how they’d react to THAT!

      Looking forward to your post. I’ve got a lot to go through before I get to it though…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, that’s an insane number of books and posts, well done!

    Hope the health stuff picks up. I have Crohn’s too and ongoing problems like that can really take a toll.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Man, I had no idea you had crohn’s. Good to know!

      As for the numbers, that mainly comes down to me making reading my priority and my natural inclination of the love or writing in small amounts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy New Year to you!! It’s so interesting to see other people’s stats. On my old blog I had about 50 followers (Blogger, not counting Bloglovin’ etc.) but I had about 78K yearly pageviews. I think some of those might be porn sites, even though I’m told they don’t usually actually view your pages. That’s what I really like about my new blog … I don’t have to deal with that; I only see who actually is at least interested in looking at my content. On the new blog in the first month I’m only averaging 18K pageviews per year but Google hasn’t really found me yet so we’ll see what happens. I’ll have to add my stats to my yearly review next year.

    It is sad to see bloggers you’ve known go, but as you say, it’s life. At least I came back and hope to be much more present in 2019!

    As for your thoughts on posts, yes! I have a hard time keeping up with someone who posts every day and much prefer people who post a couple of times per week, although 3-4 times is manageable too. I do like to comment on other people’s posts and if they post too much you spend alot of your time commenting instead of reading.

    Church stuff, sucks. I occasionally go to an Orthodox service now as I’m so sick of the evangelical performances that are thin and surfacey and have very little to do with faith yet lots to do with getting warm bodies into the church for appearance (and probably money). Perhaps I’ll find a church with substance one day … I will keep trying …. I’m sorry to hear about your and Mrs. B.’s health. I hope 2019 will see improved health for both of you! As your mother would say (or perhaps not) eat your organic vegetables! 😉 (the organic was my insertion, if you didn’t guess!)

    Oh a completely different note, if I’ve never read any book by Terry Pratchett, which one would you recommend starting with?

    And p.s…… I’m not a communist ……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can believe you had that many views. With all the challenges and social reading groups you are in, that makes for a lot of eyes. 2018 was where I felt comfortable in terms of numbers of views, and participants. I might “want” more but I’m satisfied with this level from here on out.

      Honestly, I didn’t think you were coming back. So it was a big (pleasant) surprise to see you roaring back into town with a new website and everything 🙂

      Church and health are definitely related with us, as stress in one creates problems in the other. We’re attending a small church (less than 100 people in the pews each sunday) and things seem to be genuine. I guess that is the biggest thing we were looking for.

      Pratchett. I liked the first 2 books of his the best, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic. However, even Pratchett doesn’t recommend beginning there now. Maybe try the first 2 Witches books “Equal Rites” and “Wyrd Sisters”.
      The Death subseries is good too.

      But really, publication is best and here’s a good list:
      Hope that helps…


  12. Pahahaha nice ACD 😂😂😂
    Ooh I like looking at your stats- especially how you got your half stars in there (gotta admit that cos I export my data from the *dreaded GR* I don’t get the half stars and am too lazy to sort through them 😉 )
    I think that’s good to get over 3.1 tbh- my average is around 3.3 (although I’m noticing an upward trend since I read fewer *whatever rubbish I can get my hands on* types)
    Yeah I always find it said when people just go *poof*- although I do get its the way of things, it’s still disappointing.
    Yay glad to kill a mockingbird was runner up!
    I’m sorry it was a tough year, hope 2019 is much better for you and Mrs B!
    Hehe hope there are more movie reviews 😉
    Happy new year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I moved to Booklikes in ’13, I got so spoiled using half-stars that I don’t know what I would do without them now. I’m just glad LT also uses them.

      I know my average back on GR was around 3.15 when I was using them from ’09-’13. I know I never got above 3.2. I guess if I really cared I could figure out from using the data in my calibre library, but I don’t care that much 😀

      I guess learning to let go is an important skill to have. It still sucks though 😦

      So here is to 2019 and a better year for us all!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Glad Mrs. B and yourself are getting better health-wise, or at least starting to.

    Even though you read less books and covered few pages, they’re both very impressive numbers.

    I wish you a successful 2019 in reading and life my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks.
      Playing around with magic the gathering has really cut into my free time, hence my reading time. As long as I’m above 150 for books though, I’m ok with that 🙂

      I hope to stick around for ’19 and I hope you do too …

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Your number of 3 star and 4 star books was way higher than I thought it was. But maybe I just *think* you have more 1-2 star books because those are the reviews that tend to stick out for me. They’re definitely more humorous and thus memorable 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. And that is exactly why I like graphs like that. Because you are exactly correct. Everyone remembers the lower rating reviews because I tend to let loose all cannons on those suckers. They tend to be longer than the 3stars and honestly, with a 3star review, I’m ok with one simple paragraph. So they all just blend in with eachother 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, this was a stinky year in regards to health. It certainly wasn’t what we expected.

      Overall, I’m satisfied with the reading I did. I think I would prefer a few less 1star or less books in ’19 though. We’ll see if I can pull that off or not though 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m sorry to hear that 2018 was a tough life year, but it looks like it was an excellent year for blogging. It’s funny – I’ve found similarly to you that since I’ve been posting LESS my blog is actually doing better in terms of views and engagement. It seems to go against all the wisdom out there (content, at all times, always), but it’s interesting to know that you’ve found the same thing.

    You’re clearly a hard reader to please! I like this keeping track of ratings thing – I never really do that. I write reviews but I never have any figures for the thing – maybe that should be a 2019 goal for me.

    Wishing you a better 2019 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. My average book rating seems to fluctuate around 3.7, but about half the books I read are non-fiction, which I tend to rate higher. I think if I ever calculate my fiction-only average, it will be closer to yours.

    Yeah, you definitely need a partner at your job, it’s crazy to do that solo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if I read more NF if my rating would be higher. It certainly make sense. However, I just don’t see that happening.

      The people willing to work outside in inclement weather AND who have the psychological makeup able to deal with working with only 1 other person all day seems to be shrinking. Funny thing is, my boss used to hire teens for the summer (cheap unskilled labor, caused a lot of problems unfortunately) but now, ANY applicant is almost always over 40. The young people, it just aint happening…

      Liked by 1 person

  17. What a great year 2018 was. You stuck around and even though we do not see eye to eye on Warhammer, we can still communicate on semi adult levels🙂. I am truely honest when I say that I was going to loose you as a follower becuase of a few times I stated that i am not a church going man. I do not know if it puts you of people or you do not care too much, all i am greatfull for is that you still drop a comment when you feel like it and do not automatically just like when I post something. I am sad to read about the hospital visits, but you are still around and I am glad that you are ok. Hope you have a great 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaa. Yeah, Warhammer might have brought us together, but it is NOT the glue that binds our friendship, that is for sure 😀

      As for church and stuff, if I only interacted with people who were already going to church, I wouldn’t be following Christ’s command.

      Commenting is what I do 🙂 When I don’t have anything to say (VERY rarely) I just let it slide. Or if the subject matter is one I don’t care about, I’m not going to post a fake comment. I also appreciate that you don’t do that either.

      I am praying that ’19 is a great year too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes i fall behind on everyones posts where i litrally have to rush through reading it and only liking it to stay on top of my feeds list. Sounds silly now that i type it. Seeing as some followers also only like my posts two days later, if i am lucky enough to show on their feeds…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Once I fall 3-4 days behind my feed (sickness, whatever other reason), I just skip. And I only follow about 50 people.
          I see some people following a LOT more than that and I wonder how they do it. Well, at least we’ve got our own little system that works for each of us…

          Liked by 1 person

  18. Greatly appreciate the shoutout, good sir. I had a good laugh at that part. Doubt I’ll let anyone beat me at that game though. 😀 And in all seriousness, I do greatly appreciate the brutal honesty of all your reviews/thoughts and find great pleasure in reading your content. I do wish you and Mrs. Bookstooge the greatest year yet and that you both enjoy the little pleasures of life whenever you can with very little hindrance in terms of health or people. Although they can both be extremely unpredictable. I look forward to keeping up all the interactions we’ll potentially have in the coming year and to reading about all the insane food-analogies you love to make! Keep on doing what you love, Sir Bookstooge.

    Liked by 1 person

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