The Dungeons & Dragons Book Tag

Originally created by the Witty & Sarcastic Bookclub

Barbarian: In a simplified nutshell, barbarians are fighters whose anger can give them a berserker state of mind: think an overdose of adrenalin allowing someone to do the nigh impossible.

Name a character with a temper:

Jerome, from Way-farer. It’s what leads him to kill one of the fabled “Grandfathers” and find out they are nothing more than a deception of the Mushin keeping humanity shackled as cattle.

Bard: Bards use music and song to either help or hinder. Music is massively important to them, and can give them power.

Name a book/character for which music is important:

Porcelain by the musician Moby. Music was kind of his life

Cleric: “A priestly champion who wields divine magic in service of a higher power” (D&D Player’s Handbook)

Name a book/character for which religion plays a large role:

Gavin Guile from The Burning White. The author has a whole chapter with Gavin talking to the Creator on some pretty serious subjects. It’s not your usual Hollywood religion-lite crap.

Druid: Druids are representative of nature. They get their power- healing, magical spells, etc.- from either the land itself or from a nature deity. 

Name a Book where nature plays an important role:

Sentenced to Prism. The 2 main characters find out that life on Prism is integrally linked together and they themselves become part of that link by the end of the book.

Fighter: A fighter relies on physical skill. They are often good with a weapon and can function as a pretty good meat shield.

Name a book with great fight scenes:

Dune.. The scene between Paul Maud’dib and his cousin Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. While not a chapter long fight, it conveys exactly what the author wants. That is important.

Magic Users: Dungeons and Dragons features Warlocks, Wizards, and Sorcerers. Each is different, but I’m lumping them together for the purposes of this tag. The name is self-explanatory: a user of magic.

Name a book or character with cool magic:

The Swords from Fred Saberhagen’s Book of Swords. 12 Magical swords created by the gods that end up being powerful enough to kill the gods.

Paladin: A holy warrior.

Name a character with strong convictions:

Anakin Skywalker in the novelization of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. While it led him down to the dark side, he was convinced every step of the way that he was doing the correct thing. He became known as the Dark Lord for it. An Unholy Paladin if you will.

Ranger: Hunters, wilderness survivors, and protectors, rangers are often what stand between civilization and the monsters that live in the wild.

Name a character that is in tune with the wild.

Nonnus, a mage shaman hermit from the Lord of the Isles series. While he dies, he teaches Sharina everything he knows about surviving in hostile lands.

Rogue: Rogues use stealth and cunning to defeat their foes or prevail in a situation. 

Name a book or character with cunning:

The Rogues series in the Forgotten Realms immediately sprang to mind.

The Die Hard Book Tag

I’d like to thank Zezee for bringing this to my attention and to Pete for creating such an awesome tag.

John McClain – A book in which someone has a really bad time

Way-Farer. Jerome, the Main Character, an idealistic young man, has asked the Old Man on the Mountain to train him in the Way of the Sword. The Old Man does this by attacking Jerome every chance he gets, to force Jerome to develop his sixth sense for danger. One day Jerome senses danger as he is about to enter the cottage they share but instead of waiting, he decides to try to pay back the Old Man, with the result that the Old Man almost kills him with just a stone pot lid. Thankfully, things to get better for Jerome after that!

Holly Gennaro – A book with a superb leader

Erevis Cale. Probably my favorite Forgotten Realms character. He leads from the front and doesn’t shy away from doing what needs to be done. Like stabbing someone in the back 😉

Sergeant Al Powell – A book with a sidekick with a great backstory

Smikes, from Nicholas Nickleby. He’s not a “traditional” sidekick, like Robin is to Batman, but man, Smikes gets rescued by Nicholas and is his faithful servant until the end where he dies. If that’s a spoiler to you, well, you’re about 180 years behind schedule. So get with the beat, Baggy! And read yourself some Dickens. But I’ll save spoilering his backstory. There, you’re welcome.

Johnson & Johnson – A book with a pair of real dicks

The Lady and Soul Catcher from Glen Cook’s The Black Company. Each of these extremely powerful sorceresses encapsulate the idea of power corrupting to the uttermost.

Karl – A book with a revenge plot that needn’t have happened

Gankutsuou. A manga based on the anime of the same name, which in turn is based on the classic Count of Monte Cristo. The anime is amazing and I am glad I own it. But if even one of the people who turned Edmond into the authorities had actually told the truth, Edmond never would have been imprisoned and the whole Count of Monte Cristo would have never have happened.

Mr Takagi – A book with an interesting side character killed too early

Edwin Drood. While supposedly the “titular character”, getting bumped off right near the beginning of the book makes it too early for me. Thankfully, while the original story was never completed by Dickens due to the ungrateful sod dying first, David Madden stepped up to the plate and finished up the game for us.

Harry Ellis – A book with a character really out of their depth

Liath, from Kate Elliott’s Crown of Stars series. Unlike Ellis however, Liath know’s she’s out of her depth and does something about it during the series. She’s not a loser who dies like Ellis. But I gotta say, it was satisfying to see him die.

Richard Thornburg – A book with an infinitely punchable character

Yossarian from Catch-22. Ohhhh, I hated him so much!

Hans Gruber – A book with a fantastic villain

They just don’t make villains like ol’ Hans’y any more. And not many actors like Rickman either (sadly). But the closest character I could think of was Light Yagami from the manga series Death Note. An arrogant psychopathic genius who is eventually outwitted. Oh, it’s a good series! Just avoid the various movies, tv shows and especially the netflix movie adaptation. Go with the manga.

‘This Is Your Story’ Book Tag

Was tagged by the Orangutan Librarian


The Bookstooge doesn’t need no stinkin’ rules! YOU follow the rules….



I used to think it was myself. But since I get to choose for this tag, I’m going with Charles Dickens. That way I KNOW I am either getting a happy ending or a heroic and romantic ending. I can deal with either of those two outcomes.


Monster Hunter International. The Bookstooge is Agent Franks nightmare and I’m what really keeps him in line for the MCB.


Mrs B has graciously consented to take this role. She said she wanted to be an artistic language student who is also a vet. Now is that talented or what? AND she puts up with me every day. For those of you who have followed me on this blog for any length of time, you know what a heroic effort that is


Nobody sees my face, not even fictionally.


I’m going to need someone that won’t out-cool me but will emphasize everything that is great about me and also mitigate my one or two teensy weensy weak points. Superman should do nicely.


Totally Good. I am going to be so Good that Gandalf will look like Evil Incarnate in comparison.


I will Identify as Saint Bookstooge, The First Bear Pope


Kermit, under the mind control of Disney+, turns evil and goes on a murderous rampage. Only I am tough enough and smart enough to outmaneuver him at every turn.


It was a double bluff by Kermit and Me all along. Mickey had gone Evil soon after Walt died and created the Evil Empire. Only someone on the inside could get the info that was needed. Superman tried to get the info by brute force but Evil Mickey killed him. It was very sad. Jim Henson also died, but he was able to bring the data to Kermit, who in turn got it to me. Kermit, in his undercover role of Jigsaw, trapped Evil Mickey in an electric chair. Unfortunately, that had no effect on Evil Mickey, so I had to gather up every single Disney movie and tv show ever made or even financed and destroy them. The sympathetic connections between the films and Evil Mickey meant the destruction of one was the destruction of the other.

Good triumphed over evil and the World was Free at last! Hurray.

The 80’s Movie Book Tag

Found this on Flora’s Musing. Seemed like a good tag to do mid-summer when blockbusters used to be the dominant force in America for the plebe masses.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

A book that kept you up all night

Monster Hunter Bloodlines was, as I described in my review, balls to the walls action. That’ll keep you up reading all night!

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride (1987)

A WONDERFULLY quotable book

For me, that would be The Lord of the Rings. I’m not a big “remember quotes” kind of guy, but “you shall not pass” has always stuck in my head.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

A character who loves breaking the rules

Saul from Neal Asher’s Owner trilogy. He’s not all adorable and funny like Bueller, but Saul will break the rules with the best of them, forging his own as necessary.

When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

A couple that took eternity to get together

Montrose and Raina from the Count to the Eschaton Sequence by Wright. 18-19 billion years seems like eternity to me!

Back to the Future

Back to the Future (1985)

A book involving time travel

The Aunt Paradox by Chris Dolley. Reeves and Worcester have to combat a Legion of Time Traveling Aunts to help the multiverse!

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink (1986)

A character with a unique style

Luffy from the One Piece manga. That kid’s got Style, what with his straw hat and all.

The Karate Kid

The Karate Kid (1984)

Favourite book involving the training/mentoring trope

Way-farer by Dennis Schmidt. Jerome and the Old Man on the Mountain are absolutely perfect examples of this.

Die Hard

Die Hard (1988)

A book with a trip that doesn’t go as planned

The Color of Magic. Nothing on Discworld ever goes planned! 😀

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

A book with the central character’s name in the title

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians. Great stuff!

Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing (1987)

A female character who comes out of her shell

Anne Elliot from Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Best Austen story ever.

Top Gun

Top Gun (1986)

A death that took you by surprise

The drug addicted woman who is rescued by the main character and ends up being killed, thus propelling the entire story of Without Remorse by Tom Clancy.

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

ET - The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

An ending that left you both happy and sad

The Crippled God, the final book in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. I was happy it was over and was sad I had been forced to read t he whole thing to get an ending.

The Who Am I? Book Tag

If your life was a book genre, what would it be?

Good question! I suspect I’d be a small magazine article on the joys of brown shoes. Very boring but of intense interest to a small percentage of the world’s population.

What villain from a book do you most identify with?

There was one book, Edge of Danger, by Jack Higgins where I found the badguys more appealing because they had a code of honor and justice and family that the supposed good guys didn’t. It was not a pleasant read for me.

What protagonist are you most similar to?

Luke Skywalker, naive farmboy extraordinaire who saved us all with Star Wars.

What book did you connect with in the past that you no longer do?

Sadly, a whole series springs to mind. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY back in 2007 I was reading a manga series called “Oh My Goddess!” When I restarted the series in 2017 with Wrong Number, I simply couldn’t stomach it anymore. OMG! and I had parted ways.

What recent book read would you love to be a character in?

Blandings Castle books. I’d love to be a rich millionaire loafing around!

How do your reading habits show off your personality?

I read what I want, stop reading what I don’t want to, and don’t listen to “hype” or “buzz”.

What book taught you something about yourself?

The Five Love Languages. One of the most helpful books in understanding myself and understanding others that I have ever read.

The TBR Tag

I originally did this tag back in 2017. I figured it was time to update some of the specifics. Also DZ is no longer blogging and that made me sad. Made me think of all the other bloggers I’ve seen stop blogging since then.

Saw this at Dragon & Zombies a little bit ago and decided I’d save it and do it later. Later is now Now.

Picture heavy and complicated. I had a lot of fun putting this together though, as organizing things brings joy to my heart.

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

This is a complicated procedure, at least the setup. Once it’s setup, then it rolls along like a well oiled machine.

  1. Choose a book to put on my TBR
  2. Put said book into Calibre with the TBR tag and sort by “date added”
  3. Load 100’ish books onto my Kindle, sorted by Series
  4. Remove TBR tag from those books in Calibre.
  5. Repeat Steps 1 & 2
  6. When I finish a series on my Kindle, I remove said series from my Kindle
  7. Replace finished series with the next series that has the TBR tag from Calibre
  8. Keep my Kindle filled with 100-150 book so I’m not reading the same thing within weeks
  9. Keep my Calibre TBR library at 100-150. Ruthlessly not adding books does this just fine.

All picture should be clickable for more detail.


Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?


How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

By whatever is next. My reading is like a grindstone. It goes slowly, but I crush that TBR into fine meal.

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest:

In Calibre, the first Warlock Holmes book, A Study in Brimstone. That’s been there since at least 2020 and I suspect since ’18 actually.

A book that you recently added to your TBR:

Cop Hater by Ed McBain. The first in the long running 87th Precinct series. Considering I probably won’t start this series this year, it’s a good thing I am a patient man!

A book that’s on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover:

The Stars Like Dust. I was looking for some Asimov to read (I actually haven’t read nearly as many of his books as I had thought) and this caught my eye.

A book on your TBR that you never plan on actually reading:

I’m not one of “those” kind of people. I only add book that I know I’ll read. So suck it, you pretentious jackasses. There’s a special place in Hell just for you!

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for:

The third Checquy Files book, Blitz by Daniel O’Malley. I hope it is good!

A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read except you:

Once again, I’m not one of “those” people. I only add a book if a reviewer I trust has reviewed it or if there are enough other reviews for me to figure out if it will push my button or not. The whole “popularity” reading thing is for a different generation than me.

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you:

Thankfully, almost all of you never recommend books to me. I’m thankful for that. I read your review and make up my own mind.

A book on your TBR that you’re just dying to read:

Hostile Takeover by Dan Willis. The newest Arcane Casebook book. I’m actually getting to this now and you should see the review next week. It has another absolutely gorgeous cover!

The number of books on your TBR shelf:

85’ish on my Kindle

140 in Calibre (not including ALL the manga and comics. I don’t count them, so you shouldn’t either)

225’ish in Total

The NOPE Book Tag

NOPE!  Ending: a book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage or simply because the ending was crappy.

Satan’s Gambit by Brian Moses. Trilogy had been going swell and then the author decided to go all tv show Supernatural and totally got the story off track with bad theology, even for a fantasy book.

NOPE!  Protagonist: a main character you dislike and drives you crazy.

Ott from The Night of the Swarm by Robert Redick. I abandoned the book and will never read another by this author because of this character.

NOPE!  Pairing: a “ship” you don’t support.

Ross Poldark and Demelza. He’s still in love with his old flame and she’s like 15.

NOPE!  Plot twist: a twist you didn’t see coming and didn’t like.

The 47th Samurai. When the main character Bob Lee Swagger becomes an Insta-Samurai and defeats a guy who has been practicing his whole life. It was bogus.

NOPE!  Genre: a genre you will never read.

I would normally choose “Romance”, but I have read a couple, including Venetia, so it is kind of hard to say “Never”.

NOPE! Book format: book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition.

Mass market paperback. With my diabetic eyes, Reading on my Kindle Oasis is about the only way I roll now.

NOPE! Death: a character death that still haunts you.

Alyss, the wife of Will Treaty from the Ranger’s Apprentice series. It did not need to be.

NOPE!  Book: a book that shouldn’t have existed.

Flashman. The vilest book I have read in a very long time!

And that is enough for me. There are a bunch more questions below that you can choose to use if you feel like doing this tag, but I’m all Nope’d out. Cheers!

NOPE! Trope: a trope that makes you go NOPE.

NOPE! Recommendation: a book recommendation that is constantly pushed at you, that you simply refuse to read.

NOPE! Cliche: a cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

NOPE! Love interest: the love interest that’s not worthy of being one.

NOPE! Villain: a villain you would hate to cross.

NOPE! Author: an author you had a bad experience reading for and have decided to quit.

The FRIENDS Book Tag

The Friends Book Tag

Ross: Seems harmless, but problematic – Name a book you had problems with
(I don’t think Ross was problematic, I just think he was a complete wuss and manboy who needed to be beaten up a couple of times to toughen him up.)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I can’t even write how much Harry annoyed me by the end of the series. If he had died, I would have been happy.

Monica: neat and tidy – Name a book/series that ends satisfyingly

The Gods Return by David Drake. I started my review with “A VERY satisfying ending”. Can’t ask much more than that, right?

Chandler: funny and relatable – Name a firm fave

Han Solo’s Revenge by Brian Daley. Before the Star Wars Expanded Universe, there were standalone stories about some of the characters. Solo had his own trilogy. I read it in middle school or highschool and liked it so much that later in life I tracked down the hardcovers for the trilogy and paid a premium for them. The almost completely orange cover is what I actually remember most about the library paperback I read all those years ago.

Phoebe: reliable and friendly – An author you always rely on

Neal Asher. Period. Even when a character is barfing and pooping in WAY MORE DETAIL than I ever wanted, I can rely on him for an action packed story that grabs me and won’t let go.

Rachel: she grows on you over time – Name a book/series that’s grown on you over time

The Monster Hunter International series by Larry Correia. I enjoyed the first book but ripped into it pretty good in the review. And now, I am actively looking forward to the next book, book 9.

Joey: looks good on the outside – A book whose cover is better than its contents

Department 19. The cover looked awesome with all the guns, knives, helmets and weapons. Inside was a morass of teen stupidity and the purest drivel that I’ve read in a long time. The author should stick a turkey on their head in penance!

Bonus Friend

Gunther: always there, always ignored – A book you’ve had on your TBR forever
(I had to go look up who Gunther even was! I guess he was the coffee shop owner? Definitely forgettable.)

A Study in Brimstone, the first in the Warlock Holmes series. I’ve been waiting for the series to finish up, but the author seems to be acting like a jackass so I’m not sure when I’ll ever get to this. I WANT to get to it though.

The Weather Tag


The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. The humor was delicious and just tickled my funny bone the whole time I was reading.


Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Jones. I’m pretty sure I read this in one sitting because it was just so fantastic at the time.


The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen. While I’m not usually one for artwork appreciation, this artwork “blew me away”. I used those exact words too, which is why I immediately thought of it for this category 🙂


Count Brass by Michael Moorcock. The book ends with Hawkmoon (the main character) waking up from a madness and finding out his wife and children only ever existed in his mind. I don’t know what is sadder than that!


The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks. This middle book of the Lightbringer series lived up to my extremely high expectations. That doesn’t happen very often.


Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan. It was bloody, grim and gritty but once I got into the story itself, It was fantastic.

The Five Points of Calvinism: The TULIP Tag

Mrs Mugrage (also known as “That Neanderthal Nut” to her close friends) recently took up a gauntlet I had thrown down several years ago. I was bemoaning the lack of serious tags and considered trying to create one myself. That obviously didn’t happen. BUT Mrs M was more than equal to the challenge and this tag is the result. I was pretty impressed.

Back in 2017 (or, you might say, in “eternity past”), Bookstooge put up a request for a “serious” book tag. At that time, I did not even know that Bookstooge existed (hard as that is to imagine). But in the providence of God, I stumbled upon that forlorn request recently, and this is the result.

The Five Points of Calvinism

These five points are not all of Christian theology, or even all of Reformed theology. There is a lot more to it, and it’s all good stuff. These five topics are simply things that Jacob Arminius and his followers disputed in the early 1600s, after the Reformation was well under way and John Calvin had been writing for some time. All of this caused a huge kerfuffle in the Dutch Reformed churches, and eventually, in 1619, the Synod of Dort adopted the Canons of Dort which answered the Arminians’ objections point by point. So, though these five points are not the whole of Reformed theology, they do represent some of the doctrines that people are most likely to have issues with, as demonstrated by Arminius, his followers, and in fact most people down to this day.

Due to their Dutch character, the five points, if put in terms that are somewhat misleading, can be shoehorned into the acrostic TULIP:

T – Total Depravity

U – Unconditional Election

L – Limited Atonement

I – Irresistible Grace

P – Perseverance of the Saints

Because this is a tag, I’m not going to parse or defend these points deeply. I’ll just explain each one in a short paragraph, then apply it to a book tag purpose. Since these things deal with the nature of man and God, they turn out to be fruitful for reminding us of our literary experiences.

T – Total Depravity

Arminius taught that people are free in their will to choose God or reject him. The doctrine of total depravity (or “sin nature”) holds instead that people, if left to themselves, are spiritually dead and will never voluntarily seek God. (Dead people cannot choose things.)

Name a book or a series that you appreciate for its jaundiced or realistic portrayal of human nature.

The Plague by Albert Camus. While I hated the story, Camus did an excellent job of portraying humanity in a horrible situation. It’s a classic for a reason.

U – Unconditional Election

Election means that God chooses to draw some people to Himself, making alive their hearts so that they are then able to seek, hear, and trust in Him. Arminians taught that God elects people for salvation in this way on the basis of some quality in them, such as humility, faith, “responding to the light they have,” etc. The doctrine of unconditional election holds that God does not choose people because they are better than other people. He chooses them just because He wants to.

Name a book where someone chooses someone else unconditionally.

Wrong Number, the first volume in the Oh My Goddess! manga series. Even though Belldandy “had” to fulfill Keiichi’s wish, as the series progresses it is evident that Belldandy chooses Keiichi even when she doesn’t have to. Good lovey dovey stuff 😀

L – Limited Atonement

The most confusing of the five points as far as I am concerned, Limited Atonement means that Christ’s death was actually just for “his people” – those God chose to elect – not for everyone generally. If it were for everyone generally, and some people rejected salvation, that would mean that God’s work in salvation was ineffective in some cases, which would throw the determining factor back onto the individual.

This point is confusing for two reasons: 1) Since we don’t know who is going to be saved, we are commanded to proclaim the good news to everyone as if they were all elect. 2) We know that the number of those who believe will be a very great number, enough that Christ can be said to have saved “the whole world.” So, “limited” does not mean a small number of people.

This is one of those fine distinctions that is kind of hard to squeeze down into a two-word phrase, which then fits into a flower acrostic.

Name a book that has a complex, confusing, or seemingly unworkable philosophy behind its worldbuilding.

The Culture novels by Iain Banks, typified in The Player of Games. Banks posits a completely materialistic society and has it operating at near-Utopian levels. The philosophy was so outside of what we know about humanity that I gave up on the series after the 3rd book.

I – Irresistible Grace

When God chooses someone, He works on their heart, giving them a new heart with a will that is now able to choose Him. This also frees their mind to be able to hear and understand His word (since, as we know, our intellect is embarrassingly tied up with our will). When this happens, they freely choose Him, now that their will has been freed from the sin that bound it. It is never the case that God gives someone a new heart, and they then reject Him. His grace is irresistible.

What book did you find irresistible?

The Stranger of Tempest by Tom Lloyd. First that cover just dragged me in and then the story itself was everything I wanted from a flintlock fantasy. It was so engaging and pushed all the right buttons for me. It has only been 4 years since I read it, so a re-read isn’t in the works quite yet, but….. I am looking forward to see how it holds up. A great book must be re-readable.

P – Perseverance of the Saints

This doctrine means that once someone has been regenerated, heard God’s word, and begun to believe, they will not ultimately, or permanently, fall away. You cannot “lose your salvation.” This is a very comforting doctrine, for without it, we tend to panic every time we fall into sin (or have some previously unnoticed sin revealed to us that, unfortunately, has been with us all along).

Name one of your favorite redemption arcs in a book or movie.

The redemption of Darth Vader in The Jedi Doth Return. If someone who is as evil as Darth Vader was, can be redeemed, then there is hope for any of us. It is also made clear that he was redeemed by Luke’s love and faith in him, not because of what he did at the end. The action was the result of Luke’s conviction.

And there we go. A Serious Tag. It took me a week to answer these questions, as I wanted to give them serious thought. Thank you Mrs M, this was great!