#6Degrees – Redhead By the Side of the Road to …..

This month we are starting with Redhead By the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler. Tyler needs to get a new agent if they allowed this cover to grace her pwecious wittle baby.


That is the world’s most boring cover ever! I went looking to find some other version that did’t put me to sleep and you know what? THIS cover was the least boring of all the ones I found. How pathetic is that? This book was published by Knopf publishing. Shame on you Knopf!



Knopf also published the overhyped, overblown and pretty much horribly written Inheritance Cycle by Paolini. He was too young, too much influenced by Lord of the Rings and by Star Wars. Thankfully, the source material is still good stuff!



And even when Star Wars is Shakespeare’ized, it is still good stuff! While my experience with Shakespeare hasn’t been all puppy dogs and roses, I have read one or two decent tales from the Bard.


King John is where my Shakespeare journey seemed to really take off. His comedies, his Ancient Histories, well, they were all hit or miss. But these Histories, well, so far every one has been great! Sometimes an author doesn’t hit their groove but when they do, whoowhee!


Speaking of groovitude, is this cover groovy or what? Wylie and Balmer wrote a great duology with their Bronson Beta books and it’s great early SF if you’re looking for some pre-1950’s stuff. Probably time to add these to my TBR again because some books are just worth reading again and again and again. Of course, not all books are like that.


In fact, some books aren’t worth reading in the first place but you don’t know that until you’ve finished the blasted thing. Bios was just such a book. I wished I had dnf’d it but at least I avoided any more by the author. DNF’ing is a long and honored tradition here in Bookstoogelandia.


The Web of the Witch World by Andre Norton is my first recorded DNF back in 2001. I’m sure it was a wrenching experience for young me back then but the pain of that first DNF has faded over the years as I’ve become jaded and almost neglible about such things. I am glad young me can’t see what a casual DNF’er I am now. I’m sure it would break his heart.

And that is how you go from the Redhead by the Side of the Road to Web of the Witch World.

If you’d like to participate in the #6degrees series of posts, head over to #6Degrees Meme to find out the starting point for each month. They’re not always punctual, so sometimes you have to wait until a week into the month, even though I have noticed they’ve been doing better about this.

#6Degrees – Hamnet to …..

This month we are starting with Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. Apparently, it was the winner of the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction. Good for it :-/


I am getting fething sick of these starting books. The creators seem to be under the impression that everyone who does this is a woman. Hey Jackasses, men blog too! So feth this book and feth this author.



This book, the Younger Gods, pretty much got the same reaction from me. It was the last book, that I’m aware of, that Eddings wrote and it was complete trash. Just UGH. I’d give it an old “frak” though instead of a “feth”.


Not everything by Eddings was trash. The Diamond Throne, book one of the Elenium, was a favorite of mine in my teens and 20’s. I’m actually planning on re-reading it this year to see how it has held up. The main character Sparhawk, is a middle aged, tired and worn out knight. But he does his duty.


Another man who is also a tired knight is (Ben) Kenobi. He’s gone through too much to stay General Kenobi and becomes crazy Old Ben. He has to have faith that the next Generation will be able to save them all and simply wait. Brutal.


Sometimes the next generation is even worse. In The Dark Glory War, the book ends with everyone realizing that the current crop of heroes are going to be the next generation of villains. How’s THAT for a kick in the pants?


For me, as an American citizen, the ultimate kick in the pants would be if we were ever to be nuked. This happens in Dale Brown’s Act of War. Thankfully, the rest of the book was “flufferific”. Men of firm resolve and action springing forward to defend their country. And Death to the Commie’s and Commie Pinko’s!


Despite his name, Daniel Pinkwater is no Commie Pinko! In fact, Pinkwater seems the kind of author who would be banned, hounded and generally censored by our new lizard overlords. Thankfully, with his 5 Novels already published, he’s pretty safe.

And that is how you go from Hamnet to 5 Novels.

If you’d like to participate in the #6degrees series of posts, head over to #6Degrees Meme to find out the starting point for each month. They’re not always punctual, so sometimes you have to wait until a week into the month. Personally, I’m going to do one more and if it’s another “chick” book, I’ll be done with this meme. This used to be fun but now I’m just annoyed and this blogging gig isn’t paying me nearly enough to put up with being annoyed.

#6Degrees — Death Note to…..

This month is a Wild Card month and we’re supposed to start with the book we ended on last time we did this. Last month’s 6Degree had me ending on the manga Death Note.


Death Note is one of my favorite manga and I have read a LOT of manga. Hundreds of volumes. This volume shows a LOT skulls on the cover. When I think skulls, I think of one other franchise: The Terminators.


Trial By Fire is a sequel to the movie Terminator Salvation. I know I’m in the minority, but I enjoyed that movie quite a bit. I seem to enjoy things that aren’t the main stream. The Pathfinder trilogy is another such thing.


I enjoyed the living daylights out of this trilogy. Pathfinder starts things off and I was hooked for the ride. Another series that grabbed me and I rode to the end were the Executioner books.


War Against the Mafia starts things off with a bang and pretty much doesn’t stop for breath for the next 37 books. After that, the books were turned over to ghost writers and it became a generic “Mens Adventure” kind of series. Another franchise that didn’t even bother with a real author but went straight for the ghost writers was the Rogue Angel series.


Destiny was the first in the Rogue Angel series. It took me 13 more books and over a year and a half before I accepted I was completely wasting my time. Thankfully, I’ve gotten better since then. I will DNF an author like a real trooper now. One such author was John Gwynne.


Him and his execrable Valor were enough to convince me he was a bag of wind, the particularly smelly kind of wind. But to end this on a good note, here’s some good wind.


The Wind in the Willows is a whimsical and lovely children’s book about anthropomorphized animals. If you have kids, you should read it to them. If you don’t, you should read it for yourself. It’s probably about time I re-read this in fact.

And that is how you go from Death Note to The Wind in the Willows.

If you’d like to participate in the #6degrees series of posts, head over to #6Degrees Meme to find out the starting point for each month. They’re not always punctual, so sometimes you have to wait until a week into the month.

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#6Degrees — The Turn of the Screw to…..

This month we are starting with the book The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. At least this month I’ve actually heard of this book and author. Haven’t read it and probably never will though.


Some sort of horror’y book. Which considering it is October and halloween is at the end of the month, shouldn’t surprise anyone. Another book I almost automatically think of for Halloween is the following.


Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. I am not a fan of Bradbury and this was the next to last book of his that I read. That cover though, reminds me of another book.


The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens. Dickens did not finish this book, as he inconveniently died while in the middle of it. An unfinished book is always an unpleasant thing. Another unpleasant thing is an Unfinished Series.


The Borderlands series by Lorna Freeman was just such a series. 3 books and then the author just seemed to disappear. Sometimes an author loses interest in writing the series, but sometimes a reader loses interest in the series.


For me, The Destroyermen series falls squarely into that category. I gave up on Book 10 and when I just looked, he’s currently up to book 15? There was no end in sight with book 10, so I don’t expect much has changed with those 5 extra books. The word “HELL” stands out pretty prominently to me.


Hellsing, a manga series where the word Hell is also pretty predominant. While it was based on a great idea, it quickly devolved. A lot of mangas do fall apart, but one that didn’t is the following, it stayed strong until the last volume.


Death Note. While all of the movies were ok to bad, the manga? Outside of Akira, probably the best I’ve ever read.

And that is how you go from The Turn of the Screw to Death Note. A suitably spooky ending to this #6Degrees post I think.

If you’d like to participate in the #6degrees series of posts, head over to #6Degrees Meme to find out the starting point for each month. They’re not always punctual, so sometimes you have to wait until a week into the month.

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#6Degrees — How to Do Nothing to …..

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This month we are starting with the book How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell.

Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the back-to-nature meditation we read so often, How to do Nothing is an action plan for thinking outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism. Provocative, timely, and utterly persuasive, this book will change how you see your place in our world.

You know what I “resist”? Idiots like this author. And I probably have as much impact as her.


Our Founding Fathers weren’t idiots, thank goodness! A robust Faith in God and a literal interpretation of the Bible saw to that.

This cover has the American Flag on it, very patriotic. When I think Patriot, one book immediately springs to mind.


Patriot Games by Tom Clancy. What a fantastic book! American Machismo defeating the filthy terrorists and destroying them. The determination to Protect versus the implacable hatred of anything “other”.

Sadly, America doesn’t always win against the terrorists.



Night Fall ends with 9/11 happening. I read this in ’13 and it was still too raw for me to handle. Even now, today, I wonder I’d react any differently.

There is a song called “Night and Day”. However, in Bookstoogelandia, there is only Night and Night!


The Night Gift by McKillip is unlike any of her other stuff that I’d read. It boggled my mind that this was the same author who wrote such wonders as The Tower at Stony Wood.

The only thing that boggles my mind more is the following book!


How the same author could write the Codex Alera AND the Dresden Files is beyond me. Storm Front was my introduction to Mr Whiny Pants Baby Puke. What REALLY boggles my mind is that I kept on trying to like this loser for 11(!!!!!!!!) books. I blame my parents and a corrupt justice system. Obviously, I’m the victim here. I demand recompense for all that wasted time. I obviously don’t like Dresden.


I do seem to go against the grain though. Ruins of Ambrai has a 4.01 average rating on Devilreads. I gave it a 1 star. I had the last laugh though, as Rawn seems to have abandoned the series. She was the original Martin! hehehehee. She could truly teach us all a lot about How to Do Nothing. Thus the Circle of Life is complete.

I love when these make little circles like that! Anywhooo, that is how you go from How to Do Nothing to The Ruins of Ambrai and Back Again.

If you’d like to participate in the #6degrees series of posts, head over to #6Degrees Meme to find out the starting point for each month. They’re not always punctual, so sometimes you have to wait until a week into the month.

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#6Degrees — What I Loved to …

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This month we are starting with the book What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt.

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So, this book.  The author’s name is Siri Hustvedt. I’m no apple user, but I’m sorry, Siri only suggests one thing to me: invasive robots who will eventually control everything we do. The Rise of the Machines has to start somewhere, right?






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Obviously, Siri is the direct progenitor of Skynet, everyone’s favorite psycho-killer AI. Rise of the Machines gave us more details than we cared for about that. This book was written by David Hagberg. All I can see in his name is “HAG”.






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Sophie, the main character in Howl’s Moving Castle, is turned into a hag by a jealous witch. Sophie is a real trooper though and doesn’t let her circumstances get her down. She’s no crybaby! You know who IS a crybaby though?





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“Wah”nakin Sky”Wah”lker is the universe’s biggest crybaby. In Attack of the Clones it seemed impossible for Darth Vader, the meanest, most bad-ass villain ever, to have come from this pile of pustulent poo. However, George Lucas waved his magic hand and “made it so”. George is hard on franchises.

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Willow was a fun movie, but this sequel in book form, Shadow Moon, which has George’s name PLASTERED all over it, was bad enough that I stopped at page 3. The knight on the cover is pretty cool looking though. A Knight who isn’t cool is John Ross.




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John Ross is A Knight of the Word. What that means is that he eats whatever shit is given him with a little sad face and then asks for more. This series, The Word and the Void, showcases the absolute worst of the philosophy of Dualism. Ross is no hero.



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Once A Hero. I think the title speaks why I chose this.  While Esmay doesn’t think she’s a hero, that doesn’t stop her from acting like one.




And that is how you go from What I Loved to Once A Hero in 6 easy steps!

If you’d like to participate in the #6degrees series of posts, head over to #6Degrees Meme to find out the starting point for each month. They’re not always punctual, so sometimes you have to wait until a week into the month.

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#6Degrees — Normal People to …

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This month we are starting with the book Normal People by Sally Rooney. The Librarything  blurb is as follows:

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years. This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person’s life – a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us – blazingly – about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney’s second novel breathes fiction with new life.

 

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The last several books have all been award winners of some sort or another. And as far as I’m concerned, they’ve all been nothing but utter trash, a waste of the readers time and a showcase for the arrogance and stupidity of the authors.  I don’t feel very strongly on this though, as I’m sure you can tell 😉

 

 

 

 

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Another book I “didn’t” feel strongly about was Torchship Captain.  When I look at that cover, I see the Captain’s face in her little space helmet. It looks pretty cool actually.

 

 

 

 

 

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A book, or series of books really, that stood out for their interesting “face on the cover” was the Necroscope series by Lumley. I picked Deadspeak to showcase the flavor of the art. Screaming metallic skulls are cool. As long as they aren’t anybody I know anyway.  Sometimes knowing people isn’t a good thing.

 

 

 

 

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It is definitely not a good idea to know someone when you are reading their book. Interphase was just such a book. I was way too nice in my review.  I probably should have known better as well, since the authors talked about nothing but gaming in the short time I interacted with them.

 

 

 

 

 

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A non-fiction book about gaming was Masters of Doom. A quick and dirty look at the co-creators of the video game Doom, that was such a hit in the 90’s. It brought back all the nostalgia feelz for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The books based on the video game, sadly, elicited no such feelz. Knee-Deep in the Dead was a novelization of a walk through of the first Doom Game.  In my review I said that to call this cardboard’y was to insult cardboard. It was that bad.

 

 

 

 

 

And that is how you go from Normal People to Doom in 5 easy steps!

 

If you’d like to participate in the #6degrees series of posts, head over to #6Degrees Meme to find out the starting point for each month. They’re not always punctual, so sometimes you have to wait until a week into the month.

 

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#6Degrees — The Road to…

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This month we are starting with the book The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Post Apocalyptic fiction with complete disregard for punctuation of any kind or quotation marks. “Little” things like that are why I’ll never read that jackass’s books.

 

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You know what they say, The Road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Priests, pastors and vicars talk about hell and what you have to do to NOT go there (ie, don’t read this book! hahahaaa)

 

 

 

 

 

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The Vicar of Wakefield, surprisingly enough, is about a vicar! Amazing how that works!!!  What I noticed about this cover was the little dog curled up in the bottom right of the cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That reminds me of the book, Prince of Dogs. These dogs, however, look pretty scary and nothing could get me to try to pet them! I bet each of those dogs could eat a whole horse, maybe even two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Of course, they’d have to catch that horse first. Horses can run pretty fast and no horse was more wild, or ran faster, or was more “betterer” than the Black Stallion.  I’m not an animal person and even I enjoyed reading about this horse.

 

 

 

 

 

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Somebody who doesn’t like horses, is Garrett, Private Investigator. He hates them and is convinced they are out to get him. He’ll tussle with trolls, effervesce with elves, drink with dwarves but horses? No thank you!
When you think of Private Investigators, who does everyone naturally think of?

 

 

 

 

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That’s right! Jimmy Kudo, better known as Detective Conan!!!
Gotcha.  As a long running mystery manga, Case Closed is up to 75 volumes here in the United States and close to 100 in Japan. That takes some hard work to keep that kind of momentum going.

 

 

 

 

 

And that is how you get from The Road to some Mystery Manga. My advice would be to read some manga, take a chill pill and relax, or you’ll end up like ol’ Cormac.

 

If you’d like to participate in the #6degrees series of posts, head over to #6Degrees Meme to find out the starting point for each month. They’re not always punctual, so sometimes you have to wait until a week into the month.

 

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#6Degrees — Wolfe Island to…

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This month we are starting with the book Wolfe Island by Lucy Treloar. I looked it up AFTER I wrote what follows. NOT EVEN CLOSE, hahahaha! The Devilreads synopsis makes it sound like a piece of trash, even though I know that isn’t what they were going for.

 

wolfeisland (Custom)I imagine that Wolfe Island is a paranormal romance (which is even worse than regular romance in my opinion as it gets as close to bestiality as it can) in which our heroine has been fired from her job as a cop in Big Town X by her sexist boss. Wolfe Island is a small community and she becomes sheriff and meets Hunky Wolfy AND finds out that her ex-Boss is a Warlock. In the end, I would gladly kill them all.  One of my issues with PNR is that the male characters are never real men, but are just assholes with good looks.

 

 

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A book about Real Men, as opposed to just macho testosterone, is The Mark of a Man by Elizabeth Elliot. In it she writes to her nephew about what a Christian Man should be. She uses the example of her dead husband Jim (he was a missionary who was eaten by cannibals). She gets specific about just how Jim exhibited the best and worst of Manhood, all to show her nephew something important. She shows him what a Man should look like from a Woman’s Perspective.

 

 

 

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How to be a Man, from a Man’s Perspective, is what Mark Batterson’s book Play the Man is all about.  Men aren’t just boys that have reached a certain age, boys have to be taught what it means to BE a man. Just like soldiers. You don’t throw a civilian into a combat situation and expect good results. It takes training AND experience.

 

 

 

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A book about a real life soldier getting experience is Joker One. A young LT in Iraq tells of his tour. Not my favorite book but it was good to be reminded just what our boys have gone through for us. With a title like Joker One,  there is really only one direction I can go, right?

 

 

 

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I, Joker is one of the very few Elseworld graphic novels to get 5 stars from me. The role reversal between the Batman and Joker persona worked for me. I doubt it will ever work for me again in another book. It is a very red cover, isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

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The final book in this chain also has a red cover. The Brothers Karamazov. I only gave it 3 stars back when I first read it in ’07. I wonder what I’ll give it the next time I read it?

 

 

 

 

 

And that is how you get from Wolfe Island to The Brothers Karamazov.

 

If you’d like to participate in the #6degrees series of posts, head over to #6Degrees Meme to find out the starting point for each month. They’re not always punctual, so sometimes you have to wait until a week into the month.

 

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#6Degrees -Fleishman Is In Trouble to…

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This month we start with Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s Fleishman is in Trouble.

 

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I know nothing about this book, not even a synopsis. I just did a quick google search and it was some sort of 2019 Best Of thing. But my goodness, is that cover B-O-R-I-N-G!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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Another book with a boring cover is Iain Banks’ Player of Games.  A staircase with some guy’s shadow? Come on, a kindergartner could have come up with something more exciting! In this book species make games, not war, because they’re so advanced and everyone knows that the more you know the less you’ll kill other people. Hitler is a great example. Highly educated, smart, intelligent and just a big cuddly bear who loved everyone.

 

 

 

 

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However, for those species who actually exist and live in reality and don’t pretend that their own anuses smell like flowers, there is Sun Tzu’s Art of War.  Sun Tzu’s wisdom is truly timeless and can be used by various and sundry in all kinds of situations. Plus, he doesn’t have his head up his own backside like Banks does.

 

 

 

 

 

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Anyone who fights someone else, on any level, should be familiar with The Art of War. The caped Crusader, better known as Batman, I am sure has Sun Tzu memorized. However, Batman is a fictional character and fictional characters are only as good as the chuckleheads who write them at any given moment. One particular bad time for Batman was the Elseworlds graphic novel, In Darkest Knight. A poor mashup of Batman and the Green Lantern.

 

 

 

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We don’t need Lanterns nowadays but back when they built the House of Seven Gables, you sure needed one for that monstrosity. 7 Gables is a lot! Makes me wonder if it had seven lanterns, one for each gable?

 

 

 

 

 

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Another book about a House is Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker’s House.  And THIS House is trouble, with a capital T. You go into this house and you are in WAY more trouble than Fleishman could ever get into, or even know the meaning of. Take THAT Fleishman!

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that is how you get into trouble and then get into even more trouble! Don’t blame me though, it’s all Fleishman’s fault, the doity rat.

If you’d like to participate in the #6degrees series of posts, head over to #6Degrees Meme to find out the starting point for each month. They’re not always punctual, so sometimes you have to wait until a week into the month.

 

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