May ’21 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 12

Pages – 2890

Words – 1009.5K

Average Rating – 3.13 Stars

The Bad:

Don’t Care

The Good:

Don’t Care

Movie:

Muppet Show Season 2. This was the light fluffiness that I really needed this month.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

What a bleeping month. I completely lost my writing mojo. It was so bad that I didn’t even want to comment on anyone’s posts. I simply coasted the whole month and let my past me, who did this month’s writing, bear the burden. So you know how I’m always talking about getting ahead, well, I completely blew that buffer (again). But this is EXACTLY why I do that. I still had posts going up but didn’t get any scheduled for June.

Work sucked the joy from my soul. I was looking forward to this 3day weekend the whole month. Not a good place to be.

And because I was really looking forward to the long weekend, what happens? I get sunburnt and sick. I slept most of Saturday away, didn’t go to church on Sunday and pretty much just recovered. It made reading anything hard to enjoy and forget about eating yummy foods, I was stuck with tea and hot soups. And I was so looking forward to chili cheese dogs too!

Plans for Next Month:

Write. I have the whole month planned out in regards to my book reviews and even the majority of my non-review posts. It’s all going to depend on how I feel. If I feel like writing, then I’ll catch up in no time. If I don’t feel like writing though, June is going to be VERY light on posts.

April ’21 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 15

Pages – 4374

Words – 1382k

Average Rating – 3.67

The Bad:

None. Not a single book was less than a 3star and I don’t want to start creating a “Mediocre” section. So no Bad Books!

The Good:

Yotsuba Vol, 14 – 5 stars of Perfection

Requiem for Medusa – 4 stars of gung-ho space opera action.

Movie:

Season One of the Muppet Show went just fine! Really looking forward to the next 2 seasons I own on dvd.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

This month was all over the place, much like the weather. Work was steady (which is always good!) but they tried pressuring us to 50hr weeks near the beginning of the month (which was bad). Every time they gave us the old “gotta work longer and harder” speech we just nodded and said “yep, sure, uh huh” and kept to our 9hr day. Except for when we didn’t. I suspect May we’re going to stick to 9hrs period. I was exhausted by the end of this month.

The weather. We had a week where I was in short sleeves the whole week. Then in the middle of the month we got a bloody snowstorm! Of course, it was only an inch and the rain immediately washed it all away, but still, come on, a snow storm? Good thing I kept my smartwool winter socks out.

Reading was good. While nothing was super duper spectacular, the fact that nothing was below a 3 meant I could just coast. It is just so nice when your books make your life easier.

Cover Love:

The Ruby Knight definitely wins this month’s cover love. And despite Ol’10‘s many protests in the comment section of the review about me lying down on the job, I’d just like to point out that to this day I have yet to see ONE dead monster as evidence of him doing any actual work. His monthly raisin allotment has been curtailed for May. Let that be a lesson to you all! There can be severe consequences to commenting on this blog.

Plans for Next Month:

Since I finished up Yotsuba, I now have to choose another manga to dive into. I think I’m going to take a break in May and look around and see what looks appetizing. So no Manga Monday’s for May.

The Muppet Show Season 2 is on tap and should deliver some nice light entertainment.

Mr Zip is getting a new stuffed companion and he’s all set to make his debut on the blog this month with at least 2 posts. Mr Zip would have been jealous but I bribed him with a bucket of chicken fingers so he’s happy as a monkey 😉

I found an old box of comics and was digging through them to see if they were appropriate for a 12 year old at church. The only series I wasn’t sure about was called Cyber Force. I’m going to be reading and reviewing those. Five issues at 32 pages a pop shouldn’t be hard to deal with.

Other than that, we’ll play it by ear. My goal is to finally get 4 weeks ahead of publishing schedule but we’ll see if I can do that or not. I really like having a 4 week buffer in case something comes up and I don’t want to write.

March ’21 Roundup & Rambling

Raw Data:

Books – 17 (!!!!)

Pages – 4413

Words – 1493K

Average Rating – 3.59

The Bad:

Break the Chains – 1 star dnf 😦

Descent into Hell – 2.5 stars of pure weirdness and not in a good way.

The Good:

Noir Fatale – 4 stars of femme fatale short stories

Drood – 4 stars of pure psychotropic weirdness in a good way

Movie:

Yeah, the Muppets Take Manhattan was the weakest of the 3 movie so far and didn’t impress me at all.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

There was sunshine this month. Actual days where the sun shone the entire day. You have no idea how much that helped me.

♪There is Sunshine ♪ in my soul today!♪

I figured out that part of the issue of why blogging last month wasn’t fun was because of stress. I’m hoping the issues take care of themselves but at least I’ve identified some specifics so if it crops up again I can nip it in the bud instead of letting it drag me down. Took a baby step or two in this direction and hope that was enough to change the overall direction.

I was THIS happy to get so much reading done. I haven’t read 17 books since last September. The only downside was that I had to write 17 reviews but that did mean I didn’t have to write so much fluff. Sometimes I worry about things like that. While I’ll be the first to deny that I’m a “critic”, I still want to take myself seriously and that can be really hard to do when I write things like The First Rule of Secret Skull Club™ Is….. At the same time I do not want to become one of those bloggers who get so serious about their pet subject that they act like they have a stick of dynamite up their backside.

Cover Love:

I talked about the cover a little bit in the review for Winter’s Heart. Looking at it right now, Rand’s coat reminds me very much of Vash the Stampede’s coat from the anime Trigun.

Plans for Next Month:

Resurrection Day is next Sunday and I’m planning a slightly different style of post for that than I have done in the past 4 years. Project X, Manga Mondays, Currently Reading & Quotes, those are going to be regularly scheduled as usual. Book Reviews, well, if you’re really good little bloggers Santa Bookstooge might just have a couple of them for you, all nice and shiny! If you’re bad little bloggers, well, I’ll post disco posts where Bookstoogevolta does his thing in that neon green disco suit. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

February ’21 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 12

Pages – 3691

Words – 1219k

Average Rating – 3.54

The Bad:

Children of Ruin – 1.5stars of utter disappointment
Auxiliary: London 2039 – 2stars of despair and robot blowjobs

The Good:

Retribution – 4.5stars for the Star Wars that should have been
Magician’s Ward – 4.5stars of fluffy regency fantasy

Movie:

The Great Muppet Caper was a good continuation of the Muppet Movie Franchise. Definitely worth the watch and worth owning.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

Is the month really over? Don’t toy with me, tomorrow IS March, right? February’s have always been bad for me and this one felt particularly brutal. Weather was horrible with snow, cold, rain, no sun, then some more snow. Work sucked with too much to do, not enough help, office manager being a real jerk. Blogging sucked because I’d come home exhausted and not have the energy to deal with anything online.

By the end of the month I was running on caffeine and that affected me emotionally and that made EVERYTHING seem about 10x bigger than it actually was. Pay a bill? Oh my goodness, talk about the end of the world. 3 loads of laundry when I was expecting 2? Laundrypocalypse and I’ll just go kill myself, thank you very much. Run out of soda? Job obviously didn’t know the meaning of REAL suffering.

Thankfully, by the halfway mark I realized what was going on with me and started to take steps to give me a buffer. I think I started too late though so I was in survival mode longer than I wanted to be. Still am in fact.

Cover Love:

This is not the cover I used for my review of the Path of Daggers, but of the 4 covers I’ve seen, I liked this the best. Gateways, Birgette, the Seanchan, this has it all.

Plans for Next Month:

Reviews. And then some more reviews. And just to break things up, another couple of reviews! Having the Gulag off my back has made me feel like a speed reader and I’m taking full advantage of that for as long as it lasts. 📚📕📖📗📘📙

Since I don’t want to overwhelm you all with my overly long and indepth book analyses, I’ll be sure to add a puff piece here and there. Don’t let it be said that The Bookstooge never pandered to the hoi poloi!

In regards to the aforementioned “suckiness”, if things do continue that way I’ll be pulling back from being online as much. Might not be commenting as much in general and might have to save the replies to comments on here to the weekends. Blogging in February felt like a battle and I don’t want that to continue. Blogging is supposed to be fun and I’m evaluating what all contributed to it not being fun this past month.

January ’21 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 10
Pages – 2594
Words – 741K
Average Rating – 3.75

The Bad:

Wicked Bronze Ambition – 2stars that whimpered all the way to the end. Pathetic really.

The Good:

Transfer of Power – 4stars of studly responsible machoman’ness

Movie:

The Muppet Movie was laughing, grinning, dancing, singing fun! I have a feeling this Year of the Muppets is going to be good for me.

Miscellaneous Posts:

So this month I turned into one of those book reviewers that I’ve come to not particularly care for over the years. The ones that have more non-reviews than reviews on their blog and as you scroll by vapid posts of nothing, desperately looking for a review, your hope dwindles. My minimum preference has always been 50/50. That simply didn’t happen with my read of Gulag II going on. I feel shame. My family feels shame. My cow feels shame!

Ok, with that out of the way, here’s the list, sigh.

Personal:

What a month this turned out to be. From a national & political level to a personal level, I was glad to see the backside of January. Being bombarded by pure propaganda by the news outlets didn’t help, especially as I was seeing direct parallels to what I was reading in Gulag Vol II. After the second day I just turned the radio off to keep my sanity.

My laptop also just up and died part way through the month. While a smaller thing, it definitely added to the stress of “everything”. Throw in that we found out our car is going to need about $1K of work to pass inspection in a couple of months and well, it all kept adding up. It still amazes me how unsmooth life is. You’d think I’d be used to the bumpy (at best) ride by now. Speaking of rides, better start saving ’cause gas is going up to $5 a gallon way too soon.

And then of course, right at the very end of the month I went dotcom. Definitely a spur of the moment thing but I had been thinking about it for some time. The damnable NSP’s were the last straw.

Cover Love:

Ahhh, one final McKillip cover. While it’s not a Kinuko Craft cover, it definitely is aiming for that same touch. Love it!

Plans for Next Month:

My mind was all over the place this month so I kept making, and breaking, plans for February. I finally decided to stop trying to plan and just let stuff happen. So besides the usual suspects of Movie and Manga Monday, my only planned thing is a book giveaway and starting my Project X in earnest. I’ll make up the rest of February as it happens.

Gulag II slowed me down so much that if not only affected January but has pre-emptively affected February already. I’m usually about 3 weeks ahead in my reviews. Now? I’m a week and struggling. As such, prepare for another onslaught of non-review posts like in January. I’m already sharpening my sepuku knife and sword in preparation.

You Call Yourself a Book Reviewer?!? Hellen Keller was more of a book reviewer than you!” quote attributed to Sergeant Bookstooge during Book War III.

ps,
is this format of Monthly Roundups getting stale for you? I realized I’ve been doing this since my Booklikes days, so we’re talking over 5 years now. Just wondering if I need to change things up any.

Bookstooge Reviews 2020

THE STATS:

Annual WordPress Blog Stats

Posts – 290 (↑65)
Words Written – 197K (↑72K)
Views – 25K (↑7K)
Visitors – 10K (↑3K)
Followers – 378 (↑100+)

Book Stats

Books read – 156 (↑21)
Pages read – 56,855 (↑11K)
Words read – 16,950K (almost 17million words!)
Average Rating – 3.53 (↑0.25)

GENERAL THOUGHTS:

General Bookish Thoughts in General:

My book’ish numbers were up from last year across the board. My manga numbers are about the same so it means the books ARE actually up. This is confirmed by the Page Count being up as well. While 0.25 might not seem a lot, it is a significant boost in the Ratings. Overall, I’m happy with how my reading for 2020 went.

I stopped pruning my followers part way through the year and that is the real reason for the bump in followers. I wrote a lot more too and more posts tend to translate into more of everything else. Including the damnable Spanish Spam Bots! Thankfully, that particular issue has been dealt with, even while not being solved.

Right now, I am happy with all of my numbers. If I can stay here and not get any bigger, that would be good. I like this level of activity and it is quite reasonable to handle as a hobby. Any bigger and things would start getting stressful for me. I also know myself and if I were to get any bigger I’d start really obsessing about “stats” and all the other stuff that is beyond my control as a blogger. I don’t need or want that. I’m an airplane and I’m at cruising altitude! Slip those sunshades on, turn on the autopilot, sit back and enjoy the ride.

What a year it’s been here at WordPress.com. Can I just take a minute as we all swear, profusely and at length, about the Block Editor?
* clenches fists and swears for 5 minutes *

Ok. Now that that is out of the way, I can talk calmly and rationally about the huge gigantic fuster cluck that the Block Editor was and continues to be. While I am now inured to it and have my routine down (so it doesn’t take me forever to do something like it used to), I have seen bloggers leave because of it. When bloggers leave, you know something isn’t right. WordPress has definitely taken a direction into the “pay for websites” side of things instead of using casual bloggers to increase their reach. The block editor still doesn’t work right all the time, has less capability than the previous editor (where’s my scheduling calendar you flaming jackasses!?!?) and simply isn’t meant for writing. Which makes using it a continually frustrating experience as things seem to break on a weekly basis for no apparent reason. If I hadn’t already sunk in so much time with my Under Construction Project here at WP, I’d have left too. At this point though, I’ve invested enough sweat equity that I don’t see myself leaving WP for anything less than leaving blogging in general.

On the positive side of things. This year has been the best I’ve had at WP since I started full time in December of ’16. My numbers started growing in March and slowly but steadily grew all year. I’m sure Covid19 played a big part, but even with my rather outspoken Christian views on several controversial social issues, the views haven’t gone down. While I wish I could take credit, I didn’t really do anything different, that I’m aware of, than I have in previous years. I’ve just been me. That means the blame is squarely on you. It’s all your fault I had a great year and I hold YOU directly responsible.

Keeping track of my Word Count has been beneficial in that it’s another metric to measure my monthly stats. This is the first Year in Review where I include that data so I don’t have anything to compare it too, yet.

Of course, the Churn has continued to happen. People stop blogging (and not just because of the hated block editor) and I’m continually on the lookout for new people to follow. I change, other bloggers change. It is not a static environment and I think this year I’ve finally come to an acceptance of that. I will enjoy your company for as long as you choose to hang around but I refuse to be anxious in anticipation of you leaving.

Another year on blogger. They changed their editor at the exact same time that WordPress did, so what should have been an easy transition turned into a bloody nightmare because of all the stress caused by WordPress. I’ve got it all settled now and simply put my reviews there. No social posts, no fun post, nothing but the reviews. I consider blogger my blogging backup. I learned, from a young age, not to put all my money in one bank and, when I got older, not to put all my data only on one site. Blogger is my cash hidden under the mattress.

LibraryThing. What to say? They ALSO changed their site near the end of the year. Thankfully, since I’m not invested very heavily, the changes didn’t really affect me beyond some cosmetic look&feel type things. I am still a member of the Green Dragon, but to keep within the guidelines of not discussing Religion or Politics, I simply put links to WordPress in my thread. Not ideal and I’m wondering if it will last through ’21 or not. I only interact with a literal handful of people and after sounding them out, most of them get my WP posts emailed to them anyway. Librarything is a fourth line of backup defense.

Every time that I try to interact in a bigger group, it just falls flat on its face and I get pissed off to no end. Telling people that what they said was idiotically stupid and dumb and just plain wrong doesn’t go over very well I have found. Weird, huh?

I tried Devilreads again to see if the pretty pictures and stats you can get at the end of the year were worth the hassle of using yet another book site, and one that I hate at that. Verdict? Totally not worth it. Will not be trying this experiment in 2021. So long devilreads, don’t let the pitchfork spit you where the Good Lord split you. If it weren’t for the fact that I know so many people who happily use devilreads, I’d gladly wish a hacker death to the site.

Bookhype was just a disappointment. I tried it because a former wordpress blogger (who the bleeding block editor drove away by the way) was trying it out and I wanted to keep in touch. That did not happen. Because bookhype isn’t about the social side of things at all. So I’m abandoning that too.

I have talked about Calibre Here. As I continue work on the blog I tweak the reviews in Calibre so everything matches up. But basically, my Calibre database is up to snuff and it’s more about the day to day reviews now. There have been several major upgrades to Calibre this year (a pretty big jump from 3.X to 4 and then a massive upgrade to 5.X) but I’m holding steady at 4.23 until the de-drm plugin is updated. If none of that made any sense, don’t worry, it only should if you’re vested in using Calibre already.

THE BOOKS:

Best Book of the Year:

Great Expectations
This was the Year of Dickens and it was a wicked close thing between this and Little Dorrit. Great Expectations won by a whisker though.

Worst Book of the Year:

Kingdom Come
I didn’t have a single book this year that I could turn to and easily say “This was the worst book of the year.” I had no half star books and even the 1stars tended to be more “DNF on Principle” than because I hated them. I chose Kingdom Come because it was the one book (besides Rosemary and Rue) that got a real rise out of me.

PLANS FOR 2021:

I actually don’t have any. Survival Saturday didn’t last very long into ’20 and it wouldn’t surprise me if the #6Degrees series follows that trajectory. I seem to have this built-in limiter for how long a specific blog series can run before I just stop it. That does mean that I need to start thinking of something to fill up a Sunday slot or two each month. Any ideas?

Of course, once having written that I don’t have any ideas, they immediately started creeping in. Doesn’t that just figure. 🤷‍♂️ (And you all can thank SDMcKinley for any and all use of emoji’s I use from now on. He has unleashed the Beast)

My Beloved Dickens reading journey is coming to an end. As I’d like to keep the classics rolling, I’ll be adding a Complete Works of G.K Chesterton and the Complete Works of the Bronte Sisters. They’re no Dickens but they’re better than Susanna Clarke! (boo, hiss)

I am going to “try”, really hard, to do less re-reading this year. I re-read 45 books last year. That is almost 30% of my total reading. I’m not looking to make a huge change, but if I can swing that number to below 25% and closer to 20%, I’ll be happy. There are SO MANY new books and some have been sitting on my tbr for over 2 years now. So I’m going to make concerted effort to only add re-reads that are essential.

For movies, I am thinking of taking the advice of someone from Librarything and making this a Muppet Movie themed year. Whether actual movies or the 1970’s variety show, it just sounds appealing to me. To bootstrap myself, I’ve bought 3 of the movies (the original Muppets, The Great Muppet Caper and Muppet Treasure Island) and the first season of the tv show from the 70’s. Singing, dancing, disco-balls, 2021 is the Year that Bookstoogevolta (me, anti-carnating as John Travolta) brings back Disco!

I have added a Statcounter to my page so I’m hoping to get even more Numb3rs for next year’s Year in Review. It’s free so it only holds so much data but I figure if I add a section to my Monthly Roundup’s I can get a good cross section for the year. I used it in December and it is quite different from the WP stats, so I’m not sure it will be truly helpful until I have several years of data to compare against but considering how I like that kind of thing, I can wait until I have it 😀

PERSONAL:

This year. What can I say? It was obviously dominated by Covid19 and yet for Mrs B and I, outside of a few church related activities, it didn’t change OUR routine. It changed everyone around us and thus change was forced on us that way. The stress of it all definitely got to us though. Between people turning into Mask Nazi’s and the inability to interact normally, even I was finding myself snappish by years end.

Work slowed down right at the beginning of covid, but after that, we were gangbusters all year long. I learned that I don’t want anything to do with the office or being inside and I am sure my time is limited before I leave because of general conditions even out in the field. Not worrying about that yet though. I have to survive yet another New England winter and that is about all I’m going to mentally deal with at the moment. Mrs B started working nights around Halloween and next week should be the end of that. I’m probably looking forward to it ending more than she is.

I survived the heat of Georgia for 10 days on Our Vacation. It was sorely needed but a mere month after returning it was like it had never happened. I think we could use a year long vacation!

Our church is still open, our cars are still working, our bills are being paid off and we’re getting fat because we have so much food. And we have more books and movies than we have time to consume. I think that qualifies as a good thing.

TOP 5:

Here are the top 5 viewed posts in each of the various categories. It isn’t quite equal, as posts from November and December just don’t have the time to accumulate the views.

Book Review Posts:

What an eclectic mix. On a “just because” note, I started writing this post at the beginning of December and included the top 5 from then. In the four weeks since, this list has changed twice. The Great Divorce and The Most Dangerous Game were narrowly bumped off, which is why I’m giving them an honorary mention here.

Non-Review Posts:

Anytime I wrote about the block editor I got a flood of views, so I chose the top one to allow some of the other posts to shine. Obviously though, the wordpress community did not, and does not, like the block editor. Personally, I hope wordpress chokes to death on it. Outside of the Vacation post, most were of the more introspective and navel gazing variety of post. I’m perfectly fine with that, as long as you’re gazing at your own navel and not trying to peek at mine.

Honorary mentions go to A History of ….. Magic the Gathering and Need More Space? History was bittersweet for me while Space gave me options for the future if I ever run into storage limits here at WP.

Commentors + Runner Up:

I think this section is pretty self-explanatory. I am wondering if WP is somehow messing with me in what I think are my top commentors. Without digging around though, with very blunt and almost useless tools provided to this lowly peon by my Lizard Overlords at WP, I am going to have to go with what they supply me.

Movies:

Movies weren’t high on my list this year and I ended up watching more seasons of anime than anything. I did want to include the recent Muppets Christmas Carol, but with only a week under its belt, it just doesn’t have the numbers to go against the Big Boys that have been around all year. Better luck next year, Michael Caine!

Turns out the Muppets struck a viewing chord. It rocketed past such “gems” as Karas: The Prophecy, the Revelation. You go Michael Caine! You da man…

Happy New Years!

December ’20 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 15

Pages – 4380

Words – 1473.5K

Average Rating – 3.77

The Bad:

Light – 2.5 Stars

Darkwalker on Moonshae – 1star DNF

The Good:

A Tale of Two Cities – 5 stars for the penultimate book in my Dicken’s journey

Message for the Dead – 4.5 stars for the Star Wars that should have been

Movie:

The Muppets Christmas Carol was great! I am really glad I ended up buying it.

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

Work for me and Mrs B went as well as could be expected. I’m really ready for her to stop working the night shift though. Thankfully, that’ll happen next week. I can handle one more week. My work show NO inclination to slow down even though we now have a foot of snow on the ground. It’s going to be a slog of a winter, sigh.

The words absolutely spewed out of my fingers this month as I had a post almost every day. I keep saying I don’t know how I’ll keep up that kind of output and then I keep on keeping up. It definitely helped my stats for the month! I plan on talking about the blog stats a bit more in my Year in Review post tomorrow, but this December is the Best Month I’ve ever had here at WordPress. I guess I have you all to thank for that 😉

Just want to put in a plug for AAA if you’re in the United States. Had to have the subaru towed once and then I locked my keys in it and they had to come unlock it. Between those 2 things, my annual membership was more than paid for. Totally worth it if you regularly buy used cars like we do.

Cover Love:

Blood Relation by Dan Willis. If my chin looked like that, I’d be breaking concrete blocks with it just because I could. I do see a lack of suspenders though. Vests might look good, but when they cover up your awesome suspenders, well, your priorities are obviously all wrong.

Plans for Next Month:

I think I need to get through the Year in Review before I even think of plans for January. ♪Tomorrow is ♪only a sleep away♪

PSA: Blogging Jealousy

Here I sit. On my comfortable couch. In my nice warm condo. With Mrs B sleeping away in the other room. Having just devoured a Wild Mike’s Ultimate Pepperoni Pizza. And a Rockstar Pure Zero coursing through my veins. With November being the best blog month I have EVER had. And you know what is going through my head? How jealous I was of another blogger, 2 1/2 years ago.

I was reading some old posts and saw one of their comments and it all came rushing back. They’d been online less than a year, had more followers than me, were more popular, got more comments while having less than a 1/10th of the book foundation that I had or blogging experience. What makes it particularly ironic is that I really liked them as a blogger. I was happy for them and their success and yet, not that far down, I was really jealous. I couldn’t even think about it at the time because I knew if I dwelt on it that it would sour things on my end and I did NOT want that.

Now that time has passed, I can look a little bit more dispassionately at it and analyze it a bit more, disinterestedly? I actually started this post out as a joke entitled “Po’ Lil’ Me” where I bewailed what a wretched lot I had in life.

Once I started typing though, I realized just how deep this had run back then and it got me thinking. I intellectually know that other bloggers have felt the same towards another blogger. But I have to admit, I’ve never seen it in action. How does blogging jealousy even manifest itself? For me, it was nothing more than an internal feeling that was suppressed so as to not allow outward actions.

Thinking about it, I saw myself as this:

What this other blogger did was make me realize the reality was much more like this:

I suspect they would have been horrified if they had realized what I was feeling. Hence why I kept quiet. I was jealous because I wanted their success, their ease of getting along with others and that indefinable something they had that attracted other bloggers to them almost effortlessly. Part of it was also me not having the confidence here on WordPress that I currently have. I also hadn’t settled completely in my mind just what my goal for blogging was.

On the positive side, being jealous really made me think what I wanted from my blogging experience. Did I want a big audience? Did I want lots of like or comments? Did I want other people to indenture their children until the age of 25 so they could carry my glorious name? (I mean, that’s a given, but still….). Once I sat down and put into concrete form what I wanted intellectually, emotionally and in terms of entertainment that allowed me to focus on a goal instead of on what someone else had.

Of course, there are times when I see “someone” get 100 likes for putting up something “relatable” and for about 30seconds I am jealous again. Then I just shrug it off. I am not that person. I am me. I have strong opinions on many things that run counter to most popular or even generally accepted, culture. I am not a group person trying to please others. In the last 3 years I have grown emotionally in that I have truly accepted my boundaries and decided to work with them instead of bemoaning them. It also helps that Psychic Grandma showed up and began toughening me up, like a piece of leather, hahahahaaha.

And I think that does it for me and this Public Service Announcement. What about you? Have you been jealous of another blogger? What did you do about it? Have you seen blogger jealousy in action? If so, tell me about it. Tell ol’ Uncle Bookstooge, he’s got a sympathetic ear …..

November ’20 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 16

Pages – 5964

Words – 2117.5K (2.1million)

Average Rating – 3.37

The Bad:

Rosemary & Rue – 1Star

Blackwing – 1Star

The Good:

The Private Life of Elder Things – 4Stars

King John – 4Stars

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

This month was all over the place. Blogwise, stats were fantastic. This was the best month I’ve ever had in terms of views, likes, comments, etc.

Of course, WordPress ruins it by forcing me to double dip in terms of liking people’s comments. Then today I just started having issues with controlling my spam comments. I had one phrase that would throw any comment straight into the trash. Well, WP deleted that and now whenever I try to add it back, my settings won’t save. I’ve cleared my cache and tried Chrome, Edge AND firefox. Since I’m still banned on the forums, I can’t ask for help. I swear, I’m this close to calling it quits, good numbers or not!

Then you had the real life side of things. From bad work weeks to all the political crap flooding everything to escalation of the covid scare, it felt like this month was all about “killing, stealing and destroying”. That was overwhelming.

Cover Love:

I have to admit, when I saw the cover for the Copper Assassin, I was sure that was going to be the Cover Love choice of the month. And I was NOT wrong! Yum, yum, yum!

Plans for Next Month:

Having skipped the movie review for this month, I want to make sure to get one in for December. I’m about 99% sure it will be The Muppets Christmas Carol. That seems about the level of “Movieocracy” that I can take right now.

Other than that, it should be business as usual. I suspect a lot of my time in December will be spent planning and writing up stuff for the Year in Review post and seeing what I want to do for 2021.

October ’20 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Books – 12

Pages – 3662

Words – 1125K

Average Rating – 3.75

The Bad:

Cold Fire – 1 Star

The Master and Margarita – 1.5 stars

The Good:

Dombey and Son – 5 Stars

Yotsuba Vol’s 1 & 2 – 5 stars

Movie:

Howl’s Moving Castle was a good movie without any scariness to bother me. I don’t care if it’s Halloween this month, no scariness for me!

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

This was a pretty good month overall. Reading wise, another out of the ballpark average! Unbelievable!!! Helps that Yotsuba is just about guaranteed to be 5 stars each read. Plus I had several other 5 star reads. The end of year has been pretty generous to me with all the 5stars I’ve been reading recently. Thankfully, the lower rated books have pretty much slid off my back like water and it’s not bothered me one bit. Used to be, a 1 star book would get me into the doldrums or downright depressed. With these, eh, whatever. I rather like that to be honest.

Of course, that week in the middle of the month with sickness, car problems and everything sucked the joy out of the month but both Mrs B and me are at the stage of life where we just put our heads down and keep on trucking, knowing things will get better. Or we’ll die, which is the best case scenario we could ask for!

The best performing post this month was the “When Do You Stop Following” post. That got a LOT of comments and warmed the cockles of my heart. The one I had the most fun writing was “Psychic Grandma & the T200”. I just let all the silly loose and it felt like the old days of blogging, back in my 20’s. You know, when I had a full head of hair, boundless energy and dreams of becoming the Emperor of Mars? Of course you don’t know that, none you read my blogs back then. And you can’t now either, because I’ve deleted them over the years, hahahahaa! I wouldn’t be the Mysterious Doctor Lord Bookstooge now would I?

Plans for Next Month:

Besides the usual #6degrees and movie, I’m hoping to do another crossover post with Masters of Ironing, to truly promote the art of Ironing. A true Master of Ironing doesn’t need an iron OR even know how to iron. Remember, There Is No Iron, Neo.

Also going to try to do some Currently Reading & Quote posts to talk about the books I’m reading in a non-review way. Sometimes it’s fun to just talk about a book WHILE you’re reading it.

Oh, I will probably start thinking about End of Year stuff. That stuff always takes me forever to get together and the sooner I start, the less I’ll have to deal with as New Years approaches.

Other than that, I’ll try to keep things unstructured so if I feel like writing something out of the blue, I can. Us creative types needs our space. So BACK OFF buster, and let me be creative! Or I’ll cry, I swear, I will. I’m warning you right now….