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Gilroy's 2016 attempt to scale Mt. TBR

The Green Dragon

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1gilroy
Edited: Dec 31, 2016, 9:21am Top

I don't usually do a reading journal thread because I never felt like I was prolific enough of a reader to warrant one. Not 100% sure why I am choosing to start one now.

Guess what I'll do is place the books presently on the reading list in this first post, then each month complete on succeeding posts. So edits here will be ... common. :)

Anyway: The currents

Audio - Will start again in the new year
Home fiction - Holy Fire by Bruce Sterling
Travel Fiction - The Magicians' Guild by Trudi Canavan
Non-Fiction - Will start again in the new year
E-book - Waiting Game by J L Ficks and J E Dugue

2gilroy
Edited: Dec 21, 2016, 1:14pm Top

Dud Books - Books I attempted to read and gave up (I'll note the reason in my reviews)

Foreigner by C J Cherryh
Shadowfever by Karen Moning -- Horrid prose, couldn't get past first audio disc
Forged in Death by Jim Melvin -- Gave up on page 84 of 240

Note on how I designate a dud book:
Unless the book is so horrid of prose/story/cliché that I can't get past the first few pages, I feel the need to give the author at least a third of the book. This allows for initial bad openings and characters to grow enough. At that point, if I continue to struggle and can't get into the book, I'm done and it becomes a dud.

3gilroy
Edited: Jun 9, 2016, 9:56am Top

(Since I'm starting this so late, I'll combine months together...)

January:
The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry
Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill

February
Slipknot by Linda Greenlaw
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas by Chris Ewan

March
Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill

4gilroy
Jun 9, 2016, 9:55am Top

April:
Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill
Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill
Insurgent by Veronica Roth

May
Drink Deep by Chloe Neill
Biting Cold by Chloe Neill
The Magic Dead by Peter Garrison
House Rules by Chloe Neill

5MrsLee
Jun 9, 2016, 10:12am Top

Hi gilroy! Better late than never. :)

I really enjoyed The Good Thief's Guide mysteries. Not enough to keep them on my shelves, but enough that I wanted to read all of them.

6gilroy
Jun 9, 2016, 10:14am Top

>5 MrsLee: Honestly, I think it was partly starting on book 3 of the series that made me less impressed. Mysteries and thrillers always seem to build on each other so to start in the middle seems to work against the reader. If it had been a purchased book on my shelf (this one was a library audio), It would have survived my most recent purge. :)

7SylviaC
Jun 9, 2016, 10:45am Top

It's always nice to see a new thread! Have you read The Blue Sword? I liked it better than The Hero and the Crown, although that was good, too.

8gilroy
Jun 9, 2016, 11:09am Top

>7 SylviaC: Somewhere in the middle of the mountain. :) Honestly, I swore I'd read Hero and the Crown once before, but didn't remember a darn thing as I read it this time.

9clamairy
Jun 9, 2016, 12:44pm Top

So happy you started this journal thread. It's never too late! :o)

10gilroy
Jun 13, 2016, 9:05pm Top

I'm trying to add some reading notes to the reviews as I go along. This helps with the final review, especially when it takes me months sometimes to finish books, just because I don't take the time to relax...

11gilroy
Jun 18, 2016, 7:14am Top

June:
Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card

12clamairy
Jun 18, 2016, 8:36am Top

>11 gilroy: One to skip, apparently.

13gilroy
Jun 18, 2016, 9:31am Top

>12 clamairy: The more I attempt Card's writings, the more I feel he had two good books in him. Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow. The rest are meh or worse. And extended series are just not good. The Alvin series just didn't set well with me and I tried two books there. The extended universe for Ender meanders a lot. I still have Folk of the Fringe to try. The first of the Empire series showed promise, but I have no hope for the second.

14clamairy
Jun 18, 2016, 10:19am Top

>13 gilroy: I am ashamed to admit I have not read anything of his, though Ender's Game is on my virtual TBR pile.

15tottman
Jun 18, 2016, 11:52am Top

I've reread Ender's Game more, but Speaker for the Dead still might be my favorite. I've enjoyed some of the other books in the Ender universe, but not so much what I've read of his other series.

16MrsLee
Jun 18, 2016, 2:43pm Top

I am happy to have read Ender's Game, and I am content with not reading any more. :) That was a very fun story though.

17gilroy
Jun 18, 2016, 3:00pm Top

>14 clamairy: Ender's game is definitely worth the read. The rest... Up to you. :)

>15 tottman: Maybe because I waited too long between books, but I couldn't like Speaker. Xenocide is awaiting my visit.

>16 MrsLee: Did you get a chance to see the movie adaption?

18MrsLee
Jun 18, 2016, 3:09pm Top

>17 gilroy: Not yet, I'm rather afraid to. :) It's been a long time since I read the story and I did not hear positive things about the movie.

19gilroy
Jun 23, 2016, 5:40pm Top

Well, this slows things down. I picked up my new audio book from the library, a nice suspense thriller legal thing.
Then I get on Jury Duty and REALLY don't want to read what I'm suffering.

20clamairy
Jun 25, 2016, 3:04pm Top

>19 gilroy: Uhoh. :o)

22jillmwo
Jul 8, 2016, 7:04pm Top

Can we go back up to #2 where you noted that you'd tried Foreigner by C.J. Cherryh, but didn't like it? Where did it fail in your estimation?

23gilroy
Jul 9, 2016, 8:35am Top

>22 jillmwo: Sure. The thread is a discussion thread. I'll talk about which ever book is listed. :)

As for Foreigner, that was my second Cherryh book I'd attempted. The first had felt like it was all backstory save the last three chapters. It could have been a short story and be fine. Foreigner, I kept losing the plot. And she never offered enough hints to connect it to make sense to me. We have the lost ship in the beginning, the landing on the strange planet that seemed related, then we jumped ahead ... 20 years? 30? ... and we're talking about a civilization with no clues. I understood humans were trapped on an island. But I just couldn't make the connection well enough to understand it all, especially without the lack of adequate clues.

Maybe it's because I'm reading it now, instead of when I was in my teens and early twenties, which was when most found her and loved her. Don't know.

24Sakerfalcon
Jul 11, 2016, 9:00am Top

>22 jillmwo:, >23 gilroy: I didn't get on with Foreigner either, although I did finish it. For me, I got tired of Bren's thoughts and fears being constantly repeated as we are stuck in his head. I understood that he is isolated and the only one of his kind having to figure out this deeply alien culture, but I would actually rather have seen it all from a less-internalised point of view, if that makes sense. I know a lot of readers really love the series, so I'm relieved that I'm not the only one who didn't love it.

25nhlsecord
Jul 23, 2016, 7:07pm Top

I had the same problem with the Foreigner series. It was half "mulling over" but if you skip that stuff, it was pretty good, with some interesting characters and an interesting society.

26gilroy
Jul 30, 2016, 5:44pm Top

I hate when books start as one thing and then take this strange right turn into something completely ... different. And not even a good different. A cliche ridden horribly ended different.

27SylviaC
Jul 30, 2016, 7:27pm Top

>26 gilroy: Any book in particular?

28gilroy
Jul 31, 2016, 7:39am Top

>27 SylviaC: The one that triggered that complaint is Born of Night by Sherrilynn Kenyon

29gilroy
Edited: Aug 2, 2016, 5:50am Top

Harry Potter and the cursed Child -- I've not sat down and read a book cover to cover within a single day in a LONG time...

30gilroy
Aug 1, 2016, 7:36pm Top

Personal aside: Just saw the new Ghostbusters with the girlfriend. It was her birthday movie choice...

My original plan was to wait for this to come out on Netflix. Kinda glad I saw it on the big screen instead.

Best part of the whole movie: Leslie Jones.
She has the best one liners, the best overall acting, the best character.

Improved special effects were nice.

Love the new Ecto Mobile, the way each of the original characters were introduced (If you didn't look for them, you'd probably miss all but Bill Murray.), not redoing the original's story line, per say, yet almost completely following it's plot line.

Chris Helmsworth... eye candy. Lack of romance plot, I'm good with. I thought that hurt the original duology.

Some gags shouldn't be done multiple times. The slime gag is one. If you didn't get the laugh you wanted from the original, doing it a second time... no, just don't.

The whole scene with the mayor, his aides, etc, was a useless aside that could have been dropped.

Worst part of the movie: Melissa McCarthy.
NOT FUNNY. Her humor through most of the movie feels forced.

But as I look at the overall effort... 2.75 stars out of 5. Good popcorn flick. Not better or worse than the original. NOT geared toward men, which is probably what the entire franchise needed.

31jillmwo
Aug 1, 2016, 9:45pm Top

>29 gilroy: Had you expected to read Born of Light in a day and was this at least partially the source of your disenchantment? That it took that unfortunate turn and went in a direction you didn't like?

>30 gilroy: Movie reviews are useful. I will file this one away for future reference.

32gilroy
Aug 2, 2016, 5:51am Top

>31 jillmwo: Oh, those two weren't related. (I've not gotten to Born of Light in the series yet. Looking towards Born of Fire first.) No, I was referring to Harry Potter 8. I've since fixed that post.

34gilroy
Edited: Sep 21, 2016, 11:01am Top

35gilroy
Edited: Oct 31, 2016, 10:03pm Top

I'd hoped to finish this book before the end of September. Ah well.

October:
Blood Games by Chloe Neill
Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
Dark Debt by Chloe Neill
Lakota Way of Strength and Courage by Joseph M Marshall III

36gilroy
Oct 1, 2016, 3:36pm Top

Another non-reading aside:

The local library put on a Comic Con for the locals today. It was a very unique experience for so many people in such a small space. I threw together a Harry Dresden costume at the last minute. Hopefully, next year I'll do better with what I design.

37MrsLee
Oct 2, 2016, 12:17pm Top

>36 gilroy: What fun! Any photos? :)

38gilroy
Oct 2, 2016, 12:24pm Top

>37 MrsLee: I'm awaiting a copy from the library. Girlfriend dressed as the My Little Pony Librarian...

39jillmwo
Oct 2, 2016, 2:15pm Top

>36 gilroy: Long coat and a fedora? What does Harry Dresden wear?

40gilroy
Oct 2, 2016, 3:11pm Top

>39 jillmwo: Yup. Long coat, fedora, magical staff (walking stick)

41jillmwo
Oct 2, 2016, 3:41pm Top

I'd forgotten the walking stick/staff! But, yes. That would be a easy but also fun costume.

42gilroy
Oct 2, 2016, 3:51pm Top

I couldn't find my hockey stick to be like some of the early books.

43MrsLee
Oct 3, 2016, 9:31am Top

It would be pretty neat to find a pentagram pendant as well. Now you're making me want to go back and read Dresden books again! I just read them last yearish.

44gilroy
Edited: Oct 22, 2016, 8:17pm Top



(Yes, even Harry Dresden can have an untied shoe lace. LOL)

45clamairy
Oct 3, 2016, 8:20pm Top

>44 gilroy: Awesome shot. Looks like you were having fun!

46SylviaC
Oct 3, 2016, 8:43pm Top

Looks like fun. The two of you look like you belong together!

47jillmwo
Oct 3, 2016, 9:11pm Top

There are no emojii on LT; otherwise I would post a thumbs-up!

48MrsLee
Oct 4, 2016, 10:47pm Top

>44 gilroy: Thank you! What fun!

>47 jillmwo: I think there are, but I don't understand how they work.

49Sakerfalcon
Oct 5, 2016, 8:17am Top

>44 gilroy: Great photo!

50gilroy
Oct 8, 2016, 12:11pm Top

Thanks for the compliments on the photo.
And in the continuing non-reading bend:
Girlfriend got to go to a conference for Library Admin out in Ocean City, Maryland this past Thursday and Friday. And I got to tag along. Tee hee!
It was my first trip there, where everyone swears to go every summer. (I was thankful for the lack of crowds.) I treated it like a mini vacation of two days and two nights by the ocean.



I sat on the hotel porch, looking out at this, while reading my book. Or walked the boardwalk when I felt antsy. We got to eat lots of good food and when not in conference, girlfriend gave me a tour of the area, since she was a seasoned pro for the city. We played mini golf (she kicked my butt), walked the board walk together, watched a classic and muscle car parade, and discovered the ultimate boardwalk treat, Thrasher's Fries, I can't eat due to my severe allergy to their cooking oil. Ah well. :)

51MrsLee
Oct 8, 2016, 2:33pm Top

>50 gilroy: You are living the dream, my friend! Sounds delightful.

52gilroy
Oct 8, 2016, 5:54pm Top

>51 MrsLee: I just have to be careful I don't run too low on leave at my own job. :)

53gilroy
Edited: Oct 19, 2016, 7:10am Top

Dead Witch Walking
Never realized how much a narrator can alter one's like/dislike for a book. In this case, it made me very much dislike the book. *shudder*

As I read other reviews, I also find it interesting how narrators I don't mind or enjoy , others seem to find fault with.

54SylviaC
Oct 19, 2016, 8:03am Top

>53 gilroy: And a narrator that is fine for one book may be a bad choice for another.

55MrsLee
Oct 19, 2016, 9:36am Top

>53 gilroy: & >54 SylviaC: OK, we're talking audio books here. Took me awhile, it's early morning and my coffee doesn't seem to be kicking in.

56Sakerfalcon
Oct 22, 2016, 3:16am Top

>53 gilroy:, >55 MrsLee: As this book is written in first person I thought you meant you didn't like the characters voice as the author had written it. I know some readers haven't liked Rachel as a character but hope this wasn't a problem for you. I disliked her intensely in the second book but she improves greatly after that.

57gilroy
Oct 22, 2016, 5:36am Top

>56 Sakerfalcon: Honestly, I was a little put off by Rachel in the book. But I was more put off by the audio book narrator. The only voice I think she did well with was Ivy. And while I can understand that Jenks is a pixie, the way she spoke for him grated on my nerves. I think I may put these on my read in book form list, to avoid that narrator.

58gilroy
Oct 28, 2016, 11:50am Top

As we near the end of the year, I'm starting to plot and plan for the next year.

I'm going to do my thread a little different next year, I think. Each book will get a post, then at the end of the month, I'll do a summary post (maybe with links back to the initial book post? Not sure yet.) I'm going to make it more open for things like photos and non-reading stuff. There MAY be an announcement... Not sure yet.

I liked the initial post with the presently reading, so that will continue.
I'll probably also stick with the Dud Books list, though they will also get the post within the month.

I'm thinking next year I might create numerical goals for myself on things I want to read. Have break downs like fiction versus non fiction and audio/paperback/ebook, etc. With 11 years of tracking statistics here so far, I think I can figure out a good number to work through. When I create the new thread, I'll probably include the numbers in the first post.

So lots of thoughts, lots of plans, lots of ... lots. And two months to work the details. :)

59SylviaC
Oct 28, 2016, 12:09pm Top

I find that one of the fun things about doing these journal threads is being able to play around with different formats, and evolve it as you figure out what works for you. It's also fun to see how much variety there is in everyone else's threads.

Looking forward to maybe an announcement. :)

60gilroy
Oct 31, 2016, 9:37am Top

>59 SylviaC: Very true, learning as I go, since this is my first. :)

And Girlfriend got me by birthday present early... And got me in trouble, because I now have the Kindle app on my tablet. And the Google Books App. So multiple places to read books digitally. *sigh*

62gilroy
Nov 4, 2016, 1:22pm Top

So as a fun side note, my natal anniversary is Tuesday. (Wanna talk about a fun present, finding out the new president. Please not Trump.) I put out the request for no big fuss, no big expenditures, nothing fancy. I'd like the day to pass as any other. Except I know it won't.

My girlfriend has done two things that are kinda cool.
First, she got me a new kindle book with audible capability. (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children -- cause I wanna see the movie. :) )

Second, she's asked me about going for a four hour drive one way for a present. She hasn't said where, but we are going on Veteran's day. (Naturally, I've been poking around on Google Maps trying to figure out where she's taking me. New York was possible, but it's five and a half hours. Philly is a maybe...)

Anyway, just a fun update from my life right now. Maybe I'll post a picture next week when we get where we're going. :)

63MrsLee
Nov 5, 2016, 11:01am Top

>62 gilroy: Um, I'm not sure "going for a four hour drive one way" is a gift. It sounds more like a threat, to me. ;)

Happy Birthday! Hope you get to have a happy return trip.

64gilroy
Nov 9, 2016, 5:24am Top

Another non reading aside:

Natal Anniversary was lots of fun. Had lunch with my sweetie at Mission BBQ, which supports our armed forces. They say the pledge every day at noon. Cool to see and participate in. Then we went for a walk on the beach to enjoy the fall weather. We followed that with a very good movie, Dr. Strange, which set things up very interestingly.

>63 MrsLee: I got the answer to the 4 hour car ride thing. :) She's gotten us a trip on a scenic railroad through fall foliage in the Western Maryland area. Supposed to be lovely. It was something was trying to get, but she beat me to it. LOL

(This will probably be my only political comment and represents my opinion) Then I got my final present -- the announcement of who won the election... WORST. PRESENT. EVER. Talk about ruining a perfectly good day...

65SylviaC
Nov 9, 2016, 8:08am Top

I'm glad you had fun on your birthday! The other part wasn't official until after midnight, so it didn't happen until the day after your birthday.

The train ride sounds lovely! I've always liked riding on the train.

66MrsLee
Nov 9, 2016, 9:07am Top

>64 gilroy: Sounds lovely, just be careful not to sit next to any "Strangers on a Train." ;)

67gilroy
Nov 28, 2016, 10:25am Top

So it seems I've found two audio narrators that just bug me with the way they read books. Marguerite Gavin and Lorelei King. In fact, they sound very similar, vocally, so I suspected King was Gavin for a moment until I looked it up.

68tardis
Nov 28, 2016, 11:19am Top

>67 gilroy: Oh, disappointing! The reader really makes or breaks an audio book, don't they? I don't think I've heard either of those, but a few times I've bailed because a reader didn't click with me.

69gilroy
Nov 28, 2016, 11:50am Top

>68 tardis: Definitely! I forced myself to complete one book because it was a series I really wanted to enjoy, but the reader made it meh. A second book, I sampled the audio before I decided to go audio or written to try the series. That reader made me decide for written as well. Sadly.

70gilroy
Dec 1, 2016, 5:31am Top

So discovery of the day:

The Kindle Android App doesn't have a way to designate where you store your books/audible files. My kindle has been placing them in the device primary storage, which is shared with operating memory. Thus my tablet fussed at me of being low on memory last night. (like 10 books and 3 audible books. The audible were almost 2 GB alone) So I had to hunt these down and it let me move the audible files, but not the book files.

Started looking for a Kindle, to take the books to a specific device and save my tablet, but none support audible files unless I spend US$250.

Time to hunt other ideas down. Maybe update the tablet, move stuff to new tablet and leave this one for just reading... Google versus Kindle. LOL

71jillmwo
Dec 1, 2016, 7:39am Top

That's an interesting wrinkle of which I'd not really been aware. I knew the Kindle itself was designed primarily to handle text files, whereas the Fire tablets were designed for a greater variety of content formats. But I hadn't considered the challenge of Audible audio-book files which are invariably larger than the other formats.

72MrsLee
Dec 2, 2016, 9:46am Top

>70 gilroy: Am I missing something? I listen to Audible books on my phone, when I'm finished, I remove them from my device. They still stay stored in my Audible library, but don't take up room on my device. I do the same with my tablet. Only download the books I'm reading at the moment.

73gilroy
Dec 2, 2016, 11:05am Top

>72 MrsLee: Three brand new books I'd downloaded all at once. And I bought them as audible add ons to the kindle edition. Not sure if that makes a difference or not...

74clamairy
Dec 2, 2016, 12:08pm Top

>73 gilroy: That should not make a difference. They should show up in your audible library, just download them when you want to start listening. I only have one that I bought as an add on, but it's visible.

75gilroy
Dec 2, 2016, 1:13pm Top

>74 clamairy: Right now, not an audible member. Was thinking of getting a dedicated device for the sake of these kindle/audible books (The Kindle Fire 7 is kinda calling me at $50USD), in part so I can see the books that have the add on...

76clamairy
Dec 2, 2016, 1:38pm Top

>75 gilroy: I am not an Audible member either. I don't listen to audio books fast enough for it to be worth the money. But I am an Amazon Prime member.

77gilroy
Dec 2, 2016, 1:57pm Top

>76 clamairy: Haven't sprung for that part of the package yet. Probably be my refund/bonus money that leads to that (if I have any this year.)

78MrsLee
Dec 3, 2016, 1:02am Top

>75 gilroy: I don't think you have to be an Audible member or a Prime member to have a library collection on Audible. Just sign in? If in doubt, there is a chat option to ask questions, and they are very helpful.

80gilroy
Edited: Dec 10, 2016, 4:30pm Top

Okay, I said I'd stall on eBooks, but I'm traveling and eB8oks are easier to haul.

That said, I'm having difficulty with one. Forged in Death by Jim Melvin. Wanted to see if anothers attempted this before I get much farther. It doesn't read well for me...

81clamairy
Dec 9, 2016, 4:23pm Top

>80 gilroy: Wish I could help but I've never heard of it. And what's with the self-imposed stall? Is it still the issue with the storage space on your tablet?

82gilroy
Dec 9, 2016, 4:54pm Top

>81 clamairy: The self imposed stall was to get me to finish other books I'd already started and wanted to finish before year's end. I actually completely that push yesterday.

83gilroy
Dec 20, 2016, 10:30am Top

I'm discovering that the note feature on most e-reading applications is a dangerous feature for me to use.

For while I am loathe to mark up a physical book, being able to note things in e-books allows me to better shred an author's script way too easily. My previous three e-reads I just wanted to read the story. They were decent.

Two new novels I've started reading... OMG! Cliché, overly pompous wording, bad characterizations, my notes are extensive. For one book, by page 74, I have 28 comments. For the second, I'm at page 18 and already 9 notes... (I'm trying to work a ratio of notes to star rating/dud book opinion.)

Maybe I should stick to physical books. :)

84YouKneeK
Dec 20, 2016, 10:46am Top

>83 gilroy: Ha, it definitely is a nice (and tempting) feature. I don't have sufficient patience for mobile keyboards, so that helps keep me under control. I've gotten to where I just highlight things and then I usually remember why later. It can be handy when writing reviews.

85jillmwo
Dec 20, 2016, 7:27pm Top

>83 gilroy: Nope, I'd recommend that keep yourself honest about your experience as a reader; it is valuable to recognize/articulate what you notice as you're reading your e-books. It's a form of brain training.

86gilroy
Edited: Jan 2, 2017, 8:08pm Top

Because it doesn't look like I'm going to finish any of the present three books I'm reading before the end of the year, I think I'll go ahead and close out my stats for 2016:

Attempted read: 41 total books -- 27 audio, 11 physical, 3 ebooks.

Couldn't Finish 3 books - 1 audio, 1 physical, 1 ebook

Completed Reads: 38 Books - 26 audio, 10 physical, 2 ebooks

Fiction: 40
Non-Fiction: 1

For me, (looking back over the last 11 years of stats by LT) This is a major amount of reading I've done of late. My hope is that 2017 sees this number continue to rise. More physical and ebooks would be nice, but I'm good with more audio too.

The ebook thing may be easier since I got myself a new toy with an after Christmas splurge. I now have a Kindle Fire 7 (5th gen) for most of my ereading. (Have to get Google Play books onto it still, but I'm not rushed for that. :) )

87jillmwo
Dec 31, 2016, 10:57am Top

Well, when you figure out how to transfer Google Play books onto your new Amazon device, do share the DIY directions.

88gilroy
Dec 31, 2016, 11:22am Top

I've got to hook it to a computer so I can get a book from Tor.com onto it without email too...

89gilroy
Jan 2, 2017, 7:21am Top

Just as a fun thing, i do an annual book poll on LiveJournal, for anyone who wants to compare notes. :)

http://gilroycullen.livejournal.com/153001.html

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