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text 2017-04-05 23:10
The Awesomeness that is M:TG

I play Magic: The Gathering, just in case you didn't know.  I started back in 1994-95, then stopped in '96 and took an almost 20year hiatus. I started again in '15 as a survival mechanism to cope with a coworker who I daily wanted to throw under a bus [and when you swing a machete all day, sometimes you think about "accidents"]. Now I play a couple of times a month and just enjoy when I can play. Low pressure, low expectations. Some games go fast, some last for 2hrs.  It's all good.

So here are a couple of funny pictures. I'm not sure how funny they actually are if you aren't familiar with the game, but I'm willing to chance your boredom for my entertainment.

 

The Original Card

 

 

 

The Meme

 

 

 

 

Now this is just funny!

 

 

 

And that is why I love this game. 15 squirrels CAN take down the biggest baddie the Multiverse has ever known and Angels regularly destroy Demons.

 

 

 

 

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text 2017-04-02 00:13
What's with all the "Teachers" Suddenly on BL...

I've noticed in the last couple of weeks that every couple of days, when I'm exploring the Just Published section, that there will be an influx of a bookliker talking about a childrens book and either saying it was perfect for Grade X or had a reading level of X.XX, blah, blah.

 

I've come across these so called teacher accounts before, followed one or two until they just disappeared. I honestly can't say they are spam, but they sure do toe the line as far as I'm concerned. Never responded to any overtures I made, even innocuous "good review" comments.  And they've been ramping up in the last couple of weeks.

 

If they're just crossposting here and have interest in communicating, that is their business. But they ALL follow the same exact pattern, much like those accounts whose only post is "Hello, I'm X from Belgium, but have been living in Bajukistan for the last 10 years and I love books..."  Posts from multiple sources that follow the exact same setup always make me suspicious.

 

Thank you for your time. Please buy my new book, How to be Suspicious and Paranoid of Everything and Still be Right.

 

 

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text 2017-03-31 02:52
March '17 Roundup & Ramblings

 

03mar17

 

 

This month was a short month in regards to the amount of books I read.  I have a total of 17, but 5 of those are 24 page comic books. So 11 novels and 1 manga. It wasn’t that I read any particularly hard books or even books that I hated.  In miscellaneous info, I got to 100 followers, realized I am burned out on manga and started in on some small comic books to keep me in the visual book game.

 

United States of Japan was my worst read of the month and even it was a 2 star.

 

An Empire Asunder was my most fun and I enjoyed the heck out of it.

 

My most satisfying read was a tie between The One Kingdom and Dreams of Distant Shores.

 

Part of my reading cutback has been due to work issues.  Work has been very unsettled since the end of February and that just affects everything. Our new manager, my former field coworker, is pulling his hair out trying to fulfill obligations left by the previous manager, I’m stuck with working with part time people while our boss tries to find someone full time who likes to work outside year round AND [more importantly] can get along with someone like me for 8rs a day, 5 days a week.

 

bad-boss3

 

 

Another reason is church. Our new pastor has been taking a very hands off approach and people have been having ideas pop up like daisies. Not only that, they’re acting on those ideas, which is fantastic; it just means that we’re more busy overall. We’re also trying to do some big Audio/Visual changes that is going to include re-wiring everything.

 

running-sound-christian-meme

 

 

And finally,  I have been trying to make Sunday my Magic: The Gathering day. Since I go to church on Saturday, I use Sunday as my chore/fun stuff day.  Having a couple of people to play Commander with is fun and I’ve been customizing one of the new 4color commander decks that came out late last year. I’ve also finished collecting a complete set of 4th Edition cards from 1995. That  is the edition I started playing MTG with and so those cards, while not a good investment, have so much nostalgia in them that I could sink a ship with it.

 

maxresdefault

 

 

So getting back to books, and wrapping this up, here is some cover love:

 

 

Spiderman 2099 #1

 

10745d7810ad08d651ae4ef26ccb7d99

 

 

 

 

Dreams of Distant Shores

 

 

dreams_distant_shores.jpg

 

 
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text 2017-03-23 12:25
♪Some of My FAVORITE Things♪ (Part 3)

The idea for this series of posts was inspired by Lashaan at Bookidote. He asked what some of my favorite books were during my initial start of my Malazan Journey.  That got me thinking, as I do have a “favorite” tag that I use in Calibre. So I did some exhaustive investigating [typing in “favorite” and hitting enter in Calibre is a real workout!] and out of the roughly 2900 books that I’ve read since 2000, there are around 300 that earned the Favorite moniker. There are a bunch of Favorites that are duplicates, as I’ve obviously re-read some of my Favorites time and time again.

 

However, listing 300+ books all in one post seemed like information overload. Therefore I have decided to do a much smaller list each month until the end of the year. You will get to see what I like in manageable doses and I get “thought free” posts.   Win-Win all around. I’m simply listing them Alphabetical by Author with just a word or four attached.

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Duncan

 

Sky Swords
The Gilded Chain
Lord of the Fire Lands

 

These were the original King’s Blades books and quite the tale they were. Considering that the  story is circular due to some funky time stuff, I am looking forward to re-reading these at some point in the future

 

 

David Drake

 

Lord of the Isles

 

I actually enjoyed the whole Lord of the Isles series and not just the first book, but didn’t feel like listing all 9 books. If you like the first book, you’ll like the the rest of the series, as Drake pretty much cut-n-pastes for all 9 books. Magic and violence in a fantasy setting.

 

 

David Eddings

 

Enchanters’ End Game
Magician’s Gambit
Castle of Wizardry
Queen of Sorcery
Pawn of Prophecy

 

I came to the Belgariad in highschool and have loved it ever since. In theory, I love his Elenium (Diamond Throne, Ruby Knight & Sapphire Rose) more, because it deals with one knight, but in all honesty, it doesn’t hold up as well. Still good, just not as good.

 

 

DC Comics/Dan Jurgens

 

Return of Superman
World Without a Superman
Death of Superman
Superman/Doomsday Hunter/Prey

 

This whole story arc in the comics world is what cemented my love for Supes. It also etched into my mind that Superman looked like this. He’s a man who has gone through a lot, he’s not some boy [I’m looking at you New52 Superman] fresh faced and off the farm.

 

sfpep133

 

 

 

Dennis Schmidt

 

Way-Farer

 

I ran across Way-Farer when I was in middle school. I thought it was a standalone story for over a decade until I went on a road trip to Newfoundland and in a little used bookstore ran across the sequel. Turns out there were 4 books in total. Sadly, while I enjoyed the rest, they just didn’t have the magic of the first. But swords and zen in a science fiction setting? Yes please.

 

 

Don Pendleton

 

Tennessee Smash
Acapulco Rampage

 

Pendleton originally penned 37 novels about a vietnam vet who returned to the United States to hunt down the mafia who had killed his family. The series was called Mack Bolan: The Executioner. It is pretty pulpy 60’s, 70’s and 80’s stuff but these 2 stood out. The series did continue, but under various ghost author’s names.

 

 

Edward Roe

 

His Sombre Rivals

 

Published in 1883, this book was one of the finalists for my Best Book of 2015.  A story of loyalty, friendship, unrequited love and honor, I couldn’t have asked for a better story.

 

 

Evan Currie

 

Heirs of Empire
An Empire Asunder

 

Currie has written a bunch, but this series, The Scourwind Legacy, is probably his best to date. One of those Indie’s who has proved me wrong and I’m glad of that. Space Opera and super soldiers.

 

 

Frank Herbert

 

Dune
Dune Messiah
Children of Dune
God Emperor of Dune

 

What can I say? I am going to be re-reading the Dune Chronicles this year. It is epic in scope and time and scale. Dune is probably one of the finest books I’ll ever read.

 

 

George MacDonald

 

The Princess and the Goblins
The Princess and Curdie

 

The Princess and Curdie was the first book I owned as a child that was in hardcover. I bought it in 2nd grade and it has not left my side yet. A great children’s duology.

 

 

 

 

 

So there is March’s Favorites. Life is going to be busy for the rest of the month [car stuff, etc] so I suspect my posting schedule will be rather erratic at best.

 

dog_reading_bio_book-wide

 

  1. Some of My Favorite Things I
  2. Some of My Favorite Things II
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text 2017-03-19 16:11
♫My Little Po-- *ahem* TBR♫

 

Someone said they had a big tbr…

 

biggerlist

 

 

I am not a List Aficionado,  but I  like lists. I have my Favorite lists, my TBR lists [and my TBR is a list of books I am actually going to read, not just a list of books I might someday, sometime, maybe perhaps, get around to reading]. I make grocery lists. I make Wish Lists on Amazon. I do the schedule for Children’s Story for church. I make lists of my Magic: The Gathering cards.

 

 

So to celebrate lists, I figured I’d post what is currently on my Kindle. That way you can see what is on my TBR for the next 6-12 months. When I finish one series, I simply replace it with another from my Calibre TBR list. Calibre is a fine piece of free ebook managing software. It is also where I keep my reviews offline. The numbers in parentheses are the number of books I have in that series that I still need to read. So without further ado, here’s a list of series I’m reading:

 

 

Dread Empire  by Glen Cook [3]

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott. [1]

Brother Cadfael by Ellis Peters [10]

Omega Force by Joshua Dalzelle [5]

Blood on the Riek trilogy by Sand Mitchell. Warhammer novels [1]

Forgotten Realms: The Harpers by various and sundry [15]

The Sackets by Louis Lamour [13]

Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson [9]

Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky [9]

The Polity series by Neal Asher [14]

Count to the Eschaton by John Wright [1]

Books by Patricia McKillip [17]

Alex Hunter by Greig Beck [3]

Chronicles of Dune by Frank Herbert [7]

Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patrica Wrede [3]

Tales of Shikanoko by Lian Hearn [2]

The Space trilogy by C.S. Lewis [2]

Malaz Empire by Ian Esslemont [5]

Night Angel by Brent Weeks [2]

7Th Sword by Dave Duncan [3]

The Swan’s War by Sean Russell [2]

Chess Team Adventures by Jeremy Robinson [9]

Misc:

  1. Warrior King
  2. Guns of the Dawn
  3. Dreams of Distant Shores
  4. Infinity Engine
  5. The Twelfth Imam
  6. The City of Mirrors
  7. Revenger
  8. Lord of Light
  9. Indomitable
  10. A Fire Upon the Deep
  11. United States of Japan Currently Reading

 

The nice thing about having such a variety of series is that it takes me 6-8 weeks to cycle through them all, so I never feel like I’m reading something stale. And as you can see, several series only have 1, or 2, books left, so then I just replace them, thus continuing the cycle of fresh reading. The other bonus that it has for me, is that I don’t have to “choose” what book to read next. I simply read the next book of the next series. Back in ’11 or ’12 I tried to do the whole “read whatever the heck I feel like at the moment” and it ended up as a disaster. This type of thing definitely doesn’t work for everyone and I’d be very hesitant to recommend it, but it works for me and how I read.

 

 

Now here’s a funny Cyanide & Happiness comic strip about lists to end this post:

 

list

 

 

bookstooge
ps, I am always available for a little bank-robbing, IF, you can guarantee that the cops will show up and we’ll go out in a blaze of gunfire and glory. Cops are negotiable, as I will settle for private security, mercenaries, aliens or even super-heroes, but the Guns & Glory are non-negotiable.

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