‘Tracks of the Cat’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 95/100

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Tracks of the Cat By Nevada Barr

Audiobook Edition

Finished on 11/13/2017

Goodreads

Description: Anna Pigeon fled the turmoil of New York to become a national park ranger, only to discover she hasn’t escaped murder and violence. When a colleague is killed, claw marks on the victim’s throat and paw prints around the body are too perfect to be those of an alleged killer mountain lion.

Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Southwest

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‘Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 94/100

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Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion By Bill Messenger

Audiobook Edition

Finished on 11/13/2017

Goodreads

Description: The uniquely American music and art form, jazz, is one of America’s great contributions to world culture. Now you can learn the basics of jazz and its history in a course as free-flowing and original as jazz itself. Taught by Professor Bill Messenger of the Peabody Institute, the lectures in this course are a must for music lovers.

Genres: Music, History, Nonfiction, African American History

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How I Read 101 Books in 12 Months

Here’s how I read 101 books in 12 months:

  • Accountability
  • Staying ahead of schedule
  • A diversity of genres
  • Remaining open minded
  • Be willing to drop a bad book
  • Read long books and short books
  • Audiobooks
  • Library Books
  • eBooks
  • Have Fun!

Accountability

I wrote reviews for the books I read. At first writing so many reviews felt a little unnatural, but over time I started anticipating writing the reviews almost from the first page of every book I read. You might choose a different method of accountability (such as joining a couple book clubs).

Staying Ahead

Over the course of a 52 week long year, you need to read about two books a week to stay on schedule. I tried to keep 7+ books ahead of schedule because that allowed me to read really, really long books without falling behind.

Diverse Genres

I read multiple genres and nonfiction this year. Variety is the spice of life. I have no clue how someone can read one and only one genre without going mad.

Be Open Minded

I do my best to like every book I read. I try to find the best aspects of every book, and then describe them in my reviews. I read some books which were… less than awesome, but I did my best to enjoy them nonetheless. Maintaining an optimistic attitude helps in finishing bad books faster.

Be Willing to Drop or Skim a Bad Book

… but sometimes an optimistic attitude isn’t enough to make a bad book good. I set for myself a standard of the first 50 pages of a book before I quit if I’m not enjoying myself. Of the 100 books I read in 2017 I dropped only two (Pohl’s GATEWAY and Hemingway’s THE SUN ALSO RISES). If you get frustrated with a book’s inadequacies just put it down and go on with your day.

Read Long and Short Books

Reading long books can be frustrating, and my favorite genres (fantasy and sci-fi) are presently plagued by massive books. To stay sane I balance out long epics with shorter novels. For every ‘Way of Kings’ I read a ‘Sherlock Holmes.’

Audiobooks

Audiobooks are my favorite method of book consumption because I can read a book while doing other things (walking the dog, exercising at the gym, playing video games). A good narrator can make a book live and breathe in a way which paper or ebooks can’t (similarly a bad narrator can dampen your enjoyment of a book). Finally, if you use the right listening device/app you can speed up an audiobook so you can listen to it even faster, which is great for hitting your goal of 100 books.

Library Books

Books ain’t cheap. Go to the library and get some from there so you don’t spend thousands of dollars reading hundreds of books.

eBooks

Keep your eye open for cheap ebooks on Amazon/nook/whatever. Every day there are ebooks on sale. This is my second favorite format after audiobook because of it’s portability, and the fact that you can either buy the audiobook for cheap once you own the ebook or you can use a text-to-speech program to listen to a low-quality audiobook.

Have Fun!

You will never finish this resolution if you’re not having fun. If you hate reading, or are merely indifferent to it, you’re doomed from the start. Read books you like, and maybe reach out to internet communities which also like those books and talk about them.

‘The Future of Hunger in the Age of Programmable Matter’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 93/100

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The Future of Hunger in the Age of Programmable Matter By Sam J Miller

Tor.com Original Fiction edition

Finished on 11/2/2017

Goodreads

Description: A group of friends, a pair of lovers, and the tussle between love, addiction, and what comes next. Otto, a former addict, grateful and indebted to his lover Trevor, is faced with temptation and the threat of disaster, but he’s fighting it. Fighting it in a future where matter can be reprogrammed and anything could happen, good or bad.

Genres: Science Fiction, LGBT, Dystopia

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‘Cursor’s Fury’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 92/100

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Cursor’s Fury By Jim Butcher

Audiobook edition

Finished on 11/2/2017

Goodreads

Description: The power-hungry High Lord of Kalare has launched a rebellion against the aging First Lord, Gaius Sextus, who with the loyal forces of Alera must fight beside the unlikeliest of allies-the equally contentious High Lord of Aquitaine.
Meanwhile, young Tavi of Calderon joins a newly formed legion under an assumed name even as the ruthless Kalare unites with the Canim, bestial enemies of the realm whose vast numbers spell certain doom for Alera. When treachery from within destroys the army’s command structure, Tavi finds himself leading an inexperienced, poorly equipped legion-the only force standing between the Canim horde and the war-torn realm.

Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery

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And That’s A Wrap

I’ve scaled Mount Readmore for 2017. Of my goal to read 100 books and write 100 reviews, I’ve read 101 and written 101.

I was expecting it to be as difficult as pulling teeth, but instead I just had to read two or more books a week and I was on target. It was so easy that I read barely anything in the months of August, September or December and I still managed to complete my goals. I read several short stories, novellas and children’s books to complete my goal, but I also read some unpleasantly long door stopper epics to balance them out.

As I’ve nothing better to do, I’ve decided to start Mount Readmore 2018 one month early! And not only that, but I’m going to double my books-read this year from 100 to 200 hundred! Am I being ambitious? Probably. But I think I can succeed. Is it cheating starting a month early? Most certainly. But I don’t care.

Stay Sunny!

 

 

‘Year Zero’ Book Review

‘Year Zero’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 91/100

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Year Zero By Rob Reid

Audiobook Edition

Finished on 10/28/2017

Goodreads

Description: An alien advance party was suddenly nosing around my planet. 
Worse, they were lawyering up. . . . 
  
In the hilarious tradition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Rob Reid takes you on a headlong journey through the outer reaches of the universe—and the inner workings of our absurdly dysfunctional music industry.

Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it’s a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news.

The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity’s music ever since “Year Zero” (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang. The resulting fines and penalties have bankrupted the whole universe. We humans suddenly own everything—and the aliens are not amused.

Genres: Science Fiction, Humor

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‘The Guns of Empire’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 90/100

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The Guns of Empire By Django Wexler

Audiobook Edition

Finished on 10/25/2017

Goodreads

Description: After their shattering defeats at the hands of brilliant general Janus bet Vhalnich, the opposing powers have called all sides to the negotiating table, in hopes of securing an end to the war. Queen Raesinia of Vordan is anxious to see the return of peace, but Janus insists that any peace with the implacable Sworn Church of Elysium is doomed to fail. For their Priests of the Black, there can be no truce with heretics and demons they seek to destroy, and the war is to the death.

Soldiers Marcus d’Ivoire and Winter Ihernglass find themselves caught between their general and their queen. Now, each must decide which leader truly commands their loyalty—and what price they might pay for final victory.

And in the depths of Elysium, a malign force is rising—and defeating it might mean making sacrifices beyond anything they have ever imagined

Genres: Fantasy, Flintlock Fantasy, War Fantasy, Military

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NaNoWriMo Day 17

Today I wrote 0 words.

I’m afraid that my hands are experiencing too much pain to finish typing NaNoWriMo. Unfortunately I’ve endured typing-endued finger pain for years, and NaNo (plus my August/September writing when I wrote 160,000 words) has brought that pain back. This is the end of NaNo for me!

My wordcount this month is ~17000 words. I hope all of you have better luck.

 

NaNoWriMo Stats

Total: 11571

Day 16: 1705

Day 15: 1202

Day 14: 1002

Day 13: 0

Day 12: 389

Day 11: 922

Day 10: 680

Day 9: 2197

Day 8: 938

Day 7: -2245

Day 6: 1109

Day 5: 998

Day 4: 3410

Day 3: 12

Day 2: 2233

Day 1: 2239