Bookbanter 2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Birth of the Half Star

While Goodreads continues to spend its time deliberating on whether to add half stars or not to their rating system, which now seems to be spanning a time of years, I’ve made the call to go ahead and start using half stars in my own rating system with book reviews.

Now, for my ratings I use a capital B (for Bookbanter) to represent a single star, as shown below:

And I am now adding a half star option to be more clear and precise in my rating of my reviews. The half star is show below:

A number of the books I read and review tend to be good and worthy of four stars, but only some are worthy of the highest five-star rating. With the addition of the half star option, its going to provide an additional level of rating to show books that are actually better than the regular four stars, but are not quite good enough to merit the full five stars.

Life Update Redux

Funny how week one of raising a newborn can be  a complete time suck and before you know it’s the end of the day and you’re still tired from not getting enough sleep the night before and you haven’t eaten enough . . . and he needs to be changed and fed again.

So the Saturday post didn’t happen due to the time just not being there, but I think we’re a little more settled going into week two and I’m shooting for two new posts a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with my plan to schedule one every week, so if I run out of time to actually write a post, I will at least have the one that was already scheduled to go up. And there will be at least one book review every week, on Thursdays, and the other post will be the surprise.

And here we go, week two . . .

Now That’s What I Call . . . Closing! Volume 4

We are on the eve of the last open sales day of the Roseville store, and we now reach the final volume of the popular Now That’s What I Call . . . Closing! music series.  In this volume I sought to harness the emotions and feelings of employees of Borders, both as current and soon to unemployed; how it makes them feel . . . and now for the track list:

  1. “I Don’t Care Anymore” by Phil Collins
  2. “No Cars Go” by The Arcade Fire
  3. “The End of the Innocence” by Don Henley
  4. “See You Soon” by Coldplay
  5. “Further On (Up the Road)” by Bruce Springsteen
  6. “Live Forever” by Oasis
  7. “Ramble On” by Led Zeppelin
  8. “Fade to Black” by Dire Straits
  9. “It Must Have Been Love” by Roxette
  10. “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell
  11. “Missing” by Everything But the Girl
  12. “Never Say Goodbye” by Bon Jovi
  13. “It’s Over” by Roy Orbison
  14. “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson
  15. “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers
  16. “Somebody’s Crying” by Chris Isaak
  17. “You’ve Got A Friend” by James Taylor
  18. “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion
  19. “We’ll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn

Now That’s What I Call . . . Closing! Volume 3

After the success of Volumes 1 and 2, and a bunch more songs to use, Volume 3 is a little different, as we move away somewhat from the “closing” theme and embody more a sense of the average bookseller in these trying times; the emotions they feel at what is happening . . . but enough diatribe, here is the song list for Volume 3:

  1. “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)” by The Byrds
  2. “What Do You Want From Me” by Pink Floyd
  3. “Don’t Cry” by Guns ‘N’ Roses
  4. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult
  5. “Before You Accuse Me” by Eric Clapton
  6. “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica
  7. “The Thrill Is Gone” by B. B. King
  8. “The Show Must Go On” by Queen
  9. “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M.
  10. “This Year” by The Mountain Goats
  11. “Always On My Mind” by Pet Shop Boys
  12. “Yesterday” by The Beatles
  13. “Is It Any Wonder” by Keane
  14. “That’s All” by Genesis
  15. “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men
  16. “Take This Job And Shove It” by Dead Kennedys
  17. “The Man Comes Around” by Johnny Cash
  18. “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” by Radiohead

Now That’s What I Call Closing! Volume 2

Well, the debut collection Now That’s What I Call . . . Closing Volume 1 has now gone platinum with over ten copies made!  And now we closely follow it with a strong contender in Now That’s What I Call Closing . . . .Volume 2, which some may say equals or possibly surpasses the original volume in its variety and popularity . . . but only time will tell.  With Volume 3 currently in the works, here’s the track list for Volume 2:

1. “Goodbye Blue Sky” by Pink Floyd
2. “Hit the Road Jack” by Ray Charles
3. “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash
4. “Time to Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro) by Sarah Brighman, featuring Andrea Bocelli
5. “Don’t Give Up” by Peter Gabriel, featuring Kate Bush
6. “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve
7. “Times Like These” by Foo Fighters
8.  “Goodbye to You” by Michelle Branch
9.  “This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore” by Elton John
10. “Ruby Tuesday” by The Rolling Stones
11. “It Was a Very Good Year” by Frank Sinatra
12. “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers
13. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds
14. “On My Way” by Phil Collins
15. “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac
16. “Sounds of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel
17. “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton
18. “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by Mamas and the Papas
19. “In My Life” by The Beatles
20.”Goodbye Cruel World” by Pink Floyd

A Confluence of Prison Cells

It’s happened again!  Of the three books I’m reading right now — one on audio — all three of the main characters are in a jail cell at the same time, even though I’m obviously a different points in each the books.  We have Shadow in American Gods just getting out of prison; half of Inmate 1577 involves one of the main characters in prison; and in Galaxy Blues the main character spends a little time in the cell.  What’s funny is that they all happened at the same point while I was reading each of them.  Just plain weird.