Consistently Impressed

Early this morning I finished my 37th book of the year. I expect to reach 40 by the end of this week. But this year’s reading has taught me one thing that’s undeniable. Robert Crais is the best crime novelist writing today.

It was the seventh time this year I’ve read one of his books. That’s an absurd amount for me to read by any single author in a given year. Going back to my college days when I was consistently in the 20-40 range several calendar years in a row, I’d never read that many by a single author. This year has been different. Mostly because I’ve actually gotten some good numbers done. So there’s more opportunity.

I’m really stingy with my ratings for books. For example, after I finished my 30th book of the year the average rating was 2.93 out of 5. That was a slight uptick from the first 25. The average rating for the seven Robert Crais novels I’ve read this year? 4.42 out of 5. I’ve rated more than half of them as 5 star reads. I talk and write a lot about Harry Bosch. Michael Connelly is right there with Crais, but in my eyes he’s just slightly behind. Harry will likely be coming to an end at some point as he’s aged in real-time. Nothing I’ve read indicates Elvis or Joe are going anywhere anytime soon. No complaints from me.

I could say more. Lots more. And I will. But it’s time for bed.

Final Book Haul of 2020

I swear I recorded the video and am writing this post fully believing the title to be true. About 20% of me thinks it’s a lie. 😂

At least it’s just books for me and not like, TVs or something. Anyway, feel free to watch. Or you can tell me what books you’ve recently added to your personal shelves.

Breaking the Rules

For several years I’ve had a rule to not read the same author/series within five books of each other. There isn’t really a reason for it. I just came up with it one day and have largely stayed true.

Not today. I’m running out of time in 2020 and I decided last night to stick with what I know and who I know. I know what to expect when reading Robert Crais. His books usually aren’t too lengthy and never leave me disappointed. So I’m reading three in a row in my dash to the finish line. I still may not reach my goal, but there’s no harm in trying.

Do you have any rules like mine?

Yikes

I somehow thought in the last five days that I’d be able to finish three books. Not sure what I was thinking. Today is day 16 of the month and I finally finished my first book of November last night. This leaves me 15 books short of my goal. That’s with 45 days left this year. 😳

I was feeling really confident after two straight months of completing eight books each, but the writing is almost on the wall. I’ll keep going and we’ll see where things end up, but this has still been a nice year for me, no matter if I reach my goal or not. Only nine away from my best year ever, so that personal best is still within reach. We’ll see!

A Second Uh Oh

Last week I wrote about not reading recently. This is day 11 of the month and I haven’t finished a book yet. Welp. If you can recall, I need to read eight this month and next month to reach my goal. I’m nearing the point of no return and running out of time.

There’s really not a reason for it. I’ve been reading the last few days, but not enough to finish my current book. It also hasn’t helped that I’ve been falling asleep uncharacteristically early. I blame the time change. I’m setting a mini goal of trying to finish three books by Sunday. You think I can do it?

Oh, I Hate the end of Daylight Saving Time

In the US, like in most of Europe, twice a year we change the time on our clocks. In the Spring (northern hemisphere) we push them forward an hour in observance of Daylight Saving Time. In the fall we turn them back an hour.

This has been going on for decades and a couple US states have stopped switching back from Daylight Saving Time and I wish Texas would do the same. Since we turned the clocks back the early morning of November 1, I’ve hardly been reading because when I finish my shift it’s already been dark for two hours and I want sleep. Ugh. It also doesn’t help that the sun is nice and bright well before 7:00 AM.

Screwing with the natural sleep schedule is so dumb. I just want not to feel sleepy so early. 😐

Begging for my Attention

I wrote yesterday about not reading these last few days and instead following the presidential results as they come in from several states. As of this morning it looks like we’re on the verge of a winner.

This got me thinking. I haven’t been reading to watch the results trickle in. But I’ve also been playing Call of Duty Warzone, maybe you know it. I’ve been dividing my attention between these three things. Work is work, so it doesn’t really count.

Not only now in the midst of a pandemic, but even in a more normal time, what activities/hobbies do you find yourself juggling against one another?

Uh Oh

I’ve been writing about my dash to the end of the year and reaching my reading goal, and then election day happened. 😳

It’s been impossible not to stare at the results in the handful of states still counting and undecided. I check throughout the day and then keep checking after the end of my shift. So now we’re 5 days into the month and I’ve barely opened a book. Welp.

October Reading Recap

At the start of the month I had to read eight books each of these last three months to hit my goal for the year. I’m getting close! Take a look and see what I read last month.

The end of the year is fast approaching. Have you hit your goal yet?

2020 Reading Goal #34 – Flash Boys by Michael Lewis

Y’all, I’m getting so close to my goal of 50! This is already my second best year overall. I’ve decided that I’m going to include every review I write for the last few books of the year on here. This is the first.


The stock market is rigged against the average investor by every other party taking part in the market. That’s what Michael Lewis explains so thoughtfully in this book.

This was the second book I’ve read by Michael Lewis. This was the second time he’s left me thoroughly impressed.

Fair warning, the subject matter of the book is not just the stock market, the focus is on high frequency trading and dark pools and the fractured nature of exchanges. All of it is highly complex and not easily understood even by the financial professionals who work within the system. This isn’t my takeaway, it’s shown throughout the book. But he manages to make these extremely complex practices understandable. Sure, I won’t be giving a Ted Talk on high frequency trading, but upon completion I understand the story he was trying to tell.

What nonfiction often struggles with is leading up to something, a climax or grand event that acts as the high point of the story. Somehow he writes this exactly like a fiction novel. Toward the end of the book Brad Katsuyama (with plenty of help from his small, but highly talented group) launched IEX, their new stock exchange meant to level the playing field and protect investors from the predatory trading practices found elsewhere. Reading the description of what happened that first month is as good as any writing I’ve ever read. As a reader it gave me goosebumps to read about this band of people joining together to take on the entirety of Wall Street. A small minority that needs just a little help from the silent majority to quite literally change the world.

5 stars. No doubt.