100 Book Goal for 2019

December31

January 2019

1. Strange The Dreamer – A really good fantasy book, almost whimsical in its approach and I really enjoyed it. I liked it but I am not sure I will grab the next one.

2. Thin Air by one of my favorite authors Richard Morgan is a crime Noir set in the future on Mars. Fantastic book and a great plot.

3. A Sellsword’s Compassion – This was just an ok book, I liked it at first but it kept going on and on with no real advancement of the story. I am not going to read the sequel based on some of the reviews. The main characters just seemed pretty flat and the concepts basic.

4. Fortress of Radiance: The Karus Saga – I love this author and his work around the Roman Legions, this was a good sequel and I can’t wait for more. Hopefully some on the main timeline too.

5. Night Trap – Decent thriller about a spy on a US Navy carrier and a man chasing him down. I might try another one as this is written by one of my favorite authors along with his dad.

6. Free Country: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain – This was a hilarious travel book about 2 guys who decided to see how nice the people of the UK are. How did they do that? They went to the southernmost point of the UK, stripped down to their boxers and then had to make it to the most northern point in 20 days on bikes without paying for anything. Meaning they had to ask for places to sleep, food, bikes, clothes, etc. Hilarious book.

February

7. Cephrael’s Hand: A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book One – A very unique book in a very unique land, very long with some cool characters. I’d give it a B- but I am not sure if I will pick up the sequel. Think fantasy with some heavy magic systems and a world-ending plot.

8. The Lions of Lucerne – A fun little thriller about the president getting kidnapped and someone having to save him. Decent beach read.

9. The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country – Fantastic read that had me laughing out loud constantly. Highly recommended!

10. Eagles at War – A great piece of historical fiction, but my main complaint is the characters just lack some depth. I wish they were imbued with a bit more dimension. Otherwise great writing and great pull from history.

11. The Fighters – An amazing book about soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq. Hard to read at times, I cried quite a few times as I worked my way through this book over the last 5 months. Quick description to share as it should be a required read in high school: “More than 2.7 million Americans have served in Afghanistan or Iraq since September 11, 2001. C.J. Chivers reported from both wars from their beginnings. The Fighters vividly conveys the physical and emotional experience of war as lived by six combatants: a fighter pilot, a corpsman, a scout helicopter pilot, a grunt, an infantry officer, and a Special Forces sergeant.

12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. Books one through nine of the Gaius Valerius Verrens series, aka the Hero of Rome. I LOVED these books, they were all fantastic and just wonderful historical fiction about Rome. The only downside was the last book was a letdown, book 9 was half a book at best, and the last 10 pages trying to wrap the character up didn’t make a ton of sense. I had to reread them 5 or 6 times to understand it. That said the first 8 books are amazing and highly recommended.

21. Age Of Myth – Great fantasy series and I am working on book 2 now. Basically, humans and their gods face off.

22. Nyxia – Think hunger games but in space. That said book 1 had barely any plot, just a lot of hints, and I am going to skip the sequel. It felt like the TV show lost at times, where you hope there is a real plot, but all it does it hint at vague things while dazzling you with human emotional bits.

23. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World – A fantastic book and I enjoyed it immensely. Given the nature of what I am working on this was spot on.

24. Dancing In The Fountain: How to Enjoy Living Abroad – A very entertaining book about a couple in Seville. A lot of good points about expat life.

25. The Demon Cat of Calle del Rio A Year in a Spanish Mountain Village – A fun little book, but it got deeply personal for the second half of the book whereas I was looking to learn more about Spain. Still, a good fun read.

26. 27. Age of Swords and Age of War. Books 2 and 3 of the Legends of the First Empire. A good fantasy series, a solid B+ with very clear writing I just am not sure on the characters. I am looking forward to the next book (coming in July).

28. Flashman and the Seawolf. A very well written about the 1800s and a sea captain and spy. Just fun, I am going to try the second one too :).

29. Slab City Blues: The Ballad of Bad Jack: A Science Fiction Detective Story – The writing was great but the plot was nonexistent and it was a really weird read. I might try another but I was a little put off by a one-dimensional lead character, no detective story, and just felt like a big short story.

30. The Grand Alliance is book 11 in a “blood on the stars” series that I love. That said, this book and the previous one were a big letdown. I don’t know if the author has backed himself into a corner or what, but he needs to actually get something together that resembles a plot instead of two books of just constant boring warfare against the same enemy with no real progress. It just isn’t working. I will read the next one because I’ve invested a lot in this series, but I am quitting if it doesn’t start resolving some plot points…

March

31. The Cartel – I read book 1 a long time ago and it was great, I am not sure why I did not pick up book 2 and 3 until now. They are great books about the drug cartels and a combination of distributing and intriguing. A highly recommended read and one of the best things I have read this year.

32. The Killer Collective – Meh, not a great book but basically about assassins and all that. I just felt the plot was weird and did not make sense.

33. Orion Colony – Decent writing but flat characters and an author who is banking on getting you addicted and keep buying short books. Skip this one.

34. Daughter of War – I wanted to like this adventure book set in Spain about the Knights Templer but I couldn’t. The writer is one I’ve read a few of and his writing is clear and good but his characters are flat and the plots relatively boring. Which sucks as he has a lot of potential.

35. 36. Books 1 and 2 of the Spoils of Olympus books. It starts with a young man being forced to join the surviving author of one of Alexander’s generals shortly after his death. Book 2 is just as good with them being some of the best historical fiction I’ve read in quite some time. I am looking forward to the next one.

37. 38. 39. 40. I read the first 4 books of Empire’s Corps. This is well written and I really liked it, but over time the characters just didn’t grow on me and the plot seems sprawling and just a bit haphazard. Had to give them up as don’t see it going anywhere.

41. Devices and Desires – A weird book about an engineer… it just didn’t make sense…

42. Gomorrah – A story about the Italian mob, fascinating read and a good one!

43. Call of the Dragon – Fun, but flat childish characters and probably just not at my reading level. I am reading through a lot of books I bought years ago to clear out my inventory so some of the reads have been rough :).

44. 45. 46. The Society of the Sword trilogy – A good fantasy read about a society where sword fighting is prized above all else. Great characters and plot and I enjoyed this one.

47. 48. 49. 50. 51. A historical fiction series that is like the 007 around the times of Napolean. Great fun reads and I read the first 5 of the
Flashman series.

April

52. Shibumi – Think if Rainman married Bond and they had a kid who was an assassin. Good writing but a bit philosophical. B+

53. 54. 55. Dawn Patrol, Gentlemen’s Hour, and The Winter of Frankie Machine – 3 crime books by Don Winslow that were very very fun!

56. The Border – The 3rd book about the Mexican drug cartels by Don Winslow. A great book and this series is shortlisted for one of the best of the year.

57. Tribe – By Sebastian Junger and one of my favorite books. Great read and this was a reread.

58. Naked in Death – Detective story but really fucking dark. Not sure if I will read the second as it was ok but not great. It kinda felt like the author took that popular romance novel and tried to strap a plot too it.

59. Postmortem – I am looking for a new detective/crime series as you can probably tell. This one was ok, but just dragged on and I didn’t enjoy the writing. The main character just kinda seemed lost kinda like the plot.

60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. All 6 books in the Jerry Mitchell series which I highly recommend. This is all about submarines and a GREAT read, especially the last couple that deals with a war with China in the south Asian seas. Some of the best books I’ve read so far this year.

66. Legionary: The Roman Soldier’s (Unofficial) Manual – Fun read and well written, good sense of humor which made it extra enjoyable :)

67. A Dark Foretoken (Tales of the Seventh Book 3) – By one of my new favorite authors, this is book 3 in a per-series about Stiger. I can’t wait for new ones.

68. Jet – A nice beach thriller about an assassin, but just enough to get me hooked. The ending was very cliche and I guessed it the moment they said anything… Good, but a lot better books out there IMO.

69. 70. 71. 72. 73. The first 5 books of the Prey Series, about a copy and then an ex-cop who goes after serial killers and other cases. Really good reads and I might by the next one down the road a bit. It is rare to find a book that leaves you guessing while also leaving enough to not feel like the reader is left out. Great character with just a hint of an edge that he might have more in common with his prey than he likes to think about.

May

74. The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life – I’ve been reading on this for a year, and finally wrapped it up over lunch. I plan to keep reading on it. A great introduction to some stuff I haven’t encountered before and can’t wait to further process it.

75. It’s Not You, It’s the Dishes (originally published as Spousonomics): How to Minimize Conflict and Maximize Happiness in Your Relationship – I’ve been working on this one for 6 months and finally finished it. It was a much different way to approach relationships and I really enjoyed it and found it helpful. Some good game theory type stuff which was appealing, very unique approaches to common problems.

76. People Analytics for Dummies – Fantastic book with great examples. Highly recommended and sitting on my bookshelf from here on out.

77. 78. The Ill-Made Knight and The Long Sword. Books one and two of the Chivalry series by the amazing Christian Cameron, one of my absolute favorite authors. As always these are stellar. Fantastic books based loosely on the life of Sir William Gold around 1347 to 1415.

79. The Mastermind: Drugs. Empire. Murder. Betrayal. This is a MUST READ, and one of the most awesome and insane true books I’ve ever read. Lindsey and I heard the author on a podcast of hers and the story is insane. Check it out! Basically about a guy who was kinda in a gray area and making hundreds of million dollars and then decided to become an arms dealer, drug smuggler, assassin, and so many insane things.

80. The Rose and the Crane – A very cool story about a samurai in King Henry’s Court. Great read and I really liked the main character.

June

81. 82. The final two books in the Chivalry series mentioned last month. The Green Count and Sword of Justice

83. What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength. A very interesting book and a great read by a guy now local to Boulder/Denver. Another of the many times I’ve heard about Win Hof and about to dig into that a bit more when I get the chance. Especially around some of the data around immune systems and autoimmune conditions.

84. Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a Day – An awesome book that is like the Lonely Planet of visiting ancient Rome around 200BCE, but with all the historical facts. So you find out where you would stay, what you would eat, how you get there, and so much cool stuff!

85. 86. 87. 88. Books 1 to 4 of the Seven Realms series. Fun books, a little piney when it came to the love story but the writing was great and the universe clear. A solid B+ as I haven’t had a lot of good fantasy this year. My only complaint was explaining how a 1st year defeats the high wizard in like 10 pages…

89. The Red Sea – Just didn’t feel developed enough, the characters felt a bit light and just a plot that felt a bit sparse. I am not picking up the sequel.

90. Sin Easter – Book 2 in a series I’ve been reading, but just didn’t hit the mark and give it a C+. I won’t pick up anymore as finished it but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted.

91. Titanborn – A promising start, but just didn’t hit the mark and not going to pick up the sequel. I liked the main character but just not something there…

92. In the Footsteps of El Cid: Burgos to Valencia along the Camino Del Cid – A cool travelogue of a guy retracing El Cid in Spain, and around the area we stayed in Valencia. Very cool!

July

93. 94. Books 1 and 2 of the Strategos series, Strategos: Born in the Borderlands, and Strategos: Rise of the Golden Heart. I am reading book 3 now and these are quite good, all based around 1000 AD in the Byzantine empire when it is being threatened by the Seljuk dynasty. It follows the story of a young man and between books zips forward a good 5 to 10 years.

95. 96. 97. Books 1 through 3 of the Raven Mark series which was one of my favorite books thus far this year. They start with Blackwing and they are a really dark and gritty fantasy story that is quite good. I like how it makes you feel like a bug playing between gods and the main characters is very funny. Quick listed for best of the year :).

98. 99. The Man With Two Names: A Novel of Ancient Rome and The Noise of War: A Tale of Ancient Rome. I’ve really been into Roman/Greek and related historic fiction later and this was a great one! This follows a young nobleman around 107 BC into the city and eventually into the army. Great characters and well written.

100. A Mark of Kings – A fantastic book and I can’t wait fo the next one. It follows a young boy who grows up and fights demons, it sounds pretty basic but the author makes characters real and I can’t wait for the next one.

101. Mage Slave – Ok read but just a bit basic, I probably won’t read the next one as it just felt a bit unreal with the way the main character handled being taken hostage.

August

102. The Inflamed Mind: A Radical New Approach to Depression – This book caught my eye at the book store and I grabbed it. It is about the relationship between inflammation and depression/stress, and what we know about it thus far. I find this topic very interesting given my diagnosis of CD after a super super super stressful period. The book is really good and I highly recommend it. I learned a lot and it helped me understand some more of the tests I’ve been through around CRP. It is great to see the medical community start to look at a more holistic model between the mind and body. Especially around the immune system and autoimmune conditions.

103. Cry Pilot – A good sci fi book about a man trying to redeem his terrible actions as a boy in a weird world. Good read, I am looking forward to the second.

104. The Late Show – A solid LAPD story by one of my favorite authors and the creator of the Bosch series. Good read and looking forward to trying the next one.

105. Monster Hunter Guardian – Entertaining, but sometimes a little confusing. Not sure if I will pick up the next one but I do love the world. It just has gotten muddled over the last 3 books.

106. The Wolf’s Call – Fun read from an author I really like, looking forward to the next ones. Think a visit to Mongolia but in a fantasy world.

107. A Dangerous Man – Book 18 of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, some of my favorite private detectives and another fun read.

September

108. The Quantum Magician – This looked so promising with a TON of 5-star reviews, but as I dug in it was just a pretty flat landing. It is like a Casino heist but in space, the only problem is the characters feel pretty flat especially the main character. Like what is the point of it for him…

109. The Cruel Stars – A fun read and I am looking forward to the next one. Big space drama, I just wish the characters were a little more developed and felt a little less flat.

110. 111. 112. Books 1, 2, and 3 of the Death’s Head Series. Super violent, funny, and sometimes a little confusing. It is like reading efficiency porn or something, fun reads!

113. Red Metal – A great read about a future where WWW3 breaks out between Russia and Nato. Very believable and a fantastic read. As good as Tom Clancy!

114. 115. The Bat and Cockroaches. Tried it but just didn’t like this detective series. The character is interesting but I hate him, he is an alcoholic and by book 2 on heroin. The stories were a little too loose too.

October

116. Wholesale Slaughter – Decent read, characters, and the action felt a bit flat, and overall the book felt like chapter 1 of a real book. I don’t like authors who try to suck you in with a 17 book series but don’t deliver a complete story in each book.

117. The Night Fire – A new Harry Bosch and Renee Ballard book by the always amazing Michael Connelly. Great story and I enjoyed it as always.

118. Shadow Sun Survival – Like reading someone playing a video game, I do NOT UNDERSTAND how this shit has 495 reviews and 4.5 stars at Amazon. WTF.

119. 120. Planetside and Spaceside. Fantastic books with a detective bit set in good sci fi. LOVED them and can’t wait for more. Well written.

121. Ruins of the Galaxy – A story about a Space Marine and an ambassador with some cerebral powers. Well written but after finishing book 1 I felt frustrated over the lack of meat. This was another author who fails to provide a good plot/story/wrap-up in book one and instead just pushes people toward reading book 2 for real answers. No thank you.

122. Dark Forge – A fantastic sequel to one of my favorite authors new series. Fantastic read and this is one of the best authors out there for Fantasy and historical fiction right now. Fun guy to follow on Facebook too, always polishing his armor and scouting locations.

123. Priest of Bones – Well written and fun read about a broken country, soldiers going home, and fighting to take back what they had before they left. I will probably pick up book 2 for this one.

124. King of Scars – Great book set in a universe you already know and picks up the story where it left off. I really enjoyed this one and I’ll be buying the sequel.

125. Edge of Valor – Well written and clear, but I found the plot convoluted and kinda boring. The author can write though, so I’ll keep an eye on them for down the road. Some of his other books that I read I felt similarly frustrated.

126. Star Fire – Another book 1 where they introduce some interest characters but feels pretty flat. And, the book ends with just a teaser and no real story. Def not going to pick up the new one.

November

127. 128. Exile and Refuge – A solid B-, I like them but the characters just feel a little flat and the plot just is missing some depth. It is a very cool universe. A huge group of people is basically shipped off as exiles to a distant world and hits some problems.

129. Castilian Knight – A fun read and I enjoyed it, basically a friend of El Cid and this starts his life. I am looking forward to the 2nd and hopefully learning about the history while reading a great narrative.

130. Grey Bastards – This book is GOOD and INSANE. Basically think a motorcycle gang but they are orcs, ride giant pings, and live in a fantasy world. Hilarious.

131. Raven’s Peace – A good start to a huge space universe but I am waiting for book 2 to make a call. A solid B-, but the characters were just a bit flat.

132. 133. Legions of the Forest and Return of the Eagles. Fantastic Roman historical fiction, love the characters.

134. August Snow – PI / Detective type story, it was ok, but not good enough to pick up #2.

135. 136. The Heresy Within and The Colour of Vengeance – Fantastic deep fiction with FANTASTIC fucked up people. Loved it! Magic, swords, blood, etc etc. Def grabbing the last one in a second.

137. How to Be a Family: The Year I Dragged My Kids Around the World to Find a New Way to Be Together – Great read :).

138. Reclaiming Honor – Book 1 of Way of Legend – By one of my favorite authors and an absolutely fantastic start to a new series in the same universe. I can’t wait for more by Marc Edelheit.

December

139. 140. The Traitor God – Wicked cool premise and I am looking forward to the 2nd. Just finished the 2nd which is God of Broken Things and what an awesome finish. The 2nd book was at least 10x better and solved some of the writing issues the first had. I can’t wait to read more from this author. Great characters and ending.

141. Tightwads on the Loose: A Seven Year Pacific Odyssey – A fun read about a 7 year sailing adventure, I enjoy these type of books.

142. 143. Clash of Empires and The Falling Sword – The characters were all a bit flat, it was hard to love them. And, they had some weird issues where they were killed for reasons that lacked motive by the killer. Still a good read and a good writer apart from that. Decent historical fiction but not in my top 25.

144. Bright Steel – Book 3in the Masters and Mages series by one of my favorite authors. A great read, but not my favorite work by him. I do highly recommend it though.

145. The Price Of Time – Well written but super stupid plot, it is totally broken and makes me angry. The killer says he is killing people because they stopped trying, yet 2 of the group are running for politics to take on long term risks to the planet. STUPID!!!!!

146. Blood of the Empire – Book 3 of the gods of Blood and Powder series and a well done ending to the series. I enjoyed it greatly. Very cool characters.

147. I finally finished book 3 of Strategos. It was a historical fiction based in Byzantium. The first couple of books were better, the last one was just annoying. Glad I finished it but wish it was 25% better.

148. Priest of Lies – Book 2 in the war for the rose throne book. Good read, interesting characters and a very different take on fantasy. I’ll probably pick up the third book.

149. The Son of the Morning: Book One of The Nightfall Wars – Just a C+ fantasy book, has promise but the plot is like 25% of a normal book and the characters a little flat. Reading the 2nd to see if it gets better.

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This is bwb’s personal blog so he can share his thoughts with the world, however scary or silly they might be. Plus family and friends can track what I am up too, and where I am in the world.

I am pretty simple. I love Mangos. I love the ocean, although mostly at sunset as I’m a ginger. I love to travel, eat exotic food, read, and use my imagination. I love creating and developing ideas into businesses, understanding how all businesses work, and building cool stuff. I am a globalist and see the entire world as my responsibility and playground. And, I am married to an amazing woman who makes life even more fun :)! And, we are now the proud parents of Calico Jack :).


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