Day: April 30, 2017

April 2017: Monthly Wrap Up

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April has been quite a busy month for this blogger, who’s been posting on the Interwebs for 8 months so far. While a bit nervous to put so much of myself out there for all to see, it’s been refreshing and powerful in many ways. Big changes since last month, which have surprised and delighted me.

Key Metrics in April

  • 83 Posts (average of 2.5 per day)
    • 30 – 365 Challenge
    • 43 – Book Reviews
    • 4 – TV & Film Reviews
    • 5 – General Blog
    • 1 – Trips & Visits

Note: This is 30% increase since last month, given a full month of the 365 Challenge has now occurred, plus the new topics for TV/Film Reviews and Trips/Visits.

  • Book Reviews
    • 8 – Books read in April
    • 35 – Reviews written from prior years

Note: This went down by about 25 % due to other commitments getting in the way.  I’ll get back on track for May.

  • Site Metrics (NEW)
    • 2375 – Views
    • 655 – Visitors
    • 76 – Followers
    • 1009 – Likes
    • 321 – Comments

Note: This has tripled since last month due to more people reading the blog, responding to book reviews and participating in the 365 Challenges.

*** April has officially been the blog’s best and most popular month! ***

What did I read in April 2017?  Let’s dive into the reading specifics…

In the month of April, I only read 8 books. Unfortunately, I was partially in a reading slump during the last week, and I had family visiting for 5 days in the early part of the month; as a result, I only had about two and a half weeks to read.

I began participating in the NetGalley ARC program and was awarded 13 books, of which 6 of these were! I’m half way to my first NetGalley badge!

Books included:

 The White Feather Murders
liked it
3- stars to Rachel McMillan’s The White Feather Murders, her third historical cozy in the “Herringford and Watts” mystery series. This book was a tough one for me to review as I had a hard time staying focused, but I did like the story-l…
Abigale Hall
liked it
3 stars to Lauren A. Forry’s Abigale Hall, a mystery and suspense novel I received via NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you to both for this opportunity, a…
The Distant Hours
really liked it

4 out of 5 stars to Kate Morton’s The Distant Hours, a beautifully written and compelling story of sisters, mothers and daughters across two different time periods set in London and rural England.Why This Book?


Jeopardy in July
really liked it

4 out of 5 stars to Barbara Venkataraman’s Jeopardy in July, the fifth book in her Jamie Quinn mystery series. I’m starting to love this series! It’s simple, direct and easy-to-read, but it makes for such a fun experience.Why T…

After She's Gone
liked it
3+ out of 5 stars to Maggie James’s novel, After She’s Gone, a new thriller and suspense novel released on March 16, 2017. I was tempted to give it a 4, but since it’s the first read by this author and left a few open concerns, I’m settl…
Nick and Jake: An Epistolary Novel
liked it
3 out of 5 stars to Jonathan Richards’s book, Nick and Jake: An Epistolary Novel, published in 2012. I’m not ashamed to admit it, but I had to look up the word “epistolary,” as I had no clue what it meant. Usually I’m good at determining…
Edited Out
liked it
3 out of 5 stars to E.J. Copperman’s novel Edited Out: A Mysterious Detective Mystery, the second in Jeff Cohen’s (author’s real name) “Mysterious Detective Mystery” series of books. It was really a 3.4999999 and I had to unfortunately r…

Favorite Book

  • The Distant Hours

Least Favorite Book

  • The White Feather Murders

365 Challenge – Daily Characteristics

  • Curious (20)
  • English (21)
  • Lister (22)
  • Short (23)
  • Wistful (24)
  • Obsessed (25)
  • Poetic (26)
  • Warm-blooded (27)
  • Scottish (28)
  • Pensive (29)
  • Sensitive (30)
  • Impartial (31)
  • Defensive (32)
  • Strong (33)
  • Judgmental (34)
  • Genealogist (35)
  • Thankful (36)
  • Goofy (37)
  • Passive (38)
  • Frustrated (39)
  • Spiritual (40)
  • Rich (41)
  • A to Z Favorites (42)
  • Mentor (43)
  • Ornery (44)
  • Neighborly (45)
  • Simple (46)
  • Healthy (47)
  • Generous (48)
  • A to Z LEAST Favorites (49)

365 Challenge Surprise

  • Thinking of the A to Z List… I needed something to take the place of my ethnic characteristics, and this took the place. I’ve got 3 great ones (very interactive) for May planned.

Overall Thoughts

  1. April was incredible. I never expected to have so much fun with the 365 Challenge.
  2. I need to focus on trips and vacations. Hope my memory is good for everything I’ve done in the past.
  3. I enjoy doing the TV/Film Reviews, but those take the longest to research the awards, star biographies, etc.
  4. I may limit myself to 3 GIFs per post, simply so the substance is not diminished in favor of humor. Plus, I need to keep each one to under 30 minutes for now, and eventually down to 20 minutes per post.
  5. Thank you for reading and commenting. I am really enjoying this.

Your Feedback

  1. I’ve added polls and ratings.  So far, here’s what you’ve said:
    1. Ratings
      1. 13 posts or pages received 5 of 5 stars
      2. 3 posts or pages received 4 of 5 start
      3. 5 comments got a thumbs up
    2. Polls
      1. Book Review Feedback
        1. 7 – Stellar and top of their game
        2. 2 – Very good but always room for improvement
      2. 365 Challenge Comparison
        1. 4 – Similar to Me
        2. 3 – In the middle
      3. Book Reviews Inclusions
        1. 9 – Comments on writing & style
        2. 8 – Comments on plot & character
        3. 6 – Comments on setting & descriptions
        4. 5 – Ratings
        5. 3 – Similar book recommendations
        6. 2 – Other
        7. 1 – Graphics & humor
  2. Please continue to provide feedback. And remember, I can’t tell who provided which ratings or poll responses: it’s all anonymous.
  3. Feel free to share any other feedback about what you’d like to see or not see.

May 2017 – Heads Up

  • Goals
    • 10 new books read
    • 40 reviews written for previously read books
    • 4 tags for reading
    • 4 Film & TV reviews
    • 4 Visits & Trips
    • 4 General Blogs
    • 31 “365+ Challenges
  • Completion of Genre / Author / Books / Series menu items and links

365 Challenge: Day 49 – A to Z Least Favorites

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A to Z Favorites: A list of 26 things that I hate, one for each letter, a challenge posed to any readers who would like to participate


As a follow-up to last week’s favorite things from A to Z, this week we’re focusing on our LEAST favorite things, continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) of sorts that provides more in depth knowledge about me.

Oh, But I love both!


  1. Pick something that starts with that letter and add it to your own list. Don’t think about it… just come up with a couple ideas in under five seconds and choose the best of the bunch.
  2. It can be a thing or place, but not a named person. We don’t want anyone to feel left out!
  3. This week it’s your LEAST favorite things… but next week will be something else. Add in any extra comments if you need to explain.
  4. Nominate 5 people at the bottom of your post that you want to re-post with their 26 items. Pick at random – no favorites!
  5. It’s a fun game, but if you are nominated and DO NOT want to participate, you don’t have to. Just ignore it! Totally OK.
  6. You may not have been nominated, but you can totally participate by following these rules.
  7. Post it as a reply on the person’s blog where you found it. Also post it on your own blog as a new post.
  8. Should we use a tag so we can see all the responses? Suggestions…
  9. This may not go anywhere if there is no participation other than me. And that’s OK. The 365 Daily Challenge was about me to start, so I cannot expect or force anyone else.
  10. Have fun and get to know your online friends. Tell us when you post your 26 items.  Thanks!

My A to Z LEAST Favorite Things

A – Arguments

B – Bedbugs (never had them, but friends have… not pretty!)

C – Cancer (too many loved ones have died)

D – Death

E – Eggplant (tastes like dirt)

F – Fake plants (I abhor them… won’t let them into my home… only real ones)

G – Grinding my teeth (can’t seem to stop myself lately)

H – Heat (just when it’s too hot in the summer)

I – Illness (who likes being sick?)

J – Jellyfish (they sting)

K – Killers

L – Loudness

M – Mushrooms (taste worse than dirt)

N – Nonsense (when people do stupid things on purpose, I get annoyed!)

O – Octopus (tastes like rubber)

P – Pretenders (just be real people)

Q – Quid Pro Quo (that saying annoys me, just a fancy way of saying “can you do me a favor?”)

R – Reality TV show (those people drive me crazy)

S – Stealing (it’s not very nice, is it?)

T – Tickled (I absolutely can’t stand being tickled… feel so unprotected)

U – U-Turns (I much prefer using a traffic circle… easier)

V – Vandalism

W – Wasps

X – Xerox (this was a hard one… I like the company, but I hate when people say “I’ll make a xerox.”  Just say “I’ll make a copy.”)

Y – Yelling

Z – Zilch (ugh… the word sounds awful. Just say “zero.”)

People You Are Tagging

  1. cindy knoke
  2. susandyer1962
  3. BrizzleLass
  4. Patricia
  5. alwaystrustinbooks


About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post.