Tag Archives: new year

Happy January, 3.5 Readers

Happy New Year, though it is late, 3.5 readers.

It dawned on me that if I didn’t post today, Jan 2020 would be the first month I didn’t post at least once on this fine blog, and we can’t have that.

How are you, 3.5 readers?  Are there still 3.5 of you?

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Daily Discussion with BQB – What Are Your New Year Resolutions?

Hey 3.5 readers.  Your old pal, BQB here.

It’s sad that we don’t always pick a random time of year to start doing better.  Hell, if you realize on October 7th that you’re a blind, stinking drunk alcoholic then you should really stop drinking on October 7th, rather than wait and say, “I’ll just keep drinking and stop on January 1.”

But at any rate, the New Year is often a time to reflect on the past year and to think hopeful thoughts for the incoming year.

In other words, you had such high hopes for change in the past year.  You were going to eat better, exercise more, finally get that project done, save more money, work harder, etc.  Then by March 1 you were freebasing Big Macs while spending your money on losing lotto tickets and using your treadmill as a coat rack.

Think about what you wish you had done in the past year.  Now realize that although it seems so far away, January 1, 2020 will be here in the blink of an eye.  What do you hope will have done by then?  Then, go do it, or do as best as you can to get close to it.

Think about your future self for once.  Your past self, that lousy mooching fuck, didn’t think about your current self, did he? (or she because in the current year, women can be lousy mooching fucks too).

So think about what will make the you that will exist on Jan 1, 2020 and work towards that happiness.  Come on.  Don’t be a lousy mooching fuck, screwing up your present life so future you will have to pay the bill.

Eh, this is all well and good.  I give myself pep talks like this all the time and then in reality, little ever changes.  But maybe you can change.

What are resolutions, 3.5 readers?  Post them in the comments and you never know, maybe on Jan 1, 2020 I’ll revisit this post and congratulate you if you achieved them or subject you to ridicule if you didn’t.

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New Year Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

Fart more.

Eat more.

Be ruder.

Smell worse.

Do less.

Procrastinate more…tomorrow.

Exercise less.

Watch more TV.

Play more video games.

Be lazier.

Read less.

Fail more.

Don’t be productive.

Eat more candy.

Don’t get out and meet anyone.

Get fatter.


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I’m Doing it My Way, Sort Of – The Alleged Man

And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I’ll say it clear,
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.

I’ve lived a life that’s full.
I’ve traveled each and every highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

– Frank Sinatra, My Way

Happy New Year, 3.5 Readers.


The Alleged Man

The Alleged Man here, but not really. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

There’s a nasty rumor that Bookshelf Q. Battler and all the characters on this blog are just one guy pretending to be a lot of people, but that’s just balderdash if you ask me.

Oh wait, you can’t ask me, because I’m not really here. But for a brief moment, pretend that I am.

Bookshelf Q. Battler and I began as one in the same. It was the handle I went by because I wasn’t ready to say hello in person.

Old BQB and I have a lot in common.  We watch and review the same movies. He comments on the same pop cultural stuff I’m interested in. We are both big time nerds.

But at some point, BQB outgrew me.  Maybe it was when he befriended Alien Jones. Or when he roundhouse kicked the Yeti in the face. Or when he became the caretaker of a magic bookshelf. Or when he died on the toilet after shooting lightning out of his butt and came back to life to go on an adventure. Or when he enlisted the help of a 1950s noir detective. Or when his hometown was overrun by a zombie apocalypse.

Whenever or however it happened, though we still share some unique inner traits, BQB’s life is just way more exciting than mine now.

It’s long been said that Kermit the Frog was Jim Henson’s alter ego. Henson was the smartest guy in the room but lacked the big ego one would need to go around telling everyone. He had a quiet air of confidence about him. He knew exactly what to do and when to do it but didn’t outwardly demand everyone’s respect, rather, they just gave it to him.

Kind of reminds you how the Muppest are always getting into trouble only to run to good old reliable Kermit to bail them out, doesn’t it?

Am I comparing myself to a great like Henson? No. But BQB and I are both nerds who wanted to be writers, did something else instead, and now we’re both trying to become writers again thanks to modern self publishing technology that’s made it possible.

We just differ in terms of motivation:

  • I’d like to succeed at writing so I can stop feeling like I ignored my life’s big dream.
  • BQB wants to succeed at writing to keep the Mighty Potentate from conquering Earth.

Either way, we both have our own personal “Sword of Damocles” to face and somehow, we often find ourselves watching TV and eating cookies when we should be writing.

Yes, like BQB I also:

  • Feel like I’m pretty smart and often called on to help the people around me who don’t appreciate it…kind of like BQB’s relationship with the East Randomtownsfolk.
  • Live in a fantasy world. BQB’s fantasy world is made possibly largely because of a magic bookshelf. Mine is inside my head. I find myself living inside my head often.

And like Alien Jones I..

  • Wonder what technology is coming down the road. Alien Jones has seen most of it already because he’s lived so long and visited so many worlds. I can only dream about it and feel bad about what I’m going to miss out on when it is invented in a hundred years.
  • Feel like I’m smart but still have to answer to the various people in the world who have bigger mouths than I do. (i.e. we all have our own Mighty Potentates)

And like Jake Dashing I…

  • Feel like the world has changed so much that I must have fallen asleep and missed when it happened. Perhaps you never notice it. Perhaps it doesn’t all happen at once. It happens through daily gradual changes but every generation one day “wakes up” to find a much different world.

Sometimes like Uncle Hardass…

  • I complain extensively but no one listens.

And like Dr. Hugo Von Science…

  • I feel like I should be in charge of the world.

And like the Yeti…

  • I get upset and yell incoherently.  I’m all talk about wanting to run the world. I just want to blame other people for my lack of success then sit on the couch and eat cookies just as the Yeti is free to leave BQB HQ at any time but sits on BQB’s couch and watches TV and blames BQB for his shortcomings.

And there are even times when I’m like Video Game Rack Fighter and…

  • Say screw it. It’s time to play Car Thief Mayhem.

But after being all over the place, I always come back to my BQB way of thinking…

  • I’m pretty great, though there’s a long line of people ready to tell myself I’m not and ironically, I’m always at the front of the line.
  • I can beat myself up forever for not being a writer yet or I can take advantage of the great tech out today and keep trying.
  • And if it doesn’t work out, I can at least tell my older self I tried, just as BQB can tell the subjugated citizens of the new Mighty Potentate regime on Earth he tried too.


It was nice to step outside of the curtain for a moment to talk to you for a minute today, 3.5 readers.  I have to return to the shadows now.

You see, I know what it is like to struggle, to be down and out, to give life a hundred and ten percent and only get ten percent back.

Through all sorts of cosmic tomfoolery, I ended up in a tough place and after years of hard work, crawled myself out of it. Where I am now is pretty good.

It’s not great. I wouldn’t consider anything great until I’m a big time successful writer.

But still, it’s good. And as anyone who has struggled will tell you, when you lift yourself up, the struggle doesn’t end.  You just keep your head on a swivel, wondering what you can do next to make sure you never have to go back to the struggle.

You become a self struggler.

And more importantly, though some might say it is silly to worry about, we live in a world where it’s not a good idea to become known as “the guy that believes in aliens and magic bookshelves” until believing in aliens and magic bookshelves becomes profitable, should that time ever come.

So BQB will have to stand in my place and collect the 3.5 readers’ applause.

It’s ok. BQB has earned it.

He did save East Randomtown from a zombie apocalypse, after all.

Page Frank, because it’s time to do it…BQB’s way.



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Things That Really Frost My Ass -New Year’s Edition

By: Uncle Hardass, Grumpy Old Man Correspondent


Uncle Hardass, Noted Complainer of World Renown

Hello again, miserable degenerate 3.5 readers. I see none of you have gotten jobs at the salt mines yet. Still wasting away your time on your writing, trying to fill your pages with stories about elves and wizards and hippies while good, decent, hard working folk are out there working for a living.

I’d say you make me sick but by now I’m beyond the point of disappointment with you people. Anyway, you’re in luck. Between Christmas and New Year’s, you’re getting two doses of your old Uncle Hardass one after the other.

I know. You can’t wait to ring in 2016 with some singing, dancing, and your favorite hippy drug music blaring on your radio machines while hard working people are trying to get some sleep because they have to get up and work for a living.

Let’s talk New Year’s, losers. It’s the time to collect your thoughts, look back on the year gone by, reflect on your mistakes…AND MAKE POINTLESS, USELESS PROMISES THAT YOU WON’T REPEAT THE BULLSHIT THAT MADE 2015 A TOTAL BUST WHEN 2016 ROLLS IN!!!

Don’t even bother. On New Year’s Day, 2015, what did you nimrods do?  You made a…


Jan. 1, 2015 – “I’ll walk three miles a day, eat fruits and vegetables and cut out junk food, fast food, and all manner of garbage food.”

Jan. 5, 2015 – You spent the entire day on your couch in the previous day’s clothes only to muster up enough energy to run to McDonald’s, where you freebased ten Happy Meals, toys included, didn’t you…DIDN’T YOU?!!


Jan. 1, 2015 – “I just plopped down a bunch of money on this gym membership!  I’ll use it every day!”

Jan. 1, 2015, 5 minutes later – The guy working the desk at the gym thanks you for taking part in the annual “We Know You Don’t Want to Be a Fatty Fatty Boomba Latty Anymore and You Really Mean Business This Year, Hey Look, a Donut!” special. That snarky bastard then quips he’ll see you on Jan. 1, 2017 to buy another membership you won’t use. You prove him right every year. You’re putting the gym owner’s kids through college by giving him a yearly income boost without causing him to incur any equipment repair fees when your fat ass breaks the stair master.


Jan. 1, 2015 – “I will only buy the bare necessities of life, nothing more, nothing less. I’ll keep my expenses low. I won’t go on shopping binges. Material things won’t fix my problems.”

Jan. 3, 2015 – You spent a week’s salary on in-app purchases, buying extra corn to grow on your virtual farm, or food to feed your virtual dog or what have you. Then you went online and bought a limited edition autograph of that kid that played Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it reminded you of your youth. You followed it up with a golden chalice to drink your Mountain Dew out of, which you justified to yourself with the argument, “I am a special person and I deserve to drink my soda out of a cup fit for royalty and doing so will make me feel better about myself!” It did not, so you gave a thousand dollars to a fake televangelist then bought a copy of Avengers 2 and paused it on a scene involving Black Widow’s ample, leather clad bosom.


Jan. 1, 2015 – “I will open myself up to someone decent, true and pure with honest moral character and good intentions toward me and reject those who don’t treat me with the respect that I deserve.”

Jan. 7, 2015 – You rejected that well adjusted person who is head over heels in love with you because he/she has a tiny mole, or a few early gray hairs, a zit, a foot that’s a sixth of an inch bigger than the other, or some minor issue that you magnified in your pea brain because, “Whoa, look at me, I’m really great and I won’t settle for anything less that an experience that makes me feel like I’m on a rocket to the moon.” Then you sent the sixth unanswered text message of the week to that attractive person who only answers when he/she needs money, which you eagerly dole out in total violation of the previous resolution.


Jan. 1, 2015 – “No more cigarettes! No more alcohol! My body is a temple!”

Jan 2, 2015 – “Right after this last butt and this last Bud…shit, these resolutions technically don’t start till March, right?”


Jan. 1, 2015 – “My book will be on Amazon by Christmas, 2015!”

Dec. 31, 2015 – “I spent the year working on a blog for 3.5 readers.” (That was an impression of my incompetent, lousy excuse for a nephew, Bookshelf Q. Battler.)


So listen up, 3.5 dummies. Stop making ridiculous promises to yourselves that you’ll never keep. You know you won’t.

Why do you make resolutions? Because time moves by very fast. You start the year with the best intentions, then life gets in the way, you resort to your old bad habits, you tell yourself, “Tomorrow! I’ll start working on this tomorrow!” and then before you know it the year is over and you’re still the same old asshole you promised you wouldn’t be anymore when the year began.

So you resolve, and resolve and resolve. You lie to yourself. “I’m putting a patch on the open wound of my soul that makes me a) eat, drink and smoke too much b) avoid fulfilling relationships while seeking out harmful ones c) spend your money on nonsense d) generally act like a dumb ass.

3.5 HIPPIES: But Uncle Hardass! Are you telling me I SHOULD just go ahead and eat, smoke, and drink myself into an early grave and spend myself into the poorhouse?

Of course not, you ignorant communist. YOU SHOULD stop engaging in all of the destructive behaviors that have led you to the lowly state you find yourself in right now, most likely curled up in the fetal position on the couch, eating cupcakes and volunteering your time to be one of my idiot nephew’s 3.5 readers.

BUT YOU ALSO SHOULD…identify whatever it is that is causing you to eat, drink, smoke, spend and chase away love and happiness.

What happened to you, lousy 3.5 readers, to bring you to the lowly state you are in?

  • Did your parents not give you enough attention when you were a child?
  • Did someone hurt your feelings? Were you betrayed and left heartbroken?
  • Did you experience some kind of heinous traumatic event?
  • Did you once believe in yourself enough to try to do something only to fail miserably, leaving you feeling like having hopes and dreams aren’t worth it?
  • Did life not turn out the way you planned it?

Whatever happened, 3.5 readers, here are my two bits of advice:

FIRST – avoid the urge to tell me all about it. Like a bad gas pain, that too will pass. I’m too busy to pretend to give a shit. If you try to tell me, I’ll just grunt and call you a dumb ass.

SECOND – You should find a professional that can help talk you through it, work through your feelings and come to terms with whatever is bothering you as well as develop a strategy to prevent your problems from manifesting themselves into the destructive behaviors that you resolve to stop every year without any progress.

BOTTOMLINE: Whatever the hell your problem is, either fix it, or if you can’t fix it, learn to live with it without engaging in bad behavior. You can resolve all you want, but those resolutions won’t take root until you figure out whats making you do all the bad things you’re resolving against in the first place.

I know you all worship and adore your Uncle Hardass and strive to be the stable, well-adjusted person that he is.

I don’t blame you. But I’m a specimen of perfection that few, if any, can ever live up to.

Instead, stop worrying about other people and worry about you.  Be the best you that you can be. Give yourself a hug and forgive yourself for the shambles you’ve put your life into and only then can you work on digging yourself out of the pile of crap you’re stuck in.

That’s enough hippy talk for one column, 3.5 readers. I’m off to watch the ball drop then after that, I hear there’s some big glowing blinky thing in New York City they broadcast video of as it slides down a pole, so I’ll probably watch that too.

Happy New Year’s, 3.5 readers. Resolve to get a job. I can’t carry everyone on my back forever.

Attorney Donnelly notes that Uncle Hardass is not a licensed therapist or professional counselor or psychiatrist/psychologist of any kind, so you shouldn’t rely on anything he just said. If you have problems, do your own research into what the proper course of action is and look into what resources, professionals etc. are available to help you. 

But seriously, don’t take advice on a blog with only 3.5 readers. That’s just stupid.

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Back to the Future II – It’s 2015, What Happened, What Didn’t?

God help me, I remember watching this movie when it first came out, and it seemed like there was enough time between then and 2015 for the futuristic world it depicted to come true.

Everyone is talking about it, since 2015 is finally here.  If you want a breakdown of what the movie predicted and what actually happened, Gawker has it for you.

I’ll add my thoughts to the mix:

1)  Flying Cars – I suppose it’s not wise to say something is “impossible” but I feel the term “flying car” is equal to “small plane.”  We’ve had large planes for a long time now.  And there’s an entire multinational infrastructure put in place to track them via radar to help them not crash into each other.  After all, if you’re in a plane, can you see what’s above you?  To the left or right?  Underneath you?  Behind?  People get into accidents all the time just with their boring old land cars.  If they invent flying cars, i.e., small, personal planes, then people would just be smacking into each other constantly.  And while fatal car crashes do quite sadly, happen all to often, it is at least a possibility to have crashes that are just minor fender benders that one can walk away from.  In a flying car, if your car crashes, that’s it, you’re plummeting to your demise.  Hell, if you forget to fill up on gas or the engine conks out, you’re going to plummet to your demise and slam into the Earth.  I barely trust the guys that work on my land car, but at least if my car breaks down, I can pull over and call AAA.  If my flying car stops flying, I’m screwed.

2)  Tablet Computers – Remember the old man that asked Marty for money to fix the clock tower?  They’re here!  They’re also awesome and believe it or not (forgetting about the occasional bug here and there) they actually work!  I feel like if you took me out of the past, brought me to the future, and showed me an iPad, my jaw would drop.

3) Dehydrated Pizza – Not here yet.  Dehydrated food does exist, but not to the point where you can store it and turn it into something yummy and delicious when you want it.  I suppose when they figure that out, restaurants will go out of business, which in the case of McDonald’s, probably wouldn’t be a bad thing.

4)  Handless Video Games – There’s a scene where two kids balk at Marty’s love of a game that requires the hand to hold a toy zapper gun  – “Wild Gunman.”  I’m not sure what the kids meant here.  I have a theory they meant that one day there would be games that enter your mind and bring you into some kind of virtual reality.  In theory, that’s awesome.  On the other hand, there are games where you don’t need to hold a controller – i.e. the Nintendo Wii and X Box Kinect.

5)  3D Movies – I was actually surprised they made such a comeback.  I assume its an attempt to keep the movie theater industry from losing out to digital downloads.

6)  Self-Lacing Shoes – I’d love it if they could invent that.  All that damn time lost tying my shoes when I could be doing more important things, like playing Parcheesi and curing cancer.

7)  Video Conferencing – It’s been here for awhile, but aside from college kids, I can’t really imagine who uses it.  I don’t want to worry about my appearance just to make a phone call, do you?  Seriously, someone calls you in the middle of the night, do you really want to get on video in your pajamas?

8)  Hoverboards – Clearly, this was the best prediction.  They aren’t here yet, though supposedly great progress has been made.  See my discussion about flying cars, though, as I think they’ll just result in a lot of people hover boarding into each other, filling the nation’s emergency rooms with hoverboard accidents.

9)  Fax Machines – They’re big in the movie, but in reality, died out long ago.

10)  Cubs Win the World Series – Poor Cubs.  It was far fetched back then.  It’s still far fetched today.  Tablet computers are here, and flying cars will probably be here before the Cubs win the World Series.

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New Year Resolutions

Face it.  At Christmas time, you beat yourself up pretty bad, didn’t you?  “I told myself I was going to fix X problem last year and another year has gone by!”

Yes.  Yes, it certainly has.  They always do.  Those years go by quick.

And so, with renewed vim and great vigor, we march gallantly into the New Year.

By Christmas 2015, I vow I will, in no particular order: lose weight, exercise more, take better care of myself, write my novel, become nicer to my fellow man, find my special someone, save more money, tell that jerk that’s been bothering me where to stick his/her insults, run a marathon, dress better, eat better, learn how to speak Italian, donate my time to a soup kitchen, sponsor one of those African kids they keep showing in commercials, take dancing lessons, visit another country, pick up the phone and call X relative, friend, neighbor, long lost podiatrist that I haven’t spoken to in ages and am now just afraid to because it will seem weird since so much time has gone by.  I will bake a cake, go ice fishing, kayak down the river rabbits, fight a grizzly bear single handed and skin him alive using nothing but my wits, pelting him into submission with sticks and berries.  I will go skydiving.  I will go snorkeling.  I will go parasailing. I will learn how to play the guitar, piano, ukulele, and the French horn.   I will take yoga classes and start saying things like “Namaste.” I will one-up Ebenezer Scrooge and find one starving orphan child per day, and give said child enough money to buy a goose – living or dead, it doesn’t matter what kind of goose the child gets to me, the point is, the child will be able to eat the goose, or keep it as a pet to distract himself from his hunger, whichever he so may choose to do.  I will develop mental telepathy and change the channel on my television with just a flick of the wrist, no remote control required.  I’ll develop ESP and convince others to watch ESPN.

And while we’re on the subject of television, here are some bad habits I vow to rid my life of once in for all.  I will turn my television off and never turn it on again until New Year’s 2016.  I will not watch Mad Men, Justified, Walking Dead, Reruns of Breaking Bad, Homeland, Fargo, Game of Thrones, True Detective, nor will I watch the new crap they churn out, get me addicted to, then cancel.  I will smash my Xbox with a hammer and vow to not play a video game ever this entire year.  My body will be a temple and I will be its master.  I will embrace a healthy diet.  I will not eat one item of junk food and will never visit a fast food restaurant in the entire year of 2015.  I will drink nothing but rarified mineral water from the artesian wells of Iceland, collected and bottled by actual, legitimate Icelanders and not just wannabes who move to Iceland for the swanky nightlife scene and then just try to blend in.  I will eat nothing but hummus, lettuce, carrots, and if I’m feeling crazy, I’ll allow a full blown watercress sandwich with extra cress.  I will not utter one swear word this entire year.  Anyone who offends me will not be offered a return insult but rather, a caring and concerned ear to listen to all their problems, no matter how bullshit they may be.

Why am I doing all of this?  Because it is the New Year!  I was depressed at my various Christmas social gatherings, lamenting how I vowed to do all of these things by the end of last year, and yet there I was, at Christmas 2014, still watching Mad Men and the Walking Dead, swearing at everyone, playing video games, not walking any marathons whatsoever, a Big Mac in one hand and a bottle of Norwegian Ice Water in the other.  I hadn’t bought a single orphan a livestock bird that they could either eat or keep as a pet.  I hadn’t touched a single vat of hummus the entire year.  Italian people were coming up to me at the Christmas party left and right and I was completely clueless as to what in the hell they were saying.  My long lost podiatrist was still left with the feeling that I didn’t give a shit about him.  I had yet to learn Mental Telepathy, my guitar, ukulele, and French horn were collecting dust in a corner, and that African kid was still unsponsored, despite all the coffee I drank like a selfish imbecile, any one of those cups of coffees could have been used to purchase vital medicines and care packages for said starving child.  And you want to know the real coup de grace?  That guy who’s a real jerk that I never told off?  He and the grizzly bear were openly mocking me the entire Christmas party.

But there will be no more of that crap this year!  For I, the Bookshelf Battler, a book scholar, renowned all over the world and some parts of Mars, depending on their satellite receptions, truly understand the power of a New Year!  New Year’s Day is a momentous time, a time when the disappointments of the previous year are still fresh, and yet there is still hope for the new year, the hope that I can look at the calendar, and there will be 365 fresh days that I can start putting to good use, with the hope that by the 2015 Christmas party my colon will be a hummus lined picture of good health, that entire flocks of geese will be donated to orphans, and maybe even to African kids if they’ll accept them and allow me to keep my coffee money, that I will wow everyone at the next Christmas party by playing the ukulele while making all the Christmas ornaments dance with my mental telepathy skills.  I will not attend the Christmas party alone, but rather, with the supermodel I will convince to go with me using my newfound powers of ESP.  When people at the 2015 Christmas party ask me, “Can you believe what Don Draper did?”  I will say, “Hey, no spoilers pal!”  If I can’t find the bathroom, I’ll go up to the closest Italian person and ask, “D’ove il bagno?”  What?  Did I just run, “Where is the bathroom through Google Translate?”  No, you dirty son of a…no, wait, hey, come here, what’s the matter?  Tell me all your problems.  I’m sure they are all legitimate and not made up at all.

Yes, at that Christmas party at the end of this year, I will wow the attendees with pictures of my skydiving, paralleling, snorkeling trip – where I did all three at the same time by jumping out of a plane, falling to just above the Earth, where I then lassoed a boat, allowed it to pull me for a while, then cut anchor, and swam three miles with the fish off the coast of Capastrano.


Yes, I know this will all happen, because 2014 is not only gone, but it was a tremendous disappointment.  I will not make the same mistakes.  I will not fall back into the same bad habits.  This will be the year that I spend each and every day doing the right thing and making the exactly correct decisions because gosh darn it, I now have FINALLY learned the lesson that the next year will be over in the blink of an eye, so I’d best make the most of it, so that I am not depressed at the 2015 Christmas party.

What?  It’s Jan. 2 already?  Fuck it.  Somebody get me a Big Mac.  Well played, Bear.  Well played.

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Happy New Year!

Hello Bookshelf Battlers,

Just a quick note to wish you all a Happy New Year!

One year down, and I’m at 400 blog followers, and almost 2200 twitter followers.  Let’s keep them coming!

As always, thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to discussing more books with you in 2015!

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