Some of My Favorite Authors

I recently tried the “ask me anything” thing again here and once again got only one question. It was about my favorite authors. So, here is a small list of some of my favorite authors. And yes, I realize they are mostly white men. I have diversified my reading, but the ones below remain my favorites.

Stephen King – I’ve been reading King since I was a kid. The librarians at the small library at home were disturbed by my reading choices and tried to get me to go back to the childrens section. King is one of two authors who’s books I still buy. To make Christmas easier for my family, I get any new Stephen King book as a gift. It means I have to wait to read them. but it is worth it.

Christopher Moore – A long time ago I read Practical Demonkeeping and then forgot it. I saw it while shelving at the library and started reading it again. I realized it sounded familiar and then figured out I had already read it. I then read Bloodsucking Fiends and was hooked. His books are funny and he does a ton of research to get things right. He’s also a very nice guy. You can read more about my stalking of Chris here.

Robert McCammon- My favorite book ever is Swan Song. It is very similar to King’s The Stand, but I think a lot better. I was very happy when it made it to the list of top 100 books recently. I also loved Gone South, Mine, Boy’s Life and The Border.

Lisa Scottoline – I like her books, but I think she makes the list more for being such a nice person. Her books are generally about an all-woman law firm in Philadelphia with some stand alones as well. I love all of the main characters from the firm and am happy when another adventure arrives. Here is my story of meeting her.

Andrew Smith – My favorite YA author. He writes a mix of realistic fiction like Winger and books about giant praying mantises like Grasshopper Jungle with a mix of humor and humanity.

John Sanford – He writes two of my favorite characters: Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers. Even when the story is not as good as I hope, I love the characters enough to speed through them.

Michael Connelly – Another of my favorite characters: Harry Bosch. I love that Connelly let Harry age to the point that he is now retired and works cold cases with a younger detective. The series has not lost any quality as he ages and new people are added.

I’m sure I could add more, but how many favorites can I realistically claim?

Click here to buy me a coffee or support my blog.

What’s Good in Tater Town 10/11/20

A week with a promising start ended with me being more stressed than I’ve been in weeks. Let’s try to find the good.

  1. Ravens best the Washington Football Team.
  2. Family dinner and game of Life.
  3. The Walking Dead season finale finally aired.
  4. The beginning of the week was blissfully free of toxic people.
  5. Braves baseball on TV.
  6. A Braves sweep and now more Braves baseball coming.
  7. Good walking weather.
  8. A handful of new TV to watch.
  9. Kentucky won last night.
  10. One more day of freedom.

Click here to buy me a coffee or support my blogging.

My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 10/9/20

It was a nice full week on TV. Movies are still suffering from the lack of new DVDs from the library. Reading has slowed a bit. Details below.

Movies – We watched two movies this week. The first we found while browsing various streaming services. It was Precious Cargo starring Mark Paul Gosselaar and Bruce Willis. I like the two actors, so I was willing to watch a brainless action movie. And it was brainless. he best thing I can say about it is that it was short and it was free. That’s it. We also watched Summer School the old Mark Harmon movie. My wife is a big NCIS fan and loves Mark Harmon. She didn’t remember this movie so I got it from the library. Basic plot – Mark Harmon is the PE teacher who gets roped into teaching remedial English summer school. He connects with the kids and gets the attractive new teacher to help him learn to teach them. I still enjoyed it. Nothing groundbreaking, but a pleasant way to spend an evening.

TV – We watched the new episodes of LA’s Finest, Filthy Rich, Transplant and Coroner. We finally watched the first episode of the new season of Fargo. I liked it. I had trouble keeping track of who was who sometimes, but I’m sure that will get easier as we move along. We watched the first episode of Swamp Thing. I dozed a lot during it. Not because it was boring, but because I was very tired that night. I did like what I saw and will watch more. I’ve watched several episodes of The Weakest Link. I still like the premise of the show and Jane Lynch is good as the host. It’s good to have another quiz show on TV. I also watched the new SNL. All of the hype was about Alec Baldwin, Jim Carrey and Maya Rudolph as Trump, Biden and Harris, but I thought the cold open with them was mediocre. The skit that made me laugh the most was the one below about a Covid outbreak at the building where people go for name changes.

Books – I finished one book this week. It was The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed. It is a teen book set in LA after the police officers are acquitted in the Rodney King case. Ashley is a black teen living in a wealthy area of LA and attending a private school. Her sister has moved out and is living close to the riots. There is some normal teen romance stuff, but the book mainly deals with Ashley’s feelings about the situation in the city and her relationship with hew lifelong white friends and the other black kids at the school. It took me a bit to get into it, but I did enjoy it.

On Deck – Movie tonight will once again be something random we find on streaming. Or we will skip a movie and watch more Fargo. Football and baseball will take up a good portion of my week. I’m sure we will watch more of the shows mentioned above. Amazing Race comes back next week. Even though I typically watch with my daughter, I have told her I will watch without her and then save it to watch with her later like I do Survivor. Otherwise, I will find out who was eliminated before I watch. I’m reading two books right now. Watching You by Lisa Jewell for work and From the Grave by David Housewright for me.

And now the “begging for donations” portion of the program. Will blog for coffee.

One of Those Mornings

It’s a beautiful morning, but all I want to do is go back to bed. I got plenty of sleep last night. It’s not a physical tired thing. it’s a “I really can’t face the real world today” thing.

I won’t go back to bed. Instead, I am up and dressed and heading off to work in 20 minutes.

I will instead have an afternoon in a Zoom staff meeting.

I will probably get stressful phone calls that will make the day even worse.

I’m still working on a plan that will convince others that quitting and taking a sabbatical is a good idea.

It’s one of those mornings where the thought of real life makes me physically ill.

Sigh.

I promise more fun posts will eventually return.

Some Things I’ve Discovered About My Blog

I have run out of interesting pictures to post for Wordless Wednesday so I will instead bore you with some random things I’ve discovered in blogging and my stats.

  1. I never intended to write so much about myself, but the more personal posts are the ones that people actually read. When I post about news or what I’m reading and watching I have my lowest views.
  2. I get more views when I post in the morning. I generally post in the morning around 8am east coast America time. When I do that, I get the majority of my views for the day within the hour. Many of those are from India. When I post in the afternoon or evening it is much lighter and most of my views are from the US.
  3. Views are nice, but comments are more of an indication that people are reading. Even likes are suspect as some people who like my post don’t seem to actually click on the link before liking it.
  4. I need to be better about commenting on other blogs and replying to comments on my blog. If I want to actually grow my blog I need to be a bigger part of the blogging community.
  5. I’m never going to be one of those bloggers with thousands of readers unless I spend more time on it. I can’t spend more time on it while I have a job. I should quit my job.
  6. I will never make money blogging. I make less than a dollar a month on ads. I can post my link to my Kofi page as much as I want and only a couple of real life friends will ever click, Random strangers on the internet are not going to buy me a coffee because they like my blog post. Feel free to click above and prove me wrong.
  7. The only things that will change from these realization – I may write in the evening when I have more time, but I will schedule the post to publish the next morning and I will be more likely to keep it more personal as I move forward.

Maybe I will find a good picture for next Wednesday.

Going Virtual

I’m about 30 minutes away from logging into the opening keynote speaker for the Maryland/Delaware Library Conference. I have attended MLA/DLA for years. I have been on the conference planning committee multiple times. I have been on the MLA executive board. I am as involved as I can be in the association.

I love going to conference. It’s a nice break from my routine. In normal years I get to get paid to stay in a nice hotel, eat good food and drink with librarians. Oh, yeah. There is learning as well. It’s something I look forward to all year. I’m not the most social of people, but it is nice to see my library friends, go to pub quiz, etc.

This year I am getting ready to attend from my couch. There is no trip to a nice hotel. There is no break in my routine. I still went in to the branch this morning. There will be no hanging out with library friends. There will be pub quiz, but I will be playing from my couch. It’s a virtual world these days and I’m really tired of it.

My Pledge Drive Link. You Can Support My Work Here.

Tater Talks TV Doctors

I watch the news a lot. Probably too much, even now when I’ve tried to cut don on news for the sake of my mental health. I’ve always been a little irritated with the TV doctors who pop up on the talk shows to discuss medical issues. With Covid, they are all over the place.

My attempt to have the lighter shows like Kelly Clarkson and Ellen on in the background while I work was interrupted today with a special report on Trump being released from the hospital today. The news was followed by NBC bringing on their three doctors to give the expert opinion. I have thoughts from that, but before I start two things to make clear:

I am not a fan of Trump.

I believe the virus is real and dangerous.

I don’t want anyone to interpret anything here as me saying anything different.

Ok, now, number one – I think it is irresponsible for a medical professional to go on TV to speculate about the health of patient they have not examined. They can give a broad opinion about the disease in general, but without examining the patient in question you really should have no opinion on their treatment or release.

Two – I find most TV experts suspect. I imagine you can find an expert to say whatever you want them to say if you pat them enough money. I imagine FOX News can find experts to say the complete opposite of that the NBC experts are saying. I trust no one.

Third – they actually brought Joseph Fair on to give his opinion. I wrote about him here. He is the NBC guy who was all over the Today Show talking about how he had a severe case of Covid an how he had to have gotten it through his tear ducts because he had been so careful. Problem was, he tested negative multiple times and also tested negative for antibodies. Was he sick? Yes, probably. Did he have Covid? Apparently not. Did that stop him from saying he did over and over again on TV? Nope. Did they ever admit that on air? Not sure. Does he still get to go on TV and be an expert on the disease? Apparently so. Why would I trust him now?

Don’t even get me started on Dr. Oz.

In a nutshell – I don’t think you should automatically believe someone on TV just because they have Dr in their name. Same goes for Twitter and Facebook posts. Do research. Gather facts. Don’t just believe people who are being paid to give an opinion.

Like what you read? Consider clicking here to buy me a coffee or support my blogging habit.

What’s Good in Tater Town 10/4/20

Here we are. October already. Nothing much has changed. 2020 is still crazy. Let’s find the good.

  1. Dinner with my son last Sunday.
  2. Football on TV
  3. Limited contact with toxic people.
  4. Playoff baseball on TV,
  5. The Braves won their series and will play again this week.
  6. I was able to get the lawn mowed over two days between the rains.
  7. The weather has been generally nice.
  8. Seeing my daughter for the first time in a few weeks.
  9. A full weekend away from work.
  10. My wife didn’t immediately say no to my last plan for quitting my job.

That’s it for the week.

If you enjoy my posts, please consider buying me a cup of coffee or something.

More Inspiration From Autocomplete

I did this last year. It was fun, so I’m doing it again today. Inspirational messages courtesy of autocomplete.

Today I will have a good time. Today I will be in a few days. Today I will see if I can find a way out.

Tomorrow I will be at the school. Tomorrow I will be at the house. Tomorrow I will have a few more minutes of my life.

You might need a good night. You might have not a fan. You are a great friend.

We have no one else. We have a good time. We have a lot to say.

Success is a big part in our house. Success is a big step in our life. Success is the most days I’ve seen.

Dream of my favorite game of Life. Dream of a new one episode and I don’t have any good time. Dream of a new season and then we will be able.

Achieve success in our house. Achieve the same goal and a lot more than a few more days.

I hope these inspirational words have helped you today.

Support the Common Tater

My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 10/2/20

It’s October already. How did that happen? I’m glad I changed my reading goal during lockdown. I’m way down this year. Here’s my week.

Movies – We watched two older movies this week. The first was the sequel to The Cutting Edge. In this one the daughter of the original duo is a skater who moves to doubles after an injury. Her partner is a skater she met while on vacation. It’s very similar to the first movie. Not as good, but we enjoyed it. The second movie was Knockaround Guys with Vin Diesel, Seth Green, Barry Pepper and Andy Davoli as the sons of mobsters trying to prove they are ready to take over. It also starred Dennis Hopper and John Malkovich. My wife is a big Diesel fan. I like Seth Green and John Malkovich. It was the perfect storm of actors. We did enjoy the movie. Whatever happened to Barry Pepper?

TV – We watched LA’s Finest and finished the latest season of Lucifer. I finished Hart of Dixie. I really liked that show and would highly recommend it. Masked Singer is back! I tried the new show I Can See Your Voice and have decided it is not worth my time(until Joel McHale is a guest judge) I watched a few episodes of Daybreak on Netflix. It is kind of Ferris Bueller meets the zombie apocalypse. I like it, but it was canceled. I watched a lot of football.

Books – I finished The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. I’ve only ever read Zone One, his zombie book. Nickel Boys tells the story of Elwood Curtis, who is sent to the Nickel Academy, a juvenile reformatory. We first see the academy in present day when bodies are being unearthed from the grounds. We meet Elwood before he is arrested, see his time at Nickel and pieces of his adult life. It is very good. The best I’ve read in a while. Read it.

On Deck – Movies will once again be whatever we find on streaming. TV will be more LA’s Finest, Coroner and Transplant. There is a new SNL tomorrow night. I’m very exited about that I’m reading The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed.

If you like my stuff, please consider buying me a coffee or helping me convince my wife writing full time will work.